How good is your memory?

The four good characteristics of a good memory: (1) If you read once a passage and if you can reproduce the same nicely, it is a sign to indicate that you have a very good memory. (2) If you can reproduce the same thing without increase or decrease, addition or subtraction. (3) If you can preserve a fact or passage or anything for a very considerable period (retentive memory). (4) If you can reproduce a passage at once without any difficulty when it is needed.

But mine is somewhere between 1 and 2. 😦

It would be great if our memory had all the 4. 🙂

Perception – Part 2

The View of Modern Medical Science

According to modern science, light-vibrations from outside strike the retina and an inverted image is formed there. These vibrations are carried through optic tract and optic thalamus to the center of vision in the occipital lobe of the brain in the back part of the head. There, a positive image is formed. Then only, you see the object in front of you.

Perception According to Sankhya Philosophy

The real back-ground of perception is the Soul. Fleshy eyes are only external instruments for perception. Eye is not an organ of vision. The organ of vision is a center situated in the brain; so is the case with all senses. Mind is connected with the Senses, the Senses with the corresponding centers in brain and the centers, with the physical organs, to the external object. The mind presents the sensation to Intellect ; Intellect takes it to the Soul. Now, real perception takes place. Soul gives order to Intellect.

Then, Intellect, after proper decision and judgment and after taking into consideration the pros and cons of the subject on hand, gives orders back to the mind, for execution through the motor centers (organs of action). Intellect is the President and Judge who hears the statements of the Advocate, viz., the mind. Mind plays two parts, viz., (i) that of an Advocate and (ii) that of a Commander-in-Chief. After receiving decisive orders from Intellect, the mind acts the part of a Commander-in-Chief and executes the orders of Intellect through the five soldiers, the five Senses.

First of all, there is the instrument for instance, the fleshy eye. It takes the sense-impressions to the center. The mind is then connected with the center and the external instruments, namely, the physical eye, ear, etc. The mind carries the impressions still further and presents them to the Intellect, the determinative faculty, which reacts. Then flashes out the idea of egoism, which self-arrogates and identifies with lower self. Then the mixture of action and reaction is presented to the Soul who perceives an object in the mixture.

Knowledge comes through contact with objects. To know an object in the world, Senses, Ego and Soul are required. Senses will see the object. Mind will make it appear. Intellect, with the help of consciousness, will understand it. Mind, senses and the external instruments such as the physical eye, ear, etc., should all be joined together. Then only perception of an object is possible. The object comes in contact with the senses. The senses are linked to the mind. The mind is connected to the Soul. The Soul illumines. This is with reference to the physical plane.

Illustration of Perception

When you see a mango tree, it is external to you. There is externality. The mango tree is a mental percept. It is a mental concept also. There is no mango tree apart from the mind. You know the existence of the tree through the mind only. There is a mental image in the mind. The image in the mind plus the external something is the mango tree. Even if you close your eyes, you can get at the image through memory. The green color of the leaves is due to a certain rate of light vibrations (say, 10 millions of vibrations). These light vibrations strike at the retina and are taken to the vision center at the back of the brain. The mango-leaves have the power to split the white rays and absorb the green color only. So says science.

Your body also is as much external to you as that yonder mango tree. It is also a mental percept or mental concept. The mango tree is external to you with reference to your body only. The mango tree itself is a mere appearance that floats in the Absolute or the One Reality. As the mango tree is external to you from the standpoint of your body, and as the body itself is external to you, the idea of externality of the mango tree or this external universe is blown up now. The term internality also has a false existence only. There is internality only with reference to the externality. If the externality goes away, where is the internality? Both the terms internality and externality are mere illusions, creations of the mind. There is only the solid existence, the One Reality or Absolute behind the so-called internality and externality. That is the Real, Infinite. “I” is your own lower self.

Reference

Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda

How to Control Emotions?

When emotions and impulses trouble you much, be indifferent. Say to yourself: Who am I? I am not the mind. I am all-pervading Soul. How can emotions affect me? I am unattached. I am a witness of these emotions. Nothing can disturb me. When you repeat these suggestions, the emotions will die by themselves. This Jnana method of controlling emotions is easier than the Yogic method of driving the emotions and struggling with the mind.

SENTIMENTS

Religious sentiment, moral sentiment, aesthetic sentiment (or sentiment for the sublime and the beautiful) are the three important sentiments of the mind. Feeling and sentiments are illusory. They are not in Soul. They are deceptions created by the mind.

MOODS

Mood is a mental state. We say, Mr. Mike is a moody gentleman. This means he becomes a slave of the mood quickly. We also say, that gentleman is in good mood or happy mood. I can approach him now for a short interview or talk or He is in a very angry mood. I should not see him now. Actually these are all thoughts or emotions only. Dr. Bhagavan Das, the reputed author of Science of Emotions classifies these under emotions only.

THE TWO KINDS OF MOODS AND THEIR EFFECTS

There are only two kinds of moods, viz., Happy (joy, exultation or exhilaration) and Sad (grief or depression). In the mind, these two kinds of moods prevail. Now there is joy. Five minutes later, there is depression. These currents alternate. They are two waves that affect the mind-ocean.

People of gloomy moods attract to them gloomy things and gloomy thoughts from others. Persons with hope, confidence and cheerful spirits attract thoughts of similar nature from others. They are always successful in their attempts. People with negative moods of depression, anger, hatred do positive injury to others. They infect others and raise these destructive thoughts in others. They are culpable. They do great damage in the thought-world. People with happy and cheerful moods are a blessing to society. They bring happiness to others.

HOW TO CONTROL NEGATIVE MOODS

One can eradicate depression by prayer, meditation, counter-thoughts of joy, chanting of mantra and singing divine songs. Never give room for gloomy depression. Repeat “I am full of joy, my true nature is Joy. Depression will vanish. There are various causes for this depression. Cloudy day, association with evil persons, indigestion, influence by astral spirits, revival of old karmas of depression. All these induce depression.

When you get a talking mood, practise at once silence. This is an antidote to the talking mood. When you are in a mood of hatred, develop the opposite virtue of love. This mood will pass off quickly. When you are in the mood of selfishness, begin to do selfless work. When you are in the mood of separateness, try to mix with others through service, love and kindness. When you are in the mood of laziness, do at once some kind of active work, drawing water, gardening, running, brisk walk or biking, etc. In Soul, there are no moods. It is pure consciousness. Identify with Soul. You can destroy all moods very easily.

REFERENCE

Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda