WHAT ARE DREAMS (p.1)

Dreams are the messages from Unconscious, from our Soul and from our inner guidance system

In order to understand the nature of dreams we need to get familiar with the concept of the conscious and unconscious mind. The latter is also called “subconscious”, but in this case the prefix “sub” doesn’t imply the meaning of a lower, smaller or subordinate level. On the contrary, the subconscious is a much greater part of the mind than the conscious, as we are going to see it further explained in this chapter. Subconscious (or unconscious) has to do with the degree of awareness, not with size or rank of its content. “In psychology, the word subconscious is the part of consciousness that is not currently in focal awareness.” (Wikipedia)

The picture below demonstrates the typical content of conscious and (relatively small!) part of subconscious mind (on the light and dark background respectively).

Everything in our awareness, at the current moment is the content of the conscious, while the rest of the information is stored in the unconscious part of our mind. If we try to analyze how much mental and sensual material we are able to retain fully in our awareness at any particular moment of time, it becomes obvious that the conscious part of the psyche in a typical modern human being is so small that the majority of the data has to stay outside of the normal awareness. The information that we are “swimming in” includes the whole spectrum of emotional, mental and physical reactions, from very strong perceptions to very subtle feelings and impressions and is not limited by conscious thoughts and obvious physical sensations.

The unconscious mind also contains all our memories, including the ones that are unavailable for the normal process of recalling, but accessible in the altered state of consciousness, e.g hypnosis. Multigenerational genetic memory, animal instincts and collective archetypes are also part of our inner world, but most of this information usually stays outside of our awareness. What to say about the spiritual realm that is veiled from our normal conscious awareness – this is the biggest part of so-called “unconscious” that can’t be perceived by our physical senses, but it can be accessed through specific spiritual practices, including working with the dreams.

This is how Carl Jung described the difference in volume of conscious and subconscious part of the mind: “Such material has mostly become unconscious because — in a manner of speaking —there is no room for it in the conscious mind. Some of one’s thoughts lose their emotional energy and become subliminal (that is to say, they no longer receive so much of our conscious attention) because they have come to seem uninteresting or irrelevant, or because there is some reason why we wish to push them out of sight. It is, in fact, normal and necessary for us to “forget” in this fashion, in order to make room in our conscious minds for new impressions and ideas.”

Based on this idea it becomes easier to understand why we may face difficulties when trying to change something in our personality or to understand the reasons behind bad habits:  the information about the cause for these problems is residing beyond the limits of our conscious mind.

For instance, you may feel an unexplainable fear or attraction towards certain types of people or situations, while the root of this inclination is a childhood experience that had left a significant imprint on your psyche unconsciously, because the memory of the incident shifted away from the conscious mind. In order to bring such memory to the light of the conscious mind, you need to get into the state of altered consciousness. One way to do it is with the help of professional hypnotherapist, for example.

But actually there is no need to get external help for accessing information hidden in subconscious. Every human mind has inbuilt system for self healing: during the process of dreaming the connection between conscious and unconscious mind is being established for the purpose of sending information from subconscious in the form of dreams. The only requirement is to first learn the language of our dreams and then follow the insights provided by that quiet voice of knowing when the interpretation of your own dream “locks into place”, or resonates with your being.

© Rita Lev 2017