Unfortunately, I don't have a rigorous definition of "conscious" and "unconscious" mind, although I think most of us would agree that they exist.

Question: Is there any verse in the Bible that says anything about the split between conscious and unconscious mind?

  • 1
    @Greg McNulty provided a couple of links that might help you define consciousness, so please consider improving your question. (I voted it down because it doesn't show much research.) While you're at it, could you help me see how this is a question about Christianity? The Bible doesn't have to be a comprehensive reference book, you know. ;-) Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 15:44
  • some people say that the holy ghost is our conscious - however this isn't what you're talking about.
    – user1054
    Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 18:48
  • @JonEricson - I do not understand why you would dislike this question and like this one. hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/2378/… I find both equally related to Christianity almost from the exact same angle?
    – Mike
    Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 3:50
  • @Mike: Well, BH isn't about Christianity, but the Bible. But more importantly, the other question at least showed me some research effort. Re-reading it in light of my thoughts on Bible questions, I'm voting to close as off-topic. Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 16:00
  • 4
    Verse search questions are off-topic.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Jun 4, 2015 at 22:49

4 Answers 4


2 Peter 2:12 talks about unrighteous men who indulge the flesh. The verse describes them as "creatures of instinct" and "unreasoning animals".

It seems significant that they are described as being moved by "instinct" rather than "reason".

This seems to indicate that it is error to be led by the "unconscious mind" at the expense of the "conscious mind".

I'm not sure "walking" should be classified as "unconscious", though; indeed, if it were, you may walk into traffic without thinking, as a sleep-walker might. ;p


The Bible is filled with distinctions between conscious and subconscious. However a clear demarcation in the original languages is not always clear as the those precise terms were not used.  In English we often refer to our subconscious with other words and it is the same way in Biblical Hebrew and Greek

For example εβουλομην often means  'consciously purposed' as here:

15 Και ταυτη τη πεποιθησει εβουλομην προς υμας ελθειν προτερον ινα δευτεραν χαριν 

Because I was confident of this, I wanted to visit you first so that you might benefit twice. (NIV 2 Corinthians 1:15)

On the converse θελω often means 'subconscious desires' as in this verse:

19 ου γαρ ο θελω ποιω αγαθον αλλ ο ου θελω κακον τουτο 

For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. (NIV Romans 7:19)

According to the TDNT by Gerhard Kittel:

The one finds in θέλειν impulsive and unconscious desire, and in βούλεσθαι rational and conscious.

However just as in English these words tend to overlap and can be substitutes for each other. Phrases like  'having a desire', 'seeking', 'wanting' or 'purposing' or 'being ready or inclined' may have to be assigned to the conscious, subconscious, both, or neither, depending on the context.



The verse that stands out for me here is Psalm 32:9:

Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.

I read it as: "don't just go on autopilot or on habit, following the crowd. God gave you a brain, use it!"

  • Sigh. Downvoting, why exactly? Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 17:41
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    don't worry wiki - someone in a bad moo came roaring by and downvoted my scholarly approach as well. sometimes its just te sour mood people are in, you answer is fine (+1)
    – Mike
    Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 2:11
  • @Mike: thanks, that was my guess as well. Your approach is indeed scholarly, +1! Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 4:26

Many times in the bible it is stated about the blind and deaf ( this is the unconscious, those that can hear the words preached, but not have any sense of what those words mean)...all those with ears listen ( well everyone has ears right?) But its the person with consciousness in christ (born again) that can truly hear, see and interpet the bible and make sense of Jesus's parables, threw the gift of the holy spirit.

Matthew 13:15 For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.

Deuteronomy 29:4 But to this day the Lord has not given you a heart to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear.

( enlightened or made aware of or conscious of ) Hebrews 6:4-6
For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.

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