Source/copyright: Pierre Dalous
It is often said that if the bumblebee knew physics, it would realise that it cannot fly - it is aerodynamically impossible. On researching this, I found that the particular calculation on which this allegation is based is faulty, but it is nonetheless an inspiring thing to point out, as I have here. Similarly, it is inspiring, as always, to study the inner workings of the mind and its powers. This has been the study of nearly a lifetime for me, and certainly as far as the metaphysical field is concerned, a good eighteen years. This article is not one of my crazy projects to summarise all that has ever been written, but to bring things back to basics, which are often the things most forgotten and yet most useful when push comes to shove.
Here, then, is the "Cliff Notes" version of the subconscious which one has to know if operating within a western bicameral model of the mind. It is a very old model, but bullet-pointing it allows a basis for us to begin some study on it:
1. The normal stuff. The subconscious is not conscious i.e. it is our store of long term memory, deep impressions, desires and fears, mental programs etc. It is the blueprint for our behaviour and involuntary reactions. It also controls our body's maintenance, such as the heartbeat as well as the healing and renewal process.
Why we care: The self-help industry is mainly interested in this aspect for behaviour modification, success habits and self-mastery. It also applies to maintaining emotional balance and removing trauma.
2. The supernormal stuff. The subconscious also, within the western model of the mind, controls the events of our experience. It guides us into various events depending on what orders are given to it, regardless of whether those orders are intentional or not. It is attributed powers of synchronicity, miraculous healings, encounters fortuitous or otherwise, deep insight, inspiration, intuition etc.
Why we care: The more metaphysical side of the self-help industry is interested in this aspect for manifesting wealth, health, good relationships, romance, business success and the like. Lately, this has become the focus of teachers of "The Secret". It is also used to overcome issues and challenges encountered in daily life. Furthermore, it is of relevance to those interested in healing themselves and others.
3. The supranormal stuff. This is probably the least-explored aspect of the subconscious in the mainstream, which is how it connects to Higher Intelligence. Some say the subconscious itself contains this intelligence, whereas most think it connects to a higher source. Either way, all agree that it is possible to connect to a form of higher intelligence through the subconscious. There are those who posit the existence of a superconscious, in addition to the conscious and the subconscious. This is notably a core subject of Huna, amongst several other disciplines.
Why we care: This is the domain of the spiritual. It is about how we may gain insight and a connection to some degree with higher truths. It is probably the least interesting to the average person because Truth (in the ultimate sense of reality) usually is of little concern in daily life, unless one makes it so.
THE GOAL: WESTERN VERSUS EASTERN PERSPECTIVES
4. Contents of the subconscious mind. The subconscious is filled with impressions, comments, thoughts and habits of a lifetime (some say lifetimes). These constitute its orders. It becomes a blueprint of manifestation into normal experience.
Why we care: If this is true, then a substantial part of our daily experience is but a reflection of something deep within us. More importantly, it is a part of us that we can potentially do something about.
4. Programming the mind. This is a very prevalent trend in Western thought. It is thought that the subconscious is perfectly submissive - it will obey any order given to it without question. Thus, much dynamic type meditation focusses on how to embed suggestions of wealth, health and the like into the subconscious.
Why we care: If this is true, and there has been substantial evidence that it is, at least at the normal level (and there has been quite a bit of anecdotal evidence at the supernormal and supranormal levels, too), then it is a tremendous tool for achieving results that is vastly under-utilised by the majority of the population.
5. Transcending the suffering and finding peace. This tends to be the primary focus of Eastern methodology, particularly Buddhism. Instead of engaging with the content of the subconscious mind, it instead focusses on transcending this content and finding peace. This also has parallels in the West, such as The Work of Byron Katie and the releasing methods of Lester Levenson, which have been written about elsewhere on this blog.
Why we care: It is suggested by proponents that true peace only comes from transcending the thoughts we struggle with deep in our own psyches. When peace is found, realisation also naturally arises, and suffering ends. It also ends the need to "manifest" anything, since one does not experience pain any more. Even if one were to emphasise the Western concepts, it is still an important aspect of ultimate happiness, since endless goal-chasing in itself is unlikely to bring contentment.
6. Finding a balance. It is suggested that the answer lies in between the two perspectives. Becoming too wrapped up in the materialism of using the mind is an unhappy dead end. In fact, due to the programming mechanism of the mind, it is likely that one's ability to manifest will also diminish if this is abused. Similarly, eschewing all physical phenomena is also likely to lead to nihilism, or a deep rejection, which is unwholesome to say the least.
Why we care: If we can balance achievement with inner peace, and gain some kind of realisation into the nature of life whilst we are at it, then the study of the mind is truly invaluable. The aim is to get to a point where we are achieving, but in harmony with higher intelligence. On the peace side of the equation, we aim to be in balance within ourselves and with our external environment.
HOW TO: NEXT STEPS
This is the subject of the next article. I hope to lay out a pathway so that no special training is needed to achieve at least some results (and with any luck, much more) in one's life. This article provides the foundation of what is to follow.