Do you know your real self ? A dissertation on the Self & Consciousness from the view-point of Science, Spirituality, Philosophy, Psychology, Yoga, Religions &
Consciousness or Self and Some Systems of Psychology
Earlier, in other chapters, we have discussed Conscious-ness with reference to Science, some systems of Philosophy and some Religions though in a very sketchy and selective way because the scope of this Paper did not permit any exhaustive discussion on some or all of them. We only pointed out some such salient features of some of them as related to our present discussion.
Since Psychology also discusses ‘Consciousness’, we will now take up very briefly the views of some eminent psychologists and well-known schools of psychology and see how they can help emerge a unified view.
Behaviourists school of J.B. Watson
J.B.Watson analysed and explained human behaviour in terms of reflexes and reflex arcs. He banished self or soul from psychology and advocated a materialistic-mechanistic model. No doubt, some kinds of human action can be explained in terms of reflex actions but no one can deny that human beings have Will, Judgement, Choice, Goal, etc. and all actions cannot be analysed according to Watson’s model of reflex arcs. Motivation and Valuation do play an important role in human behaviour but Watson deliberately disregarded these factors. After all, man is not a robot which does what it is made for doing. Man has will and, therefore, he has a moral dimension to his actions which the machines or robots, based on reflex action model, do not have. So, Watson’s mechanistic model does neither explain ‘Consciousness’ nor our real ‘identity’ or goal. Also, by neglecting the moral aspect, Watson’s school created a crisis in moral values. In fact, his explanation can be a part of somatology or Reflexology but not of psychology, for it does not throw any light on psyche. The belief in a spiritual or non-physical self explains Consciousness, Will, Motives, Values, Goals and also Reflex actions better and helps promote values in the society.
Gestalt School of Psychology
The main tenet of the Gestalt school is that our perception of an object is in the total context. We perceive anything in its whole configuration (gestalt aspect). Obviously, this system is opposed to Watson’s system of perceiving an object in parts, and seeing how each part works in relation to other parts without viewing the object in the total context. Thus the Gestalt school came into existence as a protest against Watson’s atomistic-mechanistic model and, in contrast to the latter, is called the holistic (wholistic) model.
The Gestalt school states that Ego is distinct from other objects with which or with whom it comes into contact. They think that Ego is a complex structure, composed of several subsystems, all in contact with each other in the manner in which deeper levels are in contact with the upper levels or with the surface in a system. The Gestalt system says that, at the core of this complex system, lies the self which is enveloped by other layers which are in communication with it and are thus organised into one whole. Because of this surface-depth organisation and communication between various sub-systems and the Ego, there is an underlying dynamic unity.
It is strange that the Gestaltists overlook that what they call ‘the self at the core of the Ego’ is none else but the soul and that various levels or subsystems are nothing else but soul’s own matrices or springs of perception and manifestation, namely Mind, Intellect, Memory, Sanskãrs, etc. These are various abilities, faculties, past memories, acquired habits, beliefs, etc., of the soul. So, the self or the soul is the permanent background of all experiences and it is the soul which brings unity to all permanent background of all experiences and it is the soul which brings unity to all perceptions. It is the soul that co-ordinates and synthesises all the data and gives the holistic view. It is the soul that brings communication between various subsystems or levels because these sub-systems are, in fact, various strata or functional energy-grids of the soul. However, it seems that, since the general trend of thinking in the days of Watson and the Gestaltists was not to bring in soul in their theories, the Gestaltists deliberately avoided or missed taking cognisance of this important fact underlying unity and communication. This school of thought says that the ego has ‘the self’ at its core but it leaves all the questions about the nature of the self, saying that it is a complex question. It is thus an inadequate theory but it does recognise that there is a self at the core.
Hormic Psychology of McDougall
Hormic theory says that all active striving is towards a goal. It is the fundamental human nature that all human actions are goal-oriented. But the theory does not discuss who is the subject or the person that fixes a goal for his actions. Further, if anyone has a goal for his actions, it implies that (i) he has the ability of understanding the goal, (ii) selecting it from out of a number of choices before him, (iii) judging the merits and demerits of various choices, for then only he can select, (iv) focusing attention on the goal, (v) retaining it in his memory, for then only he can direct the series of actions consistently towards that goal, (vi) having foresight or a vision of the future, for then only can one continue to do actions to achieve the goal, (vii) finding meaning and purpose of his actions, (viii) having sense of values as to whether the means he is adopting are good or bad and (ix) having a Will for action and also (x) feeling for the result. Obviously, all these abilities are not material in their origin or their nature. This shows that the self dwelling in the body, is a non-physical being. But the hormic theory does not discuss all these.
Instincts point to the existence of the soul
McDougall says that there are certain innate propensities, called ‘instincts’. Each such instinct is a native spring of energy and is, at the same time, a channel of energy. McDougall calls these ‘the hormic energies’. He says that these instincts combine together to form a complex impulse for action what may be called ‘disposition’ and the instincts and disposition form ‘personality’. He considers Mind as an organisation of these innate propensities, instincts, dispositions or personality-traits. However, he does not touch the questions as to how there can be a ‘personality’ without a ‘person’ and what is the source of the hormic energies or instincts? For example, he considers ‘curiosity’ as the instinct that serves as energy and also as energy-channel for knowing but he does not discuss as to who wants to know and who learns and how and where is the knowledge stored? Moreover, he talks of dispositions but he does not deal with the question as to who forms these ‘dispositions’ and how these can be modified without bringing into the concept a permanent being who has the ability to know and to acquire disposition.
Again, McDougall uses the term ‘horme’ to refer not to any particular instinct but to a general urge or a dynamic force that impels for action. But he does not say anything about who feels that urge. if that urge is for acquiring a thing or for doing an action that has a goal, then who feels that urge. If that urge is to do an action that has a goal, then there must be an intelligent being and a non-physical one who has that urge because that permanent being must take that urge to its culmination or goal.
Furthermore, McDougall does not account for the combination of separate instincts around the same object. Let us give an example to illustrate this point. Someone has the instinct to acquire certain things. This is the instinct of acquisition and collection. The goal having been set, this person faces many obstacles in the fulfilment of his desire to acquire. He now has the instinct to fight (the obstacles). Now the question is how these two instincts combine towards the object or the thing? How can the unity of Mind be explained unless the unity of instincts is explained? This unity cannot be explained by ‘the object’. It must be explained with reference to a more fundamental entity, i.e. the subject within. The instincts combine because the goal has been set by one same person and these various instincts pertain or belong to that same person too. So, unless we bring in this concept the existence of a person who is the substratrum of unity, how can we explain human instincts or their combination or unity or the human behaviour?
McDougall also speaks of sentiments. He says that ‘selfregard’ is an instinct and also the master sentiment that harmonises and integrates various sentiments and the human personality. But, as has been pointed out earlier, each instinct being separate from all others, cannot unite unless there is a uniting factor. If ‘selfregard’ is that factor, then the question arises as to who is the self that has the regard for itself and what is the basis for self-regard? Unless we consider self as a divine or a spiritual entity, different from the mundane, how can there be the ‘regard’ for it? Moreover, ‘self-regard’ cannot be the action of a non-conscient entity; it can be the action of only a conscient and a self-aware being. So, acceptance of ‘self-regard’ as the principle that integrates human personality itself means that the self is a nonphysical conscient entity.
Then again, McDougall says that instincts have no origin in time. This points further to the truth that the instincts rest in the eternal and immortal soul which is a spiritual entity. McDougall’s theory would have gained adequacy and great validity if he had said that the timeless and un-originated instincts inhere in the soul and that the sentiment of ‘self-regard’ also rests in the self, i.e. the soul, which is the eternal spring of energy from which the instincts arise and into which they merge.
The Theory of William Brown
William Brown says that deep analysis of psychic or mental phenomena cannot be conducted by observing the surface mind. In order to study Mind in depth, one has to make enquiry further and further back in time, for that provides with greater wealth of material. So, indirectly, his theory lends support to the belief in the existence of the soul as the non-physical self which has further and further and further past and will also have a future and would never cease to exist.
James Ward’s dynamic theory of the self and of subject-object duality
James Ward says that, in all experience, there is a subject and object duality. The object, whether it is real or imaginary, presents itself to the subject. It is the subject which experiences the object. This subject is the self. James Ward says that this subject has individuality and permanence. It has several concentric zones. One zone is of appetites and of feeling, the other is of ideation, memories, hopes and aspirations. The other is of imagining and desiring by the self. The centre of these concentric zones is the inner self. It is the self that brings inner unity between these zones of feeling, ideation, memories, imagination, desire, etc. by virtue of its thinking, willing and permanence. It is the self that has the concept of being a person. Thus, the views of James Ward clearly point out that he believes in the existence of a conscient, permanent self or soul. He calls this the Pure Ego. The concentric zones are the ‘psychological selves’ which also present themselves to this Pure Ego. The Pure Ego is distinguishable from all the objective self-images also. This Pure Ego is the real self.
William James’ doctrine of Mind as the Stream of Consciousness
William James has said that Mind is a stream of consciousness. Each thought joins the next-thought and melts into it and there always remains a personal consciousness. This personal consciousness owns that which occurred just before, takes it up into itself and transmits whatever it realises to the successor thought. Thus, because of this continuous personal consciousness, the unity of thoughts and experiences is carried on by the passing thought and experience.
James has further said: “The passing thought then seems to be the thinker; and though there may be another non-phenomenal thinker behind that, so far we do not seem to need him to express the facts”.
It is obvious from Jame’s views that he realises that though one thought disappears giving place to, or melting into, the next thought, yet there is an underlying ‘personal consciousness’ that lends continuity to experience. He also thinks that there may be a non-phenomenal thinker behind the continuous chain of thoughts. But, he has not applied his mind adequately to see whether this ‘personal consciousness’ is the non-phenomenal thinker. If it be so, then one has to believe in the existence of a permanent self which is the ‘non-phenomenal thinker’ and is also the ‘personal consciousness’, both-in-one, called the soul.
Further, James considers the self as possessing three ‘constituents’ (1) material one, (2) social one and (3) spiritual one. He says that there is a kind of rivalary among these and two of these have to be suppressed to make one of these actual. He speaks of these three constituents as three selves and considers that there is, besides these three, a ‘pure ego’ which is the inner principle of personal unity. It is very strange that William James rejects the view that the self has a metaphysical identity and yet he believes that there is a ‘pure ego’ behind these that works as an integrating force behind the separate experiences. Infact, ‘pure ego’ is another name for the soul and the three constituents, considered by James as three selves, are the three major or main fields of the soul.
Furthermore, when William James discusses Will, he tells us that he feels that, in certain cases, the volition exhibits the intervention of another entity. This entity is not explainable in terms of elements preceeding the decision but is altogether different. Thus, James cannot explain Will adequately in his theory. He could do this if he had realised that this intervening entity is nothing else but the soul which may have two different or opposite volitions, one intervening into the exhibition or expression of the other.
In later years, William James was influenced, to an extent, by the psychological system, enunciated by G.W.H. Myers and, as a result, he felt inclined to believe in the metaphysical self which Myers termed as ‘transmundane energy’.
G.W.H. Myers’ theory explaining transmundane energy
Myers felt that, beneath the conscious processes, was the subliminal consciousness. He introduced subliminal consciousness in his concept because many problems of dual personality and parapsychological phenomena and the questions that came up when subjects were under hypnosis, could not be explained without it. He believed that through the subliminal door, the trasmundane energies operate within us.
Obviously, this concept of trasmundane energy and subliminal consciousness are other names for the transcendental, i.e., non-physical self and sanskãras respectively.
These ideas of Myers were highly appreciated later by many psychologists, including William James who said this about Myers idea: “the most important step that has occurred in psychology because he has revealed to us the unsuspected peculiarity in the constitution of the human nature”. James own study of telepathy, clairvoyance and supernormal phenomena convinced him of continuation of sub-conscious and also of the conscious life, due to a non-physical entity.
Sigmund Freud’s Psychology of the Conscious, the Pre-conscious and the Unconscious
Freud says that there are three inseparable regions of Mind or consciousness — (1) Conscious (2) Pre-conscious and (3) Unconscious. The contents of the unconscious cannot be brought to consciousness in accordance with our inclination because they are subjected to active repression.
He makes a tripartite division of self into id, ego and super ego. ‘The id’ is the primitive, undifferentiated basis of mental life. It is the fundamental, oldest and largest layer. It is the primary source of psychic energy. It can never be completely explored as it remains at the unconscious level. We cannot give any positive description of id. We can know it from a study of the dreams and from the neurotic symptoms.
Freud says that Id is a chaos, a caudron of seething excitement. Instincts fill it with energy. It has no organisation and unified will. Its logic is that of emotion and not of reason. It knows no value, no morality.
Another thing about Id to which Freud draws our attention is that the Id-processes have no relation to the idea of time and are beyond any external influences. He emphasises that man can do little to alter his future or destiny by working itself out of the depth of his own mind. Because of this nature of the Id, Freud thinks that there is dormant unhappiness in man’s life.
About Ego, Freud says that it grows out of Id. The pressures of environment or the external stimuli make it act as an executive of consciousness. Ego is only partly conscious. He calls that part of it which is not conscious as pre-conscious because though it is latent yet it can come to conscious level. It can easily come to conscious level by recall or pressures of environment. Let it be explained a bit more clearly. Freud says that the state of consciousness is very transitory. An idea which is now at the conscious level, may not be so a moment later. But it can come again to the conscious level under certain conditions or due to certain stimuli. Where was the idea in the interval? We can say that it was latent but was also capable of coming up to conscious level. Freud calls it: ‘Pre-conscious’.
The super-ego, in every individual, is a refined version of the Ego. It is watching, judging and punishing the individual. It persuades the impure to become pure and perfect. It puts moral restrictions on the individual’s desires and actions.
Freud says that small children are ‘amoral’ i.e. they are not involved in any moral considerations. They have pleasure-seeking wish and are free from any moral do’s and don’ts or inhibitions. It is the parents which impose restrictions on their free nature and introduce moral consideration in their lives by expressing appreciation of certain kinds of acts and disapproval of other kinds.
We have said earlier that Freud thinks that the unconscious of a person can be known by knowing his dreams because desires, that are repressed or disowned during the day, come up in dreams during the night because then they are free from the censor’s repression. Freud has mentioned four mechanisms of expression of dreams during sleep. These are (1) Dramatisation (2) Condensation (3) Construction of new and mixed images and (4) Displacement. The question, however, remains as to how continuity of thought-processes and unity of experience can be explained? In order to explain that, Freud says that the entire working of the mind — the thoughts and the experiences — are various manifestations of one fundamental unconscious dynamic urge. He gives to this unconscious dynamic urge the name: Libido. Talking of Libido, Freud said: “We have always suspected that, behind the multitude of small, occasional instincts, there lies something much more serious and powerful. These instincts change their aim by displacement — by passing energy of one instinct to the other”.
After much thought, Freud concluded that there are two fundamental instincts – (1) Eros or ‘life-instinct’. The basic aim of ‘Eros’ is to preserve, to build up. (2) The other instinct is Thanatos or ‘death instinct’ which represents tendency towards dissolution of the living substance and its return to a state of inanimate matter. Freud gave the name ‘Libido’ to the total energy of Eros.
Explaining further the nature of ‘Libido’, Freud says that it is the sexual energy but not in the literal sense nor has it to do with man’s or woman’s organs of generation or reproduction. ‘Libido’ is affection in general. Freud considers Libido as the unifying source.
He says that Id is the greatest reservoir of Libido. According to him, the initial state is an undifferentiated ego-id. He considers Libidinal energy as entirely ‘narcissistic’, i.e. directed not towards others but towards the self. He thinks that there is a primitive ego in the infant. Because of it, he identifies wholly with the world. Later, it takes the form of self-love, i.e. it becomes ‘Narcissistic’ in nature. Freud says that this narcissistic form of Libido is our original disposition, it is not the self but the starting point from which we attain the duality of self. He further says that love for an object is only a devious means of self-love.
It is clear from Freud’s above-stated views that Libido is not the self but rather Narcissistic form of Libido leads to devious means. Thus, the question about the self remains unanswered in Freud’s theory. Further, Freud admits that there is need to explain how the manifestation of different instincts or thought-processes and experiences attains unity and continuity. For this, he brings into his theory, the concept of Libido and says that Id is the greatest reservoir of Libido and, about id, he says that it is chaos or a cauldron of seething excitement. But he does not explain how Libido, which has its source in chaos and leads to Narcissism — which leads to ‘devious means’ — can be a unifying factor.
How is there ‘unity’ and ‘continuity’ without a persistent being?
Freud also suggests that it is Ego that tries to synthesise the contents of Id and the Super-ego. But he also says that the Ego grows from out of Id which is anarchic. So, how can such an anarchic Ego synthesise and create unity? Freud answers that Ego does this by modification imposed on the Id by the external world. The question is how can the external world or external objects bring unity? Freud says that the objects supply stimuli to the Ego. This answer does not resolve the difficulty because the stimuli by their own nature, stand in need of unification and interpretation. Interpretation and unification can be done by a subject, not by the objects. The unorganised, primitive Id also cannot organise and synthesise nor can it be done by the Superego because that is an agency of censorship, reward or punishment. Thus, Freud could not explain how there is unity and continuity in thought and experience.
It is clear that the unification must be the function of the Ego. But the Ego, as defined by Freud, cannot be the agent for unity because he considers Ego as a development of Id which, by its own nature, is chaotic.
It is strange that Freud considers Id as the source of life-energy and also the matrix of psychic life and yet he fails to see that this chaotic reservoir or cauldron of seething excitement cannot be the source of unity. He should have thought that either there is unity in the Id or he should have considered Ego — connected with but not derived from Id — as the agent of unification. It is a basic fact which everyone must realise that Unity is the presupporter of all psychic events and processes. It underlies all mental events and is not their product.
‘Eternal Conflict’ and ‘Narcissitic State’, discussed from the Spiritual Perspective One special feature of Freud’s psychological theory is that, according to it, there is dormant unhappiness in everyone’s life. Freud says that man can do very little to liberate himself from the ‘Id’ and the ‘Libido’. He believes that man is born to conflict. Thus, his view is pessimistic and very disappointing. Also, it is not realistic because we can see happiness too. If unhappiness were man’s destiny, then why should one make efforts to liberate the self? The very attempt shows that it is possible to achieve happiness. It might have been realistic for Freud because he neither knew nor practised Yoga-Meditation and had no revealed spiritual knowledge. He became positive to yoga too late in his life.
According to Spiritual Knowledge or Spiritual Perspective, what Freud calls ‘Id’ is the collection of a person’s sanskãras that can be changed by realising our real identity and practising soul-consciousness and Yoga intensely. In fact, all the feelings of unhappiness and also the Narcissistic state, etc., are due to ‘bodyconsciousness’ and can be changed into happiness and spiritual love respectively by practice of soul-consciousness. The ‘Id’ or the reservoir of sanskãras was, originally, not anarchic or ‘a cauldron of seething excitement’ but has become so due to a constant state of body-consciousness over a long period of time. ‘Ego’ is a person’s ‘Conscious Mind’ and ‘Super-ego’ is his ‘Conscience’ or the moral voice of the original pure state of the self. To believe in the existence of the state without believing in the existence of the self whose state it is, or to believe in the existence of the collection of the result of doings (id) without believing in the existence of the doer whose doings these are, is, to say the least, a philosophical blunder or an oversight. Again, to believe that the child is all id and has neither ego nor super-ego is again to miss an important truth, for the ego and the super-ego of the child begin to manifest as the child’s organs of expression grow and these expressions show that the ego and the super-ego pertain not totally to the present but do have some streaks of the past and some components which have not been learnt now but come from the by-gone period and had been waiting to find chance for the organs to grow so as to make manifestation possible. And, both these, rightly understood, are indirect evidence of the existence of the self. To sum up, we can say that, since the child has not yet grown enough to express himself, the child’s mind appears to be all – id because he manifests his sanskãras only. Considered in this light, one cannot deny the existence of the metaphysical self or the soul whose past doings the id reflects or whose present actions it affects.
Oedipus Complex and Cathexis, viewed from Spiritual Perspective
Even what Freud calls child’s attachment with the mother, can be explained on the basis of ‘body-consciousness’ which means identification of the self with the body and awareness of the body on that basis. Freud says that when a portion of the Libido is detached from ego, it seeks a love-object to which it becomes attached. He calls this attachment Cathexis. The first object of Cathexis of the infant is the child’s mother. He further says that when Libido is fixed on the mother, it loses its mobility; the cathexis does not move towards others. This gives rise to what is called, classically, ‘The oedipus complex’. This complex and also the cathexis cannot be attributed to any other cause except that the Self or the Soul gets attached to the body and relates to others on the basis of awareness of the body.
Super-ego and Age-long Values discussed
An important point of Freud’s psychological system is the concept of Super-ego. Freud says that the child has no Superego. According to him, the Super-ego of the child is built on the Super-ego of its parents. Thus the Super-ego becomes the vehicle of tradition and of all the age-long values which have thus been handed down from one generation to another or from one Age to another. Speaking in this context, Freud says that the Super-ego of an Age or epoch of civilisation has its origin similar, in this respect, to that of an infant as individual. Christ was the Father figure of his era and that Age had the Super-ego of Christ. In this respect also, Freud is not totally correct. In fact, in so theorising, he contradicts himself because, according to his own theory, the child’s ‘Super-ego’ is built on that of his parents; so, Christ’s own ‘Super-ego’ must have been built on that of his father or father and mother. If that be so, how can then a new Age dawn and a new Super-ego emerge on the world-scene? Christ’s Superego can be explained better by bringing into the concept the belief in the exestence of a soul. Christ was a holy soul that descended into this world. He spoke and lived in line with his Super-ego and others felt inspired by him. Without believing in the existence of a soul, different from the body, even the dawn of a new Age can not be explained.
Spiritual review of child’s Ego and Super-ego
Freud says that id is the primal matrix from which the ego and the Super-ego evolve by progressive differentiation. It is the seat of elemental or primary urges. Thus, the child is all – id, but, with a parental ego; child’s own ego gradually emerges.
Instead of saying this, it could be said from the Spiritual Perspective, that, initially, the child has a reservoir of its own sanskãras but, as he grows, comes into contact with his parents and with others, observes, learns, adopts some ways and rejects others and is influenced in the process, he builds his own ego and manifests it. This kind of learning, influencing and strengthening of his personal ego, exerts some hold over his sanskãras (id) also and, curbing the fantasies or transforming the negative urges, it expresses itself the way it has newly learnt, accepted and adopted.
So, it cannot be said that there was no ego in the child; the correct thing would be to say that it began to manifest itself gradually with added strength and new influences. But, granting for a while that there was no ego earlier, the existence of the id is a proof of the existence of the self, for, else whose ‘anarchic state’ it represented, whose seething excitement this cauldron contained, whose ‘dormant unhappiness’ it had in it? Who sees the dreams, who has the wish that is repressed and who represses that wish and who decides to repress it? And, after all, these are not physical actions; these pertain to the realm of thought and one must, therefore, decide who is it that thinks, feels, remembers, desires and has or has not the happiness of a kind.
Signs of change in Freud’s views about Yoga, etc. later
It is worth recording here that Freud ultimately confessed, though it was too late in his life, that he thought it necessary to recast his views on the basis of his study of the occult phenomena such as ‘telepathic dreams’, ‘thought-transference’, ‘clairvoyance’, etc. He got some information about the practice of yoga-meditation and the states of trance or ecstasy which one felt when one practised yoga. He also became aware of how yoga-meditation brought about modification. If he had a little longer life or earlier exposure to yoga-meditation, he would have, perhaps, broadly announced his belief in the existence of soul.
Explanation of opposite instincts
Freud thinks that instincts are the drives and the energy and that, of all the instincts, ‘the Eros instinct’ and the ‘aggressive instinct’ are fundamental and that all other instincts are included in these two. He believes that, sometimes, the opposite instincts also act in co-operation so that even the child’s love towards his parents is not free from an admixture of aggressiveness.
Even these beliefs of Freud should suggest the presence of the soul which has both these instincts and has the same goal for which it uses these two contradictory instincts also in co-operation with each other in order to achieve its goal. Else, where do the instincts spring from and in whom do these contradictory instincts abide?
Personal pre-history also suggests existence of soul
Personal pre-history is another aspect to which Freud draws our attention. He says that the individual’s first identification with his parents is very important. The Super-ego of a grown-up individual has the pre-history embedded in it. Even this aspect of Freud’s theory should suggest the existence of an entity in the body that is continuously there from early infancy till his death and that can ‘organise’, record and recall all the events, experiences and conclusions as one single person. It is the metaphysical self or soul that has this continuous existence because the body-chemistry, body-physics and personal physiology change. It is that one person who is interested in retaining and utilising those experiences to realise a goal. Researches show that the child is influenced by the parents and the environment even when it is yet in its mother’s womb. Experiments of hypnotic regression also bear witness to the truth that there is a self that has existed even before this body. Further, if we observe minutely the behaviour of a child, we will find that the actions and the behaviour of the child do not only reflect his libido or id of the present life but also these exhibit certain virtues or vices acquired by it in the past life or lives. Then, how can the existence of soul or permanent self be denied?
Adler’s Individual Psychology
Before we make a critical appreciation or review of Adler’s school of psychology, let us first refresh our mind with some of his relevant fundamental concepts:
Adler’s school of psychology says that every individual is unique and organic whole. His personality is undivided and indivisible. All the actions, reactions, impulses, movements, etc., are uniquely his. They reflect that individual’s personality or attitude toward’s life.
Feeling of insecurity and urge for superiority
Adlerian Psychology is based on this fundamental observation and statement that every individual is born in this world, feeling incomplete and unfulfilled and having a deep sense of inferiority. Adler thinks that these feelings of incompleteness and inferiority are blessings on man, for these urge him towards fulfillment, security and conquest. If man did not possess these feeling of incompleteness, insecurity and inferiority, he would have succumbed before the assault of the powers of Nature.
Continuing on the above theme, Adler says that the most fundamental human urge is the striving for superiority. This impels man to rise, to conquer, to achieve. He says that this impetus from minus to plus never ends. Constantly, there is, in man, the urge to move from below to above. Thus, he believes that the urge and the striving for superiority or from minus to plus is basic and, truly, this urge is the intrinsic necessity of life. It is a pre-preponent dynamic principle. He says that what appear as separate drives are, in fact, not separate because they receive their power from this basic urge — the urge for superiority.
All actions of every human being have a goal
Adler further says that the psychic life of man is determined by his goal. It is the goal which marks the line of direction for all his movements and his way of life. No human being can think, feel, will, dream, without all these activities being determined, continued, modified and directed towards an ever-present objective or goal. Whether a man moves in a normal way or a neurotic way, the clue is provided by the goal which enables us to understand the hidden meaning behind his acts. In this connection, Adler also says that man is motivated more by his expectations of the future than by his experience of the past.
Adler’s agreement with Vaihinger and Kant about fictional goals
Adler had taken a hint from the philosopher Vaihinger. Vaihinger advanced the thesis that man lives by fictional goals which actually have no counterpart in reality. Yet these fictional goals enable man to deal more effectively with reality. Vaihinger thought that the fictive activity of mind is an expression of the fundamental psychic forces. He considered fiction as a merely auxiliary construct as scaffording is while constructing a building. Though this scaffording is demolished afterwards, it serves a purposes and lends support in constructive activity. So also does the fictional goal. It enables man to rise high. It has a productive value. Thus, Vaihinger thought that all life is built on fiction and he stressed the creativity of mind in fiction-making.
Kant, who also had taken a hint from Vaihinger, had said that our ideas, like soul, world and God do not represent any objective realities which could possibly be known. But he added that, nevertheless, we are aided in our enquiries in different fields of study, such as psychology, cosmology and theology, if we proceed as if there were such objects as soul, world and God. Kant gave this the name: ‘heuristic fictions’. So, some like to call Vaihinger’s ideas on fiction-making the ‘as if’ justification of the ideas of reason. Adler was impressed by these ideas of Vaihinger and Kant.
Adler’s psychology of fictional goals and life-style
Taking hint from Vaihinger and Kant, Adler believed that man behaves as if an ideal goal or norm was set to human activity. Adler believed that every individual has a fictional goal in his mind and this goal enables him to consider himself as superior to his present difficulties and thus to overcome the present state. In his school of psychology, the fictional goal is thus a device of the individual to free himself from the inferiority feelings. This fictional goal does service to him as it compensates him for the inferiority-feeling.
Adler further says that, in order to achieve this fictional goal of superiority, man adopts a certain pattern of living. He conducts himself in certain ways. This way of living or pattern of conducting himself is what Adler calls “the style of life”. This ‘style of life’ is unique to every person. Every individual has his own ‘style of life’ which acts as the whole; all other actions, thoughts, etc. are its parts.
Adler’s emphasis on social interest
Adding to this, Adler says that the goal is determined not merely by the inferiority felt by the individual but also by ‘the social interest’ of the individual. Social interest is innate to every mind. It is social interest that makes an individual to respond to the world-reality and it also modifies a person’s goal. It is there in everyone as inherent potentiality but one has to develop it by conscious efforts.
Adler lays much stress on ‘social interest’. He says that we cannot be completely without social interest. ‘Social interest’ is a source of great compensation to an individual for weaknesses in his nature. In fact, the normal development of a person consists in a perfect balance between the striving for superiority and social interest, and a close observation will reveal that all maladjustments are the result of an inadequate social interest and a restricted sense of belonging.
Fundamental differences between Freud and Adler
Thus, there is fundamental difference in the psychological views of Adler and Freud about the human self. According to Freud, the personality, the behaviour and the problems of the individual are rooted in the instinctual cravings, that arise from his id, and also in his infancy. But, according to Adler, all these arise from his individual sense of inferiority and in his efforts for achieving superiority in order to compensate himself. Further, Freud believes that Libido or sexual energy is the motivating and sustaining force behind all individual behaviour whereas Adler thinks that Libido may or may not be the motivating force, for the main driving force is individual’s style of life. Adler thought that the urge to rise from below to above, or from minus to plus, or the assertion of the self to develop the personality and to gain superiority, was the most important factor.
Again, Freud divided the self into Id, Ego and Super-ego on the one hand and the Conscious, Pre-conscious and the Unconscious on the other hand. But Adler differed on this, for he thought that this kind of division fails to recognise the unity and continuity of psychic aspect of life in all its expressions. He emphasised that the individual’s style of life represents unitarily all his strivings. He also thought that there was no antagonism between the Conscious and the Unconscious and, so, the Ego was not always in the difficult position of having to face the outer world and to please the id, and the Super-ego also at the same time. Thus, Freud thought that man was born in conflict and was always in conflict. Adler explained that the self was a unitary being, having the potential of self-development. Adler always gave primary importance to life-style which, according to him, grew out of the difficulties the individual faced in early life and also out of striving for a goal of superiority, chosen by the self. He emphasised that an individual assimilated all experiences also according to his style of life and he did not experience a situation as it actually was but according to a private scheme of appreciation. Thus, there was no impersonal and purely objective experience but it was also subjective.
Adler said that every psychological event was due to the manifestation of self’s ‘will-to-power’ or craving for superiority and in all the events, Life-style was a psychic unit and common sense or the social feeling was another factor.
Having given briefly the fundamental and salient features of Adler’s psychology, which are relevant to our present subject, let us make an attempt at its appraisal insofar as its concept of Self or Consciousness is concerned.
Who is this individual that has all these?
Adler speaks of (1) the feeling of inferiority, (2) the striving for superiority, for position of power or for achievement of self-development, (3) selecting a goal to which all actions of an individual are directed, (4) having social interest and modifying one’s goal in the light of that interest, (5) having a style of life that includes one’s goal, social interest, thoughts, behaviour, etc., (6) assimilating all experiences according to Life-style, (7) having a scheme of appreciation that is subjective, and (8) the will-topower. He starts his whole thesis with the belief that the individual is one whole and is undivided and indivisible. But nowhere does Adler explain, in definitive terms or clearly and adequately as to the identity of the self or the nature of Consciousness. He does not say anything as to who has the feeling of inferiority, who strives for superiority to compensate the self, who selects a goal, who has social interest and who is this undivided and indivisible individual? Who is it that has the abilities to feel (inferiority), to strive (for superiority), to select (a goal), to have a motivation (or social interest), to find meaning in life and, thus, adopt a particular style of life and so on? Who is it that has the Will and that assimilates the experiences in order to utilize these for a goal? Naturally, it must be a conscient being whose existence is ‘continuous’ and persistent so that it remembers the past, thinks of the future. It is this Conscious self that maintains unity and continuity of experience. This is the individual self, that is undivided and indivisible, which means that the selves are plural and each one has a different potential. It is this unitary self which has the Unconscious and the Pre-conscious, not as separate entities or separate compartments but as an organic whole though having different levels.
What was the original stage of the self?
Again, Adler talks of the feeling of inferiority and the striving for superiority. This means that, by setting for itself the goal of superiority, the individual rises high. So, the question is that, if an individual can rise to a position of superiority, power or excellence, then its present position or feeling of inferiority must be the result of a fall from some past position of superiority, for, the position of fulfillment is its original and natural state, else why should it strive to attain it? All things and beings aspire and strive for returning to their original state which is always considered higher than the present one which urges them to strive. Else, where does the Urge come from and why? So, Adler should have pointed out that every individual must have had a past and its existence in the past must have been, once upon a time, the position of superiority from which it slided down and to which it now aspires to rise back again and that is why the ‘urge’ is there. Also, if every individual, to-day, has a feeling of inferiority, everyone must have had a feeling of fulfillment at some time in the past. So, that period of time or Age also must have been superior to the present era. In other words, all individuals move down from the Golden Age down to the Iron Age. Adler, however, has no clue to all this and, therefore, he does not talk of this.
He ought to have explained why the individual has a feeling of inferiority and when and how did he fall to this position which he considers a blessing?
What led the soul to a fall to have the feeling of inferiority? Adler also does not say as to what led to the self’s sliding down from its position of strength, superiority and excellence to the present position of inferiority, insecurity and craving for compensation. As Freud does not explain why every man’s id is anarchic, why there is inner conflict from the very start, why the child gets attached to the mother, why there are ‘Narcissistic tendency’ and the ‘oedipus complex’, so also Adler does not explain the cause of the feeling of inferiority and an individual’s present state nor does he give a clear concept of what is the description or nature of the goal of superiority. If he had thought over these questions, which are basic to formulation of his theory, he would have been led to the firm belief that there is a soul.
Furthermore, the spiritual perspective of Consciousness wants to combine reality with fiction. It says that what seems to be fiction to-day can become fact tomorrow. So, a person should strive to become completely divinised in order to attain a higher stage in the Golden Age or in Paradise which, according to the description, seems at present, to be a fiction but is very much a fact. So, if a human being lives on fiction as Vaihinger contends and as Adler believes, then he should keep before the Consciousness a goal that is a realisable fiction, i.e., an attainable but very high goal. But he must also understand that there is a being that knows that there is a difference between fiction and reality and, intentionally, selects a fictious goal to reach the real goal as a tactic. This being, whose aura can be seen as an oval-shaped light, is an indivisible point-of-light.
Freud has unnecessarily created a never-ending conflict by saying that an individual mind is rooted in submission to instinctual cravings of the id. Adler has suggested that we can end this conflict by having a proper life-style, goaded by a high goal. The spiritual perspective also asks us to have a Sãttwic life-style and an inspiringly high goal. But it does all this by giving, first, a clear identity of the self or Consciousness.
However, Adler’s school of psychology is close to the spiritual perspective of Consciousness which says that the selection of a high goal is very essential for giving to man a proper direction to his drives. The spiritual perspective also asserts that there should be consciousness-training by providing to the self the objective of becoming deity from an ordinary person.
Analytical Psychology of Jung
Let us, first, take note of the salient features of Jungian system as related directly or indirectly to our subject here.
Jung tried to formulate his system of psychology in consonance with the principles of physics so that psychology can be explained in scientific terms. From this point of view, he said that Libido is psychic energy. He said that ‘the psychic energy’ is fundamentally different from the physical energy and neither of these can over be converted into the other. He also repudiated the notion that Consciousness or Mind is the epiphenomenon or the emergent phenomenon of the brain.
He said that Libido is not a cauldron of anarchic impulses which are later co-ordinated or channelled but it is ‘undifferentiated vital energy’ which finds expression through innumerable channels. According to him, it would not be correct to say that it is sexual energy because it sometimes manifests as self-assertion, sometimes it strives for superiority or position of power and, sometimes, in the form of sexuality also. It may manifest in the form of biological activity and also spiritual activity. It is the reservoir and the fountainhead of all these. It is very dynamic and may express as desire, social interest, passion, love, joy or anyother human activity. It is the driving strength of our own self or soul.
Jung further said that when this energy is only in potential form, then it manifests as the ‘state’ or ‘condition’ and, when it expresses as a wish, feeling, striving, etc., then it is in the form of ‘a force’ and all these forces together are ‘energy’. The amount of energy invested in anyone of these elements, i.e., expressions, is called ‘the value’ of the component, i.e., feeling, striving, etc. Thus, Value is the measure of intensity or degree.
Law of Conservation of Energy, applied to psychic energy
Basing his psycho-dynamics on two principles of physics, namely ‘The Principle of Equivalence’ and ‘The Principle of Entropy’, Jung says that no psychic value can weaken or disappear without being replaced by another of equivalent intensity. For example, if the desire for one object decreases, an equal amount of desire is directed towards another object. The amount thus expended appears elsewhere in the system. Thus, the energy remains undiminished or constant. Only the goals change. This happens according to ‘The Principle of Equivalence’ which is also known as ‘the Law of Conservation of Energy’ or ‘The First Law of Thermodynamics.’ Jung applies this to psychic energy.
In answer to the question “What happens when a desire is repressed”?, Jung says that, in the case of repression, Energy lost by Consciousness passes into the Unconscious and activates its contents. When it activates the contents of the Unconscious, it may provoke disturbances, dreams, neuroses, psychosis, etc.
Jung further says that the psychic energy is ‘a relatively closed system’. He emphasises the word ‘relatively’. In an absolutely closed energic system, the differences in intensity are gradually reduced to an even temperature. After the point, further energy-change stops. The system then comes to a total stand-still in the form of death or cold. But in a ‘relatively closed system’ of psychic energy, the distribution of energy seeks an equilibrium. What happens is that a weak part in the system improves its status by getting energy from a strong part. In this process, it creates a tension in the total atmosphere. Whenever any one part or aspect of it improves its status, i.e. its intensity, a conflict or a strain occurs in the psyche. If, on the other hand, an even development of all the constituents of the psyche takes place, then the result is harmony.
Freud had said that the Principle of Entropy leads ultimately to death. He had said that all instincts lead to energy-loss and, therefore, to higher entropy. But he had also postulated that there are two basic instincts, one called ‘eros’ and the other ‘deathinstinct’. Jung, on the other hand, hypothesised that there did not ‘exist two contradictory extincts or forms of energy; there is only one basic psychic energy and what is called ‘death-instinct’ is also a manifestation or phenomenon of that energy. He said that Libido was not only the energy of life and Will but it also willed its own destruction.
Discussing the Law of Equivalence and the Law of Entropy, Jung has also said that stirring up the contents of the Unconscious can act as great springs of psychic energy. It can even act as a force of transformation and bring back the psychic forces into progressive direction.
Jung expressed his views on the question of Intuition also. He said that Intuition came up from the realm of the Unconscious and is a very important function of it. Freud was not sure about the source and nature of Intuition but Jung drew special attention to it and thought that it was a sort of ‘a teleological sense.’ As is generally known and accepted, Intuition gives a quick perception of possibilities of facing, solving or using a situation or of doing actions in order to achieve a particular goal and then one reaches a conclusion without being consciously aware of reaching those conclusions and without making hard efforts. Intuition enables a person not only to have quick conclusions but also take initiative, create new things and new designs, to formulate new theories and enter new areas of human endeavour.
One important thing, discussed by Jung is about Collective Consciousness. He distinguished it from individual or personal consciousness. He says that if we take into account only the present life of an individual, then this period of life being a limited one, we would expect the contents of his Unconscious also very limited so that it would be possible to empty it or exhaust it by some method. But psycho-analysis of an individual leads us to the conclusion that the contents of his Unconscious are very much more and many of them are such that one life-time, i.e. the present life, cannot explain them because these never were in his Consciousness in this life nor were all these acquired in the present life. So, Jung thinks that personal Unconscious has a large mass of non-personal and collective experiences of the community, the nation, the race or the humankind. He believes that the Collective Unconscious has layers upon layers of past experiences, lasting over ages. He considers this Collective Unconscious older than personal Unconscious. He thinks that it is the mother of all forms of Consciousness. The Collective Unconscious is neither derived from ‘ego’ nor is ‘ego’ derived from it. He calls the components of the Collective Unconscious as ‘The Archetypes’.
From the point of view of Jung’s psychology, our Archetypes are like the photo-negatives in our Unconscious. Some of these are of living persons and are in our Consciousness whereas others relate to the person in the past and are in our Unconscious and are resurrected into the Conscious Mind even as negatives are developed to get clear pictures. For example, ‘the archetype of the mother’, which is in the Unconscious, produces an image of a mother figure which is then identified with the actual mother. The baby inherits a pre-formed conception of a generic mother which determines in part how the baby will perceive his mother.
Jung says that one finds Archetype for himself from Mythology, Religion, Politics, Novels, Cine Films, etc. These appear in a person’s mind when he is faced with a situation and has to react to it. Jung thinks that these represent the valuable experiences of a person’s contact with, or exposure to, special and typical persons in the past and thus are record of the wisdom of the ages. Jung says that the Archetypes ‘sometimes’ appear in our dreams and also as supernatural figures. The number of the Archetypes is limited because one has come into contact only with limited number of typical figures. Some people have even their gods and devils also.
Persona and Personality
Jung says that man’s Conscious personality consists of ideas that are directly connected with his ego. The Conscious personality is based on the Collective Psyche also because, generally, a person tries to do such actions, or at least tries to appear to be doing such actions, as are approved by the group, community, nation or society to which he belongs. So, his ‘personal consciousness’ has, embedded in it, ‘collective consciousness’, i.e. ideas recommended collectively by small or big groups also. Jung says that, speaking overall, it is not his actual personality but he has adapted it as a matter of convenience and so as not to offend the people. It is thus a reflection of the ideas and opinions of the people rather than of the person himself. He thus takes a form to show to the public but, in reality, he is different. Jung calls it ‘persona’. The word ‘persona’, in ancient Greek, means: ‘the mask’ worn by an actor. Jung says that one has to free oneself from these masks in order to live his real personality. Jung said that this can be done by ‘Individuation’.
A spiritual overview of Jung’s psychology in order to explore his ideas on the self
Jung has clearly said that Libido or Psychic Energy is not an epiphenomenon of the brain and is different from the physical energy. He has also added emphatically that Libido is not sexual energy nor does sexual energy goad all human actions. He has said that Libido may manifest in the form of self-assertion, striving for superiority or even for spiritual progress. This means that Jung considers the self as distinct from the body and the brain and believes that it is energy. But he has not clearly stated as to where the self or Consciousness is located in the body and where the mind-body inter-action takes place. We have stated earlier that it takes place in the area of the hypothalamu- pituitary-limbic system-brainstem combine and that the self is an infinitesimal point of non-material light that has an aura and a field.
The existence of the samskãras and intuition also confirm the existence of soul
Discussing the psycho-dynamics of the psychic energy, Jung has said that the psychic energy is ‘a relatively’ closed system’ and that the psychic energy works according to the Law of Conservation, and the energy moves from the Conscious to the Unconscious and then rises back into the Conscious. The system of Easy Raj Yoga, enunciated earlier in this book, also states that the soul is an eternal and immortal point of energy and that the soul-energy does not reach a point of ‘death’, so to say, because what actually happens is that the energy in the form of thought, desire, feeling, etc., is changed from positive to negative or vice-versa and can be changed back into original form. In other words, it can be said that the psychic energy is put to good or bad use and is then recycled back to its original form. It becomes impure from pure and is purified back to its pristine state. It also goes from the Conscious to the Unconscious and, when stirred by some stimulus, or by Yoga-practice, it gets transformed and transferred back. So the recycling restores the apparent energy-loss and one returns to the state of zero entropy. Changing the samskãras, sublimating the emotions and re-charging the soul’s energy-field by connecting it to the Supreme Soul solves the question of Entropy.
About the Intuition, Jung has said that it is a thought that comes from the Unconscious. He considers it as a sort of ‘teleological sense’. According to Raj Yoga, however, this is only one of the sources of Intuition. The Unconscious or the Samskãras are a huge storage of past experiences and, suddenly, a thought springs up from there and enters into the Conscious mind like a flash. It is like the age-old wisdom coming to our help. The other source, however is God. The yogis experience a kind of a Divine Help or God’s guidance. They suddenly feel that a thought-wave has come from above. This golden thought is free from any vice or negative tendency and strengthens the Will, brings clarity to the mind and comes without any striving on the part of the yogi. It gives a kind of a joy and one feels that it is not at all due to any conscious effort on one’s part but has come as a divine grace by telepathic means. This also is the inner, subtle proof that Consciousness is a being or a person and can have a person-to-person link with the Supreme Soul who also is a Person.
‘Collective consciousness’, ‘Archetypes’ and the concept of ‘persona’ also confirm the existence of soul
In regard to the ‘Collective Consciousness’, Raj Yoga explains that the Consciousness that abides in our present body has had a number of re-incarnations in the past and, in those re-incarnations, it had many experiences. In those earlier lives, it came into contact with many persons, communities, groups of people, etc. All those experiences lie in the soul in a dormant form which means that there is a reservoir of past experiences which forms the Unconscious. This Unconscious is not a separate entity but is continuous with the Conscious. The existence of the Unconscious or the store of past dormant experiences also shows that the Consciousness or Soul is not an emergent phenomena of the brain and that the Self or Consciousness is an eternal and immortal spiritual entity.
The existence of the Archetypes also in our Conscious and Unconscious confirms that the self is different from the brain and that it had many existences in the past which are the cause of all these influences, impressions and latent memories of typical persons. The existence of Archetypes in our psyche cannot be explained by considering the self or Consciousness as an emergent phenomenon of the brain. These can only be explained on the basis of the existence of Consciousness as an eternal being.
The concept of ‘persona’ and ‘personality’ also can be explained on the basis of a Consciousness as a permanent being. Actually, what has happened is that, during its journey in this world, in the form of one incarnation after another, the soul has become defiled. It has lost its luster and its original moral stature. Yet there is a latent impression of its past great moral height in the soul and also in the society. So, the society also expects certain high moral standards and the self also feels impelled to have the original high moral form. Because of these inner and outer pressures, the self does the adaptation. It makes an outward show, though inwardly it no longer has those qualities. Raj Yoga system requires a person to practise Yoga-Meditation and to work for internalisation of moral and spiritual values. The process of Yoga-Meditation empties the Mind of the negative thoughts and residual past experiences (sanskãras) and to achieve what Jung wants to achieve through what he called ‘Individuation’.
We will like to close here without discussing the important findings of parapsychology because of the limited scope of this Paper. The phenomena of telepathy, premonition, morphological resonance, etc., etc., greatly support the Spiritual Perspective of Consciousness. But we will not discuss the paranormal experiences of Visions, Third Eye, Divine Trance, etc. here which lend great strength to spiritual perspective.
Summing up, we can say that the Self or Consciousness is a metaphysical infinitesimal point-of-light which, originally, had purity and peace and which lost some of its moral luster as it passed through various incarnations and became ignorant of its real identity and got also the negative influences of others. This understanding about the identity of the self will restore moral values to the society and generate the loveful feeling of the mankind being a family, and the practice of Yoga-Meditation, based on it, would end all conflict in our mind and also help to reestablish a better society.
It is good to suggest to the people that they make sincere efforts to effect transformation in the self, to improve their relationships with others and to do service to others. If they make commitment for this and implement an action-plan of their choice in this direction, it would definitely be a step forward towards a Better World. After people have taken a step for the betterment of the world, they will feel further impetus for taking longer and quicker steps in that direction.
But while this strategy for bringing about a Better World has its validity and effectiveness, let us not forget that the major break-through in man’s efforts for self-change comes when he knows his real identity. The present world-crisis, which is generally known as the crisis of values is, in fact, a deep crisis of self-identity. The crisis of values also has resulted from the loss of the knowledge of the real identity of the self. The whole tragic situation around us is due to loss of identity. While man has discovered many “lost” continents on the globe, this ‘continent of the self’ has yet to be discovered or re-discovered by everyone of us.
Thus, man has first to be made aware of the truth that he has, in him, a certain potential of divine qualities or a core of human values and that these qualities or values, within him, have gone deep down in the sea of the Sub-conscious and the Unconscious Mind and have now to be brought again to the surface, into the light, and have to be used as the keyboard for actions. Man has also to be given a realisation of the truth that, with the cremation or burial of the dead body, man’s all deeds — good or bad — done by him during his life-time, or the abilities and qualities acquired by him over a period of time, are not all lost. Neither do man’s good actions go unrewarded for ever nor do his bad actions go unpunished. Though man’s body dies, the soul lives on forever and for ever and takes another and another incarnation until it attains its final liberation and retires for a period of time to plunge into happy activities again, prompted by its own will. Unless and until man realises that, in truth, he is an enternal being, a soul, a being-of-light, and that so are other beings, his outlook and his attitude towards all others does not undergo a total change. When, however, he realises his real identity, he takes new ‘spiritual birth’ so to say. His life-style and his mode of thinking and actions undergo a leftabout-turn For, man now thinks that he is not made of dust nor is he an animal but, in his own true nature, he is a being-of-light, pure, peaceful and upright originally. This realisation brings an attitudinal change in him and he now feels that he has not to give up his social life but only to be his real self so as to lead a life of peace.
When man thus knows his real identity, then an improvement in his self and in his relationship with others takes place automatically and naturally even as day follows night. In that new state of awakening or altered state of consciousness, he naturally thinks of being good and doing good. He has then a natural and constant inclination to do service to others also.
So, we may adopt whatever strategy we think is suitable for a particular country or a group of people but let us keep in mind that, sooner or later, we have to give to all those who come in touch with us the knowledge of the real identity of self, for, without this knowledge, there is no going nearer our goal.
One has so many relationships in the corporeal world, what then is one’s difficulty in, or objection to, having a relationship with God? If one says that he does not believe in God and does not know Him and that he knows only Morality, Goodness and Kindness, let him understand that God is the very embodiment of these and that, if he believes in Goodness, Kindness and Morality, he already believes in God even though indirectly. Let him realize that qualities always exist or rest in some person or entity; they do not have any existence, independent of, or separate from, these. So, Goodness, Kindness and Morality also rest in someone at their peak point and that someone is called God. These qualities are the characteristics of a conscient person. So, God is a conscient Person though He is Incorporeal Being-of-light As such, we do have some relationship with Him as we have relationship with others, for we are not in a vacuum.
In fact, all morality has its sanction from God. If one removes God from his consciousness, his moral sense does not rest on any sound and firm foundation. God is the Fountainhead of virtues and high values. We, therefore, in our own interest, ought to know Him and have very loving relationship with Him. The knowledge of the identity of the self and of God will enable man to rid himself of the present crisis.
When we have given the knowledge of the real identity of the self, only then can we facilitate a love-link between the self and the Supreme Soul. Without this mental and emotional link with the Creator, it is very difficult, if not impossible, for a person to sustain the self in divine qualities or ethical values for long. Let us note this secret and sacred truth that our relationship with God is the most important thing. If, to us, that relationship does not matter, then nothing really matters. That, in truth, ought to be the first relationship from which all other relationships should receive ‘The substance’ (or call it whatever you may) of love, divinity and unity. If one cannot maintain a faithful and loving relationship with God, take it for granted that he cannot really maintain a worthwhile, worthy faithful and enduring relationship with anyone.
Knowing the Conscious and the Unconscious Consciousness is believed by all as the substratum of all human actions. Man’s thoughts, understanding, judgement, perceptions, learning, feelings,
Chapter 1 The nature and identity of the self in the light of Common Logic & Indian Philosophy “Do you know your real self ?
Chapter 2 Consciousness in the light of the views of some other philosophers Earlier, we have had a brief overview of some systems of Indian
Chapter 3 Consciousness from the Spirituo-Scientific Perspective of Rajyoga In this paper, the term ‘Spiritual’ or ‘Spirituality’ does not refer to any particular religion nor
Chapter 4 Consciousness from a Religio-Spiritual Perspective (A part of author’s Paper-II, presented at the International Conference on Science and Consciousness) Before Science came on
Chapter 5 Consciousness or Self From the Perspective of various Sciences and Spirituality If we think deeply on the nature of Thought, Emotions, Will, etc.,we
Chapter 6 Consciousness or Self and Some Systems of Psychology Earlier, in other chapters, we have discussed Conscious-ness with reference to Science, some systems of