The mind (i.e. our individual minds) and mind energy (i.e. the universal sea of mind) are key concepts in yoga. An understanding of mind is central to understanding not only ourselves – but also the universe in which we live.
Our minds have different aspects, explained by Dr. King as follows:
Subconscious – this governs physical function, e.g. digestion. It is also the part of our mind which remembers everything throughout our lives – and even everything in our past lives.
Conscious – this governs mental and physical action. This is the thought process of which we are all aware.
Superconscious – this governs intuition, inspiration, and so on. Above the superconsciousness, is the supraconsciousness – or soul consciousness. The soul is second only to the Divine Spirit within; it is the will of the Divine Spirit exerted through the mind.
Through spiritual action and practices, we train the mind such that the superconscious mind gets control over the conscious mind. Uncontrolled, our conscious mind is our worst enemy because of its petty likes and dislikes. Sitting at home watching hours and hours of television when we could be out helping others in spiritual service would be a common example of a conscious mind not being properly controlled. All forms of excess, alcohol and drug abuse, greed, materialism, violent emotion and so on – are examples of the conscious mind not being properly controlled. The reason the world is in the mess it is, is our failure as a planetary race, to control our conscious minds with our superconscious minds. In everyday language, a key aspect of the superconscious is our conscience.
The superconscious mind does not function according to petty like and dislike – but according to what is right and wrong – what is best for others, and, in the long term what is also best for ourselves. It is the part of our mind which says “no!” when we want to waste night after night in front of the television, or worse, and instead motivates us to do something genuinely more important and beneficial for all.
The universal sea of mind and prana – the universal life force
As well as our own individual minds, the term “mind” is also used to refer to an all-pervasive energy, explained by Dr. King in Realize Your Inner Potential as follows:
Mind is an all-pervasive energy which is outside of the body. The physical brain is rather like a pin-cushion. When you push a pin into a pin-cushion you make a hole and the next time you push a pin through that selfsame hole, it is easier than it was the first time. When you – the higher part of yourself – think a particular series of thoughts for the first time, it is a lot more difficult than when you do it for the second, third and fourth times. You are making a channel through the brain so that mind can enter.
If you regard mind as being an all-pervasive energy, a force or power outside of yourself, your brain as being a receiving set, and yourself as being the controller of this receiving set, then you get a true idea of how the mind works. You can twist certain little knobs in your brain and make your brain receive highly elevated spiritual thoughts. You can twist other knobs and your brain will receive baser thoughts.
Further explanation has been given by The Master Aetherius in the following Transmission extract, reproduced from the book You Are Responsible!:
When certain psychic centres [=chakras] are opened, this causes the brain to pick up higher vibrations – aspects of mind and translate them, so that they are understandable. This is the right type of education and in this way, we do not need the tons of written matter that you do on Terra [=Earth]…
When I speak of the brain, I mean the whole brain, not just the molecular structure in the head that is the culmination of it but the spinal column is also a brain, as well as a power house.
Now, mind has different aspects of different frequencies and the lower mind is picked up by lower centers, which have a particular type of power of attraction and this attracts its like. The higher aspects are picked up by the higher psychic centers, through which the mind enters…
Dr. King talked further about the sea of mind as follows:
I want to try and really impress upon you the all-ness of mind, or this vast energy which surrounds all things which is in and passes through all things. To give you an illustration. The main difference between this paper and this spoon is a result of mind. This paper is made up of five types of energy. There are only five major types of energy on this world that we possibly know of and there are five minor types as well, but the minor types are connected, directly connected, to the five major types. These five major types of energy come from the sun. The minor types of energy may come from other sources, but we’re most concerned with the major types. They are what the yogis call the pranas, the word prana means, of course, universal life force. You might say well how can it come from the sun and be universal? It comes, shall we say, through the sun from a universal supply. The thing that made the sun made the pranas.
Now the pranas are not mind. But mind substance, or mind energy moulds the pranas. The difference again between this paper and that spoon is that the mind of this paper holds the pranas in a certain way, and the mind of that spoon holds the pranas in another way. You might have heard of this before but I don’t think you’ve ever heard it described as simply. Now if you really think… what I’m doing tonight is throwing out some thoughts – not trying to convince you of anything, but throwing out thoughts so that you can let your brain travel down these thoughts…
If you regard everything in this light you will begin to understand things a lot better. Instead of looking at anything as being an inanimate object, and looking at another thing as being an animate object, look at those two objects as one, as both being, having mind, having energy but one being in a different state than another. One being in a different vibration than another and one being on a different ladder of evolution than another. And then gradually you will begin to understand things and understand your own latent mental abilities.
In other words, it is differences in the all-pervasive sea of mind energy which make one thing different from another – the sea of mind is modified in different ways. In the beginning there were no modifications, and in the end there will be no modifications. Because God is above mind, and in the beginning there was nothing but God, and in the end there will be nothing but God.
Just as all things in creation are modifications in the great universal sea of mind, so too is every thought we think a modification in our own mind. In raja yoga, as explained in the Yoga Sutras of Sri Patanjali, the ultimate goal is for the practitioner’s mind (termed citta) to be free from all modifications (termed vrittis), in order to be at one with the Divine Self within, which is known as the Purusha.
The Divine Spark is the real controller. Until this takes control you are an ordinary person. The soul is the mental controller, yet above it. This soul answers to impulses from the Essence and puts the impulses into action.
Dr. George King