The Subconscious Mind, Part 1


Description: Everything that has once passed through your conscious mind, including that of your forefathers, in the form of experience, is resident within your subconscious. Purify the subconscious by bringing experiences up into the light, facing them and resolving in understanding the experiences that created them. At key moments of your life, through temple saṃskāras, subliminal activators, you’re getting a strong religious impression. Have clear goals. Learn to resolve past experiences that still vibrate in subconscious. Purified subconscious is the subsuperconscious. It’s important to accept and understand past deeds and experiences through the Vasana Daha Tantra. Through sâdhana recognize the relationship of the subconscious to the instinctive mind. “Master Course Trilogy” “Merging with Siva” Lessons 176-177.  Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.


Text of talk:


Good morning everyone.


We are in “Merging with Siva” starting a new chapter, Chapter 26: “The Subconscious Mind” drawn primarily from material in 1967, Lesson 176:


“The Form of the Subconscious


“What is your subconscious mind? Think about this for a minute. Realize that everything that has once passed through your conscious mind in the form of experience is resident right now within your subconscious. Not only that, but imbedded within the cellular structure of your body, in the DNA code—one of the most formidable discoveries of modern science—lie all the experiences of your genetic history. The life, the biological evolution of your forefathers, is all registered in the molecular strands of your subconscious, capable of being recalled into memory.


“In our study together we will be concerned with much more than the negative areas of the subconscious. We will discover that the subconscious can be a great help in our daily life—once we learn to impress it properly, and consciously utilize the latent powers within it. Then it ceases to be a deterrent to well-being, and becomes a valuable tool, available at all times and under all circumstances as we progress through the experiences of life.


“The subconscious mind, like the conscious mind, has a form of its own. It is given form, shape and momentum by the nature of your experiences in life and the way you react to them. Most people are not happy with the form of their subconscious mind. They are still reacting to early experiences, early environments. Some people go to great expense in trying to change the form of their subconscious through therapy or travel, but because there is no absolution in either, in time they generally manage to recreate their subconscious in the same old form. Childhood experiences do have a profound influence on one’s make-up in this life, but these influences are by no means binding. Any attitude, any personality conflict or block in the subconscious can be demagnetized and resolved.


“How do we change the form of the subconscious? We purify it by resolving in understanding those experiences which have created it. How do we resolve those experiences through understanding? We bring them up into the light and face them without reaction. By resolving our reactive experiences in understanding, the subconscious be comes more and more transparent to our own view and, therefore, necessarily undergoes positive change. To be able to objectively observe one’s own experiences without reaction is one of the powers acquired through the performance of sâhana.”


Then I have a comment, drawing from “Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.”   It’s not usually stressed that much but Patanjali has the idea of changing the form of the subconscious through understanding.  Here’s what Patanjali thought of as controlling our thoughts.  He also talks about changing the form of the subconscious so we have two verses on that.


“The scope of this mystical insight is distinct from the insight gained from scripture and inference owing to its particular purposiveness.”


Pretty obscure.  So that’s explained in the next verse.


“The saṃskāras born from that mystical insight obstruct the other saṃskāras from emerging.”


So, he’s talking about an insight, and intuitive insight which is saying the same thing that Gurudeva said by understanding our experiences and bringing them up into the light of understand them. So Patanjali’s talking about the same thing using the term “mystical insight” in saṃskāras.  And so, saṃskāras as we know has a general and precise meaning.  When we think of saṃskāras we may think of the ceremonies in the temple.  Nāmakaraṇa saṃskāra–that’s a specific use of the word.  The general word is just impression.  What’s getting impressed?  The subconscious is getting impressed, so that which impresses the subconscious is a saṃskāra and the idea of temple saṃskāras is that key moments of your life you get a strong religious impression.  So you’re starting school, so you get a strong religious impression.  You get a new name, strong religious impression.  Getting married. So it’s the same word.  This is the use in terms of everything that goes in the subconscious.  


Saṃskāras are imprints left on the subconscious mind by experience. However, they are also activators, constantly propelling consciousness into action. In this regard they are described as subliminal activators. The idea here is that through practice of achieving insights a new saṃskāra has been created that is more powerful than others and that it is of the nature to draw us inward in deep meditation rather than outward into external activities.  


In other words, we’re replacing something which is causing us to think about the external world, a memory, with a new memory that’s causing us to want meditate.  So we’re changing the nature, we’re changing the form of the subconscious mind by creating something to replace the externalizing saṃskāras, the memories that make us think of the world.


Back to the lesson, Lesson 177.


“Resolving Past Experiences


“Suppose when you were young you stole some money from your mother’s purse. ‘She promised me this once and broke her promise, you rationalize’. ‘Besides, I really need it,’ you add. Then, because you are not particularly pleased with yourself, you pack this experience away in a corner of the subconscious where you will not need to think about it. You suppress it. But the next day, your mother casually mentions the subject of money to you, and you react or emotionally re-enact the experience. You feel guilty. Not wanting to think about it, you suppress it again, deeper in the subconscious. Suppose then later in life your mother has become seriously ill, and in a reflective mood you realize that you have not been close to her for many years. Mixed in with a rush of buried memories you come across the incident of the stolen money.


“For the first time you appreciate and realize the sense of guilt that had lingered, influencing your life since that time in a hundred subtle ways. In the light of understanding, the experience suddenly becomes clear to you, and you objectively and unemotionally see yourself as you were at that time. You feel relieved and strangely lifted, not because you were able to analyze why you stole the money, but because in totally facing and accepting your self in that circumstance you realize that you have expanded beyond it into a new realm.”


So, Gurudeva gives us the general principle to purify the subconscious by resolving it in understanding.  In this instance of stealing some money understanding is synonymous with facing and accepting that you did this.  Really very simple. You’ve been pretending you didn’t do it or you were justified in doing it but in looking at it and accepting that you did it and understanding the state of mind you were in, you clear it.  


Back to the text:


“Intuition travels through a purified subconscious. Before we can utilize the superconscious or intuitive realms of the mind, we must be able to resolve those past experiences which may still vibrate in our subconscious.”


My comment is:


Many teachers of meditation start out at the level of striving to experience your intuition, your subsuperconsciousness. Gurudeva’s teaching is that before that is possible we need to purify the subconscious as it is a purified subconscious that is the subsuperconsciousness. So that’s something that lots of teachers skip. You don’t go there and, “Okay, now for the next two years we’re going to work on purifying our subconscious.”  Not that popular a topic. But that’s the way Gurudeva structured his teachings and that’s why the Vasana Daha Tantra is so important.  He expects us all to go through that and accept what we did and understand it to purify the subconscious before we try and go into deeper meditation. It’s not that meditation is not valuable at any point but to get into the deeper states, actually experience subsuperconsciousness, subconscious has to be reasonably pure.


“Realize, however, that you need not seek out mental repressions. Simply face each one honestly as it naturally arises in life. Imagine that you are trying to arrive at an important business or family decision. All the facts you need to know have been outlined, yet you find yourself frustrated in not being able to arrive at a clear decision. The more you concentrate upon the problem, the more obscure does the answer seem. What your conscious mind isn’t aware of is that the personality problems you are having with your superior at the office, or with your spouse at home, are clouding the issue. Soon after, while relaxing on a family outing, thinking about nothing in particular, a great feeling of compassion, forgiveness and understanding wells up within you, and all at once that ‘bright idea’ needed to solve the problem comes to you unbidden.”


Then Lesson 178:


” A Channel for Intuition


“Why does intuition come at this time? Your mind being at rest and no longer disturbed, intuition can flow through it unhampered. (So, at rest, undisturbed.) Then, too, the elements of a problem have a way of piecing themselves together in the subconscious when it is allowed to relax. Your best answers often come after you have removed the searchlight of your conscious mind’s focus for a time. This is the superconscious working through the subconscious, making it subsuperconscious…”


So, that’s one of the characteristics of subsuperconsciousness, is, is like a chip that’s old in a computer.  It’s not that fast.  You have the newest computer, it’s really fast. That’s like the superconscious, but this is like an older chip; it takes a few days to sort the thing out.  But it’s working on it so you just want to give it time, put all the pieces of the problem into the subconscious and a subsuperconscious answer can come out if you give it time.   


“…You have now unfolded the key to living an intuitive and productive life. People who live positive lives have clear goals well impressed in the subconscious mind. They often draw upon their subsuperconscious mind, though they may call it by another name—perception, insight, intuition, instinct or sixth sense.”


So my comment:


The subconscious mind has been programmed in a haphazard way by the varied experiences of our life, some positive and some negative. Here Gurudeva is mentioning a way in which we can positively program the subconscious mind which is impressing clear goals in it.  So that’s just one way. Have clear goals in life that we’re striving for.  We need to update them, that’s the idea of this time of year starting in April is to update our plan and always have clear goals.  That helps the subconscious remain positive.


Back to the text:


“The subconscious mind may appear to be a very complex state of mind, as anything is when we do not understand it. Through daily sâdhana you will learn how to clear the subconscious of its unnatural states of confusion and how to keep it clear, transparent. Through sâdhana you will understand the relationship of the subconscious to the instinctive mind.


“The subconscious mind performs many, many functions for us. In fact, it would be impossible to do without it. But think of some of the uses of the subconscious—the skills which your memory bank acquires, such as typing, driving, playing musical instruments or speaking a language. As soon as any learning process becomes subconscious, the conscious mind is free to direct its attention to new areas of learning. Even all the processes of the physical body are governed by the subconscious mind. Can you imagine having to think through and control your heartbeat, or your digestion every time you enjoy a meal, or the intricacies of muscular coordination? It is only when we interfere with the natural processes of the subconscious—which are very intelligent if left alone—that we become aware of our dependence upon this positive state of mind.


“Here is an exercise in using the subconscious constructively. Before going to sleep at night, decide what time you want to awaken yourself in the morning. Visualize the hands of a clock at that time and impress yourself with the feeling of waking up at the particular hour which you set for yourself. (So those are the three aspects of an affirmation.  We know the meaning, we try, meaning is the time, the visualization is the hands of the clock and then the feeling of waking up successfully is the third element.) Then, just before you go to sleep, forcefully impress your subconscious with the command to awaken yourself at whatever hour you have chosen. Confidently anticipate that your subconscious will do this. Don’t worry, don’t doubt, don’t question—just observe the way in which your subconscious works for you if you but let it.


“The subconscious mind is a storehouse, a reflection of all previous conscious mind experiences. The power of our decisions creates our reactions of tomorrow. When tomorrow’s reactions happen, they program the subconscious. We have to be careful that our programming is just right, so that the channels to superconsciousness begin to open through the subconscious.”


Thank you very much.


[End of transcript.]

File Type: mp3
Categories: Bodhinatha Talks
Author: Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami
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