So we proceed to describe unconscious, subconscious and conscious states conceptually; that is, from the widest possible frame of reference. It is a long way from the focused question Dirk asked as his #10, but perhaps you can see that to try to answer that in its own terms (basically considering 3D only) would have been misleading. If you now hold in mind our discussion to date, we can proceed to tie it to his question more closely.
[(10) what exactly are the conscious, subconscious, and unconscious? Do these relate partly or mostly to structural parts of the brain, such as the left and right hemispheres and the primitive brain?]
You can see, perhaps, that since these three states of consciousness transcend the brain, they cannot be explained in terms of the brain alone. However, how they express via the brain can be discussed and explained. It is not a matter of brain tissue producing states of consciousness; rather, they respond to states of consciousness.
It is that simple statement that we have been leading to. It could not be understood if we had confined the focus to the brain, and to the 3D mind alone.
Isn’t that painting with too broad a brush? Can’t physical changes affect consciousness? A blow to the head will knock you out. Excessive fatigue will produce changes. So will psychological problems, things that happen, etc. So how can you say that the tissues (and, I presume you mean, as well, the electrical-impulse circuitry and chemical baths) respond to, rather than produce consciousness?
That’s a valid point, but still misleading. Mostly it is a matter of semantics. Let’s clear up the language.
Unconsciousness. A boxer who has been kayoed, a person who has been knocked out by concussion, even someone forced into sleep from sheer fatigue, may be said to be unconscious, because they are “dead to the world.” But although the word is the same, the meaning is not. This common meaning of the word “unconscious” refers to the person’s inability to function in a state of awareness. Someone dreaming, someone in a coma, someone temporarily knocked out by a concussion, someone sheerly unable to maintain conscious activity for any reason is unconscious; they are not “the unconscious.” Is the distinction clear?
Clear to me, and I hope to others, but I don’t really know. It wasn’t clear before you drew the distinction.
Consciousness. A person actively functioning in the 3D world does so in a state of consciousness, but is not the state of consciousness, but is an example of it. The 3D trance continues throughout life, though its boundaries and characteristics may change. You don’t escape it in 3D life, and you aren’t intended to. It is not a trap or a predicament but, literally, a life-support system. You do not move beyond it when you sleep or use drugs or ritual or special exercises to transcend its boundaries. You glimpse beyond it, and that is a very different thing.
Subconscious. There is less linguistic confusion here, because people don’t so much think of themselves functioning in a state of “sub-consciousness.” So it should be clearer that this term represents a condition rather than a sort of choice. That is, the confusion of terms is less likely to happen here.
All right, I think I see that.
So now we can get closer to beginning to answer the question. From our point of view, the three experienced mental states are not of course produced by different parts of the brain, but express through them. This is a more fundamental distinction than it may seem to be.
Thus for instance let us discuss left and right hemispheres of the brain as commonly understood. We add the caveat (“ as commonly understood”) because as usual the actual situation is more complicated and nuanced than the common understanding. Yet the common understanding provides a place to proceed from; only remember, what you and we express flatly are really approximations, generalizations.
Your brain may be described as a dual-track assembler of clues. What is commonly called left-brain function assembles the world sequentially, in detail. The right-brain assembles the same clues in a holistic gestalt. Neither way of seeing things is adequate without the compensating other. We won’t go into this; it is commonly understood.
Similarly, the brain may be seen divided vertically, from the medulla up to the latest additions to the human mental apparatus. Again, we ask you to look at these division of functions not as producers of given mental states, but as expressions of them. It makes a difference!
To make a particularly flat statement, for the sake of emphasis: What you experience as your 3D conscious experience is the momentary All-D consciousness, filtered through your own subconscious world and then your conscious apparatus. You do not produce consciousness; you receive it. Your brain does not originate mental states, it translates what it receives.
The words “vast impersonal forces” came to mind as I was writing that last sentence. Not exactly sure how to fit it in.
In this context, you could regard the existing conditions of the present moment as the vast impersonal forces influencing (running through) your consciousness, and being shaped by your mental structures.
Different moments of time interflow with your state of being to produce what possibilities there are. Some times are just not propitious for certain kinds of endeavor. Conversely, what you are at any given moment limits or enables what you can do with that moment. You see?
If we have made ourselves something “spiritual,” or let’s say high-minded, we will have different possibilities in a given moment than if we have made ourselves something coarse.
Yes except overstated and too definite. But you have the idea. And on the other hand, no matter what you have made yourself (and even pretending for the moment that you are a unit rather than many people taking turns steering), different times will present different boundaries that will affect saint and sinner even though the make-up of the saint and the sinner will process the raw materials differently.