What is Yoga Psychology? How can we Apply it for Freedom?
Updated: Nov 22, 2021
Psyche is Latin for Soul and Logos for Systematic study, or Science-so the ‘Science of the Soul’ is then the meaning of the term ‘psychology’, though professional psychologists may, in practical terms, opt for the less awe-inspiring Science of Mind. Yoga has, on the other hand, been most famously defined by one of its founding fathers, as the ‘ Discipline for the cessation of the relative mind’.
The Myth of Identity
Yogic psychology states that identity, any sense of identity, positive or negative, is a self generated myth. And like all myths, it sits badly with reality. And so, this essential mismatch between the myth and the reality, the cognitive dissonance between essential reality and one’s interpretation of it, then engenders all the myriad cornucopia of delusionary thought processes we today term ‘psychological issues’.
The Universe of the 5 Selves
But isn’t identity, the collective persona, who we are, the person? How can we even know ourselves without a sense of identity.? At the very least, we must be identified with our body just in order to survive. And so, Yoga talks about the 5 layers of identification, starting with the body, moving on to the bio-energetic body, the psychological body, the supra psychological body and finally the Body of Universal Singularity.
And just to give an idea of how multi layered our own self is, if we take just 2 of these 5 bodies-the Physical and the Mental/ psychological, our physical and psychological senses of identity at the age of 5 were completely different from that at 15, which again radically revised themselves at 30, and so on. And at each stage, we are sure that we are who we are-THIS, is who we are, but you see, the THIS is always changing, every second, every minute, every day, we are born anew.
These 5 bodies exist simultaneously, provided that each of the others also exists, in other words, they are co-dependent and no one exists without the other. So, in other words, as per Yogic psychology, we are not just the Body, not just Energy, not just Consciousness, not just Supra Consciousness and not just the Universe itself, we are all 5 SIMULTANEOUSLY.
Identity, like homoeostasis is a constantly dynamic system, attempting to attain balance from moment to moment. The P-TAK system also presumes Identity as categories, but these categories are fluid and are subject to seismic shifts over time and circumstance. Secondly, the very objective of yoga psychology being the overcoming of categories, which are seen to be the real limitations on human capacities, Yoga declares the ultimate destination of identity to be a twin port, that of NO-IDENTITY and ALL- IDENTITY, held together within the realm of an expanded consciousness.
Contemporary psychology, on the other hand concentrates on just 1 of our 5 simultaneous ‘selves’, the Mind. Since identity is created by the mind, for the mind, which is the only ‘self’ contemporary psychologists are looking at, it is but natural for contemporary psychologists to see the person as the identity, for they see observe only the mind. Fact is senses of identity do exist in 4 of the 5 selves we mentioned above, but just not in the way our mind perceives identity. The 4 essential identities are then interacting with each other all the time, though at most times we are aware, if dimly, of only the Mind based identity change and even more rarely of Body based changing identity.
As per Yogic psychology, none of the 4 senses of Identity have an independent or objective existence. So, for example the psychological sense of identity cannot be without physical manifestation and a sense of physical identity, neither of which can be maintained without the emotional identity, and so on. We can also then say that no one of these identities is more important or relevant than the others-they are co-dependent.
The Natural Identity in Union- Sahaja
What does this even mean? NO-IDENTITY and ALL-IDENTITY? Permit me to give you an example. Take an AI program or a ROBOT whose sentience can pass the Turing test-as in CHAPPIE in the movie by the same name. The scenario where people start relating to Chappie, the machine like robot, in deep and distinct human ways is feasible and in a world of increasing virtual personalities, it is entirely conceivable that one’s new best friends are going to be sympathetic ROBOT-AI. This is the power of IDENTITY, where by projecting SENTIENCE, we enliven an object, giving it IDENTITY, a REALITY that the object simply does not possess, outside of our power of IDENTITY projection. The World that we find ourselves in and our idea of our own selves and bodies are then an IDENTITY projection of our own minds-we are creators of our own Worlds. This much is accepted by contemporary psychologists, but Yoga psychology takes it further.
All projections of identity are held to be true in the relative frame by Yoga-so go choose your own reality, as long as you don’t harm anybody else, it’s perfectly fine, your life is your own. While so doing, the ability to empathise completely with others and their views of life, which views maybe completely at odds with our own, shows the power of the ALL-IDENTITY factor (which arises from MIRROR CONSCIOUSNESS, as per the axioms of the P-TAK system of Yogic psychology). Here is where the PASSION that drives life originates. Life’s infinite variety is both its essence and the wonder of it all. So those whose IDENTITIES are not developed enough, to appreciate and empathise with the views of those who stand apart from them, have an innate dislike for the essence and the wonder of life itself, including their own, for life does not acknowledge the boundaries set up by Man.
Simultaneously, the ability to see beyond our projections of IDENTITY and those of others enables the mind to attain the state of consciousness termed SINGULARITY CONSCIOUSNESS by the P-TAK system, a state of consciousness where there exists no duality- all IDENTITIES fall apart here in the SINGULARITY, consumed, as their essential energies are ripped from their outward mentative forms. Here, from the SINGULARITY arises great WISDOM, or intuitive VISION. This VISION manifests in the eye of one without IDENTITY, whose IDENTITY at that moment is the VISION itself. This is the NO-IDENTITY factor and the inner meaning of the great Sanskrit Yogic declaration ‘Tat Twam Asi’- Thou Art That.
The body itself is the tool for all ACTIONS, and between the three triangulated factors- PASSION, VISION and ACTION all sentient beings, including the humans may be categorized, for functional purposes.
It is by growing these three triangulated and so-dependent factors, that as per Yogic psychology, we achieve higher levels of evolution and consequent freedom. And so, with increasing Passion, with ever vaster scope of Actions and increasingly profound Vision, we finally achieve the final objective of Yogic psychology in the form of the P-TAK system, complete and unqualified freedom from the need for, and resistance to any and all identity.
Yogic Psychosomatic Diagnosis and Therapy
Diagnosis in Yogic psychology, as derived by the P-TAK® System is based on the calculation of the Tri-Elemental Combination [please see here for more on the TEC] of the individual, based on which combination, we can then extrapolate the different senses of identities connected with the individual. We can also predict to a large degree, the process of interaction of the 4 identities within the individual’s waking and dreaming ego minds. Next, comes the prognosis based on the TEC-and the prognosis is psychosomatic in nature and is capable of predicting both psychological and physical issues that the individual is likely to face in the future. Lastly we arrive at the Therapy, which is bifurcated by its very nature. If the individual is seen to be imbalanced physically or psychologically, therapeutic methodologies are applied across the 4 senses of identities, wherein yogic tools are used to achieve certain identity objects in the person.
Provided the individual is well balanced physically and psychologically, the intention then of the Yogic system of psychology is to enable the further progress of the persons psychosomatic system-to help the person, using specific and bespoke yogic processes to increase their psychological and physical capacities, such as creativity, increased life expectancy, emotional control, reduced ageing symptoms, etc.
In the next article on Yoga and Psychology, we will explore how FREE CHOICE and ENLIGHTENED EVOLUTION are inter-dependent, and how they arise out of a growing CONSCIOUSNESS.