Art and Symbols – A Way into the Subconscious Mind?

In both Reiki and Pellowah you will find symbols, we use them in different ways for each modality but they are there. In Reiki the symbols are used to activate a particular ‘energy’ to support healing, but they are also used on a higher level to create change and evolution of the Higher Self. In Pellowah the symbols are mainly used in the Level 2 workshop to raise the student to a level of vibration whereby they can then receive the Level 2 attunement. The Pellowah symbols can be used in many ways to support your personal growth and vibrationary level however, unlike Reiki they aren’t generally used during a healing session.

I’ve long been interested in Art Therapy and recently I began a short course to find out more. I was amazed at how simple and yet how profound this form of healing is. It taps into our ‘child mind’ the part of our brain we formed during childhood – what, you thought you’d left that behind when you became an adult? Think again, we access that part of ourselves constantly, every time we make a decision, every time we react emotionally to a person or event, every time we look in the mirror and question who the person is looking back at us. It’s our subconscious, and unless we ‘consciously’ work to bring this part of ourselves into our conscious mind we will continue to scroll through the patterns and repetitions of our past.

“Our thoughts are mainly controlled by our subconscious, which is largely formed before the age of 6, and you cannot change the subconscious mind by just thinking about it. That’s why the power of positive thinking will not work for most people. The subconscious mind is like a tape player. Until you change the tape, it will not change.” ~ Bruce Lipton

There’s a connection between symbol work and using art as therapy. Both are utilising the subconscious to initiate change and growth. Our subconscious works in images, colours, shapes – we can begin to analyse their meaning and dissect them into their essential parts but in the process the true meaning is lost to us. We will find the meaning through ‘feeling’ – in the initial spark of thought or feeling in response to it.

“Truth has nothing to do with words. Truth can be likened to the bright moon in the sky. Words, in this case, can be likened to a finger. The finger can point to the moon’s location. However, the finger is not the moon. To look at the moon, it is necessary to gaze beyond the finger.” ~Hui-Neng

Moon Zen

I’ve always loved the ‘finger pointing at the moon’ quote, there’s so much to discover in it. In this case I like it because it’s saying to us that we must ‘gaze beyond the finger’ to understand the Truth, so to use it in our discussion I ask you to ‘gaze beyond the symbol’ to feel what it stands for in you. In Reiki we use mantras along with the symbols, they are all just tools (as is the finger in the quote) to ‘disengage’ the chatter of the mind, keep it occupied so we might awaken a “specific inner quality of our True Self” (see Frans Stiene’s quote below). As Hui-Neng’s quote says, “Truth has nothing to do with words” they are just a means to an end. In using words for instance to describe a symbol we are engaging the analytical side of our brain and by defining the symbol we have diminished it. Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for this process but just understand that the more you enlist your mind to label something the less is becomes. We then must ‘let go’ of all the descriptions and beliefs surrounding that symbol so we can reach into it’s energy and its vibration at a feeling level, that’s how we ‘use’ it during Reiki.

“The magical essence of the symbols is that they are tools to focus our mind upon, to reawaken a specific inner quality of our own True Self. These qualities always have been inside of us; all the symbol does is to call them forth so that we can embody them day and night.” ~Frans Stiene (Copyright International House of Reiki

 So don’t underestimate the power of your subconscious mind, there’s much to be learned (and ‘unlearned’) here, sometimes you need to study a subject in order to understand it enough to let it go. The True learning is often in the unlearning – in other words, let go of the labels you attach to things, begin to feel them through your other senses.

A video of Bruce Lee referring to the ‘finger pointing to the Moon‘ quote…

I thought why not? It’s Bruce Lee!

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