Turning the Mind Wheel

The three principal function of the mind - cognition (thought), emotion (feeling), and behavior (action) - can be represented as a wheel with three handles.

These three functions of the mind are usually consistent with each other. For example, a positive thought - "My partner is important to me" - may evoke appropriate positive emotion of affection, and may lead to affectionate and loving behavior. Our mind wheel turns in one direction without resistance.

When there are inner conflicts, we may find it difficult to "feel" according to what we think. In those situations, we may "act" according to our "thoughts", although our feelings are not spontaneously following. This is comparable to a captain of a ship, using his two hands on two of the three handles of the mind - one on "thought", and the other on "action" - forcefully turning the wheel, while "feeling" may be causing resistance, until the whole ship will turn in the desired direction and resistance ceases. When inner conflicts are severe and or unrecognized, the captain may have difficulty in maintaining a steady course for the ship, as the steering wheel may tend to slip out of his controlling hands.

When the mind becomes depressed, the mind wheel spins out of control, turning only in negative direction, with thoughts, feelings, actions moving consistently with each other in negative direction, but out of control of the captain.

When the mind becomes psychotic, the mind wheel disintegrates in such ways that consistency among the three principal functions - thought, feeling, and action - is lost. Thought process becomes inappropriate, inconsistent, confused, ambivalent, or paralyzed. Emotions may become inappropriate, and actions bizarre and out of touch with reality.

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