pure consciousness by prakasha

science and yoga: a special investigation into mind

Science often starts with the assumption that the mind, as well as consciousness, is somehow the result of the functioning of the brain. By contrast, yoga often sees both the mind and the brain, and indeed all matter, as pure consciousness which has progressively differentiated first into subject and object, and then into more complex but limited forms. The difference between the two viewpoints may not be as great as it first seems. Just as matter and energy cannot really be different because they can transform into each other, in either scenario matter must contain the essence of consciousness, and consciousness, the essence of matter.

In both cases, the mind occupies an intermediate position between brain and consciousness and serves as a bridge between them. Many yogis regard mind as a special kind of sense organ, not unlike an eye or a nose, that interprets and selectively presents data to consciousness. The data can come from the senses, from internal sources such as memory, imagination and feeling, or from other more mysterious sources. On the conscious side there is a centre of will that can issue commands and, if it chooses, direct attention. On the unconscious side is a vast territory full of insights, inspirations, imaginations, unprocessed junk, old programs, and also, in my experience, a very deep connection to a more whole and inclusive world.

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