When we see a mango tree, it is external to us. 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. We 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 we close your eyes, we can get at the image through memory.
Our body also is as much external to us as that yonder mango tree. It is also a mental percept or mental concept. The mango tree is external to us with reference to our 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 us from the standpoint of our body, and as the body itself is external to us, 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!
Imagination – Is it our Creation?
Nature never creates a vacuum in the mind. If one anxiety or worry is over, another anxiety immediately manifests. Mind can never become vacant. It has got infinite preoccupations.
Carefully mark the ways of the mind. It tempts, exaggerates, magnifies, evokes, unnecessarily alarms through vain imagination, vain fear, vain worries and vain forebodings. It tries its level best to divert you from concentration on your Goal.
Mind works havoc through its power of imagination. Imaginary fears of various sorts, exaggeration, concoction, mental dramatization, building castles in the air, are all due to this power of imagination. Even a perfect, healthy man has some imaginary disease or other due to the power of imagination of the mind. Much energy is wasted on account of imaginary fears. When his mind is fully occupied with the affairs of the war, the soldier does not feel any serious injury as a gunshot wound in the leg. He is not aware of the loss of a large quantity of blood also. He is filled with enthusiasm. He is not conscious of his body so to say for the time being.
When the excitement is over, when he sees some blood-spots on his clothing or when some of his friends points out to him the wound in the leg, he gets the consciousness. Then he is alarmed a bit. The power of imagination plays havoc now. He gets a collapse now. The power of imagination always exaggerates.
A man may have a little weakness. When he becomes your enemy, you at once exaggerate and magnify his weakness. You even superimpose on this or cook up many more weaknesses. This is due to evil imagination on your part. Whenever the mind of two friends are strained by ill-feelings, these minds begin to exaggerate and cook up things. Fault-finding increases. It is very difficult to get at the truth of the statements of these two broken friends with broken friendship. Their utterances are always colored by their inner feelings. The power of imagination does havoc now. Maya (Delusion) plays havoc through the mind and its power of imagination.
When your mind is deeply concentrated, period of two hours passes like five minutes. If the mind is distracted and wandering, half an hour hangs on as two hours. This is everybody’s experience. In dream also, many events that represent a period of fifty years take place within ten minutes. Time is but a mode of the mind. It is also illusory like the objects. Through the trick of the mind, one furlong at times appears to be a great distance and three miles at other times appear to be a very short distance. You ought to have noted this in your daily life.
Kalpana in the mind means mental creation or imagination. This is the real delusion. You will have to destroy these various imaginations. This is the aim of all the spiritual practices. Then you will be established in state of bliss.
Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda