The point of these teachings is to help us raise our level of consciousness so we can get a better grip on reality. And the most powerful part of our reality—not to mention the part we have so little awareness of even existing—is our unconscious.
It is our unconscious thoughts and feelings that are responsible for everything favorable that happens to us, and it’s also always behind the curtain of every hardship, disappointment or scrap of suffering. It’s the cause of all our “bad luck” and the source of powerful repetitive patterns that make short work of creating unpleasant experiences.
So we have both a conscious mind—the stuff we know—and an unconscious mind—the stuff we don’t know we know. The unconscious is by far the stronger of the two. This is due to the fact that when we have an absurd misconception or an unrealistic view in our conscious mind, we know about it, and so we can correct it.
But when something gets hidden from our awareness and tucked away into our unconscious—regardless how misguided or off kilter it might be—it keeps operating without our reasoning faculties stepping in to change it. Our errors then just keep chunking out more erroneous garbage that stinks up our whole existence.
The black hole of our unconscious includes our petrified wrong conclusions about life, our destructive patterns of behavior, and our negative emotions caused by our unresolved problems. All this we have stuffed down in there and forgotten about. But what we also tend to forget is that our unconscious is a repository for the constructive building blocks of the universe too—unending creativity, utter wisdom, divine truth and love. Yessiree Bob, it’s all in there. If we want to tap into this well of positive energy, we must clear the obstructions that are walling off everything hidden in the unconscious.
Up until a certain degree of development, the universe is made up of two main currents: a yes-current and a no-current. The yes-current contains all the good stuff; it aligns with truth and it breeds love and unity. The no-current deviates from truth and is destructive; it breeds hate and disunity.
These teachings never ask us to take anything on faith. In fact, we shouldn’t blindly accept any spiritual teaching without verifying it for ourselves. In this case, it’s not hard to detect both the yes-current and the no-current inside ourselves.
Urgency is a blinking light that proves the presence of the no-current. Don’t be misled.
Of the two currents, we tend to spot the yes-current more readily because it is mostly conscious. But when we stumble across some disturbing life event, or bump up once again against a persistent unfulfillment, we can be sure that there are both a yes-current and a no-current at work, effectively cancelling each other out.
Our conscious awareness of our yes-current manages to blot out our awareness of the unconscious no-current. And the more we squelch the no-current, thinking this will drive it out of existence, the more we simply drive it further underground where no logic can oppose it. This is how it becomes more powerful than the conscious yes-current. This also causes the yes-current to become more urgent and frantic, shouting louder over the top of any noise the no-current might make.
In fact, one of the more insidious aspects of the no-current that lurks behind every unfulfilled wish is the way it is cloaked by a desperately urgent yes-current. Often we use the jumping-up-and-down action of the yes-current to “prove” the absence of any no-current. In truth, urgency is a blinking light that proves its presence. Don’t be misled.
Another word for the no-current is “resistance.” But many have become so immune to this word, the mere mention of it activates the no-current. Perhaps it can be helpful to realize just how universal the no-current is, how ubiquitous it is. We’re all steeped in no-current, and there’s no point arguing who has it the worst. What is relevant is whether we’re detecting it and becoming familiar with its machinations.
A big, strong no-current that is constantly weakened by our observations is actually less harmful than a puny no-current that flies under the radar, unobserved. The latter is harder to spot, especially in the presence of a strong yes-current. So acting like the no-current doesn’t exist will just allow it to continue to worm its way through all our joy.
Contrary to what we may have been led to believe, our unconscious mind is not shy.
Contrary to what we may have been led to believe, our unconscious mind is not shy. Wily and crafty and slippery, yes, but not shy. And it talks nonstop. It’s just that we don’t hear it—not unlike hearing someone speaking a foreign language we haven’t learned. Here are five questions we can ask ourselves everyday to start to tune in: 1) What do I desire that I don’t have? 2) How much do I want it? 3) How do a stop it, block it, or otherwise say no to it? 4) How do I also say no to doing the work that would surface it? 5) Where else do I detect this no-current in my life?
If we can make headway in asking these questions regularly and answering them truthfully, we’ll be astounded and delighted by our progress. If doing so makes us feel too tense or too harassed, and makes us think we’ll miss out on something more important—which of course we can’t name—we’ve already got a bead on our no-current. For it’s the no-current that keeps us from getting quiet and listening within.
Once we start saying yes to finding our no, we’ll establish a link with our unconscious mind, which includes the deeper, wiser part of us. This is the part that we want to eventually take over in guiding us through every phase of life, including those areas where success evades us. This part of our unconscious mind is the helpful part. It will supply us with continually renewed strength, with fertile creative energy, with resourcefulness and a sense of harmony.
When this communication starts to happen, it not only connects us with the best in ourselves, it links us up with the unconscious parts of everyone else.
When this communication starts to happen, it not only connects us with the best in ourselves, it links us up with the unconscious parts of everyone else. We’ll know how to interpret their gestures, what that emphasis or expression means, this action or that utterance or this tense muscle. Unbeknownst to the other person, we’ll be able to read them like a book. We’ll hear and see and perceive what they really mean, despite their disguises. We’ll recognize what’s governing them behind their facades. We’ll know what their unconscious is communicating by watching their behaviors. And at this point, we’ll no longer have anything to fear. But none of us can understand any of this in someone else until we’ve done it with ourselves.
As long as we remain frightened, we lack the calm observation skills to perceive another person in truth. It doesn’t matter if we’re afraid of what they might do, or if we’re afraid of what our own unconscious self might do. Although it’s really the latter that makes our no-current so Herculean. Lose this fear and we can learn to listen to the hidden parts of the soul. In this way, we perfect ourselves using techniques we can use to build beautiful, fearless relationships.
Adapted from BONES, Chapter 15: Learning to Speak the Language of the Unconscious