Aspects of Soul and Mind


What is the difference between 1) soul and spirit, and 2) subconscious, superconscious, unconscious mind?



Dear Friend,

Paramhansa Yogananda, in the long tradition of Vedanta, yoga and Shankhya teachings, describes the soul as a unique spark of the Infinite Spirit.

So one can say that there is no essential difference between the soul, which is said to be eternal, changeless, as “old as God,” and ever-blissful, and Spirit, the Infinite Consciousness.

When the soul creates and inhabits the astral body and the astral body creates and inhabits a physical form (the human body), what we call the “mind” comes into manifestation as a vehicle to contact the outer world through the senses.

The mind has four aspects: that which receives the input from the senses (“manas”); that which interprets input (“Buddhi”); that which relates it to the ego; and that which reacts with emotion, feeling, like or dislike. Thoughts and memories are a kind of sixth sense and thus are included in these functions.

The subconscious mind is a receptacle for all the “vasanas” or impressions that are received. It is active in the backbround of our waking hours acting as a filter through which we observe and interpret the world and our thoughts.

The conscious mind analyzes and interprets thoughts and sense impressions. Both the conscious mind and the subconscious mind perform their functions mostly from the point of view of affirming or protecting the ego-self. The conscious mind can of course be employed through reason and intuition and exposure to truth teachings to want to respond and interpret from the expanded perspective of the higher mind, or soul.

The superconscious mind is that of the soul acting in respect to the actions, thoughts and feelings of the ego. This is not so easy to clarify because it can also be said that the superconscious mind IS the soul. That is also true. But when we use the term it is often in respect to how the soul provides inspiration and guidance to the ego-active mind or, as we advance spiritually, it takes charge of the kingdom of the mind.

The superconscious mind, however defined, is the source of the conscious and subconscious mind. The latter two are filtrates of superconsciousness.

The realm of superconsciousness is greater than the individual and is the causal consciousness sphere. As such it is part of the Akashic field or the AUM vibration. In it lies all truth and the source of all creation, both physical and mental.

The more we live in attunement and seek attunement with the superconscious mind the more we live in harmony with God and the soul. Meditation, devotion, selfless service, right reason and understanding all support our ego’s aspiration to expand and live by superconsciousness!

I hope this helps you!

Sincerely and with blessings!
Nayaswami Hriman
Seattle WA USA