Spiritual Psychology 101 : Mind your mind.
Whilst at university my friend ingested cannabis for the first time. Once inundated by the waves of inebriation he proceeded to crazily run around the campus gardens screaming, “I’m a sunflower!” He did so stark naked. We thought this was hilarious. When we posted bail at the police station the next morning all humour had ebbed away.
Intoxicated, my friend presumed to be that which he was not. Conditioned beings in this realm suffer from a similar predicament. We are inebriated by the attachment to our bodies, products of a compounded misconception — I am this body & everything in relation to it is mine. Thus, bodily consciousness has rendered us unconscious.
A root cause for our bondage to the material realm is the contaminated mind, intelligence and false ego — subtle body. The subtle body is one of the coverings of the soul. When this covering becomes cleansed our true identity is unmasked. In the forth coming editions — entitled Spiritual psychology — I hope to illustrate the intricate workings of the subtle body through the lens of spiritual psychology.
The word psychology is of Greek origin. Psyche meaning soul and logia is the study of. Western psychology limits its analysis of the self to the subtle body. Vedic or spiritual psychology’s holistic approach amalgamates knowledge of the mind, intelligence and false ego so as to unearth our true ego — the soul. In one sense all spiritualists on the path of Bhakti Yoga are spiritual psychologist. They are cognisant of who they are ( their relationships with God) and by the grace of the Supreme, a glimpse into His psychology is also revealed.
Our minds are dirty pirate hookers! And lurking within the recesses of the mind are an orgy of ghosts. We are haunted by their presence as they find unhealthy psychological release in the form of anger, lust and hate, to name but a few. They frolic in the unconsciousness as disguised unpalatable desires. Because they require psychological release these energies can expresses themselves healthy through mediation, constructive dialogue and introspection. Alternatively, violently in the form of self abuse and or aggression to others. In the latter, violence ( physical & emotional) serves as a means of unhealthy communication, resulting in a harmful vent of pent up unresolved energy. The manner in which these energies are expressed is based on the way we deal with daily stresses and the pullings of the mind. Spiritual psychology offers the potential for eternal reprieve from the malady of the mind. Allowing for us to raise our consciousness and not our voice as it is said, rains nourish flowers not thunder.
Imagine two identical rooms. Both have not been cleaned for hundreds years. However, one is in the process of being purged. Externally the one that is in the process of being purified looks putrified as plumes of dust and debris is dislodged halter—skelter. When we engage in Bhakti Yoga our dust encrusted consciousness is being absolved. Mantra meditation and devotional service reveal our unsavoury attachments and desires. It’s up to us to healthy confront and resolve them. Alas, its easier for us to ignore them or superimpose our conditioned frailties onto others.“Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you” ( Nietzsche).
My hope, in the forth coming editions, is to highlight the numerous overt and covert psychological dynamics which gnaw at our sanity . Coupled with potent practices to manage anxieties and spiritual lethargy. We may be involved in or connected to spiritual organisation but remained on a material and mental periphery — due to unconscious conditionings. To become aware of our conditionings and deal with our demons is a pivotal step on the journey home. Remember, we have a mind, we are not our mind.