CONSCIOUS MIND AND SUBCONSCIOUS MIND
Keep a True Lent
WE ARE ALL well acquainted with the conscious mind. Through its use we establish our relations with the outer realm and recognize our individual entities. Indeed, there are some who claim that the conscious mind is the only mind there is. They are simply holding a thus far undiscovered country to be undiscoverable. Of such persons as these Cardinal Newman spoke when he said that they “are only possessed by their knowledge, not possessed of it.” But in due season they will awake and respond to the call of Spirit to “come up higher.”
The subconscious mind is the vast, silent realm that lies back of the conscious mind and between it and the superconscious. To one who does not understand its nature and its office, it is the “great gulf fixed” between his present state and the attainment of his highest desire, his good. The subconscious may be called the sensitive plate of mind. Its true office is to receive impressions from the superconscious and to reproduce them upon the canvas of the conscious mind. Man, however, having lost the consciousness of the indwelling Father as an ever present reality, has reversed the process and impresses the subconscious from the conscious mind. In this way the former is made to register impressions of both good and evil, according to the thought held in conscious mind at the time the impression is made. And since it is the purpose and the nature of the subconscious mind to reproduce, or to throw upon the screen of the conscious, the exact impression that it has received, the conscious mind is thus made to express two sets of opposing ideas. No enduring structure can be built by one who is “a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
Man must go back to his Source and let its clear light flood his whole being with Truth. He must lay aside forever the idea of serving two masters and must look to the one Master, even Christ, the spiritual consciousness within. Jesus said that He came not to destroy the law, but that the law might be fulfilled through Him. It is the mission of every man born into the world to fulfill the law of Being; one can do this work only by working from cause to effect.
“Be subject therefore unto God . . . Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” It is a comfort to know that we do not have to make the entire journey alone back to the Father. We read that when the prodigal son was coming back to his father, “while he was yet afar off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.”
The superconscious mind is ever ready to pour forth the divine blessing, quick to respond to the call of the conscious, which it meets on the middle ground of the subconscious. Spirit is omnipresent, but man has hedged himself about by a world of illusion of his own creating, and through its mists he cannot see the Father, or catch the light from the superconscious mind. Jesus came to give us conscious control of the intelligence and the power necessary to dispel these mists, in order that “the true light, even the light which lighteth every man, coming into the world,” might shine full upon us. Thus we see that the superconsciousness sends its rays of intelligence and power first into the consciousness, and that through their influence man is led to seek the kingdom within, where all things are added to him.
The superconscious mind lifts up, or regenerates, both the subconscious and the conscious, transforming them into the true image and likeness of God. The conscious mind must be faithful during this transformation. It must look ever to the superconscious for all direction and instruction. It can of itself do nothing with assurance, because the Spirit of wisdom rests in the superconscious.
The subconscious exists for the benefit of the conscious mind, but unless regenerated it thwarts the efforts of the conscious at every step, so that “ye may not do the things that ye would.”
The subconsciousness is sometimes called memory. One whose subconscious mind has not been systematically trained, or awakened, is often heard to say that he has “a poor memory.” Sometimes he tries to recall a word or a name that he knows “as well as he knows anything,” but he cannot speak it. Several days later, perhaps, when there is no longer any desire to recall it, the word “comes to him.” The subconsciousness has reproduced it, but the process has been slow.
The subconscious mind can be trained by the conscious to work systematically and reliably, but the conscious mind must be faithful and consistent in creating the impressions that it seeks to make upon the subconscious.
For five years after learning typewriting a stenographer used the sight method. Then the advantages of the touch system (typing without looking at the keys) were impressed upon her and she desired to learn that system. At first she did not believe that she could do it, because she was so “used to the other way” and was engaged in active work, with no time for practice. But the desire continued, and before long an opportunity came. She obtained a different position, where there was leisure for practice. She had daily association with an enthusiastic student of the touch system and she was encouraged in every way. For about six months she devoted her conscious mind to remembering the keyboard and to controlling the movements of her fingers. Eventually the subconscious mind was so impressed with a knowledge of the right movements and the right positions of the fingers that it regulated them of itself.
“Thought is quicker than vision” was her motto during the tedium of practice, and she has proved it to be true. If she strikes the wrong key she knows it instantly without having to look at her work, and she has been heard to say that her fingers express her thoughts much better than her tongue, because they have had so much attention and such persistent drill. Of course, the fingers can do nothing of themselves, because mind is the only actuating power.
The subconscious mind is also known as the heart, and the many references to it in the Bible show that its nature and its office were well understood by the writers of Scripture. “Keep thy heart with all diligence; For out of it are the issues of life,” indicates the importance of the proper development of the subconscious mind. Man cannot, however, keep his heart, or control the expressions from his subconscious mind, without the aid of Spirit. The superconsciousness reaches to the depths of the subconscious and sets free the energies bound in error thought; that having been done, man can easily reach and mold the subconscious, in harmony with divine ideas. The regeneration of the subconscious is not the work of the conscious, but of the superconscious mind acting in harmony with the conscious.
The Spirit of God, speaking through Ezekiel, commands, “Cast away from you all your transgressions, wherein ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit.” This command is to the conscious man, or mind. But later the Spirit of God says, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you,” thus signifying that the whole mind must be embraced in the regeneration. There must be perfect co-operation of the three phases of mind in order to produce the perfect man. “I, Jehovah, search the mind, I try the heart, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.” “Purify your hearts, ye double-minded,” says James. We purify our heart when we turn conscious attention within and the pure ideas of the superconscious mind come forth to meet our call. “He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.” When we seek the superconsciousness and make conscious connection with it we harmonize all the forces of mind and body; we lift up the subconscious until a complete, conscious unification of the three phases of mind is affected and we become established “in singleness of . . . heart.” We can say with the Psalmist, “His heart is fixed, trusting in Jehovah.” We fear nothing, for we know that we draw on the divine ideas in God-Mind and that they all are good.
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Keep a True Lent
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