Unity Metaphysics: 10 The Three Phases of Mind
Unity Metaphysics 1
Lesson 10 The Three Phases of Mind
As we continue in our process of self-knowledge we affirm our basic understanding that there is but one Mind in the universe and that each of us has consciousness in that one Mind.
In this chapter we will examine our mind from three perspectives: conscious, subconscious, and superconscious. We will come to understand the purpose of these phases of our mind and how each is designed to interact with the others. We will learn how habits are formed and stored in our subconscious, and we will discuss the tools with which we can transform negative habits into positive and constructive patterns for living.
“Consciousness—The sense of awareness, of knowing... The sum total of all ideas accumulated in and affecting man's present being” (RW/Consciousness).
It is important to understand that when we use the term “consciousness” in Unity we are referring to more than just our conscious awareness; we are including all three phases of mind—conscious, subconscious, and superconscious.
10B THE ONE MIND:
“In Truth there is but one Mind; in it all things exist. Accurately speaking, man does not have three minds, nor does he have even one mind; but he expresses the one Mind in a multitude of ways” (Christian Healing 97).
“The greatest and most important discovery for any and every person is the realization that we are an ‘eachness’ within the allness of God or Divine Mind...” (Eric Butterworth You And Your Mind 41)
When we speak of the One Mind, we are referring to the divine source of all intelligence. Although we perceive that our minds function independently, in truth our minds are a point of consciousness in the One Mind of the universe.
10C 1) CONSCIOUS MIND:
“Conscious mind—The mind that makes one know of one’s mental operations and states of consciousness; that phase of mind in which one is actively aware of one's thoughts. The mind through which man establishes his identity” (RW/Conscious).
The conscious mind is that phase of our mind in which we function rationally and in which we are cognizant of our mental processes.
10D 2) SUBCONSCIOUS MIND:
“The subconscious mind is the vast, silent realm that lies back of the conscious mind and between it and the superconscious” (Keep a True Lent 87).
“The subconscious realm of mind is the realm that contains all past thoughts. First, we think consciously and this thought becomes subconscious, carrying on its work of building up or tearing down, according to its character. The subconscious mind cannot take the initiative, but depends on the conscious mind for direction. When one is quickened of Spirit, one’s true thoughts are set to work and the subconscious states of error are broken up and dissolved. In one’s daily silence and communion with God, thoughts from the subconscious come into the conscious realm of mind to be forgiven and redeemed.” (Atom-Smashing Power of Mind 76).
The subconscious mind is that phase of our mind which is the storehouse of our memories, our past thoughts and feelings. In this activity of mind no choice-making process occurs. The subconscious mind appropriates whatever we are holding in mind at any given time. Some of this information is true and some of it is not. It is important, then, that the contents of the subconscious mind be brought into the conscious activity of mind so that the error beliefs within it may be identified and transformed.
10E 3) SUPERCONSCIOUS MIND:
“The superconsciousness is the realm of divine ideas. Its character is impersonal. It therefore has no personal ambitions; knows no condemnation; but is always pure, innocent, loving, and obedient to the call of God” (Atom-Smashing Power of Mind 36).
"The superconscious mind, Christ consciousness, or spiritual consciousness is a state of consciousness that is based upon true ideas, upon an understanding and realization of spiritual truth" (Metaphysical Bible Dictionary/Consciousness).
The superconscious mind is that phase of mind in which we receive the perpetual inspiration of divine ideas from God. It is the I AM, the Christ mind within us. It is through the activity of this phase of mind that our whole consciousness is spiritualized.
10F SUBCONSCIOUS IMPRESSIONS:
“The subconscious may be called the sensitive plate of mind. Its true office is to receive impressions from the superconscious and to reproduce them upon the canvas of the conscious mind. Man, however, having lost the consciousness of the indwelling Father as an ever present reality, has reversed the process and impresses the subconscious from the conscious mind. In this way the former is made to register impressions of both good and evil, according to the thoughts held in conscious mind at the time the impression is made.” (Keep a True Lent 87).
Each of us has the ability to determine how we react to situations and conditions in our lives. It is important to keep in mind that repeated reactions to specific situations will eventually impress the subconscious and may be the cause of what might be referred to as habit patterns. Some of these patterns may be desirable and some may be undesirable. Through self-observation we have the opportunity to see these patterns at work in our lives. Through denial and affirmation we have the opportunity to transform them.
10G RACE CONSCIOUSNESS:
“The beliefs that you and your ancestors have held in mind have become thought currents so strong that their course in you can be changed only by your resolute decision to entertain them no longer. They will not be turned out unless the ego through whose domain they run decides positively to adopt means of casting them out of his consciousness, and at the same time erects gates that will prevent their inflow from external sources. This is done by denial and affirmation; the denial always comes first” (The Twelve Powers of Man 154).
Mr. Fillmore is referring only to the undesirable content of race consciousness which needs to be detected and transformed. Not all of race consciousness is negative or undesirable. There is also much good in it. Spiritual discrimination and good judgment enable us to discern the difference between true and false, positive and negative. Our illumined will then enables us to make positive and productive choices. Our conscious mind is able to say “no” to the unwanted elements in race consciousness and “yes” to that which is creative and useful. The concept of race consciousness in relation to the human condition must be considered seriously; however, it poses no permanent barrier to one who is functioning in awakened spiritual awareness.
10H THE TRANSFORMATION PROCESS:
“The superconscious mind lifts up, or regenerates, both the subconscious and the conscious, transforming them into the true image and likeness of God. The conscious mind must be faithful during this transformation. It must look ever to the superconscious for all direction and instruction. It can of itself do nothing with assurance, because the Spirit of wisdom rests in the superconscious” (Keep a True Lent 89)
“What you are about is the releasing of your divine potential, stirring up the gifts of God within you… Thus the prayer treatment is not to make the potential but to awaken and remember that true image that was yours before the world was” (Eric Butterworth You And Your Mind 46).
In order to demonstrate our spiritual nature on all levels of our consciousness, we must be intentional and disciplined in directing the work of our conscious phase of mind. We must use it to choose the inspirations of Truth from the superconscious so that our whole mind will be aligned with Divine Mind.
TruthUnity Note: Ed references Holy Spirit Regeneration by Debbie Tyson. Click on the link to go to that program.
10I DENIAL AND AFFIRMATION:
“In all actual transformation of mind and body a dissolving, breaking-up process necessarily takes place, because thought force and substance have been built into the errors that appear. In each individual these errors have the power that man has given to them by his thought concerning them. These thought structures must be broken up and eliminated from consciousness. The simplest, most direct, and most effective method is to withdraw from them the life and substance that have been going to feed them, and to let them shrivel away into their own nothingness. This withdrawal is best accomplished by denial of the power and reality of evil and affirmation of the allness of Spirit… The change that takes place is merely a transference of power from an error belief to faith in the Truth, through the recognition that God is good and is all that in reality exists” (Jesus Christ Heals 63).
“To deny oneself, then, is not to withhold comfort or happiness from the external man, much less to inflict torture upon him, but it is to deny the claims of error consciousness, to declare these claims to be untrue” (Emilie Cady Lessons in Truth 4)
“The affirmation is not to make a thing true, but to prepare in consciousness the way of releasing what is already an eternal reality in the super-consciousness” (Eric Butterworth You And Your Mind 87).
We have been given the power to disassociate ourselves, completely and permanently, from any false beliefs. If we discover that we have allowed destructive thoughts and feelings to remain in our consciousness, we have the ability to transform them with statements of denial and affirmation. It is important to point out that when we, in Unity, use the term “denial” we do not mean that we recommend suppressing or ignoring the challenges in our lives. In fact in order to successfully utilize the tools of denial and affirmation we must first admit or recognize our present state of affairs. Then if we choose to release a belief that we have discovered is not for our highest good we deny its power over us. Remember, correct use of denial does not repress error belief, rather it releases the energy we have invested in it. We are then able to affirm the Truth which we desire to demonstrate in our lives.
IN TRUTH THERE IS ONLY ONE MIND AND HUMANKIND EXPRESSES THIS MIND IN A MULTITUDE OF WAYS. WHEN WE SPEAK OF OUR CONSCIOUS MIND, WE ARE REFERRING TO THAT PHASE OF MIND IN WHICH WE ARE COGNIZANT OF OUR MENTAL PROCESSES.
OUR SUBCONSCIOUS PHASE OF MIND IS THE STOREHOUSE OR RECEPTACLE OF ALL MEMORIES AND EXPERIENCES.
OUR SUPERCONSCIOUS IS THE I AM OR CHRIST MIND WITHIN US.
RACE CONSCIOUSNESS REFERS TO THE COLLECTIVE CONSCIOUSNESS OF HUMANKIND AND CONTAINS A MIXTURE OF BOTH TRUTH AND ERROR BELIEFS ACCUMULATED THROUGHOUT THE HISTORY OF THE HUMAN RACE.
THROUGH OUR CONSCIOUS CHOICE, EACH OF US HAS THE ABILITY TO LOOK TO THE SUPERCONSCIOUS FOR GUIDANCE AND DIRECTION. ONLY IN THIS WAY CAN WE TRANSFORM THE UNDESIRABLE BELIEFS HELD IN THE SUBCONSCIOUS.
OUR “TOOLS” FOR CLEANSING THE SUBCONSCIOUS ARE DENIAL AND AFFIRMATION. DENIAL IS OUR ABILITY TO RELEASE THE ENERGY WE HAVE INVESTED IN NEGATIVE BELIEFS. AFFIRMATION IS THE CONSCIOUS RECOGNITION OF THE ETERNAL REALITY OF GOD WITHIN US.
TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION
- What is the relationship of our individual consciousness to race consciousness? How do we go about transforming the error beliefs held in race consciousness?
- Why is it important to follow a denial with an affirmation?
THOUGHTS FOR REFLECTION AND MEDITATION
“We must begin at once to rejoice in the light
that is come to redeem our subconsciousness
from the shadows of error and fear
and superstition and mistakes”
(Myrtle Fillmore Healing Letters 79).
Fillmore, Charles, Keep A True Lent , chapter 12, “Conscious Mind and the Subconscious Mind.”
Fillmore, Myrtle, Healing Letters, chapter 12, “The Subconscious.”
Cady, H. Emilie, Lessons in Truth, chapters 4 and 5, “Denials” and “Affirmations.”
Fillmore, Charles, Atom Smashing Power of Mind, chapter 4, "I AM or Superconsciousness
Transcribed by Rev. Evan Coleman on November 11, 2017.
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