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The Conscious, Subconscious, and Superconscious Minds
August 27, 2015
Please Clarify ,
Ques. When we are fully calm after going through a good meditation then the source for our Creative consciousness is due to our Subconscious mind??As acc. to the Nature of mind, Subconscious gets manifested when the conscious mind is in abeyance.Is it True? or Creativity is an outcome of the Conscious mind itself??Acc. to my Knowledge ,Subconscious is the stuff of which only dreams are made.
I thought I would answer your questions by first clarifying what the levels of consciousness are and what they represent.
The levels of consciousness are: subconscious, conscious, and superconscious.
The conscious mind is what we operate with during our daily activities and waking hours. It represents only a small portion of our consciousness and awareness.
The subconscious mind, lies below the level of conscious awareness. Its physical seat in the body is the lower brain and the spine. It records everything we do: every activity we engage in, our thoughts about those activities, our likes and dislikes about what we encounter each day. Although nothing is forgotten by the subconscious mind, for the most part this part of our consciousness remains hidden from our everyday awareness. The subconscious has a tremendous influence on how we think and act when in the conscious state.
The superconscious mind encompasses a level of awareness that sees both material reality and also the energy and consciousness behind that reality.
If we have a really good meditation and feel “fully calm” as you have stated, then we are beginning to experience a level of superconsciousness. As we go deeper in meditation and experience a deepening peace, calmness, divine love, and even bliss, then we are experiencing deeper levels of the superconscious. The superconscious is where true creativity is found. Expressions of this kind of creativity are distinctive from those that come from the subconscious. The superconscious is where ideas for truly great works of art, music, prose, poetry, great scientific discoveries, and deep spiritual experiences are found.
Paramhansa Yogananda made an interesting statement. He said that, “Thoughts are universally, not individually, rooted.” This means that as we elevate our consciousness and access the superconscious, we are accessing the thoughts that live on that level of consciousness. These thoughts don’t belong to us, but are universally available to those who live more on that level of consciousness.
The opposite is also true. If we live mainly on the conscious or subconscious level, then we attract the kinds of thoughts that live on those levels of consciousness.
Generally speaking the conscious mind sees everything as separate from each other. A chair is only a chair, a person is simply the body they inhabit and nothing more. It has a very limited view of the world around it.
The superconscious mind sees that everything is, in reality, made of energy and consciousness and, therefore, it sees the underlying unity behind the outer forms.
The subconscious mind consists of “the unprocessed residue of thoughts, actions, and memories that are ever present, but more or less unnoticed. They greatly influence the conscious mind, which doesn’t often realize how ungoverned by free will its decisions really are.” (from Awaken to Superconsciousness, by Swami Kriyananda) In other words, the subconscious influences a lot of what we do each day, but those influences are from past actions and the habits we have created from them. This means that ideas that are drawn from the subconscious are not going to be new and creative. Looking in the subconscious can be like rummaging around the closet to see what we’ve stored away. This is why the usual dream state often has a confused and murky feel to it. There are also superconscious dreams, but they will have an uplifting and life-changing effect on us, and feel quite different from the usual dreams we may have.
I hope this will be a help to you and answer some of the questions you’ve asked. The book Awaken to Superconsciousness (available in India here), by Swami Kriyananda also provides much more about this important topic.
In divine friendship,
I am trying to control lustful thoughts, especially when I am alone and could lead to self-indulgence. I would like to know if there is an asana which can enable me to do this instantly. I have tried deep breathing (brastika) pranayama but the thoughts always come back and its really easy for me to look up stuff on the internet and defile myself. I want to stop for good — I want an asana which is easy and instantaneous. Thanking you
The best way to overcome undesired thoughts is to replace them with positive uplifting thoughts, repetition of mantras and japa (repeating the name of God).
Unfortunately, there is no asana that can do what you ask. It’s simply not that easy. What you need to do is to change your consciousness and redirect your energy inward and upward to the center of your higher Self at the point between your eyebrows.
A simple breathing technique can help you with the lustful thoughts: as you inhale, consciously lift energy from your lower torso up toward the brain. Infuse your mind with positive, uplifting thoughts.
Study uplifting spiritual teachings. Engage yourself in wholesome activities, and service to others. Find a temple that inspires you and spend time with people who are seeking spiritually. Stay away from lurid Internet sites.
Remember: self-transformation is a process that takes time and perseverance, but when you make a sincere effort, God will respond!
I hope these suggestions will help you make the change that you are seeking.
I Saw God in a Dream
March 5, 2015
I had a dream which was so good that it felt real. I'll not forget that dream for my whole life. What I saw was God. Yes, I saw God. He was in a child’s form and he had an 'AUM' symbol on his forehead. He said something to me from inside of me. I believe he was trying to convey some message. What do you think?
God can and often does speak to us through our dreams, which is a great blessing when it happens. Sometimes the message is in the form of symbols. In your dreams the obvious symbols would be the child’s form and the AUM symbol on the child’s forehead.
The best way to understand the message of the dream is to pray deeply at the beginning of your next meditation. Prayer is talking to God and meditation is listening for the answer. So pray to understand what God wants to convey to you through this dream, then let your questions go, calming your mind and meditating deeply.
At the close of your meditation, wait patiently in quietness of mind to see if an answer slips gently into your mind. If it does not appear immediately (often it does) don’t be concerned. The answer may come later, when you least expect it.
However, if nothing is ever especially revealed to you about how to interpret your dream, then know that your dream was still a great blessing for you. Leave it at that, and just be grateful for that blessing.
It’s always best that we ask God/Gurus to help us interpret our dreams rather than relying on a book or another person to help interpret our dreams for us. This is because your dreams, particularly superconscious dreams, are given to you personally and generally have a unique meaning for you alone.
Techniques to ward off the darkness and overcome fear
January 6, 2015
Hello. I have a fears of darkness, all those dark energies, beings from lower astral plane, etc. How can i transform them into the presence of God? I also noticed the more closer i get to God the more these unreasonable fears appears. Give me some powerful prayers or any other techniques to feel God’s presence immeadiately when i need it most. How can i get free of these fears? Thank you very much.
In the presence of God (as joy, light or love) nothing and no one can harm you. Happiness is like a light from which all shadow must flee! Be joyful; help others; bless others. Chant God’s name aloud or silently; chant Aum! Here’s a powerful mantra to use whenever you feel the need: Aum, Hring Kleeng Krishnaya namaha. You can also chant the Trinity as "Aum, Tat, Sat" and as you do move your arms in opposite directions meeting (palms touching) in front of you and behind. Write Aum on your pillow at night before sleeping.
When feeling "attacked" place your thumbs in the shape of a cross and send light all around you as a protection as you chant.
Most of all, call upon God, Christ, or one of the masters whenever you are in need and make a strong effort to be positive and mentally chanting throughout the day. Spend time with others of stronger spiritual magnetism. Meditate daily: with eyes open if necessary and never in complete darkness.
I pray that you be freed of these fears. The nearer you are to the presence of God, the more protected you feel. God can come to you as peace, as joy, as light and as love. Manifest these qualities in your own consciousness and you will immediately be closer to God.
Blessings always and in the Light,
Guilt Is a Waste of Time
December 22, 2014
How do I repent for my sins? I have committed same mistakes again and again consciously. I have broken the Brahmacharya vrat in in depression many times. How do I come out of this guilt complex?
Paramhansa Yogananda said, "Life is a battle all along the way. May I win the battle on the very spot in which I stand."
It sounds like you are aware of your mistakes and you want to overcome them. Here is a question that you might want to look at:
Are you working with yourself as you are, or are you trying to become someone that you are not, forcing yourself to act in ways that are not suited to your nature?
Guilt is a waste of time. It keeps you stuck, constantly blaming yourself without doing anything to improve the situation. You need to use your will power to resist the guilt urge, and when it comes up anyway, to affirm the opposite.
Here are a few suggestions that might help you:
- Daily meditation practice, by yourself and with a support group. If you don’t have one, please check Ananda’s meditation section.
- Choose battles that you can win. Start with a small battle that you have a chance winning, and gradually take on bigger battles. Remember: You can’t fight all the battles at once. Maybe at this time in your life, Brahmacharya is not right for you. Maybe being in a relationship will actually help you grow and expand your consciousness.
- Choose to be in a positive supportive environment that will help you overcome negative tendencies.
- Use your will power consciously and direct your energy in positive directions. Our will power is one of the greatest tools that God gave us to become successful and to overcome negative habits. You need to use it wisely.
Best wishes to you,
I’ve read that various Hindu Gods (i.e. Ganesha) are actually given 'life' and an astral reality due to the tremendous energy generated by the masses' devotion to that form. Could this also be true of other unexplainable phenomena, i.e. the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot, where people’s intense interest actually 'create' an astral reality, such that those forms can 'cross over' sporadically onto the physical plane so they are witnessed by folks?
I remember Swami Kriyananda being asked this same question, about the "reality" of the Hindu gods and goddesses. He gave essentially the same answer you have mentioned. That is, the great devotion generated by masses of worshipers can cause the entity to take a "real" form, from time to time.
As for other unexplained phenomena such as the Loch Ness monster or Bigfoot, what you are mentioning about their having an astral reality seems quite possible to me, though I don’t remember and cannot find any specific reference to these two (or anything similar) in the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda or Swami Kriyananda.
There are many, many things in our world, which could come under the heading of "unexplained phenomena." There are probably a lot more "crossover" situations between the material world and the astral world than most people can even begin to imagine.
Where is the mind located?
December 15, 2014
According to Paramhamsa Yogananda, the intellect is in the forehead, the seat of the ego at the medulla oblongata, and the mind at the top of the head. However, the Sahasrara chakra is also said to be located at the top of the head. What is the difference between the location of the mind aspect and the Sahasrara chakra?
This is certainly an intriguing question you are asking!
Yes, you are right about Yogananda’s teaching about the locations in the body of mind, intellect, ego, and feeling as being the top of the head, the spiritual eye, the medulla oblongata, and the heart, respectively.
And these are the location of specific chakras also. This means that each chakra has a general location in the energy or astral body, which corresponds to a general physical location also. The chakras also have energetic powers/functions, used to keep the physical body, brain, emotions, and so on, functioning.
For example, it’s easy to see how the 4th or heart chakra in the center of the chest (not the physical heart organ) is the general location where our emotional/feeling life has its central "headquarters."
Your main question, as I understand it, is: "What is the difference between the location of the mind aspect and the Sahasrara (Crown) chakra?"
The "mind" in yogic terminology is the simple ability/function of the brain to be able to think.
Why Yogananda would say that the mind is more at the top of the head than all over the brain/skull area probably has to do with the ways that different parts of the physical brain function. For example, the pre-frontal lobes of the brain (positive aspect of the 6th chakra/forehead), where the spiritual eye is located is very sophisticated and also is the most spiritual part of the brain (again, according to yogic teachings). It is here that we concentrate and meditate deeply.
The intellect, as Yogananda describes it, can do more than just think. It can carefully perceive subtle and not-so-subtle differences in what the mind is simply thinking about.
Yogananda’s example: The mind thinks, "I am seeing a thing." The intellect discerns more carefully and says, "O, that thing is a horse!" The ego further identifies it by saying, "Oh, that’s my horse." Finally, the feeling nature of the heart chakra steps in and says: "Oh, how I love my horse! How sad I would be if I lost my horse!"
So, what is the difference between location of the mind and the 7th Chakra? One is the general location of the mind in the astral, not physical, body (7th chakra/top of the head/Sahasrara) and the other is the function of the mind/brain (simple thinking processes).
Again, one is a general location in the astral body, the other is the primary way that chakra’s energy functions in the physical world.
To avoid negative thoughts, emphasize the light
December 11, 2014
Hello, i want to know how can i deal with intrusive thoughts. This is not an ordinary thoughts, i think this is my karma. One woman said to me that i wasnt very good in the past and now i am having these thoughts as a result of my past lifes. Most often they are demonic, it seems like someone else sends them to me, and exactly what i scare most. Also these thoughts condemns others, but i dont want to condem them. Please, give me any ideas how can i deal with them. Thank you!
Thank you for asking this important question. One of the best ways I know to deal with intrusive thoughts, especially those that are negative, is to strongly emphasize the light — in your thoughts, in your life, in the music you listen to, in the friends you associate with. As you live your life more consciously in an environment of light, you will find these negative thoughts losing power.
One of the things you don’t want to do is to “entertain” these thoughts. By this I mean don’t give them energy by thinking about them — why they are there, where they come from, what you did in the past to attract such thoughts, etc. Thinking about them tends to give them more energy.
An important thing to remember about thoughts is something that Paramhansa Yogananda said about them. He said that "thoughts are universally, not individually rooted.” What this means is that the level of consciousness you live on determines what kind of thoughts you will attract to yourself. By raising your level of consciousness, and you will change the kinds of thoughts that come to you. This is why emphasizing the light in your life is so important.
Does past karma from previous lives have an influence on your thoughts? Yes, certainly it does. This is because karma is the result of repeated actions resulting in a vortex of energy and, therefore, consciousness. The way we begin to dissolve our karma is to withdraw energy from these past actions and to begin to act in other, more uplifting, ways.
With strongly negative thoughts, always keep in mind that they are not your thoughts and that you are not a bad person for having them. Thoughts truly do live on levels of consciousness. Change your level of consciousness, and you will change your thoughts.
A warning about negative thoughts: They can have a strong magnetism about them; one that wants to keep you involved with them — thinking about them, etc. Resist doing this as much as possible, and strongly put your thoughts and energy in a more uplifted direction. Swami Kriyananda writes about an experience he had with this when he was living at Mt. Washington in Los Angeles. He said he fell into a negative mood one day. To get out of it, he put his mind and concentration strongly at the point between the eyebrows. He said that after only five minutes he felt his consciousness shift, and the negative mood, as well as the thoughts associated with them, went away.
I hope these ideas will be helpful to you and that by using them you will find your consciousness uplifted more and more toward the divine light.
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