Thursday, October 20, 2011

Words-Attention-Consciousness

A very interesting idea from the famous Indian treatise on performing arts, Bharat's 'Natya Shastra' is that:
Where the hand goes, the gaze follows.
Where the eyes turn, there goes the mind.
Where the mind goes, there comes bhava,
And where the bhava comes, there also will be rasa.

Similarly we can say, where goes the words, attention follows, and there goes the Consciousness.

Some of the pictorial languages such as Chinese & Japanese have this amazing ability to reach to the root of the matter, while expressing it in a single pictogram. I am in love with Sanskrit for this reason, a single word such as 'Shantakaram' immediately engages me with the idea of not only Vishnu, but also a 'form of peace' or 'peace in a form state as contrary to formlessness'. Or like 'Sundaram' is Krishna or Rama, but also absolute beauty. What better to contemplate on, than absolute peace or beauty.

This gets all the more interesting when such kind of word-attention-consciousness process goes far enough leading to long lasting structural changes in the brain and cellular changes in the body. And some studies report beyond its effect on intra-personal and inter-personal world, it even influences the physical world not only at Quantum level but also at concrete bio-chemical levels. (Though, due to my professional training background, I'm better able to comment on the intra-personal & inter-personal worlds, which in any case influences the material world at every level by its actions, and motives behind those actions).

This was the conversation with a friend, about how the pure Consciousness at the mental level is the 'Observer, the Witness', and at the vital level is 'pure emotion of joy', and at the level of physical is 'pure happiness of Existence' in itself, without any need or requirements.

However, growing up on stimulus-response or stimulus-organism-response theories of emotions, I used to get stuck at 'Rasa'. Conceptually it gets difficult to understand, in a world dominated with distractions. Further, even though I would have felt pure emotions, intellectually it was difficult to fit into my training in Western Psychology.
Now I'm increasingly able to appreciate why some Indian psychologists (and my most vocal friend from Europe) have been dead against Western paradigms.

Well, gradually I'm getting some grasp over this entire map of Consciousness, which seemed sooo very unreachable, earlier. At this rate may be, someday, we can even write a chapter each on these levels, for the benefit of others like my earlier self. Can't wait to reach back my real home, that place of absolute joy and freedom :)

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