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The Psychology of Enlightenment: Ajna - The Eye Of Inner Wisdom 

Published: 19.02.2014

How does one get away from the endless repetition of daily existence? Day after day, year after year, we get up in the morning, bathe, eat, drink, take the car out of the garage or wait for the bus, go to work, return home, and so on. We have repeated these same activities twenty, a hundred, a thousand - innumerable - times until they all seem nothing more than part of a monotonous effort for survival people are bored, tired of themselves. Why? How can we transform a tedious existence into the vivid, joyful experience of life?

If we reserve some time to be alone with ourselves and delve into the depths of our being, we will begin to catch glimpses of that higher self. These glimpses reveal our inner evolution, our gradual upward movement. Then life is worth living because we see that we are not merely getting by, that we are growing toward that perfection which we have glimpsed.

We are all on the spiritual path for the purpose of understanding where we are going and what we are in the process of creating. The centers are an indication of the various manifestations of our energy. The symbols used in our meditations are not empty forms. Each can be a powerful link between our minds and the essence of the particular aspect of energy on which we are concentrating. When we are calm and in harmony with the meditation, these symbols open our inner door so that we may enter into the different ecstasies of life. Being in tune with each center is like having the right key for the right lock and knowing just how to slide the key into the lock so that it fits exactly and the door opens.

If you give these symbols to someone who does not understand their meaning, he will say you are wasting your time. What does this person know of the true experience of meditation? He is like someone who, standing before a closed door with the right key in his hand, is nevertheless unable to adjust the position of the key with the lock so that the door will open. He has both the proper key and the proper lock, but not the proper connection.

If you really connect with a center, its energy will help you change your life. Inner growth is not a question of how much information you have acquired but of how much you have practiced. It is similar to eating. You benefit not from how much food you have taken into your mouth, but from how much you are actually able to digest. Yet, there are people who never stop eating. They continually stuff themselves without even taking the time to chew properly until their digestive system finally breaks down. Similarly, in our spiritual growth, progress does not depend on how much knowledge we have or how many books we read, but on experience itself.

I have seen people who have read the contents of an entire library; but when I look at their lives, I see that they are in turmoil. These people do not know how to communicate how to live. What good is all that reading if it does not teach them how to order their lives?

There truly is wisdom in the old proverb “Practice makes perfect.” Why do you think no one has written instead, “Reading makes a man perfect”? Reading has no value unless it connection, people read indiscriminately. They are driven in a hundred directions by contradictory viewpoints. One opposing thought is superimposed upon another until all their energy is canceled out.

For this reason, we have the tradition in India of reaming steadily with one teacher whose calm disposition, clear thinking, and compassionate heart set an example for the student, whenever the student has some difficulty, he consults his teacher. There is no conflict. The energy, which might have been wasted on contradictory ideas, is channeled into the student’s growth until his life becomes harmonious.

I have never seen anything more corroding than inner conflict. Once the seed of doubt is planted in the mind, it begins to absorb all one’s energy. Eventually, the body it-self is affected. Illness starts in the mind with our conflicts, prejudices, jealousies, and passions. Knowing this, wise people select that path, that life-style, which is conducive to their growth and tranquility. They take care to create a pleasant atmosphere and seek out the proper guidance. They couple their learning with practice. We, too, must use discrimination so that we do not consume our energy in useless confusion. There must be some direction in our study. We must strive to transform what we learn intellectually into real experience.

This transformation takes place through the process or meditation. Therefore, as you focus your attention on each center, let the symbols and mantras lead you to the energy itself. Experience that energy.

When you turn your attention to the fifth center, you see an oval form, which gives you an outline of space. Ultimately, you transcend the form and go into that energy of space. You experience space itself. Having space within you, you give space - physical, mental, and emotional space - to the life around you. If someone has the urge to say something, you let him speak. Give him space. Once he has spoken, he has emptied himself of what he needed to say; so, now he has room to hear your insights. His heart and mind will be receptive to your words because you have created a space for them in him.

When you force your opinions on people without giving them space to express their own ideas and concerns, your words bounce back at you, causing you pain. People often come to me complaining that no one understands them. Then, I ask, “Have you allowed others to understand you? Have you given them time to digest what you had to tell them or did you go on pouring out your opinions? Have you allowed them to speak also? Did your words come from the heart, from love? Or did they come from your own projection, your particular bias?”

As I have told you before, love and space are partners. Your words will not collide and wrestle with each other if you have made room for them with your love. When you have something to say, see that it comes from your heart center. If you speak instead from your particular bias, your words will surely be rejected because they do not carry the real essence of truth. They are colored by that level of thinking from which you are speaking - by your anger or jealousy or whatever. You may have noticed that as soon as you speak in anger, the person who is listening also becomes angry. He hears only your anger, not what you are trying to say. Your anger has ignited his anger which, in turn, bounces back to you. It becomes a vicious circle.

How difficult it is to control anger and transform it into love! Yet, that precisely what you must do if you are to communicate something meaningful to others. Remember that, “To err is human, to forgive is divine.” Your anger can be dissolved by your own forgiveness.

Words travel anywhere and everywhere in the universe, in space. Astronauts speak from the moon, and ground control receives their message here on earth. There is no barrier. Similarly, nothing but our own anger or abruptness prevents our words from traveling through space into somebody’s heart. To be heard, we must reestablish our connection with one another by centering ourselves in love.

Silence plays an important part here. Use it to deal with any inner negative element, which prevents your communication. Remain silent. Don’t utter a word unless you feel love. When you are able to speak with love, you will surely he heard; for then, one heart will be speaking to another. Both will be in harmony because they are once more connected in love and space.

If you become truly in tune with this center, you will be overwhelmed with friends wherever you go. The whole world will be a houseful of friends and you will enjoy an abundance of love.

The mantra aim links you to the vibration of wisdom which evolves out of this love. There is a profound difference between knowledge of the mind and wisdom of the heart. Wisdom is born out of that heart which is ripe and complete. That is why words spoken with love contain truth. That is why they travel through space unimpeded and are welcomed by the listening heart. Now we can see the connection in the fifth center between space, truth, speech, and hearing.

Meditation is not, as some people believe, a word with some far-away esoteric meaning irrelevant to our practical, daily existence. Meditation is a process by which you can transform your whole life-style. It reveals to you your inner weaknesses and help you to convert them into positive strengths. As you work on the fourth and fifth centers, you gradually resolve all disputes and open up a space for friendship and understanding. Your practice will bring the fruit of your meditation into your environment and into all your relationships. You will be dipped in love. This is the way we have a build the world around us - dipped in love.

Now we come to the sixth center, called ajna, which means “command.” Ajna is the third eye, the eye of inner awareness, the eye of control. It is located in the center if the brow.

This eye of wisdom works in two ways. First, it controls your incoming thoughts; and second, it commands your outgoing thoughts and, ultimately, your words and actions. Ordinarily, thoughts come whether you like it or not. It is difficult to control them. Suppose, for example, you want to sleep, but your thoughts will not leave you alone. They invade your mind from all directions until they seem to fill up your whole bedroom. Meanwhile, you are tossing and turning in your bed, powerless to stop them. Now you can put an end to the influx of thoughts by meditating on the third eye.

Visualize in the center of your brow the symbol of an eye in a beautiful orange color. Watch this eye of command opening and closing, opening and closing. Connect your thoughts with this opening and closing of the third eye. When it is open, you are saying “yes” to your thoughts, and they come to you; but when it is closed, you are saying “no,” and the thoughts are stopped. Gradually, you learn not only how, when and where to use thoughts, but also when not to use them at all. It is like learning to drive a car. One must know not only how to drive it, but also when and how to put on the brakes.

We all have two physical eyes, which link us to the outside world. These eyes connect us to the horizontal plane of external appearance. As we all know, appearance is often deceptive; it is incomplete information. The third eye is the vertical eye of wisdom which connects us to the vertical plane of divinity. If we want to see reality, out two physical eyes must work in harmony with the third eye. In other words, we must see not only appearance, but also what lies behind it.

The horizontal plane in narrow ad limited whereas the vertical is infinite. If we live only in the horizontal realm, we are caught in the humdrum of daily existence. When we are connected with the vertical, the infinite, we bring new meaning and purpose to our life in the world. As long as we cling to the horizontal plane, we are trapped in our small ego. We are engulfed by our ambitions and anxieties. When we embrace the vertical plane, we transcend our limitations and enter the world of unlimited possibility. Then there is no split between the two, between horizontal and vertical. There is a blend of both. We live in the world, but we are connected to the divine. We see beyond appearance; we are in touch with infinite meaning.

Your sense of self-control will come from the ability to command your thinking process. Whatever happens in the world is a manifestation of thought. You create your world, choosing the people and circumstances around you through the attraction thought. Therefore, if you want to change your world, you must first change your thought, your inner mechanism for creating your outer world.

Presently, we are under the impression that our external circumstances govern us, causing both our happiness and our misery. In reality, this outer realm is merely the trigger which calls forth whatever is already lying hidden in our inner thought world. Our inner weaknesses prevent us from discerning this subtle process and detecting those outside influences which activate our negative or positive responses. We can’t see that the true cause of our joy and sadness is our inner state of being.

The energy flowing from this inner world is intrinsically neutral, but in our lives now it is manifested both positively and negatively. How we use this inner power determine the quality of its manifestation. It is like electricity. Electricity is simply energy which can be converted to light, to heat, to refrigeration. In other words, its apparent characteristics change depending upon how we channel it. The question is: How do we employ our energy? Learning to master our thoughts enables us to use our energy, our innate talent, positively, so that we consciously harness and direct this inner force.

When you have felt the commanding quality of theirs center, silently begin to repeat the mantra pragna. It means “inner awareness.” Pragna is experienced as ripened wisdom, which is cultivated through the perception of this third eye.

From this height of awareness at the sixth center, this tower observation, you can view all our actions and reactions. The five centers you have been studying are now under your gaze, and you can begin to watch when your love turns to lust, when you are motivated by the power drive, what gives rise to your anxieties, and when your inner space contracts. You are your own observer. You see the whole world as a cosmic stage on which you are an actor performing the drama of life. It is your mission to make this play as harmonious, as beautiful, and as meaningful as possible.

Naturally, there will be critics who will want to review your performance. From this center, you can accept both their praise and their criticism with equanimity. You know you must play this drama lightheartedly. After all, what was deadly serious to you in one season of life seems unimportant to you in another. So why should you be somber and inhibited in your acting? Why lose your real identity in the roles you play? Why spoil the drama with8 tension?

Most people have no idea what they are really doing in life. They identify totally with the process of gain and loss, fame and shame. They do not see that their minds are under the influence of the outer world of changing opinion. In time, this influence crystallizes into psychological conditioning - set patterns of thought - so that people lose touch with the core of their being. They lose touch with the real experience and do not taste the freshness of each moment of life.

We cannot avoid the influence of the world, but we can liberate ourselves from the bondage of indetification with it. Normally, by the end of every day, we have retained in our consciousness some residue of the world’s influence. This residue surfaces in our dreams at night. We have stored so much of this residue in our consciousness over the years that our centers have become blocked. Burdened by our f ears and anger, we lose spontaneity in our life.

It is time we cleared our mental slate. The process of meditation lifts the cloud of confusion and dissolves our crystallized conditioning so that we can perceive the world and ourselves with a new clarity. The light of awareness will transform our thoughts and emotions. It will transmute our self-destructive patterns of behavior into positive, creative enjoyment of life. Even our metabolism will reflect the change in us. Remember that no one enjoys life more fully than the person who is aware.

I have mentioned visualizing the third eye as a brilliant orange color; however, many mediators prefer to imagine a whole spectrum of changing colors. As the five centers are seen from the sixth center of wisdom, so are all their colors, like the rays of a rainbow, within the perception of the third eye. Discover for yourself which method is most helpful in bringing you a sense of clarity, equanimity, and command.

Now, as you meditate on this sixth center, remind yourself not to take your role in life too seriously. Play your part with a light heart so that at the end of each day, you may give yourself a pat on the back and say, “Good show! You played your part very well today!”

Title: The Psychology of Enlightenment Publisher: Jain Pub Co Edition: 1994 HN4U Edition: 2014

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Anger
  2. Body
  3. Center of Wisdom
  4. Consciousness
  5. Environment
  6. Equanimity
  7. Mantra
  8. Meditation
  9. Pragna
  10. Space
  11. Third Eye
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