What is the Mind? – A Non-dualistic View

What is the mind?  It’s quite a vast question in all honesty, and I’m not even sure that anyone on Earth can quite explain it in its entirety so that most people would understand. 

Some believe that the term ‘mind’ and ‘brain’ are synonymous, while others believe that the brain is more of a transformer or conduit for what we call the mind.  I myself am of the persuasion that the brain is a transformer for the larger mind. 

The Conscious Mind

I’m also of the persuasion that this mind is something that we are all apart of and all share.  I know that might sound a bit esoteric, and I suppose that’s true. 

But from everything I have personally seen, read, and experienced directly concerning this concept of the mind, I believe that this view is closest to being accurate.  So let’s break down the primary areas of the mind according to this point of view, that being fundamentally the conscious, subconscious, and  unconscious aspects of the mind.

Well to be fair the conscious mind is probably the easiest aspect of the mind for us to be aware of and understand.  It’s pretty much just the aspect of our mind that we use in our every day affairs. 

All basic cognitive functions, our general thoughts, fears, and desires that we are conscious of, although fears and desires are forms of thoughts too aren’t they?  But where do these thoughts fears and desires come from?  What is their source?

Psychiatrists and certain mental health practitioners would say that there are some chemical components to these things, and I wouldn’t say they are wrong.  But other schools of psychological thought and many therapists do believe that much of what is taking place in our conscious mind is actually stemming from things happening in our subconscious.

The Subconscious Mind

And of course many of the things happening in our subconscious are there from our childhoods and how we were raised.  Our thoughts, beliefs, fears, desires, and ability to function in life in large part stem from how we were raised and treated as children.

Some believe, furthermore, that if one can become aware of what’s in our subconscious and to program it by will, that we will have unlocked the ability to control our lives and to lead our lives as we see fit.  They believe that being able to recognize, become aware of and master our subconscious, that we can master our lives and achieve whatever we’d like to achieve. 

Although the subconscious is a bit more unconscious than our conscious minds are, it is still an area that we as a human race have a certain degree of understanding about and can very much influence regardless of what one believes.  For example, advertisers know full-well how the subconscious mind works and is precisely the reason there is so much money in advertising in general. 

Advertisers and marketers are literally paying various venues of human thought input i.e. movies, television, radio, music and in this day in age various streams of informative input and entertainment on the internet, to literally be able to influence your subconscious mind and to try to get it to do what they want it to do, which is to of course buy their product or service. 

I must admit this is quite fascinating in and of itself, but also seems a bit creepy and perhaps a little intrusive in my personal opinion.  There are even more advanced methods of influencing the subconscious known as NLP for example or neuro-linguistic programming. 

So there is indeed a healthy degree of understanding and knowledge of how the subconscious mind works as well as how to influence it.  But now the question must be asked, if WE are not driving our own subconscious minds who or what is?

As stated above aside from advertisers and various people using NLP such as lawyers in court rooms to influence people having some understanding and ability to influence our subconscious mind, the primary program running our subconscious is indeed from our child hood. 

In fact one could argue that what we’d call a ‘good upbringing’ would simply be good programming of the subconscious, and a ‘bad upbringing’ would be bad programming.  The good news is that these programs can be identified, deleted, and new programs can be put in their place at anytime. 

Ok, so we’ve talk a little bit about the conscious mind and even the subconscious, but what about the unconscious mind?  And is there a difference between the subconscious and the unconscious? 

The Unconscious Mind

Now the unconscious aspect of  the mind is something that is a little bit more obscure for many people.  In fact, some use the term subconscious and unconscious interchangeably when referring to the subconscious part of the mind. 

But in certain philosophies, and in my personal point of view as well, what we call the unconscious mind is actually not only far deeper and larger in scope and scale than the subconscious mind is, it actually has to do with the universe and what we call the cosmos itself. 

Let me explain. 

So from certain points of view and philosophical teachings, the universe of duality and the world we see around us is actually mind.  We use the term physical to describe the world and universe around us, but in actuality it is more like projected thought from a much deeper level of our mind. 

Taking that explanation into consideration, then, the entire universe that we perceive is not only projected thought, but is actually coming FROM a much deeper level of our mind. 

I know, crazy!

Not only that, this unconscious mind is actually shared or a collective mind by all people who are in this mind.  So if you’ve ever heard anything talking about how we’re all one, this is a philosophy that would fit that description perfectly.

Ok so let’s say that this philosophy is correct and that the universe of time and space and of our planet, galaxy and universe is coming FROM the deepest levels of our collective unconscious mind. 

What does that really mean?  And furthermore, why do we experience so much suffering in this world if it’s coming from some place within us?

The Universe is but a Dream

Many non-dualistic teachings would say that the universe we see around us and the individual lives we appear to lead are kind of like a dream.  That none of the things we see that are seemingly separate and a part of time and space are actually real, and the only thing that IS real is pure consciousness. 

The goal of all religions in fact, whether they are aware of it or not, is to achieve some kind of spiritual liberation or salvation.  And although not all religious, spiritual, or philosophical points of view would agree with what is being talked about here in relation to the universe being a dream coming from our mind, they all have some notion of hell or of reincarnation into lives of suffering or some kind of spiritual bondage. 

My belief is that they are all talking about the same thing.  So the end goal of all this, then, would be to wake up from the hellish dream of reincarnating over and over into lives of suffering chaos and ultimately death, and into the reality of our oneness with God.

Yeah I know.  Pretty intense. 

Oh, I forgot to mention that those who believe that this universe is God’s creation or even God’s dream, and all of us are sort of in it and are victim to whatever comes our way, see it as something that is happening TO us from OUTSIDE of us somewhere. 

This is of course the view of pretty much all religions and spiritual paths.  That this world is God’s creation, even if it is a cosmic dream of sorts, and we are all kind of puppets in the dream. 

But there is one philosophy that I have found, that I personally REALLY like and that does sort of explain everything nicely, is that the universe is not only coming FROM our unconscious mind as stated above, but is actually happening as a result of our own self hatred. 

Is the Universe a Projection of Self Hatred on a Large Scale?

What?  Self hatred?  Well, the idea is that the larger collective self that we are all apart believe that it separated itself from all light and love and sustenance, that is God, and A.  believes that it actually is separate, B.  is scared of some kind of punishment that we believe is coming from God at some point, and C.  hates itself for all this and has a certain degree of UNCONSCIOUS shame and guilt under the surface. 

In essence, the universe we know, according to this philosophy, is actually a place of SELF punishment and a place to HIDE from the Light of God, or true love and reality.  This explains why there is so much suffering that we all have to endure. 

The remedy, then, is to not only come to this intellectual understanding, but then to see everything in our lives AS our own self and to start to love understand and practice compassion and love with ourselves and those we see around us, even though in truth those we see around us ARE us. 

In other words, we live in a projected dream world of fear and self hatred, and to achieve liberation and real love we must learn to start loving ourselves, realize that God never left us, and to start seeing others and everything around us with love. 

That’s what this philosophy says anyway, which by the way comes from the text A Course in Miracles if you were curious. 

Anyway, that’s pretty much an explanation of the mind as close as one could get it in a particular blog post!  Lol.  Let me know what your thoughts are by leaving your comments below. 

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