Facts-Only Inquiry :: The Unconscious Mind

This thread is for exploring our unconscious mind: thoughts-feelings (habits, emotions, mentation of all ilk) that are unseen by the conscious mind.

‘Facts-only inquiry’ = we move from fact to fact to fact, sans speculation. I like the challenge (irony?) of dealing factually with that which, by definition, cannot be seen! Could fail miserably, but hey failure is edifying, yes?

By definition, our busy little conscious minds have no access to whatever’s churning away in the unconscious.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble!

The unconscious is the unknown.

What’s on the other side of the hill?

When thoughts-feelings in the unconscious become conscious, they are no longer unconscious. We can never know the unknown.

Can the unknown become the known?

We can categorise the unconscious as part of the known - it is my unconscious - I’m just not always aware of its effects. What I know moves in and out of my awareness (I’m not aware of everything I know all the time).

Does the Unknown become the Known? (full disclosure : I know my answer)

By this question I mean - is my brain creating knowledge by transmutation of the unknown? Or is my knowledge cultural? By which I mean : is my brain just amassing a collection of stuff that is known? Is my known just the known that someone else told me?

That reifies the unconscious, makes it into a thing. Is it a thing? Is the unknown a thing? Does the unknown exist? How would you know?

We are talking about it, it is a thing/concept that we are talking about - you’re not hoping for a discussion about Absolute Truth nothings again are you?

PS - by unconscious I’m referring I suppose to the subconscious, You?

Do we know everything? ipso facto - or am I missing your point?

! :wink: “Absolute Truth Nothings” is my middle name.

I don’t know what I’m hoping for. A flash of understanding about the unconscious mind, the mental activity we presume is going on beyond the scope of the conscious mind?

What is there to say about no-thing? (Remembering that speculation is not invited to the party.)

Saying “The unknown exists because I don’t know everything” is indirect knowing, inference.

Can you know the unknown exists directly, without inference, hearsay, and so on?

Can you know anything about the unknown directly, without speculating?

Rick’s subjective relation with the Absolute seems to be causing confusion. (no speculation there)

If we are being absolutely logical, the answer is no.
If we are being practical, we can define the unknown as being whatever is not part of the known.

You’re right I am confused. But unlike you (?) I invite, even nurture confusion. It’s usually only when I hit what appears to be a paradox or the irrational that I feel I might be getting somewhere. Contemplating my relationship with ‘the absolute’ is a wonderful path to fertile confusion.

Is the truth more logical or practical? That’s what we’re after, right: the truth?

The Unknown,

Not sure I understand, but is all this about what lies buried in memory, the conditioning, and what everyone in this thread are labelling that which is deep down in memory being called the “unknown”? In other words, have all posting here concluded that the “unknown” has nothing to do with what is beyond thought, that which is immeasurable, that which is most holy, referred to as being that which is unknown? Moreover, it appears that there are quite a few who post in this forum who refer to “the unknown” as intelligence, compassion, etc. It is the usage of the words “the unknown” which needs clarifying…

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[quote=“rickScott, post:8, topic:1623”]

OK - I’m absolutely fine maintaining my stance of not making claims about the unknown.

Can you give an example of anything that indicates that your confusion has actually benifitted your inquiry - that your feeling is justified?

Substitute the phrase “I don’t know” or “I don’t understand” for “I’m confused” to get a feel for it.

I don’t know what the self is, I don’t understand it, I’m confused about it. This non-understanding is what keeps me revisiting the self, the Self too.

Good, how about you get us started? :slight_smile:

I propose the obvious : the unknown is not what we know (what we know being our understanding/projection of the world). Anything that is not part of our model of reality is the unknown.

Does that work for the purpose of this inquiry?

“I don’t know” is not a synonym for “I’m confused” - It is in fact possible to feel absolutely certain regarding a lack of knowledge.

I would like to propose that confusion is actually dependant on an excess of contradictory beliefs/knowledge.

I’ve been using the two interchangeably here, both as failures of the brain-mind to ‘get’ something. But I get that this might be confusing for you.

The “unknown” includes all that I know I don’t know, and all that I don’t know I don’t know, so any model I make of reality is so fanciful as to be useless at best, and harmful at worst.

Fact: The unknown is everything I don’t know.

“To know something” … what does this mean?

  1. To sense it, as in “I know the feeling of sitting in this chair.”
  2. To be aware (conscious) of it, as in “I know I am thinking about this sentence.”
  3. To be familiar with it, as in “I know the taste of Weizenbier.”
  4. To possess the right answer, as in “I know the square root of 7.”
    And so on.

What does this have to do with the unconscious mind?

I’m glad we’ve managed to agree on what we mean by the Unknown.

And I’ll just reiterate our definition of the unconscious again :

our unconscious mind: thoughts-feelings (habits, emotions, mentation of all ilk) that are unseen by the conscious mind.

So the unconscious sounds like just our everyday, habitual experience of being - we live the reality we project - without being aware (unconscious to the fact) that we are projecting it.

Yes! Amazing, right? :wink: Though your capitalization of Unknown gives me pause. Think you might be reifying the unknown, as I do when I refer to: the Mystery?

the unconscious :: unseen thoughts-feelings
everyday being :: unseen projections

Yeah, that makes sense I think. The thing they have in common: unseen-ness.

Fact: The unknown is everything I don’t know.
Fact: Unconscious mental activity is all mental activity I am not conscious of.
Fact: There is unconscious mental activity in my brain-mind.
Fact: It is psychological mental activity that causes me to suffer.

We are obviously making a big deal out of it - subject as we are to guru authority I suppose (boo! - shame!)
The Mystery is at least 2 things : our relationship to an image of “the Mystery” and of course whatever it is that we are potentially pointing to (I get the feeling that it is part of the unknown - the unknown being a bigger subset). Though the only fact is our image of Mystery.
The unknown seems more useful as a concept when dealing with freedom from the known - the known being conditioning - our chains (or our whole self?) being conditioning.

I suppose that this is what needs to be explored.
I believe in the ultimate mystery, the unknown. I believe that if I can grasp it, I will be improved, be free of suffering and confusion. The fact is that I want stuff that I have wholly imagined. This is who I am, this is my religion.

Is this a fact or supposition : “I am mental activity”?