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The Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science
The Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science, by Thomas Troward online
IN TOUCH WITH SUB-CONSCIOUS MIND.
The preceding pages have made the student in some measure aware of the immense importance of our dealings with the sub-conscious mind. Our relation to it, whether on the scale of the individual or the universal, is the key to all that we are or ever can be. In its unrecognized working it is the spring of all that we can call the automatic action of mind and body, and on the universal scale it is the silent power of evolution gradually working onwards to that "divine event, to which the whole creation moves"; and by our conscious recognition of it we make it, relatively to ourselves, all that we believe it to be. The closer our _rapport_ with it becomes, the more what we have hitherto considered automatic action, whether in our bodies or our circumstances, will pass under our control, until at last we shall control our whole individual world. Since, then, this is the stupendous issue involved, the question how we are to put ourselves practically in touch with the sub-conscious mind is a very important one. Now the clue which gives us the right direction is to be found in the _impersonal_ quality of sub-conscious mind of which I have spoken. Not impersonal as lacking the _elements_ of personality; nor even, in the case of individual subjective mind, as lacking the sense of individuality; but impersonal in the sense of not recognizing the particular external relations which appear to the objective mind to constitute its personality, and having a realization of itself quite independent of them. If, then, we would come in touch with it we must meet it on its own ground. It can see things only from the deductive standpoint, and therefore cannot take note of the inductive standpoint from which we construct the idea of our external personality; and accordingly if we would put ourselves in touch with it, we cannot do so by bringing it down to the level of the external and non-essential but only by rising to its own level on the plane of the interior and essential. How can this be done? Let two well-known writers answer. Rudyard Kipling tells us in his story of "Kim" how the boy used at times to lose his sense of personality by repeating to himself the question, _Who_ is Kim? Gradually his personality would seem to fade and he would experience a feeling of passing into a grander and a wider life, in which the boy Kim was unknown, while his own conscious individuality remained, only exalted and expanded to an inconceivable extent; and in Tennyson's life by his son we are told that at times the poet had a similar experience. We come into touch with the absolute exactly in proportion as we withdraw ourselves from the relative: they vary inversely to each other.
For the purpose, then, of getting into touch with our sub-conscious mind we must endeavour to think of ourselves as pure being, as that entity which interiorly supports the outward manifestation, and doing so we shall realize that the essential quality of pure being must be good. It is in itself _pure Life_, and as such cannot desire anything detrimental to pure Life under whatever form manifested. Consequently the purer our intentions the more readily we shall place ourself _en rapport_ with our subjective entity; and _a fortiori_ the same applies to that Greater Sub-conscious Mind of which our individual subjective mind is a particular manifestation. In actual practice the process consists in first forming a clear conception in the objective mind of the idea we wish to convey to the subjective mind: then, when this has been firmly grasped, endeavour to lose sight of all other facts connected with the external personality except the one in question, and then mentally address the subjective mind as though it were an independent entity and impress upon it what you want it to do or to believe. Everyone must formulate his own way of working, but one method, which is both simple and effective is to say to the subjective mind, "This is what I want you to do; you will now step into my place and do it, bringing all your powers and intelligence to bear, and considering yourself to be none other than myself." Having done this return to the realization of your own objective personality and leave the subjective mind to perform its task in full confidence that, by the law of its nature, it will do so if not hindered by a repetition of contrary messages from the objective mind. This is not a mere fancy but a truth daily proved by the experience of increasing numbers. The facts have not been fabricated to fit the theory, but the theory has been built up by careful observation of the facts; and since it has been shown both by theory and practice that such is the law of the relation between subjective and objective mind, we find ourselves face to face with a very momentous question. Is there any reason why the laws which hold good of the individual subjective mind should not hold good of the Universal Mind also? and the answer is that there is not. As has been already shown the Universal Mind must, by its very universality, be purely subjective, and what is the law of a part must also be the law of the whole: the qualities of fire are the same whether the centres of combustion be great or small, and therefore we may well conclude these lectures by considering what will be the result if we apply what we have learnt regarding the individual subjective mind to the Universal Mind.