Once again over at Tom Stine’s blog, we discussed this question – what is the sub-conscious and does it actually exist? Certainly there are many theories about it. And some experiential details. For example, its obvious we have some underlying habits. We ‘remember’ to breathe and how to walk and talk. Memories and old stories seem to ‘arise’ from our sub-conscious. But if everything is consciousness, where does this sub-thing fit in?
When we say sub-conscious we’re talking about out-of-awareness, but only in the sense of mental awareness. Out of mind. It is referred to as sub as it seems to be below or ‘under’ our thinking. So really its more sub-mind than sub-conscious. Consciousness encompasses mind, thinking, and everything else. It is not under or over but rather infuses. It is that which experiences all the other things. Mind (not brain) is what can best be described as a field. Some people can “see” mind as an area of light surrounding a person, typically called an “aura”. Most people who see auras are seeing the emotional energy of the more expressed emotional field. (some call this Astral but that word is so misused as to be useless) The mind field is a bit more subtle, with more subtle colour values. Its larger than the emotional field but varies with the person, their current energy level, and various other factors. These fields are interactive, offering the framework into which the physical body expresses and the expression responds.
Habit forms, conditioning, and memories – indeed all of our experiences are stored as structures in the mind field. We could call them interrelated vibrational nodes. In some ways, the brain is a mirror of that. But as researchers have observed, you can’t find memories in the brain. The brain is more a receiver, tuned to the field. Given that most thoughts arise in relationship to other thoughts (ie: are associative – they arise in fields after all), even a spontaneous thought will associate itself with existing patterns, memories, and feelings.
As we become more aware, we can more clearly see the appearance of thoughts and their origin. Thoughts form in intuitive and conceptual values, become more concrete by taking on sensory values (sounds, colours), then emotional values, then chemical responses, EEG and so forth. Back in ‘What is True?‘ I outlined 3 ways thoughts may arise.
After we awake, the thoughts are no longer seen to arise in us but rather spontaneously appear in the “environment”. Thoughts no longer seem real, thoughts are mind, ergo mind seems an illusion. However, soon we see the illusion is in the idea of the individual, the idea that there is an individual mind. Mind has an aspect that localizes it but is really what one might call universal mind. (Which in turn… I go into deeper layers over on Deepest Being) Mind is a field generated my the movement and structuring of consciousness, much like a magnetic field is formed by the movement of electricity. We could say mind is not an illusion in itself but it is a mechanism of the illusion and it is designed to create local illusions. It is a dream machine.
My father died when I was quite young. In my mid-30’s it dawned on me that my ‘memories’ of him were all constructs based on family stories and photos I had seen. For example, he was only remembered in black and white. I had assembled a ‘reality’ of my parent from available information. This was a clear discovery for me of how we build ‘reality’.
This reality-dream building mechanism has a back story. Like the IT guys running this web server.
How we relate to that mechanism determines how we label it. It depends on our perspective. We may describe it as sub-conscious, as the akashic records, as the matrix, as illusion… Mind is one thing seen many ways. As it is outside the individual it can seem spontaneous. As it appears programmed, it seems local.
So what is the sub-conscious? The answer entirely depends on from where you ask the question. Who is it that asks? And are they simply using it as a label for the unknown? The catch-all, like ‘dark matter’.
I remember a western Philosophy Prof I had. He felt you had to take a position – it didn’t matter which – but you had to choose from amongst the philosophical “schools” of thought. He was not very amenable to suggestions that there is no one right answer. There is no one truth. Rather there is a spectrum of truths that evolve as we do. This idea can liberate you from the ego’s need to be right. A need that always creates something else thats wrong.
Another viewpoint is that after first waking. So much of what once seemed true no longer is, it seems an illusion. We become liberated by simply not knowing and it doesn’t matter that we don’t know. It simply is what it is. A little further down the path, when we are one that includes all, we discover all positions have validity. That every viewpoint is true in its place and each contributes to the wholeness of knowing.
You might now ask, if the mind is a dream maker, do thoughts create the world? No, not really. Its more that our thoughts reflect our mental state and it is the programming of the mental state that structures the world. This is why the program is more important than the thoughts themselves. Thoughts are mere symptoms. Most thoughts are like environmental noise, like traffic or the wind. Source creates through the mind and may use some thoughts as a vehicle. But not individual mind, but rather Mind. We can use the mind, and thus thoughts to channel expression. This is creativity. Creativity and the associative nature of fields is more how we create the world. Not in the individual sense of it but as a group project with individual permutations.
What it comes down to is that once you know who you are, the rest is just details. We come to see it as the game and can have some fun and see where it goes.