The Conscious mind, the Subconscious mind, and the Supra Conscious mind - what are they and how do they contribute to our lives?
Life continually amazes me in the way things seem to flow in a circle. As you walk your path, you have a choice as to how you will act or react. Life really is all about choices. What I have found along my own journey and what I see happening with others, is that many of us spend a large amount of time, choosing to relive the past. We end up spending so much time trying to “fix” ourselves, or reacting based on past stimulus. It’s not intentional; it’s habitual. We have been taught for so long to “look for the root of the problem”. We’ve been taught that we have these dark areas in our subconscious mind that are constantly sabotaging us. And we’ve also been told that if we don’t “go back and deal with the past“, we are avoiding the issues.
Yet what I have learned through my experience is that what I focus on, I tend to get more of. If I am focusing on the reasons that I have not achieved something, I continue to draw that kind of experience to me. I am not saying that we should not learn from our experience. What I AM saying is we should trust this amazing resource that we call our mind. We need to have faith that we already have the ability to sort through and utilize the lessons learned, and mistakes made, without analyzing each one.
I was in a coaching session with a client today, who has a habit of analyzing everything. He kept asking questions in an effort to find “the root cause” for this, that and the other. And I realized in my conversation with him, that this is the problem for many of us. We believe that we are so intelligent, that we are so powerful, that if we just can understand what the problem is, we can fix it. Here are what I perceive to be two big distinctions. 1) We don’t need “fixed” and 2) I believe that we are that powerful; we just use that power in a way that doesn’t “empower” us.
Let’s look at it this way. Your mind, most people would agree, is comprised of the conscious mind, the unconscious or subconscious mind and the supra-conscious mind. Different schools of thought will use different names for these levels of consciousness, but their function is usually quite similar no matter which school of thought you subscribe to.
Your conscious mind is where actual thought processes take place, where you knowingly observe, analyze and sort information.
Your unconscious or subconscious mind is the underlying level that stores all memories and all information that is taken in from all of your senses. It retrieves information and resources that the conscious mind needs to analyze and move through the decision making, and action taking processes. It basically acts as the “operating system” that your conscious mind relies on to function effectively.
When your conscious and unconscious mind work in conjunction a time saving “short cut” is created that in essence says “When stimulus A occurs, react with action B”. These “short cuts” are then also stored in the unconscious mind so that we can function without having to repeat the full process of retrieving, analyzing and applying information when a previously experienced situation arises.
The supra-conscious mind is that part of you which allows your life functions to take place, without thought or concern and also connects you to the Universal consciousness. That part of your mind that monitors all bodily functions, from making your heart beat, to regenerating cell tissue, to understanding and interpreting the coding in your DNA. It is that part of you that most directly connects you to the life force that flows through all things. Your supra conscious mind is also connected with the subconscious mind which acts like a translation system between your supra conscious mind and your conscious mind.
What seems to have happened, in my opinion, is that over time many of us have gotten a slight understanding of how our subconscious mind works, and we start looking at that knowledge as power. We believe that since we understand the unconscious, we should be able to direct it. But here is the irony, as soon as you have thought about the subconscious mind; it is now part of your conscious mind.
I believe that many people, myself included, have seemed to get caught in the trap of wanting to look at where the problem stems from, and figure out “how can I fix it?” It is my belief, a belief that all great Masters have taught us, that we do not need “fixed”. I am not saying that we can’t improve the way we live our life, this is a constant natural evolution. The point I am making is that we are not “broken”.
When you accept the true power of your unconscious mind, you then accept that it has power beyond your comprehension. I want you to take a moment and just try to imagine the amount of information your subconscious mind needs to process just to be able to speak, to read, to make a decision on where and how to cross the street.
Think about this, if every time you wanted to speak, you had to consciously go back, through your memories, and remember, review and decide based on that conscious information what you were going to say… you would never speak a word. Before the first word left your mouth, you would have to consciously think about what specific word would best describe the thought, image or feeling you were trying to express. Then you would have to think about how you formed that word, and what specifically that word meant, because what context you are using it in may change its meaning. Next you would sort through every time you pronounced and mispronounced that first word which would lead to numerous possibilities on how to use specific muscles to get the correct enunciation for it in this instance. You need to determine what will be the pronunciation, the inflection, the volume. But before you can make that decision, you have to look at the rest of the sentence you are trying to form, because the meaning, pronunciation, etc. of the second word can dramatically affect the meaning, pronunciation, delivery of the first and so on, and so on. Should I go on, or are you starting to get the picture?
Now I’m sure that many of you are going, “Give me a break, speaking is easy, you’re really making too much of this Will”. This is exactly my point. Your subconscious mind runs through all the possibilities and probabilities that we have discussed, and THOUSANDS MORE variables before you ever utter that one word. And your unconscious mind does it in a nanosecond. Do you really grasp the power of your unconscious or subconscious mind? So for us to think that we can control completely the unconscious mind is ridiculous. And I think what happens for many people is that we get so caught up in the excitement of this new awareness, that we forget the true power of that knowledge. The power that comes by understanding the role that our subconscious mind plays in our life and decisions, then making the conscious decision to help it access the best resources possible.
One of the great things about studying and working with Tony Robbins was getting an understanding of how much these underlying patterns we have created affect our daily interactions. Through becoming aware of how these unconscious processes affect our actions and reactions to stimulus, allows us to understand that we have the ability to decide to react differently. His books, Unlimited Power and Awaken the Giant Within detail some of these processes in a very understandable way and I encourage anyone embarking on this journey to check them out.
I also love the teachings of Richard Bandler. He has put together a “technology” that gives structure, and a deeper understanding to the principles that all great teachers have taught for centuries. That the moment you decide to move in a specific direction, your subconscious mind pulls together all the references and resources to support you in moving in that direction. Whether it’s a decision on crossing the street, or changing the direction of your life.
So many people have been caught in the “therapy” mindset. The idea that we must “go back” and “find the root of the problem”. Yet, all great teachers, from Christ, to Buddha, to Gandhi, to Socrates; all these teachers have brought us the same universal message. The message that we have the power to be whoever we choose to be. Each of us has the creative life force flowing through us, and can call upon it at any time.
I believe that the subconscious mind and the supra-conscious are major parts of this creative life force. And that we need to stop looking to the past, because in reality, all the past is, is a memory. And it is a memory that has only one perception. Is there a possibility that your perception of that memory may not be the most accurate perception? Or at least could it be possible that you are missing some valuable insights that could have been seen from another perception?
We need to stop looking at the past, and recognize where we are in the moment. We need to stop looking for what is broken and become self-aware. I don’t mean self aware in the sense of “The reason I am reacting to this situation is because when I was 3 years old…”. I mean recognizing what is happening in this very moment, and in this moment, decide what is the highest version of who we choose to be. Who is it you wish to be at this moment? How can you act at that moment that will best represent and serve your purpose? We need to respond to the situation rather than react. When we make that conscious decision, then our subconscious mind will pull to us all the necessary resources and references to allow us to make that vision of ourselves a reality.
Here is another exciting article about the Subconscious Mind Powers that help create our lives.