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Unconscious

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

Excerpts about Unconscious

Essence Can Take Our Consciousness to the Normally Inaccessible Places of the Unconscious

Here we find one of the greatest uses of essence. Essence can penetrate to these deep, dark corners of the personality. Essence can go all the way because it is the deep. And because essence is intrinsically characterized by awareness, it can take our consciousness to these deep and normally
inaccessible places of the unconscious and expose them to observation and understanding. This will in turn expose more holes, so that new and deeper aspects of essence are retrieved. We see here a reciprocal process, in which understanding the personality brings out the essence, and then the essence brings out deeper layers of the personality and so on. This process continues, and awareness expands, until all of the personality is understood, all the way to the experience of its own death and nonexistence. In addition, all aspects of essence will be recognized and developed in the process. This naturally sets the ground for the spontaneous arising of the perception of enlightenment.

Inquiring Into Elements of Your Mind Allows You to Discover Unconscious Beliefs About Reality

The way to actualize the truth is to love it, which then becomes a process of learning and education. You discover then what you take yourself to be and why. You take yourself to be who you think you are because of the truth that you have forgotten. Your emotions, feelings, beliefs, patterns, and conflicts determine your experience and perception. You need to delve deeply into them and investigate them in order to discover what objectively exists. You can’t see the truth objectively as long as your mind is influenced by these things that have become part of the unconscious of your personality. Your fear, anger, hurt, hatred, vulnerability, and doubt all need to surface. Inquiring into these elements of your mind allows you to discover your unconscious beliefs about reality, enlightenment, God, yourself. What you believe is supposed to happen and what your dreams and hopes are need to emerge into the light of awareness and understanding in order for you to examine their truth. This is not easy to do. No one experience that you are going to have will get rid of all of these beliefs. No single experience of enlightenment will dissolve your unconscious. You will have to deal with and come to terms with the specific forms and content of your mind.

Making the Unconscious Conscious

This simple dictum, to make the unconscious conscious, is the most fundamental, basic, and necessary aspect of the Diamond Approach and of all other genuine methods of the Work. The individual begins with consciousness and ends with consciousness—consciousness is simply
expanded further and further. We must point out here that by consciousness we mean awareness, because the word consciousness is sometimes used to denote other concepts. Some authors, in fact, use the word consciousness to refer to essence. Therefore, as in all systems of inner development, to apply the Diamond Approach, the individual cultivates awareness. The main method is to erase unconsciousness through psychodynamic techniques. However, even to start this process, the person must learn how to pay attention, how to be aware of inner and outer happenings. Awareness is needed to collect observations that can then be used for the psychodynamic understanding. Without awareness, the person will not know what thoughts go through his mind, what emotions fill his heart, or what sensations there are in his body. So there will be no impression, no material for understanding, if there is not enough awareness.

Recognizing the Unconscious in Inquiry

So the questioning in inquiry needs to be intelligent, needs to embody the openness of true nature that can use whatever we know. You know, for instance, that you have an unconscious. You do not have to discover it every time you inquire. So if you have an experience and you are seeing something about it, the fact that you know you have an unconscious makes you suspect that there may be more to what you see. If you say, “Let’s not use the knowledge of the mind at all,” and then begin to look at what is present in experience, you might have to go through a long process before recognizing that there is a psychodynamic cause for what is arising in your experience. But the fact that you know there is an unconscious, and that psychodynamics exist, opens the inquiry in a whole new way. At the same time, we need to be free from the mind, because the moment we see something, we think we know it. This is the tendency of the normal mind. Inquiry also uses the mind in formulating questions, in analysis and synthesis, and in using its various capacities, such as memory and correlation. The aim of inquiry, however, is not to arrive at conclusions but to enjoy the exploration and the thrill of discovery. This discovery is the unfoldment of the soul, and expresses the soul’s love of truth and reality, which itself is the expression of Being’s love of revealing itself.

Space, by Erasing Self-Image, Brings Forth Unconscious Affects and Memories

We have shown so far how psychodynamic understanding of self-image leads to the experience of space, and how space, in turn, by modifying or erasing self-image, brings forth the unconscious affects and memories. However, this is not the main action or usefulness of space in this process. As we have seen, the main characteristics of space are openness and the absence of rigid boundaries. It is precisely these characteristics that make it most useful; for when space is present, it acts by challenging and exposing the unconscious self-boundaries of the individual. Since its nature is the absence of boundaries, it will naturally challenge any existing boundaries. This challenge usually manifests as anxiety, because the exposure of unconscious self-boundaries actually lifts certain repressions, and the possibility of lifting any repression arouses anxiety. This is because repression is a response to anxiety:

The Void, pg. 53

The Unconscious Remains Unconscious Out of Fear of the Superego

Originally, the anxiety was the fear of the coercive agencies in childhood, mostly represented by the parents. Whenever the parents disapprove of a certain action or feeling of the child—and this happens repeatedly—the child learns, out of fear of this disapproval and also out of love for the parents, to suppress and finally repress this particular action or feeling. However, the disapproval becomes internalized in time as part of the child's own superego. So eventually, whenever a situation provokes this particular action or emotional state, the child's own superego disapproves and, in fact, punishes the child with guilt, shame, and other painful affects. The fear becomes a fear of one's own superego. The child, out of this fear of the superego and the punishment, learns to defend himself the way he did with his parents. He represses the particular action or feeling. He cuts off his awareness from his own impulses, feelings, and actions. For this to be effective, the whole operation must become unconscious and automatic. The unconscious remains unconscious out of fear of the superego and to defend against its attacks. Thus, the superego becomes the inner coercive agency that guards the status quo of the personality.

Unconscious Elements of the Psyche are Not Impacted by Conscious Experience Directly

First, experience and recognition of true nature, regardless on what dimension of subtlety and completeness, do not automatically dissolve all ego structures. It is our observation that ego structures, and for that matter psychodynamic issues, are not affected directly by enlightenment experiences. This is due to the fact that these structures and issues have mostly unconscious underpinnings. Unconscious elements of the psyche are not impacted by conscious experience directly, except maybe in exposing them to consciousness in some occasions. These structures are impacted only by awareness of them and complete understanding of their content. The enlightenment experience may give the individual a greater detachment and presence that makes it easier for him or her to confront these structures and issues without becoming overwhelmed by them, and hence have a better opportunity to work through them. The greater presence that may result might make it easier for the individual to abide more in true nature, and this way have a greater detachment from the influence of the structures. But the structures will not self-destruct simply because the soul has seen the light. We understand that this view is counter to the claims of many individuals who profess enlightenment. The actions of many of these individuals should speak for themselves.

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