“When I eat food I do it consciously, when I assimilate it I do it unconsciously: when the food is manufactured in to blood, it is done unconsciously: when out of the blood all the different parts of my body are strengthened: it is done unconsciously. And yet it I who am doing all this; there can not be twenty people in this one body. How do I know that I do it, and nobody else? It may be urged that my
business is only too eat and assimilate the food, and that somebody else does the strengthening of the body by the food for me. That cannot be; because it can be demonstrated that almost every action at which we are now unconscious can be brought up to the plane of consciousness. The heart is beating apparently without our control; none of us can control the heart; it goes on its own way. But by practice men can bring even the heart under control, until it will just beat at will, slowly or quickly, or almost stop. Nearly every part of he body can be brought under control. What does this show? It shows that we also perform the functions, which are beneath consciousness, only we are performing them unconsciously.
We have, then, two planes in which the human mind works. First is the conscious plane, in which all work is always accompanied with the feeling of “I”. Next comes the unconscious plane, where the work is unaccompanied by the feeling if “I”. That part of the mind’s work which is unaccompanied by egoism is unconscious work, and that part which is accompanied by egoism is conscious work. IN the lower animal this unconscious work is called instinct, and in the highest of all animals, man, what is called conscious work prevails. [Read more…]