It is often said that it is the nature of the mind to wander. When mind is bored, it searches for happiness outside because it has become its habit to look for happiness outside. It does not know deeply enough that the happiness is within. The mind needs to be trained not to look outside but to look at the source of happiness. The source is whole and complete and all happiness comes from it. The mind needs to be taught to stay in silence. Whenever, a random useless thought appears in mind, the mind needs to be reminded that happiness is not in the outside objects and the thought needs to be squashed. It is the abidance in silence that will give steady happiness to the mind. Silence does not mean not engaging in any act physically or mentally all the time. Mind should be available to us as and when it is required as a tool. But, the mind should not be allowed to take over to roam aimlessly.
[Bhagavad Gita 6.35]
The above implies that without a doubt the mind is unsteady and is difficult to control, but it can be controlled with practice and dispassion.
Goal setting is also an effective way to steady the mind as it gives direction to the thoughts making them less random. If the mind is agitated due to worry, expectations etc. it needs to be reminder that it is not the doer and that everything is not in its control. While it should continue to make efforts without attachment, it also needs to accept the present situation since the whole universe has conspired to make the present situation a reality.
Q: Is embodied soul a physical reality or is it just a concept used to explain certain things?
Continue reading Is Embodied Soul Real?
Mind does not appear to exist during deep sleep, in coma, in certain brain deceases*/injuries, under general anesthesia etc. So, one can say that if brain does not work (or works partially), mind does not exist (or does not behave normally) and hence mind is entirely due to brain. However, if we assume that entire mind is due to brain it is not possible to explain a) near-death experiences that some people have b) out of body experiences that some people have and c) research findings on reincarnation by Dr. Ian Stevenson. These experiences/findings point towards the phenomenon of mind (or faculty of mind – whatever you like to call it like soul etc.) getting detached from the body.
If we assume for a moment that the mind is separate from the body let us see how we can explain why mind does not appear to exist during deep sleep, in coma, in certain brain diseases*/injuries, under general anesthesia etc. Mind interprets information sent by the brain. If brain is inactive/damaged/dead, this information is not sent properly (or not sent at all) to the mind for processing which makes it look as if mind is not working properly or is not functioning at all. For analogy sake consider a TV (mind) connected to a cable (brain/body) and to a power supply. If there is no signal sent by the cable, the TV does not work. This does not mean that the TV is not in working condition. This explains how the dependence of mind on brain is possible even if mind does not exist due to brain.
Spiritually speaking, consciousness is big container in which there is mind inside of which there is body and brain is part of the body. Mind is the interface between the consciousness and the body. Mind receives lot of information from the body/brain and tunes in to specific information and projects it on the screen of consciousness.
*In certain brain diseases the person does not behave normally and one says that mind is not normal.