An iceberg is used in our ConsciousnessTraining as an explanatory model for our conscious and subconscious capacity.
The visible part of the iceberg represents our physical outer being, where we are awake and conscious. The part of the iceberg that lies under the surface of the water may be compared to our creative inner realm of sleep and the subconscious.
Our individual iceberg is built up from the time we are in the womb of our mother. During our first years of life, until we are about six or seven years old, our mental iceberg is built up without analysis. Attitudes and truths from our environment get stored in our iceberg. When we are mature enough to analyze, we continue building our iceberg upon the foundation that already exists. By our teen years we have formed the basis for our attitudes that become our behavior as adults. We have grown up and live our daily lives in the conscious part of our iceberg, while the subconscious part has become invisible for us.
Looking at the portions of the iceberg that represent our conscious mind and our subconscious, we can see that our greatest capacity lies in the subconscious part. It is these unused resources and this level of our mind that we must get access to in our daily lives in order to solve problems that challenge us in our lives and in our society.
Much of what is stored in our subconscious has been forgotten and hidden from us in our daily life and consciousness. If we are to change attitudes and truths that we grew up with, we must go within to subconscious levels. Today we know that it is possible to change these, because we can in fact to a certain degree form our own brain. The brain is in many ways like the rest of our body, various areas may be trained and thereby also be changed. Through ConsciousnessTraining the plasticity of our brain is increased, something that allows us to create changes faster than before.
Think about your brain being full of neural pathways of information from childhood and youth. Depending on what you have learned and experienced, the brain will automatically follow familiar neural pathways when we send signals through thoughts and emotions. For example, when we brush our teeth. We think that we are going to brush our teeth, and the brain fetches information from what has already been learned about how this should be done. We brush our teeth automatically, without thinking about how to do it. If we have stored negative emotions about brushing teeth in our subconscious from childhood, the brain will avoid it.
“The brain does exactly what it is told to do,” also when we are overcome by emotions at our subconscious level. I was very afraid of elevators because I learned at an early age that the elevator could get stuck and then it would be hard to breathe. There was a lot of subconscious fear stored with that attitude. The result was that when I walked past an elevator my heart beat a little faster and I got a painful clump in my chest. My brain followed that neural pathway, even when I had said to myself that I was not going to use the elevator.
We can experience many things in this way in our daily lives, and we don’t even understand our own reaction. By learning to understand how the brain functions, we can learn to understand and change things that bother us or cause reactions.
During the ConsciousnessTraining class we learn a technique that allows each and every one of us to change our own neural pathways that we do not want, and create new pathways that our brain can follow. The technique is described in my “Magical Moments” book, because I wanted everyone to have an opportunity to change what they had learned long ago. This technique changed my own life 30 years ago, and still helps me to cope with new situations that can be challenging.We all have an opportunity and ability to do that, if we want to.