The mind is not just a window; it is also a camera

The mind is like a window; it integrates inputs coming from the senses and presents them to the soul for processing (Bhagavad-gita 15.09). Of course, the mind is a sophisticated window – it’s like the computer screen of a security system that displays inputs from close circuit TVs placed strategically in a high-security building.
Significantly, the mind is also like a camera that records whatever it perceives. It is like a high-end security system, wherein images are not just displayed on the screen but also stored in the data drive. The impressions stored in the mind arise within us as its propositions. Thus, the mind is like a responsive camera that not only records inputs but also thereafter zeroes in on those inputs.

For example, if someone has drunk repeatedly, their vision often latches on to drinks when partying or on to bars when driving. The stronger the impressions in the mind, the more forceful are its propositions. Over time, these propositions become so automatic and inevitable that they become our habits, even our addictions. The mind’s impressions direct our actions throughout our life and even shape our destination beyond this life. Our future body is determined by our present life-conception (15.08). And our life- conception is the cumulative of the mind’s prominent impressions.

Encouragingly for us, bhakti-yoga channels the mind’s dual nature spiritually. How? It uses the mind’s window function by urging us to focus on Krishna-centered perceptions such as Deities, scriptures and holy names. And it uses the mind’s camera function by urging us to remember Krishna constantly, thereby forming devotional impressions in the mind. When these impressions arise as default propositions within us, they deepen our focus on Krishna, thereby purifying our consciousness and propelling us towards his eternal abode for a life of endless love.

Think it over:

  • How is the mind like a window?
  • How is the mind like a camera?
  • How does bhakti-yoga channel the mind’s dual nature?


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