In our life, what is more important than knowing people who matters to us most? The number of such people may not be very high, yet they influence our lives almost completely. If we can know their minds and thoughts better, there is no doubt that we not only make our life better but also the life of the people around us. It is no secret that we can get what we want in life only by the proper understanding of the people. In our personal life, we can bring peace and happiness only by understanding our loved ones. In our professional life we can motivate our colleagues and team to achieve the goal of the organizations only by properly understanding them.
Yet understanding people is the most difficult knowledge to learn in real life. This knowledge is not taught in any school or college. Our understanding of man based on the bookish knowledge derived from the books of psychology, management, religion, culture etc. fails to help us in understanding the real life people. Which theory is to be applied on a person, when every person is different and every theory is different? Theories are much easier to use in material domain as every atom, every molecule and every material behaves in identical manner. How to deal with man, when every one is different and no two people are similar?
It gives us no respite, to know a person merely in terms of probability or statistic when the person is too important to you. You can’t be satisfied to know that if you scold your children, he is 56% likely to perform poorly in exam. However, if you do not scold the child, his chances of poor performance are increased to 60%. These researches can’t help you in exercising of either option. You are scared of using either option as you want your child to improve. You do not have thousands of children that you can be satisfied with a statistical probability. After all in the first case the chances of failure is 44% while in the second case, it is 40%. You have only one child and you want him to improve. You want the right solution and not a random solution.
The solution of all our problems lies in knowing the person as accurately as one knows himself. If that can be possible then you can be almost absolutely sure that you will get the desired result. Are there really such methods of knowing a person so completely?
One Person Four Personalities
We all bear many hats in our life. We are the simplest creature on earth yet the most complex human being. Who are we?
We are a different person at our home. We are so simple at our home that even our child knows us well. We play with them, enjoy the simple games and become a child itself. Our education, profession and knowledge do not seem to influence our dear ones like our children, souse, parents and even our dogs. They all seems to know us very well.
We have a different personality with our friends. They too know us well. We all know the mind of all our friends. The older is the friend; the better is our understanding of him. Friends not only know our personality but they become the integral part of our personality. After all it is wisely said "a man is known by the company he keeps". Thus, your friends are often a close refection of your personality.
Yet we are quite different on our job. The same person becomes different when performing his job. We are completely different person as a cop, philosopher, teacher, politician or a sweeper. Our actions and thoughts are shaped according to our job. There is a great similarity in all people of similar profession. All cops have similar traits, so have the traits of all teachers.
Finally, we are part of the society, nation and the world. We are affected by every thing that is happening anywhere in the society or the world. A man of India is different than a man of China or USA. A man of twenty first century is different than a man of tenth century.
However, man in not merely only a body i.e. the material entity but he also has mind, soul and spirit. The complete personality of the person can be known only by knowing his body, mind, soul and spirit. Once you know all four, there is nothing left in the person to be known as he has become your extended Self by the presence of the common spirit. The methods to know these four aspects of man have requires following four steps.
The Physical Self
The body of the person is the most obvious representation of his or her personality. Body represents the physical self of the person as an animal and represents the basic instincts or the natural instinct of the person. The first distinction in the body emerges from the sex of the person. The bodies of the males and females are as different as their basic instinct. The basic instincts of males and females are quite similar across the world. So if you know one, you know all. The second important thing which the body represents is the raw passion or sensual desire of the person. A man with uncontrolled passion would have uncontrolled, fat and disproportionate body while a man who has disciplined and controlled his desire would have a fitter and proportionate body. The movement of the body and limbs too represents the natural personality of the person. This is often called as "body language". A restless person must have a restless body and peaceful person would have a peaceful body.
The Mental Self
The mind of the person is the most important attribute in his professional life. The mind of the person is shaped on the basis of the education and experience of the person in his lifetime. One can know the mind of the person from his educational qualification, experience and profession experience as all goes into shaping the mind of the person. The mind of the person is the source of the reason and logic used by the person to interact with the world. One can also understand the mind of the person in the course of discussion and communication i.e. the way he answers or responds to your logic and reasons.
The Intellectual Self
The body, senses and mind apparently seem to be independent from each other. It is also possible to measure these attributes of human personality by suitable instruments and tests. Yet they are all controlled by the Soul of the person which represents the intelligence of the person.
The mind and body of the person are changing every moment. A person is happy in one movement but get worried on the very next moment. A person may be active in one moment but may become inactive due to illness or hunger or tiredness few moments later. Thus our assessment of the person may be totally wrong if it is based merely on the knowledge of physical and mental self. We have to know the force behind the body and mind which does not change.
Gita (III 42-43) explains the relationship of body, senses, mind, Individual Intelligence (Soul) and the Universal Intelligence (God) in the following words.
The senses are superior to the body. Above the senses is the mind, above the mind is the soul (individual intelligence) and above the soul is God (Universal Intelligence).
Knowing the intelligence self of the person is, therefore, extremely important as it changes only little over a lifetime. Just like one can know the tree from its fruits, same is true for intelligence which controls the body and the mind. If a person speaks evil for everybody, it shows that his core (intelligence) too is evil. Jesus said, (Mathew 7: 15-20)
"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them."
The real nature of the person is intelligence of the person. Body and mind are merely the tools in the control of the intelligence self. Just like a fire can be used to cook food or burn people, so does the body and mind can be used for good or bad purposes by the intelligence? The intelligence of the person has to be understood by the synthesis of the diverse traits and actions of the personality of the person using our own intelligence and reasoning.
The Spiritual Self
It is believed in scriptures and philosophies that every living being has the spark of the God or Spirit. No person is, therefore, independent from other beings as everyone is connected by the common thread of this spirit. It is due to the common spirit that we cry when we see people in misery and fell happy when give happiness to others. It is due to the spiritual self, that we connect ourselves with the rest of the world and enjoys or feel pain in our life.
The spiritual self of the person is the non-material aspect of the human personality. It is best known to our loved ones, when there are no material rewards or punishment for our actions. In your home, you get no reward or punishment in being nice or nasty to your children, your wife or your parents and elders. Yet the expression of our spiritual self is the sour of all our happiness and pain.
A spiritual person, therefore, highly value the nonmaterial realities of life and seek happiness in selfless activities. We are all spiritual to some extent else we can never get happiness in our life. If you donate one billion dollars to your computer or a lathe machine, it can never feel any happiness. Only a man can feel happiness even by wealth since he can use the wealth for distribution to others selflessly which , makes him and others happy.
The understanding of the spiritual self is purely based on intuition and requires no knowledge or reasoning. It is similar to the understanding that a child or a dog has to their parents or their master. The sign of spirituality is the peace, love and happiness. So when you meet a person and feel more peaceful, loving and happy, the person must be highly spiritual. You can therefore expect help and compassion from such person. If the feeling is otherwise, you have met a materialistic and devilish person, who can only seek material favour from you or seek pleasure in your pain.
The Complete Knowledge of A Person
Only by knowing all four aspect of a person which represents the body, mind, soul and spirit of the person, you can understand the real person. Such understanding of a person requires not only the logical mind but also the use of your basic instinct , intelligence , intuition and experience. You can then know the complete person using your intuition and know the real thoughts of the person. Once you have understood the thoughts and soul of a person, what is left unknown about the person.