The Map of the Soul
articles on the nature of the human mind
By S.M. Zakir Hussain (Bangladesh)
(Author’s e-mail: email@example.com)
Total Healing and Profound Living by the ROPE Method
ROPE! The Mind must be properly ROPED to the Totality, and thus the Oneness, of whatever there can ever be, often partially referred to by the word Reality. Whatever spiritual or psychoanalytic method you follow to still your mind or to be enlightened - be it meditation, Morakaba, Yoga, Salaat, Reiki, or something else – stills or promises to still your mind by first broadening it. This broadening, if we can call it so, happens because of the restructuring of the psychic energies. Nothing new is ever to be imported from outside, there being no ‘outside’ as far as the Mind is concerned. Conversely, there is also no need for rejecting any tendency of the mind, although in the beginning of the practice you may be, and often are, required to choose some things or courses of action as against others.
Any good spiritual practice stills the mind by first disrupting its present state of equilibrium and then re-establishing a more stable, more holistic, equilibrium. Eventually, if fortunately the mind is found established in a perennial equilibrium state, it is seen to be non-existent. Then it is discovered that the mind can have continuous, spontaneous, and infinite intelligence, even capable of going beyond the limits of knowledge. Then it is also discovered that whatever has happened eventually, has happened because of the Redistribution Of Psychic Energies (ROPE) over the apparently irregularly distributed Energy field of the Self. In this article we will explore the direct methods of making it happen. We will see everything in its right place and then perhaps the Game is over. So, you only need to ensure Redistribution Of Psychic Energies (ROPE). How can you do that? Simply by seeing what energy is working to which direction. Then what? Then you will not have to do anything special. If you just see the TOTALITY, you will be blind in a special way, as a consequence of which you will not be able to see any problem anywhere.
What are the Psychic Energies? It is sometimes said that different levels of energy are stored in different chakras or circles or glands or something like that. Consequently we are offered with an awful glossary of terms in every spiritual tradition. I do not deny the possibility or usefulness of categorizing the psychic energy levels in such ways, but what I want to say with an emphatic tone is that humans have biologically, intellectually, and culturally developed so much that they can do without such indirect knowledge. While I will say that everybody should be encouraged to observe the religious practices according to their own religious background or affiliation (if any), I would also say that as far as the seeking of spiritual enlightenment is concerned, one should, alongside the obligatory religious rituals, follow the direct method of seeking the self. And there is only one direct way: not to define a chakra to be located somewhere inside or outside the body, but to directly see how the psyche relates itself to the external world in the forms of REACTIONS. There is no good reason to believe in or rely on the cryptic notions about the so-called psychic energy packets or quanta, when we can plainly see that the psyche, or the total personality as identified with each body, interacts with the reality by different EMOTIONS. Even though it may turn out to be the fact that the emotions emerge from some chakras, the chakras themselves become completely irrelevant if we are well aware of the functioning and interrelationships of emotions. There are, the great sages says, levels of the Self from where even the body seems to be a concept. So where is the place for the notions of the chakras if even the body itself is a crude notion?
What is emotion?
What is it, really? Is it, in a sense, not Energy creating MOTION? Well, one cannot understand emotion as long as one is influenced by emotion. Let us proceed with specific examples.
In the beginning let us take the issue of love. No correct knowledge of emotions can be acquired unless the relation of love with emotions is known. Often we happen to assume that love is one kind of emotion and hence we express our faith in our respective religions as a blended form of different emotions. But is love emotion? Or is it the destroyer of all emotions? Knowing the human mind is, in most part, knowing how it functions through emotions. If it is properly known, then that knowledge is seen to be one kind of light that does not move.
Therefore, let us start with a workable list of our everyday emotions. We can talk about anger, greed, fear, anxiety, envy, restlessness, fanaticism, boredom, disappointment, anxiety, sorrow, surprise, sympathy, quandary, hatred, envy, jealousy, arrogance, apathy, gratefulness, etc.
Now it is worth considering what functions they do in the living of our lives. Not that we have to search for their CAUSE in the beginning. Now we need just see what FUNCTIONS they serve in life.
Let us start with ANGER. When you are not angry, where is anger then? Most of the time we do not ask these questions. But now is the proper opportunity. So please ask it a number of times to yourself. Can you be angry now, suddenly, WITHOUT ANY PROVOCATION? Can you? Please do not jump to an answer. Just ask this question. Where is it when it is NOT EXPRESSED? Please also pay special attention to this question. Where is any emotion, anger, sorrow, envy, or whatever, when it is not expressed?
I think we have got a clue here. No emotion is anywhere until it is expressed. Now let us move farther. When is it expressed? The answer is: An emotion is expressed when the mind has to REACT to internal or external stimuli. That is, an emotion is a REACTION of the mind. At this stage it is a good discovery.
All emotions are reactions, and hence situational and personal. But does the emotion express itself or is it the ‘I’ that expresses the emotion?
When we are not emotional, where are emotions then? You cannot find. Try and see why you cannot find it. Why? Please tell me now: why?
You cannot find any emotion in YOU as long as you are searching for it in YOU.
That is because YOU are the emotions.
YOU express yourself as emotions so that you can relate your activities to the external reality.
An emotion is born only when it is expressed. Before that it does not simply exist: Then it must be the Energy of the Self. This energy, when expressed, is labeled anger, sorrow, envy, greed, disappointment, anxiety, hope, remorse, and so on and on.
Now let me ask you, dear reader, a critical question, which you might brand as silly unless I pointed to it as an important question. The question is: Although all emotions are energy, has anybody ever called anger sorrow or vice versa? In other words, once expressed, does one emotion seem to be like or the same as another emotion? Seeing somebody angry, for example, have we ever said that they are really hopeful or sorry?
We have seldom asked the right question. We only receive answers, from the big guns of religious gurus nowadays, who only think about their own pockets, themselves in utter ignorance and folly. Half-informed science is better than fully informed but ill-motived religious consultancy. While the quantity of information determines the quality of advice that science can give, science is always fair in the sense that its APPROACH is scientific, for which it may reject a truth today for want of sufficient information, but tomorrow it will surely discover a greater truth. However, science and the scientist may not be equivalent.
There is another question that goes with the former one: Before they are expressed, can we not say that anger and sorrow and envy and fear etc. are the same thing?
Please take your time to grasp the import of the question. Take two minutes to think and then one minute to feel the thought.
Now, although we have not advanced very far, we can propose a question to the mind as a hypothesis: Seeing that before their origin all emotions are just one, uncolored energy, can we not infer that after having been expressed, ANGER, for example, is nothing but SORROW in another form or for another person or for the same person in another time frame?
But I think I should go back and focus on some other points.
Before being expressed, all emotions are the same thing; let us call it Life-force for the time being. So we can say this statement in the reverse way like this: After having been expressed, the life-force takes different directions and thus assumes different names, which we call emotions.
Why, then, are there so many directions? What element of the psyche determines when the life-force will be expressed as anger and when as sorrow, etc.? Is there a single element or are there a set of elements? Why should such element(s) exist(s) at all?
The answer to such questions are rather complex and requires touching on topics not within the purview of this essay. It has been discussed in the author’s book “Secret Death and New Life” as the concept of FOCUS. However, here I will approach the issue from a relatively easy, if incomplete, point of view.
Why do we react to events? Because we need to. Why do we need to do so? There are two answers from two complementary points of view. Firstly, every person is a packet of energy, which is given. This packet of energy is Nature’s endowment, otherwise viewed as a RESPONSIBILITY. The person must spend all this energy in interacting with events. For the time being we may not need to search for the causes of the events, for such a quest would unmanageably complicate the issue.
When events confront the person, he/she interacts with them through emotions. In such cases emotions determine the NATURE OF INTERACTION.
The complementary point of view is the natural need perspective. Just as each person has been given a package of energy as responsibility, so also they have to be given something in return for the doing of their duty. By way of fulfilling such needs they interact with events and thus let Nature do her duty to them. In fact, both these points of view are only pictures of the same reality in two dimensions.
So we see that emotions help establish links or relationships between the individual and the rest of the Universe. So far the theory is too simple. However, it does not say anything about the origin of different types of emotions. What factors determine whether a particular event (stimulus) will arouse anger or envy or gratefulness or anything else? For example, a man blames me for something and I become angry. Another person may, on the contrary, become grateful to him if he were blamed for the same reason. The question is, how is it determined who will interact in which way?
It is not very easy to answer this question. All the same, we must at least understand the significance of the question. We must brood on this point for some time: Why does this question deserve special attention? Let me show you another way of perceiving the importance of an issue expressed as a question. You just need to ask another question: Why should I not consider any other question or proceed any further until I have had this question answered first? Halting the movement at a point indicates that there are other points before that point that have not been, and so need to be, reached.
Do humans express emotions or emotions express humans? I believe we have already got the answer to these questions. The fact that you cannot be emotional willingly shows that it is either aroused by the situation on by pre-determined waves, if we may call it so. At this stage we are not looking for a more specific, single-pointed answer.
At least it is evident that will-power is not the same as emotion. If it were, then it would be a matter of will to be emotional or to control it. On the other hand, it is also not true that emotions are completely subordinate to situations. If it were so, then everybody would be seen to be emotional in any particular situation and there would be no exception. Rather, there is a possibility of a mixed case: that emotions are determined by both the will and the situation. As far as it is related to will, it is part of the personality of the individual. And as far as it is dependent on the situation, it is part of the conditioning, and hence a temporarily promising way of relating the individual to the situation. But how can it be so? How can the freewill, which means freedom, and the conditioning, which means dependence, be the determinants of emotion? I believe that if we can understand – not know, but personally UNDERSTAND – this phenomenon, we can be more intelligent than clever. And then we can ‘see’ for ourselves what emotions really are and why they exist at all.
Willpower means the presence. There is no past or future to the willpower because it is always the active stage of the mind, not a passive stage depending on memory for its survival. This means that it is always independent and hence prior to anything else. Because it is prior to anything else that can ever be thought of, it is prior to the reality that the mind experiences or to thought itself. Hence it cannot be said that willpower has any limit. You may not be in a position to put any will to practice, but you are able to make any will whatsoever.
On the contrary, the body has specific dimensions. Anything that has specific dimensions is limited. That is so not necessarily because limit indicates a measured or measurable quantity; rather, it is so because it refers to the quality which contains the possibility of measurement. Any specific dimension is a possible way of representing the infinite. Therefore, as the body is a set of dimensions, it can only identify entities with measurable terms. How can something be measured if it does not have dimensions? Again, how can the mind measure something if it (the mind) does not have the mechanism for referring to time as being divided into three parts – past, present, and future?
If the body is thought of as a glass pot and the will-power as a candle burning inside it, the mind can be considered the set of light rays reflected by the glass due to its characteristics which are determined by the substance it is made of, the shape it is made into, the angularity that its sides are given and so on. So the mind is, from the point of view of the light of which it is a reflection, is the shadow of the Self as it sees itself. Now how can the self, the willpower, see itself if there is nothing else without itself? The answer is that it is possible because the self can only see itself through the BODY. More specifically, it can see its own image only after it has created a concept of PAST and then saved that image in that past through the process of repeated experiencing.
Now, if what we have said so far makes sense, then it becomes clear that emotions are the tendency of images to express reactions to stimuli, images that the self has left in the experiences of the past. They are packages of willpower stored in the biological system as a result of the activation of desires in the past. For this reason they have limited or MEASURED energy in them and can hardly be managed back or restructured if there is too much ATTRITION or SYSTEMS ENTROPY, as I would call it, because the energy needed to manage them needs to come from their coordination. Once the wastage goes beyond a limit – we may not know what the limit is – the movement of the emotional energy becomes IRREVERSIBLE. This is the fact that has been referred to in the religious scriptures as “the closing of the Gate of Tawba / Repentance”, “the heart getting sealed / hard” and so on.
Therefore, first of all we must understand – not just know but personally and actively UNDERSTAND – that emotions are predetermined, because they are the past only, active as long as the memory is active. You will certainly not be angry to see an enemy of yours if you have forgotten that he is your enemy.
So predetermination means that the quantity of energy the emotions represent is predetermined. At this stage, for example, it is to be understood that even if no situations appear to arouse emotions, emotions themselves will arise inside to create actions and thus create situations outside. This means that not only the QUANTITY OF ENERGY but also the DIRECTIONS OF THE MOVEMENT OF THE ENERGY are predetermined. While the QUANTITY is fixed once and for all, the QUALITY is fixed for the short-term, waiting to be changed by the individual. No religious flavor need necessarily be attached to the concept of predetermination. It simply means that both the quantity and the quality of the packets of emotions are already MEASURED. While the total quantity is always given, according to the capacity of the body of the individual, the quality can change over time, according to the nature of learning going on in the mind. Moreover, the quality of the energy, that is, the directions of its movement in relation to phenomena – determines what quantity of any particular emotion will be spent in what direction. And somehow or other there must be a CRITICAL COMBINATION of the emotions that, once established, may not let the emotions flow backward. We can trace two possibilities of such combinations, termed NEGATIVE and POSITIVE.
Now, where is hope if the strength and nature of interaction of emotions are predetermined? How can we act at all if it is the fact that we are being acted through? We must personally perceive the importance of this catch. Haven’t we all – especially those of us who have attempted to control emotions – failed to keep our promises and have happened – mechanically happened – to do things that we had promised NOT to do? We have experienced such failures many times, if not always. Where, let me repeat, is hope then?
Well, there is hope. Hope is the source of energy of emotions. What are emotions today were once hope and now have been solidified. So there is hope. But we must also perceive that there is hope only as long as there is sufficient quantity of emotions above the CRITICAL COMBINATION. Because it is only by using the energy of emotions that the direction of emotions can be re-set and studied or observed, the willingness to learn must be active in the mind from a fairly early stage of the process of wastage. Wastage is not a problem. Sometimes wastage forms the foundation of learning and it is only through the wastage of energy that the knowledge and skill of how it can be re-used can be earned. You cannot be benefited by using your emotions; you can only be benefited by re-using them after part of them has been wasted. We may call it Recycling Emotions. The process is theoretically very simple:
First decide in which directions you want to channel your energy in the form of emotions. Such decisions are your VALUES. Once you have taken a decision or a set of decisions, love it and be committed to it. However, you must also very clearly understand what it is like being committed. Psychologically, being committed to something means concentrating on it a hundred percent. And, practically, being committed means being prepared to sacrifice any short-term pleasure to achieve a goal. Then attempt to act according to the values that you have cherished. When errors occur, feel ashamed and repent, or even COMPENSATE for the errors if possible and each time concentrate on the correct ATTITUDE.
If this is done, then, whether the events can be controlled or not, the attitude will be repeatedly adjusted and after a certain stage of mental development, emotions will not produce action but, on the other hand, they will be used to produce action. Then there will be the least amount of wastage of energy.
Earlier we said that it is only the correct knowledge that can help the mind control itself, and not any blindly-followed spiritual practice. However, if the knowledge is to be absorbed and made active through experience, there must be an active and ongoing process of VALUES-ATTUNEMENT [Tawba /Repentance and Correction], if we may call it so, as we referred to earlier. Unless the land is tilled properly, plants will not grow well, however much fertilizer (knowledge) is used. And once we have been prepared to learn and develop, not just to soak information and store it under the elite term “knowledge”, we can have the ambition to acquire the correct knowledge of emotions. At that stage simply knowing will mean getting transformed.
Emotions produce action. Actions also produce emotions to help trace a doer so as to facilitate the distribution of the consequences of the action. Both are predetermined. Here predetermination means that the plan of the movement of emotions and the occurrence of the events have already been timed. Who have they been timed by? By the totality of interactions that results from the totality of interrelationships. The very act of accumulation of energy is enough to regulate the nature and duration of discharging the energy. Put more simply, the fact that something exists shows that it has some functions. Functions, as far as they are considered PURPOSES, seem to be a responsibility to be done later on according to a plan. However, if one takes a closer look and considers functions as the consequences of the CHARACTERISTICS or PROPERTIES of the thing, then, disregarding events and time, one can say that it is the very NATURE of something that we call fate or predetermination.
Anyway, neither the activation of emotion nor the activities they produce can be really controlled; nor does such controlling matter, but what matters only is the attitude we take toward them once they have taken place. However, no attitude can be FORMED or established unless it is directed to a point before any emotional or physical activity takes place. Also, no attitude can take root unless it is aimed at before the action takes place and then adjusted after it has taken place. Thus attitude goes beyond action and it is only attitude that counts. When this happens, no emotional involvement becomes a waste. That is because every event of wastage creates an awareness of the wastage and reinforces the attitude. Emotions are not like any asset or wealth to be stored. Rather, they are like commodities to be sold. The repeated reference to the one-pointed attitude is the profit that is desired. The success of the business is determined by the level of learning it produces.
Emotions are vehicles. Each runs along a certain path up to a certain distance. After that it is not only useless in the journey, but also not to be carried with.