While at its root impatience has as a primary source the frustration associated with either lack of ability to fulfill a desire, or a delayed gratification of that desire, in the modern world, these root causes are accentuated and provoked through acculturation and the systemic operation of the modern world. Prior to the industrial revolution, and still in certain parts of the world that are predominantly based in rural or subsistence hunter-gatherer existence, life moves at a slower pace and the rhythms of Nature prevail. With the rise of industrial civilisation the speed of machinery and the need to adapt work-life to that speed, there has been a major increase in the pressure to produce and to increase ‘productivity’ which is measured by results per minute in most cases. With the advent of the digital age, the pressure for speed has increased so substantially that we expect instantaneous response, within ‘milliseconds’ to inquiries we make over the internet. Deadlines, fixed travel timelines, expectations for setting of appointments all contribute to the pressure of speed. At some point, the vital being becomes so accustomed to this speed up of life, that it becomes “addicted” to the adrenalin-pumping activities at high speed. “Time is money” is a watchword in our society. These changes in human social and economic life in modern-day civilisation have brought with them serious negative health consequences and must be considered, given the circumstances of today’s society, to be one of the major disturbances of the vital being of man which must be addressed.

Dr. Dalal notes: “Besides desire, depression, and anger spoken of above there are many other manifestations of the vital which lead to a psychological disturbance. One such manifestation, which deserves mention because of its wide prevalence in our times, is impatience. Since a desire, unless checked by the mental will or by another counteracting desire, has an innate drive to satisfy itself immediately, impatience may be said to be an essential characteristic of the vital. And the stronger the desire, the greater the impatience. It is this tendency of the vital which is at the basis of the ‘time urgency’ of present-day civilization, and which has been identified as one of the chief traits that characterize what Freidman and Rosenman have labeled Type A behavior, regarded by these noted researchers in the field of cardiology as the chief factor in coronary artery and heart disease and high blood pressure. (In extract no. 89 [pp. 62-63] of this compilation, the Mother alludes to this ‘hurry sickness’ with a prophetic hint regarding its consequences as reflected in the high present-day incidence of strokes and heart attacks.)”

Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, Living Within: The Yoga Approach to Psychological Health and Growth, Introduction, Disturbances Associated with the Vital, pp. xix-xxiv

2 thoughts on “Impatience

  1. Thank you for your recent posts on Western psychology and Eastern spirituality 🙏 . Plan to do a more immersive reading . Always felt Indian philosophers – Sri Aurobindo , Jiddu krishnamurti, Sri Ramana Maharshi – have offered a wealth of unexplored treasures for psychology /healing . Your articles provide an inspiration to maybe , pen a book in future on integrating indian philosophies into psychotherapy .

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