Thursday, June 16, 2011

Notes on Shichida - Part 3: The aim

So in this post let’s talk about what Dr Makoto Shichida hoped to achieve with The Shichida Method. In my last Shichida post, I mentioned The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar by Roald Dahl. Did it leave an impression on you?

I read the story when I was a child. At the time, I did not know that it was based on a real man called Kuda Bux. On all accounts, to me, the tale was completely fictional. Yet, it made perfect sense to me. There was scientific proof that human beings used less than 10% of their brain and we could already do so much with that tiny portion. What would the unused portion be for? Surely it couldn’t be merely storage space.

I was convinced that it was possible, as Henry Sugar did in the story, to focus your concentration such that you achieved a deeper level of consciousness and, in that deeper consciousness, draw out those hidden abilities. I even tried training with a candle, as explained in the story, and, when I saw how extremely difficult it was, I believed even more that there was this untapped power in all of us which was accessible to a select few.

And the part of the story that made the deepest impression on me? It was the change in Henry Sugar from an avaricious, selfish man to a kind and generous man who went to great lengths to make money for charity. He travelled around the world, from casino to casino, always on the run as the casinos were on the hunt for him. He had to travel with a make-up artist and was always in disguise. Yet he carried on, seeking neither fame nor fortune, and used his abilities to better the lives of others.

This made perfect sense to me. I very readily accepted the idea that human beings had been created by God with all these powers and of course these amazing abilities could only be accessed by people who were wise, people who were innocent, people who were good, or in other words, people who would not abuse these powers and who would feel the responsibility and the obligation to use these powers for the greater good, to help others and to make the world a better place.

Sounds utopian? Perhaps. But if you want to believe in something, it should be something that’s worth believing in. And the idea that we could all be kind and generous and compassionate to each other and live unselfishly is something that’s definitely worth believing in.

Of course, at the time I read the story, I knew nothing of Shichida or of left/right brain education. It was therefore a happy day for me when I discovered that Shichida believes the exact same thing. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is, in fact, an excellent explanation and introduction to the Shichida Method.

The Shichida Method trains our focus and concentration such that we slip into an altered state of consciousness, during which we can access our hidden abilities (in his book, “The Science of Intelligence and Creativity”, Shichida even mentions focusing on a candle flame, just like Henry Sugar did, as one way to do image training). This altered state of consciousness can be achieved by activating the imaging capabilities of the right brain.

Just as Kuda Bux had said, Shichida also says that we all have the same right brain abilities and Shichida says it is the responsibility of parents and teachers to “pull out” the originally large potential capability any child was born with to the fullest extent through education (he points out that the original meaning of education (in Latin) is “to pull out the innate ability”). Shichida says, “Children, given a Shichida style education, have amazing concentration and absorbing power”.

And the aim? Professor Shichida believes that the future of the world, which includes achieving peace and a sense of goodwill among human beings, depends on the children of today and he also believes that, “Education will shape the future of the world because one of the objectives of education is to create a better world.”

Shichida marries the two concepts and says that, “When teaching children that they are valuable beings in the world, we should also teach them that they must take great responsibility as well. We must teach the children that each one of them has a responsibility to nurture his or her own innate capability to the fullest degree. Also, it is important to tell them to use such hidden treasure for the entire nation or the world.”

“We should not fall into the education trap that tries to produce the intellectually strong. “For what purpose do human beings live?” Ask your child this fundamental question about life and have him or her think about it.”

“Right brain training does not focus on academic achievement alone. One of the miraculous results of right brain education is that all the children treated with this method develop a gentle and harmonious mind. They will start showing richly nourished sensitivity, humanity, imagination and creativity. This is the natural result of right brain education whose learning principles based upon love, the sense of one-ness and cooperation. On the other hand, left brain-centred education is based upon confrontation and competition.”

Therefore, “The aim of the right brain education is not to give children mere knowledge but to foster love, the sense of oneness and cooperation among children.” This is why Shichida’s right brain education method is known as “the education of the heart”.

And that is the reason why we believe in the Shichida Method. Because our wish for Ryan is for him to grow up with a kind heart, with a compassionate soul and with a generous spirit. Because we believe that he can make a difference.

It's something that's worth believing in, don't you think?

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