Shveni Shah pursued her Bachelors at New York University (NYU) with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies. At NYU, Shveni was a recipient of the Founders Day Award and is now an educator at Ascend Now, an educational management institution. Alongside my passion for education, is that of learning about my religion: Jainism. Jainism, for me, is a way of living life, and I would like to share this through my personal lens. Specifically the principle of non-attachment, one that challenges me the most.
“Posthumanism, Jainism and Non-Attachment"
The five vows of Jainism include non-violence (Ahimsa), truth (Satya), non-stealing (Asteya), celibacy (Brahmacharya), and lastly, non-attachment (Aparigraha). These five pillars are the fundamentals of Jainism. The values and morals grounded by this lifestyle pave way for individuals to self-enquiry and self-realization. The principle of non-attachment is one that challenges individuals, groups, and communities conforming to societal norms in the 21st century. Non-attachment alludes to detaching from worldly possessions, relationships and feelings, which have the ability to stray us from true happiness and a pure life. As materialism grows, and technology advances, individuals are only becoming more possessive and avaricious, driving them away from utmost gratification. Its respect for, and engagement with, all forms of life, allows Jainism to become an integral component in posthuman ethics. The five principals allow for true engagement with a non-anthropocentric lifestyle, that aids in developing thorough alertness and awareness of one’s environment. The religion has been adapting to societal values for centuries, which only illustrates its ability to further integrate with posthuman society.