Early philosophers like Aristotle and Plato established long ago that there are three parts of the mind. These distinct parts shape our personalities and identities. The three parts, namely the Decision Maker, the Critic & the Observer, determine what we think, what we do, and what we feel.
“The mind is the root from which all things grow if you can understand the mind, everything else is included.” – Bodhidharma
The three parts of the mind form certain traits that are complex and unique in each individual. It makes us who we are and determines the quality of our lives.
What are the Three Parts of the Mind?
The Decision Maker, the Critic & the Observer.
The mind is our power source. Spirit channels into the mind and we use this energy to think, motivate, and accomplish. Therefore to develop mastery we must understand the way the mind works. In this way, you get to embrace the daily choices you face that will determine the quality of your experience. The Course in Miracles described three parts to the mind – the decision-maker, and the critic, and the performer.
In this chapter, we will deal with the critic and the performer. Other names for these parts of the mind are the ego and the True Self or the Contrived Self and the Real Self. As you might recognize, one is negative and the other positive.
‘The critic’ demoralizes
The critic inputs judgments, opinions, and comments. It operates on the mental level. It plants doubt and it is disempowering. We might even call it the devil or deceiver. If your inner dialogue sounds like this, You can’t do that; who do you think you are; you don’t have the right education, contacts, skill, or perseverance.
You will never amount to anything, then you know the critic well. Everyone has an inner critic. It will not help you achieve anything worthwhile. It is up to you to recognize it and decide how to deal with it /or simply ignore it.
‘The performer’ keeps you going
Beyond the critic, on a deeper spiritual level, is the performer. The performer takes action, knows you can do what you set out to do, doesn’t analyze the problem forever, and keeps moving.
An example of a performer would be the little boy who wants to learn to ride his bike. He jumps on it with a determined mind and attempts to ride it and he falls off. Then he tries riding it another way. He keeps on his quest until he eventually works it out and becomes a great bike rider. He has no concern for the number of times he falls off because his goal is to ride the bike and through all his trials and errors he ultimately finds a way to do it. The same would be true of hitting a baseball, setting up a computer program, painting a room, learning how to bake a cake – in fact, anything.
Legends are performers
Arnold Schwarzenegger is an example of a performer. He came from humble beginnings growing up near Graz, Austria. His family had no electricity or running water, so he and his brother would walk for miles carrying water to their home so that they could bath, clean, and cook. Schwarzenegger did not consider this a detriment or problem but a situation to be dealt with. He did not see himself as underprivileged.
He kept moving. As a child, he saw a movie with cowboys and decided that he was going to be a cowboy/movie actor in the United States. He fulfilled his version of that dream by becoming the youngest world-famous bodybuilder, Mr. Universe.