The Quick Tricks of Consciousness Pt.1

September 14th, 2015

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“Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws”

-Douglas Adams

 

 

Lady Godiva by John Collier, c. 1897.   Herbert Art Gallery and Museum

Lady Godiva by John Collier, c. 1897.
Herbert Art Gallery and Museum

When I was still living in Australia a female friend rang me wanting to discuss a personal issue over coffee. Her first words were: “There must be something really wrong with me!” but would not elaborate till we met in person. I knew something of her personal history. She had been the victim of sexual assault on two occasions and had worked through it as best she could. She was now living with a very understanding and caring man who even worked with women’s issues. This was her current dilemma:

 

“I was watching a movie on TV which featured a rape scene. It really triggered me. You wouldn’t believe what happened.”

 

I interrupted her: “Let me guess. You got turned on and confused.”

 

She looked at me strangely. “Yes! I am weird? There must be something deeply wrong with me because I was terrified and traumatised when I was raped and had harboured no fantasies about it before or since, so why would I react this way? What is wrong with me?”

 

 

‘Wrong’ or ‘Right’ are the wrong questions

 

At this point I am duty bound to say that we will not get to the bottom of this mystery till next week in part two. However, for the impatient among you I can reveal that, no, she didn’t secretly want to experience sexual assault again. Neither was she truly turned on by it despite her responses on this occasion. It was simply a function of her unconscious mind trying to become conscious and help her address some issues she had repressed deep inside her body and mind.

 

In any case, to punish ourselves with inquisitions of the wrongness or rightness of our own feelings is a self-destructive, unenlightening exercise. To solve such a conflicting riddle we need to understand a few underlying principles of how our unfolding consciousness works within us. As strange as it may seem, even traumatic situations can serve the purpose of furthering our personal evolution if we remain open and allow them to do so.

 

So let’s get started…

 

 

 The play of consciousness

 

The Conscious Health blog exists to show the connection between consciousness and health – at physical, emotional and spiritual levels of an individual and at the collective level of how group or even global dynamics impact our lives.

 

Emerging-Face

 

Change happens when what was at the edge of our awareness (but often repressed or denied) suddenly becomes obvious to us. What has now been seen cannot be unseen. It forces us to change our actions. This of course leads to different results. The software of consciousness also functions as a driver for the hardware of the body. Therefore our physical health is intimately connected to this process. Time for a quick review then.

 

 

The central principles of Conscious Health:

 

  • The sum total of consciousness is infinite
  • The sum total of consciousness in us includes what can be divided into:
    • That of which we are aware or conscious
    • That of which we are not aware – our unconscious[1]
  • That which is unconscious in us is always trying to become conscious. It is in an infinite state of becoming in fact. (Why? See point one)
  • Both the conscious and unconscious sides of us, individually or collectively, are creative. There are two important differences between how they create/attract and how we experience those creations:
    • Our conscious creations (“I want to create a website; start a family; move to another country; learn a new skill; do more meaningful work and so on) are something of which we are, well, conscious. (Yes, I know but wait for it…)
    • Our unconscious creations are usually experienced as suffering. That is, we are surprised, shocked, uncomfortable and resistant and often feel victimised by them. They are our proverbial “Why does this happen to me?” moments.
  • If we don’t pay attention and learn from our unconscious creation’s attempts to trigger conscious awareness in us they will repeat. They will become our “Why does this always happen to me?!” dramas, tragedies and comedies. While that may be fodder for film and television scripts we may not appreciate the wear and tear on our body and mind.

 

 

The five centres

 

In the so-called ‘mystery schools’ such as the esoteric teachings of the Gnostics, there is a concept of different energy centres. These differ from the Vedic model of the seven primary chakras and illustrate a different aspect of consciousness. They are listed as:

 

The intellectual centre

The emotional/intuitive centre

The motor centre

The instinctual centre

The sexual centre

 

Not only do these reflect different aspects of our conscious and unconscious awareness but they are also assigned different ‘speeds’ or frequencies. It may surprise some people to learn that the intellectual centre is considered the slowest of these accelerating in speed to the sexual centre which is considered the fastest. It may not be so surprising if we examine this a little closer.

 

 

Stopping to think

 

Our intellectual centre is very useful for tasks like planning, visualising and preparing before an event. It is also vital to help us debrief, analyse, reflect and find relevance and meaning from our experiences. As a real-time processor in the moment however it is woefully underpowered.

 

If, for example, a surfer riding a giant wave paused to consider even what they might be eating for dinner (let alone the mysteries of life) they would quickly find themselves being crushed under thousands of tons of churning water. The crest of a wave is not the time to start thinking too much…

 

 

“Don’t think, feeeeel!”

 

 

Our emotions and intuition are privy to information that our intellect only finds out about much later. One way to describe the ability of the intuition is that it ‘knows without knowing why it knows’. The same is true of a developed emotional centre.

 

Strong emotional reactions, especially when we are not entirely aware of why it is we feel them so intensely, serve as triggers from our unconscious mind. They are there to say: “Pay attention! You can discover something about yourself here.”

 

If emotional energy is ignored, repressed or projected outwardly onto someone else that same energy will then have to find other, more destructive work to do in our body in order to grab our attention.

 

This may initially express as relatively mild symptoms like headaches, insomnia, stomach pain, diarrhoea or skin rashes. Over time however it can manifest as serious illness.

 

 

Reflex actions

 

Our motor centre is faster than either our emotions or intellect. It often takes care of things long before we even know what to think of feel about it. Imagine you are driving on a long, hilly, country road. You attempt to overtake the car in front but over the crest of a hill comes a truck hurtling toward you. Your motor centre takes care of this dangerous situation by either accelerating quickly to complete your overtaking manoeuvre and return to your side of the road or brake quickly to resume your place behind the car as the truck rushes by.

 

It is not until a few minutes later that your emotional centre reacts to this near-death situation: sweating, shaking, crying/laughing, racing pulse and so on. And only after that does our late-arriving intellect reflect on what might have been.

 

 

 

Our instinctual nature

 

Our instinctual centre is perhaps more hidden in humans than it is in the animal kingdom where instinctual decisions can mean the difference between life and death. Sometimes we call it ‘going with our gut’. Indeed, in traditional Chinese medicine it is linked with the meridian systems governing digestion and elimination as well.

 

Compared to the intuition (which as you recall also knows without knowing why) our instincts are more simple and binary in nature: Stay/go; safe/unsafe; yes/no and so on. Because it essentially deals with less information it can operate at a much faster speed.

 

 

 

The speed of sex

 

This leaves our sexual centre as the fastest of them all. We have all heard of love at first sight. Equally true is when our intellect or emotions are critical of a potential mate but our sexual centre has already chosen them.

 

I recall the story of a friend about meeting her future husband: “He acted appallingly, was arrogant and really unappealing.” Six months later they were married and now have three children together.

 

The sexual/mating centre already knew something in those few minutes that took months for the other centres to understand. While her intellectual mind was saying: “No thanks, what an unpleasant person.” – her sexual centre already knew: “Yep, that’s the future father of my children, right there.” Many romantic comedies are built upon this very principle. Unfortunately, the predicament of my friend in the opening example to this blog was no laughing matter.

 

 

Speeding towards next week

 

Streaks.5 by cro4ky

Streaks.5
by cro4ky

 

So, now that we have armed ourselves with some knowledge of the wily ways of consciousness and its endless quest for self-awareness we are better equipped to solve her mysterious reaction to a traumatic trigger.

 

Stay tuned mystery fans, the answers are coming…

 

 

Till the mystery of another Monday solves itself once more.

 

 

[1] Sometimes this is used interchangeably with the term sub-conscious. I usually prefer the term ‘unconscious’ as it includes more than just the personal individual.

 

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© Jeremy Halpin all rights reserved. Images are the author’s own unless otherwise indicated or the original owner is unknown. You can subscribe to this blog by clicking the button in the bottom right hand corner of the page – or share it on the social media of your choice. If you have any wishes or questions regarding subjects to be discussed on this blog use the contact information below. Jeremy is also available for seminars, lectures and personal consultation: info@jeremyhalpin.com

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