In today’s fast-paced and technology-driven world, the dynamics of relationships have evolved significantly. When people speak about their relationships, they often think of it as matters of the heart and sometimes mention their bodies, but they frequently overlook the quintessential element that makes, sustains, or breaks a relationship – the Mind.
If you have read my previous articles, you would know the Vedic primary truth that we are neither the body nor the mind. We are the pure and absolute conscious energy. However, this is not to say that the body and the mind are irrelevant or that we must learn to disengage from them. That is neither possible nor even sensible to attempt. As long as we are in this life with this body, we have to deal with a multitude of people and situations, and that is impossible without the body and the mind.
The Crucial Role of the Mind in Modern Relationships
In a world where digital communication and social media dominate our interactions, understanding the mind in modern relationships is more important than ever. The mind has the most significant role in it. And yet, there is little to nothing we know about the mind. Most people consider the mind to be synonymous with the brain. They may seek to control the mind through medication or addiction while numbing the brain.
If the brain is the vehicle, the mind is the driver. The mind drives the brain, yet without the brain, the mind will cease to exist. The mind is also more important than the brain because the mind has the power to influence the brain. According to Charaka Samhita, the most important text teaching the principles of Ayurveda, “If the mind is healthy, the body is healthy; if the mind is not healthy, it will eventually infest the body with diseases.” It is important to note here that in Ayurvedic precepts, the brain is considered a part of the body and is not studied or understood differently from the body.
The Characteristics of a Healthy Mind in the Modern Age
So, when is a mind healthy in the context of modern relationships? The mind is healthy when it has good thoughts and calmness. In a world filled with information overload and constant distractions, the ability to think clearly and remain unperturbed by the changes in your life or outside your body is a valuable skill. However, how many people are actually healthy by these standards? Hardly any. We live in an era where many people enjoy placing blame for their problems on others, shirking responsibility. In doing so, they seek pleasure but find no solutions to their problems, and this can gradually worsen the situation to the point of no return.
Insights from the Vedic Texts on Mind in a Modern Context
The Vedic texts, particularly the Gitas and Upanishads, speak vehemently about the nature of the mind. Among the most important points are the following:
- The mind is incapable of true happiness; it can only experience momentary pleasure and more enduring pain.
- The mind is often thankless because it sees itself as deserving of all that it has and therefore does not appreciate the things or people who have contributed to its well-being.
- Due to its thanklessness, the mind often fails to appreciate the blessings in its life.
- The mind can appreciate something only when it doesn’t have it or when it has lost it.
- The mind cannot think independently; it requires the control of the higher self, Atmana, to think clearly.
- On its own, the mind tends to follow the patterns of what others do blindly.
- The mind often imitates or acts on impulses.
- Pain resides in the mind; without the mind, there is no pain.
- The mind temporarily ceases to exist during deep sleep and death.
- The mind is incapable of true love, infatuation, or attraction.
- The mind can become attached or averse to things without any apparent reason or warning.
- If we follow the mind’s lead, there is often only pain with occasional bouts of pleasure.
The Influence of the Mind on Modern Relationships
Given all this, it becomes evident that all the relationships we have in life are influenced by the mind, and this holds even more true in the context of modern relationships. If we “love” someone one day and then feel no attraction to them later, it is the mind that was initially attracted and has now turned averse. Since many people identify with their minds, they may use others as mere objects of their whims.
Because the mind cannot take accountability, it is naturally prone to blame. In an era where digital communication often lacks nuance, misunderstandings and conflicts can arise quickly. The mind operates on a binary worldview, such as love or hate, with me or without me, you are either right or I am wrong, etc. When the mind blames someone for something, there are always underlying reasons stemming from the mind. Because the mind cannot see the situation objectively, it often resorts to extremes of hatred during disagreements.
The Root of Relationship Problems in the Modern Age
The problems in relationships today largely stem from the challenges presented by the mind, exacerbated by the complexities of modern communication and social media. Our inability to understand the mind leads us into a constant cycle of recklessly seeking sensory pleasure, which is connected to the mind, and this, in turn, worsens our relationships as individuals, organizations, and nations. By placing these ideas in a modern context, we can better appreciate how the mind’s role in relationships is more pertinent than ever in today’s interconnected world