A human being has two minds: objective and subjective.
The objective mind is the one with which we are all familiar— the rational, waking consciousness by which we make contact with the physical world. Its means of perception are the five physical senses.
The objective mind might be considered synonymous with the Eastern concept of Self-Consciousness, or esoteric concept of the “Lower Self”: that human personality which is a projection of the Higher Self into material conditions for the purpose of gaining experience through incarnation.
The subjective mind includes the Subconscious and the Superconsciousness. Much of the information in the Subconscious mind is emotional and personal to the individual, yet it also contains the only pathway to that vast reserve of power which lies in the mysterious realm of the Superconsciousness, also known as the Collective Unconscious.
We may identify the Subjective mind with the Higher Self; some have likened it to the Soul on the grounds that the more closely we approach death, as the functions of the objective mind are suspended, the stronger the demonstrations of the subjective mind become. Many people in hospice, for instance, see their long-passed relatives and even carry on long conversations with them.
The subjective mind is the seat of the emotional drives and intuition, as well as being a storehouse of memory. The memory of the subjective mind is a fully comprehensive recording of events, rather than the relatively limited perspective of the waking mind. Much information that is unavailable to us under normal conditions can be extracted in trance states, hypnosis or shadow work. The subjective mind often “remembers” details and information that has long been forgotten by the conscious mind— and even information which the conscious mind never seemed to register in the first place.
This suggests that the subjective mind is aware of the physical environment but by means that are independent of the physical senses. Many people have reported odd experiences which substantiate this notion. For instance many have had the experience of waking up at precisely the moment a burglar is entering the home or a fire has caught in another part of the house, even if there was no sound, or even if they ordinarily sleep soundly through the most cacophonous noises. There is also the well-documented ability to sense another’s gaze “through the back of the head”; most people in experiments can indeed “feel” the difference between when someone is looking at them from behind, and when no one is looking.
The subjective mind has very remarkable powers far beyond those of the objective mind and of a different order. Its powers are not available consciously unless the objective mind is put into abeyance, as they are, for instance, in the state of hypnosis or sleepwalking.
In these states, the subjective mind has been shown to be capable of vision without use of the physical eyes, of telepathic transference, and of reading the contents of sealed envelopes or closed books. People with spinal or brain injuries who are unable to walk or talk can sometimes do so in these states, and there are many examples of what are usually called clairvoyant powers. It seems that while the objective mind is dependent upon and confined to the brain, the subjective mind does not bear the same relation, and can remain operative even with a severe injury to this organ.
The Gatekeeper of Manifestation
The objective mind is a fairly rigid structure built up on a foundation of reason and the evidence of the senses. It is capable of rational argument and is resistant to suggestion. It knows what it knows and it has its reason, operating by identification, definition, distinction, limitation and control.
The subjective mind on the other hand is highly amenable to suggestion. It is this amenability to suggestion that makes hypnosis possible and effective— as well as dangerous. The subconscious is entirely uncritical and will obey the suggestion it receives whether or not this suggestion is sensible, beneficial or consistent with consciously held beliefs. For this reason— and especially because the subconscious governs the autonomic processes of the body like circulation and digestion— the subconscious may be our best friend or our worst foe. Suggestions that are adopted into the subconscious matrix may make the difference between health and illness, between self-confidence and self-undoing, between success and failure.
The subconscious is the preservative part of the mind which enables us to form habits— for better or for worse. If we are nurtured and well cared-for as children, for instance, the subconscious may receive and then habitually perpetuate the suggestion that life is abundant and that love is everywhere. If we are abused as children, however, we will receive and subconsciously foster the suggestion that life is brutal and we must take on suffering all alone. These subtly held attitudes toward life dramatically affect our ability to create the lives that we want.
It is the subconscious mind which is the true director of any magical or manifestational activity, for the subconscious mind is the prism through which the light of the Superconsciousness shines through. The creative energy of the Superconscious, that stream of infinite supply which delivers to you all that you have and ever will have, can only be directed by the alignment of highly charged emotion with our desire. If the subconscious is imprinted in any way that opposes the attainment of what we want, then this desire will be slow in manifesting.
The subconscious may be thought of as the egg out of which higher modes of consciousness are hatched. In manifestation practices, we aim to galvanize a charge from our subconscious minds, eliciting positive emotion through the right kinds of suggestion, affirmation, visualization or mediation. When we have elevated the emotional state and aligned it with a conscious desire, we become channels of Superconsciousness. In this state of receptivity to higher powers, all that we desire flows into our lives.
The Alchemists symbolized this state of being with the glyph of Mercury, which shows an open cup at the top (water is the symbol of subconsciousness) raised above the circle of solar consciousness, that is the objective mind. The opening at the top is exactly descriptive of one who has entered into the knowing which is beyond thought— that state in which the influx of light from realms beyond may shine into the conscious mind, bringing illumination, tranquility and the manifestation of our desires.