Characteristics of the Mind
| Chapter 11 | Page 121
First, the mind is largely automatic. Since the mind is fast, and beyond the categories of time and space, it supports your actions with many more thoughts than you could ever act on. The result of this is that it is not you who thinks. Your mind thinks, not you. It floods you with thoughts, both wanted and unwanted, intended and unintended. Not all thoughts support you which is you. You are awareness itself and not all these thoughts. You are actually carried through the soul.
Second, the mind is ever moving. If it stops it cannot function. It is not a local phenomenon. Just like in the ocean you can feel the waves that were generated from far away, so in the mind you have thoughts and feelings from the entire universe and every other person. The places and people you are most attuned to and attached to or what usually fill your stream of thoughts. As you become more neutral and non-attached the scope of those thoughts and feelings widens.
Third, the mind functions best on contrast. It seeks polarities and tends to classify things in pairs, in positive and negative, in good and bad. Consider your eyes. They constantly move with motions called saccadic motion. If this is stopped artificially with a drug, you cannot see. Your eyes need the movement to provide contrast and comparison so your nervous system can construct your vision. It is the same with mind. It’s seeks contrast and polarity. Since the mind is impersonal as well as personal, you find this search for contrast and extremes throughout nature.
Fourth, the mind is just as material as the body, only it is subtler. Water exists in degrees of subtlety from vapor to liquid to ice. Just so, you could think of the mind as the vapor, the feelings as water, and the neurons and connections as ice. The mind is a structure, a process, and an energy that lets your awareness operate and manifest in this creation. You can observe it and you can change it. You can affect it with gross things like food, powerful things like breath, and subtle things like thought. It has its own flow, structure, and metabolism.
The mind itself does not stop. That is why a point of stillness is one of the essential tools you need to look into the mind. This is where special techniques like meditation, mantra and breath control are needed. Using the mind to try and convince the mind to be still is like to stop in a hurricane by blowing at it. There is too much going on. A further difficulty is that you use your mind to observe your mind. Just imagine two mirrors facing each other at a slight angle. If you put a candle in between and look into the mirror, you can see hundreds of candles, reflections upon reflections. The mind can reflect back on itself and create images within images, thoughts within thoughts.
We need to be able to affect the mind without getting caught in an infinite self–reference. To do that, we need to understand the structure of the mind, recognize the origin of thought, and cautiously determine which thoughts are consistent with our true self. Facets of your mind regulate the reactions of the personality, body, and mind to each thought. If the 81 facets can be controlled so that the mind perceives each thought clearly, then the mind can align with the intention of the soul. The result is effectiveness, inner and outer peace, and awakened intuition.