squareimage(2328 by 1144)The Microcosm

When people gossip about their so-called friends, present one face in society and another at home, or cheat on their partners, they open a door.  A door, a fracture, through which negative energy can enter, widen the gap, and further the dissociation between what a person is and who they want to be.

This is what it means to lack integrity — to not be whole.  When we go against our conscience, we dissociate from the divine part of us that knows better.

It usually starts with something seemingly small – an exaggeration of truth, a white lie, possibly littering or not picking up after oneself, or doggedly adhering to a habit when you know better because it’s easier.

I’m talking about letting your spirit talk to you and tuning into your intuition. If you listen, its voice will grow louder, but if you ignore it, the voice will dim to a whisper and then to silence.

Have you ever been so disgusted with the acts of others – abduction, rape, and murder — and wondered how is that possible?  Why do some people appear to operate without a soul or conscience?  What is the state of that person’s mind and spirit?  Are they even human anymore?

During my Ayurvedic training, Dr. Lad said to be “hue-man” is to be “light unto oneself.”  Without that light, without introspection, there is darkness.  In the depths of that ignorance and darkness, all reaches of terrible things are possible.

Darkness begins in our own cloudiness of thinking, going against intuition, and thereby a lack of integrity in our thought, word, and deed.  Darkness is tamas.  We all have the potential for the opposite (sattva), but through our food and behavior, we can influence our state of mind, let darkness in, and allow it to grow.

For many, I believe the process is gradual.  It’s an insidious fracturing that starts with one crack, and then another.  It continues till there is so much space between our ego and external reflection, that we allow the darkness to permanently shroud our internal vision. We dissociate and lead double lives.  We turn our gaze away from our conscience, light, and truth. We disconnect from our spirit and lose our humanity.

So for the sake of all humanity, let’s be whole.  Let’s shine the light of truth on whom we really are, so that we can see where there might be room for growth.  Let’s clear through the cobwebs of our mental and emotional constructs and allow the light of our divine souls to illuminate our beings.  “To divine” after all, is to use intuition to see.  Light has the power to eliminate darkness immediately.  Light, clarity, and union of thought and action will seal the gaps and bring healing.

Below is a chart for you evaluate your current state of mind.    The column with the most check marks determines your mental state.  It should help illuminate areas of darkness in your life into which you can bring sattva.  (For more on the states of the mind and how to alter them, refer to an earlier newsletter “Searching for Sattva,” July 2013.)

                                                 SATTVA                     RAJAS                     TAMAS

Spiritual practice:                regular                         irregular                    rare

Mental clarity:                      clear                             moderate                   cloudy

Concentration:                      good                             fluctuating                 poor

Mental peace:                        often                            moderate                   rare

Satisfaction:                           often                            partial                        seldom

Behavior:                                gentle                          aggressive                  destructive

Commitment:                        total                             partial                        rare

Will power:                            strong                          variable                     weak

Attentiveness:                        good                            fluctuating                 poor, careless

Knowledge:                             rich                              variable                     poor

Memory:                                 strong                          variable                     poor

Forgiveness:                           easy                             difficult                      poor, grudges

Donations:                         anonymous                occ/with name               rare, for gain

Love:                                     universal                       selfish                         obsessive

Emotions:                              honest                         denial                          suppression

Fear:                                       rare, brief           moderate/frequent           often/persistent

Anger:                                     rare, brief          moderate/frequent           often/persistent

Hate:                                       rare, brief          moderate/frequent           often/persistent

Pride:                                      little                            moderate                    much

Attachment:                           rare, brief          moderate/frequent           often/persistent

Greed:                                     rare, brief          moderate/frequent           often/persistent

Depression:                            rare, brief          moderate/frequent           often/persistent

Confusion:                              rare, brief          moderate/frequent           often/persistent

Perception:                            clear                             agitated                      faulty

Facial expression:                calm, happy                 agitated                      dull, gloomy

Eyes:                                       clear, calm                   restless, active          dull, gloomy

Speech:                                   clear, calm                  fast, agitated             slow, monotonous

Cleanliness:                           good                             moderate                   poor

Diet:                                 vegetarian, balanced   occ meat, craves spicy  meat-heavy

Drug/alcohol use:                 none                             social, occ                  frequently

Digestion/elimination:        good, regular              irregular                    poor, sluggish

Sleep:                        light, brief, satisfying    interrupted, unsatisfying  heavy, excessive

Upon waking:                        happy, fresh                disturbed, worried   drowsy, heavy

Movement:                            with awareness           hyperactive               slow, habitual

Exercise:                                gentle, daily                 aggressive, occ          hates exercise

Sexual activity:               infreq, spiritual basis     mod, for pleasure    excessive, with lust

The Macrocosm

I’ve spent some time speaking of the states of the mind, what it is to be human, and what lays the foundation for the unraveling of a human.  Now, I would like to shift your attention to a topic which epitomizes the depths of darkness and fracturing that are possible when we fragment, shut our eyes, and go against our humanity on a global level — human trafficking.

Human trafficking actually happens and happens everyday close to home.  It is a growing 150 billion dollar per year industry, where the current cost of a human for exploitation is about $100!  Approximately 200,000 Americans are trafficked each year within the US.  Only 8.75% of trafficked victims in the US are non-Americans.  Anyone under the right unfortunate circumstances can be trafficked.  It is a highly profitable industry built upon the violation of the rights of those that are most vulnerable in society.

50% of trafficking victims are children and 80% are female.  85% of all human trafficking is sex-related.  The average age of entry into sex trafficking is age 12.  3 out of 4 victims are purchased online.  With less than 1% of victims identified, 99% are never rescued.

These people are stripped of their identity and treated like commodities, as easily disposed of as they are purchased.  They are souls whose precious life is wasted.  They have no freedom to choose anything, no beauty to aspire to, and nothing to believe in.

How can we be human and let this continue?

The world’s religious leaders made a pledge at the close of 2014 to stop human trafficking by 2020.  Human 2020 is a global initiative to heal the planet, to bring light, and finally become human through stopping human trafficking.

For such a deep, dark problem, you may be wondering how you can help. We can start by decreasing the demand for products of human trafficking such as slave labor goods, illegal adoption, organ trafficking, porn, and prostitution.  We may ignorantly partake of some of these things and casually partake of others as there is a level of social acceptance around practices such as porn.   However, they track a thick, sticky energetic residue, carry and create karma, and feed the demand for human trafficking.

The largest demand for sex-trafficking in the US comes from so-called “happily married white men.”  Fragmentation has never been so obvious.  If we ignore and deny the existence and implications of human trafficking, we will only serve to further the process of fragmentation in ourselves and our society.

We need to ask questions and increase our awareness about the conditions under which what we purchase is produced.  Cheaper in dollars can often mean a much heftier moral and social price tag.  Vote with your wallet.  Just the way, many of us are careful about only putting organic food in our bodies, let’s be conscious of the energy of the objects we put on our bodies.  There’s never something for nothing.

Visit Human2020.com. for more information about the initiative and ways to get involved.  Also, stay tuned to the site to support legal changes that criminalize buying.

Something you can do from your home starting this month is participate in 20 on 20!  Set aside 20 minutes on the 20th of each month and join others around the world in prayer, yoga, or meditation set with the intention of ending human trafficking.  There is profound spiritual power in coming together as a group with a unified intention.

For those of you local to Austin, visit an upcoming event at Canopy with contributions from professional artists to build awareness and encourage activism around the initiative.  Canopy — Human 2020.  There are so many roots to such a large global problem, and we need to tackle it from all angles.  No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.

Let’s also please remember that the macrocosm is a reflection of the microcosm.  I truly believe that one of the primary cures to human trafficking is in healing humanity — starting with ourselves.  Encourage awareness, clarity, introspection, and integrity in your life and your relationships.   And don’t forget that one of the fastest ways to heal yourself is to help others.

— Nisha Khanna, M.D

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© 2014 Nisha Khanna.  All rights reserved.  Please note that this content is intended for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice.