The Four Levels of Consciousness and How They Affect You

By Val Silver

The four levels of consciousness are subconscious, preconscious, conscious, and superconscious brain regions. Each part plays an important role in keeping you alive and functioning in the world. Each plays and important role when you are on a quest to achieve a healthy, happy, fulfilling life. 

It is possible, but not always easy, to tap into the power of mind to help you heal and create life on your own terms. A helpful first step is having a basic understanding of the levels of consciousness and how the brain works. Then, use your favorite techniques to change and upgrade your lifestyle choices and habits. 

Freud's Levels of Consciousness

Sigmund Freud introduced the concept of three levels of mind to explain the different roles and functions of parts of the brain. (He did not include the superconscious.) He likened these parts to an iceberg. We have awareness of the conscious mind above the water, occasional awareness of the preconscious part just below the water, and often no awareness of the subconscious which makes up the majority of the iceberg residing underwater out of sight. 

The conscious mind

the prefrontal cortex, levels of consciousness

The conscious mind is the evolutionary newcomer. It is the part of the brain you are most aware of. You use your prefrontal cortex for thinking, analyzing, imagining, setting goals, creating, learning something new, and short-term memory. It is the part of the brain you use when you hold a seven-digit phone number in your head long enough to make the call.

Faster beta brain waves are often associated with conscious functions. Although this is difficult to believe, humans only use conscious functions to think, reason, and make decisions about five percent of the time. The rest of the time, the subconscious mind is in charge. 

The preconscious Mind

The preconscious mind is the part of the subconscious that contains memories that you could bring to your conscious awareness. It acts as a bridge between the conscious and unconscious parts of the brain. This region also contriols which information you can become aware of, and not

Preconscious memories are not the same things as thoughts that are readily accessed, such as knowing your way home from work. They are unrepressed memories that we extract for a specific purpose at a specific time. For example, you can recall your old phone number or a freind's birthday. 

The subconscious mind

The subconscious mind makes up over 90 percent of your brain and runs approximately 95% of your mental functions. All automatic body processes, instincts, and drives are controlled by the nonconscious parts of your brain. It is the part of the brain that tells babies to suckle and drives adults to mate. 

Nonconscious levels of mind are also responsible for learned automatic behaviors and habits. It is the place of dreams, personal stored memories, ancestral memories, emotional awareness, and belief systems. Some of its parts, like the amygdala (see photo), help you stay safe. Subconscious mind powers are many times more powerful and faster than conscious powers.

The nonconscious mind initiates healing in the body. It can initiate a spontaneous healing of even serious diseases without any real medical intervention or conscious participation on your part. Unfortunately, an opposite harmful effect is also possible.

The superconscious mind

The superconscious mind is a source of controversy. Some experts believe it exists, others consider it part of the subconscious mind. It is often linked with the collective unconscious or universal mind, which we all access in the quantum field.

The superconscious mind is associated with higher potential, creativity, intuition, quantum reality, and spiritual awareness.

Beliefs, thoughts, emotions and levels of consciousness

In the following video, Val provides a brief overview of the subconscious, preconscious, and conscious parts of the brain and what they have to do with our beliefs, thoughts, and emotions. Understanding these relationships is an important step to releasing unwanted thoughts and emotions and making changes in your life. 

This video clip comes from a training titled "Thoughts, Beliefs, Emotions: What's the brain got to do with them?"  It is from a series given in Val's Midlifers on a Mission Facebook Community

One Brain: Multiple Communication Channels

Here are some facts and theories about the brain and consciousness.

  • Your brain carries out its duties to sustain your biological functioning and carrying out your conscious decisions. It aims to keep you safely in or near your comfort zone.
  • Areas of the brain continuously work together and communicate with each other and the body using brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. These chemicals control communications between the brain and the rest of the body via nerve cells.
  • Individual cells within your body have their own innate intelligence. Psychoneuroimmunology studies show how the immune system and the nervous system talk with your brain and how this relationship affects your health. The heart also communicates with the brain.
  • There is evidence that photons of light released by our cells communicate and share information right outside our physical bodies. 
  • At its physical level, the brain has been likened to a 'neuro-chemical circuit board'. It receives, processes, records and transmit information. It has the capacity to store much more data than any computer. Some processes take time. Other powers of mind, such as perceiving a distress trigger and signaling your body to begin the stress response can happen in a nanosecond.
  • You have only one brain, but within your brain are specific zones with specialized functions. Although you are aware of some brain processes, such as seeing and thinking, the majority of your brain operates beneath your conscious awareness. 
  • Quantum physics suggests that universal energy waves have intelligence. It is possible that these waves carry the universal mind we all share and access. This is also known as the collective superconscious of the planet and beyond.
  • Researchers generally accept that humans have two levels of consciousness -  the conscious mind and the unconscious or subconscious mind. Some experts believe that we also have a superconscious mind, while others attribute its functions to the subconscious.
  • If you believe the superconscious is a separate part of the brain, then there may be four levels of consciousness - conscious, subconscious, superconscious and the collective universal mind. 
  • Brainwaves are electrical impulses, or voltages, in the brain. These impulses vary continuously in response to emotions, stress, thinking, and activities.Brain wave frequencies normally associated with waking consciousness and its functions are beta waves (38-15 Hz) and gamma waves (40-100 Hz).  Beta waves help us focus and think consciously and logically. Gamma waves are important for learning and processing information. Slower alpha waves bridge the gap between the conscious and subconscious levels of mind. Children younger than five years old mostly function from the much slower subconscious theta and delta brainwaves associated with trance, hypnosis, and sleep. That is why they are so easy to influence and are often so reactive and unreasonable. 

Researchers have much to learn about the brain and how it communicates with the body. They also have much to learn about levels of consciousness and intelligence that function beyond the brain. There is much more to the mind body connection than a brain directing the function of an otherwise unintelligent body.

Hopefully, the more we learn about consciousness and the power of mind within our brains and bodies, the more we will be able to use that knowledge to help ourselves heal and achieve our dreams.

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Levels of Consciousness page updated 07/2021

For Educational Purposes Only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult with your health provider before using natural remedies and/or complementary therapies if you are pregnant, nursing, or you are being treated for a medical condition. Be aware that certain herbs and supplements interact with medications.

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