What do you first think of when you hear the term consciousness? If it’s physically awake, you’re not off. The concept of consciousness, while complicated, transcends, and interacts deeply with even two opposing matter of our human existence: religion and science.
A rare fundamental, it holds its flame in both for a reason. Each human is susceptible to the reigns of consciousness, given that no chemical, mental blocks are preventing such. Even so, these blockages can often be addressed through therapy and mindfulness.
So, what is it, exactly, the conscious mind? According to Sigmund Freud: it is everything inside of our awareness. It’s the part of our thinking that we can recognize and interact with.
Understanding Consciousness & Its Counterparts
The belief is that there are three distinctions: the preconscious, unconscious, and conscious mind.
The preconscious, otherwise known as the subconscious, is subject to being drawn into the conscious with applied effort.
Meaning, we have access to information stored in the subconscious, but it must be prompted to come forward by intentional consciousness.
It’s the space we are not immediately aware of but aren’t lost on. This is how we store information we are not processing moment to moment.
The unconscious mind is responsible for repressing things into an inaccessible place. Yet with all the force of influence over the mind as consciousness.
Meaning, the negative things we suppress to protect ourselves that end up affecting us anyway.
This information is not mediated by reason or ethical standing, and it is possible and likely to go an entire lifetime without knowing what is stored there. Though on some level, we may experience glimpses.
Consciousness, to reiterate, is everything that we can recognize and process. We can say to ourselves, “I think this,” or “I have thought that” or “I know.”
The information we can identify, reason with, and store in an accessible place real-time is consciousness.
Freud uses an iceberg analogy to explain the relativity between the three distinctions. They are also referred to as the id, ego, and superego.
The tip of the iceberg emerging from the water is the conscious, just below it is the preconscious, and within the depths of the water is the unconscious.
As for the part of our minds, that is a primary source for human behavior? It’s the unconscious mind. That’s correct, the part we are least aware of.
But There is Hope
Though science says that consciousness is limited, religion, self-healers, and people who believe wholeheartedly in spiritual growth are making efforts all over the globe to raise consciousness. Beliefs suggest that one’s ability to home in on their ability to access the depths of their mind is within their bandwidth.