“The Unconscious Mind and The Iceberg Metaphor,” a useful metaphor to understand is the iceberg and how it can be associated with the unconscious mind, and how the two parts of our mind, the conscious and unconscious mind and their relationship can better work together. When you see a floating iceberg in the ocean, the majority of the iceberg’s massive size is below the surface of the water.
What you see above the surface of the ocean is only a very small percentage of the whole iceberg’s mass. In a way, the mind and the icebergs are alike. What we experience and notice above the surface is the conscious mind and while the unconscious mind which is the most powerful and largest part of the two still remains unseen below the surface.
What represents the conscious mind in our metaphor is the small amount of the iceberg above the surface and the unconscious mind which is the huge iceberg mass below the surface. All awareness that is not presently in the conscious mind is held in the unconscious. All our thoughts, feelings and memories that are out of the realm of our conscious awareness is defined as being in our “unconscious.” The “subconscious” which it is sometimes called and is also known as the deep mind or the dreaming mind.
In a different way than the conscious mind, the unconscious is all powerful and knowledgeable. What keeps our body working and running well is the responsibility of the unconscious mind. The unconscious holds memories and reflections of every single occasion and event we have ever experienced and felt in our lives, the accumulation, origination and source of all our emotions, and it is often thought or viewed as our relationship and connection with the Spirit and with one another.
No image of how the mind behaves and works disputes the awesome power and spirit which is in the continuous activity beneath the tip of the unconscious iceberg. The unconscious mind’s resources constantly supports the conscious mind. Just for one minute, think about all the things you know how to do without your conscious mind’s awareness. If you just drive a car, you use over 30 or 40 particular skills without your conscious mind being aware of all them. These are skills you know how to do, not facts, they are processes that require decision-making, intelligence and training.
These are very important natural resources, other then the learned resources and skills which perform beneath the surface of the conscious mind. What regulates all your systems of the body? The unconscious mind keeps these systems in harmony and balance with one another. The unconscious mind controls your blood pressure, your heart rate, your digestion, and your nervous system, these are only a few of the many natural, unconscious and automatic duties of the mind.
The conscious mind is only a small part of the total being, just like that portion of the iceberg which is above the surface of the ocean. When we say and speak the words “my mind,” we ordinarily think of the conscious mind. Because we associate the conscious mind with activities like analyzing, thinking, and making decisions and judgments. Only so much information can reside in the conscious mind at any given time and it is busy analyzing, actively filtering and sorting data and perceptions. While everything else falls beneath the surface into the unconscious mind or “unconsciousness.”
They say, only seven pieces of information or knowledge, plus or minus two can be held in the conscious mind at any given time. Everything else that we are feeling, thinking or perceiving right now, all our memories, remains in the unconscious, until they are called on into our conscious mind or until rising spontaneously out of nowhere.
You can find some interesting programs and ebooks on the “Mind” at http://www.atclickbank.com/societyandculture.php and by typing in the keyword phrase “mind.”