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?
Eastern Mind Vs Western Mind
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 driving elements within the mind. The patterns of our thinking organize and prioritize the wiring of the mind. How we think changes the brain.
Eastern traditions are the origin of the processes that make this balance possible. The exceptions are The Enneagram of Personality, a compilation of research around the globe, and logic, which we attribute to Aristotle, a Greek philosopher.
Balance and Proportion Matter
Proportional symmetry is important in many things. It’s a major element in painting and sculpture. These are also vital to architectural engineering and music. These elements are the blueprint for what we find attractive.
Studies show that people with more symmetrical facial features are more attractive (1). This relates to the golden ratio. For example, studies prove that the most attractive people have symmetrical and balanced facial features. The symmetry of the face’s 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.
The Eastern mind vs Western mind is one way to talk about conflicting mindsets and worldviews by looking at proportional symmetry. This 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 patterns of thought, it changes the mind’s structure.
The easiest way to understand how the Eastern mindset differs from the Western mindset 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 in proper balance, you have equal access to all the resources of the mind, centering on 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. This makes you better at solving problems and finding solutions.
Acting from the standpoint of correct balance and proportion stabilizes our mind, body, and spirit. This enables us to access the virtues of the spirit. These are the higher values of our nature. We call the practice of these types of awareness, expanding processes spiritual exploration. It helps us connect with our source, the planet.
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 protect themselves. In times past, these were just normal 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. This is a conflict between worldviews, the Eastern mind vs Western mind.
The Western Mind
The Western mindset is best described as cluttered, crowded, and out of balance. Thinking skewed to a philosophy 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. This 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 groupthink manipulation is being used 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, then 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 magnifies 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. This is exactly 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