The problem whether the psyche is an independent reality or not and if independent what is its relationship with the body and what we call the mind is just as ancient as human civilization itself. Philosophical outburst against the mystical that prevailed protested violently against the reality of the psyche and Siddhartha Gauthama Buddha is probably the most influential in this matter as early Buddhism that spread even to the Far East did not recognize either BEING or Soul. For them everything was flux, a flow with nothing standing as substantial, as an invariant against this flow. We have Heraclitus among the Greeks articulating similar views at the about the same time i.e. around the 5th BC. Some Greek philosophers also viewed reality in terms of Being and Becoming (Parmenides?) some opting for the permanent and unchanging Being and some others for the ever changing Becoming. In China we have Tao, which is NOT a substance but only a Way.
The view of Meykandar on soul and mind grew after more than a thousand years of Buddhism and having learned the problems with that view which finally died of its own giving rise to Tantric Buddhism. We shall push along these lines and to recapiculate: the psyche is an independent reality, survives the bodily disintegration that we call death and that when it assumes a body there is already available some mental structures that it learns to use progressively and this progression constituting the essence of cognitive development until the onset of puberty. Thee innate mental structures may be phylogenetic, belongs to the evolution on man from very humble beginnings.
The mental structures are Manam Buddhi Ahangkaaram and Siththam and they emerge in that order as well. Now we can clarify the meaning of MIND so notoriously confusing in its usage among psychologists and philosophers. The MIND is actually the psyche when it functions as ONE WITH the above cognitive utensils. The psychic entity has NO MIND outside these utensils, it cannot think perceive remember recall project imagine wonder puzzle solve problems etc etc without these mental structures. The cognitive functioning is actually the psyche being actively engaged with these mental mechanisms the location of which are the brains. When the psyche functions cognitively , there is the utilisation of these mental structures and because they are located in the brain, certainly there will be some characteristic brain physiological changes as well, includong the biochemical electrical etc.
This also shows that if the brain processes are damaged or the brain itself is malformed there will be problems in cognitive development which , I suspect, is the case with mentally retarded and other handicapped children who require special education programs. Malnutrition can also be factor, though there may not any genetic disorders, but brain may not be well developed for it to serve actively to realize those mental structures.
Now one of the most important causes that educationist can handle is the PSYCHICAL problems that arise and because of which a child is NOT INCLINED to engage with the above mental structures for some reason or other. The very slow learners in the kindergartens and primarily schools have nothing wrong with their senses but their drawings , in Access Tests, are NOT statistically distinguishable from the deaf and dumb children. Even though they have the mental structures and no brain damages, there is NO ENGAGING psychically with the mental structures already available for a variety of psychological reasons. And they are complex and subtle having something to do with home background and the type of interactions that takes place between the children and parents. I noticed that children who witness violent quarrels between parents develop suicidal tendencies of a kind and because of which in the Baums (Trees drawn in Baum Tests) the crowns are deleted or the tree is beheaded. This simply means the child is functioning AS IF NO HEAD, .i.e disinclined to use the brain and hence the above mental structures. In contrast to this are parents who are not only happy and loving towards each other but also the children. Love and visible CARE and CONCERN seem to do wonders for the child to engage with the cognitive tools with confidence . This appears to be also an important ingredient in Kindergarten education. A child who is LOVED and CARED for despite its tantrums etc, is psychically BRAVE AND CONFIDENT to engage with the mental structures and thorough that EXPLORE the world and gain understanding and along with it consciousness.
ArutkuRaL mentions these along these lines
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siwthanai yulaaviR siRanthidung
thonthaniil thuuvaRivu peRum
Here I must emphasize that much more damaging than economic poverty is EMOTIONAL POVERTY which is unfortunately on the increase because of, strangely enough, economic affluence. The parents, quite often both working, are just too busy to SHOW LOVE AND CARE for the children. On top of that there is psychological wounding thorough scolding, showing displeasure anger and so forth .
For teachers and parents theer is now a Test that they themselves can administer to find out for themselves such negativities in the bosom of the child, viz. the Family Portrait Test. When the child draws Mother Father and so forth with lots of DELETIONS we can be sure that the child is NOT PROCESSING fully whatever it sees frequently because of some psychical fers such as the above.
Those who want to know more about Family Portrait Test please visit the Agamic Psychology Campus the address of which is given below.