The Mental States

Sit in silence in a solitary room and watch the various mental phenomena, mental states, moods, impulses, emotions, sentiments, whims, fancies that occur in the mind. It will be of absorbing interest to study the subtle states of the inner psychic world.

INSTINCTS

There are two powerful instincts in the human beings and animals too. They are the instinct of self-preservation and the instinct of reproduction. Hunger is a manifestation of the self-preserving instinct. Lust is a manifestation of reproductive instinct. An instinct is an involuntary prompting to action.

The individual soul with egoism wants power, name and fame. This is for self-aggrandisement. Exploitation is greed. It is the act of using for selfish purposes. Domineering is to command haughtily. The soul wants to exercise power over others. The root cause for industries, business, commerce, etc., is greed and self-preservation.

There is another third instinct, viz., the herding instinct (the instinct for company). Woman take delight in the company of men. Men take delight in the company of women. The root cause for this is reproductive instinct. Another reason is that a weak man gains strength in the company of a strong man.

IMPULSES

An impulse is a sudden propelling force. There are three kinds of impulses, viz., impulses of thought, impulses of speech and impulses of action. Silence checks the impulse of speech. Meditation checks the impulse of wrong thinking and wrong action. There is an intimate relation between impulse and imagination. Imagination induces the impulse. Impulses must be controlled by reason and will and meditation.

EMOTIONS

An emotion is a combination of thought and desire. Every idea is charged with emotion. The vibrations of emotions will arouse corresponding excitement in purely mental matter and all the human thoughts will be disturbed and distorted.

There is emotion-desire. There is emotion-feeling also. If the desire element is predominant, it is emotion-desire. If the pleasure element is predominant, it is emotion-feeling. Love and hatred are the two important emotions of the mind and all the different emotions can be classified under these two headings. Wonder is a compound emotion. It is admiration and fear combined. Reverence is a compound emotion. It is awe and respect combined. Amarsha is a compound emotion. It is anger and jealousy combined. As soon as the man is pulled down to a lower level, the anger of the inferior man who was jealous vanishes.

Pleasure is a particular kind of emotion in the mind. The mind expands during pleasure. Coolness prevails in the mind. During pain, the mind contracts. Considerable heat is produced in the mind. Many of the physical desires and emotions in man are akin to those of the lower animals. Anger and sex-impulse in man are the brutal instincts. In the undeveloped man, these desires and emotions which belong to the lower nature predominate and overpower the higher nature. It is a symptom of weakness to have emotions in the mind. They should be controlled by the intellect and the will.

Tomorrow we can know how to control these impulses and emotions.

REFERENCE

Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda