You are currently viewing Citta Niyāma – The Law of Mentation

Citta Niyāma – The Law of Mentation

Citta Niyāma is the law of mind. It is the law that governs the appearance and sequence in regard to mental phenomena.

Even as the coarsest and deadest of matter, contains in it the potential for life, in that, by chance it might combine with a material sympathetic with its own combination of elements, forming a combination that is capable of bringing forth life. So too, wherever there is life, there is at least a latent mind (the potency of mind), that is, there will be some information of how to grow and how to reproduce. This may be thought of as constituting the first root or establishment of mind in matter.

And as life grows in complexity, so does the mind involved with it grow in complexity.

More and more often does the mind move out of latency and manifest its content. And the ‘lack’ of the life becomes the ‘desire’ of the mind and the ‘repelling’ of the life becomes the ‘aversion’ of the mind. Which is the second establishment of mind in matter.

As the lives capacity to receive impressions grows, so does the mind’s capacity to receive information grow. Consequently the mind’s content grows too.

But as impressions and informations grow more and more numerous, the mind is forced to grow for itself a yet new faculty. That is, it learns to investigate and classify those impressions or informations coming from without in order to choose amongst them and in order to work out appropriate means for responding towards them. Which becomes the third root or establishment in matter.

In consequence the mind faculty evolves and develops. Taking its reign over matter and life…and the law of mind starts competing to attain rulership over the evolving being.

As the mind’s content increases, the first primary conception of good and bad develops, wherein initially ‘good’ will be a conception of what brings pleasure while ‘bad’ being a conception of what brings displeasure.

And based on these concepts and this primary devision of things, the mind learns to make decisions as to what actions (and speech) should be initiated and which inner impulses should be restrained in order to attain the “pleasant” and avoid the “unpleasant”.

With time, the mind starts to extent further into the past and into the future, remembering previous experiences and based on that anticipate future ones. And with that, refining its own conception of experience, slowly ‘good’ no longer just means ‘pleasant now’ but, may also mean ‘unpleasant now’ but ‘pleasant in the future’.

As the mind learns to become thus skilled in decision making, it becomes by that also skilled in organising the immediacy of the life’s life. With that, more and more often it comes to be, that it receives sense-impressions (or informations) for which there will be no need to relate them to the needs of the physical life. Consequently, new ideas form for which there is no exact correspondence in the physical world.

Thus, investigating a thunderstorm under conditions where it does not appear as an immediate thread (to the life), or a large mountain unproductive of full-filling any physical needs, may evoke ‘strange’ feelings unfelt before…and the mind investigating it with this uplifted mind, gives a designation to it that is much grander than the mere physical appearance.

Accordingly, the mind starts to posses mind-objects which require a special kind of feeling (or more beautiful mental factors) in order to be processed. Processing no longer is meant to subserve the body or physical matter, nor does it just follow the classification of sense-impressions, but rather it arises in conjunction with or in dependence of a certain feeling of upliftment.

As a consequence, also the primary division of good and bad takes on a different, new meaning. In that, ‘Good’ is no longer what serves the body or physical existence, but what brings forth (and sustains) these ‘special’ new feelings. While ‘Bad’ becomes whatever disturbs these feelings of upliftment. And the mind succeeding in reproducing (repeating) those experiences of upliftment (through repetition/practice condition), develops ideas of evolving complexity and makes decisions more often based on these.

As it learns to reside in feelings of upliftment for more prolonged periods of time, the mind starts to contact and perceive its own contents. And as it thus perceives things in the world of ideas,…it orders them along definite lines, the most obvious of which will be again ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ or ‘good’ and ‘bad’.

And as the mind, based on this distinguishing of things into good or bad, is making decisions for the one or the other,…it starts to come under a law yet higher in order…

*Just as a seed, which might be as hard as a rock, showing no sign of life, starts to become animated and sprouts when contacting the element of water, so do the elements making up a universe contain already the potential of life (in a pre-nascent condition).

† There are certain well established facts regarding dead matter, which allow for a thought-consideration regarding a mind in dead matter…in that, it is possible to charge various materials (usually either water or stones) with thought forms which they seemingly retain. This is the basis of talisman-magic as well as ‘holy’ (blessed) water. The same phenomenon is also employed in the case of hypnotism, wherein thought forms are impressed on living matter. But a consistent mind as in the case of individuation is of course only possible in higher forms of life. This I hope to be able to treat under the Law of Kamma (Kamma Niyāma).

**in Pali – hetu

‡Generating active kamma in 4 modes as described in the post on ‘Intention and Kamma’

As this is meant to be a writing explaining “All”…I am following here the naturalistic scheme of things, building up on the previous Niyāmas. Of course further along the line it will more often mean statues of some saint or god (for example Buddha-statues), religious symbols, inspiring personages, buildings of grand architecture, inspiring writings or meditation subjects like the breath.

††primarily Pīti and Sukha


Any Comments? Write them below.