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The Inner Consciousness

The Basements Of The Mind

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IN the lower planes of the Inner Consciousness are performed the various forms of mental activity which have to do with the building up, preservation, repairing, etc., of the physical body.

Every cell has its share of mind, and every combination of cells into cell-groups and organs of the body, has its group or organ mind also. That which we call “Instinct” or “Nature” in a person or animal is a manifestation of Mind on some of the lower planes of the Inner Consciousness.

And these lower planes are susceptible to suggestions or orders from other planes of mind, and will take on suggested ideas or conceptions, the result being that we are often made sick by ideas absorbed or suggested in this way; and we are likewise cured of physical ailments by similar methods, the suggested idea be placed on the proper plane by means of “auto-suggestion,” “imparted ideas,” and mental “treatments” of various kinds.

Mind pervades every part of the physical body, and is always capable of being impressed by orders or suggestions coming from the more dominant portions of the mind of the individual.

On some of the lower planes of the Inner Consciousness are to be found the seat and abode of the so-called “automatic” or “habit” actions of the mind.

The Habit mind is made up of various things which have been placed there by the individual, which things were once performed in the field of consciousness, but which gradually became almost automatic by reason of experience, repetition, etc., until the performance of them passes from the field of consciousness down to some of the lower planes of the Inner Consciousness, thus becoming “second nature” and being likely to be repeated with little or no attention being bestowed by the conscious mind.

You are familiar with this fact—all of you perform certain work almost automatically. You run the sewing machine, typewriter, or play the piano almost automatically, and may be thinking of other things at the same moment.

These tasks were originally performed only by an expenditure of much attention and effort on your part, but constant practice has enabled you to delegate the work to certain planes of your Inner Consciousness, until now they almost “work themselves,” with a minimum of attention and concentration on your part.

Some writers hold that no one really learns how to perform a task properly, until he or she is able to pass it down to this part of the mind, where it is performed almost automatically.

Musicians and others are aware that their best work is performed by this part of their mentality, and that when, as occasionally happens, their conscious attention is directed to the work, there is a “slip up” and less perfect performance. The artist knows what it is to “lose himself” in his work and his greatest successes come at such times. Every writer knows this also, and the phenomena occurs in all manner and kinds of work.

How many of us lose ourselves in “day-dreams” when performing our habitual tasks? How many of us seem to stand aside and watch ourselves work at tasks rendered familiar by habit.

We often cross the streets without paying conscious attention to our actions, and many of us have had the experience of “forgetting where we are going” and after a time finding ourselves brought up standing in front of the place from which we started. We put on our clothes in this way, the same arm going into the same sleeve, etc., without our thinking about the matter.

If you will notice which arm you place in your coat the next time you dress, and then after taking off the coat again, try to insert the other arm first (reversing the regular order) you will be surprised to see how awkward you are, and how the “habit-mind” rebels at the change. The same is true of buttoning a collar—you always button on a certain tab first, and will find it most difficult to reverse the process.

We are in the habit of thinking of these things being “done by themselves” or as “doing themselves,” but a moment’s consideration will show you that nothing can manifest such activity except by means of mind of some kind and degree. The activity is the result of mental processes and direction, and without mind could not be performed.

We may call it “automatic” or “mechanical” if we please, but it is really the result of mind—there is mind back of and in every “automatic” action of the individual. But being below the field of the outer consciousness, we do not recognize the mental operation. It is part of the phenomena of the lower planes of the Inner Consciousness.

And there are other planes of that wonderful region, in which certain “habits” are implanted, but which were not placed there by ourselves. We allude to the field of hereditary influences which have come down to us from those who lived before us throughout countless generations. There are planes of the Inner Consciousness filled with impressions, ideas, habit, emotions, feelings, desires and impulses which we have acquired by inheritance from the past.

From the time of the cave men, and even further back, have come to us certain mental seeds and forces, which lie slumbering in the deep recesses of the lower planes of the Inner Consciousness. We are able to control and subdue, or else use, these latent impulses, by means of our higher mental faculties, but they are there just the same.

As some writers have said, we have “the whole menagerie within us”—the tiger, the ape, the peacock, the donkey, the hyena, the goat, the sheep, the lion, and all the rest of the collection. We have come by these things honestly, and there is no reason to be ashamed of them—the shame consists only in turning these wild beasts loose into actions unworthy of our higher state gained through arduous evolution.

As Luther Burbank has said: “Heredity means much, but what is heredity? Not some hideous ancestral specter, forever crossing the path of a human being. Heredity is simply the sum of all the effects of all the environments of all past generations on the responsive ever-moving life forces.” And all of the effects of all the past environments of all past generations are registered, faintly or strongly on certain planes of our Inner Consciousness.

An understanding of this fact will enable us to submit such tendencies when they occasionally poke their heads out from their dark caves in response to some familiar call which has roused them from their slumber—and an understanding will enable us to call upon the past within us for help and aid when we need the same to perform certain of the work of life. We have many things within us, which can and will manifest in outer consciousness when so called forth.

We may use these things, or else allow them to use us, according to our degree of understanding and will power. But let us remind you always that there is nothing good enough to allow it to “use” you—use many things, but allow nothing to use you.

There are other planes of the Inner Consciousness in which rest the many suggestions placed there by your outer consciousness or that of others. You have a queer storehouse of acquired Suggestion, some good, some bad, and some neither or both. And from this storehouse comes the “habit-thought” of which such a large part of our mental processes are composed.

In that storehouse are packed away countless impressions, ideas, opinions, prejudices, notions, likes and dislikes, and similar mental furniture. Much of this has been placed there by ourselves as the result of past thinking or half-thinking. And much has been placed there by the opinions, statements and suggestions of others, which we have admitted to our Inner Consciousness without due consideration and examination.

As we shall see later on, this storehouse is an important part of our mental dwelling, and we should be careful just what we admit there. We shall also see that by means of Auto-Suggestion we may place there just what is likely to aid and help us in our lives, and that by the same means we may counteract the effect of many adverse and hurtful suggestions and “mental-habits” that we have allowed to find a home and storage room on these important planes of our minds.

An understanding of these facts will be of the greatest importance and benefit to us. On other planes of the Inner Consciousness are to be found the impressions and records comprising that which we know as “Memory.” The Memory part of our mentality is like a vast collection of phonographic records upon which are registered the countless impressions that we have received during our life.

Some of these records bear deep, clear and distinct impressions which when placed in the “Recollecting” machine send forth a clear reproduction of the original which produced the impression. Others contain impressions less clear—some bear very indistinct impressions, which are most difficult of reproduction. But there is this difference between these memory records, and those of the phonograph.

The phonographic records grow fainter and less perfect according to the frequency of their use, while the memory records register a still deeper and clear impression the oftener they are reproduced. If one dwells in memory upon certain past events, he will find that each reproduction gives out a clearer response.

Of course, it is likewise true that one may mix outside facts and imaginary events with the real recollections, in some cases, so that in future reproductions the real and the false appear together. But this is merely another proof of the rule.

One may (and many often do) add to a tale at each telling, until at last the re-told tale bears but little resemblance to the original—in so doing one mixes the new impressions with the old, on his mental phonographic records, and at the next reproduction both the original and the added points sound forth together.

This is why some people “tell a lie so often that they actually believe it”—the repeated impressions upon the tablets of memory become deeper and clearer, and the notes of the false mix with those of the true. One should always endeavor to keep an honest collection of memory records, and be careful to avoid adding false impressions to the original ones.

It is astonishing that anyone at all familiar with the phenomena of Memory should doubt for a moment the existence of planes of consciousness beneath that of the ordinary outer consciousness. Every moment of our everyday life we are drawing upon these Inner Conscious Planes of Memory for the many things stored away there—far below the everyday outer consciousness.

Not only do we draw upon these planes in this way, but in moments of intense stress—sudden danger—and other critical periods of life, these gates between these planes swing ajar and a flood of recollection pours out from them.

It is related in numbers of instances that as a writer well expresses it: “The acts of a whole lifetime which are of consequence, and many that are not, will be flashed across the screen of memory with such lightning rapidity and with such distinctness as to seem like a vast panorama whose every detail is grasped by the mind in an instant of time.

A noted high-bridge jumper, in describing his feelings while making his famous leap from the Brooklyn bridge, stated that it seemed as if, during the few seconds required for his descent to the water beneath, there passed through his memory all the acts of his life, in their proper order—some of which had not appeared in his recollection for years, and which would have all his life remained dormant except for some extraordinary stimulus such as this.

It is the almost universal experience of drowning persons who have been rescued at the last moment and resuscitated, that during the few moments just preceding the loss of consciousness, the memory suddenly grasps with a marvelous vigor the deeds of the life which seems about to end, and by some mysterious compelling intuition the sufferer is able and obliged to recognize at the same time, and more fully than ever before, the right or wrong of each particular act.”

The following quotations will show you, at a glance, what an important part is played by this Inner Conscious faculty of Memory, in the domain of knowledge, in the opinion of eminent authorities:

“All knowledge is but remembrance.”—Bacon.

“That which constitutes recollection or an act of memory is the present image which a past sensation has left in us, an image which seems to us the sensation itself.”—Taine.

“Memory is a primary and fundamental faculty, without which none other can work; the cement, the bitumen, the matrix in which the other faculties are imbedded. Without it all life and thought were an unrelated succession.”— Emerson,

“There is no faculty of the mind which can bring its energy into effect unless the memory be stored with ideas for it to look upon.”—Burke.

“Every organ—indeed, every area and every element—of the nervous system has its own memory.”—Ladd.

“Memory is the golden thread linking all the mental gifts and excellences together.”—Hood.

“Memory is the cabinet of imagination, the treasury of reason, the registry of conscience, and the council-chamber of thought.”—Basile.

“A man’s real possession is his memory; in nothing else is he rich, in nothing else is he poor.”—Alexander Smith.

“I would rather have a perfect recollection of all that I have thought and felt in a day or a week of high activity, than read all the books that have been published in a century.”—Emerson.

And, after reading the above, remember that all of the records of Memory are stored away on the planes of the Inner Consciousness, the existence of which has been denied by the majority of people until very recently.

In considering the marvelous phenomena of Memory, what thinking man can doubt that his Mind, and Self, are greater by far than the little, narrow field of outer consciousness, which is nothing by the eye-piece of his mental telescope, or microscope, before which pass in review the objects rising from, or super-imposed by, the planes of the Inner Consciousness?

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