The Antahkarana

January 2, 2010

The Five Minds

Excerpted and a bit paraphrased from the book Partnering with Spirit: Homer’s Journey
by Ellie Drew

The Five Minds is a concept developed by Ellie Drew as a way to explain how different aspects of ourselves have their own agenda without regard to the others. They are the First or Physical Mind, the Second or Emotional Mind, the Third or Intellectual Mind, the Fourth or Spirit Mind, and the Fifth Mind.

Briefly, the Physical Mind is located in the lower belly area called dan tien, which also corresponds to the second Chakra. The Physical Mind has an agenda that deals only with its physical wants, needs and desires regardless of consequence or rational thinking. It has no need to be loved – only food, shelter and sex – not always in that order. Also, physical health and the desire to have things that will enhance the physical experience.

The Second Mind, the Emotional Mind resides in the solar plexus area, called Golden Bowl in Qigong training. It is where our emotional vulnerability and history reside. The Emotional Mind has one agenda, to be cared about, often times confused with being loved.

In its unhealthy form it is confused with love and completely conditional, such as, “I’ll love you if…” or “If you loved me, you’d…”.It can be very immature and childlike if the terms “loving” and “caring” are confused. For the most part, the Emotional Mind can be satisfied only if it feels loved according to how it has defined what love is.

Some people thinks this resides in the heart, but emotional love does not come from the heart. It is from a gut feel and primal need to be cared about which is the mature form of the Second Mind. Everyone needs to be cared about to be emotionally healthy.

The Third Mind, or Intellectual Mind, resides in the back of the head regulating reason and logic. Its agenda is to gather information, and “always be right”. It doesn’t care about being fed or loved, it only wants to be fed information. It tends to be arrogant, detached and thinks it is superior, or above the lower two minds.

This mind tries to make rational sense of life experiences so it can grow and learn. It doesn’t like to be embarrassed, so it works hard to learn quickly so as not to make the same mistake twice; however it is not always successful.

The Fourth Mind, or Spirit Mind (Ellie has specifically not called it the Spiritual Mind because there are too many connotations with the word “spiritual”) resides in the centre and front part of head called upper dan tien. It doesn’t have an agenda, but a purpose to make the connection between the spirit and the physical realms. It regulates intuition. It is a gentler mind and needs to be invited to participate.

It will leave whenever there is aggression from any of the lower three minds because it has no agenda to play any of the lower mind games. However, the Fourth Mind can be the greatest source of strength in times of crisis if it is fully cultivated and utilized.

It expresses in many subtle ways, such as feelings within the body or knowing something without reason. It is most often known as the “still small voice”. It is the most powerful mind we have, and is typically the least developed and the least used. To the general public, it is also the least understood of the Five Minds.

The Fifth Mind can be activated only if one is cognizant of how the Fourth Mind works and actively working with the Fourth Mind. It resides in the middle dan tien, and is expressed as unconditional love. It recognizes love as an action, not a feeling. It thinks globally rather than locally, although local action can and will be taken if it is in line with global thinking. It cannot be contained and is expressed as free spirited or eccentric. Its action can seem ruthless if it is on a mission of a higher purpose since it has little patience with the antics of the lower minds.

The Fifth Mind works in full partnership with the Fourth Mind, consciously working with the Spirit Realm to take action in the physical realm if is appropriate. You might feel it as one who has love expressed as power, and feel it as if that person is a “force of nature”. Power, without any thought to abuse power, but power to be used as a vehicle or catalyst for positive change.

One who lives by the Fifth Mind may seem detached and unfeeling, when in fact they embody the purest love. The Fifth Mind is not manipulated by any of the lower three minds, but uses them to serve its higher purpose.


Ellie Drew co-founded the Institute for Conscious Change, wrote two books (Partnering with Spirit: Homer’s Journey and Soul Journeys), co-produced a Conscious Manifesting DVD and three Qigong videos.  Currently Ellie continues to write, teach and give readings to people. She is a spiritual mentor for many, travels for national presentations to teach Soul Journeys and Conscious Manifesting workshops. I highly recommend her books, and if you ever have the opportunity to attend one of her workshops, you will find it well worth it.


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