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At an unconscious level, the idea of an unconscious is a useful way it accounts for aspects of the mind of which we are not directly conscious or aware. In other words the unconscious mind is a storage facility that retains and recalls memories sent there by the conscious mind for use at a time when the unconscious perceives action is needed. When this happens the conscious mind often accepts the suggestion and automatically sets it in motion. However, when this simplistic interpretation is examined at a deeper level the topic becomes more complex.

Probably the most detailed and precise theory out of the various ideas of 'unconscious mind' - and the one, which most people will immediately think of upon hearing the term - is that developed by Sigmund Freud and his followers, which lies at the heart of psychoanalysis. Freud's concept was that the unconscious directs the thoughts and feelings of everyone. According to Freud the unconscious mind is the primitive instinctual hangover we all suffer from and which we must overcome in a healthy way in order to become fully and normally developed, i.e. not neurotic or psychotic.

Freud aside, throughout history many different ideas about the unconscious have been advanced. At the present stage, there are still fundamental disagreements within psychology about what the nature of the 'unconscious mind' might be, whereas outside formal psychology a whole world of psychological speculation has grown up in which the 'unconscious mind' is held to have any number of properties and abilities - from the innocent and child-like to the all-perceiving, mystical and occult.

According to psychotherapists the unconscious is not directly accessible to ordinary introspection, but it is capable of being 'tapped' and 'interpreted' by special methods and techniques, such as random association, dream analysis and verbal Freudian slips. It is assumed that thoughts, feelings and urges that are repressed are all present in the unconscious mind.

Psychics believe there are three levels of consciousness that play a role in psychic experiences. The conscious, the unconscious and the subconscious, also known as the universal mind. These three levels either work with or against each other, and each person must learn to balance the message from all three levels of awareness. The conscious mind is in charge of reasoning, analysing and making decisions and its focus is on being objective. This isn't always easy as the conscious mind is always receiving input from the unconscious mind, which impairs its ability to remain objective.

Some psychics also believe that the unconscious mind possesses a kind of 'hidden energy' or 'potential' that can realise dreams and thoughts with minimal conscious effort or action from the individual., some also believe that is has the power to influence and shape a persons destiny.

From C.G. Jung 'Memories, Dreams and Refelections p 419

C.G.Jung : "Theoretically, no limits can be set to the field of consciousness, since it is capable of indefinite extension. Empirically, however, it always finds its limit when it comes up against the unknown. This consists of everything we do not know, which, therefore, is not related to the ego as the centre of the field of consciousness. The uknown falls into two groups of objects : those which are outside and can be experienced by the senses, and those which are inside and are expereinced imeediately. The first group comprises the unknown in the outer world; the second the unknown in the inner world. We call this latter territory the unconscious." ( Aion, Coll. Works, Vol. 9, part 2, p. 3.)

"Everything of which I know, but of which I am not at the moment thinking; everything of which I was once conscious but have now fogotten; everything perceived by my senses, but not noted by my conscious mind; everything which, involuntarily and without paying attention to it, I feel, think, remember, want, and do; all the future things that are taking shape in me and will sometime come to consciousness : all this is the content of the unconscious." (The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche, Coll. Works, Vol. 8, p. 185.)

"Besides these we must include all more or less international repressions of painful thoughts and feelings. I call the sum of all these contents the personal unconscious. But, over and above that, we also find in the unconscious qualities that are not individually aquired but are inherited, e.g. instincts as impulses to cary out actions from necessity, without conscious motivation. In this 'deeper' stratum we also find the . . . archetypes . . . The instincts and archetypes together form the collective unconscious. I call it 'collective' because, unlike the personal uncosncious, it is not made up of individual and more or less unique contents but of those which are universal and of regular occurence." ( Ibid, pp. 133 ff.)

"The first group comprises contents which are integral componenets of the individual personality and therefore could just as well be cosncious; the sescsond group forms, as it were, an omnipresent, unchanging, and everwhere identical quality or substrata of the psyche per se.! ( Aion, Coll. Works, Vol. 9, part 2, p. 7.)

"The deeper 'Layers' of the psyche lose their individual uniqueness as they retreat farther and farther into darkness. : Lower down,"that is to say as they approach the autonomous functional systems, they become increasingly collective until they are universalised and extinguished in the body's materiality, i.e., in chemical substances. The body's carbon si simply carbon. Hence 'at bottom' the psyche is simply 'world'.'" ( The Archetypes and the collective Unconscious, Coll. Works, Vol. 9, p.173.)

Universal energy or vital force that is thought to transcend time and space, permeate all things and upon which all things depend for health and life.

Since ancient times the existence of a life force has been universally acknowledged and different cultures and belief systems give it different names, many of which are listed below. Whatever it is called, however, the characteristics of the life force remain the same. In some systems it can be controlled and manipulated for improved health, healing and happiness.

In Hindu yoga, Prana is a life force associated with breathing that is absorbed into and used by the human body to maintain health and wellbeing. The control of prana plays an important part in Hindu magic and healing, as well as yoga.

Prana is the energy that the soul uses. It may be regarded as the soul of force and energy in all forms. It is the principle that causes activity and accompanies life.

While prana permeates all things it is believed to be more concentrated at the top of mountains and near running water. It occurs naturally in the atmosphere and is believed to be absorbed into the body by a series of subtle energy centres known as chakras.


Prana breathing exercise

According to 'Pranayama' experts, Prana comes to us in its free state in the air we breathe. It is therefore easy to see that it a comparatively simple thing to keep ourselves charged with Prana, the basic force of all life, when we have learned to breathe correctly.

Do this practice twice a day, for a period of five minutes.

Through both nostrils, breathe in and out to a count of four. Close your right nostril; breathe in through the left nostril to a count of four. Close your left nostril and breathe out, completely, through your right nostril, keeping the left nostril closed to a count of four.

Keeping the left nostril closed, breathe in through the right nostril to a count of four. Close your right nostril and breathe out, completely, through your left nostril, keeping the right nostril closed to a count of four.

As you progress increase the counts for inhalation and exhalation.

Qi or Chi














Qi, also known as Chi, literally means breath or gas or ether. It was developed as an esoteric principle and regarded as the source of health, harmony, creativity and courage by ancient Chinese philosophers, who conceived of it as a dualistic principle that later evolved into the negative/positive polarities of yin and yang. Yin and yang are said to be in constant ebb and flow and for optimum health they must be in balance. Qi courses through the body in 12 meridians connected to the internal organs. The flow of Qi can be enhanced by the manipulation of points along the meridians [see acupuncture].

All living things are believed to be in a constant energy exchange with Qi and if it is depleted illness results. If the exchange ceases death occurs. Qi is received through breath, food and from the environment in general. Unfortunately our ability to absorb it decreases with age.

Control and manipulation of Qi is also part of Chinese Yoga and some branches of the martial arts. In Tai Chi, for example, Qi is controlled through breathing to bring mind and body into balance.


Qi breathing exercise

The Chinese believe it is the disruption of the flow of Qi within the body that causes many diseases, and that re-establishing Qi flows can bring about an upturn in our wellbeing. It is thought that deeper, steady breathing increases the amount of oxygen the body can use to burn out disease, and the amount of chi the body can use, for health and spiritual matters.

A word of caution: be very mindful when performing this yoga breathing exercise and return to normal breathing if you feel light-headed, dizzy or faint. Unless stated all inhalations and exhalations should be through your nostrils - this allows the body greater control over respiration.

Lie down, totally flat, on a comfortable surface. Relax for a second or two. Now breath in deeply through your nose. Push your belly up while taking the air inside. Stick your chin on your chest and watch your belly rise. When you've taken in as much air as you can hold, stop and hold you breath. Try holding it for 10 or 20 seconds. Breathe out slowly and completely.

You'll probably find this feels strange at first but keep practising. It will take a while to get used to how deep breathing feels. Close your eyes and sense the rhythm of the deep breath you're taking. You will find this relaxing and energizing.

























The Japanese for Qi. The esoteric principle of Qi was introduced into Japan in the Nara period [AD 710-794] and absorbed into Shinto beliefs about nature. Concepts of Ki began to change with the rise of the Samuri class when Ki became part of the warrior's code of discipline, willpower and courage, when conserving energy and prolonged breathing were considered a matter of life and death. These principles of power breath have carried over into and remained a key part of modern-day martial arts.

Term used by native Polynesian and Melanesian cultures to describe the energy of the universe, the life force that is inherent in all living things and all matter. It also forms part of their beliefs about the spirit world - that the Mana of someone who has died or the powers of a sacred object can be transmitted to someone else for the magical use. Mana is also thought to flow through the human body into a figure-of-eight pattern and can be manipulated through breathing and visualisation exercises.

German chemist Baron Karl von Reichenbach [1788-1869] used the term 'Od' to describe a substance that he believed emanated from all thing in the universe. According to Reichenbach, Od can be seen and sensed by clairvoyants. He also believed it could be affected by breath. Reischenbach's Od theory is important because it was the first attempt by a scientist to put forward a case for the universal life force, by conducting numerous experiments with sensitives.

Reichenbach published his research in 1845, but it was rejected by the scientific establishment. One of the first tasks of the Society for Psychical Research was to study and later validate many of Reichenbach's conclusions. Despite this Reichenbach and his work continue to be shunned by the scientific community.


Eastern European concept of the universal life force which permeates all things and which can be controlled and directed at will. The term was borrowed from Wliian Reich, who was probably the first to use it to describe life energy within the body and the universe.

Bioenergy is believed to radiate from human bodies and is strongley associated with psychic phenomena. It is unclear as to whether this force is created wtihin the body or drawn from outside. Eastern European researchers have studied Bioenergy with great interest in the hope that they might be able to store the energy in generators.



Psychics believe that there are three levels of consciosness that play a role in psychic expereinces: the conscious, the unconscious and the universal or higher mind, also known as the subconscious.

The universal mind is believed to be the place where spontaneous insights or inuition come from. According to psychics it acts as an internal guidance system or a higher self, which helps keep a person in line with their life purpose.




(c) Steven Warren - 2005 -2016. All rights reserved.