The Universe of the Mind—Part 1


Description: The inner universe of mind is larger, more complex than any of the universes we can see with our physical eyes. The nature of the outer world is subjective.  Enlightened souls acquire knowledge from the depths of their own being, living two-thirds within the inner world, an ashram to the spiritual seeker. In an evolved mystic being, flashes of intuitive understanding come spontaneously from inside himself, from the superconscious mind of light, rather than from the instinctive animal nature.


Text of talk:


gururbrahmā gururviṣṇuḥ gururdevo maheśvaraḥ guruḥ sākṣāt parabrahma tasmai śrī gurave namaḥ


Good morning everyone.  


We’re starting a new lesson from “Merging with Siva” today.  Lesson, rather Chapter 24 entitled, “The Universe of the Mind.” It’s drawn from “The Master Course, 1967” as well as from the 1970 Audio Cassette Edition and subsequent upadeśas.  


Lesson 162,  “The Inner and Outer Being.”




“Popular thought prevalent today is that we have an external mind to be shunned and an inner being to be reached. I look at the internal areas of the mind and the external areas of the mind as being one and the same, an integrated whole, one totality of mind. In my personal life I have proven this to myself time and time again for more than fifty-one years. (That gives us a clue of when this talk was given.)


“The inner universe of the mind is tremendous. It is much larger, more complex and better organized than any of the universes we can see with our physical eyes. The superconscious areas of mind deep within each of us are more advanced than the externalities of the material conscious world.


“As an example, the planet, Earth, began in a very simple way. Man himself has made it extremely complex. Man has added to the planet all of the buildings, all of the systems, the laws, the cities, the countries, the states. Man has done this all himself. Quite often I humorously say, ‘The Gods created heaven and Earth and man decorated them.’ The inner mind is many more times more complex than this.


“Man is discovering new things within the sea and in outer space. All of these vast new discoveries are being registered within his subconscious mind. Only through his deep, intuitive, perceptive faculties, resident within the area of his mind, is he able to grasp these new findings, relate them to discoveries of the past and conditions of the present and hold a mountaintop overview of it all. But if he does not have this deep, intuitive, perceptive faculty awakened, man becomes confused by these new discoveries and fearful of his future.


“Only the one who is inwardly awake, vibrant, alive and has the burning desire to know and be creative with that knowledge is content and at peace with himself and the world at large. For the more he knows about the external world, the more he discovers from deep within himself as he passes this knowledge on to the present generation, who will in turn pass it on to the succeeding generation, systematically and in an organized way. Many enlightened souls on the Earth today are handling the knowledge acquired from the exterior areas of the mind and the knowledge acquired from the depths of their own being in this way. To perform this mental activity, one does not have to be mystically inclined. A mystic is one who lives two-thirds within himself and one-third within the external areas of the mind.


“A person who lives two-thirds within the external mind and only one-third within himself is not classified as a mystic. Let us look at the one-third of the inner area of mind in which he is living. It can be a delightful inner world or a very tragic area of the mind. This depends upon the character of the individual himself, the nature of his evolution and how he conducts himself in daily life. Although he is living only one-third within, intuitive flashes can penetrate the exterior walls of his consciousness strongly enough to change the history and course of humanity.”


Then my comment is:


Gurudeva does not accept the idea that the world is a terrible place, filled with materialism, evil, etc. The way I like to describe the world is that its nature is subjective, meaning to different people it appears completely different. It’s subjective.  It depends on the person who’s looking at the world.  Objective means it’s in, in and of it’s self it is something but it, world is subjective. To the businessman clearly it is a place to make money, to the scientist a place to make a new discovery. And the next one is humorous, to a teenager a place to party on the weekend and to the spiritual seeker it is an ashram.


Think of a supermarket. When a health-conscious vegetarian goes shopping, she ignores most of the items and just focuses on the healthy vegetarian ones. Likewise in the world, focus on those aspects of it that help you become more spiritual and ignore the rest.


It’s interesting, I rarely go shopping but when we travel we go shopping, generally to Target and has everything we need; basically ninety some percent of the store is useless, right? There’s nothing there that we’d want, and there’s this five percent or so you can actually purchase.  


Lesson 163, “The Mind’s Three Phases.”




“The totality of the mind is vast and complicated. However, it is helpful to look at the entirety of the mind in three basic phases: the instinctive, the intellectual and the intuitive.”


So, commentary:


What is the difference between the three phases of the mind and Gurudeva’s concept of the five states of mind. The concept of phases refers to how the mind functions. The concepts of states refers to the different parts of the mind. We could think of the mind as a house with five rooms, one’s for each state of the mind. And note that Gurudeva describes the third phase of the mind both as intuitive and in other statements as susperconscious. So no difference, he just sometimes uses one term and sometimes the other.


So, back to the text:


“The instinctive mind is easy to become aware of and experience. It includes the impulses of our physical body, our cravings, our desires, our digestive system, and our emotional mechanism that works through the physical body. The systems of elimination and blood circulation and the regulation of the heartbeat are all within the instinctive mind. This phase of mind functions automatically, or instinctively. It is as much alive in the animal kingdom as among humans.”




The instinctive mind is functioning from birth. We have an instinctive mind because we have a physical and an astral body. We can learn a lot about the instinctive mind by studying animals.  In other words, if we were just in our soul body we wouldn’t have an instinctive mind, comes along with the physical and astral bodies.




“Man alone develops the intellectual mind and is responsible for its composition as he lives along through life. This phase is a mixture of man’s instinctive desires and cravings coupled with the knowledge he has gained from others and from his own intuitive discoveries. Within man’s intellect, he organizes a vast amount of knowledge that begins to accumulate from a very early age. Ninety percent of this knowledge deals with the externality of the world and mind itself. The intellect can consume most of man’s time through an incarnation, and usually does, lifetime after lifetime.”


There’s always something we have to be thinking about.  




As Gurudeva states, the intellect is developed. We go to school as a way to systematically develop the intellect. The intellect utilizes the faculties of memory and reason working together.  In school that’s what we focus on.  First memory, when you’re young, when you’re, until you’re a certain age reason is not available.  So we start out just with memory and then we have reason and the two of them work together because we need something to reason about. That comes from your memory.




“The intuitive, or superconscious phase is even more complex, more organized, more refined than the instinctive or intellectual phases. It is mystically known as the mind of light, for when one is in this state of mind, he may see light within his head, and sometimes throughout the entirety of his physical body, if his inner sight is developed enough. Otherwise, he just begins to feel good all over, as actinic energy permeates his nervous system. When intuitive flashes come, he knows the next thing to be done in a creative activity. This is the superconscious area of the mind. When man is extremely perspective… When man is extremely perceptive tremendously creative, and knowledge seems to come  from the inside of himself spontaneously, he is a superconscious being.”




A one word to describe when the mind is functioning superconsciously is intuition. Intuition comes in flashes of understanding. Meaning, it happens quickly.  So understanding, that happens in a flash.  Whereas, when you’re reasoning something out it could take days.  Such a very slow, tedious process to reason out all the pros and cons of something and come to a conclusion. Whereas, intuition comes in a flash, very quickly and that’s how we know it’s intuition.   




“Instinctive is a word that some may understand and others take offense at. Don’t. It only means ‘natural or innate,’ naming the drives and impulses that order the animal world and the physical and lower aspects… It only means ‘natural or innate,’ naming the drives and impulses that order the animal world and the physical and lower astral aspects of humans. For example, self-preservation, procreation, hunger and thirst, as well as the emotions of greed, hatred, anger, fear, lust and jealousy, are all instinctive forces. They are very real in animals and humans alike. When the mind functions instinctively, it is controlled by the habit impressions made in the subconscious during its journey through the experiences of life. Instinctive also means that the driving force comes from the sexual nature. The nature is turned in that direction subconsciously, even though the conscious mind may not be cognizant of the fact. It also means that in the event of an emergency, the animal nature would take over completely, being jarred loose from lack of what I term ‘mind-control,’ or from what might be called self-control.”


Why don’t we stop there today.

File Type: mp3
Categories: Bodhinatha Talks
Author: Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami
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