Thursday, August 26, 2010

Understanding: Mind, Consciousness, Thought


Mind: All human beings share in being a part of, and connected to Mind, the universal Life energy and source of intelligence beyond the brain. Because of Mind, we share in an endless flow of wisdom—each of us equally capable of being wise.
Consciousness: All human beings share in the principle or fact of Consciousness. We experience life. We also experience life from different levels of consciousness—from truncated and fear-based, angry and insecure “levels” to grounded, secure, safe, wise and even enlightened states (Buddha Mind, Christ Consciousness, the “Father within,” the Kingdom of Heaven.) If humans lived even a little more often in this last state of mind, the impact on world peace, from a personal to a global level, would be significant.
The principle of Thought, as a universal function, guides humans either toward or away from non-violence, love and compassion. The existence of a personal thought system, or “ego”—which we see as simply being a sticky attachment to, or identification with thoughts—trips up our noble aspirations for peace. Yet we have found that teaching people about the neutral fact of Thought, and how it creates reality for each of us (rather than attempting to change “content”), allows people to shine the light of this principle on all their thinking. Levels of consciousness jump as people gain understanding about the formless source of all ideas, beliefs and opinions.
When humans understand that a thought is just a thought, just a creation from formless energy, the iron grip the ego can have on us begins to lessen. Lighter, gentler, more inspired feelings arising from impersonal, or universal thoughts create kind and selfless behaviors. We begin to realize we are so much more than our limited thoughts. So much more than we ever “thought”! While respecting our own and others’ traditions, cultures and preferences, we see beyond the forms that humans have created—and to the deeper truth of our common divinity, our shared existence in universal Mind, Consciousness and Thought … or in Life. From this vantage point, there is no reason to argue, to fight, to hurt another. When I hurt you, I diminish me.
So, our personal answer is to share with people these simple principles that govern their states of mind. Because, beneath it all, all humans are already wise, good, generous, kind and even enlightened. When the clouds of thought begin to part, they each take their unique and radiant place in being one in “six billion paths to peace."
What do YOU think?
Artwork:  Ronald D. Isom  Many thanks.
See also Sydney Banks, “The Missing Link: Reflections on Life and Philosophy” & other works.

http://www.centerforsustainablechange.org/principles.php

19 comments:

Shashank said...

One of the things I like about people who have sudden awakening[mystical] experience like Mr. Banks seems to have had is that they often formulate very direct and simple expressions of that gift.


Lighter, gentler, more inspired feelings arising from
impersonal, or universal thoughts create kind and selfless behaviors.

There is a slight inconsistency in the view though. To approach Thoughts as just neutral phenomena independent of content leads to the realization of the formless quality from which mind arises. This realization connects us to spontaneous universal thoughts which lead to inspired feeling and selfless action in the above quote. Which brings us back to thoughts and their content as being important as creative means.

Which is the deeper view here?: thoughts are just neutral phenomena and have no real limiting power on us, or that inspired thoughts are positively creative in the world. Or is thought to vague a term, while the experience of "thinking" can change in a developmental way from discursive thoughts, to imaginative/inspired thoughts, to a tacit knowingness. I think the above view is more accurate, while the view that thoughts are neutral phenomena that are a modification of divine formless depth is a great subjective injunction to help guide people through that dis-identification with discursive thoughts to higher more silent forms of "thought" or implicit knowingness[gnosis]

Nabil said...

You had me, until the ending paragraph.
"all
humans are already wise, good, generous, kind and even enlightened."

Wisdom varies in definition, and so does goodness, generosity, and enlightenment.

The idea that you presented is perfect, that is, until application within reality.

The problem lies in the moment. Some people will be ahead of others at any moment. Some will lack any understanding of what you wrote. They may all eventually see the light. Right now, they can't.

Molly Brogan said...

Yes, I agree, but the model points to the limits of mind and thought, and the importance of including consciousness in the moment to move beyond them. I like the simplicity of it, and that Banks recognizes every ones' inherent ability to get there.

Shashank said...

yes I can see that....it reminds me a little of the direct simplicity of the course of miracles:

"This course can therefore be summed up very simply in this way:

Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.

Herein lies the peace of God."

loroo said...

I think the section on though should include or be closely related to emotions. It seems to me that emotions largely distract from the Mind and Consciousness mentioned.
In my experience, as an individual begins to develop consciousness (such as Buddha Mind, Christ Consciousness, the “Father within,” the Kingdom of Heaven), that individual often sees that this consciousness not only exists for himself/herself but potentially in all others. This recognition helps to bring an increased empathy, love, compassion, and acceptance for the rest of humanity.

Pope said...

This reminds me of Eckhart Tolle.
"So anyone who is identified with their mind, and therefore disconnected from their true power, their deeper self rooted in being, will have fear as their constant companion."

Nicky said...

I get where you're going with this, but in my opinion (and in reality) emtions are byproducts of thoughts, be them negative or positive. As thoughts of good-will and kindness will produce feelings of love and happiness, thoughts of greed and envy and, worst of all, anger, will produce an array of corresponding negative feelings.

All that we are is the result of what have thought... until you recognize it for yourself. Once we realize that our thoughts make our reality, the realization that you can silence your thoughts is not far off... that's the big one right there. That's when you find out who you really are.

Greg said...

Pick up your cross and follow me (I sense) (true power). Deeper self - mind body complex. past and future equals the cross.

loroo said...

Absolutely they are. This is why I suggested thought and emotions be together. I was going along with mind such as the "Buddha Mind" mentioned in the OP. The "mind" Tolle mentions is not Buddha Mind, but the opposite. The realization that we can observe our own thoughts and emotions, and see that we can be separate from them, is the Consciousness that can dispel the constant fear Tolle talks about in the quote.

Gibbs said...

I thoughtfully disagree with your thoughtful thoughts. I think the major problems of the world are reduced to
too little thinking rather than too much. However there are more or less enlightened thoughts. Not all thoughts are equally thoughtful.
If I am not accurate than why do you take the time and the trouble to write out your thoughts for others to be impacted?

Molly Brogan said...

Because dialogue raises consciousness.

Gibbs said...

Good thinking.

Molly Brogan said...

Is that ALL it is?

Vam said...

What I do believe that a better hold on our emotions, emotions charged mind, and the resulting emotions - led willfulness of the ego, would certainly be more self - empowering to us. The consequent sense of balance and poise would cause clearer thoughts, truer perspectives, rise of abiding values system and better critical thinking ability, and the skill to choose more solutions - oriented behaviour all the time. Anyone who does not have such hold on himself is not likely to have a peaceful mind and unhurried discriminating faculty, to contribute much good to his environment.

Molly Brogan said...

I think you have the point here, vam, that any change would be within us, how we experience mind, consciousness and thought. I would not presume to tell anyone in my daily experience how to conduct this within themselves unless it came up in conversation. But I do hold the Sydney Banks model up here as a pretty good one, on how I conduct myself in the moment to achieve clarity of experience. I like the simplicity of it. I see my own direct experience as a reflection of the mind, consciousness and thought within me, and find it within myself to be fully present with each other. This allows me to meet challenge in experience without conflict. If I find myself perceiving conflict, I know I am viewing my experience from the vantage point of ego (dual), and make the internal adjustments to regain my integrity (include aspects of self excluded by the ego viewpoint.) This can often be done and related to someone else without a word, more of a smile with direct eye contact and expression of peace that immediately allows calm to prevail. Words with a calm voice can also resolve more that thoughts or intellect. That is not to say that I have not been called to reclaim my warrior aspect, rise to the current adversarial tone before toning the experience back to a peaceful one. But even this, for me, is done as an expression of the one as the only relation to other, eliminating any right or wrong in the situation. My life has taken may twists and turns that I would never have guessed. People I love get sick and die and have trouble and I feel it all with them, these are the challenges of being fully human. I accept all arms of Shiva the creator/destroyer, and that acceptance has become easier as I age in this life.

Anand said...

Consciousness - is so complex a subject that a complete definition is yet to emerge. Historically, only philosophers thought about it but last fifty years has seen neuro-scientists and others making a serious effort to undertsand it. What has been found that consciousness has to be understood in terms of Neuro-biology, chemical composition of the brain and the system of memory inside of the mind.

For my understanding, I have taken Brain to be the physical representation of the cells,tissues and chemicals inside the head of a person. Brain also consists of Mind (The Memory Management System) as well as the mechanics to interact with the outside influence (non-sensory perceptions). These interactions result in development of individual consciousness. Philosophers like Carl Jung have also talked about "Collective Consciousness", while Descartes thought Consciousness to be outside the mind.

At the lowest level is the memory acquired and recorded in the front portion of the Neo-Cortex area of the Brain, commonly but not universally acknowledged as "Declarative Memory". Only recently it has been found that the recording is permanent, but forgetfulness occurs due to data flow channels getting blocked and neurons not forming. There is a "Non-Declarative" Memory too, which does not get recorded through the sensory perceptions but is in-built into the back area of the Neo-Cortex. Its mechanism is not understood as yet. But, a baby upon being being born knows how to cry or to give command to the brain to open the eyes is thought to be of the Non-Declarative type. I understand it to be the genetically coded memory. This is where records of previous births or other events may be found once we have learnt, how to look for it.

Both types of memory interact with each other producing emotions and knowledge by something similar to running a query and getting results in a Relational Database Management System. The algorithm for analyzing those results and communicate a decision is also a function of the mind. That is how thoughts are produced. The Algorithms being genetically coded. This is what makes some people smarter than others. The ancients were not off the mark when they stressed on the meditation and contemplation to arrive at the truth. Gautama Budha certainly appears to have taken this route.

However, there is a portionn of the mind which also acts as a receiver or transmitter of information by connecting to the outside world. My speculation is that this connection is established by tuning into a very subtle wave form -frequency being in petaheartz or higher. These waves may exist since creation of the "Absolute Abstract Space" and "Absolute Abstract Motion". Due to their extremely high frequency the wavelngth has to be extremely small, possibly sub-particle size and therefore these waves go totally undetetcted by any device - so far. It is this transciever which gives us the ability to connect with the Divine - metaphorically speaking, or provide intuition when needed.

This mechanism - Consciousness thus, can influence and interact with the Mind, and the Memory.

kris said...

I see the thought that creates a reality for each of us as an impediment to right thinking itself. Do we each need to create a reality for ourselves? What good does this reality do for anyone? How does it contribute to common good? I don't think it is enough to not attempt to change "content" (as if it can be done). Should we not be attempting constantly to grasp the "content" rather than be content with the reality that we each create for ourselves? Don't you think that the reality we each create can distract us from the "content" or worse yet possibly lead us away from the "content?" Is not "content" important enough that we should start focusing on it rather than vainly indulge in creating our own reality?

Dawid said...

"Nothing real can be theatened."

As that which is real is non-dual, nothing the mind (which is inherently dualistic) does or does not do can neither enhance nor diminish it.

"Nothing unreal exists."

All mind-made concepts are but illusions; they appear real to us but are actually not substantial. Therefore, one might say that the unreal (mind-made concepts) simply does not exist, and only the real exists.

(Possible nihilism is avoided by noticing that for something not to exist, it must have been existent to begin with, which is what is refuted in the quote above. Therefore, nihilism is not possible.)

"Herein lies the peace of God."

Because this is so, there is nothing that could possibly disturb or irritate. The nature of God is energetically felt as peace (as there is no friction in the non-dual), and that is also your very own nature, since subject and object dissolves into the pure light and unity which is God.

Ron said...

I have two working definitions of mind: The first is but a field property, electrochemically derived, or the glial-cell agglomeration of the brain, which arises as an intangible yet effective, and sapient manifestation of sensory consciousnesses, which are in turn arising as a result of contact of the associated sensory organs to contacts with the exterior environment. There are six of these consciousnesses: touch, taste, smell, sound, sight, and mental.

Mind is primarily derived of the mental consciousness, which acts as controller, analyst, integrator, librarian, moralist, and decision maker.

The mind makes decisions on the basis of what it knows from innate programming (involuntary nervous system), central nervous system, and the peripheral nervous system. It controls in the sense that once a problem is analyzed, researched from its memory library, a selection of results from past actions in similar circumstances listed and reviewed, potential outcomes considered, it makes a decision.

Mind is not always brought into this above process, because some action need to be reflexive, such as removing one's hand from a hot pot, when it is touched by mistake. Other actions become habitual, such as when we follow a certain path to work every morning without thinking much about, but such actions are based upon visual cures (landmarks) which allow us to travel to routine locations without thinking about it too much.

Human mind is said to be sapient, that it is self aware, and most importantly aware of its own mortality. Therefore, out of ignorance, it tends to imagine scenarios where it will not experience aging, disease, and death as everyone sufficiently advanced in age, or sufficiently diseased, or suffered the consequences of forceful trauma experiences and as a very predictable result the entire electro-chemical-bio-mechanical system we call our selves shuts down, is consumed by animals, scavengers, corruptors (fly larvae a.k.a. maggots, worms, insects, bacteria, algae, fungus, etc.) break down our complex constituents into reusable chemical compounds, whereupon life begins anew.

Therefore human mind creates heavens, paradises, rebirths, reincarnations, transfigurations, nirvanas, ascensions, purifications, annihilations, dispersions, and etc.

The other working definition I have of mind comes from the scientific study of mind, Buddhism, which, according to the teachings of the most recent Buddha, Sakyamuni Buddha, is but dependently arisen and impermanent consciousness, which causes but more consciousnesses to arise. He describes mind as but "froth on The River Ganges", temporary and insubstantial.