The Interface: The subconscious mind

Now, we have sketched a view of the unconscious level of 3D life as something that normal 3D mentality is not conscious of, rather than that the unconscious is a larger mind that is unconscious of itself. If you have absorbed the implications of this fact, you should find them very encouraging. It is not as Bernard Shaw and Colin Wilson thought, that life is mind inserting itself into dead matter. Just the reverse. In fact, what they observed was mind reinserting itself in the 3D consciousness of your civilization. Had Shaw and Wilson ever considered the importance of animism as practiced throughout the world, they would have seen that many people already knew what they were struggling toward. This is not a criticism of Shaw or Wilson  as thinkers. It is a criticism of the materialist assumptions of the society they sprang from, that they were fighting their way free from.

The greater world of which the 3D present-moment consciousness is normally unware of is itself conscious, and of a higher order of consciousness, as anyone will have experienced if they have broken through the crust of commonly experienced reality. This may happen through certain drugs, or certain religious rituals, or – the only long-term solution – through a certain way of living that gradually reorients you from assuming that the 3D is as it appears.

So then, how do we see what you call the subconscious mind? We would describe it as a step inward from the universal consciousness that is the mind you call unconscious. It is more particular to you the 3D mind. [Typing this, I realized that might not be clear. They mean, the subconscious mind is a part of our local mind in a more direct way than the unconscious mind is.] It is the immediate penumbra to your everyday reality. By definition it consists of what you don’t quite bring into consciousness ordinarily. It is the license plate you see but don’t notice, the colors around you, the smells, the noises faint or loud that do not register because you are focused on something else – or, to put it another way, because your active RAM, your 3D conscious mind’s buffer, is already filled with other things. (Indeed, the act of clearing your mind through meditation may be seen as an act of clearing some of the RAM so that you will have room to experience consciously some things that ordinarily life does not allow you to see merely because it is filled with other things, mostly matters of habit.)

There are also the things one does not want to remember. Painful things. Embarrassing or shameful things. Parts of your experience that you deliberately or by default repress. It is these sorts of things, mostly, that disturb conscious life, causing what seems to be irrational behavior (or, if not allowed to become behavior, at least irrational mental tendencies; compulsions; distortions in the thinking process; overwhelming, uncontrollable, moods). This reality is where Freud and his associates began: the unaccountable distortions of 3D consciousness by non-rational forces. Before the materialist phase of Western civilization, society had priests, shamans, wisdom elders; it had ways of seeing things that allowed for this reality, personify the forces however they might. It was Freud’s achievement to force materialist society to admit that its view of the world was radically incomplete. When you criticize Freud for remaining trapped in the materialist mental world that shaped him, try not to forget that he freed others to go where his own background prevented him from going. Think of slaveholder Thomas Jefferson penning “all men are created equal,” thus helping to free succeeding generations from a mindset he was unable to break free of himself.

(And, after all, this is true of anyone’s pioneering work: You don’t pull yourself up by pulling on your bootstraps, and you don’t rise by pulling on a skyhook, either. At best, you act as a bridge, and if you can do that much, it is no small accomplishment.)

Now, this penumbra of 3D life, this mental attic filled with unnoticed or repressed material, shades off in both directions, naturally. (There are no hard and fast boundaries in the universe.) On the one end, it shades into the conscious realm; on the other end, it shades into the realm of which the 3D mind is unconscious. Regard it, if you will, as a buffer between 3D conscious awareness and non-3D unsuspected awareness. As such it is of course 3D and non-3D. And here, it occurs to us, we ought to digress to make an important point.

These models we sketch are models; they are not the thing itself, which can never be captured except faintly, in analogy. So don’t obsess over differences in models. Any one model will offer advantages that others models could not offer, and will lose features that other models may be able to represent. In other models we have represented life as divided between 3D and non-3D. This is certainly true in a sense, to a degree. But it is not true, too: It depends on your viewpoint.

In this model we could say that the unconscious exists, by definition in All-D. (The unconscious, we repeat, is not unconscious of itself. It is the world of which the 3D consciousness is unaware.) It permeates 3D, it permeates non-3D. It is everywhere, and every-when. The 3D consciousness is similarly in All-D, necessarily, but the 3D trance renders it mostly unconscious of most non-3D aspects of life as its default position. You in 3D may claw your way to a greater awareness (or may be given it as a gift or even as a birthright), but you do so from a default position that takes 3D limitation as real. And the subconscious mind of each of you is in the bridging position, aware of so much more but still centering in the 3D mind with the 3D mind’s limitations.

Just as belief/doubt is the same intermediate position between knowing and not-knowing, so the subconscious mind may be seen as an intermediate position between 3D conscious limitation and All-D lack of limitation. Seen from one direction, the subconscious mind anchors in 3D limitation, takes it seriously, expresses and develops it. Seen from the opposite direction, it allow the greater reality to filter into the 3D consciousness, usually according to how much the 3D consciousness is prepared to accept. When it lets in too much, you get psychosis or you get transcendent experience. But then, “too much” in this case means merely “more than the conscious 3D mind bargained for.”

You will notice that so far we have not addressed the physical interface between All-D mind and 3D mind. Next we proceed to sketch the conscious 3D mind as it appears to us.

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