Miss Jayaletchumy, Universiti Sains Malaysia

Agamic psychology is a species of Hermeneutic Science, the form of science central to Saivism. According to this method of study every behaviour is a text which needs to be interpreted carefully to reflect the right meaning. One of the most significant contribution of this Agamic Psychology is the development of ACCESS TEST that could be used to reach the unconscious contents of one's mind. The two main fundamental principles of this test are the SUN principle and the MOON principle called Natham and Bindu in agamic sastras. An interesting finding that this article would like to bring to your attention is the evidence for the reality of these principles through the use of the recently developed BAUM TEST, which is a species of ACCESS TEST. This test discloses how a person exists and lives as a unique individual in the world, that is the historical understanding of how one uses his past and chooses to remember, understands the present and on its basis projects into the future.

The BAUM TEST was initially developed by a German psychologist, Hilt Bruner. Later it was modified by Dr. K. Loganathan, a psychologist in the field of education from Malaysia. He changed the instructions so that subjects produce four differ-ent BAUMS : A, B, C and D respectively. It is important to know that each BAUM drawn is a Metaphor, Analogy or dream like experience which needs to be interpreted accurately. It is also neces-sary to remember that race, religion or nationality is not a barrier to it's interpretation. The meanings are independent of mere surface factors and touch the essential humanness of all individuals.

The BAUM analysis which is a species of Hermeneutic Semiotics, is carried out in two ways in this study - Global Structural Analysis and Internal Structural Analysis. It is also found on the basis of interpretations and confirmations from the subjects that the BAUMs represent behaviour or activities in which a person learns something. Agamic Psychologists say that we are full of ignorance (Ta anavam) and therefore it had to be reduced in different ways depending on the maturity of the individuals. They also believe that we are learning all the time. In fact learning is defined as a process of reducing the ignorance in a person. Based on this, when we come across different types of BAUMs, we can relate them to three different types of learning viz alpha, beta and gamma which is noted in Arutkural as Porutkalvi, Tarkalvi and Iraikalvi which in turn is based on the notions of pasa jnanam, pasu inanam and pathi jnanam of Saiva Siddhanta.

The alpha learning reduces ignorance pertaining to the physical reality while beta learn-ing occurs when someone analyses oneself, gains an understanding of his/her own psychical constitu-tion . Further to this is the gamma learning, identified as the highest kind of learning ever possible. Gamma learning emerges when a person recognises unconscious factors which control the individuals behaviour or his desire. A person gets a peep into his own depths and through that understands the presence of archetypes in his own self.

Here is an interesting study done on a female subject of 23 years old, who happens to be an undergraduate from the University Science of Malaysia. This particular subject is of Indian origin with a tomboyish outlook as well as an introvert personality. The BAUM D discloses the presence of Bindhu, one of the SIVA TATVAS postulated in Saiva Siddhanta.

In the first drawing the subject has drawn a banana tree, which is a common sight in the tropical countries like Malaysia. According to the literature of this test, if a young woman, like the subject of this research, is to draw a tree of this form it would mean that she is seriously in love The single fruit found in this drawing tells us that she is experiencing happiness from some romance. During the discussion with the subject to clarify this matter, she admitted an intense feeling for particular male. Unfortunately she never had the opportunity to interact with him and confess love The question that arises here is how could this be explained.

Based on my comments in the earlier paragraphs pertaining to the alpha, beta and gamma learning, I may not be wrong to say that one does not always choose to draw a tree that one most frequently encounters but rather exercises a select-ion among them. The same principle can be applied here to explain why subject had chosen the banana tree. It may be possible she acted thus under the influence of a factor in her unconscious related to the Kundalini Sakti. We can also find shading that has been done by the subject on the tree. This shading represents darkness in life which could be due to the emotional setback causing sadness and miseries. To a great extent I find that his is true enough in the case of this subject whereby she herself admitted the disappointments she had due to the failure in getting the right response from the man of her choice.

This failure could be due to the introverted nature the subject possess: she could only discuss her personal matters with someone very close to her. The sharp edges appearing on the leaves show that she is also an aggressive person, a character trait that cannot be seen from the appearance of the subject. But the subject, on inquiry has agreed to this interpretation but added that it depends on who is the other party involved. To confirm this she related her childhood experience where she used to take the upper hand over her siblings by beating them up

In the second BAUM the subject had drawn a tall coconut tree. When an adult girl were to draws such a BAUM it represents a male figure in her mind, an expression of Natham at the psychic level. The tall coconut tree shows she likes tall and masculine guys. When the subject was asked concerning this she admitted that it is true, she prefers a male who is masculine and rough and definitely not someone boyish. This Surprised me because the male she admired most was neither tall nor excessively masculine. He stands at only about 5, 5". Here I would say that she has gained in beta learning because now she realises exactly what kind of man she really likes. Probably her disappointments in this matter has alerted her with regards to the presence of unconscious factors regulating her life.

The third BAUM discloses the ongoing in the subject's life. In this the subject has drawn only a large leave in place of a tree. A very big leaf without any fruits shows she is going through some kind of changes in the direction of becoming more feminine, the kind of changes that I could see in her in terms of dressing. As I mentioned earlier the subject is generally very tomboyish in appearance, dressing and activities. Presently however she has developed a fondness for more feminine dressing and is also changing her appearance by growing her hair long. She has learnt to see that she could no longer continue with her tomboyish personality without meeting disappointments. She begins to see that the tomboyish look in her has deprived her from gaining the attention of a particular male. The subject added that now she gets the attention from other guys and of different ethnic groups, but for whom she has no liking. This is to honour the views of her parents who would approve only someone of the same race and religion as her life partner.

The other thing the subject has acquired is the ability to cope with the heavy requirements of her academic course work. She has learnt to do her work more intelligently. She also has a very high creative power shown quite clearly by all the BAUMS which are placed in the middle and also drawn with radiating branches. This has been ascertained from the empirical studies of Dr K. Loganathan that remains still unpublished. Again the subject seems to have furthered beta earning and realised what are her real potentials. She is confident that she would graduate with very good results.

The shading on the BAUM shows that the subject is not very happy with her present lifestyle and she feels it's very monotonous. She also added that at times she feels as if she's not achieving anything. In order to overcome this problem she attends traditional music classes and involves her-self in social work. It is necessary to say that she is a person who is quite religious and follows a strict vegetarian diet. She added that she prefers to be a vegetarian because she feels very sad to eat other living creatures. This way of reasoning discloses gamma learning to a reasonably matured degree.

The drawing in section D represents future i.e. if she were to continue with the kind of lifestyle she's practising in C. The subject has drawn a very interesting BAUM which is Moon-like that Dr. K. Loganathan identities as Bindhu, one of the seven SIVA TATVAS. It discloses the presence of very genuine femininity such as being pretty, warm, gentle, loving, motherly and tolerant. It tells us that the subject would wish to have a very happy married family life with a loving husband who understands her and with many children. When the subject was asked to comment on this, she admitted the fact and explained further that her tomboyish characteristics due to the environment she was brought up when she was young. So with this realisation she had effected a much deeper kind of beta learning and also has realised that she is in fact a woman who needs to get married. It is also important to know that this kind of archetypes only emerge in BAUM C and D. Also the shading on her BAUMs shows that she is still quite uncertain of her desire for married life and there is some reluctance arising from her past experience from other family members with broken marriages. To overcome this she had left the whole responsibility to her parents and asked them to find a life partner for her, a decision with which she feels more secure.

As a conclusion, I would say that BAUM TEST is a very effective tool to disclose the histori-cal understanding of a person. Psychic functions and their differences among different individuals are determined by the cakra hidden that also influ-ences the BAUM form they select unconsciously in the choice of trees and the manner in which they draw them. Psychological development is seen in terms of the dominance of the different type of learning that has been recognised and defined. It begins with the dominance of alpha, then beta and finally gamma type of learning. On top of all these something very important for all of us to remember are the characteristics of the BAUMs which have to be interpreted accurately in order to get an authentic understanding of self. BAUMs C and D, it must also be noted disclose the presence of NATHAM and BINDHU and hence also the other SIVA TATVAS.

(Sincere thanks to Dr. K. Loganathan, the developer of Agarnic Psychology under whose guidance and supervision this research was done and the paper written).

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