Excerpts from The Mind: Its Projections and Multiple Facets
Your mind must not intrigue you and entrance you into its intrigues. The mind must serve you. The mind has to be developed to give you supportive strength. There is no reason to be unhappy other than the pain you get from the results of these intrigues
The Mind’s Intrigues and Games
You know if you lie and play games that it will come back to you ten times stronger. Why do you engage in endless petty games? You do it because your mind is ruled by mental fogginess. That fogginess comes from the power and craftiness of your mental intrigues. You have intelligence and common sense, but you don't meditate regularly to clear out the mind.
When you fail to meditate, the combined strength of your subconscious and your thoughts catches you. This combination, when the subconscious links with the play of the mind, is the origin of mental intrigues and most of your self-defeating patterns. You need a habit to relate to your mind. You need to sit with your mind and review it, polish it, and direct it.
You do not need to invite in an enemy or call on bad luck to have trouble in your life. You are already in trouble when you let your mental intrigues go unchecked. If your inherent creativity expands that intrigue, your mind will spin it, magnify it, and spread it in every direction. It will weave that intrigue into your words and then project those words to every part of your mind. The result is that you lose track of your real self and become shallow, hollow, and full of games. You lose your power of prayer. You lose your innocence. There is no one who can save you from this mess other than yourself.
The Soul and the Mind
Your ability to get into trouble was given to you at the same time as your ability to excel and be great. It started in the very beginning. When your soul was sent to this beautiful planet it was to test your love for God and for your truth. God said to your soul, "I gave you the gift of the mind."
Your soul said, "Just one mind with one power?"
God said, "No, as many minds as you need to do any action. Each part of the mind will have its own positive power as well as its own mechanism and intrigue."
The soul asked, "What can it do for me?"
God said, "When you are on this planet Earth, you will be subjected to time and space and constant tests. But your mind always has the capacity to act beyond time and space. Simply direct it toward me."
The Powers of the Mind
The mind is a vast, automatic mechanism that processes thoughts and sensations. When you focus on a thought and gather its associated thoughts—a double thought—the mind produces feelings. When your creativity spins out even more thoughts about the feelings and thoughts, the mind produces fantasy and imagination—a triple thought. All these thoughts, feelings, and fantasies mix, contrast, react, and project. The mind flips and twists. It changes perspectives and intensifies each sensation. Without any effort on your part, the mind produces many intrigues.
Your mind is constantly in motion. It produces every kind of thought. It has no base or fundamental reality on its own. It requires your direction. In order to act and create you must use the mind, but the mind can also use you. It can convince you of something, encourage you, and then abandon you when it is wrong.
Suppose you start to act on a bad thought. The mind encourages you. It tells you your idea is the best opportunity. Your Positive Mind stacks up many examples of similar ideas and the good that could happen. It does not give you a critical comparison to the problems that could happen, and it doesn't ask how this idea is related to you and your purpose.
When a tragedy finally happens the mind suddenly tells you, "You were the one who did something wrong. You did a bad job. You are not worthy." The mind that brought up the plan and supported you now judges and condemns you. This creates a guilt concept. That guilt weakens you emotionally. You begin to feel small and out of control. You followed it, got caught in its impulses, and tangled in its intrigue.
Unnecessary guilt is only one of many of the mind's intrigues. More frequent and debilitating is the feeling that you are limited and inferior. The reality is there is nobody who can limit you. There is nobody who can damage you. Your existence is not bound in time and space. You always have a choice of how you project your mind.
How you project and how you communicate to yourself and to others is your fundamental strength. You can project your mind to a concept and capacity with unlimited scope, vastness, and cosmic unlimitedness. If you act limited because of the environment or because of an emotional reaction, that is a weakness. If you act intentionally to limit your own self because of your knowledge of some consequence you want to avoid, then that is a strength.
The mental intrigues that come from your attachments and fears limit your projection and block your vision of what is possible. As soon as you oppress your mind as if it is fixed under time and space, you will feel depressed and cut your self off from your intelligence.
Sometimes you sense when you are caught by your mental intrigues and feel limited and small. You react and try to expand any way you can. You may try to blow apart the feeling of limitation by stimulating the mind with drugs or with some type of extreme or extraordinary experience. That approach just causes more problems and pain. Anything that pushes you up and out instantly and unnaturally will have a powerful reaction of at least equal force that pulls you down and back in. Your efforts will backfire. You can't become spiritual or wise overnight by some grand effort. You cannot be impatient and greedy and gobble God like It is a cookie.
Confronting Your Mind
To stop the games and mental intrigues and to truly be happy you must develop a consistent attitude of human life in which you can excel above time and space, using your mind at the frequency of your soul. That is the attitude of a happy person.
Every other approach and short-cut will prove to be false. Any approach that relies on holding onto some aspect of finite time and space will fail because time and space constantly change. Everything that changes will always create duality and paradoxes because of the Law of Polarity and Complementarity. That is why you have a deep and profound instinct to feel the Infinite in you, a spiritual longing. The One that you all worship and love and that you want to be is also that which never changes, is beyond time and space, and is always present.
The first signal that lets you know you are in trouble with your mental intrigues is the feeling that you have to confront your own mind. It happens when you begin to feel you cannot handle a situation, and suddenly you are here and your mind is over there. Nobody wants to lose his or her grip on a situation. It is threatening and you react immediately. You and your mind confront each other. The mind is the only tool you have. Whether you succeed or fail, you do it with your mind.
Recognize that your mind has its own nature, virtues, and mechanisms. It has both a Positive and a Negative Mind. Let it have the swings and polarities that come with the play of its parts, but do not allow it to confront you. When you confront that which gives you your strength, it only creates confusion, weakness, and mistakes.
Training the Mind
Instead of confronting it, what should you do? Train it. You can train a dog. You can train parrots to walk a tight-wire and fire a toy gun. Monkeys are trained to help the disabled; they also serve as the best assistants. What about training your mind? The best approach is to apply the mind.
When you apply the mind it becomes engaged in the task or the experience you give it, so it won't confront you. Talk to your mind. Create a relationship to apply and engage it. Tell your mind, "I am the source of God. I am the soul within myself. I am living with the light of God, therefore, you must go with me." Create a partnership with your mind.
When you talk to your mind, assess it. Don't be anxious or afraid. As you start talking to it, it will stop working on its other games. This mind is the biggest game player in the world and it's right within you. Once you have a relationship to it, it listens and it cannot play a game to slip something past you or to skip over you. It cannot do anything to you. You begin to use it and ultimately to master it. When you master it you will become masterminded. That marks the beginning of the era of happiness.
The real game is for you to make your mind follow you, so you can become a sage. If you choose instead to follow your mind, it will make you crazy and weak. In this game, mastery is the goal and your main enemy is stress. When you are under stress you begin to lose your mind slowly, to a very polite degree. Your mind starts to wander on its own. It looks elsewhere for shelter and hope. It looks into your subconscious and pulls out of it every memory and every fragment of intentions and actions left incomplete in your life. You begin to live in the past. You do not act in the present but according to overlays from your past.
When you cannot sense the present and you cannot connect to the future, life becomes very difficult. It is exactly that day that you are confused, and you lose mastery over your mind. You suddenly feel that you cannot meditate, do sadhana, or anything else to clear your mind. You start to feel bad and you want to defeat yourself, so you pick up every habit that makes you not prepare yourself for confidence and success.
The Three Minds
Do you understand how this stress pattern works to lock you into the mind's intrigues? It turns the three minds against you. The mind has three powerful functions: the Negative, Positive, and Neutral Minds. Because you have earned the right to this life, you have the Negative Mind to instinctively protect you. It alerts you to something that is wrong or is a threat.
The way the mind intrigues you is to combine its thoughts with your subconscious and your attachments. When the Negative Mind gives you a thought, normally the Positive Mind should tell you what can be useful or right about that same thought. It should provide a contrast and comparison. Instead, when your mind is full of intrigues, the Positive Mind begins to pull every memory from the subconscious that supports that thought from the Negative Mind.
This produces a stream of thoughts, one stacked on top of the other. "It was dangerous then. Yes. It was also dangerous in 1961, 1963, 1972, 1978, 1982, etc." Each repetition of similar feelings increases the intensity of the thought and convinces you that it is real. Your Positive Mind has access to your subconscious and can use it to expand a thought instead of contrast it. If it acts this way you can never reach your Neutral Mind to know who you are and what to do.
The Positive Mind should say, "Well, this is the positive side of the real and apparent dangers." Then your Neutral Mind can say to you, "That is the negative and that is the positive, but this is you in relatioship to all of it."
You must develop the mind, through meditation, to give you the positive of the negative and the negative of the positive so that by your own grace and consciousness you can find the neutral of it. In this way you can reach to the subtle, refined, and spiritual dimensions of your life and your relationships.
The Game of One
Why not play one game to become timeless and one with God? That is the game of how you recognize and love your own deep truth in life. When you can play just one game that is boundless in time and space, then all others stop. The measure of the game is how near you are to your own truth, to the reality in your soul. How much consciousness and control of that truth do you have?
You will be happy in your life in proportion to the degree that you have a handle on that truth, and that you are willing to pay for that truth, and that you commit to and love that truth.
If you go along with your mental intrigues, you will not become spiritual and have worldly success or happiness. You cannot reach that happiness and contentment no matter how many sophisticated intrigues your mind creates. Only two things will work: your presence and your unlimited projection.
You have not learned how to depend on the unseen and unlimited within you. Your soul has a fundamental property that, when aligned with your mind, gives you impact, intelligence, and effectiveness. Its fundamental property is to be saibhang—a self-illumined, aware, and radiant identity of God. It is not subject to anything. This has been a known fact, explored and experienced for centuries. The soul is a slave to none. In fact, everything else is subject to the soul and connected through its projection. So if you call on that and dwell in that, it works where no logic, reason, or mental intrigue can.
Use the mind to project to and stay at a point beyond the mind's own nature. When your mind stays with the self-illumined soul within you, then all pains and suffering disappear and your presence radiates and works. If you try to train your mind by confronting your ego and desires, it only causes pain. Train the mind by directing it to confront your unlimited soul. The mind will be elevated, and you will be elevated. That consistent projection and training is called a permanent state of bliss.
Your mind is your projection. Your mind is not your confrontation. When you get mad, that is the time to remember this. Every problem in life, spiritual and non-spiritual, starts when you confront your own mind. If your mind is with you, it acts as your leverage, it is your powerful friend. Then you can confront the whole world. Man jeetai jag jeet—one who conquers his mind has victory over the entire world.
You all want to win the entire world. The world is meant to be won by you. The cosmos is set up so that it is possible for an individual's magnetic field and mental projection to imprint and prevail on the universal magnetic field. When you know this as an experience, integrity and innocence replace your intrigues.
© The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan