Like the body, the mind is a tool the self uses. It is a subtle recording device that catalogs all of the input from the senses.
Just consider all the images, impressions and considerations we have deep within our minds. These include all types of information derived from the senses: Sounds and words from our ears; images from our eyes; tactile information from our skin and so on. The mind records faces we have seen and the events of our lives. Anything the senses have taken in to the brain is recorded onto the mind.
The mind is the software of the brainThe software of the brain is the mind. The mind utilizes the brain's capacity, but it is still more subtle than the brain. The relationship between the mind and the brain might be compared to software and hardware in a computer. Software utilizes the hardware of the computer to do its functions, but the software is still independent of the computer.
While many insist that the mind is the brain, one cannot find the mind in a brain. Many brains have been dissected but the mind has never been found. Yet we know the mind exists, because we use it every day. The mind is more subtle than the brain. It lies within a different range of matter - just as computer software lies within another range of matter than the hardware of the computer.
Observing the mindEach of us can observe our mind. We can look into our mind and see recently-viewed images, sounds, or what something felt like.
We can, for example, observe something recorded onto the mind minutes, days and even years after the senses brought in that sensual input. We can, for example, remember a face when we see that face again. We can remember when we saw that face before.
Or we can hear a song and remember years earlier when we used to hear that song a lot. Who is recalling that song?
Or we can listen to a song that we just heard simply by reflecting upon the recording in our mind. We can also see the images of a movie we have just watched, or a beautiful scene of nature we saw earlier in the day.
In this way, we can observe what is in the mind at any moment. We may not be able to consciously watch everything the mind has recorded at any particular time. But we can typically see what is at the top of our mind's stack.
Who watches the mind?Who is observing the images and sounds recorded into the mind? Who is watching these memories?
If we were the mind, we could not watch the mind.
For example, a person who watches a television must be separate from the TV in order to watch it. The observer must be separate from that which is observed.
Like the gross physical body, the mind is separate from the self. The example of the mind being separate from the self can be easily shown by two exercises that illustrate the point above:
1) Pick any unique image - a unique or colorful painting for example. Stare at it for a minute or two. Now close your eyes. You should now be able to see the image imprinted onto your mind.
2) Listen to some music. Now turn it off and sit in a quiet room. You should now be able to hear the music recorded into your mind.
We can change our mindLike a television or a radio, we can also turn the mind’s station, and change the mind’s images. This can be done easily by changing what is inputted into the mind. We can thus change our mind.
The mind is a changeable, physical mechanism the living being uses as a tool. We often will change our mind. We will take in new information, and decide that how we are looking at things is wrong. We can adjust and change the way we consider things. We can change our minds about something, or change our minds in general.
Who is it that decides to change our mind about something?
Since we can change our mind, we cannot be the mind.