The Word Foundation


Harold W. Percival



Section 3

Real thinking. Active thinking; passive thinking. The three minds of the doer. About lack of terms. Rightness-and-reason. The seven minds of the Triune Self. A human thought is a being and has a system. Exteriorizations of a thought.

There are two kinds of thinking, real thinking and human thinking, and human thinking is either passive or active. Human thinking is concerned with physical things almost exclusively. In human thinking the subjects of thought are usually objects of the senses, and the thinking is of sexual, elemental, emotional and intellectual subjects, all directly connected with or indirectly originating from physical things. Human beings do not want to think about things as they are; they are attached to the results of their thinking. The thinking done by human beings differs as to amount, quality and aim and so divides them into four classes.

Real thinking is the steady holding of the Conscious Light of the Intelligence on the subject of the thinking. It is intentional, is self-moved and not moved by nature. It is done only with clear Light of the Intelligence, which reason by its mind focuses on the subject. The thinking must be steady, else it cannot form a channel by or through which the Light is conducted. The thinking of the knower is the conductor along which the Light comes from the noetic atmosphere. Real thinking stills the perturbations and pains in the body, stops breathing and makes known the subject to which it is directed. It shows the reality and the illusions connected with the subject of thinking. It is used to administer justice or to give knowledge. Such thinking does not result in a thought, unless the thinker wishes to create one. Then he conceives the thought and carries it from its conception to its completion.

Some few men have had thoughts which were the results of real thinking. The pre-existent ideas of Plato, the thought of The Way to eternal life in St. Paul’s teaching, and the thought of Union in the pre-Brahminical portion of the Bhagavad-Gita are real thoughts. Those who conceived and gave birth to these thoughts did real thinking at the time those thoughts were created.

At times real thoughts might have been created, but instead thoughts have been born into the world undeveloped, malformed monstrosities. Among them are the modern thoughts of the Superman and Monopoly.

Real thoughts have an existence independent of those who created them. Real thoughts make no destiny for their creators, because the creators of real thoughts are not selfishly interested in the results which will flow from them; they show a true way; no one is bound by them; they lead the thinker from bondage to freedom.

Human thinking is quite different from real thinking, because it is not done with the clear but with diffused Light; because usually only the body-mind is active; because its mental operations do not work together, being perturbed by the influence of various and often opposite desires; and especially because a human is attached to the object of his thinking and the result of his thought.

Human thinking is either passive or active. Thinking of one of these two kinds goes on continuously, even during automatic work, such as house work or labor in office, field or factory. Passive thinking is the play of desires around or with the body-mind, in the diffused Light of the Intelligence. This is the kind of purposeless play that goes on almost uninterruptedly in the mental atmosphere of the human, (Fig. V-B).

There is in the mental atmosphere of the human a constant feeble current in which desires play in the Light of the Intelligence. The current passes with the breath through the physical body and back into the mental atmosphere. In this current are impressions of objects, brought in by the four senses and feelings and memories, anything at all that one is conscious of. When anything in this current attracts the attention of the body-mind, because of feelings and desires, a passive, listless, haphazard sort of thinking starts and goes on. When diffused Light of the Intelligence is turned towards (not focused upon) any set of things in this current, the current becomes a stream of passive thinking, that is, the passive thinking becomes stronger.

Passive thinking is aided by memories, the memories of sense impressions which are transmitted from the breath-form and engage the desires in the play. Everything coming from nature tends to aid in this way. Stray thoughts of one’s own or of others are drawn into the current of passive thinking and strengthen it. All involuntary impressions serve passive thinking. Anything, however, that compels attention interferes with passive thinking, such as a sudden noise or contact or remembering something that must be done. Active thinking checks and even stops it, according to the degree of attention that is given to the subject engaging the attention.

The feeling-and-desire of the doer in the human are affected by passive thinking. When feeling is impressed it starts desire, which carries the impression into the mental atmosphere. There they engage in a play around, about or with the body-mind. The body-mind is affected by the impressions but does not take any active part in the play as long as the thinking remains passive. The reason why the doer in the human is thus affected is that its feeling-and-desire are under the domination of nature and not under the rule of rightness-and-reason. So feeling-and-desire are moved, stirred, thrilled.

Passive thinking goes on continuously through the entire life, except when active thinking takes its place, suppresses or stops it. It goes on during dreams in sleep. There it is kept up by memories and is one of the causes of dreams. It goes on also at intervals after death.

Passive thinking turns into active thinking when one of the subjects in the stream has sufficiently attracted the attention of feeling-and-desire, around which the play went on, and desire compels its mind to show how to be, to get or to act with the subject in order to satisfy the feeling or desire.

Active thinking is an effort to focus and hold steadily the Light of the Intelligence diffused in the mental atmosphere on the subject of the thinking. Passive thinking is not the only method by which active thinking is developed, but is the substratum of most active thinking. Active thinking is done by one or more of the three minds used by the doer.

The thinker is that part of the Triune Self which really thinks. It is in its mental atmosphere, (Fig. V-B). Only a part of it contacts the doer in the human through the heart and lungs and works also through the brain. There are nerves in the brain and spinal cord which belong to the thinker, but which are practically unused. The nerves in use there are those of the doer. When physical things are felt, feeling is located distinctly as being in the skin or affected organs. When psychic things are felt, the feeling is located in the heart, the pit of the stomach and sometimes in the sexual organs. But there is no feeling or recognition or even location by the human when he reacts mentally. Some of the nerves for the thinker of the Triune Self are not used at all. Some of them are used by the doer when it attempts to use the feeling-mind or the desire-mind. If the nerves for the thinker were called into use, there would be an airiness in the body and a lightness in the bones, and people could converse by thinking, without words. At present the human, except in physical sciences, depends on feeling what is correct and what is wrong, rather than on rightness and reason. If the body-mind now used by the feeling of the doer had free action the human would be able to feel the right or wrong in calculations, measurements and comparisons at once, as he now feels a pain or pleasure. The mind used by a human is as impotent and out of touch with the nerves as is a hand that is asleep or numbed with cold. Rightness, the passive side of the thinker, should be located in the heart, and reason, the active side, in the lungs, instead of merely contacting them. The knower stands behind the thinker and the doer. So the thinker is in communication with and acts according to the knowledge of the knower, which issues no orders but knows what the thinker and the doer do. But the thinker is not in the same manner in communication with the doer. It knows everything the doer in the human does or inclines or intends to do, but the doer knows practically nothing of the thinker. The thinker has no direct relation to nature, except through the body-mind which it lets the doer use for the purpose of controlling the body and nature, though actually the senses now use it to control the doer. The thinker is related to the Intelligence, for, in a manner of speaking, it walks in the Light of its Intelligence.

The thinker guides the cyclic movements of the thoughts in the mental atmosphere. It brings about an exteriorization of thoughts, in conformity with the thinking of the doer in the human. Therefore the destiny of a human is directly dispensed to it by a part of its very Self, by the thinker under the Light of the Intelligence.

The thinker lets the doer have the use of three minds, the body-mind, the feeling-mind, and the desire-mind, to the end that the doer in the human may use these minds to distinguish between itself and nature, and that the doer may of its own free will come into harmony with and be guided by rightness-and-reason, the thinker. The doers in the run of human beings ordinarily use only one of the three minds, and that one is the body-mind, in answering to the needs and wants of the body and to follow the attractions of nature.

How little these minds have been used by the doer in the human for the purposes of itself and of the Triune Self can be seen by the lack of words having relation to noetic, mental or psychic things. Another and a telling fact is that mental activities are described as if they were physical or extensions of physical or psychic things. In nearly all instances the use of words is suggested by feelings and desires, and mental actions are merely translations of acts and states to the life plane of the physical world. Some such words are conscious, understanding, perceiving, conceiving, speculating, analyzing, comparing, comprehension, attention, intuition, intelligence, enlightened, and hunger for knowledge. Transcendental activities are treated as extensions of physical and psychic things. If the physical base were taken away the words would have no meaning as related to mental action, because as descriptions of mental activities they are inapplicable. No mental action has anything to do or can be compared with conscious, understanding, conceiving, speculating, judging and similar words. The mental actions by themselves are described by these words in an infantile way. For what is here called rightness-and-reason, and for mental operations as the activities of the mind, there are no words.

Because of this lack of terms, there are no words to designate the seven “minds” of the thinker with their many functions, or the knower and its powers and attributes, or the nature and actions of the psychic, the mental and noetic atmospheres, or the nature of the Light of the Intelligence, or the degrees in which matter is conscious. It is because there are no words with a definite meaning, that phrases like psychic atmosphere, mental operations, noetic world, knowledge of the Triune Self, knowledge of the Intelligence, faculties of the Intelligence, nature-side and intelligent-side have to be used.

If the doer in the human could use one of the three minds at its disposal to work independently of physical things there would be a vocabulary of thousands of words, where now there are fewer than a dozen. There would be in the language a particular word for each of the seven minds, and for each of their many functions and results in the Triune Self, in the atmospheres, in the body, on the breath-form and on each of the senses. There would be a special word for each stage of each function of the doer in each of the after death states; and a word for each of the particular effects produced by the Light of the Intelligence in each of the atmospheres of the Triune Self, and in nature through the thinking of the doer. Also there would be words to describe in some way each of the faculties of the Intelligence in relation to the sphere of earth; and a word to designate each stage in which matter is conscious from the time it is a fire unit in the light world of the earth sphere until it is conscious as a Triune Self in the noetic world and until it reaches the degree of an Intelligence.

In the physical world feeling has needed, and the doer has caused the body-mind to provide for it, words to distinguish the various visible states in the development of the body from birth to old age, the forms and appearance of bodies and distinctions as to trade, work and rank. So one gets a different impression when he hears of a Kaffir baby, an American colonel or a French cook. In contrast to the wealth of descriptive terms available to indicate any person, place, power or condition in the physical world, there is nothing to identify the life world or any being or condition in it. It is the same as to the light world. It is as if there were no word to show any difference among a fat general, a crying schoolgirl, a parrot, a pine tree and alcohol, and yet the origins of all the beings and things that have been and are in the visible world, are in the life world, and these origins are as different from each other as are their manifestations on earth. This condition of the language and the absence of words show the incapacity and weakness of the thinking which the human does.

Rightness-and-reason have to each other a relation similar to that which feeling has to desire. The mutual action of feeling-and-desire is unrestrained and is done without effort when nature calls for a response, but one is always dominated by the other. The interaction of rightness-and-reason is harmonious and continuous. Rightness does not always sanction the thinking of feeling-and-desire, and often does interfere with and restrict it.

A person does not distinguish where one set of functions in him ends and the other begins. The interplay between the two sides of the thinker is immediate and harmonious, whereas feeling-and-desire often oppose each other.

Rightness is the passive side of the thinker. As related to the doer in a human rightness is in the diffused Light of the mental atmosphere; it has a spark of the pure Light in it, is the custodian of that spark, and because of it knows when the thinking on a subject is correct, and when it departs from what the spark shows to be right. This spark affecting the diffused Light in the mental atmosphere causes something like a flame, like the flame of a candle, in the heart of every human. Ordinarily, the flame, the representative of rightness, is not calm. It flickers because desire rushes into the heart and agitates the flame so as to disturb thinking. This is especially so with anything that has a moral aspect. The flame is calm at the instant between inbreathing and outbreathing and between outbreathing and inbreathing and when breathing is suspended by real thinking. If the subject of thought has no moral aspect, as when it relates to measuring or reckoning and is not connected with emotions, the flame in the heart will be steady, till thinking begins. If the operations of measuring or of calculating are correct, the flame does not flicker, but if they are incorrect or other operations interfere with them, the flame in the heart flickers. Sometimes a person is conscious of a doubt or uncertainty, as soon as he adds a column of figures. Then the doubt is caused by the flickering. But persons are not conscious of the flame or that the flame flickers. The active thinking which has resulted from passive thinking is in practically every case concerned with objects of the senses. Thinking is the reaction which nature obtains from the doer.

Reason is the active side of the thinker. In reason are centered the seven minds. The term mind as used by everybody is the body-mind; it is the lowest of the seven minds and is that which is used by the doer-in-the-body to think with about the objects of nature through the four senses of the body. It is the only mind that is spoken of or known. Each of the other six minds is for the use of one of the six aspects of the Triune Self. The feeling-mind is that with which feeling should think, to know what feeling is in itself as apart from the body, and its relation to desire and nature, and its relation to the thinker and knower as the Triune Self. The desire-mind is that with which desire should think, to know what it is apart from nature and in its relation to feeling and to its Triune Self. These three minds may be used by the doer; the remaining four cannot be used by the doer. They are the mind of rightness, the mind of reason, the mind for I-ness and the mind for selfness. The three which may be used by the doer are weak, inefficient and lack exercise and discipline. The minds of feeling-and-desire are not usually exercised for feeling and for desire and are therefore not independently active. They serve as auxiliaries to the body-mind. The doer in the human does not control them. The subject of the thinking determines which of the three minds is being used.

Human active thinking is an interaction between rightness and the mind or minds with which the doer makes the effort to hold the Light of the Intelligence steadily on a subject. While the doer tries to hold the Light steady, rightness shows whether and how far it is correct or incorrect. The interaction goes on while the thinking lasts. The body-mind is devoid of feelings and desires. Its thinking may be of a mathematical nature, like calculations; or of a literary nature as to words, style, clarity; or of an intellectual nature, like searches, distinctions and speculations. The thinking of the minds of feeling and of desire may be of a moral kind, concerning moral right and wrong according to the voice of conscience. Or the thinking may be tinged by emotions, like pity, shame, anger or greed. The thinking of all three may be about travel, work, a business deal, a person, an invention or a religion. In all these instances rightness shows to the feeling or to the desire what is correct or incorrect. A moral question is dealt with in the same manner as a mathematical calculation. There is no argument any more than there is with a compass.

Processes of intending, comparing, analyzing, distinguishing, speculating, imagining and determining, are aspects of thinking, checked up by reasoning, while efforts are made to focus and hold the Light of the Intelligence. These processes are with the run of human beings done usually by one, and sometimes by two or three of the minds, which are judged by reasoning as to correctness.

The manner in which the body-mind acts is like getting matter in which is diffused Light, fashioning that matter into building material of points, lines, angles, curves and surfaces, building up a structure for the subject and tearing it down, trying at the same time to exclude obscuring matter from interfering with the building and keeping the structure in the Light. They do all this until they are near what they are after. The brightness or dimness of the Light available depends upon the length of time attention is given, and upon the degree of attention, that is, its steadiness.

Thinking gets the building material from matter of the mental atmosphere, and at times also from various planes of the physical, the form and the life worlds. The structure built may thus be made of intelligent-matter and of nature-matter and therefore can be exteriorized as an act, an object or an event.

Human thinking is faulty and inefficient for many reasons. It is hard to get the Light of the Intelligence, that is, to get it out from the matter among which it is diffused in the mental atmosphere. It is harder to hold the Light, for the mind lets go quickly and is not steady. It is still harder to hold the Light steadily on a subject, because the mind tries to hold the subject in the Light instead of holding the Light on the subject. Other reasons are that the mental activities do not cooperate, that they are severally directed to different subjects and so interfere with each other instead of agreeing and working in harmony; that there is not enough understanding concerning what is being done or how to do it properly; and that only some activities are developed.

Without a physical body the doer in a human cannot do any active thinking. Though after death there is a kind of thinking, it is only an automatic, mechanical reproduction, entirely caused by the thoughts which were created and entertained during life, and which revolve in the mental atmosphere. A human is a laboratory in which nature does the chemical part and thinking carries on the alchemical work.

The places where thinking goes on are in the mental atmosphere about the heart, the lungs and the brain. The subject of the thinking comes through one of the openings in the body, along nerves or other passages, into the kidneys, then into the adrenals and then into the heart, where rightness is. When the desire is strong enough the subject of the thinking is in the lungs. There, in the mental atmosphere, thinking is carried on. Then the subject is carried by the breathing, along the blood and the nerves, into the brain, first into the cerebellum, then into the cerebrum, and possibly into one or all of the lobes and then into the frontal sinuses. In the mental atmosphere in these parts of the brain thinking tries to focus diffused Light of the Intelligence into an area, large or small, as on a screen in a cinema show. The thinking builds the structures or makes the pictures on this area in the brain. The illuminated space is large or small according to the range of the thinker’s subject of thought. The energy which he uses in directing the light is drawn from the adrenals into the heart and into the voluntary nervous system.

Thinking does not turn into a thought, but it prepares for the conception of a thought and goes on after the conception. A thought, as soon as conceived, has in it Light of the Intelligence, desire and the physical matter which was carried to the doer in the impression made from nature. A thought is conceived in the heart and on the life plane of the light world, as soon as the choice is made to be or to do or to have the subject of the thought. The knower is not affected. The witnessing by the thinker stamps the thought, identifying it with the one who is responsible for it.

If the entertainment is not a suggestion from one of the senses but a thought already issued, there is not again a conception, but the entertainment in the heart will be nourished and reinforced by the thinking. The thoughts conceived or entertained in the heart are, after gestation or elaboration, issued or reissued from the brain.

Thinking follows as the return action of the doer in a human when the senses report an object. The reactions of the doer are efforts made by the mind to focus the diffused Light on the object of the senses, to interact with rightness and to communicate with feeling on these objects.

To illustrate a set of mental activities and the part they play in the actions and interactions of the four senses and of the three parts of the Triune Self, the mental processes incident to making a loan may be considered.

The owner of a piece of property approaches a money lender with the request for a mortgage. The lender looks at the property. His sense of sight informs him of the nature and state of the building on it, the class of tenants, the character of the neighborhood and the transportation facilities. His sense of smell reports the nearness to a pickle factory and a brewery. His sense of hearing reports the noise of children and of heavy traffic. The reports of these senses are made on his breath-form which communicates them to his feeling. His feeling starts desire. Desire carries the reports, mixed with feeling, to rightness. Rightness shows the fitness or unfitness of the loan and feeling-and-desire start thinking as the reports of the senses continue.

His body-mind gathers modified and diffused Light in the mental atmosphere and by that Light sorts, arranges, works over and examines the reports now tinged with feelings and desires and impressed by rightness and then begins to paint and build and tear down over and over, as the reports continue and after they have ceased. I-ness witnesses without interest and by so noticing gives identity to the transaction.

Rightness-and-reason merely observe with impartiality. There will be an agreement or a disagreement between his feelings and desires and the judgment as the result of his thinking. If the judgment is against the loan and his feelings and desires are also against it, the loan will be refused. If the judgment is against the loan and his feelings and desires favor it, the decision of the lender will depend on whether feeling-anddesire will be guided by the judgment or will overrule it.

Likes, prejudices and emotions may strengthen feeling-and-desire. In a mere business, like lending money, where no personal element as of relation or friendship enters, a man will decide according to the judgment of his thinking made upon the reports of the senses. These transmissions by the parts of the Triune Self are instantaneous.

Before the decision, the lender may try to remember other investments of a like nature which he has made or of which he has heard. Remembering, which is an automatic process and requires no thinking, is done by the human by calling upon the breath-form to produce the memories of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch, that bear upon the subject. The lender in this way remembers facts which are relevant to the loan.

The ordinary path of the impressions from and the reactions to the reports of the senses is like the lines of an hourglass or of a figure eight. Nature by means of the senses conveys impressions to feeling, feeling conveys them to desire, desire carries them to rightness and thence to the body-mind. This communicates to feeling its reaction and that of rightness. Feeling, with the continued reports from the senses and with the reactions from the body-mind, gives its new impulse to desire and desire carries this to rightness and from there to the body-mind, which goes back to feeling. So the process is kept up until a decision is reached.

Human thoughts when issued are beings, not merely things. They are points having a potential system which gives them certain inherent qualities and power. They are centers of force and take on matter of the four worlds. They have no form that can be seen clairvoyantly.

The system is bestowed upon the thought by the Light of the Intelligence and by desire from the doer. The Light is representative of the seven faculties of the Intelligence, and desire stands for the three parts of the Triune Self. The system receives from the doer through the breath-form a potential form; then nature furnishes to the germ of physical matter that is in the thought, the material to make it actual on the physical plane. This potential form is the object to which the thought is directed, a house, a fight, a pair of shoes, an essay, a legislative bill, or a prayer to God for success or relief.

Thoughts have great potential power and the ability to last for ages, because thoughts are born in the light world under the Light of an Intelligence. Because of the power in thoughts the whole material world with all its acts, objects and events exists and is maintained and changed.

A thought is a fourfold being and has in it four potential systems. Only that in the thought becomes actual which has to do with the purpose for which the thought was issued.

A human thought is not an independent being; it is dependent upon the one that issued it, or on a foster parent, that is, another human who entertained and nourished it. A thought has to be supplied with Light and with power to keep it going, and it has the right to come for such Light, power and sustenance to the parent or to the one who becomes responsible for it. A thought can be revoked, dissipated or changed before it becomes exteriorized, but once it has been exteriorized it continues until it is balanced.

Every thought has in it an aim, a design or plan to carry out the aim, the exteriorization or exteriorizations of the aim, and a balancing factor which will compel exteriorizations until through one of them there is an agreement by the Triune Self as a whole with the results following the exteriorization, (Fig. IV-A).

The aim is given by desire. During the course of the thought the aim guides it towards the purpose for which the thought was created. The design is the way in which the thought will become physical. The exteriorization is the physical appearance of the thought as or through an act, an object or an event.

Upon its birth through the brain, the thought is on the light plane of the light world and clothed in light matter. Thence it passes to the light plane of the life world, clothes itself with life matter and it sounds in that world. Thought is there a center of force; it is inaudible speech and sound. It is a word, and tells what it is. It proclaims its honesty or its deceitfulness.

The design becomes actual when the thought reaches the light plane of the form world and clothes itself with form matter. On the light plane of the physical world the thought comes into contact with light matter of the physical world. There the first step in exteriorization is taken, but exteriorization does not become actual until after three more steps. On the life plane of the physical world the sounding thought tells more distinctly what it is, its aim becomes more definite and it then descends to the form plane of the physical world, where it takes on full form and remains until there is an opening made onto the physical plane by the conjunction of time and condition at some place. Then the thought is clothed in the brain with radiant matter, in the heart and lungs with airy matter, in the kidneys and adrenals with fluid matter and in the digestive system with solid matter, and results as an act, an object or event. All can take place in a flash and is effected by the breath. So the design is exteriorized, though not necessarily the whole thought.

The balancing factor was heretofore potential. With the exteriorization of the design it becomes actual in the light world. This balancing factor is a seal, which conscience made upon the thought at the conception. Figuratively speaking, conscience is the stamp; its seal on the thought is its counterpart. By the exteriorization of the thought the doer is affected pleasantly or unpleasantly, and it also feels satisfied or dissatisfied with it as being morally right or wrong, and the thought will be balanced or will produce other exteriorizations.

The tendency of the Universe is to bring the seal on the thought back to the stamp which is conscience, but opposing feelings and desires and thinking stand between conscience and the seal on the thought and keep them apart. Rightness, being the Light in the heart, is no obstacle. The obstacles are worn away by experience and learning. Not until the obstacles are worn away, can the seal or counterpart be brought together with the stamp. When in their places are feelings and desires in accord with rightness and reason, the seal matches the stamp by the agreement of all with each other. Then the thought is balanced and conscience is satisfied.

The path of a thought after it issues on the light plane of the light world is towards the physical plane of the physical world, because the object of the thought is there and because the physical germ in the thought pulls it to the object. After a thought issues it becomes a center of force, without form, and in a formless world. There is in such a center a pressure which moves it onward in a cyclic path. As the thought comes into grosser matter, the abstract cycling becomes more actual. The cycles can run in any of the lines which can be conceived of as curves recurring with some regularity.

Usually the act, object or event into which the thought is exteriorized produces a feeling of joy or sorrow in the one who issued the thought. Sometimes a mental result follows. That is the last of the results of the thought, to the perceptions of the human. It may or may not be that he feels the finger of conscience pointing.

The first exteriorization was through the design, the second and further exteriorizations are compelled by the balancing factor which causes the cycles to continue. The second exteriorization produces a feeling and desire which sometimes has a mental result. Until the interior results match the seal of the balancing factor, the thought is kept going on in cycles. If the one who issued it dies, the thought goes with the doer and influences the building of the new body. In that new life and in subsequent lives of the doer, the thought continues to cycle and to bring about another exteriorization or exteriorizations, until the thought is balanced.