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Layers of consciousness and the concept of Time

What we call our ‘mind’ is in fact a structure consisting of many elements, the interaction and the level of integration of which contributes to the characteristics of our personality. Apart from the traditional division into the consciousness mind and subconscious mind, we can further divide subconsciousness into two main parts, associated with the Past and with the Future. ‘Past’ and ‘Future’ concepts are elusive, as things which had been and those which might be are never present at any given moment of time. Nevertheless, they occupy 2/3 or our mind and play such an important role, that some people spend all their lives never discovering the Present! They dwell on their past mistakes, disappointments or victories and they never realise what is happening around them NOW. On the other hand, there are people who are always ‘waiting for the perfect moment’, ‘biding their time’, expecting happiness to arrive at a certain stage – in the future, but never NOW.

The moment of NOW is the ever-escaping Present – the only time we deal with constantly and yet the hardest one to grasp and appreciate. The point of ‘Present’ is constantly changing, unlike Past and Future, which are always static. It requires a conscious effort to keep attention on a moving point, so many people’s focus slip inadvertently into the static forms of time. The conscious mind, analysing and making choices, is associated with the Present.

Our subconscious mind has an access to our memories not only from our present life, but also from the earlier ones. Most of the past-life information and experience is blocked from our conscious mind, although sometimes we may be able to reach for it in emergency or life-threatening situations. In reality the subconscious mind governs most decisions in our lives, as it home of our emotions and therefore decides how we feel about things.

Our conscious mind is a centre of logic and rationalisation. It also stores rules, norms and regulations accepted in the society we live in, in other words, it stores values which come ‘from the outside’, implanted there by life in a certain society. Unlike the values stored in the subconscious mind, these can be called ‘values for profit’, as the individual knows that by observing certain rules he is getting certain benefits. Some of those rules can be with time transferred into the subconscious mind and become ‘real’. One must be aware of the fact, that the society norms are merely tools and don’t represent one’s true self. They are different for different countries and at different times and as such they are not completely reliable (what is accepted in one society can be a taboo elsewhere; what was unthinkable some 50 years ago is a norm now etc.) One shouldn’t treat such guidelines as ultimate truths set in stone. Once you get understanding of what those rules are and why hey are there, you put yourself in control of how to react and which tools to choose to be a good member of the society. Always remember though, that it is only a filter you were given for the purpose of this life, this incarnation, so don’t let it stifle the ‘real you’, as the true self cannot be defined by external factors.

Most people have a natural desire to evolve, so the part which is telling the, who they want to be indicates their spiritual essence and what it is trying to achieve. It can sometimes be eclipsed by by the part related to the Past, which tries to keep things ‘the way they used to be’ and therefore distracts one from the path of his spiritual evolution, making the person to look back or even turn back to repeat the lessons which have already been learnt. If that happens, the present life of the individual gets ‘consumed’ and merged into the past one, so he or she effectively loses one incarnation, marching on the stop and not moving towards their destiny (which they may not realise themselves.)

Someone can argue “How come the future part belong to our subconscious mind, when the future is something we decide upon themselves and consciously move towards to?” Well, that is only true in case of ‘values for profit’, therefore is always a little hypocritical. It’s nothing else but elegantly disguised self-deceit. We THINK we want to become someone/achieve something/acquire something because the society is ‘watching’, because we have been told we need that. Quite often that goal is completely at odds with what our real desire is – that explains why so many ‘successful’ people are so unhappy. Subconsciously they realise that they have spent lots of effort and many years of their life to achieve something which doesn’t have any real value to them. They naturally try to supress that thougts, which creates an internal conflict and depression.

We can show a process of goal-setting as a kind of internal dialogue between all 3 parts of the mind. The Future part – our evolutionary part – starts the dialogue saying: “I want.” If that statement is supported by the other two parts, the person has no obstacles stopping him or her from heading to his/her real dream and true happiness. Such an idyllic situation is very rare, though. More often we have to deal with a pattern, when in reply to “I want” impulse, the Present part reacts: “No, because it’s not what others tell you.”, echoed by the Past part, saying: “No, because it’s not how it’s used to be.” If the Future part is strong enough it can reply with: “I don’t care what you say, I’ll do it anyway and I’ll prove that I’m right.” Such person feels a strength within himself to overcome his limitations and fears. He is eventually going to be rewarded with a deep feeling of purpose and fulfilment.

Sometimes the Future part is not strong enough to oppose and gives up – which often results in the person living to regret that decision. As living beings, we are all ‘programmed’ to evolve. Feelings like happiness or pain (depression) are there to help us to adhere to the right direction.

Ask any person, who has discovered his/her inner calling and started following it, when ther were happier 0 before discovering their real purpose or after? They will all say: “Of course after”. Happiness is an indication that we are heading in the right direction and are following our true destiny. Remember – if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

How to discover where your real future lies? Don’t ask others for an advice. You already have the answer inside yourself. Sometimes you may need help of a professional coach to discover that answer, but remember that it has been there right from the beginning. An ideal situation is, when your Future part dominates over the other two, using them as a foundation and support, but never treating them as superior.

The best solution would be to integrate both minds, so they work together for the benefit of the individual. The chart above represents and individual, who is confident setting his real goals, lives in harmony with himself, has a good understanding of all ‘must, mustn’t and have to’-s, but doesn’t let them to take control over his life. He also utilises his past experience treating it as a valuable adviser, but doesn’t let his past to eclipse his future.



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