Subconscious and unconscious

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The term “subconscious” is defined as the mental activities just below the threshold of consciousness which can be easily brought to consciousness; the aspect of the mind that is an entity or a part of the mental apparatus overlapping, equivalent to, or distinct from the unconscious. Some psychoanalysts use the term to describe a zone between the unconscious and the conscious.

As summarized by Robert M. Goldenson, in psychoanalysis the term “unconscious” is used to denote “the portion of the mind or mental functioning which contains the memories, wishes and impulses that are not directly accessible to awareness, but which have dynamic effects on thought and action. Freud maintained that there are two types of mental contents stored in the unconscious: certain infantile, or ‘primordial,’ wishes and impulses that have never become conscious, but which appear or are represented in dreams, fantasies, magical thinking and gestures; and material, such as memories and drives, that has become conscious for a time but has been expelled from awareness.”[1]

Modifying Freud’s concepts, Carl Jung theorized the personal and the collective unconscious. Jung postulated that the personal unconscious “consists of experiences which were once conscious but which have been superseded or forgotten, as well as ideas and wishes which have never been strong enough to make a conscious impression. Some of these memories, thoughts, and feelings may split off from the main body of the psyche, due to traumatic experiences or internal conflicts, and form a constellation or ‘complex’ of their own.... [The collective unconscious] is the residual of the racial history of man and his animal ancestors.... It is an accumulation of predispositions and potentialities which in its totality forms the frame of reference with which we view the world. Jung calls these structural components ‘archetypes.’... They arise from historical experience and constitute the inherited foundations upon which the whole structure of the personality is built. In a word, each individual's psyche reflects the wisdom and experience of the ages.”[2]

The ascended masters teach that the subconscious is the repository of the electronic belt, which contains the cause, effect, record, and memory of human karma in its negative aspect; the unconscious is the repository of the archetypes of the Absolute Evil of Death and Hell. The collective unconscious is jointly held by the human race; the individual, or personal, unconscious is the result of personal actions.

See also



Pearls of Wisdom, vol. 32, no. 35.

  1. Robert M. Goldenson, The Encyclopedia of Human Behavior: Psychology, Psychiatry, and Mental Health (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday and Co., 1970), 2:1344.
  2. Ibid., 1:652, 653.