Levels Of Human Mind|Sigmund Freud

Freud believed that the human mind has several levels or layers on which various processes are carried out, some of which we are conscious of and others which we are unaware of, and which are the result of childhood events, unfilled wishes, and desires.

Words have a magical power. They can bring either the greatest happiness or deepest despair; they can transfer knowledge from teacher to student; words enable the orator to sway his audience and dictate its decisions. Words are capable of arousing the strongest emotions and prompting all men’s actions.

SIGMUND FREUD, The Educator’s Book of Quotes

Psychic existence, according to Freud, can be represented by three levels of consciousness (nowadays we call them levels of mind).

When you stand by a river, the topwater represents the conscious portion; when you fill a container with muddy water, it represents the subconscious; and when you dig into the riverbed and discover something buried in it, it represents the unconscious part.

• Level of Consciousness

• Level of Preconsciousness

• Level of Unconsciousness

At the conscious level, we keep all of the sensations and experiences that we are aware of at any given time. Thoughts, perceptions, memories, and feelings, according to Freud, are only a small fraction of mental life that is contained in the sphere of consciousness. As our attention moves to new stimuli, all of the sensations are swiftly pushed to preconscious or unconscious levels. In a nutshell, the conscious level represents a minor and restricted element of our personality.

The preconscious domain, often known as “available memory,” includes those events that are not currently conscious but can be easily brought into awareness, either spontaneously or with minimal effort. This may contain everything you did last week, all the cities you’ve ever lived in, your favourite meals, and a variety of other things. The preconscious, according to Freud, connects the unconscious and conscious parts of the mind. For example, unconscious content may rise into the preconscious and then become conscious under the impact of particular therapeutic procedures.

The unconscious is the deepest and most important level of the human mind. Sigmund Freud was not the first to emphasize the relevance of unconscious processes in explaining human conduct; various eighteenth- and nineteenth-century philosophers had speculated on the impact of unconscious experiences on behavior.

Unlike his intellectual forefathers, Freud, on the other hand, gave the concept of an unconscious life empirical status. He argued, for example, that the unconscious should not be thought of as a hypothetical abstraction, but rather as a reality that can be proved. The most significant components of individual behaviour, according to Freud, are moulded and driven by impulses and drives that exist outside of conscious awareness. These forces are not only unconscious, but they are also resistant to becoming conscious within the individual. Unconscious modes of thought, in contrast to preconscious ones, are wholly inaccessible to awareness, although they heavily influence people’s actions. Unconscious material, on the other hand, can be represented in a disguised or symbolic form, as Freud discovered in his work with troubled people.

The unconscious is the larger circle which includes within itself the smaller circle of the conscious; everything conscious has its preliminary step in the unconscious, whereas the unconscious may stop with this step and still claim full value as a psychic activity. Properly speaking, the unconscious is the real psychic; its inner nature is just as unknown to us as the reality of the external world, and it is just as imperfectly reported to us through the data of consciousness as is the external world through the indications of our sensory organs.

SIGMUND FREUD, Dream Psychology: Psychoanalysis for Beginners

The three levels of the mind were described by Freud using the image of an iceberg. According to him, the conscious level is only 10% of the iceberg, and the remaining 90% is made up of preconscious and unconscious levels respectively.

As a result, psychoanalysis emphasises the interpretation of fantasies and dreams as a means of learning more about the unconscious mechanisms underlying behaviour.

You don’t have a solution for all your dreams, phobias, and worries that affect you, but the reason you have them is because of the unconscious. Sigmund Freud proposed methods and procedures for accessing the unconscious mind.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Areej Mirza

Areej Mirza

Psychologist | Writer | Counsellor | Life Coach | Entrepreneur