5 All accompanying mental functions
If you see, taste, hear, smell or touch something and cognize that object of knowledge (grasp it in your mind) you will necessarily use all of the following mental functions:
- Perception – Functions to perceive the object as pleasant, unpleasant or neutral and is the basis of feeling
- Feelings – Functions to experience the object and the world around us as pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. This is subsequently the basis of us developing craving, aversion and ignorance. The things we like we want more of, the things we don’t like we want out of our lives and the things we are indifferent about we dont care about.
- Intention – Functions to move your mind to the object. Even if you stumble across something, you will not engage with it, if you do not on some level intend to do so. Just by the way. When looking at intention, have a look at our 8 worldy concerns. Concerns that merely trap us and limit our ability to be free and awaken our full potential here: Enslaved by our worldly concerns
- Attention – Functions to focus on a specific part or aspect of the object that you have engaged with.
- Discrimination – Functions to identify the object. Without this, we will not be able to engage with anything in particular. We will simply engage with everything which means, we will not engage with anything at all.
Some are the basis for others but all will be present when you engage with any object of any of your senses. Yes, what I am saying is that to hold something in your mind, a smell, taste, touch, sight or sound you will necessarily have all these 5 at absolute minimum working in your mind. These mental functions are the basis of self discovery and will be expanded upon in much more detail in the future. Stay tuned. I’d say I will be experimenting with Feeling next… The experience centre and feedback to the system.
These 5 functions are a great place to start recognising yourself. Everything you do and everything you engage with can be looked at with these 5 mental functions. You can ask yourself: Why did I come to this event (intention), what do I think about this place or function (is it good, bad or neutral – perception), how does it make me feel (good, bad, neutral), what name do I particularly give this event (Yes, its an event, but for me, what event is this – a socializing event? A business event? A chore? Discrimination…), what conversation or group or topic am I most focused on (Attention – What do I pay attention to). By understanding these 5 aspects of everything engage in, you will start noticing trends and characteristics of who you are with ease.
Now, it takes great awareness to notice and understand these 5 mental functions especially when they operate on subtle mental levels (subconscious and unconscious) and when your feelings are neutral. You will however be able to analyze and understand them (and yourself) easier when you feel pleasant or unpleasant feelings because they will be more vivid. Steven Covey speaks about the gap between stimulus and response. In this gap where your consciousness is observing and being engaged is where transformation happens. If you want to create this gap, meditate!
In an effort to understand these 5 mental functions well and what impact they have on us, I have endeavoured to create a series of posts around these mental functions. I hope to interview a few people and share my findings with you. Lets see what happens.