The Universe of the Mind, Part 2




Work within, harnessing tendencies, desires and impulses; transmute the energies of the instinctive mind into the higher nature. Dive deeper into the inevitable. Subdue the intellect observing the functioning totality of the intuitive mind.  Observation of the intuitive mind comes into use with control of unnecessary thought and daily meditation. The intuitive mind we consider to be our inspiration, part of God’s vast mind.  It is the natural expression of the transcendental soul. Discipline thinking, become mentally quiet, perceive the intuition that’s already happening right now—that awareness captured by the celestial nerve system.  “Master Course Trilogy, Merging with Siva, The Universe of the Mind,” Lessons 164, 165.   


Text of talk:


gururbrahmā gururviṣṇuḥ gururdevo maheśvaraḥ guruḥ sākṣāt parabrahma tasmai śrī gurave namaḥ


Good morning everyone.  We are going through the lessons of “Merging with Siva” in chronological order as to when they were given.  And we’re up in 1967, there’s lots of material from 1967. This is continuing with Chapter 24, entitled:


“The Universe of the Mind, Lesson 164.


“Intellect and the Instinctive Mind


“The first steps on the spiritual path consist in learning to harness these tendencies and impulses and transmute their energies into the higher nature. (Talking about the instinctive mind.) But we should not think of the instinctive mind as ‘bad’, for it controls the basic faculties of perception and movement, digestion, elimination, ordinary thought and emotion and the many other vital functions of the physical being…”



It’s kind of amazing, digestion, imagine if you had to consciously digest your food. I don’t know how the stomach does it.  You know rice and curry meal, all those different types of food thrown together get digested in the right way. So, it’s happening automatically is the basic idea.  Lots of functions both physical and mental happen automatically and that’s fortunate.  Cause then we don’t have to pay any attention to them unless something goes wrong.



“Animals, birds, fish, reptiles and insects are the personification of the instinctive mind. Living mainly in the areas of fear, they react immediately to change. Their driving forces are sustenance, sex, shelter and security for their young and themselves. It is these instinctive drives that are the most difficult impu… It is these instinctive drives that are the most difficult impulses for humans to deal with. They are, for people, the needs of all… They are, for people the seeds of all the desires of all the entanglements within the four areas—sex , money, food and clothes —which we capture in one word, desire. Yes, it is desire that propels humanity onward.


“The instinctive mind also has within it various forces: the force of fear, the force of anger, the force of jealousy and the dynamic force of self-preservation. It is what it is—instinctive. It is impulsive and immediately reacts to all situations. Though it is a great force in developing the intellect, its greatest enemy is intuition, the mind of the soul, which guides humans out of the morass of the lower nature into sublimity.  Most of us find the intellect a saving grace when it comes from the transformation of the instinctive nature into something more substantial. Constantly we strive to broaden our intellect, increase our knowledge, govern the mind with organized thinking and control our emotions by repressing the instinctive nature. This is nature’s way of increasing man’s justification of that which has passed before the window of the mind and was not pleasing to the intellect, the justification being that enough knowledge has not been acquired by the intellect to sufficiently suppress the instinctive nature.”


So, Gurudeva made an important point–that to control the instinctive nature we have to have a developed intellect.  So the intellect isn’t the end goal, it’s the intermediate goal.  If we’re born with an instinctive nature we learn to control that by developing the intellect and then we learn to control the intellect by developing the intuition.  




“While the instinctive mind places great pulls on the individual, the intellectual mind often has a stranglehold. An intellectual person could run this explanation through his intellect and be able to explain it back better than we are unraveling it here, relating this point to that point exquisitely, yet deriving absolutely nothing from the conclusions to improve his own life. The next day his mental interest would be off on another subject.”




“Here Gurudeva is pointing out the limitation of the intellect. We need to develop it to control the instinctive mind, but then we don’t want to stop there or we are simply trapped in the realm of thought. We need to keep going and develop our intuition. As Gurudeva states in Cognizantability: ‘The intellect strengthened with opinionated knowledge is the only barrier to the superconscious.'”


So the intellect is very interesting, we can get trapped in it.  People sometimes tell me, “I’m always thinking, what can I do?”  Trapped in the intellect, thought is constantly going on and they don’t, they haven’t developed yet the ability to turn it off.  But that is the key, we can look at it like a computer.  If you have to look at the computer 24 hours a day, it has a certain influence on your life. But if you can turn it on and off when you actually need to do something then it’s a useful tool.  So, we want to get the intellect to the point where it’s something we can turn it on when we need to utilize its faculties and turn it off when we don’t.  


Lesson 165:


“Intellect and Intuition.


“Mystics never demean or belittle intellectual reasoning. The intellect is not bad. It is good and necessary when used correctly. But they also do not elevate it too highly, knowing it is not the whole mind, it is only one phase of the mind. Instinctive, intellectual and intuitive phases define the whole of the mind. We often use the terms ‘unfolding intuitive faculties’ and ‘developing intuition’ in an effort to encourage an individual on the path to work within himself in subduing his intellect so that he can actually observe the already functioning totality of his intuitive mind.


“In order to subdue the intellect… (This next phrase is really good; listen carefully). In order to subdue the intellect that partial conglomerate of thought patterns and modes of procedure which accord with the culture of the day… (That is such beautiful definition of the intellect.) it is first necessary to inwardly observe how one’s acquired intellect actually functions. Observation is a faculty of the intuitive mind, and this particular aspect of observation only comes into usage after daily meditation has been maintained for a long period of time. Once an inkling of success in knowing intuition and how it differs from reasoning, emotional impulses and pre-programmed patterns within the subconscious awakens, the contest is won. Then and then only we can sustain this knowledge and dive deeper into the inevitable, all the time losing the future and the past, and loosening the reins of the intellect.”


My comment is:


All the time losing the future and the past is a way of expressing Gurudeva’s concept of not thinking about the past or the future unnecessarily. That’s an important practice in learning to control our thoughts. Not thinking about the past or the future unnecessarily. In other words, many individuals are constantly remembering different things for no particular reason.  You don’t need that information. And again, going into the future without doing something constructive there. Only leave the present moment to go to the past or the future if doing so is a productive activity. That’s a simple way of looking at it.  Did my going into the past produce something positive in the present? Did my going into the future produce something positive in the present or was it just a random trip that had no benefit. So, if it’s a random trip that has no benefit those are the ones we want to learn to discontinue.  




“Some men say they are part of God, that the God Spirit is within them. The intuitive mind we consider to be that part of God’s vast mind—our inspiration. If you have ever had a hunch and had it work out, that is the intuitive mind working within you. It has temporarily dominated your conscious mind and made it possible for you to look into the future and estimate its happenings. The intuitive mind is the essence of time, yet it understands time and timelessness, its essence. It is the essence of space, yet it comprehends space and spacelessness. It is real, yet it does not exist—real only when used, nonexistent to the lower realms of the mind. Man’s individual awareness is either captured by the nerve system of external consciousness of the animal bodies, which his soul inhabits as vehicles to live in on Earth, or captured by his celestial nerve system. This, then, is the intuitive nature, the natural expression of the transcendent soul known as man.”


And then my last comment here, I think, yes:


Intuition can be compared to soft music playing in the background in a noisy room. It is there all the time but the noise covers it up. In the mind the noise is our constant thoughts which can cover up insights from our intuition. Therefore, it is clear we need to cultivate the habit of not thinking unnecessarily.


The point there is, it’s useful to think of intuition as something that’s happening, you’re just not aware of it.  Cause intuition’s happening right now within you.  But there’s too much noise going on. That’s more helpful than thinking: I have to figure out how to use, you know, create my intuition.  I have to figure out how to start it, it’s not there.  It’s easier to say, it’s there, but I, there’s too much noise, let’s quiet down the noise by disciplining our thinking on a daily basis and then we’re mentally quiet enough to actually perceive the intuition that’s already happening.


Nice having all of you here and have a wonderful day.  

File Type: mp3
Categories: Bodhinatha Talks
Author: Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami
Scroll to Top