Bedtime story: Three levels of mind


Let’s pretend there are at least three levels of mind.

The first level of mind–let’s call it Everyday Mind.  This is the stage where our personalities play.  Mind has created an overlord called “ego” to direct our stage performance.  Ego constantly runs around with its loudspeaker announcing “Stage left!” or “Stage right!” It tells the characters what to do, how to think, how to move, what to say.

Ego likes to keep the audience engaged, so it insures we’re enthralled by drama or comedy or entertainment.  It really attempts to be a good director.  Its favorite plot involves creating and attempting to improve scenes.  It often pits characters against one another.  It builds expectations and dashes hopes.  Of course, it also often wants a happy-ever-after ending, so it runs frantically around attempting to fix the imperfect play, trying to make it better, polishing up all the flawed characters.

Most of us live in Everyday Mind, thoroughly engaged in the stage play, completely forgetting that other levels of mind exist simultaneously. That it’s possible not to live totally identified with the director, the cast, the small stage and the applauding or booing audience.

Another level of mind exists hidden in the wings.  Let’s call this Forgotten Mind.  What lives in Forgotten Mind?  All the feelings and thoughts and impressions axed by the director as he molded you into your specific character.  Everything not acceptable for the range and scope of the production.

Not only do the hatcheted parts of possibility live in Forgotten Mind, deep resentment, anger, fear, nervousness and confusion also simmer here.  It’s a powder keg of repressed emotions brewing just beneath the surface of the gay song heralding the birth of the Movie of You.

Let’s call the third part of mind Whole Mind.  This is the part of mind which produces the play, although that may be stretching the analogy.  It isn’t intimately identified with the play, although it deeply allows and loves the players.  It exists beyond–and encompasses–every movement, every dance, every birth and beheading.

Whole Mind is eminently available in every second of our play.  It underwrites every score.  It loves indiscriminately.  It embodies the deepest peace, and sometimes the highest bliss.  Heck, it embodies everything, including tying your shoelaces.  It holds you as you weep, as confusion threatens your beloved character, as your lover lies dying.

Whole Mind shines always awake, like a sun that never sets.  It embraces paradox without blinking its eyeless eye.

We’ve all sampled Whole Mind.  It’s not just the realm of the enlightened sage.  When we fall in love, when we finish a big project, when we stare in awe at a mountain range–for just a moment, an hour, a day–we’ve briefly forgotten the play.  The director is snoozing in the corner, forgotten.

Then, so often, we find ourselves back in costume arguing with Aunt Sue or trying to figure out why so-and-so behaves so despicably, or perhaps bored to death because our play isn’t meeting entertainment standards, let alone winning an Emmy.

A thousand paths exist between the minds (including No Path).  Many of us discover the sweet ripe plum of Whole Mind and decide to ditch the play, run out the door, and bid adieu to that crazy director.  Yet, to our chagrin, there’s often no leaving the stage.  The stage follows us.  The director is delighted that he’s now employed a “spiritual” cast member.

The Quest for the Holy Grail often begins in earnest as one meets the dragons and demons in Forgotten Mind.  So much fire-breathing energy exists in this level of mind, that it’s vital we travel down hedgerows and through emotional valleys and up rocky mountains.  Whole Mind invites us to reclaim the forgotten ones.  The weeping ones.  The ones so scared of silence.  The ones who feel rejected.  The one’s who don’t know what to do next.

The journey through the wilderness of the mind is not for the weak of heart.  Like the lion in Oz, courage exists.  So does vulnerability.  They marry in that wilderness–the warrior and the coward.  The one who wets her bed and the fearless sage.

Whatever happens in our life is Whole Mind’s invitation to realize itself.

And what exists in Whole Mind?  Why bother to search for that Grail?  Why seek?

I could tell you a hundred reasons, but that would just make me another director of your play.  Let’s just say:  your very wholeness seeks itself.  Or: the play is clearly seen to be yesterday’s drama.  It’s not who we truly are. And perhaps the desire to learn what we truly are ignites a passion which brings together simply everything.




6 thoughts on “Bedtime story: Three levels of mind

  1. Whole Mind seems to have spoken through Kathy on this one. How awesome a read. Just loved it. I could understand every word, every syllable. It permeated me. I was in a huge drama on Friday, and I couldn’t find Whole Mind to save my soul. I searched for It briefly, but Everyday Mind pulled me back deep into the drama. I wanted to break away into Whole Mind, but didn’t want to break away all at the same time.

    The following paragraph you wrote made me think of the poem, I Am There. You’ve probably read it before, but I love reading over on occasion.

    “Whole Mind is eminently available in every second of our play. It underwrites every score. It loves indiscriminately. It embodies the deepest peace, and sometimes the highest bliss. Heck, it embodies everything, including tying your shoelaces. It holds you as you weep, as confusion threatens your beloved character, as your lover lies dying.”

    • Whole Mind explained it in a way that I understood better, too, Lori. Thank you for the link to that poem–it’s beautiful. Know what you mean about the difficulty in finding Whole Mind at times… Thank you for reading.

  2. I can certainly see the efforts of the Everyday Mind and the Egos of those upon the stage with me at this time doing their predictable thing !! Pitting characters against one another. Building up expectations and dashing hopes. And of course, seeking that happily-ever-after ending, running frantically around attempting to fix the imperfect play, trying to make it better, polishing up all the flawed characters. Sigh !!

    In these same characters, it is easy for me to see (but apparently not easy for them to see at this time) those deep resentments, anger at Life’s realities, fear (hugely that one !!), nervousness and definitely utter confusion simmering there in those “Forgotten Mind” parts within each of them. Another sigh !! Must simply watch the play go onward . . . and trust that the outcome will prove “good enough” – really no choice anyway – it will turn out however it must.

    Quite a few years ago now, I made the acquaintance of Whole Mind. I know truly that It does love the players and deeply allows the play for It knows that within the scenes something necessary and important is actually occurring and when I am able to “see” the “play” as It sees it there is a deep peace within me regarding all that seems so crazy on the surface of all that has been happening.

    And oh yes !! I do agree !! “Whole Mind shines always awake, like a sun that never sets. It embraces paradox without blinking its eyeless eye.” It is also true that for us who are living on this stage called a Life – there’s no leaving the stage until we go out that door marked “death” and maybe not even then – that act has yet to play itself out for me but given what I sense from those I love who have gone through that door already another play is unfolding there. Certainly, in this Life that stage is one we can’t step off from entirely – we are just sometimes thrust forward into the limelight and at other times waiting quietly on the sidelines for our next act to call us back on stage. The director is always in the wings and certainly, even delighted to have a “spiritual” cast member among the players for that brings yet another element into the production, doesn’t it ?

    It is easy for me to see that the play is composed of yesterday’s dramas still being performed today. I know clearly the player is not who I am and yet it is the role – that “me” in the midst of it all – that is Whole Mind playing it’s fragmented part as me.

    Loved your blog, Kathy. I always love them – it has been intense upon that stage for me lately and only now have I been given a “break” to stand in the wings and read the latest from you, while waiting for that next act to begin that will bring me back on stage for whatever comes next demanding my part, my role, in the drama of Life still unfolding. Hugs !!

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