The Question


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Shmail Amin, Student, Pakistan
Date submitted: 5/28/99

There definitely exists a tension between academic teaching and aesthetic experience because of the constrained nature of the academic process, where we are restricted to a prescribed course which leaves no room for aesthetic experiences. This, of course, depends more on the teacher than on anything else. The teacher can open the door, so to speak. This, however, is not the end. The students of course must be open to such experiences. In a country such as Pakistan, where education is mostly used to uplift one's social and economic standing, no one is really concerned about such experiences. People fail to understand the purpose of education, believing it to be a means to an end rather than a beginning. This gap can only be bridged if we realize that it is more about being human in a not-so-human world than ANYTHING ELSE.

Aesthetic experiences should be totally individualistic in that they must be there to give us the pleasure of living in an otherwise mundane existence. If such experiences held other motives then the experience would jump into the world of materialism...

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