We might ask ourselves: “Who am I?”
The answer? It depends.
We are of two minds. One of those minds has an identity, an ego, that thinks, feels and knows who it is. The other mind is the subconscious, a far vaster mind that has access to all knowledge and has the potential to become anyone and anything. The subconscious mind has no ego or fixed identity. The subconscious simply becomes what is suggested to it.
When the ego thinks, the subconscious takes the suggestion of that thought and creates it in the physical body. The subconscious does not discriminate fact from fiction. If the ego imagines a frightful possibility, the subconscious treats it as real and armors the body to tense and prepare for clear and present danger.
The subconscious is the older of the two minds. It stores the evolutionary history of the body for its duration in physical life, as well as the historical journey of the soul that inhabits that body. Consequently, the subconscious lacks a specific identity, as its roots stretch way deeper than its current incarnation.
Without locking into any personality the subconscious reacts automatically and instinctively, in a way that has best served the survival of the species. Thus, it reacts to situations based on the suggestions of survival programs that automatically present themselves via association with a current challenge.
However, the subconscious is highly influenced by suggestions from many sources. The ego, or actual personality, exerts a powerful influence through its thoughts, beliefs and imagination. The ego thinks and reflects, which the subconscious does not do, and the subconscious manifests these dramas. Many a psychosomatic symptom or illness is directly the creative manifestation of a suggestion to the subconscious through conscious rumination.
The subconscious is also highly impacted by the free flow of thoughts in the universe, or by the points of view we expose ourselves to in news shows and social media. Political campaigns are judged by the size of one’s financial war chest, which is ultimately spent on suggestions to the subconscious mind’s of voters as to what they should believe and vote for.
Additionally, the subconscious is influenced by our divided selves. Beside our conscious identity are many parts of ourselves that live below the threshold of consciousness, in the region of the psyche that Jung called the shadow. These sub-personalities have minds of their own that constantly offer the subconscious suggestions that immediately register in the body.
I utilize a simple neurofeedback device that registers immediately a changed brainwave state should a background doubt whisper during a meditation session. The subtlety of sensitivity by the subconscious to become what is hinted at is extraordinary.
One does well to bring consciousness to these shadow ideas, that they reach levels of resolution to not unseat one’s conscious intent. This is the path of individuation where one enlarges one’s personality by truly reconciling the oppositions within the self.
Suggestions from such an integrated personality promote health, creativity and fulfillment where that which is within truly reflects that which is without. Such a mind finds duration beyond the relativity of time and space.