Building the bridge to our subconscious mind
“Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.” Earl Nightingale
I had found myself waking up to the rattling of a loose shelf on a train that had been rolling along the twelfth hour of it’s journeyed tracks to Chiang Mai from Bangkok. Tape marks outlined what would have been a good idea: to silence the incessant rattling of this particular luggage shelf, or to tape a piece of cardboard over the air vent to block out some of the frigid A/C that was carrying with it an ambiguously aromatic breakfast blend of fish and coffee.
None of these inconveniences really mattered though, because as I slid back the curtain at my feet to welcome a rising red sun over the sprawling hills of the Northern Thai countryside, my soon-to-be fiance and I embraced a moment of realization and of reverence: months ago, this had all just been a prospect, bullet points scattered on a paper. A trip unmaterialized, intangible and abstract as it was yearned for. Though here we were, just a season later, at last.
It’s of absolutely no surprise that we have the potential to make our dreams come true. It’s a tremendous phenomenon possessed by the mind to be able to formulate a plan, embark upon a journey towards it, and arrive at a destination of attainment or achievement. We don’t necessarily brush off this uncanny ability, but we also don’t fully squeeze all there is to squeeze out of this boundless fruit, this zephyr of inspiration and magnanimity.
Once a seed is planted in our minds, it sinks to the murky depths of our Subconscious. From there, it germinates in the fertile darkness of our thoughts and it expands it’s roots and grows more powerful, establishing a louder and louder influence that will eventually lead us towards whatever it is we’re looking for, or wherever it is we’re going. Assuming we nourish it properly, that is.
“Achievement comes out of fire in our subconscious mind that, I will win.” A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
As we pay more attention to our subconscious mind, we learn abundantly more about it. The wealth of knowledge is so unlimited that, even as we near 2020, we really don’t know that much about how the mind works — from the neurological processes to the to intricacies surrounding mental patterning or psychological illnesses and/or anomalies. The good thing, great thing in fact, is that we don’t need to be scientists working towards horizons of breakthrough — we can work on understanding the mind from a purely subjective frame of reference, for there is much to learn from ourselves; the best way to know how our minds work is to work with them.
Our subconscious mind is an immensely interesting entity. It drives us as much, if not more, as our conscious mind. In hypocritical honesty, it’s becoming more foolish to even compare the conscious and subconscious — they exist and function on completely disparate scales. Thus, it is not fair to say that the conscious mind is stronger than the unconscious mind or vice versa, or that one is more influential than the other. We simply don’t know (but we can begin to understand) the full extent to which these differences can materialize.
Once we access the subconscious mind, we enter a state of thinking that is analogous to being in the control room of some ocean-spanning ship or intergalactic voyager that is prepared to take you anywhere you want to go. We need only plug in the coordinates or chart a course — identify our intention or goal. The course is then maintained by our dark companion, our mode of deeper consciousness that can work for us as much as it can, disturbingly, work against us — but that’s a story for another time [Part II coming soon].
So let’s assume we want to achieve a personal ambition. We want to become stronger, lose weight, travel somewhere, become a professional athlete, go to space, be a better human, be happy. We plant a seed of intent, chart a course of aspiration. While the goal percolates, we go about our daily routines, but’s it’s ultimately on us to manage things from a directorial point of view. Effort is needed in ensuring that progress is being made and this effort must stem from the conscious mind.
“Use the power of your conscious and subconscious mind to create a vibrational match for the abundance you desire and deserve.” Jack Canfield
It is important that we nourish the seed we’ve planted; we must ensure all systems are contributing towards maintaining course. Say our goal is to become a highly successful investor and we have zero knowledge of the practice. We can open up a trading account, become familiar with the basics, delve deeper into the nuances, and then start putting our money where our intention is. We begin learning about the industries of the companies we’re betting on, exchanging information with others around us, tapping into streams of insight, making mistakes and learning from them. Though the stock market is in itself a gamble, it is a great example of how our subconscious mind can serve us because it is played on a field that allows us to drastically improve our odds through the accumulation of knowledge, experience, intuition and informed foresight. Our subconscious mind (along with our conscious mind, of course) is what accounts for this improvement of odds, and in a beautifully versatile way, the same can be done for anything. Learning to play a sport particular sport at a highly successful level entails a similar context of achievement through our immersion into subconscious intent — the more we practice, the more we try, the more we analyze our own game, the better we become. Efforts can also be rewarded on a more simplistic scale — say, buying our dream home or travelling somewhere we’ve always wanted to go.
It is done through the engagement of our subconscious mind [Part III coming sooner than later], through the provocation of awareness and with the forming of a bridge between surface consciousness and subconsciousness. The more engaged we are, the sturdier this bridge, the more our subconscious will drive our conscious towards the attainment of this goal. We’ll find ourselves dreaming about whatever it is we want to achieve, finding solutions seemingly out of the blue. Our subconscious will be vehemently driving us towards our intended outcome without us even being aware of it.
I’ve written previously about the unintentional aspect of subconscious intention — the way in which we may embark on an intentional goal in conscious and obvious manners but, the underlying, unintentional, subconscious and less obvious ways in which we move towards our goals can be just as paramount and considerable.
“You can make your dreams come true. Just decide, then trust your subconscious mind to guide you there.” Anonymous
This is because when we have an idea nestled in our subconscious — it is being cultivated by our deeper will and intent. It is what Dr. Amit Goswami, theoretical physicist, describes to be a dormant incubation period that allows our surface consciousness to juggle the distractions of daily, intricate, and busy life while background desires are maintained, organized and processed. It truly seems to be a tremendous and astonishing innate human ability, to have two minds working in tandem with each other in such a way.
Our dark companion does a lot more for us than we may truly give it credit for. The important takeaway is that, through engaging with our subconscious mind (the methods of which will be presented in a forthcoming post), we begin to build a bridge of understanding. This bridge ultimately helps us comprehend how our mind works, how to have control over our thoughts, how to better manage our expectations, use our minds productively, de-clutter, sift, analyze and prioritize, etc. In other words, a world of opportunity explodes into existence once we begin to make an effort to learn about our subconscious mind, a world that cannot effectively be summed up on one post.
Not long after I had first thought up the idea of going to Thailand, I found myself entranced by the construction of an itinerary. I was motivated, consciously and unconsciously. I began to dream about what it would be like to visit the other end of the world; what the moon looks like, what the people are like, what such a drastic culture shock would be like. My sense of wonder transmuted itself, subconsciously, into a relentless desire that in turn spilled over into further conscious motivation. Like a self-perpetuating cycle, my trip had materialized before I even bought the flight tickets.
The stay in Chiang Mai was one of reverence and self-reflection. There had been some sort of transcendent sense of veneration flowing throughout the various ancient ruins, throughout the temples and amongst the residents themselves. Before long, we were watching the red sun setting over the hills from our cabin window, heading back to Bangkok to experience more of the bustling metropolis, a stark contrast to the stillness of the North. Though it was a different train, things about the cabin rattled inevitably and, despite forgetting to pick up some tape while in town, we let these rattles serenade us to sleep.
The Dark Companion: Part I was originally published in The Ascent on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.