Applied Psychology - For World Peace and Prosperity

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Applied Psychology for World Peace and Prosperity



Dr. Panch Ramalingam



M/s. P.R. Books,
New Delhi - 110 009,



June 2002









Rs. 350/-



Selected papers presented during the 6th International conference on Applied Psychology for World Peace and Prosperity held at Pondicherry were included in this volume. The aim of this conference was to encourage research on applied psychology towards global peace in the light of Western and Indian perspectives, and to make understanding of the global issues.

The papers chosen for this volume are really worth to meet the challenges and opportunities in the field of applied psychology. The outcome of the conference proceedings will create positive reinforcement to the researchers, peace makers and religious leaders. It gives a detailed description of important ongoing research aspirations on global perspective, Indian perspectives, societal needs and so on for the development of human relations and peace keeping measures at various levels.

This is a significant contribution to the literature on applied psychology and immensely useful to the students, researchers, teachers and peace makers.


Sl. No.


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- Matthijs Cornelissen



- Dr. Panch. Ramalingam



List of Contributors



Peace Co-Existence and Psychology
G.P. Thakur



Strategies for Indian Psychological Revolution
K.V. Kaliappan



The Spiritual Principle of the Unity of all Being for World Peace
Akbar Husain



Sri Aurobindo's Applied Psychology for World Peace and Prosperity
Chandrakant P. Patel



Psychology of Meditation: Theory and Practice
S.K. Kiran Kumar



Yoga as a System of Psychotherapy
N.B. Havalappanavar



Activities of Daily Living as Healing
Touseef Rizvi and Iram Chaudhary



Spirituality as an Important Dimension of Indian Psychology
Nazli Pervez



Workshop Teaching Psychology : The Methodology of an Integrated Approach
Neeltje Huppes



Current Trends in Environmental Psychology for Global Concern
Panch. Ramalingam



Emerging Applied Psychological Trends for the Future
Manju Chandran



Knowledge Management : A Strategic Tool
T. Satheesh Kumar and R. Venkatapathy



NLP : Technology for Personal and Interpersonal Awareness
Assissi Menachery and R. Venkatapathy



Work Motivation and Job Involvement of Local and Migratory Workers
A.K. Chatterjee and Krishnakali Goswami



Family and Organization Stressors and its impact on Society
S. Karunes and Sangeetha Sahney



A Study of Job-Stress and Burnout Among Defence Service Officers
Nishi Misra and R.K. Tripathi



Occupational Stress and Basic Values A Motivational Approach
Aquib Javed and U.D. Pandey



Attitude Towards Polytechnic Education System
S. Dhanapal and B. Mukhopadhyay






Matthijs Cornelissen

Psychology is at the same time the most marvellous and the most impossible of all sciences. The most marvellous, because it deals with all that really matters to us as human beings, our thoughts, our joys and sufferings, our sometimes successful and often vain attempts to come to grips with the immensely complex and mysterious world in which we live. It is the most impossible because it has to deal with our inside as well as our outside1 and modem science isn't very good in dealing with our inside. The great successes of science have been in the discovery and the manipulation of the outer physical reality. Our telescopes are penetrating galaxies in the furthest recesses of the cosmos, we are taking apart the smallest substructures of atoms and molecules. But all that, great as it is, is not where we can find the secret motives of our actions, the real source of our knowledge and our ignorance, the origin of our love and our hate, our generosity and our fears, our happiness and our grief. In this area we are still infants groping in the dark.

In the 1920s psychology redefined itself as the science of behaviour in an attempt to equal the grand successes of physics and chemistry by restricting itself to the same materialistic ontology and the same reductionistic epistemology that had worked so well for the "hard" sciences. But the artificial, "tool-driven" research agenda of behaviourism, as Girishwar Misra so aptly describes it, has proven to be too limited for psychology. As has become more and more clear over the last 30 years, the results of behaviourism have been largely trivial, and quite often, simply wrong. Behaviourism misses out on the real issues that psychology is supposed to deal with. The situation in which mainstream psychology has found itself is a bit like the old Sufi story in which a man is seen searching feverishly for something under the lantern outside his house. A friend passes by and asks him:

"What are you looking for?"
"My key", he says.
"Where did you lose it?" asks his friend further.
"Inside my house."
"Then why are you looking outside?"
"I look outside, because outside I have some light, while inside it is dark."

As Sri Aurobindo once said in a still more poetic image, "The secret of the lotus is not to be found in the mud below, but in the heavenly archetype above."

Our culture tends to look for solutions on the outside, but this may not be the wisest direction to follow. To illustrate this point, Don Salmon2 devised a simple thought experiment. Just imagine that one stroke of magic would set all the outer structures of life in order. Technology would provide enough wealth to raise the Gross National Product of all the nations on earth tenfold; there would be a perfect system of governance, just laws and a high-powered police force, an ideal system of education, top quality medicine for all. But just imagine what would happen to all this, if our human character would remain the same? If we would remain as greedy, egoistic, spiteful, crooked, lazy as we are now, how long would it take to corrupt the police, make a mess out of politics, collect 90% of the wealth in the hands of a few and turn education again into the present quagmire? Now just imagine the opposite: imagine that a sudden and immensely powerful act of Grace would radically change our human consciousness. Hatred and greed would change into love and generosity, egoism would be a thing of the past and every single person would treat the interests of others and the whole as his or her very own; love and wisdom would be our most common traits. How long would it take us to create simple, inspiring institutions and a technology that could support all of us in a harmonious balance with the rest of nature?

The real problems of mankind are not technical problems that can be solved "on the outside", they have to be solved "on the inside", however difficult that is. And that it is difficult to change our consciousness is clear to everyone who has ever tried; we should have no illusions. But, however hard it is, it is our only chance, both individually and collectively. Moreover, even though collectively we have almost forgotten about it in our enthusiasm for physical gadgets and technological progress, humanity actually does have a treasure chest full of practical know-how about inner progress as well. As several authors in this collection point out, the Indian tradition has a vast arsenal of practical tools for changing our inner life, and on that basis of inner change, our outer behaviour and our collective institutions could be set straight. Though none of the articles in this collection mention this, the Indian tradition also has a very well-developed methodology to arrive at detailed, valid and reliable inner knowledge,3 something that is almost entirely missing in our present, largely western, scientific tradition. These two elements together, a practical and highly effective approach to effect inner change and a rigorous technology to study consciousness "from within", make it extremely likely that in the near future the Indian tradition will have an increasing influence on psychology as an academic science, not only in India but in the world as a whole.

Till now psychologists in India have largely followed developments in the West. We can only hope that in the coming period this trend will reverse and that India will take the lead. India is in an excellent position to do so, as the basic knowledge is there. What is needed, however, is to discard the outer crust of ritual and tradition, go to its roots, and recover the essence of this ancient treasure and express it in a form that is understandable by a modem humanity thirsty for a deeper wisdom and a wider perspective.

... knowledge ends not in these surface powers
That live upon a ledge in the Ignorance
And dare not look into the dangerous depths
Or to stare upward measuring the Unknown.
There is a deeper seeing from within
And, when we have left these small purlieus of mind,
A greater vision meets us on the heights
In the luminous wideness of the spirit's gaze.
At last there wakes in us a witness Soul
That looks at truths unseen and scans the Unknown;
Then all assumes a new and marvellous face:
The world quivers with a God-light at its core...

Of course we are not yet there. An enormous amount of work needs to be done before the wide vistas offered by the Indian tradition can be made into a reliable part of the scientific enterprise. It will require a radical change of attitude, extensive outer study and deep inner work before we can distil from the ancient knowledge the key ideas, the subtle inner gestures that actually effect inner change. But once that is done, the results of the inner sciences may well dwarf the marvellous achievements of the physical sciences of which we are now so excessively proud.

The book you are now reading contains of this epochal change only the very first beginnings. It represents psychology in India as it is at the present juncture. It contains as introduction a heartfelt cry for a collective change in consciousness by G.P. Thakur and, from the hand of K.V. Kaliappan, a number of practical suggestions that could give a new direction to psychology in India, including a greater respect for the Indian tradition and the establishment of several new professional bodies.

The second section contains seven articles and a workshop that are based, in one way or another, on the Indian tradition. Akbar Husain stresses the need to replace our present dualistic onto-epistemology with the spiritual principle of unity of all being, not only for the individual but also for world peace; Chandrakant P. Patel suggests similarly to replace our present psychology with the integral psychology developed by Sri Aurobindo. S. K. Kiran Kumar writes on the theory and practice of meditation from a contextual perspective; N.B.Havalappanavar extols the effects of the eight stages of Patanjali's yoga; TouseefRizvi and Iram Chaudhary describe the healing effects of doing all eight daily activities with a spiritual attitude; Nazli Pervez reports on her interviews with visitors to a Sufi shrine about their spiritual attitudes, experiences and beliefs; Neeltje Huppes presents a workshop on the methodology of teaching Indian and Western psychology in which she gives practical guidelines for a change in attitude and the integration of personal experience.

Section three contains four overview articles on recent trends in applied psychology. Panch. Ramalingam gives a detailed introduction to recent developments in environmental psychology; Manju Chandran writes on the developments in applied psychology during the last 30 years; T. Sateesh Kumar and R.Venkatapathy explain issues involved in knowledge management; Assissi Menachery and R. Venkatapathy lay out the fundamentals ofNeuro Linguistic Programming.

The fourth section contains five traditional research papers. A.K. Chatterjee and Krishnakali Goswami describe their study of the differences in work motivation and job involvement between local and migratory workers of two industrial organisations; S. Karunes reports on different factors influencing stress amongst employees of five different organisations in Delhi; Nishi Misra and R.K. Tripathy repon on an extensive study of stress amongst defence officers; Aquib Javed and U.D. Pandey write on the relation between stress and basic values amongst Delhi school teachers; S. Dhanapal and B. Mukhopadhyay show that the new generation of private electronics and computer related industries have less constructive interactions with existing polytechnic educational institutions than the older, public sector mechanical engineering and manufacturing units.

This book offers a sample of applied psychology as taught at the Indian universities at present. As such it shows a science in transition from its moorings in the West to a new engagement with the treasures of inner knowledge and practical know-how that are hidden in the Indian tradition. It contains the first hesitant beginnings of a movement that is bound to bring forth in the not too distant future the more integral psychology that humanity needs in order to tackle the huge problems it is facing both individually and collectively. May it inspire present and future generations to get involved in this great "adventure of consciousness and joy" that will lead humanity from its present darkness and ignorance to the great dawns of light and knowledge that the future will bring.

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