As a race, we humans have resorted to our logical ability to solve problems. However, when we turn to scriptures and epics we encounter the exact opposite. A good example of this is the 'Koan' riddles from the Zen teaching, where students were handed a riddle by their master which they had to meditate with, in order to find solutions. No amount of reasoning could help solve the riddle. This design was aimed at stretching the mind beyond reason to reach the wisdom that lies within. Likewise in our daily life, we often torment ourselves to solve challenging situations using our logic alone which leads to 'paralysis by analysis'. This is so painful and fruitless because we have ignored few pieces of the puzzle.
To delve a little deeper, let us consider the triad of life - conscious, sub-conscious and super-conscious, which making us a three-part being. That’s right, there are three pieces to the puzzle!
The conscious aspect of our self is tied to our senses and is responsible for our ability to live in the moment. The conscious functionality automatically kicks in whenever we encounter something new, in order to help us make sense what we have encountered. We can also intentionally stay at this level of being by practising 'mindfulness'. This level of consciousness, if personified would roughly be a 20 year old eager to explore the world through his senses.
The sub-conscious aspect of our self is the repository of identity/ego. It is a storehouse of our beliefs, memories and decisions of our self, about ‘who we think we are’. This aspect of us is developed mainly between the ages of 0 to 7 by copying, borrowing and accepting the beliefs and decisions of those around us. The sub-consciousness, if personified would roughly be a 5 year old who is stubborn, needy, emotional and resists change.
The third level which is the super-conscious aspect of our self is the ‘most sort after’ mysterious repository that remains latent in most of us until we come to a moment of extreme crisis or desperation. This super-conscious aspect can also be called as the Soul or our connection with the Infinite. This is where all new ideas and inspirations come from. The super-consciousness, if personified would be an 80 year old who is experienced, calm, patient and all-knowing. To intentionally connect with the super-consciousness that lies within us and extends beyond us, we need the bypass two layers of thinking - the conscious and the sub-conscious. While the most popular method of bypassing these two levels is traditional sitting meditation, it is certainly not the only one. My personal favourite is journaling!