The quest for understanding, for self-knowledge, for self-realization is not the exclusive concern of philosophers or the religious-minded.
Our ongoing need for self-affirmation, our search for identity and a sense of self-worth, our sense of the possible, our belief in the miraculous, our interest in the strange and paranormal may in part be explained as varied expressions of this impulse.
It is an innate drive, evolving from an infant to an adult, through which there is a growing self-awareness and self-knowledge. However in this process, these are usually defined only in terms of one’s personality, character traits, one’s talents and interests, in terms of one’s family, social, educational, vocational standing and other external characteristics and associations.
In this outwardly-defined self-concept, there is little room for knowing oneself at a more basic level – as the inner consciousness and as the processes and mechanics of one’s mind.
It is almost a cliche to say that as individuals and their societies progress materially, there is a corresponding rise in the syndrome of stress, worry, confusion, helplessness, an erosion of that elusive quality of life, the breakdown of traditional relationship and so forth.
All the seemingly logical expectations that modern and ever-improving technology will make human life more leisurely, more qualitative and so forth seem to be contradicted by the increasing turbulence experienced socially and psychologically by people living in the developed societies.
One major reason for this paradox is that people are actually not taught through mainstream culture to understand themselves at the deeper psychological level. As a result, the changes and shifts brought on by outer progress tend to produce psychological disorientation, unrest and mishandling of psychological forces.
Hence, having the right knowledge about one’s mind is vital, in fact exceedingly decisive in determining whether one’s life is a fulfilled, effective and harmonious one.
Meditation and mindfullness deal with the fluid, ever-changing dynamics of the human mind and how it impacts upon situations and are affected by them. It reveals a dimension of human life that is either ignored or haphazardly handled resulting in the paradox of quantitative progress accompanied by qualitative retrogression.
By understanding one’s mind and learning the techniques to manage it, it is only natural that effectiveness in whatever one’s do will greatly improve since in all life-situations we are constantly and deeply involved with the forces and workings of the psychological dimension.