The gunas, or energy qualities, at work in the psyche
by Martin Euser, 2011
While developing the self-help introduction, I started to see how the Indian teaching on thethree gunas is related to energy qualities that are expressed in the human psyche.If you don't know the gunas (sattva, rajas, tamas), I suggest that you look up descriptions of these on the net. Briefly: sattva designates balanced use of energy, rajas means activity andtamas passivity or inertia. There is a deeper explanation of these gunas which is not well-known. It has to do with the simultaneous working of these qualities, and their relativedominance. For example: pure tamas (tamas in the tamas condition) can be equated with passivity in a negative sense. However, tamas can be in a higher condition (sattvic, balanced) which equates with persistence and steadfastness, which have a positiveconnotation. The same applies to rajas: pure rajas is uncontrolled, raw energy, whilecontrolled rajas (in a sattvic condition) is an expression of wise use of observing ability pluswell-directed energy. This explanation is rarely given in standard texts. Yet, it makes muchsense, as you will see when studying the following diagrams.Fig. 1: polarities and the gunas.