Karuna Yoga Vidya Peetham Bangalore

Consciousness –  Vedanta view and modern psychologist view

The  Vedantas  or  Upanishads  describe  four  levels  of  consciousness:  Conscious, Subconscious, Unconscious, and Super Conscious. The first is the jagratha (Waking stage, Consciousness) which is known  as the Vaisvanara, in this state the individual gains experience from the external world. The second is the   prajna (Deep sleep, Sub consciousness), in this the Atma has retrieved itself into dreams  away from  the external  world. The  third  is the    susupti  (Deep Sleep,  Unconsciousness), here all the desires are gone and the individual is not dreaming.

It is the state of Prajna. The practice of A-kara, U-kara and M=kara is used to signify the state respectively. Combining the three (Turiya) signified  by the Om-kara is the  union  of the atman  to Brahaman  moving into  the final  stage of conscious the Super-consciousness.

The Psychoanalytical field of Psychology developed by Sigmund  Freud predominantly describes three levels of consciousness. The image below describes his theory:

The  conscious  mind  consists  of  an  individual    thoughts  and  perceptions,  this  is  what  is immediately accessible to the individual. The Preconscious Mind consists of memories and stored knowledge.  Things  that  are  right  outside  the  conscious  awareness  but  can I e  brought  track  to awareness  by  recall.  Finally,  the  Unconscious  Mind,  it  consists  of  all  sorts  of  significant  and disturbing material which we need  to keep out of awareness  because they are too threatening to acknowledge  fully.  These  contain  shameful  memories,  undesirable  thoughts,  and  motives  etc. While there  is another  phenomenon  called  the Subconscious  Mind.

The subconscious mind is often interchangeably  used  for the  Preconscious  mind.  However,  the  subconscious mind  is a secondary mind system that regulates everything in our life.  It is part of our consciousness process that is not actively in focal awareness.   While some theorists believe  the unconscious mind is a bigger domain that consists of froth the preconscious and the unconscious mind.

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