As per Freudian psychoanalytic theory, there is in the normal human mind the awareness of the Ego, the Id and the Super-Ego and these together make up the persons sense of identity. The Id is instinctive and is constructed of basic pleasure principles, the Super-Ego is the idealist and the ‘conscience’, whereas the Ego is the practical sense of identity that negotiates and acts between the two. So Id comes first, followed by Ego and lastly the matured Super-Ego, in a vertical.
In Yogic theory, the tripartite division of the cognitive sense of identity is horizontal, unlike the vertical of the Freudian tri-identity system. On the vertical, Yoga declares 10 vertical levels of identity, in contradistinction to the Freudian 3. The horizontal tripartite division of the sense of identity in Yogic terminology is recorded as Iccha, Kriya and Jnana Shakti-s, or Conative, Affective and Cognitive Powers. About these powers more will be said at a later date as they lie outside the scope of the issue in focus.
We are concerned here, primarily with the Yogic understanding of the 10 vertical levels of identity, and their psychological implications, starting with the first of the ten levels, the Mūlādhāra Chakra, or the Circle of Root Identity.
At the Circle of Root Identity is generated the cognition of ‘I am a Human man or woman’. Survival of the I is the priority for the Root Identity, and as it has not qualified itself more than as being a human man or woman, it knows three things-I exist as Man or Woman, I will die one day, and I can postpone death by eating, drinking and breathing.
With these 3 base knowledge objects, the Root Identity searches for a way to outlive death within the Identity’s frame of reference-the physical body. Seeing all ways to immortality blocked, the instinctive Root Identity is then forced to direct all its strength and will to transposing one’s self onto another- a progeny that will be made in the image of the self. In other words, the Root Identity seeks to achieve meta-immortality by mating and reproducing. So we may safely say that in many cases, it is this fear of mortality and organic death which generate that great desire, driven by fear, to reproduce.
At this point, it would be useful to mention that each of the 10 Circles of Identity, is either in states of deactivation or activation, as the individual case may be. What is meant by this statement, is that the Circles of Identity have one of 3 modes-when completely deactivated, the Circles will reflect instinctive tendencies, when partially activated, the same Circle will now reflect an intellectualized outlook of the World, and when completely activated, the very same Circle will reflect an intuitive perception of the World.
So in the specific case of the Circle of Root Identity or the Mūlādhāra Chakra, we will investigate the ‘Desire to not Die’ in the 3 modes-in the instinctive mode, the mind is dominated by thoughts of progeny, and a stable sexual life. In the intellectualized or partially activated mind, there is not the same desire towards progeny, and instead of a stable sexual life, one seeks multiple partners and a richer, more textured sexual life. The drive to ‘not Die’ will now be transformed into a desire to make others acknowledge one’s own self and in this way, by living in the thoughts and dreams of others, the intellectualized one finds meta-immortality. And lastly, the intuitive mode or fully activated mode of the Circle of Root Identity, leads to the pure appreciation of physical beauty and form. Great sculptors and painters of the human form, have that purely aesthetic love and empathy towards the Earth born, human form of visible dimensions.
Whereas, we have covered in brief, the sexual aspect of the Root Identity born through fear of death, it behooves us now to turn to the other aspect of the Root Identity, that of consumption driven by the fear of No-Food. The acquisitive nature of consumerism, as well as the nature of food consumption, reflect the level of this fear, the great Fear of not having enough to survive, which is primal in each one of us manifest beings. When the development of societies and nations reach a level of assuring food security to all its citizens, then the Fear of No-Food gets redirected, mainly through advertising and opinion makers, into Fear of Not having enough. Of course, once we enter the delusionary matrix of that desperate Fear, we will be forever yoked to the rat-race, where ‘its never enough’ no matter how much we have, till the grace of wisdom or death do us part.
The article was first published by our media partner Mathrubhumi Newspaper in their Health section. You can read the article here