At an unconscious level, the idea of an unconscious is a useful
way it accounts for aspects of the mind of which we are not
directly conscious or aware. In other words the unconscious
mind is a storage facility that retains and recalls memories
sent there by the conscious mind for use at a time when the
unconscious perceives action is needed. When this happens
the conscious mind often accepts the suggestion and automatically
sets it in motion. However, when this simplistic interpretation
is examined at a deeper level the topic becomes more complex.
Probably the most detailed and precise theory out of the various
ideas of 'unconscious mind' - and the one, which most people
will immediately think of upon hearing the term - is that
developed by Sigmund Freud and his followers, which lies at
the heart of psychoanalysis. Freud's concept was that the
unconscious directs the thoughts and feelings of everyone.
According to Freud the unconscious mind is the primitive instinctual
hangover we all suffer from and which we must overcome in
a healthy way in order to become fully and normally developed,
i.e. not neurotic or psychotic.
Freud aside, throughout history many different ideas about
the unconscious have been advanced. At the present stage,
there are still fundamental disagreements within psychology
about what the nature of the 'unconscious mind' might be,
whereas outside formal psychology a whole world of psychological
speculation has grown up in which the 'unconscious mind' is
held to have any number of properties and abilities - from
the innocent and child-like to the all-perceiving, mystical
According to psychotherapists the unconscious is not directly
accessible to ordinary introspection, but it is capable of
being 'tapped' and 'interpreted' by special methods and techniques,
such as random association, dream analysis and verbal Freudian
slips. It is assumed that thoughts, feelings and urges that
are repressed are all present in the unconscious mind.
Psychics believe there are three levels of consciousness that
play a role in psychic experiences. The conscious, the unconscious
and the subconscious, also known as the universal mind. These
three levels either work with or against each other, and each
person must learn to balance the message from all three levels
of awareness. The conscious mind is in charge of reasoning,
analysing and making decisions and its focus is on being objective.
This isn't always easy as the conscious mind is always receiving
input from the unconscious mind, which impairs its ability
to remain objective.
Some psychics also believe that the unconscious mind possesses
a kind of 'hidden energy' or 'potential' that can realise
dreams and thoughts with minimal conscious effort or action
from the individual., some also believe that is has the power
to influence and shape a persons destiny.
C.G. Jung 'Memories, Dreams and Refelections p 419
: "Theoretically, no limits can be set to the field of
consciousness, since it is capable of indefinite extension.
Empirically, however, it always finds its limit when it comes
up against the unknown. This consists of everything
we do not know, which, therefore, is not related to the ego
as the centre of the field of consciousness. The uknown falls
into two groups of objects : those which are outside and can
be experienced by the senses, and those which are inside and
are expereinced imeediately. The first group comprises the
unknown in the outer world; the second the unknown in the
inner world. We call this latter territory the unconscious."
( Aion, Coll. Works, Vol. 9, part 2, p. 3.)
of which I know, but of which I am not at the moment thinking;
everything of which I was once conscious but have now fogotten;
everything perceived by my senses, but not noted by my conscious
mind; everything which, involuntarily and without paying attention
to it, I feel, think, remember, want, and do; all the future
things that are taking shape in me and will sometime come
to consciousness : all this is the content of the unconscious."
(The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche, Coll. Works,
Vol. 8, p. 185.)
these we must include all more or less international repressions
of painful thoughts and feelings. I call the sum of all these
contents the personal unconscious. But, over and above
that, we also find in the unconscious qualities that are not
individually aquired but are inherited, e.g. instincts as
impulses to cary out actions from necessity, without conscious
motivation. In this 'deeper' stratum we also find the . .
. archetypes . . . The instincts and archetypes together form
the collective unconscious. I call it 'collective'
because, unlike the personal uncosncious, it is not made up
of individual and more or less unique contents but of those
which are universal and of regular occurence." ( Ibid,
pp. 133 ff.)
first group comprises contents which are integral componenets
of the individual personality and therefore could just as
well be cosncious; the sescsond group forms, as it were, an
omnipresent, unchanging, and everwhere identical quality
or substrata of the psyche per se.! ( Aion, Coll.
Works, Vol. 9, part 2, p. 7.)
deeper 'Layers' of the psyche lose their individual uniqueness
as they retreat farther and farther into darkness. : Lower
down,"that is to say as they approach the autonomous
functional systems, they become increasingly collective until
they are universalised and extinguished in the body's materiality,
i.e., in chemical substances. The body's carbon si simply
carbon. Hence 'at bottom' the psyche is simply 'world'.'"
( The Archetypes and the collective Unconscious, Coll.
Works, Vol. 9, p.173.)
Universal energy or vital force that is thought to transcend
time and space, permeate all things and upon which all things
depend for health and life.
Since ancient times the existence of a life force has been
universally acknowledged and different cultures and belief
systems give it different names, many of which are listed
below. Whatever it is called, however, the characteristics
of the life force remain the same. In some systems it can
be controlled and manipulated for improved health, healing
In Hindu yoga, Prana is a life force associated with breathing
that is absorbed into and used by the human body to maintain
health and wellbeing. The control of prana plays an important
part in Hindu magic and healing, as well as yoga.
Prana is the energy that the soul uses. It may be regarded
as the soul of force and energy in all forms. It is the principle
that causes activity and accompanies life.
While prana permeates all things it is believed to be more
concentrated at the top of mountains and near running water.
It occurs naturally in the atmosphere and is believed to be
absorbed into the body by a series of subtle energy centres
known as chakras.