Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, The Triple Transformation - Track 903

Subconscious, Unconscious or Inconscient 

So you have three experiences: Purusha-Prakriti, Brahman-Maya, Ishwara-Shakti.  To make the word "spiritual" more complete, we may say that spiritual experience consists of the experience of Purusha-Prakriti, Brahman-Maya and Ishwara-Shakti.

All kinds of experiences that you can get in this realm are all called spiritual experiences and there are many experiences of this kind. There are in these experiences, those of universality in which you become very wide; experiences of infinity, experience of eternity, experience of covering the entire space, entire time and even experience of the spaceless and timeless, of going beyond space and time. You have then the experience of great peace, particularly in the Purusha consciousness and Brahman consciousness. You have the experience of a great clarity and light; experience of a great power, particularly in the experience of Ishwara-Shakti you find a huge current of energy flowing out from you under the complete control of your being; experience of what is called in the Vedanta, in the Upanishads, the experience of Satchidananda. Purusha is normally experienced only as Sat, only as being, but Brahman is experienced as Satchidananda. But still in the Brahman, there is a greater emphasis upon Sat, upon peace and silence. Chit and Ananda also are experienced but they are, as it were involved in the experience of peace. When you come to Ishwara then all the three, Satchidananda, are experienced in their fullness, when you experience all the three together, then that is called the experience of Purushottama. These three are higher experiences; the experience of Purushottama is the highest experience. The highest Purushottama has the highest Shakti manifest in it. That highest Shakti manifest is called Supermind; so the word Supermind is also a word which indicates the highest.

When we use the word normal being, then we mean our ordinary surface consciousness of body, life and mind, or something that is behind the surface of which we are aware. As compared to the inner and inmost, and higher and highest, our normal being may also be called the lower being. That which is normal to us from the point of view of these realms, is the lower being but there are still lower than lower realms, the subconscious and the unconscious or inconscient. There is a being in us of which we are hardly conscious, we were conscious of it yesterday but today we have forgotten. It is subconscious to us today. If pressure is given, you can recall it but at the moment, it is not in your surface consciousness. There are certain things which are going on in our body which require some kind of conscious triggering but of which we are not aware. A wound is inflicted on my skin and there is a triggering of the consciousness to my brain which somehow tells the brain that a wound has occurred – I am not aware of it as this triggering takes place – as a result of which the nervous system comes into operation and the white blood corpuscles begin to flow in a greater quantity towards the place where there is a wound, which will try to heal the wound as soon as possible. Unless there is a triggering of the brain this won't happen and triggering of the brain won't take place unless there is some kind of a conscious signal to it. All this takes place but we are not aware of it, it is subconscious. And below subconscious there is complete unconsciousness. Subconscious is compared to a somnambulist, one who wakes up in sleep, prepares a cup of tea, drinks the cup of tea and next morning when he awakens he does not remember anything of the kind at all. Even while he is preparing the tea he is not aware that he is preparing tea and he drinks tea, but he is not aware that he is drinking tea but he does everything very carefully, then goes to sleep and next morning he has no trace of it at all in his consciousness. These are the phenomena of somnambulism which have been noted and recorded and some people have the habits of this kind. The subconscious is like a somnambulist; this somnambulist is on the verge of waking but does not wake that is the special kind of description of a somnambulist. If you suddenly touch and wake up this somnambulist, he will himself be surprised to find himself near the stove preparing the tea, he was not aware of it. But unconscious is not even on the verge of waking, it is really in deep slumber and there is no sign of any stir of waking and yet it does many activities of consciousness. It is a state of deep sleep of consciousness and the lowest we might say is this unconscious or inconscient.  This is the geography of our entire being you might say.