The mind is a software
The mind is a software, make no mistake. In fact, it is the best one known to man. The brain is the hardware on which it runs.
Like an Operating System, it is made up of various processes. We call them thoughts. Thoughts can be words while awake and images when asleep. They can be pain, emotions, cravings, etc. In what form they present themselves is not important. Rather the common nature of all forms of thought is important to understand.
Like a computer, the mind is programmable. From this programming all thoughts arise.
The conditioning that we receive tends to program our mind. The circumstances we face or the illusions shoved down our throat while young, or our beliefs program our minds. An unaware person is driven by this programming. He is not in control. He reacts, not responds. He is not aware of his actions. He can be simple-'consiously', but very complex-'unconsciously'.
Like any software, there can be bugs in our mind too. An adult mind is like a software in production. The bugs in it will have effects on the person. A less aware person does not have complete access to all of his mind. So he may have difficulty in removing the bugs. But he can start with smaller bugs which he can remove. These will in turn increase his awareness and grant him access to more areas (folders). He can then attempt to remove other bugs too. So an enlightened being would have access to all his mind and then can remove all the bugs in an instant. Maybe at that stage he would not even have any bugs at all.
A question arrives- how can you define a bug of mind?
Anything that reduces your awareness, anything that pushes you in illusions can be a bug. In a way the entire mind itself could also be called a bug since the more thoughts are in mind, the less aware the person becomes. But that would be a mistake. Our clinging to it is a bug. The mind is just a tool. It is not evil. But how were we clinged to it? An unaware person could get clinged to whatever he sees as closest to him. And the mind is the closest thing to him. That clinging is roadblock on the path to enlightenment. Enlightenment/Liberation means freedom from suffering. Suffering is only a product of the mind.
A less aware person identifies himself as a group of thoughts. The group of thoughts is what mind is. The less aware person thinks he is his mind. An even lesser aware person thinks he is his body too. The less aware person does not know the truth so he clings to anything else he knows. So when he clings to a thought, he is in an illusion of being something that he is not.
So if the mind is not evil and is just a tool, is there any way it could help us get us closer to enlightenment? That is to say, can it be used to get freedom from itself? Are there any thoughts or concepts that could aid us? Understand that concepts are products of the mind and we have to bypass the mind itself- To quieten it, to silence it, to shut it down and still be aware! To do so, one needs to shackle all the identifications he has held with different thoughts/concepts. All thoughts with which we have stopped identifying ourselves will cease to arise. Why would the mind even function if there is no identification with any thought at all? It will only function upon the will of the self. Any concepts which help to do that can be helpful. That is, any concepts that destroys other concepts are helpful. But in the end those concepts should also be given up. Similarly, any concepts that strengthen the identification to itself or any other concept should be avoided. They will only lead to illusions.
If the mind can be observed, that is if the individual processes can be observed, then the act of observation is not a part of the mind.
One can have thoughts upon observing something, but the observation and the thoughts are separate. The experience of thoughtless observation is evident of this. In fact, the thoughts themselves can be observed. This would mean that the observer is different from the mind. Until this realization of seperation occurs, we 'are' our minds. The programs that are in it will drive us. Programs are defined as 'Set of instructions'. A machine cannot go against it's programming. Same is our case. But what happens if we become aware of our programs? Then we get a choice whether to follow them or not. This choice itself is the freedom from our programs. We would no longer be bound to them! So, it is important to keep an eye on our mind to see the programs that were hidden from us our whole lives and it is also important to be aware as much as possible so we don't add more programs to our mind.
Some people have very strict rules by which they live their entire life. These rules can help you and make you more efficient in most circumstances.So having rules is a good thing, but being limited by them is not. Life is too complex and will not comply with your rules. It will present you with circumstances in which your own rules will be your downfall. Therefore, it is better not to cling to rules or rather use them like guidelines because they can turn into programs.