Monday, January 25, 2016

Emotional stability: the prerequisite to mental progress

Endless knot

Emotional stability gives rise to healthy relationships and overall well-being, but it is also important for long term personal, professional advancement. In an earlier post I detailed the important role of mental stability in long term health. Negative emotional states corresponds to detail oriented processing that fractures perception. Behind negative emotional states is an energetic imbalance of chronic enhanced brain frequencies, leading to mental control grabbing, in a process analogue to gravity. A type of mental contraction, negative emotional state is conserved over time, so can be called temporal (or emotional) gravity. Just like gravity is necessary for material existence, temporal gravity is essential for healthy social life. However, as excessive gravity impedes movement, excessive temporal gravity slows progress. As a boat, which is rocking side-to-side cannot travel with fast speed, a wavering, negative mind is incapable of mental progress. A turbulent mind is plagued by its undigested, non-distilled negative past experiences, which cause back and forth emotional swings, canceling progress. Fortunately there are two trusted, although diametrically opposing ways toward mental stability. The first, meditation was discovered and perfected by Eastern religious practitioners and sages, the second is a practical goal oriented stance, which is although common to all cultures, it has gained special emphasis in the monotheistic traditions of the Middle East. Whereas meditation starts out from a change in thinking, goal getting changes behavior first. Let's look at them in turn.

Meditation trains the mind for concentration, compassion, correct understanding, patience, humility, and perseverance. Meditation requires an inner state that is still and one-pointed so that the mind becomes silent and turns inward to achieve peace and tranquility. The regular practice of meditation stabilizes the mind to increase self-satisfaction, happiness and joy. Meditation guides attention toward the experience of the present moment. Focusing on past problems is discouraged, so is the future goals and dreams of the personal universe. Denying the past and the future squeezes the mind into the bliss of the moment, from which the future can naturally unfold. By emphasizing independence from the world it creates emotional neutrality, equanimity. Going back to the boat example, meditation stops the boat from rocking, allowing it to gracefully move on.

The great monotheist religions of the world (Jewish, Islam and Christianity) emphasize morality and produce an engaging, practical world view by permitting and even encouraging an active stance to life, a participation in worldly affairs. They also acknowledge a connection to others and even to things by a selfless, altruistic love. For example humbleness, which is a central theme of Christianity, is the accepting, open mind. But humbleness is not weakness, but an active, albeit a non-aggressive approach to life. Indeed, in western culture, the greatest scientific, artistic and religious achievements are manifestations of love, inner confidence, and intellectual fluidity. Importantly, like meditation, goal orientation also results in happiness and joy. Einstein was famous for his humbleness, and childish curiosity. His writings unequivocally demonstrate his enormous love for all things and people. Orienting toward a goal means always living slightly ahead of the present, an inherent ignorance of present problems. The size of goals is an automatic perspective; the bigger goals, the smaller momentary problem appear. Looking at our boat example, a goal oriented mind's focus on the future leaves little energy for rocking side-to-side by negative emotions.

Fortunately we do not have to choose between the above forms of mental transformation, for long term success we should practice both. Although meditation is a natural generator of mental stability, it does not naturally lends itself for an inner drive toward earthly goals, which is the essential ingredient of productive social life, a contribution toward the betterment of the larger community. On the other hand a goal oriented path, which is effective for professional and personal success, can lead to an egoistic drive that involves cheating and other dishonest means toward success. However, the twenty first century changes our way of life dramatically and in a fast pace. The democratization of access to information will transform the way we shop, work and think. Cheating will be short circuited. Success by dishonest means will be the thing of the past. Do you have a personal experience, insight? Please share your feedback, or comment below.

Sign up for my mailing list, order the book on Amazon and please click below if you like this post.

The Science of Consciousness Post, your news about the mind
The Science of Consciousness, please join the discussion
Website: The Science of Consciousness