Each 'Choose-day' we will investigate the process by which we can reassess our activity and interaction with the world of plurality and become more congruent within our personality.
KINDLE LIFE. We continue exploring points raised by HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda-ji in the publication of this name. Remember, you can purchase, (very economically!), the book from Chinmaya Mission Publications or if you prefer, the Amazon Link. Thus you can read Gurudev's words directly and bring your own voice to the discussion.
We come now to chapter eight which picks up on the theme, MIND AND MAN.
For most people, when referring to mind, there is the idea that it is a singular component which acts as the driver for the body. There are those who confuse mind with brain. Brain is matter only. It serves as a physical engine upon which mind is superimposed. Brain can exist without mind, but mind cannot exist without brain. Mind is a function beyond the physical. As we shall be learning, it is also not at all a singular item. There are four components; the key two in immediate use are mind (as in the part which consists of the thought flow) and the intellect (the part which analyses the thoughts - or ought to!) Learning how to appease and control mind whilst educating the intellect is a key function of higher education - all the more so when dealing with philosophy/religion and self-development. By developing subtler discrimination via the intellect, we can train our thinking for improvements within our personality and, consequently externally also.
It is not that external happenings magically change but that we adapt more readily and receive in different, more positive attitude.
In understanding that the mind and intellect are the main cogs driving our personality, it follows that rehabilitation, 'recalibrating' if you will, requires that we more fully understand the mechanics.
In Sanskrit tradition, 'mind' is considered to be 'heart'. This is because the component part called mind is the seat of emotion. It receives the imput, and reacts according to basic preservation instincts (feelings). In this respect, then, mind (as in the flow of thoughts) is considered to a large degree as a biological function; particularly as all animals have 'mind'. We see this in them and identify with it and unwittingly anthropomorphize as a result. Certainly some animals have a greater level of intelligence than others; but make no mistake, every thought within the animal mind is instinctual and used only in self-interest, self-preservation or for preservation of the social group (as seen in the likes of whales, elephants and such).
This holds true within the human animal also. One component that Man has, however, developed far beyond any other species with which we share this planet, is the intellect. This is the ability to stand apart from the immediate emotional trigger and analyse, quantify and then act. Sadly, this component part of our total being often gets neglected or is never offered the opportunity to grow and expand itself. Even when we think we are weighing up the 'pros and cons' of a situation, very often it is still being done within our emotive selves and not in the true realm of logic. Thus we see the degradation of society. Sometimes this has been brought about by the way the society runs - but be very clear, every individual has the capacity to rise above their circumstances and if they are focused in doing so, there is very little which can hinder that progress.
Modern society works on the principle that majority people assume mind is dominant. Advertising relies on this aspect of our nature. That we will see, desire and seek to obtain. Very often, intellectual activity is not considered necessary in daily activity. This is a mistake! Every action we take has the potential for intellectual intervention. Choice is available at every tick of the clock.
Gurudev's penultimate paragraph in this chapter gives a very good analogy;
"The mind is defined as a flow of thoughts, just as a river is a flow of water. The banks of the river guide and direct its flow and when the banks are not firm, the water runs amok. So too, when the intellect of man is not firm and determined, the mind functions as it wants and man is tossed hither and thither by the vicissitudes of his environment and circumstances…"
The choice is ours as to whether we rise or fall.