Using the Three Modes of Nature (Guṇa-s) in Invitational Education: Five Levers for Learning
AbstractEffective learning invitations, which encourage a learner to engage and overcome inhibitions that may hold them back, involve a change in consciousness. The impetus for change may be the wish to be good or, as in much Western education, the desire for material and social advancement. This paper introduces five styles of learning invitation and explores how they may be employed to lever positive outcomes, especially in the field of environmental education. The levers employed engage the three modes of nature (Gunas) of Samkhya-yoga as evoked by Satish Kumar’s ‘Spiritual Compass’. The leverage aims to raise learners away from the mode of inertia and darkness (Tamas), toward compassion, peace, and clear-sightedness (Sattva), typically, via the fire of action (Rajas). The value of Tamas as a motivation and fulcrum for change and the problems that develop when Rajas, action becomes both the way and the goal, are both discussed. So are the limitations of Sattva, goodness, which while it may be holistic, reflective and serene, needs help (Rajas) to convert its dreaming into reality. The approach emerges from a foundational Dharmic tradition whose ultimate goal is enlightenment or liberation from the trivial ephemera of everyday life.
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