Q: What’s the difference between the mind and the soul?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Mind is just a projection of soul. Soul is your whole consciousness, the life force in you. The part of it which is listening to me right now, which is asking the question, which is perceiving – we call it the mind. So if your mind is elsewhere, though I’m speaking and the words are falling into your ear drums, still you don’t get it because the mind is elsewhere. So it’s through the mind that we see, smell, taste, hear, and experience the sense of touch. That is what the mind is.
The mind has another function which we call intellect. As I’m speaking, something in you is saying, “Yes, I agree”, or, “No, I don’t agree with this”. There is something in you which is accepting and rejecting, judging and accommodating — that is the intellect.
There are seven layers to our existence: Body, breath, mind, intellect, memory, ego and the soul. See, we keep breathing but many of us don’t even know that we are breathing unless we have an asthma attack or some problem. We don’t realize how important it is for us to breathe deeply.
Body, breath, mind, intellect, memory, ego and the soul or self. The self is that total consciousness. There is something in you that doesn’t change, which is the reference point for all changes. Your thoughts are changing, your emotions are changing, your body has undergone so much change. If you look at a 25 years old picture of you, you can’t say it’s the same body. It’s much different than what you are now, but still you are the same person. So there’s something in you that is not changing in spite of all the changes. That non-changing aspect in you, or the reference by which you recognize the changes so to say ‘this is changing’, there should be something that doesn’t change, and that is what is the soul.
When we go deep into this, it’s amazing, amazing, and amazing! An arena opens in front of you. And the way to go deeper into this is meditation.