THINKING AND DESTINY
Harold W. Percival
THINKING: THE WAY TO CONSCIOUS IMMORTALITY
Recapitulation continued. The thinker of the Triune Self. The three minds of the doer. The minds of the thinker and the knower. How desire speaks in place of rightness; the reversed round. The mental atmosphere.
The thinker is in its mental atmosphere and is in communion with the doer and the knower of the Triune Self by the mental breath. It lets the embodied portion of the doer, which is virtually a human animal, use three of the seven minds to get what it wants, by thinking; but on the other hand it brings to the human some of the knowledge of the knower, to show it what it should do and to warn it when about to do wrong. The thinker thinks with the Conscious Light of the Intelligence that is loaned to the Triune Self, so that any one of the seven minds may focus some of the Light and turn this on the subject to which the thinking is directed.
The seven minds are centered in reason, the active side of the thinker. They are distinct from each other, that is, they are as seven kinds of thinking with the Light of the Intelligence, yet they are one; they have to be spoken of as separate to show how thinking is done. All seven kinds are to act according to one principle, which is, to hold the Light steadily on the subject of the thinking. Four of the kinds, those of rightness and reason of the thinker, and of I-ness and selfness of the knower, do this perfectly. The three minds which the embodied portion of the doer may use, that is, the body-mind, the feeling-mind, and the desire-mind, are unable to do this properly; they do not act independently of the body, for they work from the heart and lungs and cannot be well controlled by the doer—nevertheless they may make the effort. Usually only one kind, the body-mind, is workable by the doer in the human, never more than three. After death, freed from the body, they repeat automatically their actions during the past life.
Reason is at all times in touch with the knower, though the human does not know of this. Reason operates the destiny of its human being, and is the direct and immediate dispenser of it.
The body-mind that is used by the doer in the human works with the senses and thinks for the body, the sex of the body and the physical world; it deals with the phenomena of physical matter. A perception of a thing is made by this body-mind, not by the senses, which merely bring in an impression. The perception is the consideration which the body-mind, as the perceiver, gives to the impression which has been brought to the doer.
A conception is made by the body-mind when it endeavors to focus Light on a perception. The body-mind is that used in perceiving, planning, comparing, analyzing and judging the affairs of business and of science, of law and of politics, of convention and of religion, from any physical act or object to the loftiest conception, and is what people usually term their “mind.” By its thinking it has made the visible world and the acts, objects and events that have brought about the conditions and situations thereon. It takes objects of nature and makes them subjects of thinking. None of the other minds work directly for nature.
The feeling-mind should think for feeling and the expressions of feelings, but it is invariably controlled by the body-mind and the result is that it works for the body, that is, for nature. Whenever one tries to express what he feels he does so with the feeling-mind. This effort is made by almost everyone in language, music, painting, architecture, sculpture, adventure, acting, dancing, cooking, shooting, sailing and the use of tools. Usually the feeling-mind is not workable, and so people are not able to use it as it should be used. But if their efforts are somewhat successful they stand out as original artists and manipulators of tools and instruments, and are called poets, writers, musicians, painters, sculptors, adventurers, discoverers, actors, dancers, cooks, marksmen and sailors. The mental action of such revealers, artists and artisans corresponds to taste and form in nature. If to the ability to use the feeling-mind there is joined a body in which suitable elementals predominate, the person will excel in his art.
The third kind, the desire-mind, thinks for desire and to execute desires. There are four functions of desire, namely, the power to be, to will, to do, and to have. As persons by the effort to use the feeling-mind become artists and artisans in handling things so as to express their feelings, so persons by the more or less successful efforts to think with the desire-mind display their power and are more or less successful in being, in willing, in doing or in having the objects of their desires. Desires are put into effect through efforts to think with this desire-mind.
People who stand out among the mass are those who have accomplished things according to feeling or to desire or to both. They are people of sentiment or of action. They are successful, not merely because of the feeling or the desire or because of their efforts, but according to their ability to work and think with the feeling-mind or with the desire-mind. If persons have much feeling without being able to use the feeling-mind they are swallowed up by a morass of sentimentality, or if they have strong desires without the ability to use the desire-mind, they are often brutes in word and deed.
The mind for feeling cannot be used at will unless the human is able to use to some degree the desire-mind; and one cannot use the desire-mind at will, unless he is able to use the feeling-mind, at least in some degree.
The body-mind tries to turn the Light on the objective, physical side of the impression only. The feeling-mind, if it does think for feeling, tries to turn the Light so as to express the subjective side of the impression which is concerned with sympathies and sentiments. The desire-mind, if it does think for desire, tries to turn the Light so as to express the subjective aspect of the impression, which is concerned with accomplishing or getting or holding possessions or a name or power. The feeling-mind thinks for feeling, and so for all the feelings, whether they be for nature or toward the doer. The desire-mind thinks for desire and so for all the desires, whether they reach for nature or into the doer.
Yet the body-mind invariably controls all the thinking in the world. With it a man thinks for the “things that make life worth living,” for the run of human beings. Physical things are what he wants to feel or not to feel and what he desires to have or to avoid. He does not want to feel feeling or feelings. Therefore he can use only the mind that thinks for physical things. His feeling and his desire strive by this body-mind to get physical things. By thinking physically he gets an abundance of physical gifts, but no psychic advancement of his doer, no finer feelings, no nobler desires. When he holds steadily on to an object, his feelings and desires cause this body-mind to turn to the object as a subject which he wishes to have, to do or to be. The mind tries to focus the Conscious Light on the subject to the degree that his feelings and desires hold steadily to the object.
When an impression of an object has been taken by the senses and reduced to a point, it is taken by the breath-form to the kidneys and there makes contact with feeling. When this has aroused desire in the adrenals, desire takes the impression to the heart, to rightness, whence it is passed on to reason in the lungs. There the breath fixes it on the form of the breath-form and so affects that and through it the nerves of the involuntary system. All this is done with an incoming breath. If the man wants the object, his feeling and desire hold the body-mind upon this impression on the breath-form and an attempt at thinking on that subject begins in the mental atmosphere, in the area from the lungs to the brain. The brain in the thorax is not organized for thinking but for breathing and for the circulation of the breath; the brain in the head is used by the heart and lungs for thinking. But the brain is secondary, the heart and lungs are the principal, though at present disorganized, organs for thinking. The cranial brain does the work as a substitute for the thoracic brain. Thinking is done between an outgoing and an incoming breath, if there is any thinking, but much of what passes for thinking is not actual thinking.
While the body-mind attempts to focus the Light, other sense impressions come into the area, along the same road, attracted to the Light. They attempt to get into the Light. Other elementals in parts of the body are stimulated or are devitalized and are projected as forms by the breath into the area of the thinking. Still other obstructions, such as thoughts and thinking, are in the mental atmosphere and interfere with the focusing.
If one continues to feel and to desire an object, the Light will show him how it is to be obtained. As soon as this is seen, elemental matter takes the impression of the means by which it is to be obtained. The matter is of the life and form planes of the physical world and affects the radiant and airy matter of the physical plane and reaches and impresses those persons through whom the object is to be obtained. The continued thinking brings about circumstances aligning persons, places or things so that the object will be attained, unless this interferes with destiny.
The mind for rightness is not usable by the human; it thinks for rightness, on estimates and judgments on the subjects presented to it by reason, and on communications which come to rightness from selfness. The thinking consists in holding the Conscious Light in the mental atmosphere on the subjects which are presented by desire or by reason. Human beings cannot in any way work the mind of rightness. The mind for reason is for thinking by reason and leads the Conscious Light into all subjects and questions which are brought to reason by desire.
The mind for I-ness is for communication with I-ness. I-ness uses it, but a human cannot. When he can consciously communicate with it, he will be more than a human. The mind for I-ness holds the clear Light of the noetic atmosphere on, and so identifies what is done by the other minds with feelings or with desires that urge them. I-ness uses its mind to flash Light to reason, when the human wants to know who he is. Then reason satisfies feeling and desire by letting them have the feeling of the ego or false “I.” The mind for selfness is for communication with selfness; it cannot be used by the human. Selfness uses its mind to flash the clear Light of conscience, that is, the sum of knowledge on any moral subject, to rightness, and so to warn. Selfness uses its mind to give knowledge to reason, though the human does not come into possession of this knowledge except in the rarest cases. If the human had the ability to reach in his thinking to the mind for I-ness and to the mind for selfness even as little as he can now think with the body-mind, he would know himself, who and what he is, as a consciously immortal doer in the Eternal of the Triune Self as well as throughout time, and he would know his destiny.
The matter of which these seven minds consist is matter of the Triune Self and therefore has no qualities and no activities which can be designated by terms applicable to nature-matter. However, the matter is matter of the thinker, not life matter of the nature-side, and corresponds to and affects matter of the life world. It affects it by its efforts to hold Light of the Intelligence that is in the mental atmosphere, on a subject of thought which the senses have brought in and which has reached the body-mind. It affects it also by passive thinking and by the nature-matter that is in the thoughts circulating in the mental atmosphere.
Efforts at thinking, which at present is done mostly with the body-mind, affect the active side of the units in the life world, and so cause the units as passive things to be lit up, to be energized and to take on a life impulse which eventually manifests physically. The minds, when they do work, also affect feeling, and desire through feeling. They do not affect the knower, because they do not think about it. They have a powerful effect on the physical body through feeling.
Rightness is the name here given to the passive side of the thinker. Rightness is of as much importance to the human as its organ, the heart, is to the body. Rightness has some of the clear Light. It is as if a point opened from the heart into the noetic atmosphere. At this point of Conscious Light is the little flame in the heart that makes the being human. The feeling of rightness is the standard of what is right for the human on any subject. Its nature is to be right, that is, as it should be, in the Light of the Intelligence. Rightness is conscious of that which is presented to it, as being right or wrong.
The relation of rightness to reason is analogous to that of feeling to desire. Feeling prompts desire and desire tries to satisfy feeling, but rightness and reason in themselves actually do satisfy each other and act in agreement, though their organs, which are the heart and lungs, are usurped by feeling and desire.
Rightness is replaced in the heart by desire. Reason allowing feeling and desire to use the first three minds, seems to act upon the urge of desire, which, speaking from the heart, seems to overpower and speak in place of rightness. When feeling will not feel for nature, but will listen to and be guided by rightness, and when desire will not act except under the guidance of reason, feeling-and-desire will withdraw from the heart, where now both are. Rightness will then be in the heart, its own organ, and will act on, regulate and advise feeling. Feeling will prompt desire from the point of view of rightness instead of from that of nature. Desire will seek contact with rightness; it will seek to be approved by rightness instead of forcing out rightness and speaking from its place to the body-mind.
Then the round is reversed. Whereas now feeling influences desire, desire taking the place of rightness and compelling the feeling-mind to serve feeling for the benefit of nature, the round going the other way will start from rightness, not from nature. Feeling will not feel unless rightness starts it, and then it will prompt desire which will seek approval and confirmation by rightness, and rightness itself will start reason, to work with its mind to satisfy feeling. Thus the lemniscate will be reversed, and represent a self-government from within, (Fig. IV-B).
Rightness thinks particularly on such subjects as affect the Triune Self rather than nature; and, because it is under the Conscious Light, which is Truth, thinks of them as being right or not right. It thinks of the correctness of the manner in which the doer is affected by nature, and of the manner in which the doer feels and desires in itself, apart from nature. It sanctions any feeling which is right and discountenances any feeling which is not right, under the Light. It approves of any right act or intent to act by desire, and denounces it when wrong. Feeling-and-desire cannot induce rightness to leave its position, but they can refuse to listen to it and can crowd it out by the body-mind; and this is what the human usually does. He has done this so persistently in the past, that desire has usurped the place of rightness which has been forced, so to say, into a corner of the heart. A human wants what he wants whether it is right or not, and gets it by his ability to think how to get it.
In the human the organs through which feeling and desire function are the kidneys and adrenals, but a human neither feels in the kidneys nor desires in the adrenals. Feeling and desire have taken possession of the heart, which is the organ of rightness. When rightness speaks in the heart, feeling and desire overpower it and, as lust and anger, speak in its place. This is so where self-interest rules. On moral questions rightness receives flashes of Light from selfness and so becomes the mouthpiece of conscience without respect to how one feels or what he desires.
Where self-interest does not rule and has no power to affect the correctness of things, as in observing the time of day or in calculating tide time tables, rightness is not interfered with by the doer. Then desire starts the body-mind to discover, calculate, ascertain or solve whatever is desired.
For all mundane things the body-mind is used. Its thinking presents to rightness the subject on which the thinking strives to hold the Light. When the thinking presents a conclusion, that is, when it thinks, it holds the Light steady on the subject, and rightness says “far away,” “near it,” “incorrect,” “correct,” “wrong,” “right,” “no,” “yes.” In this way rightness determines the correctness or deviation therefrom in searching and assembling facts and in calculations, opinions and judgments. The little invisible flame in the heart is steady when the thinking is correct, but flickers when the thinking is not correct. Whereas the mind of reason extends from the lungs to the brain, rightness never leaves the heart.
The mental atmosphere of the human is a portion of intelligent-matter which is included in the noetic and which itself includes the psychic atmosphere. It, like the other two, is not directly connected with the physical body and so the physical organs are not in touch with the mental atmosphere. It acts in and upon the physical body through the mental breath, which acts through the psychic breath which acts through the physical breath in the heart and lungs. The mental atmosphere does not blend with the psychic atmosphere, though it contains it and is through it as light shines through water.
The mental atmosphere of the human is related to the noetic atmosphere by the mental breath and the noetic breath. Through these breaths it receives Light of the Intelligence from the noetic atmosphere. In the mental atmosphere of the human the Light is dimmed, obscured and impeded as in a fog, but the atmosphere does not affect the Light. The Light never leaves the mental atmosphere; not even when it is mixed with desire in a thought and is issued into the forms of nature. The Light can go from the mental atmosphere into nature carrying a portion of the matter of the atmosphere with it, can circulate in nature and can be brought back into the mental atmosphere, all without leaving the mental atmosphere. It is as though the mental atmosphere were extended with that Light into nature. When the Light is brought back it brings adhesions which seem impressions and affect the matter of the mental atmosphere, but not the Light.
These accretions are among the obstacles that impede the thinking. The obstacles consist of matter of the life world, of the form world and of the physical world, brought in by perceptions of what the senses present, by feelings and by desires through passive and active thinking, by nature-imagination and by the thoughts of oneself and of others.
The mental atmosphere of the human is related and corresponds to the life world. The mental atmosphere is intelligent-matter and the life world is nature-matter. The atmosphere is one, the life world is made up of many. The thinking which goes on in the mental atmosphere stirs up and awakens life in the units of the life world, and there causes the units to dart, to whirl, to eddy and to contract and expand. What the atmosphere does to the world, the world does to the atmosphere. The life world reacts on the mental atmosphere and so stirs it up and causes concentration and diffusion in it, which cause further thinking and thoughts. In the mental atmosphere are one’s own and others’ thoughts and elementals of the life world. These are habits of thinking. In the lower part of the atmosphere is the psychic atmosphere and in that the physical atmosphere with their elementals of the form world and of the physical world. These elementals suggest thinking on their own lines and produce passive thinking and nature-imagination, so as to become sensations. Human beings cannot use the mental atmosphere as a whole, but only that part of it which is in the psychic atmosphere of the doer.
The minds used by human beings have difficulties in working in the Light which is dimmed and obscured by these hindering things and so have to be trained in being steady in holding the Light.
Copyright 1974 by The Word Foundation, Inc.