By Ashwani Kumar (auth.)

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A change in the system or structure cannot lead to a real revolution for, such a change is a continuation of the same realities in a modified form. Self-awareness is crucial; for, it is easy to hold others responsible for the misery of the world but it is hard to see oneself as an important component of such a degenerating process. 9 The key point of difference between meditative inquiry and currere is related to the central concern of the latter: self-reflexivity. Self-reflexivity encourages critical engagement with self, which instead of only being out-centered, turns inward to understand its complexity.

I conclude this chapter with identifying the four principles of understanding curriculum as meditative inquiry, each of which I will discuss in detail in the next four chapters. Chapter 2, “On the Nature of Consciousness” explains in detail the four characteristic features of human consciousness—fear and insecurity, conditioning influences and image-making, becoming and psychological time, and fragmentation and conflict—that are at the very root of individual and social conflicts. More specifically, it explicates how fear and insecurity are responsible for inequalities of wealth, nationalistic and religious antagonism, and various sorts of discriminations; the ways in which conditioning influences and image-making bring about divisiveness within and between people; how becoming as a psychological process from “what is” to “what should be” leads to psychological conflicts and dissipation of energy; and in what ways fear, becoming, and conditioning are responsible for fragmentation and conflict at all levels of the individual psyche and the society it has created.

I would often say to myself: Everybody is so much concerned with thinking and analysis, but why is nobody seeing that the very instrument—intellect—that we depend upon is an intrinsic part of our consciousness, which, as I can see, is in perpetual crisis. But, I was not sure what and how to say what was going on inside me. In the beginning, I used to speak a lot in classroom discussions, but slowly even the desire to say anything disappeared. I distinctly remember Professor Pinar asking me after a few classes in his course on autobiography: Why do you not speak in class?

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