An excerpt from my upcoming book
HOW TO FIND YOUR LIFE’S DIVINE PURPOSE – Brain software for a new civilization
What is it then that tinges the messages we send out with things that we are not aware of? It is the subconscious mind. The vast majority of our mind is subconscious and for good reason. When learning a new skill we start from conscious incompetency. That means we know that we don’t possess a particular skill. When acquiring the skill we move first to conscious competency, that is in order to perform it we have to think and be present with what we do. Typical examples would be learning to ride a bicycle or car, fly a plane, speak a new language, etc. In the beginning you translate your first language into your second and you can hear yourself thinking in your first language while you translate. Once the skill is perfected we can do it without diverting conscious awareness towards it. We call it now subconscious competency, which is a much higher level of skill. You can now drive a car or speak a new language without having to think about it. It happens as if automatically. This is important for several reasons. Firstly it means you can do it much faster, which is particularly noticeable when speaking a new language. Conscious competency means you can speak it correctly but you need to speak slowly which will make you sound clunky. Subconscious competency means you can speak at or close to the speed of native speakers.
Another reason why subconscious competency is important is because it frees up the conscious mind to now deal with something else. Remember for example when you were working on something and upon being asked a question you say, “hang on a moment’. You do this because your conscious mind cannot deviate from the task without making a mistake. Compare that to being able to drive a car while talking to somebody and giving them your full attention. The driving is done by your subconscious mind.
You would be surprised to find out that most tasks we do all day long are performed by your subconscious mind with it needing little or no conscious attention. This frees up your conscious mind for other things. You could for example compute formulae related to Black-Hole-formation or inquire into the nature of reality while sleep walking through most of your daily life.
During childhood the predominantly active part of mind is the subconscious. We are basically in a hypnotic state that allows us to absorb everything quickly without filtering it through the conscious mind. This means that as children we can learn languages and many other skills much easier but it also means that we can get effortlessly manipulated.
The subconscious mind cannot say no. This is both its grandeur and downfall. Because it cannot say no, which the conscious mind can, it can quickly soak up whatever there is to learn. During childhood we are learning by being immersed into our social and familial setting, without critical analysis. But with that immersing and subconscious accepting also comes the unchecked acceptance of psychological malware, that is we are downloading the hang-ups and emotional toxicity of those around us, our parents, siblings, relatives and peers.
Children cannot protect themselves against physical, verbal and sexual abuse from their primary carers because the subconscious mind can only say yes. The reason we find it hard to learn languages later on is because they are now processed through the conscious mind, which is usually critical. It does not just absorb. The subconscious mind simply absorbs everything directed at it and this means that a child can absorb up to four separate languages spoken to it simultaneously. When the behaviour of caregivers and peers is damaging however, the subconscious mind is helpless. It can only absorb the negativity, it cannot reject it. Because of that we end up with an enormous amount of negative, subconscious content that we pick up from primary carers, etc. To express it in simply terms, if our parents experienced self-loathing and self-hatred and a lack of self-esteem we will automatically pick this up together with the valuable skills simply by being exposed to them.
Around the time of entering puberty the conscious mind switches on and we suddenly become self-conscious. Due to that we are initially going through an awkward phase because being self-conscious has not yet crystallized into a permanent sense-of-self. A grown-up has developed a permanent sense-of-self, which makes life much easier compared to a teenager. We have been long enough in situations where coming from a permanent sense-of-self was required.’
Having a permanent sense-of-self, however, does not mean that this sense-of-self is healthy. In fact unless our parents, peers, siblings, etc were superhuman we can be sure to have acquired at least some destructive and dysfunctional aspects to our identity. As adults our partners or other people close to us may alert us to such aspects of our psyche. Other destructive aspects are so internal that only we ourselves may notice them due to self-reflection. An example here would be self-sabotage. We may have a certain skill, which we have successfully performed when being alone but when having to perform it in front of an audience we may lose all confidence. This may be due to the fact that deep down we do not really believe in ourselves or that we do not believe that we are deserving of success.
In a situation when we are under pressure, such as an audition, the subconscious mind may revert us to an infantile state prior to us learning the particular skill at hand by simply remembering not being good enough. Situations like these will repeat themselves over and over until the content of the subconscious mind is changed. This can take very long, decades even. It can also lead to the fact that somebody who is by all means very good at something, underperforms for most of their life without ever changing the behavioural pattern of self-sabotage. What can we do in this situation?
In this situation we need to re-condition the subconscious mind. How is this to be done? Firstly we need to become aware of what kind of programming is at the core of our failure. In many cases this is lack of self-love, self-acceptance and self-esteem. This often even leads to downright self-loathing and self-hatred. I would go as far as saying that most people have experienced moments of self-loathing and self-hatred whether they are conscious of it or not and whether they allow themselves to remember it or not. In all of these cases we need to revert the feeling and contemplate the opposite, as Patanjali says in Yoga Sutra II.33.
Practically this means that if we recognize self-loathing or its result, self-sabotage, we would instead contemplate a resolution along the lines of, “I totally love and accept myself”. It is of course not enough to consciously think this thought while at the same time subconsciously feeling the opposite. You will recognize this by the fact that the thought will remain a mere dry thought with no feeling, colour and sensation attached to it or in extreme cases you will even feel repulsed to think this new thought. In either of these cases you need to ask yourself, “How does it feel to totally love and accept oneself? How does such a person feel and experience themselves? What does it actually mean to love and accept oneself? How can I truly embody self-love and self-acceptance?”
Through such and similar inquiry you come eventually to understand that you need to let the thought of self-love and self-acceptance sink down deeply to the bottom of your being until you stand in self-love and self-acceptance, until you are self-love and self-acceptance, until you fully embody it.
In order to do this you need to close your eyes, sit still and sit in self-love. Use all exhalations to let negative judgements about yourself leave and with each inhalation let love penetrate every cell of your being. Sit in that state until you have completely experienced it. This does not usually happen in a single sitting and there may be serious subconscious resistance to let that feeling take place. Don’t worry about this subconscious resistance. It usually is not even personal, not about you. Most subconscious resistance is ancestral, it is ingrained in you because in your ancestral lineage people were used to thinking in these terms about themselves. It is time to change this now.
It might be helpful if I fill in here a personal account. In my family history serious self-depreciation and self-loathing was handed down. Most things that I touched in my life went pear-shaped. I didn’t realize at first that this was due to me believing that I didn’t deserve any better. I simply didn’t know any better than that. I believed that the state in which I walked around, that is believing that I was worth nothing, was normal. Maybe it is normal but it’s certainly not natural. One day in my quest for mystical experiences I accidentally happened to catch a glimpse at myself through the eyes of the Divine. The Divine looked at me with complete love and knew me only as created by Herself in eternal perfection. The Divine looked at me as an embodiment of Divine Love.
It took me a while to understand the implications of that. I began to ask myself, if the Divine can look at me with pure love why can’t I? My way at looking at myself as handed down by my family and ancestors definitely had a strong religious component although neither of my parents confessed as to being religious. But the underlying attitude was that we are a sinful, rotten lot, stained by original sin, probably condemned to eternal damnation and not worth a second look.
It was only after I had a glimpse of looking at myself with pure love through the eyes of the Divine, that I understood the religious origin of my lack of self-esteem and self-love. I understood that my family and ancestors received their self-loathing and lack of self-belief from a misguided religious belief. It came from the belief that the Divine has an ego to judge from and the misunderstanding that the Divine could look at you with anything but pure love. The Divine is pure love and whatever it looks at, it cannot see anything but itself. The Divine can only see from an already established premise, i.e. divinity. Therefore everything that the Divine looks at it sees as divine and pure love.
I then asked myself if the Divine could look at me with pure love, why couldn’t I do so, too? This had far-reaching consequences. In the beginning I found the process very difficult. Whenever I proposed the above statement my subconscious mind reacted violently by throwing up all its disgust, judgement and vitriol that it had accumulated through the ages. Whenever it did that I simply stood in the experience of pure love and did not judge my mind. Of course there was an invitation to judge and to feel repulsed by what my subconscious mind displayed but this would have simply perpetuated the original pattern. I simply let the subconscious mind vomit up its anguish and without judging it I simply let its reaction pass. It is important to do so while remaining established in the new proposition, in this case that I am pure love.
After some time the reactions of the subconscious mind became less violent. This was due to two reasons. Firstly the subconscious mind didn’t get a reaction to throwing up its vitriol. If I had reacted with vitriol and self-loathing to what it was showing me I would have further emboldened the pattern, i.e. rewarded the subconscious mind for bringing up negative judgements about myself. But because there was no reward, no “my subconscious mind’s depravity knows no limits”, there was no incentive to continue beyond what was necessary.
Secondly, by continuing to be established in the feeling of self-love, new subconscious imprints of self-love were constantly sent into and embedded in the subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind will throw up its established beliefs about you (and in fact about anything) until newly entered imprints related to your new sense-of-self have reached a critical mass. At that point the subconscious will flip its message around and now throw up your new self-image, i.e. the one based on self-love.
How long will this take? That depends on a few factors. Firstly how long and with how much conviction you have played the previous game? For how long have you entered more imprints based on self-loathing and how intensely have you held them dear? Of course that is not something that we can truly know and that’s why it’s best to not really worry about how long it takes. Simply accept that you have been at this game for probably a very long time, many lifetimes even. For that reason we shouldn’t expect immediate results. You will not extinguish the pain, loathing and misery of the ages in a fortnight.
Secondly the subconscious mind’s acceptance of your new paradigm depends of how real and strong your new imprints are and how regularly you place them. Let’s deal with how regularly first. I suggest that you take time at least twice per day to experience your new way of seeing yourself. This does not have to take ages. Usually five minutes is enough. Five minutes sitting in deep self-love will be much more powerful than half an hour of superficial contemplation. Which brings me to the second factor of change, the authenticity and depth of your contemplation.
The most important factor determining change will be how real and how authentically you can experience self-love, self-acceptance and self-esteem. One way of doing that is to integrate as many sensory components as possible, such as “how does it look, how does it sound, how does it feel”, etc. Another aspect are the resolutions that you use. For example, if “I am an embodiment of Divine Love” gets your hair standing you may have to look for other ones, more appropriate for you. In my case, probably related to my partially heavy-handed Catholic upbringing, I needed divine permission to be able to think in this new way. It was only when I had seen myself through the eyes of the Divine that I could own this stance myself. And that is even considering that for parts of my life I would have called myself an atheist. Still today I consider myself a sceptic in that regard that I do not believe anything unless I have tested it over and over again. However, that is not how the subconscious mind works. The subconscious mind is an amalgamation of your past and often believes something totally contrary to what the conscious mind does.
The most important aspect determining success then is the depth of your contemplation, the authenticity of your feeling. Unless you can really feel that you love yourself the subconscious probably won’t change much. However, there is of course an evolution taking place and the new way of relating to yourself may not come suddenly but may have to be developed.
During your contemplation of self-love do not just go through the motions but ask yourself what you have to do, what you have to change in order to really feel it. Part of that is that you get the phrases right. The ones that I am suggesting are:
I am Divine love.
I am an embodiment of divine love.
I am pure love.
I love and accept myself.
I accept whatever thoughts and emotions come up.
Every breath I take the Divine is breathing love into every cell of my body.
I live life as divine love.
I let the Divine speak and act through me and communicate only from the divine love in my heart.
I give unconditional love to all and truly love all beings as children of the Divine.
My heart radiates divine love to all beings.
Take these ones to start with and then explore which ones work better. If you can come up with some of your own resolutions in your own language and terminology then do so.
We need to explore now what it means to love oneself and to experience self-love. Some people have asked whether this makes you selfish? Should it even be allowed to think something like that? Is it really healthy to have a high self-esteem? Does it not make you an egotist?
From my experience the exact opposite is the case. I have seen that people who act arrogantly, proudly, ego-inflated and self-grandiose, do so because deep inside they feel like small, scared children frightened because of their unimportance. The less a person believes in themselves deep inside, the louder they will be banging their drum and singing their song about their own greatness. A person that has a healthy self-esteem will not think about themselves a lot. In fact, the higher your self-esteem the less you will be fazed about humiliation. Reacting violently to humiliation actually shows that you yourself believe the narrative that is offered to you. You react intensely to humiliation only if you yourself believe that you are worth nothing. To a person firmly established in high self-esteem derogatory, depreciating and insulting comments will be like water on a duck’s back. You will simply note that they are not consistent with your sense-of-self and that’s where the story ends. You react violently and intensely only if the negative judgement sounds a cord, pushes a button, rings a bell.
Similarly the case with self-love. Selfishness exists because we don’t love ourselves. Self-love is a fire that warms your heart from the inside. If that warmth is not there, we seek gratification on the outside. A heart full of love will never say, “because I love myself I deserve to have this or that”. It will never say, “as a proof of my self-love today I will afford myself this or that, or I will treat, pamper, and spoil myself”. It will never say, “because I love myself I am better or deserve more than others”.
Spoiling, treating, pampering ourselves, affording ourselves that bit extra becomes necessary if no self-love is there. It becomes a replacement for self-love. If you truly love yourself nothing else is needed because you have everything already. True self-love needs no external stimulus and no external stimulus can make us truly feel loved. External stimulus is used to cover a lack of self-love. And that includes the need to be loved by others. We are hungry to be loved, accepted, appreciated by others to the extent that we do not love ourselves. Think about it for a moment, to what extent would you fall in love with somebody else who does not love themselves? Possibly to the extent to which you do not love yourself? Additionally, the extent to which a persons does not love themselves marks the degree to which they can be manipulated from the outside. If you truly love yourself, you do not seek the approval of others. If approval comes you welcome it, but if it doesn’t come you welcome that, too. You are not dependent on it.
Selfishness and greed then are caused by lack of self-love and low self-esteem. I hold back my gifts and have a controlling personality ultimately because I am afraid that I could end up with less or even nothing. This perception of shortage and lack of supply on the outside is due to an emptiness, a lacking on the inside. Consider for example the economy of many indigenous tribes. On the occasion of spiritual festivities each member is making gifts to many other members of the tribe. If at the end of the festival you end up with nothing because you have given everything away you have the highest status in the tribe because you are a giver. When the next festival comes around everybody will try to outdo you by showering you in gifts. Tribal people can do that because each of them has a personal relationship to spirit. Spirit has informed them of what their divine purpose is and it certainly is not hoarding and keeping essential goods locked away from being accessed by others. Traditional indigenous people feel an inner fullness and connectedness that is very different from the separation and estrangement that moderners feel. Modern people feel disconnected from the world around them. They believe in the discreet self that feels frightened and must protect itself by hoarding limited resources, lest we should run out. Imagine for a moment what the indigenous method of circulating goods would do to the economy of a tribe (measured in velocity of circulation) and also to the fabric of relationships. The indigenous system creates a close-knit community whereas the modern, western, industrial method creates loneliness and separation.
Resolutions suitable for reconditioning the subconscious mind
Theoretically you can project into your subconscious mind anything you like. However, progress in your spiritual evolution depends on the quality of the material that you project into your subconscious mind and not just what we can externally measure as success. Let’s look for example at the case of Adolf Hitler. Hitler had projected racial hatred into his subconscious. He was very serious about it and believed that he had an important role to play in cleansing the world and civilization, which without him would come to no good. During the mid-1930’s it didn’t take him long to sell over 30 Million copies of his book Mein Kampf. During his rallies he was often adored by over a Million people. At the eve of World War 2 you would have been forgiven to call him the most successful person of the decade. But his success quickly became unraveled as the toxicity of his agenda bore fruit.
What we need to learn from that is to not measure ourselves in terms of ambition, power and success, etc. There are lots of self-help books which are suggesting to visualize your future in terms of ambition, power, success, influence and wealth. In terms of the material suggested in this book we would ask, “Who do you want to succeed over? Whom do you want to obtain power over? Whenever there is comparison in our goals we must realize they are tainted by ego, fear and belief in lack. I want to have power over something or somebody because I want to pre-empt their attack, that is I want to conquer fear by giving myself more power. A recipe for conflict. I am ambitious because deep down I believe in my own insignificance and worthlessness. A recipe for disaster.
Another mistake self-help books often make is to suggest you visualize the type of wealth and goods you want for yourself. Some of these books even quote certain sayings of the Bible to further their point. But they do not understand Jesus’, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and everything else will be added on”. The “everything else” is your reward, your material wealth. It is what you receive. Jesus suggested to develop your giver-nature, to develop what you have to give, rather than worrying what you want to receive.
Think about it for a moment. Do you think a relationship in which you first define what you want to get rather than thinking what you have to give will work long-term? Relationships which work are the ones in which we joyously give out of a feeling of abundance and don’t worry about what we get in return. Again exactly the way indigenous tribes are organized.
You need a red light coming on whenever you think about your future and goals in terms of “having”. We are not to worry about “having” but expect supply simply by finding our way of “being”. That means that all of your affirmations that you project into your subconscious mind should relate to your way of being who you are. By concerning yourself only with what you give, you create a vacuum into which creation will then automatically pour all you need.
Wouldn’t it be hypocritical confessing to a philosophy that we are all sharing the same consciousness but then go and visualize a Million dollar or two in your bank account? The habit of visualizing riches is based on the very philosophy of separation, that is the belief that this world is a hostile or at least indifferent cosmos that has no interest in you. By trying to manifest wealth you are actually confessing to yourself that you are worthless. Why would you have to spend time visualizing wealth unless deep down you are worthless?
The teaching in this book says that you live, you are alive because you are a vital aspect of God and that the Divine has created you to express itself as and through you. All of the worlds inventions, all art, all science, all love, all beauty, have come out of the intellect of the Divine. Reward, and that includes material reward, will come automatically as a by-product to the extent to which you embody your divine purpose. All of this will be added on if we first seek the kingdom of God. How do we do that and where do we get this information from?
The next article will deal with the superconscious mind.