The human mind is a wave of subtle energy with layers of intelligence to perform a multitude of functions.
Its sole (soul) purpose is to transform and manifest divine energy into the material domain. It is the link between our eternal spirit and the physical body. It is the driver of our daily life.
In order to fulfill its purpose, the human mind has been endowed with a number of features including: will power, free will, intellect as a confidant, five cognitive senses to import knowledge from the physical world and five active expressions to share its state of being with the external world. In order to achieve its role the mind has to witness itself, maintain a state of neutrality and not become attached, i.e., remain a detached observer amidst its changing roles.
Now, let us dissect the mind (also called manomaya kosha) to study its many functions, its building blocks, how it works, reasons for its desperate state of existence and ways to improve the quality of its daily living experience in the world.
Our Multifunctional Mind
The human mind is a bio-magnetic wave of energy that assumes many roles as we go about our daily lives. At any given moment, only one of its many roles is performed out of the multitude of roles shown in Figure 1.
1. Mind as a Thinking Machine: The range of daily thoughts created by the human mind varies from 12,000 to 50,000. Most of these thoughts are random, illogical and disconnected.
2. Mind’s Feeling Capability: Thoughts create emotions, i.e., energy in motion, and sensations which are felt by the mind. These are further transmitted to the body’s cells and acknowledged by the brain.
3. Mind Creates Desires: Many thoughts are directly related to “I want this, I want that.” This further leads to attachment to some thoughts.
4. Mind’s Perceptive Capability: Every mind has a perceptive capability to perceive the world in its own way. Perception is created by environments, nurture and connection with nature.
5. Mind’s Discriminative Capability: Mind has a powerful feature of discriminating between acts of goodness and acts of evil. It draws this capability from the intellect which is its close confidant.
6. Mind’s Relationship: Mind has a relationship with the inner world and outer world. The depth of our inner relationship depends on the level of awareness of the creation around us and the creator of this universe.
7. Mind’s Memory: Mind keeps a record of all past events by storing information as visual images, data, instructions, smells, tastes, etc.
8. Mind’s Imagination Capability: Imagination is a wonderful attribute of the mind. When the available knowledge in the world fails to solve a new problem the power of imagination comes into play.
Dynamic interplay of Key Functions of the Mind
Many functions of the mind are categorized into thinking, feeling and wanting states. There is a constant interplay and exchange of energy among these states of the mind. These phenomena along with the sub states of the three main categories are shown in Figure 2.
Conscious, Subconscious and Super-conscious Mind
Our conscious mind is only two to twelve percent of our total living mind, often referred to as the tip of the iceberg.
It’s the mind of our five senses and five active expressions. It receives information from the outer world and responds/reacts to life’s daily situations. Its experiences are recorded and stored in the subconscious mind as memory. Whenever needed, the conscious mind retrieves past records from the subconscious mind. The interplay of the conscious and subconscious mind is displayed in Figure 3.
While the conscious mind has a daily sleeping schedule, the unconscious mind stays awake all the time.
The unconscious mind is our inner mind and it does many functions autonomously and involuntarily. It has its own rhythm and schedule to maintain the physical being. Negative thoughts arise in the conscious mind, travel to the subconscious and end up in the cells of the body. These thoughts are responsible for most of our psychosomatic diseases.
Our conscious mind ignores the inner consciousness of the subconscious mind at its own peril. Our sleeping consciousness is the main reason for most of the societal problem around the world. Awakening this inner consciousness is an urgent need of our time.
Our subconscious mind is busy all the time and does a multitude of tasks.
It is always in touch with the conscious mind and the physical body. It responds to the requests made by the conscious mind and updates the state of our bodies’ cells based on the types of thoughts flowing into it. Many negative beliefs stored in the inner house of our mind need to be examined and cleansed to awaken the sleeping consciousness. Major functions performed by the subconscious mind are summarized in Table 1.
Our super conscious mind holds the blueprint, or script, for all that we have set out to achieve in our current lifetime. This mind existed before we were born and will continue to exist after our physical body dies.
The Mind’s Interaction with the External World
Nature has bestowed us with smelling, tasting, seeing, touching and hearing senses to understand the world in which we live.
These five senses are inward bound and bring information from outside to keep the conscious mind informed. We also have five active expressions of eliminating, reproducing, moving, grasping and speaking. Through these outward bound abilities we respond, or react, to the challenges of daily living. Calm or turbulent states of our inner being are expressed to the outer world through these active expressions. Figure 4 captures this interaction of the mind.
State of Our Living
The average human mind creates 12,000 to 50,000 daily thoughts. Every thought is a packet of energy. Negative, positive and neutral thought vibrations created in the “lake of mind” are captured in Figure 5. A number of daily negative and waste thoughts consume energy and deplete us of our precious life energy.
Buddhist teachings tell us that a human mind, living in unawareness, cultivates greed, hatred and delusion as “roots of evil.” From these three root vices emerge numerous offshoots and variants: anger and cruelty, conceit and arrogance, hypocrisy and vanity and a multitude of erroneous views. One can observe the creation of negative thoughts in one’s own life and test the truth of Buddhist teachings.
Because of our erroneous views and attachment to unimportant aspects of life, our minds become egocentric. The “I want, I do, I am” syndrome creates patterns which form a vicious cycle of jealousy, anger and darkness moving us away from our true self which is connected to peace, love, purity and light. It is time to break this poisonous cycle and make progress towards a better quality of living experience.
Purifying the Mind
Our life is a play of the mind.
The human mind is very powerful and with awareness can reverse its course towards blissful living. The Buddha’s three simple guidelines to enhance awareness are: to abstain from all evil, to cultivate good and to purify one’s mind. Pure thoughts have a therapeutic quality to activate sleeping DNA and cure most body diseases at the cellular level.
The ultimate purification of the mind can be accomplished through the practice of mindfulness. This creates a resolute intellect, provides knowledge of the creative process of nature and vision of things as they really are.
With a purified mind all its mysteries get unfolded.
Jagdish holds a Ph.D. Degree in EE from IIT Roorkee, India. He worked as a Communications Research Scientist at Bell Labs., Bell Communication Research other Bell companies for over 21 years. His research contributions have been published in a number of technical journals and magazines. He also presented his findings at a number of national and international conferences. He was invited to contribute a comprehensive chapter on “Medical Communications” for the Encyclopedia of Telecommunications. He has been an invited speaker at Stanford University.
For the past eight years Jagdish has investigated issues related to the quality of our daily living experience. He has published and presented insights on “Wealth & Quality of Life”, “The Journey of Human Thought & Happiness”, “Many Facets of Human Mind”, “Our Dynamic Cellular Body”, “Growing Old Gracefully” and “Nurturing the Self”. In 2011 he was invited to give a talk on NON-DUALITY OF LIFE at the “Ancient Science of Non-Duality Conference” sponsored by NJIT, NJ, USA. In 2012 he gave a talk on “Healing the Holistic Human-Being” at the “Society of Scientific Explorations” Conference held in Boulder CO, USA.
Jagdish and his wife Shashi live in San Ramon, CA. Their two daughters Aarti & Gauri live in the Bay
Area. Sunaina and Nikhil are their two grandchildren from Aarti and son-in-law Mano.
Following are links to Jagdish’s elephant publications:
Editor: Thaddeus Haas
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