There is a very enlightening and interesting article on self-control in the journal Scientific American (April, 2015) with the title "Conquer Yourself, Conquer the World." The author Roy F. Baumeister hishglights self control as extremely essential for success and well being in life. Self control refers to regulating impulses and desires and particualry the ability to restrain aggression, greed and sexual impulses. It is worth quoting a few sentences from this very enlighttening article : "Self-control is not just a puritanical virtue. It is a key pshychological trait that breeds success at work and play- and in overcoming life's hardships... The ability to regulate our impulses and desires is indispenable to success in living and working with others. People with good control over their thought processes, emotions and behaviours not only flourish in shcool and in their jobs but are also healthier, wealthier and more popular."
Emphasis on the search for meaning and self control seems to be a movement from the valley of death to life and a calling for regaining humanity. This also helps to unveil the blocks to see the genuine ancient relgious wisdom. "One who conquers himself is greater than another who conquers a thousaznd times a thousand men on the battlefield". Even if there is no reference to religous scriptures in Baumeisgter's article, these words from Dhammapada which is to Budhism what the Sermon on the mount is to Christianity, can be considered as a summary statement of his article Conquer Yourself, Conquer the World. The Fourth Century Christian saint St. Basil the Great describes anger, greed, hypocrisy, lust etc., as beasts and asks the question: “Have you truly become ruler of beasts if you rule those outside but leave those within ungoverned?”With regard to this he further instructs thus: “Rule the thought in yourself…. It is misplaced to be governed at home and govern nations, to be ruled within by a prostitute and be mayor of the city by public consent…. Nobody is condemned for not catching a lion, but one who will not govern anger is ridiculous to everyone. So one who does not prevail over his own passion is led to condemnation, while one who cannot prevail over wild beasts does not appear to have done anything worthy of blame.” (Basil, On the Origin of Humanity, Discourse I.19).
Jesus' life and teachings were meant to make us fully human. He is our light and life for self control and meaning of life. Disciplined life or Spirit controlled life is essential for success.
Bijesh Philip Achen