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"I should like to try a little experiment. You have told us all that your conscious self knows.
I want now to question your subconscious self."

~ Agatha Christie, Poirot Investigates

Part 1. Subconscious 101: How It Works and How to Connect With It

Chapter 1. Your Hidden Well of Wisdom

“The subconscious puts man so inclined in touch with the whole universe—as he sees it.”

~Aldous Huxley, Crome Yellow

Research studies reveal people’s innate ability to use their subconscious to solve problems, which were ingeniously constructed so the only way people could solve them was by using their subconscious. 

The subjects in the experiments were presented with a problem-solving technique used by ancient cultures—finding the likenesses within a problem and then matching them up. So they relied on what had been proven to work in the past. That’s how the subconscious works. 


Chapter 2. Find Yourself by Losing Yourself

“I  believe the most important thing is that you should . . . above all [trust] you own feelings and your own intuition, and then act accordingly.”

~ Anton Zeilinger, professor of Experimental Physics at the University of Vienna

The subconscious refuses to be prompted. It relays its thoughts to us on its own time, independently of conscious will.

You’ll know an idea originated in the subconscious when it comes to you out of nowhere.


Chapter 3. Navigating in the Modern World

“Attention might lag, reason might fail, but the instincts were the first born, and . . . the last to die.”

~ Louis L’Amour, Heller with a Gun

When the small child becomes self-aware, the conscious mind assumes the lead and the subconscious takes a back seat, becoming the conscious mind’s helpmeet, ready to support it when it doesn’t know how to react or what to do.

The subconscious is wiser than our conscious minds in four ways: objectivity, unwavering moral values, great pool of knowledge, and perfect performance.


Chapter 4. Making Contact with the Subconscious

“By making conscious that which is unconscious, man can live in greater harmony with his own nature.”

~ C. G. Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul

Be on the lookout for intuitive insights during a particular time of day or day of the week, a particular weather pattern or season, and the physical space you occupy when you feel most relaxed, content, and receptive.

You can jumpstart making contact with your subconscious if you remove yourself from your day-to-day routine every so often.

It follows that the more you take in with your senses, the more information you’re giving your subconscious—and the more information the subconscious receives the more help it can give you.


Chapter 5. Mediums and Memories

“When we understand how our ‘inner input’ works and train ourselves to use it, control it, and communicate with it, then will the learning process become richer.”

~ Arthur Lessac, Ph.D., Body Wisdom: The Use and Training of the Human Body

Unfortunately, there’s no direct route between the conscious and the subconscious minds. Nor can you call up the subconscious on command. Nevertheless, there are many ways to gain entry into this intuitive mind of ours.

Here’s an unusual way to recapture a forgotten memory that works for a friend: Imagine it inside a bubble that is spinning very fast. Then picture the bubble slowing down, and as it is about to come to a stop, it will burst open and deposit the memory in front of you.


Chapter 6. Extraordinary Missives

“The mandate of the subconscious is to attract circumstances and situations that match the images you have within.”

~ John Kehoe, Mind, Power into the 21st Century

While a calm and open state of mind is critical in linking up with the subconscious, circumstances can also play a part. When an event or situation resonates with our subconscious, it sends a message crucial to the trajectory of our lives. Disasters can trigger creativity; passion can unleash the subconscious.


Chapter 7. The Power of the Subconscious to Change Lives

“I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.”

~ C. G. Jung, The Portable Jung

The subconscious is not always alone in helping us make major changes in the way we think and behave; it sometimes works hand in hand with a trait many of us have but seldom put to use—conscious determination.

A painter whose right arm was paralyzed in World War I invented physical  exercises to strengthen his arm, which helped him develop the motor skills needed to paint again. He found a way back to his true self by overcoming tremendous odds.

Those who take on a new self generally feel more allegiance to it than the self they left behind.


Chapter 8. Your Life’s Shepherd

“The wisdom of the instinctual nature…may be more profound than any learning or culture can provide.”

~ C. G. Jung, quoted in Calvin S. Hall and Vernon J. Nordby, A Primer of Jungian Psychology

When we’re in trouble, the subconscious goes through its memory bank looking for a solution based on a similar problem we’ve already experienced or that one or more of our ancestors have gone through. If it can’t find any back-up information to help us, it sends us a warning.

Keep in mind that when your emotions put your decision-making process in overdrive, you need to slow down so that your subconscious will have a chance to let you know of a more sensible action you should take.


Chapter 9. “Meaningful Coincidences”

“Synchronicity takes the coincidence of events in space and time as meaning something more than mere chance.” 

~ C. G. Jung, Introducing Jung

Jung coined the term “meaningful coincidence” to describe random events that have a cause and so are not really random, even though they appear to be. 

Many meaningful coincidences are played out the same way the subconscious solves problems—matching up likenesses.

These unusual occurrences could be a special language the subconscious uses to let us know we are following the advice it conveys to us. On the other hand, they could just be telling us that we are all part of something larger than ourselves which is beyond our ability to understand.


Chapter 10. In Limbo: A State of Dual Consciousness

“All psychic contents…have an effect upon our conscious activities. Since the content itself is not conscious, these effects are necessarily indirect.”

~ C. G. Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul

Not only is it possible to be in a conscious and subconscious state at the same time, a duality can exist between your mind and the mind of another person if the two of you are extremely close. This subliminal connection remains even if you live a great distance from each other.

When we feel a deep connection to people we were intimately bound to when they were living, they become part of us after they die.


Chapter 11. Your Internal Dream Catcher

“Dreams are a royal road to the subconscious.”

~ Sigmund Freud, Dream Psychology

Often our dreams reflect our greatest fears. No wonder nightmares are one of the universals of humankind. On the other hand, when we suffer hardships, dreams can fill in the gaps where pleasure is missing from our waking lives.

Our dreams show us a side of our subconscious that we don’t experience while we are awake. Yet underneath the craziness of dreams, there is almost always a helpful message.


Chapter 12. Seeing Through the Mask: What Are People Really Thinking?

“Most of us wear a kind of mask, a persona, that hides our deepest thoughts and feelings, and presents a polished, controlled face to the world.”

~ Rick Hanson, Ph.D., neuropsychologist,  Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time

Most of us, by the time we become adults, have a sense, even after only a quick glance at someone or an exchange of a few words, what makes them tick. We are able to make such rapid assessments on so little evidence because our subconscious picks up clues about what people are like from their foibles and idiosyncrasies.

What is the reason behind the decision of some people to perform life-threatening rescues? In a crisis there’s no time for conscious deliberation. This means the would-be rescuer doesn’t make a rational decision to risk his life; his decision is intuitive.


Part 2. What Prevents Contact with the Subconscious

Chapter 13. Extreme Emotions: Weathering the Storm

“Negative attributes are like psychic poison.”

~ C. G. Jung, Psyche & Symbol

Our subconscious knows when we are in danger long before we are aware of it. That’s because it can do what we can’t: pick up a sign of peril—whether it’s a threat to life or a personal problem coming our way—even when there is no outward indication of it. It’s important to recognize where a feeling of fear originates. Is it a warning signal from our subconscious, or does it spring from an overactive imagination?

Anxiety and worry are sustained by conscious thoughts, so if you empty your mind of all thought even for five to ten seconds, a few times a day, your distress will diminish.


Chapter 14. Interpreting Impulses

“Our impulses are too strong for our judgment [and our subconscious].”

~ Thomas Hardy, Tess of the d’Urbervilles

Most impulses are so strong they are acted upon instantly. Without the restraining influence of the subconscious, the results can be disastrous.

When you let your joie de vivre run amok, vigilance goes down the drain, and any warnings from your subconscious go unnoticed.


Part 3. How the Subconscious Can Change Your Life

 Chapter 15. The Chameleon: The Changing Roles of the Subconscious

“We have these unconscious behavioral guidance systems that are continually furnishing suggestions…about what to do next and the brain is…often acting on those, all before conscious awareness.”

~ John A. Bargh, professor of psychology at Yale and co-author of a Yale study on the subconscious

It isn’t always easy to tell whether an incident is triggered by the intuition, is coincidental, or has a concrete cause. The sign that points almost certainly to subconscious involvement is when it comes out of the blue.

Another indication of subconscious involvement is when you feel a surprising urgency to work on an onerous task that you had been putting off. Don’t ignore it, especially if it’s something you don’t want to do. The insistent pressure to go ahead with a problem that’s boring you is your subconscious saying that you’ll be sorry if you don’t follow through on it.

If you are ever feeling inadequate or discouraged, imagine yourself as someone who would thrive in whatever area you are struggling in. The saying “fake it until you make it” applies here.


Chapter 16. A Needle in a Haystack: Finding Your Soulmate

“The heart has its reasons whereof reason knows nothing.”

~ Blaise Pascal, 1623-1662, scientist and philosopher

Passion in the early stages of a romance can be so intense that it addles the brain and besotted lovers form impressions of each other that bear no relation to what either of them are really like. As a result, warnings from their subconscious go unheeded.

When a meaningful coincidence brings two people together, they know instantly they are right for each other without having to think about whether each has the qualities the other thought they wanted in a spouse.

One man’s reaction to the woman he eventually married was not wild infatuation—as a playboy he’d had many such passionate crazes—but calm assurance. Only after he recognized the singularity of his reaction did the feeling of being madly in love envelop him.


Chapter 17. Finding Your Muse

“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, your thoughts break their bounds. Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties, and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you dreamed yourself to be.”

~ Patanjali, Mahabhasya

In thinking about what line of work will best suit your unique interests and qualifications, ideas can flash into your mind that may seem totally unrelated to the kind of work you had been considering. These seemingly irrelevant inspirations often turn out to be markers on the path to your career destination. So as soon as an idea of a job pops into your head, write it down. Writing it down will engage your subconscious in a trial-and-error process that will lead you to where you want to go.

The first step in finding the kind of work that suits you is to break out of your familiar routine. By venturing beyond your old habits and lifestyle and getting involved in new ventures, you encourage your subconscious to help you find what you’re meant for. The subconscious can even put you in the right place at the right time.

Focusing on something that resonates with you can draw out a potential interest buried in the subconscious and be the reason you finally succeed in finding your life’s work.


Chapter 18. A Light in the Darkness

“Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh, quoting the Buddha, Living Buddha, Living Christ

The opportunity you need to bring meaning to your life can come from any direction and at any time, but it seldom happens because of a plan you’ve put into operation. It almost always strikes out of nowhere, and that’s a sign the subconscious was involved.

Sometimes it take a traumatic experience to discover your purpose in life.  This often occurs when people ignore admonitions from their subconscious. Once an impasse occurs, they’re more likely to listen and take heed.


Chapter 19. Using Your Subconscious to Help Your Write

“I always find it more difficult to say [and write] the things I mean than the things I don’t.”

~ Somerset Maugham, The Painted Veil

Your subconscious mind is an indispensable tool no matter what your write—novels, textbooks, book reviews, business correspondence, promotional letters, or papers for a course you’re taking.

When you’re ready to begin writing, put down anything and everything that comes to mind. When you read it over and are ready to make changes, your subconscious will come up with other ideas, and keep on presenting you with revisions until it comes up with a version that satisfies you.

Read over your work and revise it as many times as it takes. Don’t be easily satisfied. Give your subconscious permission to make you a tough editor. If you allow that to happen, your writing will be effective and produce the results you want.


Chapter 20. Creating a Masterpiece

“Talent isn’t genius and no amount of energy can make it so.”

~ Louisa May Alcott, Louisa May Alcott: A Personal Biography

An outsized ability is very often hidden where it takes root—within the fertile ground of the subconscious. Only when it reaches maturity does it break through to the conscious mind. But often a trigger is needed—an experience, something seen, read about, or received.

There are many geniuses who insist their conscious minds play no part at all  in their creations. After their conscious mind creates a first draft, the subconscious takes over and does the real work.


Part 4. Addressing Your Emotional Problems

Chapter 21. Building Self-Confidence in a Sea of Uncertainty

“Be faithful to that which exists within yourself.”

~ Andre Gide, The Journals of Andre Gide, Vol. 2

Qualities like optimism, self-confidence, and the ability to stay calm in a crisis are qualities that create a perfect mental environment for the subconscious to thrive in and connect with the conscious mind.

If people are too anxiety-ridden to be in touch with their subconscious, it is possible to practice a mental exercise that promotes a calming effect, which makes the subconscious more accessible.


Chapter 22. Putting the Reins on Your Subconscious: The Power Message

“Man throws light on his inner self through the use of words. They can also put a stop to behaviors that harm us.”

~ Brion Gysin, Unpublished Notes on Painting

If you are struggling  to deal with the memory of a painful experience, imagine that the anxiety-producing event happened to someone else. Shifting to false detachment—leaving your self-awareness behind—will diminish your psychological involvement in the experience and, by doing so, dispel your negative mood.  

Your subconscious can be taken in by just about any statement you make about yourself because it is naive. It has not experienced life firsthand like you, so it is not suspicious of people’s motives. As a result it believes you unconditionally when you say something about yourself like “I am young! I am gorgeous! I am brilliant!" — even if you don’t believe it yourself! Sometimes a mild feeling of depression or anxiety can be alleviated or even vanish altogether if you use a Power Message that states something positive about yourself.

The Power Message works because it doesn’t focus on the sufferer’s insecurities, fears, or negative feelings. Instead, it helps the afflicted stand apart form them by putting their subconscious “in its place.” 


Chapter 23. Body Balance

“A man tells his grandson: ‘There are two wolves fighting within me. One of them is angry and hateful; the other generous and compassionate.’ When the boy asks, ‘Which will win, Grandpa?’ The old man answers, ‘The one I feed.’ ”

~ Old Cherokee tale

Twelve exercises are designed to help you siphon off negative feelings and attitudes and open up the wisdom of the subconscious.

If you are troubled by a problem, do an exercise that Eskimo children are taught. Stare at or visualize a bird. As the bird flies away from you, visualize it taking the troubling situation away, pulling it from your consciousness. Replay this image until your thoughts are free of the problem. Then refocus on the problem. You will have a clearer idea of how to solve it.   


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