Freud believed that people suffer as they try to manage the tension between good and evil, noble and selfish intentions, fulfilling social norms versus indulging sexual desires and fantasies. Freud saw that these personal inner conflicts were the roots of the guilt complexes that lead to mental disorder.
Did Sigmund Freud read the Bhagavad Gita, an ancient religious text from India? Likely not, even though both focus on helping people negotiate the inner battle between good and evil.
The spiritual psychology in the Bhagavad Gita takes a different strategy that Freud took. The Gita makes it clear that one misses out on the ecstasy of Divine Love if one is identified with the body and its desires for sense pleasures. However, the Gita does not translate into guilt and fear of punishment. Those who choose to indulge in sex rather than cultivate love will have consequences, but not the guilt complex that Freud built his theory upon.
The Gita says if one chooses sexual indulgences, one will not be in a position to reach higher states of consciousness. This is a consequence. That’s all.
When a person regularly practices deep meditation, as the Gita suggests, spiritual intelligence comes to the fore. The practitioner naturally evolves and develops morality, chooses to use self-control, experiences the sweetness of Divine Love and ever more deepening calmness and discernment. Ultimately, he or she experiences ever-new joy and the bliss of enlightenment.
For those who reach this high stage of consciousness, it appears that the psychologists and psychiatrists are overly focused on selfish impulses for sex, money and power. Why don’t they teach people how to meditate and achieve bliss rather than focusing on the impulses of the more animal self?
Health providers would practice their craft very differently if they cultivated a deep understanding of the bliss that comes from deep meditation.
This blog post was written by Emma Bragdon, PhD. and inspired by Steven Brena, MD, one of IMHU’s Advisory Board members. IMHU.org