When we discover how a human being “works,” we could see that we interpret information according to a set of previously learned behavior and act accordingly.
For instance, if your child tells you that you are not as intelligent as he is; You may react in anger. You may even punish your child for being so disrespectful with you. On the other hand, if your boss at work tells you the same and he has the power to fire you on the spot, you may not react with anger. You may try to find out the reasons behind that statement.
Same situation, different people and circumstances. My reaction will be according to what I have learned, what I find as beneficial. That is the bottom line.
In theory, there are names for those components dictating my activities: The mind, the intellect and the sanskaras. The mind perceives information about what is going on. The intellect decides how to react on that information and the sanskaras are those learned behaviors from the past, which could determine my action unless the intellect interferes.
When there is such a division, religions and moral reforms will be made to voice a particular “component” as being more important than the others.
There are the ones who believe in the mind. The mind is the container of that perceived information. If that information is able to break the stability of the mind; that means that our mind is not strong enough. Thus, as long as our mind is fully stable, whatever enters into it, will not create havoc. In this position, welcoming perceptions without judgment is the “right” attitude. In this way there is an alignment with totality.
Then we have those who believe in the intellect. Here is where “moral codes” are necessary. The intellect will learn some rules and regulations on how to behave in life. The intellect will intercept any information coming from the mind and then will decide a course of action.
Is this “good or bad”? The aim is to follow as close as possible those rules and regulations which are deemed to be “right,” or “good.”
Finally, we have those who believe in the sanskaras as the thing to change. Sanskaras come from previous life experiences from another reincarnation. There are those who will work through those by using hypnosis or any other method to “submerge” the non desired sanskaras. Our predisposition to act now as we do, comes from the past. Thus, sanskaras are nothing else but stored actions of the past. Those activities came from the interaction of mind and intellect.
In self-observation, many will start their self-transformation by emphasizing one of the three components of the human psyche.
Nevertheless, when there is greater understanding on life, we could see that a human psyche is not separated from the totality of life.
When we realize that life is like a movie, then with this realization, we should see that it doesn’t matter how the movie is; for it is what it is.
Those sanskaras are just part of the movie. To “submerge” a sanskara will not do anything on the quality of my intellect and mind. Submerging is not changing a behavior.
If we concentrate on the “intellect,” and its ability to grasp a particular “code of good behavior,” we will find out that emotions will be in the way of things. Here there is a “law” which I need to obey even though my sanskaras (represented by emotions) are pushing me to do something else. This is the inner battle. It becomes a tiring inner fight.
That is why it is suggested to deal with both: The intellect and the sanskaras.
However, we create a dependency for a perceived change could be maintained as long as the intellect adheres to a specific set of rules and provided that the sanskaras are continually submerged.
For most individuals, “submerging” a non desired sankara means to deal with actions related with the first and second chakra. That is survival and pleasure. The way to submerge a sanskara from those first levels, is by activating higher chakras, such as the third one (will power) and the fourth one (heart.)
The heart is used as needed to transform the “lower” inclinations. Nevertheless, “real” change will not occur unless the heart is used on a regular basis, thus creating a new sanskara.
In my own experience, there is a need to strengthen the mind. That means that our complexes, hang-ups and learned behaviors need to be broken from our psyche in order for that change in the self to be permanent and lasting without the use of any ritual or practice to maintain that change.
In the “reality” of experience, names such as “mind,” “intellect,” and “sanskara,” are not important. Their function is not important either.
What is important is to realize that “my perceptions,” are colored by my previous learned behaviors. Thus, “my perceptions” are limited. Then, the mind is tuned into becoming aware, to observe itself without emitting judgment, for the perception of my own movie does not need any “critics,” but just to know that it is a movie. It is at that point that we could change the movie “channel” and watch and experience something else.