The Echoes of the Mind – Mentation


“Thinking is the desire to gain reality by means of ideas.” ~ Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset

Mentation is the mind at work, both consciously and subconsciously. Life presents itself as a series of puzzles which act as fodder for mentation.

“A large fraction of autonomous cognitive processes are devoted to making sense of the information we acquire, and they do this by seeking simple descriptions of the world.” ~ English psychologist Nick Chater & George Loewenstein

The conscious aspect of cognition is a sheer sliver of the mind’s prodigious labors. The subconscious is the engine of cognition. Cognition is the fruit of the subconscious.

Sensation, perception, and mentation all rely upon memory. Whereas sensation and perception rely upon short-term (working) memory, mentation is a consumer of long-term memory; hence, the fallibilities of memory are visited upon the mind at work in various ways.

“All observation is also invention.” ~ German perceptual psychologist Rudolf Arnheim

Mental Manifolds

There are 3 nominal facets of mentation: desire, reason, and intuition, which are respectively labeled demind, ramind, and inmind. Bear in mind that mind is a fictitious object-oriented label for the process of mentation. Whereas the mind does not exist, mentation does occur.

The desirous mind – demind – inputs bodily needs and mentally-fabricated wants. Demind is needy and greedy. Demind strongly bonds mind-body association. Demind is habit prone and is the basis of addiction.

Emotions reinforce the demands of demind. Passion and dread are epitomes of emotive demind.

The rational mind – ramind – is responsible for reasoning. Problem-solving is the province of ramind. The symbolic schemas (languages) that the mind employs in various realms are parsed and analyzed via ramind.

Ramind performs what is generally referred to by the catchall term cognition, which involves all 3 facets of a mind at work.

Ramind works to satisfy demind. Such processing is commonly called cunning. Guile is demind in the driver’s seat of ramind.

Ramind applied to emotion forges emotional logic: the rationalization of emotive states, which readily manufactures self-deception when demind is running the show.

Fear doesn’t exist anywhere except in the mind. ~ American writer Dale Carnegie

Whereas demind is reward-driven, fear readily dominates the supposedly rational mind. In considering consequences, ramind is risk averse. Thus, demind and ramind somewhat balance each other, at least in normal individuals.

The intuitive mind – inmind – is the interface between an individual consciousness and universal Ĉonsciousness. Inmind is the interface of intuition. The only emotion associated with inmind is contentment, or its more self-centered variant: satisfaction.

(Though perhaps vaguely reminiscent of Plato’s triad of soul, the demind/ramind/inmind triad of mentation is a practical device for understanding the conflicting and confluent aspects of thought streams. It is distinct from Freud’s id/ego/superego triumvirate. Whereas the triad of mentation is merely a functional delineation to explain mental forces, Freud’s conception was structural, and ridiculous in its simplistic role-playing.)

The healthier one is, the more demind is subdued, without reference to fear; with inmind having a stronger influence. Contentment crowds out desire: one does not need fulfillment if already feeling fulfilled.