The mind has five aspects, but the aspect that is best known
is that for which we use the word 'mind.' Mind means: the creator
of thought and imagination. The mind is the soil upon which,
in the form of thoughts and imaginations, plants grow. They
live there; but, as they are continually springing up, only
the newly created plants are before one's consciousness, and
those plants and trees that were created before are hidden from
one's eyes. Therefore, when thoughts and imaginations are forgotten,
then they are no longer before one and one does not think about
them anymore. However, whenever one wishes to find a thought
that has once been shaped, it can immediately be found, for
it still exists in the mind.
That part of the mind which our consciousness does not see
immediately is called subconsciousness. It is called this because
the consciousness remains on the surface, making clear to us
the part of our thoughts and imagination that we have just shaped
and are busy looking at.
Nevertheless, once a person has had an imagination, a thought,
it still exists. In what form does it exist? In the form that
the mind gave it. As the soul takes a form in the physical world,
a form borrowed from this world, so the thought takes a form,
borrowed from the world of mind. A clear mind, therefore, can
give a distinct body, a distinct form to the thought. A mind
that is confused produces indistinct thoughts.
One can see the truth of this in dreams. The dreams of the
clear-minded are clear and distinct, and the dreams of those
whose minds are unclear are confusing. Besides, it is most interesting
to see that the dreams of artists, poets and musicians, who
live in beauty and who think of beauty, are beautiful; whereas
the dreams of those whose minds contain doubts, fears or confusion
are of the same character.
This gives proof that the mind gives a body to the thought.
The mind supplies form to each thought, and with that form the
thought is able to exist. The form of the thought is not only
known to the person who thinks, but also to the one who reflects
the thought, to the one in whose heart it is reflected. That
is why there is a silent communication between people: the thought-forms
of one person reflecting in the mind of another. These thought-forms
are more powerful and clearer than words. They are often more
impressive than the spoken word because language is limited,
while thought has a greater scope of expression.
Someone asked me what elementals look like. I answered, 'Elementals
are exactly like your thoughts. If you have the thoughts of
human beings, then the elementals have human form. If you have
the thoughts of birds, then the elementals have the form of
birds. If your thoughts are of the animals, then the elementals
have the form of animals, for elementals are made of your thoughts.'
There is another most interesting aspect in studying the
nature of the mind. Every mind attracts and reflects thoughts
of its own kind – just as there is a part of the earth which
is more suitable for flowers to grow in and another part of
the earth more suitable for fruits, and yet another part where
weeds grow. Thus, a reflection that falls from one mind to another
mind only falls upon the mind that attracts it. This is the
reason why like is attractive to like. If a robber or a thief
goes to Paris, he will certainly meet with another thief. He
will easily find out where the thief lives, and he will recognize
him at once because his mind has become a receptacle for thoughts
of the same kind. As soon as their glances meet, a communication
is established, as their thoughts are alike.
One sees in everyday life how like attracts like. The reason
is that the mind has developed a certain character, and the
thought-pictures of that particular character appeal to it.
It is so very interesting for a person who sees this phenomenon
in everyday life that there is not one moment when he does not
see the truth of it.
High minds will always reflect and attract higher thoughts;
from wherever it comes it will come to them. It will be attracted
to the mind the ground of which is prepared for it. An ordinary
mind is attracted to ordinary thoughts. For instance, a person
who has a habit of criticizing people is very eager to open
his ears to criticism because that is the subject which interests
him, his pleasure is there. He cannot resist the temptation
of hearing ill of another because this is most dear to his heart,
for he speaks ill of others himself. When that thought does
not belong to a person, it is a foreign note to his ears, and
he does not want to hear it. His heart has no pleasure in it
and wants to throw off anything that is inharmonious. Therefore,
the mind-world is man's kingdom, his property. Whatever he sows,
he reaps. Whatever he keeps that property for, that is produced
Now, going into deeper metaphysics, what is it that forms
the thought-picture? It is a very subtle question. A materialistic
scientist will say that there are thought-atoms that group and
make the form. Joining together, they compose the thought-form.
If he wants to make it more objective, he will say that in the
brain there are little thought-pictures, just like moving pictures,
and that, moving successively, they complete the form. For this
person does not see further than his body, and so he wants to
find out the secret of the whole life in his body and in the
physical world. In reality, the brain is only an instrument
to make thoughts clearer. Thought is greater, vaster, deeper
and higher than the brain.
There is no doubt that the picture of thoughts is made by
the impressions of the mind. If the mind has had no impressions,
then thoughts will not be clear. For instance, a blind person
who has never in his life seen an elephant will not be able
to form an idea of an elephant because his mind has no form
ready to compose it at the command of his will. For the mind
must know it first in order to compose it. Therefore, the mind
is a storehouse of all forms that a person has ever seen.
One might ask, 'Cannot a form be reflected upon a blind person's
mind?' Yes, but it will remain incomplete. If a thought is projected
onto a blind person, he takes only half of it, for he will not
have that part that he should give from his own mind and so
he only takes the reflection which is projected upon him. Therefore,
he has a vague idea of the thing, but he cannot make it clear
to himself because his mind has not yet formed that idea.
The form of a thought which the mind holds is reflected upon
the brain and made clearer to the inner sense. By inner sense
we mean the inner part of the five senses. For it is outwardly
that these five organs give us an idea of five senses; but in
reality, there is only one sense. Through the five different
outer organs, we experience different things, and this gives
us the idea that there are five senses.
There are visionary people who have conceptions of the different
colors of thoughts, imaginations and feelings. This is symbolical
rather than astral. The color of a thought corresponds with
the condition of the mind. It shows the element to which the
thought belongs. It shows whether the thought belongs to the
fire element, to the water element or to the earth element.
This means that it is the feeling that is behind the thought
that produces its color around it as an atmosphere surrounding
it. When such visionary people see the thought-form in the form
of color, it is what surrounds the thought, it is the atmosphere
of the thought, and this is according to the element belonging
to that thought.
A thought connected with earthly gain is of the earth element.
A thought of love and affection represents the water element,
it is spreading out sympathy. A thought of revenge and destruction,
hurt and harm represents fire. A thought of enthusiasm, courage,
hope and aspiration represents air. A thought of retirement,
solitude, quiet and peace represents ether. These are the predominant
characteristics of thought in connection with the five elements.
The form of a thought is also its effect, its effect upon
the form and expression of a person. For a thought has a particular
language that manifests as a kind of letter, if one could read
it. This language can be read in the face and form of a person.
Everyone reads this to a certain extent, but it is difficult
to define the letters, the alphabet of this language. There
is one mystery that opens a door into the thought-language and
that is the vibrations – what direction the vibrations take.
A thought works upon and around a person's form and becomes
manifest to the eyes upon his visible being. There is a certain
law that governs its work, and that law is the law of direction
– whether the forces are going to the right or to the left,
upward or downward. It is this direction of the vibrations of
thought that produces a picture, so that a seer can see this
picture as clearly as a letter.
No doubt for a seer it is not necessary to read the thought
from the visible form of a person because he cannot be a seer
if he is not open to reflection. Every thought is reflected
in him, and this makes things even clearer. Besides that, he
need not see the picture of the thought on its visible form
in order to know it, as the atmosphere tells him. The thought,
itself, calls out, 'I am this thought!' – whatever it may be,
for thought has a language, a voice, a breath and a life.
Question: What is imagination?
Answer: Imagination is uncontrolled thought.
Question: Is it good to have a strong imagination?
Answer: It is good to be strong oneself. If one has strength,
then imagination is strong and thought is strong and one is
strong oneself. Furthermore, a strong imagination means a strength
going out from oneself, reaching out without control. Therefore,
strong imagination is not always promising. It is strength of
thought that is desirable. For what is thought? Thought is a
self-directed and controlled imagination.
Question: If thought has a body, is it bound to a place,
or does it spread throughout the whole universe?
Answer: This is a subtle question. One could ask, 'If a person
is in prison, is his mind in prison too, or can it reach beyond,
can it go out of prison?' Certainly it can. It is the body of
the man that is in prison. His mind can reach everywhere. Perhaps
a thought produced in the mind-world is made captive by its
object or motive, by its source, or by its application in a
sphere, within a horizon where it is working out its destiny.
Nevertheless, it is a thought, and it is capable of reaching
every part of the universe in a moment's time.
Question: How should undesirable thoughts be destroyed? Must
this always be done by the person who created them?
Answer: Yes, it is the creator of the thought who must destroy
it, and it is not in every person's power to do it. Yet, the
mind that has reached mastery, that can create as it wishes,
this same mind can destroy.
Question: Would you explain further what role the brain plays
Answer: The brain may be likened to a photographic plate.
The thought falls upon the brain, just as a reflection falls
upon the photographic plate – both one's own thought and the
thought of another. Then there is another process, and that
is that the thought is developed like the photographic plate.
What is it developed with? Is there some solution in which the
photographic plate is to be put? Yes, and that is the intelligence.
Through one's own intelligence, it is developed and made clearer.
Question: Has one element superiority over another? For instance,
is a thought colored by fire superior to a thought colored by
Answer: There is no superiority of one element over another.
The superiority of a thought is according to the outlook of
the mind. For instance, one person standing on the ground sees
the horizon just before him – this is one outlook. Another person
stands on the top of a tower and from there, he looks at the
wide horizon – his outlook is different. It is according to
the outlook that the thought is superior or inferior. Besides,
no one can take a thought, any thought-picture before himself
and say, 'This is an inferior thought,' or, 'This is a superior
thought.' Thought is not an earthly coin, which can be inferior
or superior. What makes it inferior or superior is the motive