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Changing the Form of the Subconscious Mind

Those who have not studied Gurudeva's or similar teachings, cannot change the form of the subconscious. Experiences overwhelm them. First realize that you are a divine being, perfect and pure. Relax, quiet the mind. Tension and externalization block intuition. Clear out the past through Vasana Daha Tantra. Consciously change the subconscious through the power of affirmation.

Unedited Transcript:

Good morning everyone.

Thought I'd read from the "Merging With Siva" chapter which starts tomorrow. It's a new chapter on the subconscious mind.

"What is your subconscious mind? Think about this for a minute. Realize that everything that has once passed through your conscious mind in the form of experience is resident right now within your subconscious. Not only that, but imbedded within the cellular structure of your body, in the DNA code -- one of the most formidable discoveries of modern science -- lie all the experiences of your genetic history. The life, the biological evolution of your forefathers, is all registered in the molecular strands of your subconscious, capable of being recalled into memory.

"In our study together we will be concerned with much more than the negative areas of the subconscious. We will discover that the subconscious can be a great help in our daily life -- once we learn to impress it properly, and consciously utilize the latent powers within it. Then it ceases to be a deterrent to well-being, and becomes a tool, available at all times and under all circumstances as we progress through the experiences of life.

"The subconscious mind, like the conscious mind, has a form of its own. It is given form, shape and momentum by the nature of your experiences in life and the way you react to them. Most people are not happy with the form of their subconscious mind. They are still reacting to early experiences, early environments. Some people go to great expense in trying to change the form of their subconscious mind through therapy or travel, but because there is no absolution in either, in the time they generally manage to recreate their subconscious in the same old form. Childhood experiences do have a profound influence on one's make-up in this life, but these influences are by no means binding. Any attitude, any personality conflict or block in the subconscious can be demagnetized and resolved.

"How do we change the form of the subconscious? We purify it by resolving in understanding those experiences which have created it. How do we resolve those experiences through understanding? We bring them up into the light and face them without reaction. By resolving our reactive experiences in understanding, the subconscious becomes more and more transparent to our own view and, therefore, necessarily undergoes positive change. To be able to objectively observe one's own experiences without reaction is one of the powers acquired through the performance of sadhana."

So this is an important point here that Gurudeva's making. He starts out by saying what's in the subconscious -- everything that is passed through your conscious mind in the form of experience -- is right, resident right now within your subconscious. Then he adds here the idea that also our reactions to these experiences are in the subconscious mind.

So, changing the subconscious, he points out, is by understanding those experiences, bringing them up into the light and facing them. So, there's a statement Gurudeva makes, he says: "All experiences are good if we understand the lesson from them." Every experience is a good experience. What makes it a good experience? Our understanding the lesson from it; that's what makes it a good experience. So, you know normally, pleasant things we call them good experiences and unpleasant things we call them bad experiences. But, that's kind of looking at it in an external way. So Gurudeva deepens that by saying: Oh a good experience is any experience where we get the lesson from it. Bad experience is one where we haven't yet understood the lesson. Cause sometimes we learn the most from doing the wrong thing or from difficult times. We gain great lessons. So, we don't want to label those as bad experiences or unpleasant experiences, because they can actually teach us the most through understanding.

So, one of the core ideas here, it's so basic you almost just let it go by, is that we can change the form of the subconscious. So that's important to reflect upon. Some individuals who haven't studied Gurudeva's teachings or similar teachings, you know, they are the way they are. And they'll tell you all about their childhood and how the mother did this to them and their father did that to them and their siblings did this and their teacher did that; and ten years from now, if you sit down, they'll say the same thing. Why? Because they haven't understood the process of changing the subconscious mind. That's what happened to us, but, if some of the things weren't very pleasant, we can still change the form of the subconscious mind by understanding them and forgiving people and so forth. Different processes we go through change us and therefore, ten years from now, we wouldn't explain in the same way. You know that which made us cry in the past we'd smile at in the future. Because we've changed our perspective on that. But all of that requires some philosophical background. In other words, I know of some individuals who've jumped into the Master Course study and read about Vasana Daha Tantra -- writing down your experiences and burning them up, which we'll look at in a minute -- tried to do it and couldn't do it. Basically, the experience they had in life still overwhelm them. And sitting down and thinking about them, all it did was make the experiences worse. So, what was lacking? Well, what was lacking is a philosophical foundation. Said another way: what is lacking is a concept of our self as a divine being, as a soul. So we don't think of ourselves as a divine being then this process can be impossible if we've had a difficult life.

So, that's why Gurudeva says: first step in studying his teachings is to learn the philosophy. That's the first step. Really study "Dancing With Siva" and become convinced you're a divine being and not a flawed being. Be convinced on the inside you're always pure and perfect regardless of what you did or what happened to you. And you're a divine being on the inside. Whatever you did or whatever you experienced doesn't change that fact. You really have to talk yourself into it, convince yourself, and then once you have that perspective then, then you're ready to start unraveling the subconscious and changing it, improving it.

So how do we improve it? By straightening out our understanding of the past. That's the first way we improve the subconscious mind. Or, said another way: If you want to remodel a room in your house, what do you do? You take everything out of it, right? So this is the first step. Taking everything out of the room, take all the junk out. Take all the clutter out. Then you're ready for the second step which we'll look at in a minute.

"Suppose when you were young you stole some money from your mother's purse. 'She promised me this once and broke her promise,' you rationalized. 'Besides, I really need it,' you add. Then, because you are not particularly pleased with yourself, you pack this experience away in a corner of the subconscious where you will not need to think about it. You suppress it. But the next day, your mother casually mentions the subject of money to you, and you react or emotionally re-enact the experience. You feel guilty. Not wanting to think about it, you suppress it again, deeper in the subconscious. Suppose then later in life your mother has become seriously ill, and in a reflective mood you realize that you have not been close to her for many years. Mixed in with a rush of buried memories you come across the incident of the stolen money.

"For the first time you appreciate and realize the sense of guilt that had lingered, influencing your life since that time in a hundred subtle ways. In the light of understanding, the experience suddenly becomes clear to you, and you objectively and unemotionally see yourself as you were at that time. You feel relieved and strangely lifted, not because you were able to analyze why you stole the money, but because in totally facing and accepting yourself in that circumstance you realize that you have expanded beyond it into a new realm."

So, that's a good point there. He's talking about resolving it. [pause] So, he's giving a good key here. That experience is resolved because in totally facing and accepting yourself in that experience you realize you have expanded beyond it. So accepting what you did and realizing that, that point in time, that's who you were. You're not that person now, but that's who you were then and then you and you've moved on. Analyzing, I mean accepting that is the key.

"Intuition travels through a purified subconscious. Before we can utilize the superconscious or intuitive realms of the mind, we must be able to resolve those past experiences which may still vibrate in our subconscious. Realize, however, that you need not seek out mental repressions. Simply face each one honestly as it naturally arises in life. Imagine that you are trying to arrive at an important business or family decision. All the facts you need to know have already been outlined, yet you find yourself frustrated in not being able to arrive at a clear decision. The more you concentrate upon the problem, the more obscure does the answer seem. What your conscious mind isn't aware of is that the personality problems you are having with your superior at the office, or with your spouse at home, are clouding the issue. Soon after, while relaxing on a family outing, thinking about nothing in particular, a great feeling of compassion, forgiveness and understanding wells up within you, and all at once that 'bright idea' needed to solve the problem comes to you unbidden."

So, that's pointing out two ideas regarding a bright idea from our intuition. The first is that as long as there are some conflicts, some mental argument going on with someone else, that that blocks our intuition. You know, we have to resolve any sense of disagreeing with someone that's going on in our mind. Kind of, you know, talking to them in our mind, complaining about them or whatever we go through. You know that has to quiet down; we have to get rid of that and then we have to relax. Tension, or being too externalized, blocks the intuition. So we need to relax. You know, going for a short walk is a simple way to relax. Enjoying the environment, making sure you're not thinking. You know you're just enjoying the environment. You're not still thinking about something and walking along and almost running into objects. Rather it's the opposite. You know, you're totally observing where you're walking with a quiet mind. You do that for ten minutes and if you have no personal conflicts going on in your mind, then intuition is likely to come through in that kind of situation.

There's a related sutra:

"My devotees succeed by remolding subconscious magnetic forces. They purge the dross through Vasana Daha Tantra, writing and burning past transgressions and current problems. Then use positive affirmations."

So, Vasana Daha Tantra is a systematic way of facing these past experiences. You know, going through each year and writing it down -- ten pages or more -- and burning it up and the related other steps, gets rid of it in a very successful way. So that's, as we said, it's like clearing out the room. If you want to remodel the room, first you clear it out, but then you have to redecorate. So what's the redecoration? Well the redecoration is positive affirmations. So it's a two step process: We clear out the past through Vasana Daha Tantra, through understanding our experiences, and then we change the nature of the subconscious, consciously change it, through the use of affirmations.

So there is a nice statement here I made: "Then it is time to rebuild the subconscious, remold it, change it's form, change it's magnetic content through the power of affirmation."

So that's the point Gurudeva made if the first lesson is: We can change the subconscious. So we change it in two ways: We clear out the past and then we reprogram it with affirmation.

So this is from Gurudeva's chapter on affirmations:

The first affirmation that Gurudeva gives in the chapter on affirmations in "Merging With Siva" is: "I can. I will. I am able to accomplish what I plan."

There are a number of other good affirmations in this chapter but we'll just focus on this one.

An affirmation such as this, the idea is we repeat it quite a lot.

[Talk continues, but recording ends here. Bodhinatha's upadesha on affirmations, begun here prior to the recording ending, is added for continuity.]

"Gurudeva says 50 to 100 times a day, that is a lot! Because we are trying to change how we look at life. We are trying to change our core belief from 'I can't' to 'I can'. This is work. This is like starting with no muscle at all and building it back. We have to do some serious exercise here. We can't just walk around for 5 or 10 minutes, when we don't have any muscles. We have to exercise seriously everyday, in a very regular way. Similarly, when we don't have any confidence, we have to put a lot of energy into affirmations, serious affirmation time.

"Gurudeva gives us a very important key to being successful in the use of affirmations. It is a three-fold key. It is when repeating the affirmation to simultaneously think, visualize and feel. Three actions to do at the same time - think, visualize and feel.

"What does that mean?

"Think means consciously being aware of what the affirmations means. Not thinking would be to repeat the affirmation out of habit while thinking about something else. So, that is self-evident. If we are fully focused on what we are saying, we know what it means. But it is easy when you do an affirmation say, 100 times a day, after a while your mind is thinking about, "What am I going to eat for breakfast? What am I going to do about this or that?" Your mind has become divided. If we have a divided mind, if we are thinking about something else at the same time, we are not grasping the meaning. We are just repeating it out of habit. So, we have to be careful to have the full mind on the one thought and therefore we are thinking, we are understanding the meaning intellectually.

"Visualize. Visualize means to create a mental picture illustrating the affirmation. For example, see yourself sitting at a desk making a plan to earn some extra money to remodel your home. See yourself earning the money and doing the remodeling. So, we make up a little visualization. It doesn't always have to be the same one, sometimes it is nice to change it. That again keeps it from becoming a habit. We need to picture something in our mind which is an illustration, just like drawing on paper. This illustrates the concept of, "I can, I will, I am able to accomplish what I plan." Somehow, we need to see ourselves planning and accomplishing something. A visualization, a picture in the mind, at the same time as we are understanding what the words mean. That is the second element in a successful affirmation.

"The third element is feel. Feel means to have the same feeling you will have when this is consistently happening in your life. In the case of this affirmation, it is the feelings of confidence and success from being able to accomplish what you plan. You need to feel now how you will feel in the future when you are successful and confident. This is the part that people sometimes leave out because they don't realize that it needs to be done. It is not self evident. Visualization is common. At least, thinking about what it means would always be done. But, this subtlety of feeling now, how it will feel to be successful, having the feelings of confidence and success. What does it feel like to feel confident and successful? We have to think that way. What does it feel like? Maybe we don?t know, maybe we never felt that way. So, we have to find those feelings of confidence and success and have those present while we are doing the affirmation.

"Then, we have the three-fold practice. We think, we visualize, we feel. This is a wonderful key given to us by Gurudeva. He says feeling is the most important part of making affirmations successful. He says that feeling is more important than the other two, by far."

[End of transcript.]

Photo of  Gurudeva
Before dying, Hindus diligently fulfill obligations, make amends and resolve differences by forgiving themselves and others, lest unresolved karmas bear fruit in future births.