Monday, June 10, 2024

Contact With Our Hidden Mental Life


At any given moment we’re conscious of a tiny portion of our immense, multi-layered mental life.   It’s worth reminding ourselves of that.  There is more going on in us than we suspect. More forms of consciousness and creativity than we might imagine.  I’ll take that as a bit of good news from nature.


Each of us, I believe, harbors a portion of creative genius within us. But how do we  contact this hidden power?  Easier said than done. If only we could go to the supermarket and pick up a supply of creative energy when in need. But no.  It’s a tricky matter to get into a relationship with your subconscious genius.


And yet people have devised ways to make the connection. Religion and even some scientists talk about tapping into our higher potentials. During our waking day, consciousness is absorbed in whatever our experience is at the moment.  The world in and around us is fills our consciousness to the brim.  That’s normal.  But it’s not the way into the deep creative mind.


Now imagine the following.   You are born with some part of your brain damaged, reducing your cognitive capacity to “idiocy.”   The range of your conscious awareness and behavior is drastically reduced.  Doctors recommend lobotomy or being retired to an institution.  Born in 1951, your parents reject all those solutions, and keep you in their loving care. 


Your name is Kim Peek, and it turns out that you are the model for the movie, Rain Man. a person with “savant syndrome.”  Kim has been called the “Mt. Everest of memory” by researcher Darold Treffert.  He has memorized–perfectly—over 12,000 books!  His memory may well be the most colossal in human history.


Kim is one of a rare company of people with damage to their brains who have amazing mental abilities—in memory, art, music, and other skills.  There are cases of acquired savant syndrome, for example, being struck by lightening, followed by amazing musical ability.  


So we are looking at a strange paradox.  One way to access our hidden genius is to be in some way deprived of brain function.  It appears as if consciousness, deprived of its normal outlets, may connect to more deeply hidden regions of the brain and psychic life.  


I can think of another example that illustrates this paradox, the near-death experience.  Again, it seems strange, but for the majority of people who have an NDE, the experience is amazing and transformative.  And again, the paradox: in the near death experience, your consciousness, ripped from normal perception, gets funneled into a whole new multiplex-dimension of reality.


So the trick seems to be to somehow shift consciousness away from everyday reality, and allow it to relocate in other parts of our mental universe. Now, the yogis, shamans, saints and mystics of the world have worked out various methods of doing this. This is a big topic, for sure, but we can mention a few possibilities. 


For example, shamans and psychic explorers everywhere have learned to use certain plants to plumb the mysteries of consciousness, marijuana and magic mushrooms, being popular examples in the U.S. today.    


Yoga and all the meditative practices are designed to take control of consciousness, so as not to dissipate the energy of psychic life; they are used to encourage the harmonics of higher consciousness.  The purpose of meditation is to limit the possible distractions you have to contend with in everyday life.


There is another way we can open to our full creative potential.   If we hope to break through to our creative core, we need to speak to it, as if to another person. We need to imagine ourselves talking with the benevolent genius within us.  But there has to be an ongoing dialogue. You do it in a way that works, according to your own plan.


Of course, there are many people who do this and call it prayer—conversation with the transcendent.  All the ways of opening up consciousness are welcome.


Finally, consider the Buddhist symbol of the Void as summing up the argument.  The paradox again, the Void is the way to break through to an enlightened consciousness.  In short, consciousness attached to nothing is open and therefore receptive to the creative powers—poised to flood and transform us. 


I forgot to mention another  traditional method of tuning into the unknown genius within—Solitude.














No comments:

Older Blog Entries