cellular wisdom Friedemann Schaub, MD, PhD

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What is the difference between the conscious and subconscious / unconscious mind? And why is working with the subconscious mind so effective?
by Dr. Friedemann Schaub

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An iceberg is a great analogy that describes the connection between the conscious and the subconscious mind– with a small, visible part above the surface and a huge part below. The conscious mind is responsible for our awareness in the waking state. Thinking analytically, creating logical order, wondering about cause and effect and asking “why” are all characteristics of the conscious mind. The conscious mind is the place of cognitive learning and understanding and uses the intellect to come up with logical solutions for problems. It makes choices based on facts and moves the body deliberately.

The subconscious or unconscious mind (terms which can be used interchangeably), is the part of our mind, which operates usually below the level of our normal consciousness. Like in the iceberg analogy, the subconscious mind is the vaster and more substantial part of our mind. Out of the 2 Million bits of information which approach us every second, the conscious mind can only register 7+/- bits, whereas the subconscious mind computes 140+/-. The subconscious mind is in charge of our emotions, which explains why we can feel a certain way without really knowing why - for example waking up grumpy one day and completely happy the next. The subconscious mind also stores memories from any events of our past. Just take a moment and think about the house you grew up in. Before you visited this place in your conscious mind, you had to access this information from its subconscious storage space. However, not all memory is accessible to us; one so called “prime directions” of the subconscious mind, is to seal off traumatic events, which we are not ready to deal with. In addition, our deepest core beliefs, values and imprints are “anchored” and programmed into our subconscious mind.

The subconscious mind is also responsible for all physiological functions of the body; we don’t regulate our heart rate, breathing, kidney function or digestion with our conscious mind. If we would, the collection of trillions of cells that comprise our body, would not work together as effectively and harmoniously as it usually does. And even “deliberate” movement, such as walking, requires the precise coordination of many different muscles, a challenge that we would not able to master consciously. Along those lines, have you ever noticed that you can’t really recall, how you drove yourself to work or how you were eating that sandwich, while watching TV. The subconscious mind takes control of all these automatic movements and patterns, without our conscious awareness. In fact, studies suggest that more than 75% of our daily activities are regulated by the subconscious mind.

Considering the vast responsibilities of the subconscious mind, its power and enormous  potential become very obvious. With the right leverage we can move mountains. Working directly with the subconscious mind provides this leverage, to effectively create profound and long-lasting changes on the mental, emotional and physical level.