Modern Psychology and Buddhist Psychology
Consciousness and subconsciousness
The words ‘consciousness’ and ‘subconsciousness’ can be confusing to most of us; to be honest we are not even bothered with such terms. However, they are actually our programming, or bias – that which makes us do or not do things. There is much we do not want to look at about this acquired self, and this is the reason why we cover up our ‘presumed’ faults by projecting an image of ourselves because we feel incomplete. Complicated isn’t it?! This is only because, due to hope and fear, we try to belong to a collective mind rather than realising true liberation 😀
Consciousness: awareness by the mind of itself and one’s surroundings.
Subconsciousness: part of the mind of which one is not fully aware but which influences one’s actions and feelings.
Subconscious could be said to be where we are unconscious or unaware, but that would depend on the individual. It’s that which drives us, or rather, controls us. We can assume the posture of light and fluffy, but our ‘buttons’ can be pressed at any time and off we go, whirling around in samsara.
Consciousness: faculty of mind made up of eight elements – five are the senses, 6th is perception, 7th is judgement and 8th is memory. Very subtle consciousness could be said to be pure awareness – the 9th consciousness which is beyond conventional consciousness.
Subconsciousness: 7th (judgement) and 8th (memory) consciousnesses (these may be deep seated feelings that we don’t want to admit).
This is a delicate matter as we believe we are what we think; this is incomplete and so we constantly defend ourselves and that which we believe. This gives rise to subtly aggressive reaction; what is lacking is honesty. It’s honesty that is the delicate matter. We may appear to be ‘nice’ Buddhists but underneath we are still tricksters projecting, merely rewriting our programming rather than breaking out of it.
In actuality, we can’t be honest in a collective mind as it’s too threatening; this is the reason we need courage and skilful compassion.
The core of the mind is subtle consciousness.
The core of subtle consciousness is pure awareness.
The core of pure awareness is emptiness.
The core of emptiness is love.