Calming the storms of the unconscious mind

DAY 2 REFLECTION: Calming the storms of the unconscious mind

The unconscious mind loves to chase conceptual storms of its own making. Rather than connect to direct experience, the untrained mind loves to engage in flurries of discursive and obsessive worries and wishes. It generates stories that keep us from living and accepting life as it is. The unconscious mind regularly and compulsively repeats the same thoughts and frets over dangers that often never materialize, replacing what is real with what is imagined.

There is an alternative to this mental conundrum. In Philippians 4:7, Paul writes about the peace of God that is beyond understanding—it comes from direct experience and living life as it truly is. In conjunction with meditation and silent prayer, conscious Christians can develop the capability to “let go and let God” and detach from the worries that the unconscious mind loves to create and cling to. 

Jesus said not to worry about our lives, what we eat, or what we drink, nor for our body and what we put on. He asked his followers whether they, by being anxious, could add even one day to their lives. He asked them to be like the lilies of the field, which do not toil. Jesus said to first seek the kingdom and not be anxious about the future.(4) 

Through greater personal consciousness, Christians can relax in their uncertainties by putting their trust in the moment. Over time, as Christians we can gauge the state of our spirituality by the degree of peace we have in our minds and the love we have in our hearts.

Personal peace and happiness exist in the here and now because this is the only place where they can exist. In the Bible, Satan is portrayed as the great deceiver. This is like the role that the unconscious mind plays in our lives to keep us from embracing the abundance of the present moment. Outside of the here and now, we substitute the artificial world of discursive and compulsive thinking for true living.

Instead of chasing the storms of the mind, conscious Christians can live in peace, even when our unconscious minds are trying to tell us that we are in the eye of a hurricane. With greater consciousness, we can calm the storms of our minds and experience the peace that passes understanding.

4. See Matt. 6