OMG Digital Magazine OMG Issue 337 27th December 2018 - Page 6
OMG Digital Magazine | 337 | Thursday 27 December 2018 • PAGE 6
Understanding Mind Intellect and Ego
By Tamara Lechner
Knowing how your subtle body—the mind, the intellect,
and the ego—functions is essential to knowing yourself.
Discerning between each level can help you decide which
parts of the subtle body you will use in making choices
in life, and developing this awareness can translate into
confidence, comfort, and ease while navigating through
THE MIND: REACTIVE
The mind causes you to react quickly—sometimes doing
or saying things without thinking.
The mind collects and categorizes input from the
five senses. It is the control center where stimulus is
interpreted and the processing center for the raw data
of the world. The mind produces emotions, sensations,
and memories. Some of this data is processed using quick
logic, and the mind decides what the response should be.
For example, when your hand accidently touches a hot
element on a stove, your nervous system processes this
input and directs your hand to pull away from the heat
before you have time to think. This response helps prevent
you from getting burned every time you are near a stove.
Sometimes, the responses the mind generates are not
useful. Many people panic if they are in tight spaces. This
is a response the mind has acquired—perhaps from a
childhood fear or a past negative experience in a small
space. The mind gets the data from the nervous system
and interprets it as a tight space. Then the mind, much
like a computer, looks through its files for small-space
experiences. If it comes across a negative memory, the
mind immediately releases chemicals and triggers a fear
response before the intellect has a chance to examine this
situation and choose a response.
THE INTELLECT: THOUGHTFUL
The intellect helps you sort through a situation—carefully
weighing the options—to respond in a thoughtful
The intellect observes a situation, discriminates, and
then determines an action. Through the intellect you can
gain understanding. The intellect commonly uses slow
logic, making a mental pros and cons list before reaching
a conclusion. Unfortunately, lists are often based on
impressions from the past called Samskara—unexamined
energetic patterns from the past that you bring into
your present. Habits of unhealthy eating, perfectionism,
or materialism can all stem from leaving these thoughts
unexamined. Meditation can shake up old patterns (from
personal history or genetic makeup) and release these
energy blockages from the past that have become part of
With the example of experiencing fear in a tight space,
the intellect can recognize that there is no danger in
small places. The intellect can choose to replace the fear
response with deep breaths or an affirmation like “I am
calm and comfortable.” The intellect can help to retrain
the mind to initiate a different response.
THE EGO: SELF-FOCUSED
The ego causes you to make choices based on how you
are perceived by others or yourself, and can prevent you
from connecting to your true self.
The ego involves the layers of descriptions you attach to
who you are, including your position and possessions.
When you ask “Who am I?” you might answer “I am a
mother, daughter, sister, animal lover, and vegetarian.”
When you are getting on an elevator, the ego might remind
you that you are someone who is athletic—prompting
you to take the stairs. You use words to describe who you
identify yourself as today—remember, before you had a
child and called yourself mother, you were still you. These
words continuously change. When you strip away all
these layers, the true self—or spirit—can shine through.
Understanding how your subtle body works can help
you recognize that you have a choice in every situation
to express certain aspects of the mind, the intellect, or
the ego. What will you choose to cultivate in your life?
Developing the intellect can help curb the reactivity
of the mind and quieting the ego can let the soul shine
through—leading you closer to operating from a level of