Following the sad passing of Jon Randall less than two weeks ago, I thought it may be some sort of belated tribute to his memory to re-publish this short article which I wrote for his online magazine Pentacle in 2005.
I had been in open discussion with some of the members on the magazine for some months over such things as psychic investigations, Wiccan beliefs and its spiritual origins and the nature of Divine Consciousness, or ‘God’. It was a long and varied discussion and went on for some months after I had started a thread on the Group named Beyond the Mental Realm. Perhaps not surprisingly, the topic attracted many varying opinions and viewpoints from members; indeed, even a little hostility from a few who took a hardline approach to anyone who seemingly opposed traditional interpretation of things esoteric.
As the owner, Jon was writing under the pen name of “ARCHRAVEN” on some of its different threads, and it was a particular observation about that he put to myself about the relation between the subconscious mind and the conscious one, that particularly held my attention. This is my answer as it was published in Pentacle in 2005. . .
As a psychic investigator I have often been asked to define ‘vampires’, but invariably declined by saying that such things simply do not exist.. I have stated that this does not simply negate the existence of much paranormal activity but gone on to clarify this by pointing that before trying to understand the Unknowable (‘vampires’ obviously excluded), it is first of paramount importance to understand that ‘human state of consciousness’ that is trying to understand such things.
I have always empathised in my Talks and Writings over the years the essential importance of understanding consciousness before tying to understand aspects of the paranormal and the principles underlying spiritualism and higher realms of Being, the latter obviously including states of Being that lie beyond the confines of both these two i.e. Divine Consciousness or ‘God’.
Accordingly, I have often been asked to clarify or explain further my many statements about the true nature of consciousness; whether such questions were forthcoming from the hardened skeptics of James Randi (where I spent many ‘volatile’ months!) to more liberal groups or sects perhaps trying to find some answer to the often tragic problem of existence.
I have always tried to answer such questions truthfully realizing that to understand the vast complexities of human life (so often tragic and full of sorrow) and its potential relationship to a Higher Existence (or ‘God’), it is first essential to understand the nature of consciousness. Many people often do not even take such a factor into account; rather take it for granted that consciousness is confined only to their own particular mode of existence and are happy to fall back on the writings of psychologists to explain it – if they think it needs explaining at all.
But personally I think that this essential question goes far deeper than that. Indeed, without a greater understanding of consciousness, the human mind will remain entrapped in its usual concepts of life, death and an after-life which may bear no relation to Real Existence.
The following is a question put to me by someone on Pentacle magazine just a few years ago. My answer I have left unedited, and just hope and pray the format translates accurately (physically that is!) from an old computer. . .
Thank you for making the important point about the relation between the subconscious mind and the conscious one. I say ‘important’ because to me personally, it is an essential point and one that needs to be seen as such before any questions about the paranormal (i.e. things that are seen to exist or occur beyond the conscious mind) can even begin to be investigated seriously. When we started this thread and called it “Beyond the Mental Realm”, it was really intended to apply to the whole field of paranormal phenomena (or the ‘supernatural’), but the point you make is essentially valid because without a conscious mind to realise that such a thing as paranormal activity might really exist, the whole thing would really be a ‘non-starter’ in the first place! Having said that, I realise that I might be very much on my own here in that I am not attempting to speak on behalf of anybody or attempting to ‘cloud’ normal reality with issues normally regarded as ‘intangible’.
Your question of “How do I define the Unconscious”, is really unanswerable, as such. I cannot define it, simply because it is not possible to define levels of conscious that might lie beyond the normal ‘everyday thinking’ mind with the conscious mind. It would be rather like trying to interpret some compelling dream that has since disappeared into realms unseen leaving only some vague consciousness recollection of it. Of course, you could get dozens of conscious interpretations (meanings) about it, but all would basically amount to conjectures on the part of the conscious mind itself.
I sought to find some answer to this problem many years ago now (and am still trying to do so!); basically, how to interpret, or at least, begin to understand deeper levels of consciousness that lie beyond ‘normal’ or superficial consciousness. It is, of course, a vast question, and one to which no forthcoming answers can be expressed in simple form.I can only really express a little of what I began to understand at the beginning about the whole question:
To begin with, why is it that so many people automatically accept standard definitions about consciousness. For example, we are taught basically that there exist three basic levels of consciousness; the conscious, the subconscious and the unconscious, which can be defined by conscious theories or other interpretations (which, in turn, are subject to ‘consciousness learning processes’ or other very human theories). This is the commonly accepted view (put very simply); but is it necessarily true?
By this I mean, that could there not exist dozens upon dozens of levels of conscious, all maybe ‘interactive’ in a way that certainly lies beyond normal (or normal conscious) interpretation? Further than this, could there not exist much deeper levels in human consciousness that are beyond normal ‘thought processes’ and which cannot possibly be ‘reached’ by utilizing them (active thought processes?).
Of course, this is where the esoteric (magic) comes in with all its usual deeper symbolisms, sigils, dream interpretations and so forth (and I’m not ’knocking’ magical practices having been involved in them); but can even this provide any real answer?
You can go much deeper, of course, but at the end of it, you are only left paddling in the shallows of an infinite ocean.
So to me, that leaves (and left) an inevitable question; how is it then possible to glimpse (let alone see clearly) deeper levels of consciousness with relying upon normal (’everyday’) consciousness to bring this about? Or even, is this possible at all whilst in our normal human state? It is difficult to put into words. It is rather like saying; if you can somehow go beyond ‘normal consciousness’, you might be able to ‘reach’ THAT which might lie beyond it, but in doing so, you would first have to disguard the very rational mind that would be capable of recognising IT.
I can not attempt to expound this view on paper. It is hard enough to do so in person, so normally I avoid this subject. I touched upon this once in a talk I gave (which was originally supposed to be about the paranormal and “ghosts”) and the latter point somehow came up. Somebody pointed out that it was all really a waste of time and there could be no answer because all you were left with was a ‘chicken and egg’ situation – one that could never really satisfactorily answered.
I could only reply that maybe that question could indeed be answered: Maybe ‘what came first’ was the consciousness or ‘life force’ that first created and then formed both of them.
Maybe we would be best devoting our energies to that, then some of the rest of it would fall into place automatically.
Anyway, I am meeting Gareth tonight so no doubt he will want to reply to the ley line query. I would certainly be happy to talk to you if you at ‘Moot’ next time I go. I would imagine that this would be after February now as I do not like the cold weather!
(Pentacle Magazine 2005)