From this week, I will be discussing the MIND and hasten to say, we will find its study very revealing because mind is very central to our psychological problems. We will be analysing the mind itself to discover its several components and functions. If modern psychology were that equipped to tell us exactly what the mind is, beyond the externalities, the world would have been a better place. All wars among nations, bickering, slander, restiveness, indeed all negative tendencies of man would have died of attrition.
But such Sangri-La wasn’t in the design of the Creator. That ideal utopian world shall remain an aspiration. It is this aspiration that sustains the humming booming and trajectories of the phenomenal world, otherwise the world would have been very dull, drab, unchallenging, worse still uninspiring.
It goes without saying that in our physical world, what we will get and we’ll ever get is reality and never the ideal. Ideal is something for mankind to aspire for, because it is often premised on ceteris paribus, which is another term for all things being equal. But things have never being known to be equal. For all things come or happen with and by their variegated peculiarities.
Thus, we have come to the most vital of the subject aimed at the liberation of our soul. In fact, it is so important to an extent that in its understanding lies the perfect peace that seems to be elusive to mankind without exception.
Like the back of our hands, we all know the characteristics of the mind. We are aware of its rabid and insatiable inclinations. It compares to a monkey that continues to hop about seeking pleasure from one object and the other, yet nothing has ever satisfied the mind or will ever satisfy it for too long. The reason for this remains a mystery to psychologists because they are only accustomed to mind’s physical nature.
The truth of the matter is that the mind suffers the same fate as the soul. The soul having strayed off the bosom of the Creator has been in a state of forlorn and no lasting peace for the soul until it rejoins the Oversoul: The Father God. In the same manner the mind belongs to the domain of the Universal Mind from which as a projection, the mind has descended with the soul into the physical world.
Nothing in the material world equates the peace the mind enjoyed in the abode of the Universal Mind and it is that treasure the mind is running after in this world. It seeks for it in the opposite sex, alcohol, acquisitions, retreat and all available instruments of pleasure in the earthly field. Because nothing fits into its primordial bliss, in no time, whatever gives the mind satisfaction becomes evanescent, insipid and off the mind goes looking for another satisfaction.
The lady or guy we run after loses his or her attraction so soon. The car or jet becomes old model. The mansion that was our pride has been overtaken by ravages of time. The job we used to be proud of is no longer inspiring. Even the health we once relished is now subject to all kinds of ailment. The list is endless. It is so because we are seeking for solution to mind’s rabidity in wrong places. It couldn’t be otherwise since what we know about the mind is at best abstract. We will attempt herein to strike at the root of this malady.
In this regard, it is instructive that the mind of man has several dimensions. It has both the conscious and subconscious faculties. The conscious is active during the wake state, while the subconscious is activated during the sleep state and particularly when we dream, during which we are either receiving impressions from the Akashic record or replaying the impressions we have registered in the mind during our wake state.
In effect, when we dream, the impression we are getting might be from the Akash, which is the record of creation or storehouse of all that had happened to us or will still happen. On the other hand, we still replay during the dream stage some of the impressions that have registered in the brain through a process that is known in Sanskrit as simran, which means the act of repetitive thoughts. Because of this scenario, it takes a highly evolved soul to interpret a dream, as one needs to sift between the conscious, subconscious and celestial inner faculties to discern from where what we had experienced during the dream stage emanated. We hope to dwell more on dreams in future series.
For this week, we will be expounding on the conscious aspect of the mind. This aspect is easy to explain, since it is a physical dimension that we all indulge in every moment at the dawn of consciousness. Ergo, I proceed:
Our mind is both a friend and a foe depending on the rein we give to it. We are in this world under the control of the Negative Power. To get back to the Lord, we must do battle with this power because of the inviolable law that no unclean soul can get back to the Lord. Thus, the Negative Power is the Master Temper that had tested great Saints, Messiah, Prophets, Rishis, Avatars,Mahatma, Gurus, Mystics and other great Sages that had transversed and still in the world. The world has never been without these highly evolved souls, but paradoxically, man will generally accord reverence to those of the past.
Some of these great souls triumphed over this power that rules the world, while some stumbled. Two outstanding personalities among those that veered from the path of rectitude in spite of their enormous powers were the biblical David and Samson, who both tripped under the lust of the mind. The former contrived to satisfy his lust for another man’s wife and the latter on the lap of a woman.
The confounding scenario is that the Negative Power has no form of its own, but it is present in every man as our mind, which is an instrument that we need to supply us intellect without which we cannot survive in the world, let alone think or be creative. Without the mind, life of humans would have remained like that of the lower species, that have no need to think, as a result of which they were created with skin for all weathers and weeds pointed to them as their food.
Mind is such a powerful instrument and capable of acting negatively or positively, both of which depends on instructions we give to it. Mind could be compared to a machine and it derives its powers from the soul. Given its inclination to act either deductively or inductively, mind is adjudged as as an excellent slave, and simultaneously a bad master.
It is just like our automobile or an airplane. Under a good driver or pilot, these artificial contrivances could be a delight to use. But we must keep both under control and guide them in an unwavering manner while in use. Same with our mind. If we allow our mind to run out of control, run wild with full power, fulfill all its indulgences, it is sure to bring us to disaster.
It is instructive that the mind cannot see or reason. It knows no better than what it has been trained to do, although we continue to think it is the mind pushing us. We have always been taught that mind reasons, but it doesn’t. It merely acts with automatic precision just exactly as it has been stimulated. In the same manner a computer cannot think or act on its own, but does send out what has been programmed into it. No more no less. This is known in computer engineering as: “GIGO,” meaning garbage in garbage out.
Everywhere and all the time, people act more like machines than they do as rational beings. And that is because they are moved by mind in grooves or life patterning. In other words, by what their minds have been conditioned or taught to act. It is a very rare individual who does independent thinking. This only happens when one’s soul has become emancipated from the domineering control of our conditioned mind.
The subject pertaining to mind is very crucial and it deserves our whole attention. The psychologists have done a lot in the study of minds, but to a large extent they are accustomed to its external functions. We need to make ourselves fully acquainted with the mind in all its faculties and its several modes of action. This implies inner modes of action.
We may say the mind has four divisions and they are: The rational faculty of the mind. Psyche, which induces feelings and attitude. The third is known as the intellect faculty, while the fourth is Ego. All these attributes of the mind are necessary for man to function in the world.
The rational faculty enables man to discriminate, without which good and bad will mean the same thing to man. The Psyche gives us feelings, otherwise there wouldn’t be any difference between the picture of a man hung on the wall and that without feeling. They are both useless.
Intellect is the power the mind uses as its chief instrument of thoughts. It processes signals received through the brain and decides. It then passes judgement upon all the findings of the earlier two faculties being the rational and feelings faculties. Its decisions are then passed to the final court of execution: The Ego.
Ego itself accepts the decisions of the other faculties handed down to it by the intellect and executes its mandate. Ego is the executive faculty of the mind. It is also the I-ness of the individual. It is the faculty of the mind which enables the individual to distinguish between his own interests and those of others. It is this same faculty, which, once exaggerated, becomes vanity or egotism.
The aforementioned attributes have led us to one of the most practical of all the facts and operations of the mind. That is saying the mind not only has four fundamental faculties or attributes, the mind has also five destructive modes of action, which manifest themselves when the above mentioned faculties have become disarranged, abnormal and perverted.
The five destructive modes are perversions of the normal faculties due to the downward impulses of the world of matter and senses. That is to say, those very faculties which were designed by the Creator for man’s use may become so compromised by misuse that they turn out to be destructive instead of being constructive, bad instead of good.
For instance, fire is a useful servant but if out of control, it could be very destructive. It is the same with the mind and almost every automation. Generally, the most useful and powerful instrument are those properly controlled. The more dangerous it may become when out of control. It is so with the mind. To control it, we must understand fully its five destructive attributes.
These five perversions of the mind are: GREED, ANGER, ATTACHMENT, LUST and EGO.
Discussion on these five foes is something that cannot be subsumed into any topic. Every one of the perversions requires a voluminous book, but we will try to give an abridged presentation on each of them from next week.
To be continued.
. Aare Oyefeso, a philosopher and businessman, lives in Lagos.