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What Is The Unconscious

The term unconscious must be taken to represent many functions and aspects of self, rather than something we can neatly define. Therefore, we might think of the term as being like the word BODY, which means a whole spectrum of organs, functions, chemical processes, neurological events, systems, cell activities, as well as ones experience of these.

In general a helpful way of thinking about the unconscious is to realise its function in memory and skills. For instance a mass of your experience is presently not in your conscious awareness. It is therefore unconscious. But if I pose the question – What is your present home address? – what was unconscious a moment ago becomes known and communicable. Millions of bits of other information lies unconscious in you at any one moment, along with skills not being accessed, and other functions not used. So in this sense your conscious self is a tiny part of your total potential.

There is also an action of the unconscious level of mind that scans our life experience, and in doing so syntheses what it finds and links it with a process we cannot understand with our conscious thinking. It acts as a feeder of informatioin for a cosmic awareness, and yet keeps the sense of being an individual as well. It is a huge paradox that we cannot grasp with normal everyday awareness.

With our individual self, it attempts a healing process in the psyche, the personaility, and through these urges us toward actions or experience that is more expressive of our total self rather than the one-sidedness of conscious viewpoints. Dreams not only reflect this drive arising from wholeness, but also present potentials we have which we ignore because they lie outside our daily experience.


But because dreams arise from the unconscious, and dreams transend the normal by not being in one locality as waking consciousness is, the unconscious is also the home of the transcendent.

Many modern physicists, working with the information arising in experiments with quantum theory, tell us that our view of the world is based upon our blindness, and is very limited, and through its limitation, unreal. Yet this view we take to be the REAL universe.  The implications of the theorem are enormous. Something can be in two places at once. Apparently distant objects, or people, are intricately linked in an immediate way. There is no separate existence as we previously thought. Our view of the world is not one supported by the facts of physics. Time and space are transcended. David Bohm, an eminent physicist, goes as far as to say that all things in our observable universe are inextricable linked. Nothing has separate existence.

In wider awareness you leave the limited view of the three dimensional world most of us are trapped in, and enter a world beyond time and space. So forget the clumsy explanations of telepathy and precognition, for they are explanations from the body’s limited senses. Beyond time we are aware of all time, past, present and future – all at once. So we do not look into the future, but are it. Our body life is to learn important lessons by being locked in time, space and our body, with its gender and limitations.

It helps to think of the unconsciousness as an ever shifting, growing and dynamic source of personal awareness. because it transcends time and space, and is a huge potential, it can let information drip into the individual mind, as long as that mind can drop preconceptions. In a way the future, viewed from the individual mind, slowly educates the smaller individual mind.

But as the cosmic mind of the unconscious creative life process is formless, it expresses these new ideas to individual minds in forms it understands. We see this is psychic abilities, so if a person believes in spirits, saints or great individuals. the new ideas will be shown as coming from those forms.

Awareness moves or is known at different levells or different ways. As a person we may be aware of a difficulty or illnes that has no physical cause, a psychosomatic illness. Often this type of illness is an attempt to deal with the psychological difficulty causing it. So allowing it to express, as described in LifeStream can let it begin to surface, that allows it to move to the next level, which is expressing as a gesture or partical posture or even as strange mmovements by the limbs. After that it expresses as dreams which are symbols which can be explored. This is still not a full release. The last level is when what had been deeply unconscious, then symbolised, now rises into consciousness and is capable of being verbalised or thought about and analysed. This often is accompanied by strong emtional feelings oe=r expression.

An interesting example of these four stages and how someone can work through them is given by Wilhelm Reich. When the abdominal tensions of a patient were released the man found his body making spontaneous movements. These were allowed and the movements gradually led the man to take on the posture of an animal – he and Reich both felt it to be a fish. This puzzled both of them as to it meaning, but as the movements continued the man first realised he felt like a fish caught on a hook and line, then suddenly, that was how he felt in regard to his mother.

As can be plainly seen, the first level is seen in the example as the man’s unconscious abdominal tensions, built into his physical structure. When these are loosened and considered by the mans conscious attention, and the spontaneous self-regulatory process is allowed to function, level two manifests as movement and gesture. This moves to level three where the movements are recognised as a symbol – the fish. Then the fourth level, insight and understanding are achieved when the man realises the fish represents previously unconscious feelings he has about his mother. At this point he can verbalise and analyse. I believe that being aware of such facts enables us more easily to open ourselves to the process of self-regulation and trust what it produces. It is not by thinking about a dream that makes it known but by working with the process that has taken it from the psychosomatic, through the postural upwards to the dream level. See Opening to Life - Lucidity - Life Will and Conscious Will


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