Seminary

What is a seminary? According to the dictionary, a seminary is

  1. A college that prepares students to be priests, ministers, or rabbis.
  2. A place or thing in which something is developed or cultivated: “a seminary of sedition”.

If we look at definition no. 2, wouldn’t that make all schools seminaries? Is the internet a seminary now that learning has transcended physical and inter-personal boundaries?

What about seminal (as in a seminal moment)? Again, definition of seminal is

1. (of a work , event, moment, or figure ) strongly influencing later developments

Do you remember those seminal moments that make you who (not what) you are today? If you need some help remembering, try this link.

Better?

I realized not too long ago that oftentimes, people go back to visit places they grew up in not because they wanted to visit the place, but rather, they wanted to revisit the time. It’s like our Bethel moment.

Some songs do that to us. Some foods do that too, for example, ice cream. Smells do too, that brand of perfume, or that aroma. They trigger our recollection of what’s important and seminal to us. They evoke the sense of awe and reverence in how we felt, almost like a time travel moment.

Deep within each of us are seeds waiting to sprout, put there by circumstances, experiences and people – ready to grow when the time is right. Perhaps, the time is right now for another seed to grow.

I leave you with a talk by Candy Change who created wonderful art movements that touch the soul – Enjoy!

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Are you a Teacher or a Guru?

Do you know the difference between a Teacher and a Guru? Watch this presentation and see what you think?

Guru and a Teacher from Ashit Jain

Is there really a difference? Or is it a matter of perspective – an AND rather than an OR?

Consider James 3:1-2

'Not many of you should become teachers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.'

Quite a burden, no?

Alexander the Great is an excellent example to use here for the Teacher – Guru conundrum. History tells us that his father King Phillip sought the best teacher he could find for the adolescent Alexander, no less a legend than Aristotle himself. Incidentally, rumor has it that when Steve Jobs was asked if he could go back in time to meet anyone, he said he wanted to meet Aristotle! So, Alexander must have been a very happy student. All his achievements (he wasn't known as 'the Great' for nothing, you know) was probably seeded and germinated during his time with Aristotle, or were they? Another interesting character in Alexander's short life was Diogenes. The two anecdotes that have survived of his encounter throw interesting light on both the character of Alexander and Diogenes. Read them here. They had a profound impact on Alexander, so much so that Alexander said, if he wasn't Alexander, he wanted to be Diogenes – to which the eloquent Diogenes remarked, 'If I wasn't Diogenes, I'd still want to be Diogenes.' What audacity!

So, perhaps Aristotle was Alexander's teacher and Diogenes his Guru? Isn't that what Gurus do?

For those of you who are keen to explore this conundrum – here are some apps and links to resources to help you explore…

1. IBM Think
2. Minds of Modern Mathematics
3. Choice of Kung Fu
4. Book – The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono
5. Book – Character by Samuel Smiles
6. Book – 5 Minds for the Future by Dr Howard Gardner
7. Book – Imitation of Christ by Thomas Kempis
8. Book – God's Debris by Scott Adams (yes, that Scott Adams)

Hope you find these resources useful. I'll end the post with another gem of a quote from one of the greatest thinkers of our time…

Picasso