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Home sjmtoc 3.6 Mental Constitution

3.6.3 Kapha Mentally

KAPHA - “I’ll do it later, where is the chocolate? Come and give me a hug before you start that, what’s the hurry?” The archetype of the motherly figure fits well with the K constitution. Security and comfort are high up on the list of K people. They tend to enjoy the securities of family life and all the things associated with it. They are laid back, seldom in a hurry - expect to eat - and like to take life slow without stress.

K people don’t really like trouble of any kind, especially emotional. They often have difficulty communicating their feelings, and end up suppressing them. Dealing with problems can end up causing food carvings or emotional dependency on others. Usually K people will go out of their way to avoid trouble. Even to the extent of eating themselves to death. Food represents comfort and security. Without food, it is hard to have either comfort or security. Therefore, food has a special attraction to K types.

Wit respect to negative emotions, K people have to watch out for greed, possessiveness depression, grief, and lethargy. Because of K’s desire for creature comforts, greed can be one of their downfalls. They do have the ability to live well, and often - when driven - will become obsessed with making money. Money becomes God. While pitta people will work for fame and power, K people will work for money alone. They will treat their spouses in the same way as any other possession, not because of control issues, but for security, or to “own” or possess.

Depression can often be the bedfellow of the K person. (It’s better to have single beds in that case!) The high level of emotional energy - unless used creatively - can be destructive. The challenge of K types is to use their emotional power to love and care for others and themselves. It is important for K people to live comfortable and secure lives. However, they must be alert not to place too much emphasis on the material, but instead focus on providing a loving, secure environment for their loved ones.

Professionally the K type makes a good manager of anything. Precise and accurate, the K type is thorough and hard working. If you want something done well for a long period of time, the K person is the one you want. The V person can formulate the idea, the P person can implement and control it, but the K person should manage the day-to-day affairs.

In days gone by, the kapha type of mentality pervaded the world as the underlying basis of society. Due to many reasons this has now changed to a predominantly vata mentality. “Be the first one on your block to own. . . . Never before tried by anyone (even your neighbors) . . . . The latest method guaranteed to . . . .” Behold, th age of vata!

The advance of mechanical technology, the deterioration of the family unit, mass media, advertising, and the global emphases on the individual have directly contributed to the domination of the erratic vata mentality in the world today. It is true that cultures other than North America and Europe are less vata oriented. However, it is only a matter of degree. I have traveled much of the world and find this shift in the world mentality complete and thorough. This is generally referred to as “Westernization”. Whatever the term implies, the result is that many vata disease are predominating our cultures.

In less “Westernized” cultures, where vata is not as predominant as in the West, a different phenomenon is happening. The primary principle in Asia was kapha for thousands and thousands of years, and as the global shift to vata happens the old kapha mentality is being aggravated by vata to a negative extreme. Greed is a predominant emotion emerging in many of the ne middle classes in Asia. In the Middle East, the principle of pitta has dominated for ages, and that is now being aggravated by vata. South America is slowly becoming a vata-predominant cultures as it follows North America and Europe.

In the West we are obsessed with any new experience. Our senses are so overwhelmed, embattled, that the most violent or obscene movies have little affect o us. The rise in life-threatening activities - like sex, sports, drugs - illustrates the demand for “another rush”. This is resulting in instability - instability in government, family, society, and in the mind. The complete lack of respect for life that the erratic movement of aggravated vata creates is having devastating effects o the young. Already “burned out” at 16, the lack of cohesion or love in our “Western” world is causing a tremendous rise in teen suicide and crime. These are only some of the many signs of a vata culture.

All of this is the negative or destructive aspect of prana. When prana, our very life force, is over-stmulated and aggravated, many side effects take place in the body - primarily mental instability. This mental aggravation leads to conflicts on every level of life and eliminates peace from life. Culturally, over-stumilated prana results in a lack of respect for life, both toward other humans and our environment.

The answer lies not in going back to some other past culture or time, but rather in understanding. Through the right use of anything harmony can be achieved. Nothing is good or bad in itself, the use determines the result. Ayurveda provides the methods we can use to first understand ourselves and then our world, in order to bring back that harmony which all living beings need. First, starting with ourselves, then with our family, we can balance the three basic principles that create our universe - movement, transformation, and cohesion. The ancient sages perceived them as life, light, and love.

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