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On the Pedagogy of Suffering

Hermeneutic and Buddhist Meditations

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Edited By David W. Jardine, Christopher Gilham and Graham McCaffrey

This text articulates how and why suffering can be pedagogical in character and how it is often key to authentic and meaningful acts of teaching and learning. This is an ancient idea from the Greek tragedies of Aeschylus (c. 525 BCE) – pathei mathos or «learning through suffering». In our understandable rush to ameliorate suffering at every turn and to consider every instance of it as an error to be avoided at all costs, we explore how the pedagogy that can come from suffering becomes obscured and something vital to a rich and vibrant pedagogy can be lost. This collection threads through education, nursing, psychiatry, ecology, and medicine, through scholarship and intimate breaths, and blends together affinities between hermeneutic conceptions of the cultivation of character and Buddhist meditations on suffering and its locale in our lives. This book will be useful for graduate courses on hermeneutic research in education, educational psychology, counseling, and nursing/medicine.
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Chapter Twenty-Six: Happiness in Bricks

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CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX

Happiness IN Bricks

ALEXANDER C. COOK

Maslow (1962/2011) could not have been more right when he developed his Hierarchy of Needs. Humans are a multi-faceted and complex problem, and breaking them down was his analytical response to ease that complexity. That is a kind of response that can only be found in a moment of true Self-Actualization.

For the rest of us, we can be found scattered between Physiology, Safety, Belonging, and Esteem. Moments of victory bring us closer and closer to the seemingly mythical Self-Actualization, while pain is the great destroyer—tearing us back down to our most basic elements, and back to the foundations of Maslow’s Pyramid.

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