Relation Of The Subconscious To The Conscious Mind
If we have a clear perception of what the sub-conscious mind really is, and especially if we have a comprehensive grasp of the relationship of the subconscious to the conscious we cannot fail to realize that it is a realm of marvelous possibilities. This relationship holds the center of the stage for modern psychologists, affording them the most absorbing theme in recent studies of the science of the mind.
" It was formerly taught that the mind was conscious of all that went on within itself, but the advanced thought of the age now recognizes that consciousness forms but a small part of the total of mental processes. Subconscious ideas, impressions, sensations, and thoughts play a most important part in the world of thought. It is now understood that in every conscious act there is much that belongs to the region of the subconscious. In every conscious act: there is a background of subconsciousness.
"Back of the field of consciousness lies the great region of subconsciousness. This subconscious region contains many mysteries which are engaging the attention of psychologists and other thinkers, the results of whose investigation and labors are exercising an important influence on the thought of the age. It has been estimated that less than ten per cent. of the mental operations of every-day life are performed on the conscious plane, the balance of the work being done in the great subconscious regions of the mind. That which we call conscious mentation is but the peaks of submerged mountains, the vast body of the mountains being hidden by the waters. We are as if in a forest in the darkest night, our lantern casting around us a little luminous circle, beyond which is a large ring of twilight, and still beyond this is absclute darkness. And in this twilight, and in this darkness, work is being done, the results of which, when necessary are pushed forward into the circle of light which we know as consciousness.
"Memory is primarily a function of our sub-conscious mentality. In the great subconscious region lies the great storehouse of Memory. From the moment we receive an impression, until the moment when it is again brought into the field of consciousness, the subconscious faculties are at work. We receive and store away an impression—where do we store it? Not in the conscious region, else it were always before us—down in the depths of the subconscious store-house is it stored, placed among other impressions, often so carelessly that we find it almost impossible to find it when again we need it. Where is it kept during the years that often intervene between the storing away of an impression and its subsequent revival 7 In this great storehouse of the subconscious. What process is employed when we wish to recall an impression? Simply an order going forth from the Will, bidding the workers in the subconscious ware-house to find and bring into the light the impression laid away so long ago."
THINGS THAT NOBODY KNOWS
There are many questions concerning the sub-conscious that nobody can answer, unless indeed, some over-confident psychologist assumes the spirit of authority which a certain darky ascribed to his father. " Yes, suh," he said, " my paw could allus answeh any question you ast him—yeah, he'd allus tell yoh—whether he knowed or not." Of course, many leading psychologists freely admit that there is much which is purely speculative in regard to the subconscious mind. Morton Prince says, " We do not yet know the possibilities and limitations of subconscious processes, and we have only an imperfect knowledge of what they can do."
Why do certain images suddenly flash into our minds, without any effort on our part to recall them, and with no apparent reason which might call them to mind? Why do certain things which we have not thought of for years, or things which we thought we had utterly forgotten unexpectedly spring into consciousness, as clear and bright as if we had held them in mind only yesterday? How can we account for the feeling which many of us have experienced upon entering a strange building or house for the first time, that we have been there before and are familiar with it? why does the conviction persist, upon meeting some stranger, that we have lmown him before, although the facts reveal that we have never before laid eyes on him? Questions that nobody can answer. Some say " illusions of memory," others say " reincarnation," but nobody knows.