Until there is a complete understanding of the mind (consciousness), there can be no psychological liberation. Mind (incessant internal chatter) is the root cause of psychological problems. The internal conflicts and arguments impede the awareness needed to free mind from unawareness. What are known as problems, are merely the branches of what can be called the tree of confusion. We run in circles, grasping for information in hopes of attaining the keys to empowerment. We have used quips, quotes and phrases for the purpose of freeing ourselves from this mental and spiritual quagmire that we call life. In an attempt to gain leverage over the forces that hold us captive in fifth class citizenship, we have employed hair styles, shaven heads, African clothing, amulets, a variety of languages and traditions; and yet we remain essentially shattered and scattered as a people.
I do not suggest nor imply that we should abandon the cultural practices of the African Diaspora, but without mindful practices (unbroken monitoring of thoughts and actions), those methods will not provide the results sought after. Our current condition in 2019 provides the basis for this reasoning.
The psychological theory of ‘imprinting’ provides an element to be considered. Imprinting has been described as a condition in which a being absorbs the characteristics of stimuli which is therefore imprinted on the brain (chief organ of the mind). Limbic imprinting refers to prenatal and postnatal experiences that become stored at the subconscious level. Imprinting affects the emotions, beliefs and values that dictate and disrupt behavior. The effects of the ‘Maafa’ (disruption of the cultures of African people and their enslavement) have left impressions in the minds of Africans throughout the Diaspora seen in the dysfunctional conduct of many of our brothers and sisters.
However, there are methods that provide the means for erasing these imprints. These methods are necessary for attaining the state beyond compromised mind.
There have been many attempts to utilize methods such as Yoga, Martial Arts, etc. These endeavors however, have seldom exceeded the fad level of practice, resulting only in moments of euphoria , soon to be devoured by the effects of the imprint.
Below are teachings found in the I Ching, understood to be a book of transforming wisdom, central to Internal practices.
Cultivating the mind:
Keep the mind clear, it is ground of knowledge.
Inquire into the properties of things and penetrate into their essences.
Do not be excessive in anything, not even joy.
When joy is overabundant, it must turn to its opposite, and sorrow will overcome you.
When pleasure is carried through to its height, it will bring sadness.
Part 2 coming soon.