What is preconscious primary process and meditative presence?
Preconscious: In classical psychoanalytic theory of Sigmund Freud, it is the level of the psyche that contains thoughts, feelings and impulses not presently in awareness, but which can be more or less readily called into consciousness. Examples are the face of a friend, a verbal cliché, or the memory of a recent event. It denotes or relates to thoughts, feelings and impulses at this level of the psyche.
Preconscious thinking: It is the pictorial, magical, and fantasy thinking of children that precedes the development of logical thinking. In psychoanalytic theory, thinking takes place at the level of the preconscious. Preconscious thinking has sometimes been cited to explain apparently unconscious, intuitive thought processes, as well as certain kinds of creative leaps and insights.
Primary process: In psychoanalytic theory, it is the unconscious mental activity in which there is free, uninhibited flow of psychic energy from one idea to another. Such thinking operates without regard for logic or reality, is dominated by pleasure principle, and provides hallucinatory fulfillment of wishes. Examples are the dreams, fantasies and magical thinking of young children. These processes are posited to predominate in the ID.
Secondary process: In psychoanalytic theory, it is conscious, rational mental activities under the control of the ego and the reality principle. These thought processes, which include problem-solving, judgement, and systematic thinking, enable individuals to meet both the external demands of the environment and the internal demands of their instincts in rational, effective ways.
From The APA Dictionary of Psychology, American Psychological Association, 2007.
Note: Preconscious primary processing is preattentive. It can work in parallel with conscious processing. It has an unlimited capacity for cognition, problem-solving and creativity. It is nonspecific, non-sequential, non-interactive, involuntary, spontaneous, presymbolic, preverbal, and prepersonal mental process. It is the global matrix or the source-and-sink of all conscious mental processing.
The difference between the above psychoanalytic description of preconscious process and the meditative experience of blissful presence is that it is founded on reality principle and not pleasure principle. There is no fantasy or dreaming in meditation. When the preconscious is clear and empty of conscious contents, it is described as Shunya-bhava or Shunya-Atma, and when the preconscious is full, holistic and all-inclusive, it is described as Poorna-bhava, or Poorna-Atma.
Vinod D Deshmukh
September 17, 2015