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The Nature of Mind

In my book and posts on my blog, I have often used the term subconscious rather than unconscious. In psychology, three aspects of mind are recognized, although there is not universal agreement in this division. They are the conscious, subconscious, and unconscious mind.

The conscious mind is what we are aware of at any given moment. If I am talking with you, I am aware of your presence and words. If I wanted to telephone you the next day, I might not be thinking of your telephone number during our conversation, but unless I have a poor memory for numbers, I can recall it when I need it. The telephone number is in my subconscious mind and includes information that I can recall if I turn my attention to it. The unconscious, a Freudian term, contains data I cannot normally recall such as repressed memories and basic instinctual drives. Most childhood memories cannot be normally be recalled, but have gone into molding your adult personality. They are in the realm of the unconscious, but can find their way into consciousness through dreams.

There is disagreement about this division. Some believe, as I do, that long forgotten events can be recalled and are not forever buried in some dark corner of the unconscious. Because of my belief, I often use the term subconscious when talking about dreams and long forgotten memories, even if they cannot normally be consciously recalled.

The work of Carl Jung is worth examining for a further study of the development of the concept of mind by psychologists. Jung was a psychiatrist who developed the concept of a universal consciousness. He split the unconscious mind of Freud into two parts: a personal one and a universal one or collective unconscious, with all humans sharing certain primordial patterns and images such as are found in religious mythology. In Jung’s approach, certain shared human characteristics and traits emerged in dreams through archetypal symbols finding concrete expression as a child, old man, old woman, or an aspect of nature such as a flood.

Edgar Cayce presented a still different view of mind in his psychic readings. In the Cayce view, there are three aspects of mind: conscious, subconscious, and superconscious. The subconscious is the area of mind where most dreams occur, particularly dreams that deal with daily challenges. The superconscious, according to Cayce, is a part of the mind that has never left its source and retains memory of the Creator. Dreams that are direct messages from God would originate in the superconscious. These spiritual dreams are from the highest level.

Cayce indicated that after death the subconscious becomes the conscious mind and the superconscious becomes the subconscious. Of course, there is no clean division or boundaries for three separate minds. There is one mind with three different aspects.

Your work with dreams will help you recover memories that have long been forgotten, especially if they are having a negative impact on your life. You will become more conscious of your drives and desires, and see how they are forming your daily life. The unconscious becomes conscious through your dreams, and you will often discover that the knowledge was there all along pushed aside and unexamined in your conscious mind. Your dreams make you aware that information you ignored needs to be brought into the light and examined. You need to see it and understand how it forms your current reality.

I am not suggesting you focus only on areas that are having a negative impact on you daily life. You may find treasures that have been totally overlooked. Something you buried deep in your subconscious as irrelevant may contain the answer to a problem or evidence of an undeveloped ability that could be developed into a new career. Jewels can be found that are only recognized through dream associations and the interpreting of your dreams.

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