The Psyche

joejo's picture

Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

Among the spiritual traditions there is a general belief that inner is superior to outer. Some say inner invariably conquers the outer. But what I feel it would be interesting if we could talk about the psyche. Aurobindo believed that psyche was your true self which accompanied you life after life ( Re- incarnation!) and getting in touch with it was the start of spiritual life.

Gurdjieff clearly brought out that our personality is the outer aspect which is formed due to education and other societal pressures, whereas the essence was something that we were born with. He maintained that all spiritual growth is at the expense of personality. We do not know anything about essence but if we were to make a division between all that we call ourself, in my case joejo, and that essence and distance our self from personality and never call it the I we could be making real spiritual progress.

Could we discuss this thing about the Psyche which is considered the cornerstone of spirituality.

nancy pro's picture

The body as the border between the outer and the inner

The border we imagine between the inner and outer is the boundaries of our body.

As our secular daily life is primarily focused on the "outer", the spiritual command is to be aware also to the "inner". But this is misinterpreted by most who then switch their attention completely to the "inner" and thus only crystallize the separation. Many spiritualists happen to do so to avoid facing their problems and conflicts in the outer (making living, facing other people whom they are afraid of, etc.).

Nisargadatt Maharaj said about this separation in "I Am That":

You know the world exactly as you know your body — through your senses. It is your mind that has separated the world outside your skin from the world inside and put them in opposition. This created fear and hatred and all the miseries of living.

nancy pro | Fri, 02/12/2010 - 19:00
joejo's picture

The non Dual Reality

Hi Nancy

The non dualists would have us believe that there is no inner or the outer, no one ignorant or wanting salvation, there is only this blissful pure self and all else is an error of perception caused by the mind.

It is your mind that has separated the world outside your skin from the world inside and put them in opposition (Nisargadatt Maharaj ).

So long there is a mind there is duality isn't it. We have to proceed from the facts as they exist. Observation of what is may be at least one of the ways. Even (Nisargadatt Maharaj ) makes this concession and talks of I AM as a door to the non dual awareness.

Besides what does one do when he sees a snake in the dark. After the immediate reaction to save oneself does he not look more closely and discover its just a rope. The Idea is to observe and reject what is false. Now if there was no other there would have been no creation. I am reminded of a story which happened with Ramakrishna Paramhansa the Guru of famous disciple Swami Vivekananda. His Guru Totapuri once wanted to end his life due to pain of dysentery. He went to the Ganges (river) to take Jal (water) Samadhi (give up the body while meditating submersed in water). It so happened that on that fateful day he could find no water. He had attained to that highest non dual state and did not believe in Shakti ( female aspect of God supposed to be the cause of the creation according to Tantrik tradition). Ramakrishna who was watching this laughed and told him that now he would have to concede of another power of consciousness (shakti) that runs the universe (thereby implying duality).

joejo | Sat, 02/13/2010 - 00:18