What is mind?
Mind is all around us- like a ball of energy. Energy is something which you know exists, but you cannot see it. But we can only feel it. It is not directly observable. The presumption that others have a mind can only be theoretically understood, because each human can only intuit the existence of his/her own mind through introspection and self analysis and no one has direct access to the mind of another.
Mind can be considered as thought, memory, imagination, consciousness. It is as John F. Kennedy says, “is our fundamental resource”.
Much has been written about theory of mind propounded by Dr. John Kappas. If mind is an abstract energy field around us, and if we are able to understand it properly, how easy our lives will become. If we are able to understand how it functions, then we might be able to utilize it to our highest potential.
According to Dr. Kappas, our mind is roughly divided into:
- Conscious mind;
- Subconscious mind and
- Critical mind (filter), which separates these two.
Conscious mind is our awareness of the present moment. It is responsible for logic, reasoning, controls all the actions which you do on intention. Hence it thinks, logics, decides, analyzes, takes action etc. briefly said it is that part of our minds which we believe is under our direct control. So when we are doing something, we are doing with our conscious mind. The problem is, it is only 10-12% of mind, a proverbial ‘tip of the iceberg’.
It is a huge memory bank, with virtually unlimited capacity. It is the storage house of all our experiences, pertaining to this life or all other lifetimes. The information stored by the subconscious mind may not be utilized and processed immediately by the conscious mind but to be recalled later.
Its function is to store and retrieve data. Its job is to ensure that you respond exactly the way you are programmed. Your subconscious mind makes everything you say and do fit a pattern consistent with your self-concept, your “master program.”
It is deeply mysterious as if it has a will of its own and cannot be known to the conscious. Subconscious mind only understands one word, ‘survival’. It is always awake, even when we are asleep, it is doing its work.
The subconscious mind is subjective. It does not think or reason independently; it merely obeys the commands it receives from the conscious mind. The conscious mind commands and the subconscious mind obeys.
Since survival is the main issue here, whatever is the original programme of the subconscious mind, it will always help in maintaining status quo, be it physical(since it controls autonomous nervous system) or in mental realm. This is probably the reason why getting out of the comfort zone is so difficult. It is our subconscious that wants to protect us from the pain and discomfort of the new learnings and situations.
The subconscious mind with its vast capacity and huge data base is 6000 times more powerful than the conscious mind. If we look at the tremendous progress made by the mankind, and keep this in mind that all this progress has been done with 10-12% of conscious capabilities. Just imagine what all can be done if we are able to tap into this unfathomable resource?
If we are able to work on all our fears, all our negative emotions, all our self limiting core beliefs, all our traumas and wounds, life will be a real miracle!
But the question remains: how to access the subconscious mind?
We are able to access subconscious mind either in trance whether it is induced by meditation or deep relaxation or by direct intervention through hypnosis or other such modalities. It is in the safe environs of a therapist’s office that one can change and heal whatever is not working in life. The non-judgemental and compassionate attitude of the therapist helps one in unwounding and unlearning all that is not beneficial.
MIND WORKS THROUGH BRAIN
How does the mind work, if it is energetic in nature? Brain is the instrument through which it works: be it conscious or subconscious mind. There are five types of electrical impulses or brain waves which help us in every situation. These waves can be observed with an electroencelograph (EEG). Throughout the day we keep on drifting through all of these waves sometime or other. That is why your EEG will show all the five waves simultaneously, but one will be dominant depending on the kind of consciousness you have at that moment.
Gamma brainwaves: 27 htz and up: Fastest frequencies; Highest state of focus possible; Peak performance; relates to expanded consciousness, feeling of ‘being in the zone’.
Beta : 12 to 27 hz: Wide awake; generally the mental state you are in your waking hours, alert, attentive, engaged in problem solving etc.
Alpha: 8 to 12 hz: when you are awake but not processing much information. When you get up in the morning and just before sleep. A trance like state when the subconscious is activated. An ideal state of mind for new learnings, affirmations, some type of biofeedback training etc. This stage is also reached in meditation and in regression techniques like Hypnosis.
Theta : 3 to 8 hz: The part of mind that functions during light sleep. You can access this state in deep meditation also. Deeper part of subconscious mind can be accessed here. All our fears, traumas and nightmares can be found here.
Delta: 0.1 to 3 hz: Deep dreamless sleep, slowest of brainwaves
So in general, when we work with any of the healing modalities, be it hypnotherapy, theta healing, or any other meditation based technique, we are working with alpha and theta brainwaves for accessing the subconscious mind.