The amazing unconscious mind

There is something that lies behind your outward ego – a mysterious thing called the unconscious/subconscious mind, and it’s this part of us that provides the best rational clue to the underlying essence of what we are. First of all, it’s clear that we have an unconscious mind. There are many expressions of it in life, if we only look.

It’s possible to drive a car whilst daydreaming (although I don’t recommend it). One day, shortly after moving house, I accidentally drove home from work to my previous house; I was right at the driveway before I realised, “I don’t live here anymore!” What happened was my unconscious mind followed a pattern that had been imprinted by habit, while my conscious mind was busy thinking about something else. When I type on this keyboard, I don’t think about what my fingers are doing. Words flow out automatically, from my thoughts onto the screen. I’ve been typing for so many years that I don’t have to consciously concern myself with my fingers any more; my unconscious takes care of it for me. The unconscious is also what regulates our bodies; we don’t have to consciously think to take each next breath; we don’t have to consciously control our own heart-rate to keep the blood circulating. The unconscious also plays a huge role in emotions; phobias happen when the unconscious mind associates a negative feeling with a particular experience. It’s possible to be afraid of something in a completely irrational way, simply because of something that happened in the past. And the unconscious is responsible for a lot more than just these issues.

Here’s my favourite example of how amazing the unconscious is: When a person has a hemispherectomy (the complete removal one side of the brain), this paralyses one side of his body, because the side of the brain controlling that side of the body is gone. However, it’s possible to re-train the paralysed limbs to function again, simply by trying to move them. At first, nothing happens. But eventually, the limbs start to work on their own. The brain starts to rewire itself to reconnect with the paralysed limbs. It almost seems like magic, because you don’t have to consciously do anything except wish it to happen. But under the surface, the unconscious mind is listening to the conscious mind, and the unconscious mind is able to do what needs to be done. It’s like you have your very own qualified brain surgeon inside yourself! The unconscious mind seems to be immensely knowledgeable and powerful.

It almost feels like there’s another person inside you, a mysterious hidden servant who is vastly more intelligent than you. But I think it’s more true to say that the unconscious mind is the deeper you, while the conscious mind is an aspect of you that is existing in a state of amnesia from the full magnitude of who you are under the surface. But what is the purpose of this amnesia? Why don’t I know consciously how to rewire my brain, since there’s a part of me under the surface that does know how to do it? I have a speculative answer to that, which fits perfectly …

Imagine the only thing that exists is one single eternal consciousness that never had a beginning and will never have an end. “God” is the word that jumps into most people’s minds at this point. I hate using that word, because right off the bat your mind may start to attach all sorts of religious ideas to the concept: worship, original sin, judgement, redemption, etc. Ideas that are nothing to do with the concept itself, but are adds-ons that come later through holy writings and such. Leave all that stuff at the door for now and concentrate on the core idea. Instead of God, we might call this being The Source, The Whole, or Infinite Consciousness. The name doesn’t really matter. Right now, I’m using “God” for convenience. Imagine that God created the universe, then put himself into a human body to experience it. There are certain problems with this scenario. Imagine yourself standing at an ice-cream counter, trying to decide whether to buy vanilla or chocolate. Now imagine yourself as God doing the same thing. The trouble is, if you’re God, you already knew what choice you were going to make before you made it. In other words, there could be no experience of free will. “I knew I was going to choose chocolate, so I’ll just pick vanilla just to thwart my foreknowledge!” This cannot be because your foreknowledge would have let you know you were going to thwart your foreknowledge. Get it? In order for God to experience free will, he has to forget the totality of what he is. In other words he has to manufacture an amnesic barrier between his eternal all-knowing awareness and what he wishes to experience. I think this is the underlying truth of what is going on with human experience. And I think the edge between the conscious and unconscious mind is where we find the clues to this speculative scenario.

If we delve into the realm of the apparently paranormal in relation to the mind, the clues become even stronger. I’ve spent the past nine months experimenting with telekinesis, and my results suggest that there is a powerful unconscious “me” doing my bidding, a me that may not be entirely brain-based by virtue of its ability to affect objects at a distance. I’ve also made a start to telepathy, attempting to “mind read” drawings that have been placed in envelopes. It’s early days for this one, but the results I’m getting suggest more than accidental likenesses. How is telepathy possible if we are all individuals, completely distinct from each other? Upton Sinclair, in his excellent book Mental Radio (see my review), offers this hypothesis: “It seems to indicate a common substratum of mind, underlying our individual minds, and which we can learn to tap.” A strong pointer to the notion that beyond the physical realm, there is a single unified consciousness. Aldous Huxley, his his book The Doors of Perception (see my review) talks of his experience with the drug mescaline, and how it made him aware of what he termed “mind” and “mind at large.” He saw these two things as being joined by a conduit. Mescaline allowed him to widen the conduit for a period, temporarily squeezing more of “mind at large” into “mind” and providing a unique experience.

There is no you, me and everybody. We only think there is because we have forgotten our totality. There is only one. Your mind is the thing that makes you believe you are separate from everyone else, but the self-awareness inside you is the same self-awareness inside me. We just have different personalities possessing different memories, each one closed off from the other, experiencing its individual perceptions. Imagine two people dying at the same time, and suddenly they become aware that they have two sets of memories. After death, it will not be a case of two sets of personalities fighting for control of a single consciousness. Infinite Consciousness has no personality because it is everything that was, is, and ever will be.

Ultimately, I can’t connect enough dots with this material to prove my view to someone who lives exclusively by reductionist, evidence-based thinking. I believe we are all one consciousness through intuition, and I think there is more to intuition than imagination and wishful thinking. Assuming these egos of ours are limited expressions of a God-like Infinite Consciousness that knows everything, intuition may very well be a means of obtaining reliable information from that Infinite Consciousness via the unconscious mind. I’m doing a complete rational bypass here, which I understand is abhorrent to many people. But whatever you may think about the “one consciousness” viewpoint, it’s clear on purely rational grounds that our conscious minds are connected to something very powerful outside our awareness, and this lends value to intuition. I intuitively believed that there was only one consciousness long before I put all the rational building blocks together. I don’t consider these building blocks as proof, because they’re incomplete, but they provide the most coherent picture for me of what’s really going on with life.

Atheists will say, “Of course you’re just a brain in a body, because we can show it scientifically,” and there’s a sense in which that is true because mind is physical. Religion says, “Of course you’ve got an immortal soul, otherwise life is without purpose,” and that also is true. Yet these belief systems are opposed to each other. The truth is not found in one archetype or the other, but in rejecting hand-me-down belief systems and figuring it out for yourself.

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9 thoughts on “The amazing unconscious mind

  1. Skeptic says:

    Darryl,

    I find it very difficult to get on board with these ideas. Maybe you could comment on some questions?

    1) You say that the unconscious mind is the full you, connected to the Infinite Consciousness, but, really, our unconscious behaviors can be adequately explained by the fact that certain aspects of our brain are computer-like, i.e., the brain is able to autonomically drive bodily functions like breathing, heart beating, digestion, and so on. There is nothing really remarkable about this in the sense of how it works and what it actually is, and there doesn’t seem to be any connection to the paranormal beyond what wishful thinking would suggest. Do you have any further thoughts here?

    2) You claim that the conscious mind exists in a state of amnesia, disconnected from the unconscious mind/Infinite Consciousness, and that the reason for this is to allow the all-knowing Infinite Consciousness to experience its own creation without paradoxes such as the free will question. However, there are three things that occur to me. Firstly, if this Infinite Consciousness is all-knowing, then why does it need to experience its creation in the context of humanity? Should it already know what that experience is like because it is supposedly all-knowing? Secondly, your reasoning that infinite foreknowledge prevents the experience of free will is a common logical fallacy known as the Modal Fallacy. Thirdly, if the conscious mind is able to “wake up” to the fact that it is a manifestation of the Infinite Consciousness, then why does the “information barrier” between the conscious and the unconscious still exist? Shouldn’t it be eliminated by the very fact that the conscious mind has become aware of it?

    3) The most difficult thing for me in all of this is that believing in an Infinite Consciousness of which we are all a part is more depressing than atheism. You claim to have discovered some wonderful truth about reality, and it has changed your life for the better, but what you’ve really discovered is that life as we know it is an illusion, the people we know and love don’t really exist because they’re just another aspect of the Infinite Consciousness, and that life has no meaning anymore because you’re not really you either, you’re just the Infinite Consciousness trying to understand itself and experience its creation. What you’ve discovered, it seems to me, is a philosophical system which teaches that you don’t really exist, that the world is an illusion, and you have to deny fundamental aspects of who you are in order to ascend to some hidden, Gnostic secret knowledge. Life is futile because your experience means nothing because you are nothing and reality is an illusion. At least atheists believe in a
    real reality, and that people are real and true individuals. Even if they don’t believe in a Higher Power, a soul, an afterlife, at least their existence has true meaning because they aren’t trying to deny it for a philosophy of esoteric knowledge.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to attack you or anything (I realize I’m saying some things in #3 that may come across as an attack), but I genuinely see some big problems here, and I would like to hear more about your thinking in all of this! 🙂

  2. Darryl Sloan says:

    Hi, Skeptic.

    Phew! I’ve got my work cut out for me here. 🙂

    On 1:

    “our unconscious behaviors can be adequately explained by the fact that certain aspects of our brain are computer-like”

    True, but there’s more to it than just that. I would defer to an old post of mine concerning a hemispherectomy and the remarkable ability of the brain to physically rewire itself based on nothing more than conscious intention:

    https://darrylsloan.wordpress.com/2008/08/01/clues-about-what-we-are-from-a-girl-with-half-a-brain/

    I find it amazing that a brain’s link to the limbs can be severed, and yet consciousness can ask for the links to be recreated, without any knowledge of what nerves and brain tissue even looks like, and the unconscious simply goes “Yes sir” and makes it happen. Neuroplasticity, I think the process is called.

    “there doesn’t seem to be any connection to the paranormal beyond what wishful thinking would suggest.

    If you were inside my head, you would know how unfairly dismissive that sounds. The telekinesis experiments are clearly getting somewhere, and nine months of practice has shown me that it works by means of me talking to a deeper mind inside myself. This is very hard, if not impossible, for me to prove, but I assure you it’s no joke. I’m also working on something to do with telepathy, which is based on the same principle of communication with the unconscious. More on that at a later date.

    On 2:

    “If this Infinite Consciousness is all-knowing, then why does it need to experience its creation in the context of humanity? Should it already know what that experience is like because it is supposedly all-knowing?”

    Well, this is essentially the question of whether “all knowing” applies to everything that happens, or everything that is possible to happen. I would probably side with the former. But this is getting into seriously deep territory that’s extremely hard to fathom.

    You can ask me why the universe was formed, but realistically I’m stuck within the time construct trying to fathom the eternity that transcends it. I know I’m going to come up short on good answers here, just like the athiest who can’t fathom beyond the Big Bang.

    “If the conscious mind is able to “wake up” to the fact that it is a manifestation of the Infinite Consciousness, then why does the “information barrier” between the conscious and the unconscious still exist? Shouldn’t it be eliminated by the very fact that the conscious mind has become aware of it?”

    By “waking up,” I am merely recognising a truth (or what I personally view as a truth). The barrier is still present. The difference is that I can now live life in a more accurate awareness of the nature of reality, rather than in bewilderment about it. The amnesia is still there. The difference is only that I know about it.

    On 3:

    “the people we know and love don’t really exist because they’re just another aspect of the Infinite Consciousness, and that life has no meaning anymore because you’re not really you either,”

    We’re not putting the same interpretation on this at all. What you describe is thoroughly depressing, I agree, but you’re not describing my view.

    I understand it seems like I’m suggesting we just get swallowed up by this one consciousness. But the real leap is when you realise that you aren’t an aspect of Infinite Consciousness; you are Infinite Consciousness. All of it. That’s what I mean when I say there is only one consciousness. You are everything that exists. I am everything that exists. It’s hard to wrap your head around this. Death isn’t an experience of being swallowed up; it’s a massive expansion of consciousness as everything you weren’t permitted to know rushes into full awareness, and you become aware that you are much more than you thought you were when you were trapped in a human body for a time.

    The lives of other people are not meaningless. They are absolutely precious, because within every person is the same Infinite Consciousness, living with a delusion that it’s just “little me.” This massively changes how you treat people.

    It’s difficult to wrap your head around, and it took some time before this stuff to clicked with me. But for me, this became a view of life that is the most credible I’ve heard and makes the most sense in my head – even if it doesn’t in the heads of others. 🙂

    A study in near-death experiences might be fruitful. In what little I’ve read, people have reported experiencing a massive expansion of consciousness, and then when they are brought back to life, they find they can’t hold the experience properly in their heads because it was too profound for the brain to cope with. Intriguing stuff.

    “I genuinely see some big problems here, and I would like to hear more about your thinking in all of this!”

    You’ve got to bear in mind (and I freely admit this) that I’m reliant to a large extent on intuition for this. I make an attempt at rational dot-connecting, but the end result is still incomplete.

    What I’m presenting here should be thought of as an unproven model regarding consciousness and the nature of reality. It rings true for me intuitively, and it makes sense to me rationally. But ultimately it takes an intuitive leap. And that’s going to divide people’s reactions to this right down the middle.

    Many people are locked into archetypal views of “God” that are defined by an imposed religion, or they are locked into scientific reductionist thinking about the universe. To them, I probably sound like I’m out of my mind.

    Thanks for your questions.

  3. There was actually a show on one of the Discovery channels a few years ago, i can’t remember which one it was, with an episode about a woman with “no brain.” I can’t actually remember the details, and i’ve had a quick look for details online but come up with nothing, as yet.

    But basically, I think she was born without a brain. Yet she was fully capable of thinking, doing IQ tests, etc and came out around average.

    I don’t quite understand your need for telekinesis to point at single-consciousness. You say:

    How is telepathy possible if we are all individuals, completely distinct from each other?

    Surely the much easier explanation is that we can just read each others minds? It’s a bit like asking how we know what the weather outside is, without being out there to experience it. We just look. Reading another persons mind might just be another sense we possess, but don’t quite know how to utilise.

    I have to agree with Skeptic, in that i don’t see the need for an all-knowing being to experience not knowing. In fact, I don’t see why it would even be possible. The fact that the being is all knowing, prohibits it from being able to experience anything without knowing everything about it beforehand.

    This is why, in my opinion, a lesser being would be a much more likely explanation, if indeed this reality isn’t real. Either a mere mortal in a virtual memory bank/computer, an alien playing a total immersion video game, or something along those lines.

    I have a question though. If indeed we are a single consciousness, living out this world, to experience it, are we still complete elsewhere?

    For example, using the “God” example, is God still God? Or has God him/her/itself stopped being this all knowing, all experiencing, alpha and omega, in order to experience the world as we know it now?

    I guess what i’m asking is, has God turned himself off, in order to experience this world? Or has he merely separated a part of himself from the greater being, so that part of him might experience it? Leaving behind (in whatever realm God exists in) the greater being to carry on with Godly things?

  4. Darryl Sloan says:

    Hi, Paul.

    “Surely the much easier explanation is that we can just read each others minds? It’s a bit like asking how we know what the weather outside is, without being out there to experience it. We just look. Reading another persons mind might just be another sense we possess, but don’t quite know how to utilise.”

    I think we have to define telepathy as more than just another sense. If the likes of Mental Radio is to be believed, the ability appears to work without any regard for distance whatsoever, and points more to a quantum reality where distance doesn’t apply. In fact, the term “mental radio” is a bit of a misnomer, because it carries a sense of broadcast range.

    If one mind can reach another over a vast distance on earth, surely that points to an interlinkage of minds at a quantum level. Maybe not definitively “one consciousness,” but a clue that takes us more in that direction than in the direction of ordinary brain-based consciousness.

    “I have to agree with Skeptic, in that i don’t see the need for an all-knowing being to experience not knowing.”

    I agree, there’s no need. This is just a model of how things may be, one that makes the most sense to me personally. You’re coming at this from your usual proof-seeking angle, and that’s just not going to take you to the same headspace. 🙂

    “If indeed we are a single consciousness, living out this world, to experience it, are we still complete elsewhere?”

    I would say yes, we are complete elsewhere, because in our fullness we exist outside of time itself, in a kind of eternal no-time. Time is just a construct of consciousness. I have a post already written on the nature of time, which should shed more light (or more questions!) on this.

    But as the how consciousness can become fragmented and still be whole, well, I have trouble wrapping my head around that, too.

  5. But even distance doesn’t need another explanation to make it so. Reading the mind of someone sat next to me, and reading the mind of someone sat 3,000 miles away shouldn’t really be any different. Apart from the fact it might be a little more difficult and take a little longer.

    I used to have a real interest in remote viewing. I even tried it a few times, but never really got anywhere. But I do believe there’s something in it. Shamans and the like, from ancient civilisations certainly believed in it and used it quite a bit, if the ancient maps are to be believed.

    But I don’t think any of that needs a single, or even linked, consciousness to make it believable. As I’ve said before, I don’t believe that the strange, wacky and weird things in the world need to point at another reality, or anything as complicated as single consciousness.

    Do you believe this God is one thing? Or are there other Gods?

    For example if this reality that we know, here and now, isn’t real, and it’s all just part of one imagination, from the single consciousness, are there other conscious beings out there, doing the same thing? So for lack of a better description, is there a big computer room somewhere, full of Gods, all experiencing their created worlds? Or is this single consciousness that we are from, the one and only?

  6. Darryl Sloan says:

    “But even distance doesn’t need another explanation to make it so. Reading the mind of someone sat next to me, and reading the mind of someone sat 3,000 miles away shouldn’t really be any different. Apart from the fact it might be a little more difficult and take a little longer.”

    That’s like saying if I just shout loud enough, the people one hundred miles away will hear me. You’re claiming that as ordinary, tiny, brain-based entities, we may possess the ability to emit a broadcast signal that physically travels 3,000 miles, without any help from a manufactured telecommunications infrastructure.

    If we discovered and harnessed such a thing, there would be no more need for mobile masts and satellites. Look at the hassle we have to go through to achieve global communication, and you’re trying to make it sound plausible that one little human brain could physically do the same thing as easy as clicking your fingers.

    Is it not much more likely that telepathy is not travelling over distance at all, but (if true) is evidence of a deeper reality of connected consciousness where distance does not apply? Especially if it can be shown that distance has no effect on the speed or quality of the message.

    “Do you believe this God is one thing? Or are there other Gods?”

    To answer that, you need to understand what time is – how there is no time, and that time is an illusory construct that facilities separation. Without time there is no separation. (I have an essay on this theme written, so I’ll expand on this when I post it shortly.)

    But the short answer is: In eternity there is, and can only be, one consciousness.

    I feel very inadequate trying to explain this stuff. My short answers don’t do justice to the weighty concepts we’re discussing. And it took a lot of time for these philosophical ideas to really click with me, especially the nature of time. More later.

  7. But it could be possible that remote viewers and mind readers are just able to travel via the power of their mind. For example Shamans would go into a trance then travel around the terrain, without their physical body ever moving. Remote viewers do the same thing.

    Someone who can read minds, from a distance, might be doing something similar, only being able to actually read minds while there.

  8. Darryl Sloan says:

    Certainly, an out of body experience doesn’t point to any kind of inter-linked consciousness, but I am speaking more of a direct, instant mind-to-mind sharing of information without any form of astral travel.

  9. catrinonline says:

    The unconscious is a strange thing. I see it as who we are, there before we are born and that which interacts with the environment and objects and a whole grid of other consciousness. I think learning and habits are one part of this, but also the creative part that reacts to a situation in an individual way. I find it very difficult to react in this way as something in me has been repressed/depressed/not grown properly. Is this the imperative only human unconscious mind that has been repressed?(..the more juicy connected part (meanwhile I can easily do mechanical things out of habit..a lower order of unconscious perhaps).

    This connected part does seem to push through though and is essential for life to function successfully. It orientates it in our life and without it we are lost. I don’t think it is ever lost to us, always a few clues. Even in madness and chaos it pushes through to show a way forward most of the time. Of course it is not a catch-all and humans are very good at obscuring and thinking they are in control. There is no meaning except in knowing we are all human and loveable, if we can find our way back to the grid of our part of the unconscious, where something else takes over and we can say ‘yes’

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