With the lockdown imposed by government bodies around the world, we are beginning to rely more and more on technology for work, study, and daily life activities from the comfort of our homes. We can log onto many platforms for business video conferencing, websites for learning school material, WhatsApp calls to connect with family and Facebook to chat with friends. Although it keeps us connected with the outside world, it has severely handicapped us from experiencing life outside laptops and smart phones. During this time, we must stop and reflect on how our mind operates and explore our soul-minds.
During these unprecedented times, I have continued supporting my students via telephone, email, and video conferencing. I would like to share one particular distressed text which I received from a student who stated the following – “Help, I feel like I’m losing my mind…”. I smiled and replied, “Great, now it’s time to help you find your soul.” I remembered the famous quote by mountaineer John Muir, “And into the forest, I go to lose my mind and find my soul.” This reminded me of my own soul-searching trek deep within the Himalayas in the 80’s. I discovered that living through our Soul-Self allows us to see the world more clearly. What you lose on one level, you will gain on another. We must accept that there is no loss without gain and no gain without loss. Beneath the mind’s noise is a quiet place. When we live life with an outward focus, we neglect the rich world that exists within. The goal is to become conscious of the mind and the noise, and then lose it! What I mean here is that we need to awaken our soul to become aware of life’s true purpose.
Before we learn how to lose the mind, we need to understand what the mind is and how to manage it. We can then find our soul by knowing what it is and its purpose. Finally, we learn how the mind and soul are connected. Then and only then we will understand John Muir’s quote “…lose your mind & find your soul!”
So, what is the mind?
The human mind has been of great mystery across time and has been studied across many disciplines, including philosophy, neuroscience, biology, psychology, and in spirituality. According to Buddha, “The mind is everything; what you think, you become.”
We have two minds – a body mind that operates on logic, and a soul mind that operates on ethics. Ethics is truth and is constant whereas, logics is less reliable and varies from person to person.
At this point we need to become fully aware of the ego-mind. It likes to weigh in on absolutely everything from forming, opinions, beliefs and judgements that can easily be confused as the truth. The ego mind has emotions, memories, visual images, and a life of its own. Needless to say, the logics of the body-mind are easily manipulated by the ego. Once you figure out how your ego works in the mind, then it will be clear you are not your thoughts.
Managing the mind
When we acquire knowledge of how the world works, we can clearly see the way in which we have lived our lives guided by outdated beliefs and limiting rules. When we replace these outdated conditioned thoughts and habits, we have the opportunity to redefine happiness, purpose and success in our lives.
Meditation has also proven itself to be a successful mind – manager. Mediation is a practice that tackles the mechanics of the mind and integrates science, religion, philosophy, and health. By observing our thought processes and slowing down the incessant internal monologue, we can transfer our focus from external sources of happiness and regulate the mechanics of the mind and gain control of our inner world. A dedicated meditative practice stills the thought-waves and results in connecting with one’s true Self.
What is the soul?
Some view the soul as our emotional nature. Others believe the soul is connected to a heavenly realm. The soul represents a higher self, your true individuality. The soul provides the sense that human beings possess an immortal conscious being, a spark of divinity. The soul operates from the principles of love, wisdom, and universal service. The soul simply uses a body to work out its karma and, following this, continues its journey of self-realization. Our ethical mind and the ego have diverging ideals. The soul leads an individual to unity with self, whereas the ego propels a person to become separated from their inner self and promotes self-interest.
What is the purpose of the soul?
One of the most asked questions is why we are here. The answer to this is entirely subjective as each person’s ‘why’ will be different. For instance, if you have a talent for music, then your soul’s purpose may be to share the gift of music with others. Others may have a soul purpose to share wisdom, to create beautiful art or design powerful machinery.
One thing is certain, every soul is working together to evolve. We learn from each other. Lessons bring growth, achievement and most importantly, evolvement.
The soul and mind connection
There has been much discussion on how the mind and soul are connected because the concept of two minds i.e., a body mind and a soul mind has not been widely accepted. The teachings of the Vedas say the mind is a projection of the soul.
The soul represents consciousness, the life force in living beings. The mind gives people the ability to see, smell, taste, hear, and experience the sense of touch. In addition, the mind has another function called intellect. The mind changes all the time. I believe people are always changing and becoming new versions of their former selves. But the soul remains unchanged and separate from transformations. When the ever-changing mind is managed as intended, it becomes self-aware, focused and quiet. The soul is ultimately responsible for giving the body its life force. In subtle ways, it guides and directs our behavior and actions.
We can lead a perfect life when we maintain perfect health and a pure mind. When there is no conflict between the mind and the soul we are guided to live ethically and make the right decisions.
To live a successful life in today’s ever-changing world remember we need to work first on the mind and finally on the soul. If we do this, we can merge with divinity and be truly perfect humans with a balanced life. In short, all aspects of our life will fall into place, and all stress, anguish, and negativity will be greatly reduced. At this stage you will have lost your mind & found your soul!