Mystical Transformation and the Human Mind

I want to share some thoughts about the human mind and its role in spiritual transformation, with the hope that they will help you reach deeper levels of spiritual realization.

Someone wrote me about her spiritual practice in the following manner:

…Unity thought, the Course in Miracles, the Abraham teachings, and all great masters are so clear about placing our attention on “reality” (not the world) to increase its presence and all else will fall away. While I can not yet be there every minute I am training my mind to be there more often each day. I know that miracles are born of this thankful, peaceful, heart centeredness. I am practicing bringing my attention to what I am grateful for each time I catch myself judging, complaining, or feeling less than joyful. It is always humbling and amazing how much more I have to be grateful for than upset about. You are so right about our placing too much attention on perceptions of lack when all around us is abundance. It is only our thoughts that create a perception of lack. (Emphasis is mine.)

I could readily see that she was straining with her mental efforts to bring about a change in her state of consciousness. That, in itself, is self-defeating because she is trying to RE-condition her intellect mind into thinking only in one direction (in this case, the idea of abundance), away from a perceived opposite direction or polarity (the idea of lack).

The intellect mind, which is designed to function anatomically through the usually dominant left hemisphere of the brain, is structured to operate precisely within the context of a duality. This is a necessary aspect of the intellect for it to perform its intended function of evaluating the physical world and rendering judgments and opinions based on its evaluations, thereby enabling us to function effectively in the world. (Check out Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor’s book “My Stroke of Insight” for some really good information about the functions of the left and right hemispheres of the human brain.   You can also listen to her lecture below about her experience of these brain hemispheres when she had a stroke.)

[Acknowledgment: Our appreciation to TEDtalksDirector for publishing Dr. Taylor’s lecture video on]

Diagram of the Human Brain's Limbic System
Limbic System of the Brain

Furthermore, the intellect mind will uphold and continue to promote ideas of lack, despite our best efforts to re-program its selection process in favor of abundance, if the underlying deep-seated emotional feeling lodged in the animal or reptilian portion of the brain (the limbic system), where much of our human conditioning (vis-à-vis the brain areas for the emotions and memory) is stored, continues to be one of lack and limitation.  Almost always, the conditioning of the mind will hijack and manipulate the intellect’s functions into sustaining ideas of lack and limitation, due to the sense of separation from our ultimate good (God) that is entertained by our dualistic human state of consciousness — the allegorical “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil” in the biblical Book of Genesis.  

(This dualism in the mind is referred to as: the original sin in Christian theology; or the fundamental error of human consciousness in mysticism; or the soul’s deep woundedness, that is experienced as the human condition, in metapsychology or psycho-spiritual studies.)

The ideas of lack and limitation are then acted upon hormonally by the emotional brain, expressing them in and through our mental attitudes and outward behavior and eventually translating them as our experience of life and the world.  Here are video clips that shed more light on how the emotional brain (the limbic system) can work to inhibit our full human potential.

[Acknowledgment: Our appreciation to dizzo95 for the above YouTube video on the brain’s limbic system.]

[Acknowledgment: Our appreciation to edutopia for the above YouTube video on “The Heart-Brain Connection.”]

[Acknowledgment: Our appreciation to SmallBusinessAnswers for the above YouTube video on “amygdala hijacking.”]

Our thoughts do not create a perception of lack. The human state of consciousness creates the perception and the experience of lack, as well as the very thoughts and emotional feelings of lack that energize, perpetuate and accompany them.

For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.
(Yeshua, The Gospel According to John 12:8, NKJV)

As pointed out by neuroanatomist and brain researcher Dr. Taylor in her book, the left hemisphere of the brain (intellect mind) has a built-in tendency to become negativistic or pessimistic unlike its more holistic right hemisphere (intuitive mind) counterpart.  It is virtually impossible to RE-condition the intellect mind into running on a permanently optimistic or positive track by means of a direct reconditioning strategy against negative programming.   Here is the bottom line: You cannot recondition the human mind for as long as and while the mind functions under a human state of consciousness.  A transformation to mystical or spiritual consciousness is absolutely necessary, because only that state of pure consciousness can produce the unconditioned mind (the allegorical “Tree of Life” in the biblical Book of Genesis) where there is no experience of duality, only the experience of pure good (God).

…to be willing to live not by might nor by power, to put up your sword, to stop being angry, to stop being resentful, hateful, fearful. You cannot do it humanly, but the Grace of God makes it natural for all of these to disappear from your consciousness.   (Joel S. Goldsmith, “Invisible Supply”; emphasis supplied.)

What we need to do is to DE-condition the mind.

Not a substitution or switching of duality programs in the mind from one adverse or negative condition to its opposite condition (for example, from sickness to health or from lack to abundance), but the elimination and deletion of those very programs that keep us in the human condition. And this is what contemplative meditation accomplishes — the DE-conditioning of the mind — by opening individual awareness to the infinite nature of consciousness itself.   DE-conditioning the mind allows it (and us, for that matter) to function as the unconditioned, infinite, divine Mind of God, also referred to as the Christ Mind or the Buddha Mind.

True spiritual transformation consists of DE-conditioning the mind, not in RE-conditioning the mind, to arrive at the UNCONDITIONED Mind.

So, here is what I recommend:

  • Do not work at the level of your human mind by training it (particularly the intellect, the left hemisphere of the brain) to function at the dimension of mystical oneness and divine omnipresence, which it obviously simply cannot do.  It is a finite mind.  Instead, in your meditation sittings leave the intellect and the “everyday awareness” of the human mind behind: Simply enter the meditation sitting in quiet relaxation and silence by allowing the intuitive right brain hemisphere to become dominant functionally. (In our classes, we teach centering techniques and proven contemplative practices for accomplishing this, and also brain entrainment or neuroscience technologies for activating right brain hemisphere dominance.)
  • In that deeply relaxed and receptive state of mind, contemplate the letter of Truth as taught in The Infinite Way.  Get a feeling of the Truth statement you are contemplating, especially with respect to its meaningfulness to you.  Then let your soul’s awareness of the Truth soar in the altitude of uplifted consciousness, where the stillness of the mind’s now rarefied atmosphere can let you realize the spirit of Truth. There, divine omnipresence already is. In that meditative state lies the realization that heaven is already established on earth, which in truth it has always been (we just fail to see or realize it in the mind).
  • Mind is only the avenue of awareness, a medium for the outpicturing of one’s inner awareness or the state of individual consciousness. The “conscious awareness of the Spirit/Truth” is the operative key here, and that kind of awareness (the realization of mystical Truth) is a function of consciousness, not the mind. To the degree that divine omnipresence is spiritually realized, to that degree will it manifest as and become our experience on the earth plane.
  • Being “there every minute” is not going be the result of training the human mind. Being and functioning in divine omnipresence every minute is the result of “putting on the Mind that was in Christ Jesus.” There is an aspect of the one Mind which, though transcendent of the human mind, is integral to our spiritual being — the so-called Christ Mind. However, in order for the Christ Mind to make a difference in our lives, the Christ first needs to be realized spiritually, not mentally, as our true identity or Selfhood.
  • The wonderful news is that the Christ Mind already is our mind and even more wonderful is that fact that the Christ Mind is functional within us. However, as Joel Goldsmith would say, we need to shut down the incessant chatter of the thinking intellect mind (our processor of duality programs), even momentarily, so that we can actually feel and experience the activity of the Christ Mind in our lives. This is precisely what silent contemplative meditation accomplishes. Goldsmith reminds us that while the mind is engaged in thinking thoughts, even noble spiritual truths, the Christ Mind is disengaged and offline.
  • Not all teachings succeed  (a) in keeping and maintaining the purity of the Truth teaching or its mystical message throughout their content, or  (b) in preserving the spiritual integrity of their methodologies or techniques at the level of mystical oneness.  Many times, a teaching that is being presented as a “spiritual or mystical” teaching is actually a “mental” teaching only at the level of the human intellect.  Its methodology does not open or engage the individual’s soul faculties to access the depths of one’s spirit-being or consciousness, where genuine spiritual transformation can occur resulting in the DE-conditioning of the mind.   You see this happening frequently in many well-meaning self-help teachings or recovery programs, where the symptoms of a condition are being addressed but the underlying metapsychological cause(s) in consciousness is being neglected or ignored. Discernment then becomes a really valuable tool for distinguishing between a true mystical teaching and a pseudo-mystical one. (See our admonition to aspiring mystics in the Resources page.)

What do you wish to do next on the path?

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About Marc of Contemplative Pathways

Marc teaches contemplative meditation in the context of "contemporary mysticism" under the style of "Contemplative Pathways." His spiritual work is backed by a profound understanding of mystical teachings and the mystical life, that is rooted in fifty (50) years of personal study, practice and spiritual unfoldment (inner realization and spiritual experience).  In the course of his spiritual journey, he has received the gifts of mystical discernment and spiritual transmission. Marc has been conducting classes and meetings on contemporary mysticism and meditation at the San Francisco Bay Area for over fifteen years, usually in a classroom, lecture, seminar, workshop, online meeting, or group practice setting. He has facilitated study groups and workshops for centering/contemplative meditation practice meetings since the 1980s. Marc's teaching work meaningfully shifts consciousness in students through the process of spiritual transmission and mystical transformation.  He enables others to embark on the spiritual journey by understanding the Truth teaching and by living its principles in their daily lives. His methodology of instruction is divinely inspired and firmly rooted in pure, authentic mysticism.  Marc's approach to the subject of contemporary mysticism is essentially nondenominational, nonsectarian, culturally interfaith, transreligious, definitively unitive, and unequivocally nondualistic. Within the context of the great shift in consciousness presently occurring all over the planet, Marc’s work focuses on individual and collective spiritual instruction and transformation. He promotes the practice of contemplation or meditation as the vehicle for spiritual transcendence and ascension to the higher dimensions of mystical consciousness. His other contributions to worldwide spiritual awakening and the global contemplative movement include spiritual mentoring, spiritual direction, and spiritual healing work. Marc is firmly committed to the vision of a global spiritual awakening and the divine promise of humanity’s mystical illumination. His brand of mysticism is the only true contemporary mysticism born of 21st century illumination and spirituality.  
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2 Responses to Mystical Transformation and the Human Mind

  1. Pingback: Locating the “Interpreter” Ego in the Brain | The Mystical Path

  2. Pingback: The Secret You | The Mystical Path

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