The Concept of Stable Emotional Intelligence

For anyone who’s gone through various “religious” scriptures, Gita of the hindu’s, is the first scripture to define a conceptual state of higher emotional intelligence. In Gita, Krishna mentions it as a “Sthitapragya”, Pragya is mind, intellect, wisdom. Sthita means stable. Sthitapragya is a person whose mind has stabilized. Whether he has faith in the divine is immaterial, as long as he is in a state of equilibrium while facing the ups and downs of life. Sthitapragya is not a religious person engaged in rituals. In this state you do experience life but remain unmoved by it because your mental faculties are always in a state of equilibrium. You can even be an atheist.

A sthitapragya remains unperturbed in pleasure and pain — he does not say he is insensitive to them. He means to say that a wise man goes beyond happiness and sorrow, he transcends them — not by killing his sensitivity but by attaining to a higher state of consciousness, to superconsciousness. This statement of Krishna’s is very profound and meaningful. He says sthitapragya is one who remains unperturbed and steady in the midst of both happiness and misery. And your question is equally relevant: that if someone does not feel happy in happiness and miserable in misery will it not destroy his sensitivity?

There are two ways of remaining unperturbed in the midst of happiness and suffering.
One way is to kill your sensitivity. Then you will cease to be happy in happiness and miserable in misery. If your tongue is burned you will cease to taste both the sweet and sour. If your eyes are blinded you will know neither light nor darkness. A deaf person is insensitive to every kind of sound — pleasant and unpleasant. Insensitivity is the simplest way of achieving evenness of mind in both pleasure and pain.

Krishna’s meaning is very different. An unconscious person, one under the influence of drugs, is insensitive to pain and pleasure but he cannot be said to have transcended them. He has rather fallen below the normal state of consciousness. In that way every dead person is insensitive. Transcendence is entirely different.

And I interpret this aphorism of Krishna’s very differently. In my view, Krishna’s way of transcending happiness and sorrow is different and unique. If someone experiences happiness fully, if he is utterly sensitive to pleasure, if he lives it so totally that no. thing remains to be lived, he will soon transcend it. Then he will be unperturbed and steady in every situation of pleasure and happiness.

Similarly if someone experiences pain and misery totally, if he goes into it with all his being, without trying to escape it in the least, he too will go beyond pain; he will never again be disturbed by suffering. Krishna does not ask you to kill your sensitivity; on the contrary, he wants you to heighten your sensitivity to its utmost, so it becomes total. Krishna stands for sensitivity, and total sensitivity at that.

If someone’s continuously seen misery & pain, especially something that cannot be expressed to anyone else in words, something in him dies; he continues to live but some emotions never come up & rise again in his being. Sometimes the pain is too great a burden for words to bear & silence is the only path that she expresses her loneliness in. She said it in a moment of silence & I heard it in a moment of silence…….


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