Reviewed by: T. Nugroho Angkasa
Indonesian archipelago is surrounded by water. Under those oceans, there are rings of fire also. The earth slab below moves constantly. It causes some tectonic and volcanic activities at many regions. Moreover, water and fire are opposite nature’s elements. We are all; dwell on the middle of the dominance of both (page 49).
This keen observation was revealed in Anand Krishna’s writing. The author of more 150 books explained the reason why we tend to be emotional. Indeed, excessive emotions, on the other hand can bring us to become world-class artists. According to him, if we mastered English well, we can stand in line with many writers from India and Pakistan. Therefore, we can write in the newspaper at the foreign countries.
Unfortunately, the influence of the water and fire elements tend to made us irritable. When we wanted to be angry, it was defeated by the water element. However, the anger was still hidden inside. As the result, every several years, we become furious collectively. The term “amuk” was only able to be found in Indonesian dictionary.
Sometimes people were in conflict because of PKI’s (Indonesian Communist Party) rebellion (1965), then because of the different of Tribe, Religion, Race, an Inter-group’s (SARA) issue (1998), and so on. When it is examined in depth, the root is the clash between elements of water and fire within.
Our ancestors realized that geographical conditions related to the inner mood. Therefore, they encouraged mutual cooperation (gotong royong) as the way of life. In a constructive way, we can channel the energy of the friction to achieve a common goal. In line with the definition of Paul Martin Taylor, “Mutual cooperation is cooperation among many people to attain a shared goal.”
Furthermore, since the early age, our children must be educated to live together and appreciate diversity. In our nature school, we taught multiculturalism and pluralism by observing the vegetables. There are many forms of leaves and fruits on our organic garden. So does with human being.
This book was originally a doctoral thesis noted for Ph.D. degree. Anand gained that degree in Comparative Religions from University of Sedona (USA) at 2011. The original title of his dissertation was Trans-Personal Way of Action.
Its content was inspired by some teachings of Sheikh Baba, Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, J. Krishnamurti, Anthony de Melo, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, Gus Dur, etc. In addition, the founder of Anand Ashram Foundation (affiliated with the United Nations) referred also to Rumi, Blavatsky, Ramakrishna, Vivekanada, Yogananda, Ranggawarsita, and Mangkunegara IV’s writings (p. 57).
On the day of International Volunteer Day December 5, 2008, Ban Ki-moon said that the spirit of volunteering, or altruism was the way which can save the world. This UN Secretary General wrote, “We need people who can serve the community without thinking about the profit for him/herself.” (Source: www.inis.unvienna.org/unis/pressrels/2008/unissgsm087.html)
In this book, the scientific term for the spirit of selfless work (Karma Yoga) is Trans-personal (p. 84). Trans-personal is a developed branch of advanced psychology. It was first popularized by a philosopher named William James in the year 1905-1906.
However after that, it was forgotten for several years. It was re-introduced by the famous psychologist, Abraham Maslow (1969). Maslow gave a new breakthrough in the realm of psychology.
Many psychologists began to shift from ego-centered toward transcendent orientation (p. 86). A modern philosopher Ken Wilber said that humans are not only physically based, we are all have mind, emotions, soul, and spirit.
Indeed, there are so many layers of consciousness. In Indonesia, the well known practitioners of Transpersonal Psychology are Hendro Prabowo, S.Psi, M.Msi and Kwartarini Wahyu Yuniarti, M.Med Sc., Ph.D. Both are the lecturer at the Faculty of Psychology, University of Gadjah Mada (UGM) Yogyakarta.
The book is sharing a deep spiritual message. Whatever you do, (please) think of the interests of others. Love and serve all at the locus of family, workplace. social environment, and global society. Due working with trans-personal motive is the essence of religious teachings and beliefs in the world.
Last but not least, I cannot agree more to Michael Bernard Beckwith’s statement. This New Thought leader and the founder of Agape International Spiritual Center wrote, “The most important thing is how to create a system in which people no longer work for money or self-interest only, but to serve the planet with all its inhabitants and enter the next spiritual evolutionary stage.” Happy reading!
Title: Karma Yoga for Modern People, Trans-Personal Working Ethic for the New Era
Author: Anand Krishna, Ph.D.
Published by: Gramedia Pustaka Utama/2011
Number of pages: xxi +248
Price: IDR 52.000
Notice: T. Nugroho Angkasa, S.Pd., as book reviewer, is an English Teacher at PKBM Angon (Nature School) in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Website: http://www.angon.org/