What is the function of mind in religion?
The mind is the most complex phenomenon in the whole of existence. It will be a little difficult to understand the function of mind in religion. You will have to go through three doors.
The first is modern Western psychology’s attitude about mind. Psychology says mind has three functions: cognition, thinking, feeling. Through cognition you become aware of the whole objective world around you. Everything that you see, hear, taste, smell, touch – it is all cognition. The world is known through cognition. The five senses are the five ways of knowing the world.
But through cognition there is no way to know yourself; just because through cognition you can know only the world of things, Western psychology has dropped the idea of being, of your innermost self. It is a very strange situation, because they say you become aware of the world through cognition, but they deny you. Who becomes aware of this objective world? Who sees the sunset and the sunrises? Certainly not the eye. There is somebody behind the eye, but the eye cannot see that someone who is behind the eye. Who hears the sound, the music, the song, the birds singing in the morning? It is not the ear. The ear is only a passage; somebody is standing behind the passage. You recognize the window, but you don’t recognize the person who is standing behind the window and looking at the sky.
Western psychology is in a very stupid state because of this denial. You recognize knowledge, you recognize the known, but you don’t recognize the knower. Now, without the knower how can there be knowledge? How can there be anything known? But strange, no Western psychologist has even raised the question.
Cognition certainly cannot help to go within. All the five senses are five ways that lead you out, away from the center. But they have no way to turn upon the center itself. For that, something else has to be known.
We will discuss it. Because these three things are recognized, first let us discuss those three things.
Cognition is knowing the world, the other, but ignoring you. You become knowledgeable about everything and you become absolutely ignorant of yourself. Do you see the strange situation? Knowledge goes on growing, and the knower goes on shrinking – and the knower is the most important thing, because it is you.