We all make hundreds of conscious decisions every day. We also make hundreds of subconscious decisions.
In addition our bodies (cells and organs) are constantly making decisions every second as they regulate our breathing, heart rate, digestion, and body temperature, so that we can remain in a state of homeostasis throughout the day.
When you examine your day in this manner, you realize that there are three forces at play in your decision-making: your ego-mind, your soul-mind, and your body-mind, and they may all have different needs. Sometimes the needs of these three minds will compete. How you balance your life, so all these aspects of yourself can get their needs met—maintaining internal stability of the body, ego and soul—is about defining priorities and making decisions.
From an evolutionary perspective, the body-mind was the first to develop. All creatures and animals have a body-mind which regulates their internal functioning and reacts and responds to changes in their external environment. Next to develop was the ego-mind which began to appear with the hominoids and reached its pinnacle in Homo sapiens some two thousand years ago.
Gradually, now, over the last two millennia, we are beginning to witness the growth and development of the soul-mind as Homo sapiens shifts towards the manifestation of the concept of humanity. This is not to say that we don’t have examples from the past of people living from soul consciousness: we do. However, what was once a very isolated phenomenon is much more current today. In 1902, Richard Maurice Bucke wrote the following words:
Just as long ago, self consciousness appeared in the best specimens of our ancestral race in the prime of life, and gradually became more and more universal and appeared in the individual at an earlier and earlier age, ... so will cosmic consciousness1 become more and more universal and appear earlier and earlier in the individual life until the race at large will possess this faculty.
[Cosmic consciousness refers to the higher states of consciousness found at levels 5, 6 and 7 of the seven levels of consciousness model.]
The following diagram shows how the three minds relate to each other and the six modes of decision-making. (Click on diagram to enlarge)