Three inherent qualities of mind
Now, let us understand another aspect of the mind, which will explain why some people are more cunning and some more loving; why some are more pure and others need mental cure; why some are more creative and others live on sedatives. Why do we see so much diversity? At the same time, how is there so much similarity in the behavior patterns of human beings? Look at all the continents. You will not find anything in human beings in one continent that is not similarly patterned in others. Emotions—the same types every-where; Intelligence—the same types everywhere; Perception—similar everywhere. The variation occurs not in content, but in degree.
Inactivity, Activity and Unactivity
Make a list of ten close friends of yours—you should have a deep understanding of their nature. Consider twelve qualities of the mind, namely, laziness, stubbornness, procrastination and fickle nature; enthusiasm for earning wealth, attachment to children, work mania and strong sensual desires; sympathy, love of books, charity and working for the love of the occupation. These qualities have been written in groups of four. Make two columns on a paper and write down the names of your close friends in one column and the qualities that are their basic nature in the other. That is, out of these twelve, which all they possess, will be written in the second column against their names.
Let us analyze your results now.There are three basic qualities of the mind: inactivity, activity and unactivity. All the minds of all the continents possess these three qualities only. There may be a variation in the percentage of each, but there cannot be a fourth quality anywhere. There is also normally the predominance of one quality suppressing the other two. Each person differs from another not just in what groove is deepest in him, but also in what quality is predominant in him.
Imagine a very dense jungle of useless weeds, bushes and trees. It is so dense that even during daytime, the sun cannot penetrate the trees to reach the ground. There is, therefore, complete darkness even during daytime. Marshy lands abound in the jungle and if one is somehow caught in it, there is no possible escape out of this mess. Such is the condition of a mind with the predominance of inactivity. The big useless trees are the innumerable thoughts that do not allow any light of knowledge to show a way out of this quagmire.
How do we recognize such a person? Laziness; procrastination; taking the easy non-profitable options always; stubbornness in the negative sense; wasting time, money and energy; taking resort to mind numbing or exciting things like drugs, alcohol etc. to pacify the storm of thoughts; shunning any mental or physical activity; inability to see the pros and cons of his own actions; lamenting always over trivialities; unreasonable fears; pride based on no material achievements; fickle-mindedness; and in extreme cases, cheating, stealing, robbing and killing. are some of the characteristics of an inactive person.
These three qualities not only represent the growth of a person, but also the growth of nations. When the nation—most of it—is found to be in the grip of inactivity, you will find imperfection everywhere. The roads are broken, the electric wires criss cross each other, the public servants are lethargic and corrupt; and, people have a lot of time for gossiping. Not keeping appointments, using excuses for all misdeeds, cheating and bribery are rampant in such nations everywhere—especially amongst the politicians, bureaucrats and public servants (police included). Also, look at the films the inactives like. There is everything in these films that supports their way of life.
Most of the developing nations are still caught in inactivity. Though they are trying hard to imitate the developed countries, how long can one put on a masquerade. The cities of the developing countries are trying hard to accept activity, the second quality of the mind, as their way of life, but it is penetrating very slowly into the system. The countryside of these countries is still sunk in the marshy lands of inactivity. The cities might be standing at a level above total inactivity, but the small towns and villages are somewhere more near inactivity. The West has also come out of this phase slowly in the last five hundred years. Now, it is the time of the developing countries. Slowly and surely, they are learning their lessons and are improving. But it may take them around one hundred years more to reach the activity levels of the West. We are not speaking emotively here, we are just stating the factual position. The improvement of the mind requires much time and courage.
Now, visualize a less dense jungle in which some narrow paths seem to be going out of it but they all end up without serving their purpose. There is some sunlight coming down to the ground through the trees, but, it is of no use as the way out to freedom from this mess is nowhere to be found. In the jungle, all trees are not useless. Some are bearing fruits which help the captives sustain themselves. But the irony is that the captivity of the jungle has been for so long that nobody seems to remember that he has to find his way out of the jungle to his home. Time passes in looking for the trees bearing fruits, climbing the trees with much effort, eating the fruits and sometimes falling from the trees and getting hurt. When they get hurt this way or by eating bitter fruits, they get a faint remembrance of the cozy comforts of their homes, but their indulgence in the sweet and bitter fruits puts a veil over reasoningsThe activity predominant mind is not free from the avoidable turmoil of thoughts. There is a strong desire for completeness, fulfillment, perfection and happiness. But the means one uses, under the direction of other captives, only end up in making one run in circles around happiness and see it from a distance and touch it with difficulty. All the effort one does to break one’s incompleteness, insecurity and restlessness, is directed towards desiring and acquiring material objects. Instead of concentrating on the mind itself where the problem is lying, one spends one’s life running after sensual objects. Again and again, one gets disillusioned. But, each time one forgets the lessons and gets up once again and starts searching for the illusory, mirage like happiness along the same lines.
The active person likes to take initiatives and start new activities. He can work for any number of hours during the day for achieving his ends. He is quite good in intelligent and rational thinking supporting his way of life. He has strong attachments and aversions, strong sense of pride in his achievements, a tendency to take up several jobs at a time and a strong inclination towards dejection or elation, depending upon his failure and success respectively.The developed countries are good examples of activity—domination. Their perfection in jobs, sense of time, sense of freedom, steadfastness in any undertaking they take up and their sense of pride in their achievements are marvelous expressions of their active nature.
Unactivity or Integrity
Imagine a beautiful garden of flowers and fruits—nicely planned and perfectly executed. There is sunlight during the day and electric light at night. All paths going out are broad and free from any obstacles. One can sometimes clearly see the infinite expanse of bliss and freedom just a little distance away at one’s home, but the beauty of the flowers and the taste of the fruits is more enchanting initially. Gradually, one realizes that the bliss beyond the limits of the garden is more enduring and the completeness there is more perfect. When one understands this, one comes out of the trap of beauty and taste and goes straight into the lap of one’s mother at one’s home.
The thoughts of an unactive mind are mainly the knowledge thoughts shedding the light of eternal wisdom. Initially, the unactive mind gets caught in the beauty and joy of having these thoughts, but it slowly understands that the thoughtless realm of the mind, where mind is no mind, is the only source of lasting peace, bliss and fulfillment. One breaks open the bondage of thoughts and realizes one’s true nature.The unactive mind is not inactive. There is physical activity, but mentally one is totally detached from the fruits and also from the activities. The thought which is predominant in this mind is the desire to break the bondage of thoughts in order to experience the Reality—that which is immutable. All activity is done for purity, duty and for bringing about lasting happiness in society. Purity means absence of reactions and a state of equanimity; duty to oneself means selflessly performing actions according to the intelligence grooves discussed before; duty to society means thankful return of gifts that this society—the whole world—is giving us all the time. There is no desire for material gains in lieu of the work done. There is steadfastness, enthusiasm, detachment, desireless love for the activity, egolessness, freedom from ups and downs arising from success or failure respectively. The unactive mind desires nothing and hates nothing. It becomes established in peace and love.
Seeing the present state of evolution of the human society, it is seen that no particular group of people can be said to possess this state of mind. It is found at the individual level only. Individuals are slowly understanding the worthlessness of their material pursuits and are therefore accepting unactivity as their way of life. Though the eastern countries like India and China gave birth to this science of the mind, in the form of different religions, the nature has made them comparatively less fit, in the contemporary times, for accepting this knowledge. It seems the evolution goes on in a wave-like fashion. People of developing countries are standing at the trough now and the developed countries have started moving towards the crest. There cannot be a jump from inactivity to unactivity. One has to pass through and exhaust activity in between. The developed countries have not only come out of inactivity, but have also started looking seriously for options healthier than materialism—though this is a very slow process The developing nations have yet to see the zenith of activity before they get fed up with its bitter material fruits. Then will come their turn for enjoying what they so fondly like to preach.