The Conquest of Fear — Part 2 of 3

The triune nature of man is an expression of his constitutional personality, a three-headed flower of the Inconscient, each contradicting the other and are in a constant disarray and disharmony. It is the very seat of a thousand contradictions and innumerable shipwrecks; it is the sign of a great and dark division of consciousness.

This triune nature of man is made up of three lower principles of Nature, namely mind, vital and body. There is also in the lower manifestation a native element of the Spirit which evolves along with these and others, a spark of the Divine Consciousness in evolution, a symbol of a higher perfection and fidelity to the Divine, not the flower of the Inconscient, but an emergence of a secret persona out of that indecipherable matrix of evolution; it is the Psychic or the evolving Soul of man, independent of or untouched by these triple principles of Nature, yet part of them in one way or the other, casting its light upon them and acting through them as far as possible.

Painting by Priti Ghosh

The Veda speaks of this divine spark as Agni, the fire-god and the purifier, the swift light of the heavens from which this native spark of the Divine comes down and incarnates in man as the psychic personality, but not until it has traversed a long evolutionary curve in order to form a divine personality in man. The Katha Upanishad speaks of an “inner Self, no larger than the size of a man’s thumb, angushthamatrah purusho’ntaratma, but it is not the dwarf-soul of man; it is his first bridge between himself and the Divine, and its size is symbolic of its indrawn infinity and secret evolution and is measured only by a greater divine Knowledge, which seeks to master the world by a direct possession of its truth here in the terrestrial.

The influence of the Psychic on the triune nature of man is at first very limited, and even where it can exert its influence considerably, it is well resisted by the mind and vital through confusion and revolt or by merely refusing to heed to its advice to turn to the divine Light for their spiritual sustenance and succour. It is through these vital resistances and mental prevarications that it has to make a mark on the being and turn the quest of man towards God more meaningful and spontaneous.

The seat of human fear is in the vital; it affects his nervous envelop and his physical self by attacking his natural aura, the lower luminous sheath protecting his body from contracting diseases or other ailments arising out of a mental or vital disorder or both, but this sheath is not impervious to attacks and is easily penetrated by forces of fear and disorder. The Psychic on its own accord or by its direct power cannot act on these forces or prevent them from attacking the nervous envelop of man, unless his triune nature has given itself wholly to the Psychic light within the heart.

Modern systems of knowledge, especially that of the West, deal primarily with the flesh and the bone and the brain of man as all that is there to dissect and analyse; it seeks to tear open the physical brain, search for the symptoms and arrive at scientific remedies to the psychological problems of men through rigours of experiment and critical analysis. To its method, fear is a natural human reaction, and therefore, not a sign of mental instability or imbalance, unless it goes beyond the scale of its definition of normality. When it seems to exceed, it is branded as a mental breakdown or paranoia, and must be thus dealt with, through treatment and counselling. The modern psychiatry does not take into account the unseen forces of Nature or of the nervous envelop of man and terms them as inconsequential to its utility and purpose and scorns at these as mere superstitions and must be rejected out of the realm of reason and scientific knowledge.

Science’s repulsion to spirituality and the unseen facts of Life arises out of its inability to go beyond the visible phenomena of existence, and it is more willing to confine itself to the human brain box than to something higher which it cannot record or account for, nor can it understand anything of the higher truth or of the subliminal depths of man by the present instruments of its knowledge. The problem of dealing with visible phenomena is that the very effort of its limiting the possibilities cut shorts Science’s ability to look further beyond the borders of apparent phenomena and arrive at a more inclusive knowledge and approach to the problems of life.

For example, Freud’s theory on the human subconscient takes into account only the dark, inframental and submental portion of man rather than the inner or higher part of him, where dwells a puissant godhead of courage, the Rudra of the Vedas and the divine Vanquisher and Smiter of hostile powers. And, still higher dwells Kali, from whom he draws his courage and divine wrath and acts upon the imperfections of the world without compromise or fear of consequence. He is the ingrained part of the warrior-soul in us, and out of that dynamic self-aware knowledge, we must respond to the hard and cruel sensations of the world, while putting forth in the external a calm, luminous face of the Kshatriya.

Science accepts nothing of the higher spiritual Knowledge nor does it admit into critical reasoning the sense of the Spirit and unmental forces. It marks them as hallucinations or illogical dreams of a dysfunctional human brain. But Science cannot be convinced of the spiritual or the Spirit without providing a veritable proof of its existence, and even if it could be provided at all, it would still expect the higher to submit to the reasoning of the lower, to be its lab rat or helpless prey rather than submitting itself to the vast light and knowledge above in an earnest quest to exceed itself.

Painting by Priti Ghosh

Now, if fear were to be conquered, it must only be done by an inner surrender of the triune nature to the divine Psychic first, to seek there its constant dwelling place and to act out of a profound simplicity of knowledge to meet the prevarications of the external mind, slowly replacing its instinctive and blind reactions to the shocks of life by a calm spiritual indifference. But however luminous and extraordinary in self-organisation of its ability to stand apart and watch everything of the world without being affected, it is still a static poise of the Spirit, a half-way mark to rest and gather oneself up for further action, and not the final result of our higher endeavours.

A calm, static poise of the Spirit may have its spiritual implications in a world of action, but a conquest, whether of fear or other lower propensities, requires a greater dynamism of the Spirit and a nature which is not only unnerved and unmoved, but acts as a channel to the mighty flow of the Spirit in a world of ignorance and chaos. The individual, having effected his surrender to the inmost Soul, must ascend the ladder of the august and indomitable Spirit above and bring down into his essential nature as well as his mind and vital the infinite suppleness and wider sublimation of a greater Consciousness and meet the world in that infinite dynamism and knowledge; the world then becomes a playfield of a secret Delight, and he begins to meet the dangers of the world with the infinite might of the Spirit and no longer tossed about by darker thoughts and morbid imaginations or subject to the hard vibrations of fear and self-debilitating confusions.

This might seem too big a demand on the fragile nature of man, still very much in his ignorance and subject to the manipulations of lower forces of fear and disorder, and indeed so, but there in lies the secret of our own effort at self-transcendence and the breaking of the material shackles and emerging into the nature of the divine Rudra. The secret lies in attempting, however difficult it might seem to our senses, to get of our mental mould, the great boiling cauldron of self-conditioning, into a direct influence of the Psychic first. This essential step will ensure a speedy progress into further ascension into the Spirit, a less laboured and more spontaneous movement than can be hoped in the bounds of ignorance.

Courage itself is a quality of the divine Spirit, and in the lower vital mind, because there is too much resistance and ill-will, its presence is hardly felt or manifested fully in its native glory. And, it is in the vital mind that there is a stiff and unrelenting resistance to spiritual transformation; in it is the blind urge to all sense of perversion and mortal and self-destructive weakness and out of which predominantly, all our problems arise. Fear is its cherished weapon against the possibilities of the Spirit, and without its conquest, no true progress can be possible.

The triune nature of man must be given to the inner and the higher in an earnest self-surrender in order that this self-giving may result in a nature so limitless in strength and suppleness of being that it can express the formidable puissance of the all-dynamic Spirit here in this world of pain and ignorance.

There is also a blind, instinctive reaction of the physical to the shocks of life, and it is distinctly different the mental or vital fears and enormously difficult to handle, but because it is an extensive subject which requires some elucidation, it is only appropriate that we take up its discussion in the next concluding part of the essay.

End of Part 2

Link to “The Conquest of Fear, part 1”