The five elements of personal development.
By interacting with each other, the five elements create what we know as physical reality in all of its aspects.
If you are one of my long term followers, you know that my understanding of life and consciousness is rooted in the Sankhya philosophy.
Sankhya is the original Indian philosophy and acts as the foundation for Vedanta and most of Hinduism. Moreover, it comes with the great advantage of being atheistic. It doesn't have a god concept at all.
As you can imagine, discovering it was like striking gold after digging for many years, because it gave me a theoretical foundation for what I had learned from Calle Montsegur.
He was atheistic too, but had never pursued a theoretical understanding beyond himself. It was enough for him to invent his own vocabulary for doing his thing as a Seer. The practical side was all he cared about.
Explanations are everything
For me, that's not enough. With my journalistic background, explanations are everything to me, and I find it dangerous to venture into the territory of consciousness without them.
As a result, I have always pursued explanations, and in my opinion Sankhya philosophy is the most complete theoretical source we have.
Not only is it concise, it's also something we can explain through the principles of modern science. There is no mystery involved. It's a straight forward cause and effect concept.
The three qualities
An essential part of it is the five elements of nature. According to Sankhya, they grow out of the three gunas (qualities): Tamas, Rajas, and Sattwa.
In scientific theory, Tamas is inertia (matter), Rajas is mobility (energy), and Sattwa is harmony (cosmic radiation).
By interacting with each other, they create what we know as physical reality in all of its aspects, which we perceive through our five senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch.
The five senses correspond with the five elements of nature, which are categorized by modern science as the 118 elements in the periodic table, but the basic principle is the same.
Our perception of life is a result of our five senses, which we relate to through the elements.
In other words, the concept of the five elements is a cognitive bridge that connects us with nature. Or, more specifically, our mind and body.
Now, to use the five elements for personal development, we have to create an abstract of each element that represents human life.
Hence, we use earth for structure, water for emotions, air for dialogue, fire for thinking, and space for action.
Notice that there is a direct link between all the elements and modern science. A key factor for them to have any value in today's world, since science is our shared vocabulary.
Science of the elements
The earth element is a rigidly bound molecular state and represents the body and its structure of bones, tendons, and muscles.
The water element is a loosely bound molecular state and represents our circulatory system. Especially the blood that carries the neuropeptides, which form our emotions.
The air element is a free molecular state and represents dialogue, because air is a prerequisite for our ability to breathe, speak, and hear.
The fire element is radiation and represents our ability to think, because a thought is essentially a wave pattern radiating through space and time.
The space element is free space and represents action, because our actions always take place in a given space on a given timeline.
A concept for thinking
By using the five elements as a concept for our thinking, we make it easier and more natural to navigate in life.
Whenever we face a problem, all we have to do is relate to it through the five elements, and create the necessary balance between them.
This can happen on a number of different levels, but to begin with it's a simple mental process.