Conscious Levels of Mind
What is it exactly that goes on in that head of ours? Or perhaps … the space between? The things seen and unseen.
Through the process of natural evolution, we started out basically as unconscious beings - we were aware of ourselves - but only on a natural animal level. We did things mainly out of instinct. Later as we became “civilized” we gained our consciousness - we now knew our morality or the difference between good and evil. This is explained allegorically among many ancient creation stories … more commonly in the allegory of Adam and Eve in the Bible.
This is why in the Book of Genesis we ate of the Tree of Knowledge - of Good and Evil. We therefore became conscious of right and wrong - something an animal cannot do. We also learned something else … that we would eventually physically die. My dog, has no concept that one day he will die. What a gift? To live each day without that fear.
Carl Jung took this concept further and realized that the unconsious mind is the foundation of all consciousness. Kind of like the base foundation of a pyramid. Consciousness is a recent invention of nature and is acutally layered upon our more primitive unconscious brain. Our consciousness actually springs out of our frontal lobes of the neo-cortex. It gives us the ability to reflect on ourselves - again something the animals cannot do.
Is this perfect? By no means - which is why people say and do things they really have no control over - like neurotic compulsions and phobias. These spring up from within the unconscious mind - this is where we go when we dream. Down in the dungeon.
The subconscious is just below our conscious awareness and can fade in and out of conscious awareness very easily. Did you ever forget something and you know that you know it but you just can’t remember? It may spring to mind a few minutes later … or even a day or two later. That is the subconscious at work. Again a term that is hardly every used in psychoanalysis. The Pro’s will stick with two levels … conscious and unconscious.
We can also look at consciousness as spectrum of degrees of awareness:
Your conscious mind is composed of what you are currently aware of and what you’re presently focusing your attention on. For example: You are currently aware of reading these words.
Your subconscious is whatever you are not currently aware of, but have the ability to recall or become aware of. For example: Your memories, address, family names, your phone number, language not in use, etc…
Unconsciousness is whatever you do not have the ability to become aware of. For example: All the stuff since birth stored in a big box and usually taped shut.
I guess, if I had to break it down further “conscious” would mean “skill of perception.” This would make “sub-concious” mean something like “less skilled perception,” and “unconscious” to mean “no skill of perception.”
Remember, just because you are not “aware” of something that is happening around you, your sensory perception picks up everything. Also, remember the millions of unconscious processes that are taking place within your body. Heart, lungs, blood flow, cellular reproduction and death, etc. All being taken care of without your conscious attention.
Sometimes, we can cross-over and overrule with our aware conscious mind. For example, we don’t normally think about or are particularly aware of our breathing. The body is on automatic Pilot. But we can … if we consciously choose to do so … affect a change in our breathing. We can take over consciously and hold our breath, extend it, slow it down or speed it up. But when we let go of the conscious awareness, our other part of mind steps right back in and takes over one of the millions of things it was designed to be responsible for.
Remember, in all of this … you are the WITNESS. You are not the experience, you are witness to it. Your Soul uses the mind and body as tools to witness life in a physical realm. Our physical world of matter, is in fact the lowest frequencies of vibrational energy - as all things are energy. Everything you ever experience is in your head. All of your sensory perception processing occurs in your skull … in your brain. The actual experiences you have are merely vibration, energy, electricity, and frequencies converted to sound, scent, vision, taste, and feeling - all inside your head … connected to the vast world of universal consciousness.
Just a thought …
~Justin Taylor, ORDM., OCP., DM.