We believe that every individual can create a deeper connection with their mind, body, and soul.
Think of your mind and body as tools that can be mastered, sharpened, and leveraged through exercise and recreation, providing great returns. The soul, on the other hand, is the teacher, the guide, and the observer. It is the gift that gives us a sense of purpose. It challenges us to learn and grow. It places the seeds of curiosity and wonder within us.
As early as 1936, Swiss psychologist and genetic epistemologist Jean Piaget developed four stages of cognitive development. They are still relevant today.
Piaget's Four Stages
Piaget's four stages of cognitive development are divided by the age of a person. The stages are sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational development. With each stage, our cognitive abilities grow.
Later in his career, Piaget learned that these developmental stages can vary between individuals. They may also differ in different cultures.
The symbolic thought we gain in the preoperational stage and the logical thought we learn in the concrete operational stage provide our core programming for the rest of our lives. These are crucial years in any person's development. If you've experienced trauma or adopted false beliefs prior to the formal operational stage, you may interpret the world with a filter that denies the power we all hold within us.
It's not always obvious that you are being held back by this tainted filter until you begin noticing patterns and issues you experience well into your adult life. Those patterns may prevent you from living energetically and fully.
The good news is once we become aware of the “flaws” in our programming, like a computer engineer, we can change the code and start operating with a new program.
Erikson's Eight Stages
In 1950, psychoanalyst Erik Erikson took Piaget's work further by developing eight stages. His perspective focused more on psychological growth than on the cognitive development of Piaget.
Erikson's observations led him to believe that each stage is characterized by a specific emotional challenge and each stage is added to the previous experiences of the individual.
According to Erikson, our potential to develop and improve the mind is life-long. As we reach adulthood, our individual awareness determines the rate and depth of better understanding the mind. It also influences our ability to create a fulfilling life.
The brain is not the mind. This is an important distinction to understand. As an organ of the body, the brain records, analyzes, interprets, and stores information.
According to the research of Dr. Fred Luskin of Stanford University, a human being has approximately 60,000 thoughts per day—and 90% of these are repetitive! This is not the conscious mind in a state of awareness, but it is the brain running on a program.
Fortunately, we can disrupt our programming to think new thoughts. Our thoughts have a significant energetic impact on matter, i.e., our bodies and the opportunities we attract into our lives. It's hard to overestimate the power of our mind and our thoughts.
The Divided Mind
In 1915, Sigmund Freud described his theory of the division of the mind. According to him, our mind consists of the conscious, subconscious, and the preconscious. He related the conscious mind to the tip of an iceberg, which concealed the much larger mass below the surface. This larger mass is the subconscious mind.
The Power Of The Subconscious Mind
In 1912, Charles F. Haanel published the book The Masterkey System. In his book, he likens the conscious mind to the captain of a large ship. The subconscious mind is the crew of the ship. In his analogy, the captain gives directions, and the crew obeys the orders and completes the tasks in question.
He uses examples like riding a bike and playing the piano. As beginners, we involve the conscious mind to balance, pedal, and steer until the subconscious takes over and rides the bike without much conscious effort. The same pattern is involved in playing any instrument after a while. Routine tasks like driving a car follow a similar path.
The subconscious mind has amazing powers to help us achieve the seemingly impossible if it accepts the belief (as directed by the captain) that the goal is attainable. Think of Roger Bannister and the four-minute mile. Not only did his subconscious mind accept the possibility of covering this distance in that time. But immediately after that human potential was realized, the subconscious minds of others accepted it to be true.
Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.
― Earl Nightingale
Take a moment to re-read this quote by Earl Nightingale and note the conditions he includes. Planting something successfully in our subconscious mind requires repetition and emotion.
Think of something you were interested in and started to practice, e.g., playing an instrument, getting good at a sport, a style of dance, writing, or art, only to give up before your subconscious took over?
Compare that to all the things you've given your attention to because they were important to you and you stuck with them until your subconscious took over.
Now that you know the power of the subconscious mind, you can more systematically and intentionally turn your activities over to it. All you need to do is to commit yourself through the power of your will and make a conscious effort to get to that point.
Understanding the power of the mind is a master key to help each of us create new realities. We'll share more about the mind in an upcoming email as well as tools that help both the body and mind work more effectively together.