Today we are going to study the Functioning of the Mind. When we study Negative Emotions we will learn that they are often the result of us: ‘…not wanting to cooperate with the inevitable because in the life, we have to LEARN TO COOPERATE WITH THE INEVITABLE’. And our mind does the same thing in order to justify its subjective thinking, it tries to justify thinking a certain way even if it is completely against what is inevitably going to happen…


[Part 1] Energy and Consciousness

“When we come into this world we all have 3% of consciousness and 97% which can be distributed among the subconsciousness, infraconsciousness and unconsciousness. The 3% of awakened consciousness can be increased as we work upon ourselves.

It is not possible to increase consciousness by exclusively physical or mechanical procedures. The consciousness can only awaken through conscious works and voluntary suffering.

Various types of energy exist within us and we should understand the esoteric classifications for them:

1) First.- mechanical energy [related with the Physical world]
2) Second.- vital energy [related with the Etheric world]
3) Third.- psychic energy [related with the Astral world]
4) Fourth.- mental energy [related with the Mental world]
5) Fifth.- energy of the will [related with the Causal world and the Human Soul]
6) Sixth.- energy of the consciousness [related with the Buddhic world and the Spiritual Soul]
7) Seventh.- energy of pure spirit [related with the World of Atman, the Inner Being]

No matter how much the mechanical energy, the vital forces within our own organism, the psychic energy or the mental energy is increased we can never achieve the awakening of the diverse functions of the consciousness.

By itself, the strength of will, even if multiplied infinitely, can never achieve the awakening of the consciousness.

All these types of energy are divided into different levels and dimensions which have nothing to do with consciousness.

The consciousness can only be awakened through … upright efforts.

The small percentage of consciousness which humanity possesses, instead of being increased is usually foolishly wasted in life.

It is obvious that by identifying ourselves with all the events of our existence, we uselessly waste the energy of the consciousness.

We should see life as a film, without ever identifying with any comedy, drama or tragedy, and in doing so we will save conscious energy.

Consciousness in itself is a type of energy with a very high vibratory affinity.

We should not confuse consciousness with memory, since they are as different from each other as the light of the car’s head lights are with the road upon which we drive.

Many acts take place within ourselves with no participation whatsoever from the consciousness.

Many adjustments and readjustments take place within our organism, without the consciousness taking part in them.

The motor center of our body can drive a car or direct the fingers which play the piano keys, without even the most insignificant participation of the consciousness.”

-paraphrase from Ch 7 of The Great Rebellion


Self-Observation and the Light of the Consciousness

“Consciousness is the light which the unconscious does not perceive. A blind person cannot perceive physical solar light either, however, it does exist in itself. We need to open ourselves up to the light of the consciousness in order to penetrate into the terrible darkness of the myself , of oneself .

Now we will understand better the meaning of John’s words, when he said in the Gospel:

“The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness understandeth it not”.

It would be impossible, however, for the light of the consciousness to penetrate within the darkness of the self, if we do not use the marvelous sense of psychological self-observation.

We need to make way for the light to illuminate the tenebrous depths of the “I” of Psychology.

We would never observe ourselves if we did not have an interest in changing, and such interest is possible only when we truly love the esoteric teachings.

-paraphrase from Ch 7 of The Great Rebellion


Experiencing Reality Directly

“An awakened consciousness allows us to experience reality directly.

Unfortunately, the intellectual animal mistakenly called human being, fascinated by the path of subjective logic, has forgotten about the path of consciousness.

The Consciousness allows us to experience the reality of any phenomenon in itself and by itself.”

Reality as opposed to the Mental conception of the thing, place, person, being, etc.

“Natural phenomena in no way coincide exactly with the concepts formulated by the mind.

Life develops from instant to instant and when we capture it in order to analyze it, we cause its death.

When, observing this or that natural phenomenon, normally we try to infer concepts, in doing so, we stop perceiving the reality of the phenomenon and we only see in it the reflection of theories and stale concepts which have nothing at all to do with the observed fact. If intellectual hallucination fascinates us then we want all natural phenomena to coincide with our subjective concepts and understanding (to coincide with our subjective logic).

The path of the consciousness is based on lived experiences and not on mere subjective rationalism. All of nature’s laws exist within ourselves and if we do not discover them in our interior, then we will never discover them outside of ourselves.

The Human Being is contained in the Universe and the Universe is contained in the Human Being.

What we experience within ourselves is real, because only the consciousness can experience reality.

The language of the consciousness is symbolic, intimate, profoundly significant and only those who are awake can understand it.

Whosoever wants to awaken the consciousness, must eliminate all the undesirable elements which constitute the Ego, the “I”, the Myself , from within; because the Essence (the Consciousness) is bottled therein.

So now, let’s take a look at the Mind and the problems it causes us.

-paraphrase from Ch 7 of The Great Rebellion


[Part 2] Negative Thoughts

“To think deep and with full attention is unusual in our times.

Different thoughts surge from the intellectual center, not from a permanent “I”, but from the different “I’s” in each of us.

When a person has a thought, they firmly believe that they are the one who is thinking.

But through self-observation, we can realize that the multiple thoughts that cross our mind have their origin in the different “I’s” which we carry within.

This signifies that we are not true thinking individuals.

Indeed, we do not yet have an individual mind.

What actually happens is that each one of the different “I’s” that we carry within utilizes our intellectual center.

At any time, and as often as possible, each of them utilizes the intellectual center in order to think.

Therefore, to identify ourselves with this or that negative and harmful thought, believing it to be our particular property, is absurd.

Obviously, this or that negative thought comes from any “I” or Ego that, in a given moment, has abusively used our Intellectual Center.

Different types of negative thoughts exist, namely: suspicion, distrust, ill-will towards another person, passionate jealousy, religious jealousy, political jealousy, family or friendship jealousies, covetousness, lust, revenge, anger, pride, envy, hatred, resentment, theft, adultery, laziness, gluttony, etc.

Since it is impossible for an effect to exist without a cause, we can say that a thought could never exist by itself, by spontaneous generation…

The relationship between the thinker and the thought is obvious. Each negative thought has its origin in a different thinker.

Many negative thinkers exist within each one of us.

Examining this subject matter from the angle of “thinkers and thoughts”, it is understood then that each one of the “I’s” that we carry within is certainly a different thinker.

Nonetheless, each one of these inner-thinkers believes itself to be the whole, at any given moment…”

-paraphrase from Ch 14 of Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology


We do not have an Individual Mind

“It may be difficult to accept the thesis of the “Plurality of Thinkers” because our perspective of ourselves would have to dramatically change.

How can we accept the idea that we do not possess an individual mind? Through self-observation we can see this for ourselves.

The one who does not live in a state of alert novelty, alert perception, who thinks that they are thinking, easily becomes identified with any negative thought.

And, as an outcome of this behavior, they strengthen the disastrous power of the “Negative I” who is the author of the corresponding thought in question.

The more we identify ourselves with a negative thought, the more we shall be slaves of the corresponding “I” that characterizes it.

Those quarrelsome and negative “I’s” easily take control of certain mental films which are stored in our intellectual center, and create harmful thoughts from them.

If we accept those thoughts, those negative “I’s”, which at any given moment control our intellectual center, we will then be incapable of freeing ourselves from their influence.

We must never forget that every negative “I” deceives itself (it self-deceives) and betrays itself and others, in conclusion: it lies.

The negative “I” of jealousy deceives those beings who adore each other and destroys their happiness.

The negative “I” of mystical pride deceives the devotees of the Path. Thus, believing themselves to be wise, they walk away from the Esoteric Work…

The negative “I” appeals to our personal experiences, our memories, our best wishes, and our sincerity.

This negative “I” presents something under a false light, something that fascinates us and the outcome is failure…

So, when one discovers that negative “I” in action, when one has learned to live in a state of alertness, then, such a deception becomes impossible…”

-paraphrase from Ch 14 of Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology


[Part 3] On Not Identifying with Thoughts

“We remind you, again, that people take this thing called myself , oneself , for granted. They also take it not only as one thing, but allow it to say “I” to everything it does or thinks or feels. When you are first taught about self-observation, you are told to try to observe the work of the different centers so as to see the three ‘people’ in you (corresponding to the Three Brains).

Let us note that opinions and thoughts belong to the Intellectual Center. A person usually identifies themselves completely with their opinions (which are borrowed from others, from news, from movies, from the television, from podcasts, from the internet, etc). And this brings us to the subject of identifying with our thoughts.

Our thoughts are not visible to other people, nor to ourselves. But they are quite definite things, composed of definite substances.

We can be more, or less, conscious of our thoughts. Note that when you observe a thought, you are not identified with it. What does this mean?

It means that unless you observe the Intellectual Center and what is going on in it, you tend to take its activities for granted. You will believe your thoughts or take them for granted. You identify with them. You give them the quality of truth and either say: “I think …” or, more internally, you take the thoughts as you , as yourself. Then they have power over you and exert their influence upon you.

An unpleasant thought, a dreary, heavy thought, a suspicious thought, a pessimistic thought, an evil thought, and so on —all these thoughts become you: and so you are them, through identifying with them. But you are not your thoughts.

Any thought can enter the mind.

All sorts of hopeless, bad, useless, stupid, formless and imbecile thoughts can enter the mind. And if you say “I” to them all, then where will you be? You will say ‘yes’ to them all. You will consent to them. You will, in short, be identified with them, because all the time you will be saying “I” to them and believing that “I” is thinking them and that they are your thoughts.

But, as we have said, any thoughts can enter the mind, just as any people can come into your house. Very few of our thoughts are worth following and, in order to begin to think rightly, nearly all the thoughts that casually come into the mind have to be rejected as useless or worse.

A man may indeed have very dangerous thoughts, especially when he accepts them as if they were his own. He is so naïve as to believe that all thoughts coming into his mind are his own and that he himself thought them. And so he says “I” to them, not knowing any better. But if he begins to understand that he must observe his thoughts, then he will soon have quite a different viewpoint.”

-paraphrase from Birdlip, May 15, 1943 – INTERNAL CONSIDERING AND EXTERNAL CONSIDERING 11 —ON BEING PASSIVE (5) in Psychological Commentaries… Vol. 1 by Maurice Nicoll


A New Way of Thinking and of Understanding Thoughts

“Many religious authors want to discuss doctrine and the letter of the law; they indulge in all sorts of hair-splitting arguments. But sometimes, in some Christian books, a writer says very insightful things like “people must remember that the devil sends many thoughts into our minds and that we must never think that they are our own thoughts”. One author, explaining the idea at some length, often emphasized the phrase: “Our thoughts are not our own”. This same writer said that we are not responsible for our thoughts, but that we are responsible for our thinking.

Note that you can think a thought, or not. A thought enters the mind and seeks to attract you. If it does, then you begin to “think it” —that is, to think from it. You begin to enlarge this thought (by paying attention to it and thinking from it) until it grows in all directions, and forms something like a little tree of thought in you, that ‘bears fruit’, and seeds other similar thoughts. This is quite clear in the case of suspicious thoughts.

Please understand that a thought and thinking are not the same. Let us suppose that the thought enters your mind that Mr. X is lying. This is only a thought. You probably say to yourself: “I must think about that.” But if you believe the thought then, at once, you identify with it. Your thought has now transformed Mr. X into a liar.

What thoughts we identify with change things very much. For instance, some people habitually identify with a gloomy, tortuous, mistrustful class of thoughts. They like thoughts of this shape and color. So they accept such thoughts and reject others. These thoughts alter things for them, like dark glasses do one’s vision. Now they are identified with these thoughts in such a way that they cannot see them. They are these thoughts, so they cannot observe them and see they are certain kinds of thoughts and that all sorts of other thoughts exist, with different shapes and colors.

A person can have any kind of thoughts. Any thoughts can come into a person. In the Gospels it is pointed out that it is not what comes into a man that defiles him but what comes out of a man . Any sort of thought can enter the mind, but whether you identify with it and act from it —or rather, re-act— is another question. If you identify with a thought then you say “I” to it and you believe it. So you will think from it or act from it.

How you think and how you act is what comes out of you. The thought that enters the mind is what goes into a person . What a person thinks and does from this thought is what comes out of that person . A thought that is a lie, a wrong thought, wrongly joined together, a false thought, a depressing thought, a thought that takes hold of one thing and ignores everything else, or that kind of thought that can only deny and contradict, etc. —if a person identifies with such thoughts, then they will think and act from them. That person’s mind will be a mess.

The ideas of this Work are to build the mind up in the right order so that everything can be related properly. In the center of the mind stands the Ray of Creation —that is, the Scale of Being . From the highest to the lowest, all things fall into their places.

But, unless the mind is changed by the Work, it continues to think that all its thoughts are real and true. The mind is, then, like a tent lying in a heap on the ground without a central upright pole. All its parts are touching each other wrongly. They are not stretched out.

By means of the training of the Work and learning to think from what it teaches, a person begins to be able to distinguish between right and wrong thinking. One begins to learn how to think in the right scale, and how not to mix scales, and so on. All this helps a person not to identify with all their thoughts. It gives a center of gravity to their thinking.”

-paraphrase from Birdlip, May 15, 1943 – INTERNAL CONSIDERING AND EXTERNAL CONSIDERING 11 —ON BEING PASSIVE (5) in Psychological Commentaries… Vol. 1 by Maurice Nicoll


Learning a New Way of Thinking

“This Work is to make a person think properly. That is why it is so important to try to take in what this Work teaches. If you are learning, Chemistry, or a foreign language, you know that it is very important to listen to what you are taught, and to arrange it in your mind, and to think about what you are being taught. Yet, many people never think of what they are being taught. But in the Work, it is necessary.

Why is it necessary? Because it builds up a new system of thought and of thinking in your minds. Actually, it makes your mind begin to work in the right way —so that it can really begin to think. Now let us emphasize that a thought , and thinking a thought, are not the same.

A thought may enter your mind, but you may or may not think it. And even if you think it, you need not necessarily identify with it. But there are many different kinds of thoughts, higher and lower, big and little, that enter the mind, and this belongs to later teaching.

What it is necessary to realize (at present) is that thoughts are of every possible kind and that they are not yours, but that you make them yours by identifying with them. And if you do so, then they can pull you in any direction. There is a science of thought.

This Work, with all its ideas and teaching, and instructions, has to do with a right science of thought and thinking . For that reason all of you who have heard the Work for some years should know what it means to find fault with your thoughts and with your thinking , and should be able to see wrong thoughts and inadequate and unrelated thinking, poor thoughts, negative thoughts, useless thoughts, lying thoughts, and so on.

The first change demanded in this Work, as in the Gospels, is change of mind (called metanoia in Greek and is often translated as “repentance”). But for “change of mind” to take place, you must begin to think from this Work and what it teaches. Then later, perhaps, you can begin to act from the Work . But first of all a new way of thinking is necessary.”

-paraphrase from Birdlip, May 15, 1943 – INTERNAL CONSIDERING AND EXTERNAL CONSIDERING 11 —ON BEING PASSIVE (5) in Psychological Commentaries… Vol. 1 by Maurice Nicoll


Understanding the Work Teaching on Thinking and the Intellectual Center

“The Work says that any thought or thoughts can enter your minds, and they are not your thoughts. It says you can think them or not. And it says you can identify with them or not.

When you hear this, as a part of the teaching of the Work, and apply it by observing yourself in the Intellectual Center, then you will see that it is quite true. When you realize this, you will be thinking in a new way about yourself.

If you can realize practically —that is, by experience— that you can be passive to your thoughts by not identifying with them, then you have already reached a definite stage of work on the Intellectual Center. But if you take yourself as one , then you will never get to this point.

You will remain stuck in the illusion that all your thoughts, feelings and moods are you or rather “I myself”. You will have no insight into the enormous inner world of height and depth containing thousands of inhabitants, good and bad, that you take for granted as one person, which you regard as yourself , and in the customary state of sleep say “I” to at every moment.

Everything that takes place in yourself you will call “I”. So you will never move from the position you are in, because you take yourself as one , and so you will never understand what it means to become passive to yourself .

We are talking about practical work that leads to becoming passive to thoughts . This belongs to intimate work on the Intellectual Center . This subject is about long practical work on non-identifying with thoughts.”

-paraphrase from Birdlip, May 15, 1943 – INTERNAL CONSIDERING AND EXTERNAL CONSIDERING 11 —ON BEING PASSIVE (5) in Psychological Commentaries… Vol. 1 by Maurice Nicoll


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