Where did this question come from? I received an e-mail today—one of many that I get because someone who promised not to sell my e-mail address sold it anyway—the title of which was “Subconscious Mind v. Conscious Mind.” The link took me to a short video clip that was actually about the Reticular Activating System, or RAS. The speaker proceeded to talk about how all you had to do was keep your goals constantly in mind and you would sensitize the RAS to ensure that, whatever those goals were, they would now start coming true because the RAS would watch for them for you and somehow or other filter them from the 10’s of millions of stimuli you receive each day/hour/minute in your subconscious mind.
The speaker’s comments reflected the widespread popular confusion about …mind, subconscious mind, unconscious mind, ego, collective consciousness, reactive mind, ancient mind, archetypes, and the various components of the brain. To add to the confusion, there are many other models of the mind, the brain, consciousness, and the relationship of all these to the manifest world—what we call the “real” world—for example, David Bohm’s implicate and explicate orders.
I’m writing about this today because of 1) the widespread confusion alluded to above, and 2) my implicit reference to these topics in my blog 11 — Commitment + Passion + Humility = ??? without having gone more fully into what you must actually do (and implied by W. H. Murray in his quote). In that post, we talked about what is required for Grace to act, which is really what is required for you to manifest what you want, or want to achieve, in your life. Here we want to talk about what you must do…
The confusion evidenced by the speaker in the video who talked about simply “programming” the RSA—and by so many others who talk about manifesting merely by repeating your goals over and over—is the underlying assumption that the mind can change the mind. What do we mean by this?
The simple model of the mind is that there are two major components: the conscious mind—which is comprised of all your thoughts, memories, and imaginings—and your unconscious (“subconscious mind” is a popular concept not accepted by the scientific community) mind—which is comprised of all those beliefs, attitudes, values, and decisions made by you (but forgotten) or “forced” on you by the collective consciousnesses in which you exist (your nation, your culture, your religion, your gender, your family and heritage, your affiliations, etc.). Of these two components of the mind, the larger determinant of what happens to you—what you attract to yourself—is the unconscious mind and all that it holds.
So, to truly “change your mind” you must change the unconscious mind. There seem to me to be at least five ways you can do this:
- You can reprogram it using hypnosis by a skilled hypnotherapist, for example, or some other technique which opens the unconscious mind to accept the commands to change that are given by the therapist. Creative visualization, to be effective, uses many of the same techniques that the skilled hypnotherapist uses.
- In-depth counseling or coaching work that takes you deeply into the unconscious mind and helps you see what decision you made or belief you adopted (these are the same!), at which time the decision loses its hold on you. Techniques such as Access Consciousness and Sedona Method help you come closer to these experiences by releasing charges associated with them, but (at least in my experience) don’t take you to the actual decision that is the root of the chain of causation. Both Relaxed Focused Attention and Scientology Auditing do release the root decision, thereby permanently releasing all other charges on that chain.
- A near-death experience or some other traumatic experience which affects you much more deeply than what the conscious mind experiences.
- Deep meditation or some other practice that is designed to drill deeply down into the subconscious to ferret out the decisions that are blocking you from achieving your goals.
- Awakening or enlightenment, which is a neurobiological change that “declutches” the mind—that is, it separates you from being controlled by the mind. Awakening or enlightenment is an act of the Divine, sometimes bestowed by a guru who has transferred his enlightened state to you, and sometimes visited upon you seemingly spontaneously and unexpectedly.
So, can you change your mind? Well… yes and no! It all depends—to paraphrase Bill Clinton—upon what you mean by “mind” and “change.” To truly achieve your goals and attract into your life what you desire, you must have full alignment between your actions, your conscious beliefs, and your unconscious beliefs—and this state is achieved only when you pay attention to all three, purposefully creating that alignment—particularly of the unconscious mind—using one of the modalities listed above, or some other modality that undertakes the deep work dealing with the unconscious mind requires.
In other words, you can’t change your mind just by repeating a phrase over and over again without doing the deeper work that is required for full alignment of all three.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on all this!