The Unconscious Self

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

“What color do you like?”
“I prefer red.”
“But why do u like it? There must be some reason.”
“The only reason is that… THERE’S JUST NO REASON”

There comes many such moments in our life when ‘There’s just no reason’ behind some of our actions or thoughts. Yet we feel determined to carry them out. This is the point when our unconscious steps in our conscious world and leaves indelible marks on it.

Unconscious has a considerable effect on one’s way of life but the nature of the exact relation it has with the conscious self is mysterious. Also the fact that despite having seemingly conflicting nature one’s conscious and subconscious usually go together in an efficient way deepens this mystery further, thus making it more appealing for researches and study.

Life is a complete system and the process of living needs every component of that system to work in harmony. That is why we should not consider that the unconscious and the conscious do not supplement each other. Rather they move along together. It’s just that their way of moving on together can only be understood if Life is studied as a whole.

Lets for a while, consider personality as a factory comprising of two units. One contains all the machinery and is the production area. The other is the receiving zone, handling and delivering what has been produced in the production area.

Lot of hype and activity goes on in the unconscious part every moment. Whatever our senses witness and observe, it gets registered in the Unconscious for a long lasting time (unlike in the conscious). It is the place where new ideas are born. The kingdom of Unconscious is the site where energies collide and the reactant thoughts and ideas turn into new products, untouched by the conscious world. This is very much similar to the production area of the factory.

The conscious appear in as the receiving zone, acting on the ideas originally adopted, condensed and assembled in the unconscious self. However it does not mean that the activity of conscious is in any way inferior to that of the unconscious. Imagine how important it is in a factory to receive and handle the material from the production area efficiently and deliver it further responsibly!

For being able to express and comprehend one’s subconscious psyche properly, it is important to get in touch with it and to develop a strong communication between the conscious and the unconscious. Psychologists have come up with many researches and ideas regarding it, the prominent one being Freud’s emphasis on dreams and their relation with unconscious.

What I have observed in this respect is that the Aesthetics are the most powerful way to develop this communication. No matter which field of Art or at what level it is being pursued, one advantage it is going to give you is that it can take you closer to your own self.

Imagine giving a few color pencils and a small piece of paper to a child, and his drawing can reveal unto you how he perceives the many things going on in the very environment the child is living in. In fact at times his drawing can help you understand your own unconscious beliefs too.

Just like an individual, a nation also possesses life. Characters of a nation’s life also depend upon its unconscious and the conscious self. Aesthetics appears to be more important in this case when compared with the case of an individual, as now the canvas of life has got magnified immensely.

Writers, philosophers, painters, actors and musicians plays a very efficient role in bringing the masses closer to their unconscious that lies inside the depth of their national soul. Iqbal and Waheed Murad are just two names out of a whole population of people who brought to our conscious thoughts which were lingering in our subconscious.

Unconscious has been a mystery, not because Man has not put any effort in trying to reveal it, but because mystery is the costume unconscious prefers exposing itself in. Better respect its mystery. Also I think the study on unconscious self needs a method in which ‘Life’ prevails. In my view, Psychology needs to take a more aesthetic and less 'statistical' approach towards it.


Urooj Malik said...

Namrah, you have once again written a scholarly piece of work and given a thought provoking post about the relationship of conscious and unconscious. You have also beautifully put the idea that by enlarge whole Nation and in fact whole humanity grows like an individual and its conscious and unconscious can have the same relation that an individual can have.
Thank you for this excellent post.

Namrah Mahmood said...

Thank you so much Urooj,
You are right. The same goes for the whole Humanity, as the building block for both a nation and Humanity is Human being. Hence the same concepts apply everywhere.
I am glad that u liked the post. Thanks for taking out time to read it.

Amiya chatterjee said...

The sun,the moon ,the stars and waters everything is complete.One MIND appears ....big mistake

Namrah Mahmood said...

Thanks for sharing your point of view Amiya!

Akhtar Wasim Dar said...

Namrah, so effortlessly you can write on such a complex matter and with such lucid prose, I am amazed. I would like to read more on this topic from you. About aesthetics I really like your point of view, Quran puts so much emphasis on aesthetics and a life based on aesthetics.

Thinking said...

hmm...again thought provoking post Nimrah...

There are so many subjects on whcih I find myself totally blind....and what you wrote about aesthetics is one of them....

But even if I am blind on the you wrote...uncounciously....I am a big admirer of nature and anything which makes my heart feel light and happy...

Aesthetics has lot to do with creativity...

Unless you have the sense of admiration and desire to can't judge or explore.

hmm...You wrote very beautifully....thanks !

Namrah Mahmood said...

Thanks a lot. Whatever I wrote here is a reaction to what I studied in the last one and half year in my Psychology class. I have some objections to the way some schools of thought in Psychology deals with such an important aspect in an individual's life i-e the relation of conscious and unconscious self. Its a delicate topic and I think we should be really cautious before making any statement about it.
I am trying my best to increase my understanding on the subject, and to come up with fresh thoughts, and would love to share them with everyone here.
Your reference to Quran is amazing, and interesting for me.
Thanks for coming and sharing your views here. :)

Namrah Mahmood said...

I think its GREAT if one has an interest in Aesthetics. You are one such lucky person, as according to me you can develop a good relation between your inner world and the world around you. :)
Your own writings always give me this feeling that the simplicity of Life is being put in its most original form, and I highly appreciate that.
Thanks for coming :D

speakingsoul said...

Your post has put a big smile on my face. I am in the same kind of process and have been trying to study my inner self for year and half now. Your objections are right because study to relation of conscious and unconscious self is not bookish and require a lot faith to believe in it. The path to unconscious is just amazing and leads to the unlimited one. Thanks to my teacher

Namrah Mahmood said...

Thank you so much for liking the post... and I am feeling very glad that any of my writings was useful for you in your understanding of the things around you. You made my point more clear by saying that "unconscious self is not bookish and require a lot faith to believe in it" Thanks for coming and sharing your thoughts with me.

Connie L. Nash said...

I especially like your conclusion:
Better respect its mystery. Also I think the study on unconscious self needs a method in which ‘Life’ prevails. In my view, Psychology needs to take a more aesthetic and less 'statistical' approach...

I've taken many many courses yet mostly in literature and psychology. Last Masters level Psychology lost me on the stats and the control experiments. Often the later were based on deception.

How much more enlightening to look at the Enneagram and Aesthetics and then compare with our deepest most spiritual literature as well as art.

Keep going with your original expressions. Like others I would love to see more.

Namrah Mahmood said...

Very rightly put that "How much more enlightening to look at the Enneagram and Aesthetics and then compare with our deepest most spiritual literature as well as art."

Your words aptly describe my feelings about the topic!

Thank you so much for giving the post a read!

kaney said...

Science gives us so many explanations about our reality that it is considered as a source that provides us with the best proof we could have about the veracity of our conclusions. This is true, but not completely. You still need religion, philosophy, and art in order to understand your complex reality. Only science is not enough; it cannot show you everything you must know in order to understand the multidimensional truth.

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