Our thinking can affect the psychic structure of the mind. There is a continuum between proper proportion and one side and clutter and imbalance on the other. Which mindset are you cultivating?
Balance and Proportion Matter
Eastern and Western minds do not refer to geography. These are terms to describe the psychic structures of the mind. It is a way of understanding the components within these two different worldviews.
Our patterns of thinking create proportions, relationships, and priorities of significant elements within the mind. These elements include personality, instinct, analytical processes of logic and common sense, and intuititive thought. These elements grow or contract based on the frequency of use and programming. In other words, how we think changes the operation of our minds.
Eastern traditions are the origin of the processes that focus on balancing these elements as much as possible. You can discover the makeup of your psyche using tools like the Enneagram of Personality, the study of logic, and comparative analysis, which is a structured approach to comparative religious study.
Proportional symmetry is an underlying force that is essential in many things. For example, it’s a significant element in painting and sculpture. Balance and proportion are also vital to architectural engineering and music. These elements are the blueprint for what we find attractive. That is because balance, symmetry, and equal proportions are common elements of nature.
Studies show that more symmetrical facial features are automatically more attractive (1); this relates to the golden ratio. Studies prove the most attractive faces have symmetrical and balanced facial features. The symmetry of the length and width is proportional to facial features. If a face is asymmetrical, we interpret this as unhealthy genetic information. Therefore, balance and proportion are things we automatically recognize.
Eastern Mind Vs Western Mind
The conflict between these two different vantage points revolves around two worldviews. Some people see this as the battle between science and mythology. Yet, the Eastern worldview uses mythology to the same extent as the Western contrast.
However, the main difference is that the Eastern worldview understands that mythology is an analogy and metaphor. The Eastern paradigm doesn’t see Laksime Shia or other mythology beings as live human beings. Instead, they treat them as metaphors as learning tools. In contrast, Western theology treats their mythological beings like Jesus as live entities. And, this creates a slippery slope of treating myth as fact.
The Eastern mind vs Western mind is one way to talk about conflicting mindsets and worldviews by looking at proportional symmetry. This concept helps us understand the two distinct ways the mind organizes data. It is more than a different hierarchy of priorities. When you emphasize and reinforce unhealthy thought patterns, it changes the mind’s structure.
The easiest way to understand how the Eastern mindset differs from the Western perspective is with two diagrams.
The Eastern Mind
The overall effect of using spiritual technologies that expand awareness is a balanced psychic structure. Here each element has its own space, which is proportional to its function.
When your mind is balanced correctly, all resources are equal in proportion, centering around the heart. The heart channels the virtues of the spirit. When we have this balanced mindset, we think and act responsibly. You can think clearly and are less likely to fall prey to psychological manipulation, making you better at solving problems and finding solutions.
Acting from the standpoint of correct balance and proportion stabilizes our mind, body, and spirit. The balance of these resources enables us to access the “virtues of the spirit.” These virtues are the higher values of our nature. The path to accessing these involves serious “inner work.” We usually have exposure to harmful programming from the cultural narrative that gets in the way. Once you start to remove these roadblocks, the natural virtues can shine through.
People who live with this mindset are easy to spot. They care about others and the environment. You will find them engaging in activities that help those in need and protecting those who cannot defend themselves. In times past, these were just ordinary people. Today, we call people who want to make a positive change are considered activists. We need more people like this in the world. Too many are complacent and apathetic. We need warriors of light to help in the conflict between worldviews, the “Eastern mind vs Western mind.”
The Western Mind
The best way to describe the Western mindset’s psychic structure is cluttered, crowded, and out of balance. This imbalance creates skewed thinking to justify greed, selfishness, bias, and discrimination. It exists in all parts of the world. It manifests through a superiority complex that is the hallmark of Western religion.
Culture takes precedent over our thinking and values the more we expose ourselves to groupthink manipulation tactics. When the cultural narrative is in control, it overrides every aspect of the mind. It’s what makes us susceptible to the hypnotic effects of advertising. Advertising magnifies our insecurities and fears, making our inner critic overshadow our decisions.
You can tell self-hypnosis, and group hypnosis tactics are in use by the underlying content. It always focuses on blaming something or someone for what is wrong. These are the scapegoats on which all the ills of the culture blame. The scapegoat justifies greed and hate. If you don’t believe like me, you are my enemy, and my religion justifies my violence toward you.
This type of programming magnifies the inner critic to sell you stuff you don’t need. It also heightens the instincts and personality to manipulate you through fear and hate while justifying harm to others and the environment.
The “Eastern mind vs Western mind” is a battle between conflicting worldviews. It shows up most often in contrast between science and religious superstition and mythology. It is easy to see the lack of balance and proportion in our public policies.
If policies show favoritism to one group over another, this is disparate treatment. We see this when the rich receive what they call a stimulus or tax break. When the poor need help, they call it an unjustified and unnecessary cost or entitlement.
Abrahamic religions dominate almost half of the world’s population. These are the religions of Semitic origin; Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. The extreme fundamentalist views of these religions deny scientific facts to maintain control. This type of thinking is the most dangerous when it corrupts the government. It jeopardizes the people and the planet. And, this is precisely why what you believe matters.
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(1) Attractiveness and the Golden Ration, Wikipedia
(2) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia