The Three Minds

Consider that you have three minds...

 

Three Minds

 

The one with which you are most familiar is the consciousness. Consciousness is the necessary interface between the self and the world, the mind that processes external stimuli by labeling and evaluating them; it names the animal running toward you “dog” and evaluates the weather as “good” or “bad”. The environment is seen in relation to oneself and one's needs. Consciousness is automated; because your mother taught you to count by reciting numbers as you climbed steps as a child, you now count steps as you climb them as an adult. Chattering consciousness keeps you awake at night, reminds you of the pains of the past and the problems in the future. It contains your memories, imagination, lessons, and skills so that, ideally, you know to smile politely, pay for your shopping, and turn-up on time to a meeting. It’s common to disparage the first mind but, without a healthy consciousness, you become a dysfunctional member of society. Consciousness is a processor - ensure you are inputting healthy ideas by which your consciousness can provide healthy outputs.

Next to develop, (possibly), is your executive mind. If you become conscious of yourself, your motivations, the way your consciousness processes information and the results, your executive mind is online. This mind manages the chattering consciousness by directing attention (focus), choosing priorities, controlling impulses, self-soothing and self-motivating. Longer-term, strategic decision-making, direction, and management is the executive mind. It’s the firm and supportive trainer of the distractible chattering consciousness and soberly invites us to live wisely rather than reactively. Ideally, over time, the executive mind predominates to quiet the chattering of the consciousness so that the next mind can reveal itself.



He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.
Lao Tzu


The deep mind is revealed in the absence of consciousness...it’s the dreams, visions, sudden insights and creativity that emerge when we have intentionally, or unintentionally, disengaged from external stimuli. Unintentional deep mind is in evidence when an idea appears in the shower or while daydreaming. Many important ideas are attributed to deep mind: Albert Einstein realized the theory of relativity from a dream, Dr. Frederik Banting dreamt the idea for treating diabetes with insulin and Mary Shelley wrote the first science-fiction novel, Frankenstein, from a nightmare. Meditation is the intentional dive toward deep mind; one meditates using the executive mind to settle chattering consciousness and access deep mind. 

 

Three minds

 

Consciousness should be lean and is most akin to cardiovascular exercise; it keeps you responsive and nimble. Executive mind is developed as you would through weight training; it's the manifestation of self-discipline and strength - uncomfortable in the present but paying-off with fortification against later challenges. Deep mind will explore connections; it’s about the inter-nodes rather than the nodes and is most like flexibility training or yoga where stability is the purpose.

Becoming aware of the three minds allows you to re-allocate energy and attention to your advantage making you more likely to reach your ambitions. You'll notice that those who've achieved great things have cultivated their executive mind to master their consciousness and sometimes gained insights from deep mind. 

 

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