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The inner self is embarked upon an exciting endeavor, in which it learns how to translate its reality into physical terms. The conscious mind is brilliantly attuned to physical reality, then, and often so dazzled by what it perceives that it is tempted to think physical phenomena is a cause, rather than a result. Deeper portions of the self always serve to remind it that this is not the case. When the conscious mind accepts too many false beliefs, particularly if it sees that inner self as a danger, then it closes out these constant reminders. When this situation arises the conscious mind feels itself assailed by a reality that seems greater than itself, over which it has no control. The deep feeling of security in which it should be anchored is lost.
If you use your conscious mind properly, then, you examine those beliefs that come to you. You do not accept them willy-nilly. If you use your conscious mind properly, you are also aware of intuitive ideas that come to you from within. You are only half conscious when you do not examine the information that comes to you from without, and when you ignore the data that comes to you from within.
Your inner self adopts the physically conscious, physically focused mind as a method of allowing it to manipulate in the world that you know. The conscious mind is particularly equipped to direct outward activity, to handle waking experience and oversee physical work.
Its beliefs about the nature of reality are then given to inner portions of the self. These rely mainly upon the conscious mind’s interpretation of temporal reality. The conscious mind sets the goals and the inner self brings them about, using all its facilities and inexhaustible energy.
There is no battle between the intuitive self and the conscious mind. There only seems to be when the individual refuses to face all the information that is available in his conscious mind. (Pause.) Sometimes it seems easier to avoid the frequent readjustments in behavior that self-examination requires. In such cases an individual collects many secondhand beliefs. Some contradict each other; the signals given to the body and to the inner self are not smoothly flowing or clear-cut, but a muddied jumble of counter-directions.
(10:13.) Many false beliefs therefore are indiscriminately accepted because you have not examined them. You have given the inner self a faulty picture of reality. Since it is the function of the conscious mind to assess physical experience, it [the inner self] hasn’t been able to do its job properly. If the inner portions of the self were supposed to have that responsibility, then you would not need a conscious mind.
The conscious mind is basically curious, open. It is also equipped to examine its own contents. Because of the psychological theories of the last century, many Western people believed that the primary purpose of the conscious mind was to inhibit “unconscious” material.
Left alone, the self acts spontaneously as a unit, but as an ever-changing one. Listening to voices both within and without, the conscious mind is able to form beliefs that are in league with the self’s knowledge as received from material and nonmaterial sources. Then examination of beliefs takes its place along with other activities — naturally, easily, without effort. Once the conscious mind has accepted a collection of conflicting beliefs, however, a definite attempt is necessary to sort these out.
No apple tree tries to grow violets. Quite automatically it knows what it is, and the framework of its own identity and existence. (Pause.) You have a conscious mind, but this is only the “topmost” portion of your mind. Much more of “it” is available to you. Much more of your knowledge can be conscious, therefore; but a false belief, a limiting one, is as ambiguous to your nature as any apple tree’s idea that it was a violet plant.
(11:40.) The ego is an offshoot of the conscious mind, so to speak. The conscious mind is like a gigantic camera with the ego directing the view and the focus. Left alone, various portions of the identity rise and form the ego, degroup and reform, all the while maintaining a marvelous spontaneity and yet a sense of oneness. (See both sessions in Chapter One.)
In a manner of speaking, the conscious mind is a window through which you look outward — and looking outward, perceive the fruits of your inner mind. Often you let false beliefs blur that great vision. Your joy, vitality and accomplishment do not come from the outside to you as the result of events that “happen to you.” They spring from inner events that are the result of your beliefs.
(10:06. Seth-Jane, deep in thought, paused.) Much has been written about the nature and importance of suggestion. One of the current ideas in vogue holds that you are constantly at the mercy of suggestion. Your own conscious beliefs are the most important suggestions that you receive. All other ideas are rejected or accepted according to whether or not you believe they are true, in line with the steady conscious chattering that goes on within your mind most of the day — the suggestions given to you by yourself.
The great value of the conscious mind lies precisely in its ability to make decisions and set directions. Its role is dual, however: It is meant to assess conditions both inside and outside, to handle data that comes from the physical world and from the inner portions of the self. It is not a closed system, then.
At the same time, the inner self will transmit to the conscious mind insights and intuitions meant to clear its sight. But if you believe that the inner self is dangerous and not to be trusted, if you are afraid of dreams or any intrusive psychic material, then you deny this help and turn aside from it.
I repeat: Your ideas and beliefs form the structure of your experience. Your beliefs and the reasons for them can be found in your conscious mind. If you accept the idea that the reasons for your behavior are forever buried in the past of this life, or any other, then you will not be able to alter your experience until you change that belief. I am speaking now of more or less normal experience. Later we will discuss more particular areas, such as circumstances in which illnesses date from birth.
The conscious mind allows you to look outward into the physical universe, and see the reflection of your spiritual activity, to perceive and assess your individual and joint creations.
(Emphatically:) When the inner self is alerted, it will immediately try to remedy the situation by an influx of self-corrective measures. On occasion, when the situation gets out of hand, it will bypass those restrictive areas of the conscious mind, and solve the problem by shooting forth energy in other layers of activity.
Thought and feeling then seem separate. Creativity and intellect do not show themselves as the brothers that they are, but often as strangers. The conscious mind loses its fine edge. It cuts out from its experience the vast body of inner knowledge available to it. Divisions, illusionary ones, appear in the self.
The false beliefs must be weeded out so that the conscious mind can become aware of its source once again, and open to the inner channels of splendor and power available to it.
The ego is your idea of your physical image in relation to the world. Your self image is not unconscious, then. You are quite aware of it, though often you reject certain thoughts about it in favor of others. False beliefs can result in a rigid ego that insists upon using the conscious mind in one direction only, further distorting its perceptions.
Previous limiting ideas, accepted, figuratively form a restraining bed, gathering other such material so that your mind becomes filled with debris. When you are spontaneous, you accept the free nature of your mind and it spontaneously makes decisions as to the validity or non-validity of data it receives. When you refuse to allow it this function it becomes cluttered.
Your conscious beliefs direct the functioning of your body. It is not the other way around.
It will manage to work around the blind spots in the reasoning mind, for example. Often it will sift out from the barrage of conflicting beliefs the particular set that is the most life-giving, and send these forth in what then appears as a burst of revelation. Such revelations result in new patterns that change behavior.
You must be aware of the contents of your own reasoning mind. Find the ambiguities. Regardless of the nature of your beliefs they are indeed made flesh and material. The miracle of your being cannot escape itself. Your thoughts blossom into events. If you think the world is evil, you will meet with events that seem evil. There are no accidents in cosmic terms, or in terms of the world as you know it. Your beliefs grow as surely in time and space as flowers do. When you realize this you can even feel their growing.
Such a situation denies the individual his full strength, and cuts him off — consciously, now — from the important sources of his being. These conditions inhibit creative expression in particular, and deny the conscious self the continually emerging insights and intuitions otherwise unavailable.
If you dwell upon limitations, then you will meet them. You must create a new picture in your mind. It will differ from the picture your physical senses may show you at any given time, precisely in those areas where changes are required.