The second—this focusing on the Mind—in a series, By Carl Llewellyn Weschcke
(As I write the second editorial in this series, I want to state that I am not writing as an "expert," but rather as a 77-year old guy who has done a lot of reading, a lot of study, and a lot of work in most areas of Body, Mind, & Spirit who just wants to express a few ideas.)
MIND—What is it?
My dictionary defines mind as the seat of thought and memory, the center of consciousness that generates thoughts, feelings, ideas, and perceptions, and that also stores knowledge and memories. It's the capacity to think, understand, and reason. It's the ability to concentrate. It's also a verb, meaning to pay attention to something, to control something, to take note of something.
What is thought? It's the process of producing an idea, plan, or opinion. It's the intention of doing something. What is consciousness? It's the state of being awake and aware, it is somebody's mind and thoughts, and it is awareness of a particular issue. What is awareness? Knowing something through observation. What is thinking? Using the mind to form thoughts. What is knowing? Having knowledge, information, or understanding. What is understanding? Knowledge of a particular subject, area, or situation; the ability to perceive and explain the meaning of something; the interpretation of something.
We can go on and on, but there really isn't an answer to "Mind—What is it?" Like "Body," we each know we have one, so is it important to define? No, but it is important to understand how we use it.
MIND—A Vehicle for Spirit
That's a pretty big leap. We make decisions that control our physical actions, and we are aware of "Mind over Matter" in terms of physical health, i.e. the Mind/Body connection. We know that "Thought should precede Action" even though we often act without thinking. And most of us know the expression "I think, therefore I am," (Cogito Ergo Sum) even though few know it was the French philosopher Descartes who said it or understand all the ramifications derived from that expression.
Purely and simply, I want to emphasize the importance of Mind as the guy in charge. Mind, by the way, is no longer believed to be the product of the brain anymore than a human operator is the product of a computer. The analogy is good, however, because it does point out the importance of the operator to use the computer correctly, and with understanding of its capabilities and limitations. And, now that we are connected to the World Wide Web through our computer, we have to understand the "connectedness" of computer and consider the question of connectedness of brain, and of mind with others.
While Mind is a given—we are because we think—a Good Mind is not a given. It is "earned" though training, education, experience, and self-discipline.
Just as we are more than our Body, we are more than our Mind. As we have learned to put the Mind in charge of the Body, so we have to learn to open the Mind to the role of Spirit in the make up of the whole person.
Imagination, Intuition, Intention
But, regardless of where we think they reside, Imagination, Intuition, and Intention (can) take us beyond rationality. With the Mind, we pay attention to facts, but we can also open to Intuition that often produces answers superior to the merely rational. With the Imagination, we can perceive the future and how our actions today will impact tomorrow. And it is through Intention that we make changes in today's "reality" and choose among many possibilities to make our actions decisive.
"Without Vision, people will perish." Without Imagination, we do perish. With Intuition, we see our future. With Intention, we create our future. Imagination, Intuition, and Intention are the tools of Magick.
Why the adjective "Brave" in the title of this article?
It requires bravery to actually take charge of the Mind. Yes, I wrote previously that the Mind was in charge of the Body, but who is in charge of Mind?
That's one of the great mysteries. The answer is (not yet) Spirit or Soul, but there is something that can command the Mind and eventually open it to Spirit. We give that something various names (Ego, Personality, Consciousness, etc.) but we know it best as "I." I think, therefore I am. I am who I am. Me, Myself, and I.
This is the "I" who can become more than she was and who can always become yet more. This is the "I" for whom potential is without limit, and this "I" is not yet the full incarnation of Spirit or Soul (we will try to define these terms in the next installment).
My final point is that you have a Mind that is the most wonderful and potentially most powerful tool in the universe—but you have to learn how to use it, how to expand it, and how to work with it to reach the next stage in human evolution.
The Mind is a beautiful thing. Don't waste it.