People don`t mind using the noun `mind` to describe that faculty of the brain which includes consciousness or awareness as a material component which controls the brain: the so-called computer mainframe. I dislike using computer analogies because computers don`t have souls; ie: they don’t have an immaterial or etheric or subtle energy component, at least not yet. They don’t have the ability to reason on their own. Their ability to use hardware to modify software programs to perform calculations does not imply the component of ‘being alive’ which the mind or soul infers. The act of being aware of being aware is what we coin as consciousness.
The act of being aware of our life force within is described as awareness. The state of being alive is termed consciousness.
So technically we are aware of our consciousness or of being alive. This awareness of our life force or pranic energy field in our bodies also contains a witness component.
We are able to observe, much as a witness does, to what is outside of our awareness. We can control what we think, perceive, conceive, and express as speech or actions. We can perform these acts only if we are witness or objectively detached from our thoughts and emotions. This requires practice and focus/concentration.
The act of being aware of a decision before it is made is awareness. The ability to be aware derives from consciousness.
Consciousness can only exist as a presence with life force or pranic field energy. When this life force leaves the body at the time of physical death or shortly thereafter consciousness leaves the body as life force or energy field and, according to esoteric teaching sources, goes to the astral plane.
This astral plane parallels our material physical plane and contains etheric beings with emotional and mental bodies with souls; if you wish souls floating around in subtle etheric substance able to be everywhere at once, not bound by the boundaries of matter and space and time.
Therefore by inference the amount of time which a soul spends in the astral plane can be perceived as being either long or short becomes meaningless there.
Let’s get back to the differences between mind and soul. Mind is the material adjunct to soul which is immaterial. Mind corresponds to soul as life force corresponds to biological life function of the heart and lungs. The mind allows the soul to be present in consciousness, just as the life force allows the heart and lungs to function in the physical plane. We don’t think of our hearts or lungs as having consciousness or awareness because they are only organs, so we think. The esoteric teachings assign angelic associations to the organs such that all our organs are connected as well to the soul and not only to the physical body. Should this be the reality then our organs also possess consciousness and therefore dependent and coordinated relationship with our soul/mind entity and etheric body and chakras and functions.
Our organs are programmed to function mechanically and automatically, being directed by DNA and RNA programs or sequences, and triggered or initiated by complex hormone and chemically-mediated signals within cells and organs, and modified by the agent of homeostasis which is being constantly monitored by the major glands: the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenals.
The proper chemical balance in cells, blood, lymph, and body temperature maintenance, regulates the human body and allows the mind/soul complex entity to exist, to be aware, and to be present, as consciousness, and finally to act upon and within the body through thought, speech, and action.
Physical biology and spiritual soul elements working together to sustain the functioning of the Human being. The purpose of our existence determined by past lives karma from birth assigns our path during this life time. What we do to modify this path depends on our consciousness and level of evolution within it. The duration of our life span in this body depends on our destiny and life clock determined by our contract made before we are born, on the astral plane, before we choose to return to human form. We have a limited time in which to accumulate positive karma, eliminate past lives negative karma, raise our consciousness and energy vibration to higher levels to ascend to the causal realm where we will be free of re-incarnations and choose to dwell in the ‘house of the lord’ in eternal bliss. Sounds like a great purpose to work towards.
When we attempt to discover where we are in our bodies, ie: where our identity is hiding in our bodies, where our consciousness or awareness is located, which part of our ‘selves’ is ‘us’, only then can we begin to appreciate that we are not our physical bodies, not our minds, not our thoughts, not our emotions, that we are our soul, beings of Divine intelligence, love and power, only here for a short period of time, with none of it to be wasted on temporal pleasures, or sleeping away the effects of too much ‘making happy’. We must focus our attention on character building, virtue adherence, practicing diligently accurate perception and correct expression, generosity and non-injury, honesty and non-lying, moderation and non-excessiveness, constancy of aim and effort and non-laziness. These are the five pillars of character building which Master Choa Kok Sui, my satguru, developed as a method of arhatic yoga for attaining higher vibration and spiritual evolution towards enlightenment.
The Tibetan Buddhist tradition also has a program of bodhisattva which requires individuals to pray and work towards raising all of Humanity’s vibrations towards enlightenment and illumination bringing an end to re-incarnation into a world of samsara, pain and suffering, cravings, attachments, and unfulfilled yearnings. It is to this aim that I have dedicated my life’s work since my joining the arhatic yoga fraternity/sisterhood in 2009.
Blessings of love, light, and power to all.