THE FORECONSCIOUS IS BETTER THAN THE UNCONSCIOUS
when life assents to GROW
There is for the
pathologically oppressed, the unconscious, the subconscious and so forth.
However, in proper functionality, there is a different array.
There is what might
be termed the foreconscious.
Its components are several.
First there is the CONVENIENCE component. This is merely a little way from immediate access, and is not retained for one very good reason and one only: the material is not needed instantly, and is conserving lines of action by being somewhat stored, like hats in a cupboard above the head, in a bedroom.
Then there is the PROCESSIVE component. In this case, there is material which quite simply requires work. One has not analysed, savoured – or conceivably dissavoured it, does not yet understand it adequately, and it is like an unmown lawn, there to be acted on, until it is right.
Next, there is the GROWTH component. In this case, there is need for growth in understanding, in conspectus or conception or both, so that the vital realities of the thing may be appreciated. It may take time, not because of intrinsic problems, baulking or barriers, not because it is not to a significant degree understood, but simply because one has to grow into it; and of course childhood to youth to adulthood is one EXAMPLE, but no means the only one.
Finally, in this brief initial survey, there is the GUILT BOX. For the practising, and not merely formal Christian – that is, for someone in Christ (Colossians , John 15), and in whom He is living (John 16), this should not be. If sin occurs, there is a barrister, not a barrel (I John 1:7-2:1). Since sin should be confessed, removed and its fateful traces sent to the East from the West as per promise (Psalm 103), this box should be empty. It may have something in it till the next time of express communication with the Lord, but there should be no permanent inhabitants; and the next time should be soon!
In this sense, the repression and the unconscious basis for it become mere pathological symbols of a fallen race. It becomes to a large extent what happened BEFORE any given member of this human race is picked up in pity and pardoned by grace in Christ, and the contents of this box thereby picked off.
The avid domain of
the 'unconscious' is a perfect paradise for philosophy, medical or other; but when it comes to
reality, it is merely what is not conscious. There is for any limited system a need to conserve conscious display, and hence
where consciousness is what is given this title, for the unconscious. There is
no ground, in that fact however, for any numinous, ruminating oddity about it.
It is storage. Hence the term
When however you find wilfulnessness and guilt, there is to be sure, a barren area to be expected. For this, then, there is need for alienated storage: what you do not want to find, but may, or may not, wish to be accessible in case of unexpected necessity. There is likewise need for growth components, so that you may when time and energy, yes and insight permits, ruminate and realise hidden meanings, and even the repressed, if one favours that sort of thing, may have aspiration for such space. Christ put it in this sort of manner: What is of the light comes into the light!
"For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light,
lest his deeds should be exposed.
"But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen,
that they have been done in God."
If you , as I John 1:7ff. puts it, then there is
fellowship firstly with oneself, then with one's fellows, then with the Lord,
for sin is covered by the blood of Christ. What then is there to hide! God knows
what has to be known, deals wit h what requires it, restores, strengthens, and
what concerns others reaches its rest as the cases requires, in the power an
grace of God. This is no matter of perfection, but of humility in association
with the holiness which arrives with the power of God in life, so that whatever
fails, is corrected, falls is uplifted, grows in consolidated.
If you'walk in the light as He is in the light'
, as I John 1:7ff. puts it, then there is fellowship firstly with oneself, then with one's fellows, then with the Lord, for sin is covered by the blood of Christ. What then is there to hide! God knows what has to be known, deals wit h what requires it, restores, strengthens, and what concerns others reaches its rest as the cases requires, in the power an grace of God. This is no matter of perfection, but of humility in association with the holiness which arrives with the power of God in life, so that whatever fails, is corrected, falls is uplifted, grows in consolidated.
If however someone does not walk with the Lord in this way, then the case is other, pathological in the end, and may well require space for sorting, sifting, being wounded, hiding, the development of self-protective indignation and so forth.
In fact, there is then also need for a whole company of other storage, depending on the case, just as there is need for a whole company of drips and oxygen tubes, when the patient is seriously ill in body.
If the person does not know the Lord, does not know pardon, does not have the unlimited power of God for the performance of the will of God, and the light of God for knowing what that is (Ephesians 1:17ff., Psalm 32), then a series of other needs, beyond-consciousness display, may arise. Thus, there is in this pathological situation, the numinous fear phase, where ignorance of God allows for a threatening presence of unknowns which being that, are the more threatening. This may be salted to taste with dread or its avoidance, in various circles, concentric, about the case, each with its reaction. To this, a touch of guilt may be compounded, to enable the best reaction, especially if the person is morbidly inclined, or under higher levels of conviction for guilt, unatoned.
Again, in the expanding circles of pathology, there is the process of life in its course phase. In this, you may wish to hide from view, and sight, even your own, certain developments in your religious, moral and vital aspects where decline, decimation, wanderings, concern mingle with touches of divinely inspired hope, and devilishly deluded cynicism. Further, there may be an escape from God apparatus, requiring space support, to help you flee if things get too near in that realm, so that you seek to keep budding bombs for instant use.
Latencies of charm, belligerence and friendliness may also require storage, for those whose debasement includes manipulation; and so the list goes on. There is almost no limit but memory, and the arrests of capacity resulting from confusion and fears of knowing oneself, for the unconscious arena. In it, there may also be sparring, as a religious sensitivity aspect has non-worded thought exchange with a cynical selfishness phase. Amid all the potential jangling, tangling and numinous fear, there may thus be a series of uncompleted collisions, with uncertain read-outs or relays for thought, with or without repressive tags, depending on integrity or twisted motifs, contrary to truth, of the victim.
These can then weigh on the mind, and become a burden for clear thought, constructive action IN THESE DOMAINS, and even in others if the pressure becomes too tempestuous.
As to sex, Freud’s heart song, and libido, in its broader sense, that of Jung, such things can of course be components, but no more; for a processive streaming or a confusion of a means of marriage and children with the love which is to have preceded it, while a fertile ground for multiplying guilt and guile, is merely one of the many pathological exhibits which can appear.
interesting point about
All such things can of course lead to a myriad of phases for recall, or suppression, re-expression or whatever other perversion of life may call forth: for it is just as real a perversion NOT to love the one you marry, as it is to love something other than a female human. Sex is a means of LOVE, and when it is not, it is an abuse. Love is as broad as the heavens, but sex is as narrow as species, and as confined as marriage, as meaningful as a support in the household of love, expression of it and way to it, namely the children, to whom this same love is then expressed with the breadth due.
Love is NOT a means, but a reality, and hence when its accoutrements are used as means, this is at once a debasement and a servility which, in view of sexuality's intimate relation to life, in that it begets it or may do so, debases life itself.
It is therefore the case that where this phase of human life is misused, abused, perverted, distorted, inverted or whatever else may appeal to the debased, deluded or merely misled mind, there is ample scope for a whole specialised array of guilt box components, which may indeed lay claim to some species of unconscious, though even then, it will depend on the nature of the life and love, of the aspiration and inspiration, of the understandings and misunderstandings of the one afflicted.
When now all of these things, or any of them are operative, whether in realms of ambition, ennui, self-centredness, sexuality, frivolity, lapses into some kind of fetish of libido, to storm into life without understanding, or whatever else may be the distortion, disturbance and misdirection of human life, there is scope for a large usage of mind in the unconscious, and hence an inefficiency, a burdensomeness, a tendency to escape discussion, or indulge mindlessly in it (either can form an anodyne), so that life is dimmed. Unconscious drives of self-hatred, class hatred, race hatred, world hatred, God hatred or any other hatred may lurk in these midden depths, and come to fever as the rats work.
Human nature is capable of almost anything in such circumstances; and if convention tends to prevent the more manifest expressions, the al Qaeda barbarities show, no less than did Hitler's Germany, the evil enchantments and dishevelled drunkennesses which can come. It is useless merely to seek to use a depth charge to remove it all, since this merely smatters it. It is necessary that, whatever the form, this area and arena be purged, pardoned, and the events of its past, the dreams of its future and the nature of its case be subjected to the Maker and Redeemer who has not merely the power but the propriety to issue pardon (Mark 2).
Then there is something better than growth, though it is comparable. Then the nature is changed, the unconscious moves largely to the foreconscious, the mind is open to the light and lives in it, the soul is open to the love of God and seeks to disperse it, like a millionaire with dollars, and the cleanness of the way brings new challenges. Instead of the unknown unconscious, we now have the means of growth.
There is now an habitual cleansing, keeping, fortifying and understanding, and as one is led to see more of the realms of love, pardon, power and grace, so the growing pains may be considerable at times. You see that in dynamic and autobiographical form in Psalm 73, that masterpiece of spiritual beauty.
However, it is good to have pain in growing, rather than in being destroyed.
For one's own part, even a dentist's chair is PLEASANT IFF, that is if and only if, it is sure that the work being done is BENEFICIAL and likely to be good. In that case, a little pain for gain is good, and a reminder perhaps of the need for more care is fruitful. The end is fine, if the means are realistic. It is only destructive change which hurts truly!
FEAR NOT, Christ declared, you are of more value than many sparrows, yet for each the Father cares. This is in the charge to the twelve disciples as they were about to proceed on their missionary journey alone; and it occurs as Christ mounts a charge against that form of anxiety which pre-occupies the mind and mars the spirit of a person. If such fears can act as a prison to the free spirit in man, so can they act as a container to chop off part of the mind into needless segmentation, to allow room for the pre-occupation.
How good it is to be free, for where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (II Corinthians 3:17).
How pleasant it is to GROW, for trees of righteousness planted in Christ, these do and must grow, so that Peter instructs us to "grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ", and what that kind of life means is made clear in I Peter 1:1-8!
How great is the sense of glory as the Lord anoints darkness with light, so that it flies away, and provides desire with patience and need with power, so that the growth is strong and equipped with understanding!
In our next chapter, we shall consider in this dimension, the application of Psalm 86:11 and 84, especially in this, "Unite my heart to Your fear!" The latter term here designates reverential trust and meek delight in the Lord of glory; but let us wait for the next chapter on these things.
Spiritual Refreshings Ch. 9, incl. End-note 1 (esp. programmatic psychology and its ilk),
Marvels of Predestination and the Ways of Will Ch. 7, including *1;
News 80; SCOTU 44, SMR 4;
ROP 7, Extension 1