"What fills everything, above, below and around, itself Being - Consciousness - Bliss, non-dual, infinite, eternal, one only, know that to be Brahman (GOD)"
Ramana, Shankara and the Forty Verses
The mind is only the substance of our own creation. From birth we mould our thoughts according to firstly, the way our parents respond to life, and then secondly, to how outside influences affect us. We build up our belief system by what we fear and by what we desire. For instance, if our parents teach us that fire is bad, then, until we understand the nature of fire we will believe that we should be frightened of it. One upon the next, we layer our beliefs like playing cards. Our fears are triggered when we experience an event that is related to one of our beliefs. Our mind pulls out the relevant card and says to you, "ah, the last time we heard about fire, we felt that we should be afraid. So, let us now experience fear." The body responds and we feel fear. This in itself would not be a problem. However, we as individuals are afraid of the feeling of fear - one of life's little ironies! - and so we push it as far away as we can. This is like cutting our skin, letting a scar form and then cutting it again (for want of a better example!!) The fear, like scar tissue becomes harder and more firmly rooted within our psyche. The only way to remove this scar is to identify the source of the belief and understand it. We find the first time when we had the experience and try to "know" how we felt at the time. Then, by accepting the fear, we resolve the issue. So in other words, instead of pushing the fear away, we embrace it. When we learn about the nature of our beliefs then we are not governed by them but rather we become the governors.
Through constant appraisal of our mind - the beliefs (and the fears and desires that feed them) - we are able to acknowledge that none of our emotional experiences are solid i.e. they are each flexible and thus can be dissolved through our own will. When we choose to do this, our minds become more and more in our control.The Yogi understands that if he observes each of his fears and desires in this way, he will slowly remove them from the deck of cards. With each one removed a steadiness of mind is increased, so that in time, there is nothing left to take away. It is like having a very dirty window which is your mind. On one side is your conscious self (a mirror) and on the other is the Diamond that is your Higher Self. The object of "enlightenment" is to clean up the window of your mind, so that in effect your Higher Self can look upon the mirror and see Itself, and thus have understanding of it's true nature.