Universal mind

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New Thought

Universal Mind is the universal higher consciousness or source of being in some forms of esoteric or New Thought and spiritual philosophy. It may be considered synonymous with the subjective mind or it may be referred to in the context of creative visualization, usually with religious or spiritual themes.


The word surfaced in eastern and western thought. In "The Huang Po Doctrine of Universal Mind", originated in around 857 CE., the idea of mind was disconnected from soul in this Buddhist school of thought.[1]

Chu Ch’an says, “Universal mind, therefore, is something to which nothing can be attributed. Being absolute, it is beyond attributes. If for example, it were to be described as infinite, that would exclude from it whatever is finite, but the whole argument of the book is that universal mind is the only reality and that everything we apprehend through our senses, is nothing else but this mind. Even to think of it in terms of existence or non-existence is to misapprehend it entirely.” pp. 8-9

— [2]

The notion of universal mind came into the Western Canon through the Pre-Socratic philosopher Anaxagoras, who arrived in Athens some time after 480 BC. He taught that all things were created by Nous (Mind) and that Mind held the cosmos together and gave human beings a connection to the cosmos, or a pathway to the divine.[3]

The term surfaced again later in later philosophy such as Hegel but Hegel sought to reconcile the stages of mind and the connection with the soul:

The sphere of education is the individuals only: and its aim is to bring the universal mind to exist in them. But in the philosophic theory of mind, mind is studied as self−instruction and self−education in very essence; and its acts and utterances are stages in the process which brings it forward to itself, links it in unity with itself, and so makes it actual mind.

— [4]


Ernest Holmes, the founder of the Science of Mind movement, described the Universal Mind as follows:

"The Universal Mind contains all knowledge. It is the potential ultimate of all things. To It all things are possible."[5]

New Thought author Charles Haanel said of the Universal Mind and its relationship to humans:

" The Universal Mind, being infinite and omnipotent, has unlimited resources at its command, and when we remember that it is also omnipresent, we cannot escape the conclusion that we must be an expression or manifestation of that Mind. A recognition and understanding of the resources of the subconscious mind will indicate that the only difference between the subconscious and the Universal is one of degree. They differ only as a drop of water differs from the ocean. They are the same in kind and quality, the difference is one of degree only."[6]

The nature of the Universal mind is said to be omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.[7]

Psychological interpretation

Universal mind may be viewed from a scientific perspective as non-local consciousness.[8] Persinger wrote on non-local consciousness:

[a]s a human being, I am concerned about the illusionary explanations for human consciousness and the future of human existence. Consequently after writing the Neuropsychological Base of God Beliefs (1987), I began the systematic application of complex electromagnetic fields to discern the patterns that will induce experiences (sensed presence) that are attributed to the myriad of ego-alien intrusions which range from gods to aliens. The research is not to demean anyone's religious/mystical experience but instead to determine which portions of the brain or its electromagnetic patterns generate the experience

— Michael Persinger, in Huping Hu & Maoxin Wu

The atemporal nature of consciousness is explored by Mansoor Malik & Maria Hipolito.[9] They summarise key theorists on the subject from different ontological perspectives:

Freud emphasized the timelessness of unconscious processes. He showed how unconscious ignores time and temporal progression. For example, in dreams and fantasy where past, present, and future are united in one representation, he showed that certain aspects of psychopathology are also essentially atemporal.

— Malik M, in Malik M,Hipolito M

Hameroff (1996) conceptualizes consciousness as successive quantum superposition of the tubulin protein conformations in the brain. He proposes that with each conscious moment, “a new organization of Planck scale geometry is selected irreversibly”. This leads to apparent illusion of time. Thus without consciousness, there would be no time.

— Malik M, in Malik M,Hipolito M

See also


  1. Blofeld.,J.,under pseudonym Chu Ch'an,1947 "The Huang Po Doctrine of Universal Mind"
  2. Blofeld.,J.,under pseudonym Chu Ch'an,1947 "The Huang Po Doctrine of Universal Mind"
  3. Geldard.,R.,2008, "Anaxagoras and Universal Mind" , Ark Books . ISBN 1605854034
  4. Hegel.GWF,1807 "Philosophy of mind"
  5. Holmes, Ernest (1953). The Science of Mind. Dodd, Mead and Company. p. 44.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Haanel, Charles (1912). The Master Key System, chapter 14, section 20 (PDF). p. 101. ISBN 978-1-61720-383-1. Retrieved 12 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "The Master Key System, by Charles Haanel, Chapter 1, section 30" (PDF). The New Thought Library. Retrieved 29 October 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Hu H,Wu M, (2013). "Human Consciousness as Limited Version of Universal Consciousness". Journal of Consciousness Exploration & Research. 4 (1): 52–68.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link) CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Malik M,Hipolito M (2010). "Time and its Relationship to Consciousness An Overview". Journal of Consciousness Exploration & Research. 1 (5): 573–579.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


  • Robert Anthony, Beyond Positive Thinking: A No-Nonsense Formula for Getting the Results You Want
  • Georg Wilhelm Friedric Hegel, The Phenomenology of Mind
  • Martin E Moore, The Universal Mind & I: Intelligent Spiritual Philosophy
  • Charles Haanel, "Master Key System"