EXTRAVERSION : DISORDER
Relinquishing extraversion for introversion
Adds something new to the Book of Life.
It's no concentration, if the mind be perturbed.
Everlasting confusion; never a moment of peace!
Q.Man desires peace. The motive behind each and every activity of his is the
attainment of tranquillity. The cosmic mind longs for harmony. Yet there is a
great divergence between the nature of peace and the means adopted for achieving
it. Actually, what is peace? And on what level can a man find it?
Ans. Man lives in two kinds of worlds-the outer world and the inner world. The
natural flow of human consciousness is outwards. This consciousness expresses
itself through two mediums-the sense organs and the mind. The sense organs
perceive the outer world. The eye sees the external surfaces, the ear hears the
exterior noises; the nose smells the scents outside; the tongue relishes the
external flavours; and the skin experiences the feel of outside things. Likewise
the mind is conditioned by outer impressions. Thus, man is much more acquainted
with the external environment. And even this knowledge of the outside world
cannot be said to be complete. Man's contact with the outer world is lirnited,
but with the inner world, he is not acquainted at all. How can a living being
existing only at the level of the senses; and the mind come to know of it? The
first step for being acquainted with the inner world is the introversive
consciousness. As long as a man continues with the old, a new beginning cannot
be made. Without the opening of a new chapter, no acquaintance with the inner
world is possible. And without this acquaintance, there can be no understanding
of the nature of peace, nor its attainment. In order to attain peace, it is
absolutely essential for consciousness to turn inwards. Only he who lives at the
level of introversion can achieve tranquillity.
Q.Since the natural flow of consciousness is outwards, what is the process of
turning it inwards? No material thing can give up its intrinsic nature. How then
can we expect the flow of consciousness to take a different turn?
Ans. The moment the sense organs lose contact with the outside world, the mind,
freed from the web of uncertainties, becomes concentrated. The rays of
consciousness then begin to penetrate inside. Inaction outside gives birth to
inward action. The awakening of consciousness inside is introversion. A question
may here arise as to how consciousness turns inside from outside. Not an
unnatural question. But the fact is that consciousness never so turns; it is
always inside. Only in the state of introversion, its flow changes. A change in
direction takes place. The rays of consciousness which, before introversion,
spread outwards, now radiate within. When the rays of consciousness flowing
outward earlier begin to shine within, introversion takes place. In short, to be
fully established in oneself is introversion. Although consciousness generally
flows outwards, this is true only of heavily-veiled consciousness. As the veils
are taken off, there is a change in the direction of the flow. At that time,
extraversion is no longer natural, rather unnatural; it is then replaced by
introversion. In view of this, it is very necessary for introversion to keep
itself secure from the onslaught of outer environment.
In the Jain meditation-system introversion is called pratisamleenta, i.e.
‘embracing solitude (for God-realization).’ It has been defined in the lain-Sidhanta
Deepika as follows:
To withdraw the senses from external objects--to turn their outgoing nature
inwards, is pratisamleenta. It is of four kinds--restraint of the senses;
restraint of the tendency to indulge in sorcery; restraint of the passions; and
Restraint means freedom from unprofitable pursuits and indulgence in profitable
ones. Secluded bedstead means abiding in solitude. In the words of the great
sage Patanjali, introversion has been called- renunciation. To isolate the
senses-the eye, the ear, etc. from their objects, form, sound, etc., is
renunciation. The more removed a man is from renunciation, solitude and
introversion, the greater is his unrest. The practice of the three
above-mentioned conditions-renunciation, aloneness and introversion is the royal
highway to peace. An extrovert has no means of achieving mental peace, whereas
there is no cause for disorder in an introvert's life. From this point of view,
to turn inwards the outgoing flow of the rays of consciousness is to conquer
Q.You have suggested that for achieving mental peace, one should advance along
the royal highway of introversion. But the problem is, How to be introversive?
How to embrace solitude? How to practise renunciation? What method do you
Ans. When a man is attached to material objects, his desires and options,
certainties and uncertainties, increase. If he is not bound up with matter,
there is no room for uncertainties to arise. When a man is tied to someone, he
invites restlessness. The man who is not tied to anything, who is unattached,
has no occasion to be grieved. What shall he pine for and why? Although man
knows that the thing or person he is attached with, cannot save him, still he is
not able to free himself from attachment. As long as attachment subsists in any
form, there can be no peace.
The man who desires peace, who wants to be alone, who wants to follow the path
of renunciation, does not have to do anything except change his direction, i.e.,
his, approach, his way of looking at things. His complete identification with
matter, he transfers to his inner being. A man who wanders in search of bliss
outside, is caught in delusion. If there is happiness anywhere, it is inside
oneself. To understand the current of joy, power and consciousness that flows
within, to awaken and experience it, is the secret of introversion. The man who
leams this secret, will never be unquiet.
Entry into oneself or turning away from external objects is the process, by
which a sadhak becomes an inward gazer. What to speak of abiding peace, one does
not get even momentary satisfaction without introversion. It is pleasant to hear
the word, peace, but it is far more pleasant to attain it. But then one must
know the technique of transforming unrest into tranquillity. The complete
understanding of the process may not be possible at once, but the act of
transferring or directing one's absorbing interest in material things into
understanding ones inner being, the entity that one calls oneself, may be a way
out of the problem.