We have spent some time describing three theories of the mind. It was not meant to convince you of anything; only to open your eyes to new possibilities beyond the normal realms of thought. Also we wanted to show that previously irreconcilable scientific ideas and mystical or yogic ideas are fast approaching each other. Only a few years ago they seemed so distant and contradictory in most cases, yet now they are beginning to say essentially the same thing.
In order to explain or at least indicate the direction that meditational practices will take in relation to the mind, we will adopt a modern psychological division of the mind. Remember, it is only arbitrary in definition, it is a means to an end and not intended to describe the mind as it really is. However, it is a very convenient system to adopt for a reasonably clear explanation and understanding.
The mind is divided into four realms: the lower or instinctive, the rational, the illuminative and the collective unconscious. Let us define these divisions in turn.
The lower mind: This section of the mind is concerned with coordination and activation of the different parts and organs of the body. It synchronizes the systems of respiration, circulation, digestion and other processes. It is the computer which ensures that all the different parts of the body function harmoniously so that the body acts as a coordinating unit.
It is also the source of our instinctive urges such as hunger, thirst, procreation, self-preservation and other basic drives. These instincts are often so powerful that they overwhelm the rest of the mind. This part of the mind is the source of our complexes, phobias, conflicts and other mental problems that can make life miserable. These obsessions are generally charged with intense emotions. It is the storehouse of the compulsions that motivate most of our actions.