Friday, January 30, 2009

It is what it is

This is my third and final year of Psychology. I am up to eyeballs in psychology textbooks, notes and assignments and, well, I've had quite enough of the stuff.
I confess to being intrigued by the workings of the human mind. Why do we do what we do when we do it? Many people are interested in having that question answered - maybe to better understand themselves and/or to better understand and help those around them.

I had a very different idea of what my psychology classes would be like when I first began working on my degree 2 years ago. I thought that it would give me a solid answer to my 'why-do-we-do-what-we-do-when-we-do-it' question. It hasn't.

Instead every topic is surrounded by theories - many, many theories - each with limitations, advantages, disadvantages, capabilities, strengths and weaknesses. For a simple topic such as motivation, I have studied at least nine different theories - Maslow, McClellands Needs Theory, Herzbergs two facto theory, the goal setting theory, etc, etc.
There is no one theory that is absolutely correct. No one theory that proves the absolute truth behind different subject matters. Instead one scholar puts forth a theory, it is accepted as the truth for some time, only to have another scholar come forward disputing his/her theory and putting forward his own. Nothing lasts very long in the psychology world.

Actually it seems like a whole lot of speculation.

But it has made me realise and appreciate one thing:
There is only one place we can look to in order to understand the workings of the mind - scripture. There are no theories, limitations or weaknesses to what Srila Prabhupada puts forward in his books. It is what is. Bas. Prabhpada has not taken something from the Bhgavatam, disqualified certain aspects of it and then built upon what was left of it. No. It is what it always has been - the absolute truth.

I know that Sita Pati Prabhu is arguing whether Krsna Consciousness should be referred to as a science, and I'm not nearly scholarly enough to get into that. But whatever it is, I am glad that it is absolute and 'as it is'. No speculation, no attempts at logic, no conflicting theories. Rather it the simple, uncomplicated, deep and meaningful truth.

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