Some Psychological Insights

Some Psychological Insights

About Time, Thought, Awareness, Change, Love, etc.

By Reza Ganjavi

Recently I started writing down some of the psychological insights that I came in daily living...

  • To try to find security in relationship brings insecurity.

  • Thought's purpose is not to find the meaning of life and many other psychological things. Its purpose is to choose what kind of bread to buy, etc. - practical things. It must bring order to itself and its environment so it can peacefully end and make room for the otherness (love).

  • Thought's security is in the past. Its movement is in time: the past and the future (usually a projection of the past - the known).

  • The brain is used to having problems. Since childhood, parents saying “No”, then having to learn mathematics, etc…

  • The brain is used to solving problems – when it has nothing to solve it creates a problem. Seeing all this is the end of it – not as a final act – I suspect finality implies time, but insight is in the present – change is in the present.

  • The brain so easily falls into sorrow – sorrow is a common lot of mankind – and many traditions worship sorrow. Sorrow must be eradicated, uprooted.

  • To be alone is to be all-one. It is possible to be alone and be with others, and also, to be with others and still lonely.

  • Whole is holy. Whole is not-broken up. To be truly an individual means to be indivisible (not broken up, fragmented with conflict). To not be broken up is to be all-one = alone.

  • It is a misnomer that suffering is necessary for progress: suffer now so as to grow. Some religions go as far as saying all of this life is just a stepping stone – some even promote lying on beds of nails to reach god! But it is important to learn from suffering and growth does come from that learning but the suffering itself is not a necessity for growth.

  • Do not compare yourself with others. Comparison requires measurement, and measurement is not accurate. Comparison destroys a child. I've seen many examples. See article on authority.

  • Do not be concerned or afraid of what others think. See article on authority.

  • The dominant process in the human is “thought”. Thought has a place, a purpose, in life. Its primary purpose is to understand practical matters, etc., but our culture and education have over-emphasized thought, so thought has become a dominant process. When thought steps out of its right place, it can become human’s enemy and create all kinds of psychological miseries. The roots of thought, thinking, need to be understood. Thought is a material process – a physical process – as electro-chemical exchanges between the brain cells. Thought is mostly based on the past. From experience, memory is gathered, which is knowledge. Movement of thought based on the past prevents the clear perception of the present. The present, the now, is living. Perception of the present through the eyes of the past, the residue of the past, is distorted. The thought of future is usually a projection of the past. So, thought is a movement in time – in the past and the future. Being based on experience, thought is limited because experience is limited. Being limited, thought is divisive – it divides. Its nature is to divide – in order to understand, thought must break a thing down to its components. When thought enters relationship, it can do the same: divide. So, thought is responsible for having divided humanity – politically, religiously, etc. Thought creates the “I”, and so, the “You”. The “I”, the “self” is only a bundle of experiences, memories, as thought. So when thought is silent, the I as a separate entity does not exist. Silence of thought cannot come by force. It comes naturally when there’s order in one’s life, room, relationships. Order is the root of virtue. It comes when the mind realizes thought’s limitation – when thought itself realizes its limitation. When the I who thinks of itself as a separate, isolated entity comes to an end, division ends and there’s freedom. Freedom is not a final event in time – it is moment to moment.

  • To be responsible in relationship is to have no image. Can we live without image of others and no image of ourselves? Image-making is recursive - you might have image of other's image of you... Images are made out of thought. When thought sees its own limitation it ends. With quieting of thought, image making ends. Then you walk into boss's office who hurt you yesterday with a quiet brain and no recollection and be totally in the present and listen to inner and outer movements, words, etc., the relationship changes. Approaching another in the present changes the relationship. You give the other space to change. If you see other with the eyes of the past, you are prompting them to act that way and that action strengthens your image and such is the cycle of misery and living within small walls of thought.

  • It is important to be aware of all our thoughts and emotions – to take them to the end – to let them flower – to understand them.

  • It's good to sit quietly and de-weed the mind. It's like running an anti-virus program or checking the hard disk for bad sector/defragmenting the disk, etc… :-)

  • It is important to empty the mind of its content – that is a natural process which happens for example through dreams – but when it happens while one is awake, that is meditation. Writing is a great way of emptying the mind and letting issues flower. Insights come as result of seeing what is.

  • Change comes naturally from understanding, seeing what is – without trying to change it. One sees what one is in the mirror of relationship, with people, things, ideas. That is a natural law. In the conflict between what is and what should be there’s friction which is loss of energy – the very energy which is necessary to change. This holds true in relationship with others too – some people like fights/conflicts because it gives them a sense of being, importance, and energy. But energy derived from conflict is the wrong kind of energy – its quality is distorted, let’s say. Peace, the energy of not having lost energy through conflict, nor, having gained energy through the heat produced by friction, has a totally different quality.

  • Never be afraid to ask the impossible question. A possibility is only created by asking. I bring one very crude example: one time I went to buy gas (petrol). The car wash had shut down at 5 pm. It was 5:10. I asked almost jokingly if she can turn on the car wash – and she did! (This was in the old days that I unfortunately had a car). The alternative was to assume it's closed and so be it. There are many examples - much subtler ones than this.

  • Is it possible to live without craving? Without dependence? Without fear? Surely. But you have to find out in daily life through understanding of "what-is".

  • Be a light to yourself.

  • When confused, like being lost in jungle. You don't know where North and South are, so any way you go it could be the wrong direction. So, what you do is STOP! Be totally still.

  • Love is the greatest gift of all – to have a body/heart/mind which is wiped clean of hatred. To find love, Eliminate that which is not love. Love has its own intelligence.

  • Becoming is the lot (common conditioning) of man.

  • The body has its own intelligence. When it’s highly sensitive, it feels pain at just being near a drunk person. Or feel the pain of a smoker's body with a handshake...

  • There is no system and method for meditation. Systems are mechanical and a mind that repeats becomes dull. Meditation is the emptying of the mind through paying attention to thoughts and feelings.

  • It’s important to have space in your life and in your brain. That’s when great energy can be, else energy is limited.

  • Thought can be our best friend and our worst enemy. A good experience need not be recalled in memory because it has already affected one's being - it's a part of one. Life brings us good things if we let go of the past and live with facts. Thought, being mainly based on past, acts in a limited realm. Its projection of the future is also based on the known. We must be aware of thoughts and feelings. The click is this: awareness of what I am, what I'm thinking, what is, brings change. It's natural law. But seeing is an art. To see without a seer as separate - without judging, trying to change, etc... That seeing is action!

  • The Great Question: “What is wrong with me? What bothers me?” This question allows for inquiry into what I am and the elements that bother me at this point in time – writing helps in listing those elements. Sometimes a physical aspect is involved – e.g. having eaten too much cornbread. More often it's something psychological: someone said something and its residue still remains - or I thought something and was concerned about something and I didn't finish with it - it's still hanging in my head and bothers me - so, by paying attention to it and devising action it's rested in its right place and life can carry on without a residue of the past.

  • It is really great to live without fear. Physical fear for survival, e.g. of a dog, is natural. But that translates into our psyche and we try to protect the "self" which is like a bubble anyway, made out of memories. I believe it's impossible to live fully without fear as long as one eats animals (see article on diet). Psychological fear is usually based on thought and time. Thought needs to see its own limitation and that understanding brings change.

  • Talks with a friend whose boyfriend had dumped her - Take care of the body. - Don't think too much - thought is divisive: it divides. - Thought is based on time - movement from past to future - based on knowledge - and so is limited - The controller is the controlled. - Thought must see its own limitation. - Looking at what is brings emptying - and self-knowledge. - To observe dependence. - Physical loss due to body's being used to another. - Golden rule: to see what is brings change.

  • It’s important to have a strong energy field/body/clear, orderly mind and life, otherwise one is susceptible to negative psychic influences. Sorry to be unscientific now - these are not purely beliefs, but also, not firm facts. Ghosts probably do exist in some form. They’re weaker than a person who has a body. If there are “holes”, “cracks” in your energy, they can suck your energy, etc... If they are around – e.g. in a “hunted house”, it is the best to advise them to stay outside. Psychic powers do exist, but they’re not to be messed around with, certainly not to be proud of. Healing is real – I’ve seen miracles happen time and again. There are many examples – here’s one: I had a persisting problem in my knee. I asked a friend with good energy to touch my knee. He held his hand on it for a few minutes. That night as I sat on the train I felt something like a beam go from my knee and out my toe, and my knee was completely healed. Another time, I gave a foot message to a woman who had a zit on her ankle. In font of our eyes, the zit simply disappeared. The greatest of healers say, it is not the healer – but the energy – they’re simply an instrument – and sometimes it works and sometimes not. Other examples of miracles are numerous. Angels or some kind of protective energy probably do exist. One form maybe loved ones who died and who are perhaps in the psychic realm, in the stream of mankind’s consciousness (because they did not end their suffering when alive?) or outside it - come back to you if you are in peace – they do not like to go where there’s conflict (according to a sage with psychic insights - it makes sense - we don't like to be in a place where there's conflict either!). “The stream”? It’s the quality of one’s life and mind that continues. Quality, like smell, continues – but then it’ll change – maybe reincarnate? I don’t accept reincarnation as it’s generally accepted.

  • The most important mission of a person in life is to end his/her suffering, which takes intelligence and really questioning one’s way of life, habits, etc.

  • There’s a point on the forehead (perhaps thereabouts inside the brain?), between the eyebrows that gets very active – like a sensor – when the brain is quiet, when one sits still, when eyes are still, and when near a strong body of subtle energy. Science links it to unknown parts of the brain that becomes active when the brain’s quiet.

  • To be able to move on mentally is a blessing, but thought's very existence is rooted in continuity. Thought thrives on continuity whereas movement is of death - to be open to the new is to die to the old.

  • Last night in bed with lights off: The ego is a hindrance to totality. Totality is in operation in this being. Its work is not to be interfered with ego. Ego has its purpose - practical decisions... but to think of itself as everything that this being is about, and separate with its own problems and future, is wrong. The hand of otherness is clear as day. It operates in one's life - one buy one thing and gets 2 and it turns out 2 was absolutely necessary... - and in one's brain. Key: don't struggle, don't chase.

  • It's important to guard one's thoughts and words.

  • Death is a tabooed subject in the culture. It is to be avoided at any cost until you're about to die - then you're scared s---less. But the fact is that death is always around the corner. And to live with death actually adds a very beautiful quality to life: knowing that X won't be there forever sweetens the relationship with love.

  • It’s important to end desire to want to reconnect with some people of the past. Some amount of effort is warranted but one should give up if it does not come through (the danger is the unfulfilled desire may have to fulfill at some point in future, regardless of body’s death - who knows?!?!?!).

  • "Biology" has its own laws that we can attribute to deeper layers of cause and effect - not necessarily the "will" of the unknown......

  • Perhaps one of the key differences between a non-bodied and a bodied entity (an alive person) is the ability to breathe. Breath, life force, prana, are amazing resources.

  • The bottom line is that I don't know. We can have the best of theories, but ultimately our brains are physically limited to "know" anything beyond its limits. This was crystal clear when I was 8 years old or so, and nothing with respect to that has changed a bit. There is another movement, and if one lives intelligently, "religiously" in the right sense of the word, one leaves the window open for that movement, that breeze, that otherness, to come. That's all you can do. Even then, knowing is crippled and miniscule compared to the scope, power, and vastness of the other.

  • “But I guess time will heal as it goes by” -- yes and no -- in some aspects chronological time has no effect on psychological matters. Thinking is rooted in time and is the cause of much pain so one key to ending suffering is for thinking to learn where it belongs (practical matters) and where it doesn't (psychological realm).

  • Self-pity is such a strong human condition that the idea that people have not changed has become a dominant excuse and justification for being a victim of an unfortunate situation and therefore staying in it: amazing how the mind tricks itself into not changing and who else but K's own words are used to provide that cushion of comfort!