Recently, life has been busy, alive and in some ways, quite settled. Maybe that will be when the dark-side will bring us some new light. I suppose some might wonder what that means.
The dark side, we all have one. Think about it, all those things we don’t like about ourselves. Bad habits, behaviours, attitudes we’ve been told are not nice; many things make up our dark side. Too often it is suppressed, not to be recognized or embraced. Rather than admit it is there, we would prefer to say we don’t suffer from any of these afflictions and suppress the negative aspect. Here’s the rub: What you deny owns you, what you accept gives you back your power. Deny it and what you resist will persist. The irony is that the Whole consists of both dark and light.
We have night and day, hot and cold, good and evil, love and hate, and every duality that exists under the sun. All are there to serve a purpose. Knowing this, you have the opportunity to integrate your Purush and Prakriti, Male and Female, Dark and Light, Shiva and Shakti and experience the fullness, the wholeness of who you are! You’ll thank yourself.
The concepts of Purush and Prakriti are two opposing forces that also complement each other, creating a harmonious balance. This balance is considered as the true natural state of everything from a person’s mental health to the actual workings of the planet. It is a mistake to see Purush and Prakriti as representation of good and evil, with night and day being more appropriate, albeit highly metaphorical comparisons. The idea behind this philosophy is that in all things is a natural balance between two sets of characteristics, with one set being Purush and the other being Prakriti. It is interesting to note how these comparisons can be applied to the field of mental health, particularly when studying human personalities. Take note that by no means is any of the following to be considered concrete, scientific doctrine. However, it does present an alternative avenue to the study of the various personality and psychological traits that make up human beings. Used in the context of Psychology, students are taught that a person’s Prakriti aspects represent the feminine side of a psyche. Purush aspects corresponds to order, law and self-control with an excess of it resulting in stagnation and a lack of emotion. In terms of mental health, this lack of emotion can display itself in a variety of ways, both on its own and in conjunction with other mental disorders.
For example, an excessive focus on what are considered a person’s Prakriti traits, when combined with status anxiety, can result in a person showing excess duplicity and ruthlessness in his attempts to retain or improve his perceived station in life. In some ways, this can also be misinterpreted as social anxiety, as some have noted that people with a great focus on their Prakriti aspects tend to view other people disdainfully, failing to understand how others can view emotions to be of any importance.
By comparison, Purush is said to represent the masculine side of the mind. It corresponds to creativity, instinct, and impulsiveness, though excessive development can result in a dangerous recklessness and clinical insanity.
Examples of effects of over-developed Purush aspects can include anxiety disorders, separation anxiety, performance anxiety, depression, dissociative identity disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and manic-depressive disorder. Mental health that is Purush-dominated can often be seen as overtly dangerous, with individuals being more interested in the expression of their baser desires, which can manifest as a desire to do violence in certain individuals. Due to the outward nature of a Purush-dominated psyche, the manifestations of excess are significantly easier to detect than in Prakriti-dominated ones, which tend to exhibit more subdued, perhaps even hidden deviancies from the cultural and social norm.
A balance between Purush and Prakriti, theoretically, is present in most of the population. Purush and Prakriti are cyclical forces, which can conveniently explain the inherent contradictions of the typical human being. According to the theories put forth by modern mental health experts who have merged Western and Oriental schools of thought, imbalances in either Purush or Prakriti can possibly lead to mental disorders. Theoretically, it is impossible for one side to be of such complete dominance that the other side is no longer present in a psyche. According to traditional concepts, even if one is shown to be dominant over the other, this is merely a disruption in the balance and not a complete absence of the side — showing that there is a continuous interplay between the Purush and Prakriti. For example, even the clinically insane occasionally exhibit signs of concern for their own well-being. This is taken as a sign that the Prakriti still has influence over the person’s actions, even in those who are mentally ill. On the other hand, even the most calculating and logical thinkers feel emotions, even without allowing themselves to be swayed by them. The concept of emotions, as well as the ability to recognize them, is taken as a Purush trait.
Indeed, the Purush and Prakriti of the human mind and personality makes an excellent subject for research. By understanding the duality in all things, which includes human thought and behaviour, we would be able to catch a glimpse about the remarkable interplay of motive, emotions, and actions in people who all represent the reality Purush and Prakriti.
The PURUSH & PRAKRITI concept is a result of the Indian Sankhya Philosophy in regards to how the universe functions which is one of the six schools of Indian Philosophy. In Chinese Philosophy the black and white shapes within the circle represent the interaction of two energies called “Yin” and “Yang”; they are not completely black or white nor can they exist without each other. The curve of the symbol reminds us of the constant change of balance between yin and yang, which represent all the opposite principles one finds in the universe. According to the Sankhya philosophy the origin of the universe, basis of growth and development is the consciousness which we call as Purush which is constant which can not be changed and the energy of joy is the Nature/Prakriti. This is also considered as Shiva and Shakti according to Tantra Shastra, from here the form of Panchtattvas or Five Elements i.e. the Universe is created. These five elements are Jal (water), Vayu (air), Agni (fire), Prithvi (earth), and Aakash (space).
”The principle of PURUSH and PRAKRITI is the foundation of the entire universe. It underlies everything in creation.
PURUSH, the brighter element, is active, light, masculine, dry, birth, large and corresponds to the day. PRAKRITI, the darker element, is passive, dark, feminine, moist, death, small and corresponds to the night.
Since one principle produces the other, all phenomena have within them the seeds of their opposite state. For example, sickness has the seeds of health and health contains the seeds of sickness. Even though an opposite may not appear to be present, nothing is completely devoid of its opposite state.
A building also made up of five elements, the proportion of each element vary in different built up space or building. This happens because each zone in a built up space belong to a particular element which influence or effects the lives of the inhabitants staying in that particular building. When these elements are balanced in a building or in the body i.e. Fix/Constant (PURUSH) and Variable (PRAKRITI), they create gains in all spheres of life and if they are imbalanced then problem and tension occurs in their life.
Being yourself is such an empowering experience. Working with clients, I am astonished at the trap of self-consciousness that we all create for ourselves. I’ve been there and it has kept some of the best experiences in my life from happening. You might ask, “Well, if it didn’t happen, how do you know it’s going to be one of the best experiences?” Fair question!
If the experience doesn’t happen then I am haunted by what might have been. I know many of you know this experience. There probably isn’t a human-being alive that has not experienced this at least once in their life. When our moods are down we’re more likely to experience this hesitation more often. Ups and downs are a part of life and in gaining perspective that this is true, we can call upon all of who we are by being present in the moment and still live each experience with a sense of brand new wonder and discovery. Get out of the mood and into the moment. Let the mood be, just don’t be controlled by it; just be with it.
Now the opportunity to live the fullest experience in the moment is available. Seize the opportunity, the possibility, the beautiful person standing in front of you and find out more of who are you. The fullness, the wholeness, the entirety of your true being. It’s that blend of being and doing. I’m being me, in the moment, with my mood for company and living still for now, this moment and encounter. My feelings just are and accepting them I also open myself to new emotional energy to move in. Life is a wonder, our bodies are a wonder, and the experiences are rich. Go for it!
We’ve all seen those people who are so free, able to dance in the supermarket aisle, to close their eyes on a sunny street in the middle of the day, arms outspread embracing the sun. What self-conscious trap holds you back from being, being all that you are? I admire those people that do, don’t you? To be free is to be free with yourself. Are you ready to set yourself free? It is your choice.
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