Author Topic: Mind and Consciousness - David Frawley:  (Read 1335 times)

Subramanian.R

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Mind and Consciousness - David Frawley:
« on: March 05, 2016, 12:54:03 PM »
(The above article appeared in Mountain Path, Jan.-March 2008)

*

What is the nature of the mind?  How is it related to our deeper consciousness?  And, above all, who are
in our real being?  What is our true identity or true Self behind the endless stream of thoughts going on
inside us?

These have always been the primary questions that we must ask in order to discover the ultimate
meaning and purpose of our existence. They are the basis of the seeking of liberation and Self Realization
in the Yoga tradition.  In Yoga, the Divine is defined mainly as the essence of consciousness.   The Yogic
spiritual quest is a practice of meditation in order to discover that.

LOOKING AT THE MIND:

Today, we usually look at the mind according to the approaches of modern psychology.  We focus 
on the subconscious mind, memory and past experiences as the measure of our mental state,
the ground out which our thought and emotion develops.  Examination of the mind usually consists
of trying to understand our personal history, including uncovering hidden or repressed traumatic
experiences that may inhibit our functioning in life.  In most current psychology, the personal mind
is our real consciousness and somewhere in it our true Self or identity can be found.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.         

Subramanian.R

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Re: Mind and Consciousness - David Frawley:
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2016, 10:46:19 AM »
Modern science similarly identifies mind and consciousness, equating the faculty of thinking with the power
of awareness. It takes us back to the basic Cartesian dictum, 'I think therefore I am'. It regards consciousness
as primarily self consciousness, the activity of the personal self as, for example, the ability to recognize ourselves
in a mirror, which capacity animals, except possibly for some primates, do not seem to have.

On this basis, modern science identifies consciousness with the mind and the mind with the brain. This
identification as resulted in seeking to improve our mental and emotional functioning through altering
brain chemistry with pharmaceutical preparations.  Mainstream science usually does not recognize consciousness
as a spiritual or cosmic principle apart from the mind, though some trends in the new physics are beginning
to suggest this.  It is still a largely a physical view of the mind that we find in medicine today.

The Yogic view of the mind, however, is very different. It is based on meditation and inner experience,
rather than outer experimentation.  It tries to understand the mind through introspection or turning
our awareness within, rather than by analyzing outer mental patterns. It encourages us to observe the
mind rather than follow its reactions. It teaches us to understand the process of perception and how it
conditions us, rather than to merely examine our memories.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                     

Subramanian.R

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Re: Mind and Consciousness - David Frawley:
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2016, 11:07:30 AM »
The Yoga tradition also classifies the mind in a different manner.  It defines mind in the broadest sense,
what is called Chitta in Sanskrit, as all aspects of conditioned consciousness.  Under the concept of Chitta
is included reason, emotion, sensation, memory, the instinctual part of the mind, and the ego;  all that
we ordinarily consider to possess some degree of consciousness within us.  Yet under the concept of
Chitta is also a higher creativity and intuition beyond the ordinary mind and physical consciousness,
which a few people may develop in a significant manner. Chitta moreover extends beyond the personal
mind, to collective and cosmic aspects of mind. Chitta is mind as a cosmic principle, not simply the human mind.

Mind and Consciousness - Two Different Powers:

Even more significantly, Yoga radically distinguishes between mind and consciousness, which it regards
as two separate but related powers. Yoga regards consciousness, called Chit as something other than
the mind or Chitta.  This is very different from modern science but also from most of the world's
philosophies, which generally identify mind and consciousness.

The mind is an instrument of thinking and sensing  on various levels.  Mind is called the 'inner instrument'
or 'anatahkarana' in Sanskrit, related to the body which is our outer instrument. The mind is looked upon
as the sixth sense after the five bodily senses and is regarded as an organ, not our true being or the
basis of our sense of self.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.       
       

Subramanian.R

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Re: Mind and Consciousness - David Frawley:
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2016, 10:29:54 AM »
Chit is pure consciousness unmodified by any mental activity. Chit is awareness of what is called the Purusha,
the inner Being, for which the mind is but a tool of perception and expression.  Yoga similarly regards
mind and brain as different though related.  The brain is the physical vehicle for the mind, but not the
mind itself.

The Purusha is our inner Self while the mind, we could say, is like our computer and the body is like the
car we drive.  Mind and body are our internal and external instruments but not our real identity. Just
as you are not your computer, so too, your true Self and Being is not the mind.  The light that allows
the mind to function comes from the Purusha.  The mind does not have any light of its own.  Your sense
of self being, that you are unique, whole and continuous center of awareness, derives from the inner
consciousness, not from the mind.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                     

Subramanian.R

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Re: Mind and Consciousness - David Frawley:
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2016, 11:09:19 AM »
Mind and Psychology:

How we seek to heal the mind depends upon how we look at the mind.  The Yogic view of psychology,
with its emphasis on consciousness rather than mind as our real being is also different.

Psychology belongs to the mind and the mind can have psychological diseases and imbalances, just as
the body can have physical diseases and imbalances.  A person's psychology reflects the condition of
his mind, its tendencies and qualities.  The mind always has a psychology because it is a product of time
and outer experiences, which leave their characteristic marks upon it.   They are classified in Ayurveda
and Yogic psychology according to the Gunas, (sattva, rajas, and tamas),  Doshas (vata, pitta and
kapha), the five elements and other energetic factors.

Our true Self or Purusha, however, does not have a psychology because it is unconditioned consciousness,
the witness outside of time and the mind.  It is beyond all form and qualities.  While the mind has mental activity, the inner Being consists of pure unmodified awareness only, like a mirror.  This means that if we can go deeply into our awareness to our inner being and light of consciousness, we can move beyond all psychological suffering.  The ultimate Yogic solution to psychological problems is to raise our awareness
to the inner consciousness beyond mind and its dualities.  Though many outer factors of diet, behavior,
the breath and the senses, can help, it ultimately requires a revolution in our awareness itself from a mind based consciousness to pure consciousness itself, from Chitta to Chit.           

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Mind and Consciousness - David Frawley:
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2016, 10:46:09 AM »
The Question of Self Knowledge:

In Yoga, knowledge alone is said to bring about the liberation of consciousness, specifically self knowledge
or the knowledge of our true nature in the Purusha.  When we speak of self knowledge for the personal
for the personal mind, we are mainly referring to knowledge of one's personal history, habits and inclinations.
Self Knowledge for the inner Being, however, consists of understanding the essence of awareness beyond
thought and personal history.  Though our thoughts are constantly changing, our inner Being remains the same.

True Self Knowledge is a matter of Being, not of thought or emotion. It is a state of Being, not of events,
experiences or ideas known.  Our inner Being has no conceptual content, nor is it conditioned by time and action.  It is a state of openness, surrender and presence like a steady thread through all our experiences.
Contacting it brings us into a state of peace, in which the mind and its psychology are naturally put to rest.
To reach our inner Being requires a different orientation of our consciousness, a willingness to let go of our
personal history and dive into the great Unknown within.

From the standpoint of the Purusha or true Self. one could say that you cannot know yourself.  There is no
self or personal history to be known which could define you.  From the standpoint of the true Self, you can
only be your Self. But in being yourself, you become one with all Being.  You come to know all things within
yourself,  in which he mind becomes but an instrument to be used at will or put to rest.

Our inner Being exists beyond time and space, birth and death, mind and body.  Yet it is present within us
as the ground of  Being which is the same in all.  In that awareness, the mind becomes quiet and passive
and the personal self loses its relevance.

In that Inner Reality, the mind loses its importance. This is just as when the Sun is shining, one no longer
notices the Moon.  The reality is self evident.  Nothing needs to be said, discussed or argued about. And the
reality is so vast it can never be described. One merges into the experience only.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                           
« Last Edit: March 10, 2016, 10:52:36 AM by Subramanian.R »

Subramanian.R

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Re: Mind and Consciousness - David Frawley:
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2016, 11:36:32 AM »
Self Realization:

The yogic dictum  is 'I am that I am', 'I am that which is, that which was and that which will be'.
'I am therefore I can think',  Yet this 'I' is neither me nor you, nor anyone else.  One who could say
that it is God, but it is not God of any belief, theology or philosophy.  It is the Divine Being that is the
being of all.  It is the Self of existence, the Self-being that is the ocean of which all creatures and all worlds
are but waves.  In that Self is the resolution of all of our problems, conflicts, stress, anxiety and agitation.
When one has gone home to one's true nature, there are no more issue to resolve.

Yoga defines its supreme goal of liberation as the realization of the inner Self or Purusha.  'Only by knowing
the Purusha can one go beyond death.  There is no path to transcendence .'  So knowledge of the Purusha
or inner Being is the most important thing in life, not just a knowledge of our mental and emotional tendencies, however valuable these may be for dealing with psychological diseases.

Unless we know our inner Being, we cannot find lasting peace.  Knowledge of our being depends upon being,
not upon mental activity. The problem is that instead of seeking to know our inner Being, we get caught in our
outer becoming.  We run after the mental, emotional or physical self and lose our Being Self within.  This
process is Samsara or the turning of the wheel of sorrow. 

Usually we think of Self Realization as the realization of our hidden personal potentials, some special abilities
or talents we might not have yet developed.  However, Yogic Self Realization is the understanding that
our true Self is beyond body and mind, which also means beyond psychology, culture and conditioning.
It is the dissolution of the personal psychological self into the Being Self that is not born and does not die.

True consciousness is not the embodied mind, which is a conditioned consciousness, a mere collection of
tendencies and activities from our various births.  True consciousness is a universal principle and power
like space.  It cannot be limited to any body or mind.  The mind can at best reflect it, which requires that
the mind be still, subtle and sensitive within.  We must learn to move from embodied consciousness or mind,
to the non embodied universal consciousness, in which we transcend our personal self to the universal consciousness, in which we transcend our personal self to the universal Self.  This occurs when we go to the
root of the mind and discover the light of awareness that radiates through it.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Mind and Consciousness - David Frawley:
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2016, 01:17:29 PM »
Mind and Self Realization:

For such higher Self Realization, the mind plays a crucial role.  The mind can be the instrument for either
bondage or liberation, ignorance or enlightenment.  If we turn the mind towards external world as the
reality, it becomes a force of attachment and sorrow.  if we turn the mind within to the Inner Being as
the Reality, it slows down and comes to reflect that higher reality.  The mind becomes a mirror for the
light of the Self to shine.

So turning the mind within is the essence of Yoga and meditation.  For this mind must first be brought
to a one pointed state.  A fragmented or distracted mind cannot turn within.  The inward turning process
can be looked upon very simply as immersing the mind in the deeper consciousness of the inner Being
that dwells within the Heart.

The mind's knowledge is conceptual or thought based.  It results in facts, data, information, ideals,theories,
opinions, concepts or formulas.  Our inner Being has a higher kind of knowledge, which is radically different
from what the mind can know.  Our inner Being has a special 'knowledge by identity', which is not colored
by thought and its preconceptions.

Through one's inner Being, one can merge into the Inner Being of all that one comes in contact with
through the body and senses.  For most of us, this is a very difficult condition to imagine.  But whenever
the mind becomes totally concentrated, it experiences a quantum leap in awareness and a special knowledge
arises through inner unity of the seer and the seen.  This inner knowledge through identity is the real
yogic knowledge that frees us from all bondage of the Being, which arises through pure consciousness
when mental activity comes to rest, when the mind becomes cool, calm and silent.             

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Mind and Consciousness - David Frawley:
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2016, 11:24:14 AM »
From Mind to Consciousness:

We must learn to move beyond the mind to pure Consciousness, which is to return to our true nature,
our inner Being.  It is to rest in the silence and peace within that no thought, opinion, belief or conclusion
can touch.  It is to enter into the realm of Being and direct experience, where no words can go, which leaves
no outer trace, where one becomes everything and nothing.

The mind is an excellent tool and instrument for consciousness.  It has a wonderful capacity for action, expression, memory and coordination of our outer actions.  But if we try to understand consciousness through
the mind, we fall into spiritual ignorance and confusion.  We wrongly identify our true Self and Being with
our outer being.  However, if we abide in pure consciousness, then the mind has in its place to help us to
function in life.  But the mind no longer throws its tendencies and impulses upon as our real motivation.

Learn to discriminate between mind and consciousness.  Learn to witness the mind.  Dwell as the seer of the
mind and its modifications.   This is the Yoga of meditation that empties the mind of its conditioning and allows
us to rest in our true nature, to see Reality, and to go beyond death.


concluded.


Arunachala Siva.