The Subconscious Mind
The Mysteries of the Subconscious Mind Revealed. When French philosophist Rene Decartes said “Cogito ergo sum” (“I think therefore I am”), he was talking about the conscious mind. It is the conscious mind through which we discover our “sense of self”. The conscious mind derives much of its information from its physical environment reacting to sensations such as sight, taste, touch and sound. Conscious awareness reflects the external environment back to us for personal processing. Our innate analytical thought system then judges the experiences to form opinions. Each individual processes and filters reality to form a sense of self-awareness. The accumulated conscious experience creates a feeling of separateness that helps to define our personal identity.
Many analogies have been made to describe the conscious mind. One effective metaphor is that of the ocean. Our conscious mind thinks at the surface of the tide, but there are many depths below that it dips into and accesses for information. Another analogy might be the telescope. Our conscious mind looks through it and sees a particular object in focus, unaware of the world outside of that telescope lens. Thus consciousness is limited to a small radius, although it serves its purpose. If we were to have access to ALL of the information in the universe at any given moment, surely our minds would explode from the overload. How can you drive a car when you are tapped into millions of bits of information all at once? It would be a death wish. The conscious mind steers the car. Another metaphor for the conscious mind would be an iceberg. The conscious mind is the tip of the iceberg that extends out of the ocean. The conscious mind perceives the world from information derived from the subconscious below, and from the physical world around it.
The Subconscious Mind
The subconscious mind is very often misunderstood and confused with the unconscious mind. Subconsciousness literally means beneath the threshold of consciousness, or that part of the mind that lies just below the level of conscious thinking. Again using the metaphor of the ocean, the subconscious mind would be like the midwater zone that circulates between the warmer surface water and the deeper cold waters. In the example of the telescope, while the conscious mind is looking through the small opening, the subconscious is recording the impressions while also searching memory banks for corroborating information. The subconscious mind acts as your personal secretary who records conscious data and who also retrieves relevant memories from the unconscious mind. It behaves like the RAM (random access memory) in your computer. It filters and retains information for the purpose of directing it to its necessary applications. A very active subconscious mind detects patterns to predetermine conscious thinking and behavior. Perhaps this explains why some idiot savants can do what they do. While their conscious mind is unable to function normally in the world, they are able to quickly solve complex math problems or play extraordinary music by ear. It is possible that they are tapping into their subconscious mind directly.
Another important job of the subconscious is to act as a monitor, to take care of all of our actions. For example, when we are first learning how to drive a car, our conscious awareness must be extremely focused in order to learn the skill. Once we have learned how to drive, the conscious mind goes on autopilot, and the subconscious takes over, doing the driving for us, so to speak.
The way the subconscious operates is far different then our conscious mind. While the conscious mind is objective, relying on logic and literal thinking, the subconscious is subjective, processing the subliminal and symbolic meaning of words and imagery. Thus it is the subconscious mind that retains feelings and images from our dreams. Fairy tales and myths have long been used to appeal to the subconscious mind for the purpose of accelerated learning.
The Unconscious Mind
The largest part of the human mind is the unconscious. To use the ocean analogy once more, the conscious mind remains on the surface, dipping into the depths of the subconscious below, which in turn springs from a vast underground reservoir called the unconscious. Using the metaphor of the iceberg, the huge mass of ice at the very bottom of the berg represents our personal unconscious, which is comprised of all the data from our individual experiences in life from the day we enter this world to the day we exit. It also contains all of our physical operational data and our autonomic memory. Unconscious information is also derived from our conscious processing and impressions, some of which have disappeared from our consciousness through suppression or simply forgotten. It contains everything that is and that is not present in our conscious awareness. The unconscious mind has recorded all of the emotions we feel, every thought that we think, every dream we have, every image we see, every smell, every taste, every word we have spoken and every touch we have felt. The memories of every event we have had in our lives. All of our knowledge and wisdom that we have gained is stored like books in our own personal library. All of this is contained within the unconscious, within the deepest depths, at the widest base of the iceberg of our mind. Many people believe it is here, at the very base, that all of our minds are connected. Each individual unconscious is stored like a blueprint or a book in the collective unconscious.
The Collective Unconscious
The Collective mind, also referred to as the Matrix or the universal mind, contains all of the thoughts, memories, ideas and experiences of every individual who has ever lived. Like a giant mass, the collective unconscious is our planetary library that is generally inaccessible to us during our conscious states. The core application of PSI TECH’s TRV training is based on Carl Jung’s theory of the human psyche and its relation to the collective unconscious. This concept was developed in the late 1800’s in a most interesting manner. Jung, an Austrian psychiatrist and contemporary of Sigmund Freud, was visiting a psychiatric hospital for study, which he often did. It was there that he spoke with a poor, uneducated patient who was standing by a window. The man pointed out the window excitedly and said, “See, the sun is wagging its tail! It is making the wind!” Later Jung was reading a book that he had discovered in a library, an obscure German text that was a translation of the Greek text that was over 2000 years old. In it was described a religious cult ceremony in which the initiate, after performing the proper ritual, would see the sun’s tail wagging, and the secret revelation would then come to the initiate that it was the sun’s tail that makes wind.
Jung remembered the comment of the poor uneducated man from the hospital, and it sent him on a journey to discover the source of universal symbolism in the human mind. In his journey he recognized that throughout the world, in all cultures and times, from ancient Egypt, to the Aztecs, to India, to the Native American cultures, to Europe, there were similarities in their religious prophecies, their myths, and their fairy tales that went beyond their cultural learning or heritage. There must be, he surmised, an original source that connected them all. This was the universal mind that all individual minds connected to. A common link between all inhabitants of the world, dead or alive.
One analogy would be like air. We each breathe in air. I am breathing in air as I sit before my computer writing this article. It is my air, which I personally am taking in. You may be on the other side of the continent, or the world, reading this article. You are breathing in your air. And yet this air connects us all, it permeates everything, the entire earth. This would be the universal mind; a collective consciousness that learns and changes from the experiences of each individual, just as the air is altered as it is breathed in and out.
One example of how this collective mind operates was given by a British biologist named Rupert Sheldrake. He took two puzzles, the kind where you have to find the hidden picture within the picture. He sent the researches out with the puzzles, and recorded the percentage of the population who were shown the puzzles that were able to find the hidden pictures. He then took one of the puzzles and on BBC TV, in front of millions of viewers, showed the puzzle, narrowing in on the hidden picture so that they could all see where it was. Then the researchers went out with the two puzzles again, one of which was the one that was aired on TV. They went to remote locations in the world where TV was not available, and presented the two puzzles to different populations. Remarkably, when shown the puzzle that had been aired on TV, twice as many people located the hidden picture. While the other puzzle still had the same original percentage of success. When millions of viewers saw the hidden picture, it became encoded in the collective mind, or collective unconscious, making it easier for the population to perceive.