Subconscious

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Subconscious

Postby Sabina » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:53 am

The term subconscious is used fairly often, so I thought it might be interesting to have a look at this.

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Though lay persons commonly assume 'subconscious' to be a psychoanalytic term, this is, in fact, not the case.

Sigmund Freud had explicitly condemned the word as long ago as 1915:
"We shall also be right in rejecting the term 'subconsciousness' as incorrect and misleading".

In later publications his objections were made clear:
"If someone talks of subconsciousness, I cannot tell whether he means the term topographically - to indicate something lying in the mind beneath consciousness - or qualitatively - to indicate another consciousness, a subterranean one, as it were. He is probably not clear about any of it. The only trustworthy antithesis is between conscious and unconscious."

Thus, as Charles Rycroft has explained, 'subconscious' is a term "never used in psychoanalytic writings". And, in Peter Gay's words, use of 'subconscious' where 'unconscious' is meant is "a common and telling mistake"; indeed, "when [the term] is employed to say something 'Freudian', it is proof that the writer has not read his Freud".

Freud's own terms for mentation taking place outside conscious awareness were das Unbewusste (rendered by his translators as 'the Unconscious') and das Vorbewusste ('the Preconscious'); informal use of the term 'subconscious' in this context thus creates confusion, as it fails to make clear which (if either!) is meant. The distinction is of significance because in Freud's formulation the Unconscious is 'dynamically' unconscious, the Preconscious merely 'descriptively' so: the contents of the Unconscious require special investigative techniques for their exploration, whereas something in the Preconscious is unrepressed and can be recalled to consciousness by the simple direction of attention. The erroneous, pseudo-Freudian use of 'subconscious' and 'subconsciousness' has its precise equivalent in German, where the words inappropriately employed are Unterbewusst and Unterbewusstsein.

The idea of the 'subconscious' as a powerful or potent agency has allowed the term to become prominent in the New Age and self-help literature, in which investigating or controlling its supposed knowledge or power is seen as advantageous. The 'subconscious' may also be supposed to contain (thanks to the influence of the psychoanalytic tradition) any number of primitive or otherwise disavowed instincts, urges, desires and thoughts.

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Source: Wikipedia


As for Jung, he talks of the Collective unconscious, so again not the "subconscious".

Sabina
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Re: Subconscious

Postby mirjana » Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:17 am

Hi Sabina,

I belong to those who use the word subconsciousness and I shall explain why.
Subconsciousness for me represents the hidden aspect of consciousness that influence one person in daily life. We can be aware of this hidden part of consciousness when awake( suppressed emotions, traumas etc) and when in sleep or trans or..(dreams, visions).
Unconsious or without consciousness is the state when one has lost consciousness(traffic accident, operations etc.)
Collective unconscious is that what is also called Akashic Field, or it was The world of Ideas for Plato, or center of the source of all ideas memorized all over the human existence and from where we unconsciously take our ideas when tapping in the moments of silent mind.

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Re: Subconscious

Postby Sabina » Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:54 am

Here is a little more for our exploration of the subconscious :)
My minimalistic comments are below in green.

Unconscious might refer to:

    In physiology:
    1. unconsciousness, the lack of consciousness or responsiveness to people and other environmental stimuli
      Unconsciousness, more appropriately referred to as loss of consciousness or lack of consciousness, is a dramatic alteration of mental state that involves complete or near-complete lack of responsiveness to people and other environmental stimuli. Being in a comatose state or coma is an illustration of unconsciousness.
    (This is also what you refer to as unconscious.)

    In psychology:
    1. Unconscious mind, the mind operating well outside the attention of the conscious mind as defined by Sigmund Freud and others
      The idea of an unconscious mind originated in antiquity and has been explored across cultures. It was recorded between 2500 and 600 B.C in the Hindu texts known as the Vedas, found today in Ayurvedic medicine.
      In the Vedic worldview, consciousness is the basis of physiology and pure consciousness is "an abstract, silent, completely unified field of consciousness" within "an architecture of increasingly abstract, functionally integrated faculties or levels of mind".
    2. unconscious, an altered state of consciousness with limited conscious awareness
      An altered state of consciousness, (ASC), also named altered state of mind, is any condition which is significantly different from a normal waking beta wave state. The expression was used as early as 1969 by Charles Tart and describes induced changes in one's mental state, almost always temporary. A synonymous phrase is "altered states of awareness".
    3. not conscious

Consciousness is subjective experience or awareness or wakefulness or the executive control system of the mind. It is an umbrella term that may refer to a variety of mental phenomena. Although humans realize what everyday experiences are, consciousness refuses to be defined, philosophers note (e.g. John Searle in The Oxford Companion to Philosophy):
"Anything that we are aware of at a given moment forms part of our consciousness, making conscious experience at once the most familiar and most mysterious aspect of our lives."


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I don't know if this is helpful, or rather the opposite. We can of course discuss our subjective usage of language, but when we use language subjectively it can more easily lead to misunderstandings. Or beautiful poems.
=0/

At any rate, this is definitely not one of the major mysteries of life, whether to call a part of us our subconscious or our unconscious or grassymeadowtulips.

Sabina
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Re: Subconscious

Postby mirjana » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:37 pm

More clarification never shades, contrary. I obviously translate physiology into psychology, what is not strange knowing that my Zodiac sign is Earth. 80S
"I don't know if this is helpful, or rather the opposite. We can of course discuss our subjective usage of language, but when we use language subjectively it can more easily lead to misunderstandings."
I can not agree more. Therefore, as I refer the word consciousness mostly in reference to the psychological connotation, it seems that unconsciousness will be understood correctly, and that is my primary intention, to be understood in that what I say. There we are...apples and oranges... =0@
Thank you!

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Re: Subconscious

Postby Sabina » Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:03 pm

I thought it may be prudent to add this.

Encyclopædia Britannica wrote:unconscious, also called Subconscious, the complex of mental activities within an individual that proceed without his awareness. Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, stated that such unconscious processes may affect a person’s behaviour even though he cannot report on them. Freud and his followers felt that dreams and slips of the tongue were really concealed examples of unconscious content too threatening to be confronted directly.


So according to the Encyclopædia Britannica unconscious and subconscious are merely two terms describing the same thing, even if it didn't start off that way, as per previous explanation.
"Whether You believe you can, or you can't, you are right."
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