There Is A War Going On
It would be helpful if I could directly observe the presence of a “bad root”
inside me. After all, if I observe that my hair needs combing, I can then
comb it. If I see that my hands are dirty, I can wash them. Unfortunately,
we cannot directly observe a “bad root.” It resides below our level of
For some reason, the Lord created us with both a “Conscious Self,” and a
“Non-conscious Self.” The diagram below is offered to help to make this
What I am calling our “Treasure Inside” is the part of us that is made in
the image of God. We are made in His image. You are. I am. It is not just
God in us that is good (though there are also places like that). There are
places in each of us that are purely "us," that are a part of who we are,
that are good. It is not just the Holy Spirit in us that is good. When God
said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness"
(Genesis 1:26). He did not say, "Let Us make man to be Us." We are
separate creatures from Him. We are unique, but made in His image. He
is the pattern, but we are not Him, and He is not us. This reality may be
difficult for many to grasp, since there has been so much teaching and
preaching about how awful we are. It is this image of God in us that I am
calling our “Treasure Inside.”
Scripture is clear that our “Treasure Inside” exists. What I have listed are
some of the attributes that God placed in there, though there are
In this diagram I am not implying that our personal spirit is God. However,
for Christians it is true that God does dwell in our Non-conscious Self.
How We Can Perceive
We cannot directly observe what is going on below our level of
consciousness. Our “Treasure Inside” is in our Non-conscious Self, and
he or she observes what is going on in there. God installed a signal
system whereby our “Treasure Inside” can inform our Conscious Self of
what is occurring below our level of consciousness. That signal system
is made up of our emotions and other subtle senses and awarenesses.
Our cars have “oil lights” on the dashboard. That has been provided so
that we can know about the oil level in the engine without us having to
directly look into the oil pan. There is a sensor in the engine that
observes that oil level. If the oil level gets below a certain point, the
sensor sends a signal to the “oil light” to turn on, so that we can know
the oil is low. It is a way that the car says “ouch.” Then we can pull over
to the side of the road and add some oil.
There are several other things that are also important for us to know
about the status of the car. Therefore there is also a temperature gauge,
a battery light, a “handbrake on” light, a “door open” light, etc. Each is
necessary to give us specific important information.
Likewise, the messages that our “Treasure Inside” sends up to our
Conscious Self are also specific to an important condition going on below
our Level of Consciousness. That way we can consciously do the
appropriate thing to fix the situation.
If we ignore the “oil light” in our car, something really bad is eventually
going to happen to the engine. When the engine freezes up, we will be
able to consciously and directly know that the engine had needed oil.
Pilots who fly in the dark or in clouds need to trust their instruments.
Their instruments give them information that they would otherwise have
no way of knowing. When they cannot actually see the horizon with their
naked eye, their own other physical senses can fool them. If they don’t
trust their instruments, lots of bad things can happen - such as going
around in circles or crashing into the ground. Because it is so important
that they trust their instruments, pilots have to go through extensive
training so that they understand what the instruments are telling them,
and to trust them.
My “Treasure Inside” is my friend, who knows what is going on below my
level of consciousness and tells me about it. I need to learn what those
messages are saying, and to trust them; because it is always important
information. If I don’t listen to them or trust them and take corrective
action, bad things can end up happening; because there is a war going
on below my level of consciousness.
There Is A War Going On
Unfortunately, below my level of consciousness there is residing another
entity besides my “Treasure Inside:” my “God-wannabe” (see page 16 and
Endnote # 1 for more details on the “God-wannabe”)
Whereas my “Treasure Inside,” a godly presence, wants to worship and
commune with God; my “God-wannabe,” an evil presence, hates God and
wants to take His place.
My “God-wannabe” has declared war on God, and wants to have
dominion over me. He is made in the image of Satan, and entered into
mankind in the Garden of Eden.
Both my “Treasure Inside” and my “God-wannabe” are unchangeable in
nature. They will both exist in me exactly as they are until the day I go to
be with the Lord.
On the other hand, my “Honeycomb” is the battleground between the
two. It contains both “good roots” and “bad roots,” and these roots can
be transformed from “good” to “bad,” and vice versa. The diagram below
illustrates these multiple places.
How The War Progresses
Because it wants to become lord of my life, my “God-wannabe” attacks
and plants a “bad root” in my “Honeycomb.” That “bad root” then causes
problems for me by producing “bad fruit.”
For Christians, what is supposed to happen is that my “Treasure Inside”
sees the damage going on, and sends up a distress signal (the “oil light”
comes on). Since my will power (a psychological attribute) has no
authority to regulate or control what is going on inside my Non-conscious
self, I need a solution that will occur below my level of consciousness to
remove the “bad root.” As I discussed in the last chapter, I can apply the
blood of Jesus to the “bad root,” and thus have Jesus replace the “bad
root” with His presence. He is well capable of doing this; but I need to
take conscious action to bring that about. I need to “put oil in the
Another metaphor might help make this clear. In my physical body, there
is also a constant battle going on. There are entities that are intent on
destroying my health (viruses, germs, toxins, etc.). Because of the
presence of these destructive forces, the Lord gave me an immune
system whose job it is to identify and destroy these attackers. In some
situations my immune system needs a helping hand. Suppose I have an
infection. I can consciously recognize that through the physical
symptoms, and then decide to take an antibiotic to overcome the
infection. However, I cannot by conscious force of will make the infection
Likewise, if I discover that I have a “bad root” inside, I can consciously
decide to apply the blood of Jesus to it. But I cannot by conscious force
of my will make the “bad root” go away.
In both the case of the war going on in my physical body and that going
on in my Non-conscious self, I do need to become consciously aware that
there is a problem so that I can decide to apply the appropriate “cure.”
To succeed at this I need to do all of the following:
- I need to sense, and to pay attention to, the signal sent up from
my body or my “Treasure Inside.”
- I need to understand what that signal is telling me.
- I need to trust that it is telling me the truth.
- I need to apply the appropriate “cure:” (the anti-biotic, or the blood
of Jesus to the “bad root”).
Not Knowing About Two Presences
As the diagram illustrates, there are two presences below our level of
consciousness. As a child, we didn’t know that. So when we
misbehaved, for instance by hitting another child, we were properly
disciplined for doing that “bad” thing. We concluded that “I” did a bad
thing. We blamed ourselves, and usually decided that everything below
our level of conscious control was fickle and unreliable and “bad.” Our
“Treasure Inside” was condemned along with our “God-wannabe.” We
“threw the baby out with the bathwater.” Our culture, and possibly our
church, reinforced that perspective. So we tried as best we could to
ignore or to control every message coming up from our Non-conscious
How To Lose The War
The way to lose the war is to ignore the “oil light” when it comes on. If I
ignore the signal coming up from my “Treasure Inside,” or don’t
understand what it is telling me, and/or don’t trust that it is telling me the
truth, I won’t be able to apply the “cure.” If I don’t apply the “cure,” the
damage will remain there. If it is allowed to remain, the ‘bad root’ will
begin to grow. Like a tumor, it will keep spreading unless it is destroyed.
Be assured that the objective of my “God-wannabe” is to win the war. He
will always continue to attack and plant many more “bad roots.” If I still
don’t take corrective action, he continues to gain more and more
influence in my Honeycomb. More and more “bad fruit” will begin to
Eventually the damage grows to the point where it produces serious,
observable problems in my life – for instance I might develop
uncontrollable anger, or depression, or alcoholism, or a host of other
Which Is More Important?
Which is more important: your Conscious Self or your Non-conscious
Self? That is like asking which is more important: your heart or your
liver? The answer is that you have both because you need both. Your
heart cannot do what your liver does, and your liver cannot do what your
Similarly, your Conscious attributes have a job to do, and so do your Non-
conscious attributes. Your Conscious attributes cannot do what your
Non-conscious attributes do, and vice versa.
In our culture, it is easy for us to see what your Head is good at: rational
thinking and decision making. I won’t elaborate on this, because you are
well versed in this.
What is not so evident is the importance and purpose for your Non-
conscious self. Science even recognizes the importance of your Non-
“Huge amounts of evidence support the view that the ‘conscious
self’ is in fact a very small portion of the mind’s activity. Perception,
abstract cognition, emotional processes, memory, and social
interaction all appear to proceed to a great extent without the
involvement of consciousness. Most of the mind is nonconscious. .
. To put it another way, we are much, much more than our conscious
processes” (Siegel, page 264).
Part of that “much more” in this quote is the presence of God in your Non-
conscious Self. As I have shown in the prior diagram, the presence of
God is prominent in your Non-conscious Self. He has created your
“Treasure Inside” in His image. When you became a Christian, He sent
His Holy Spirit to dwell below your level of consciousness; and God is
actively communicating with you through these faculties.
In other words, below your level of consciousness you have at your
disposal the wisdom and presence of God.
Just think of that!
You need to respect both your Conscious Self and your Non-conscious
self. You need all of those attributes to live your life, and that is why God
gave them all to you. If you try to use the wrong attribute in a given
situation, life will not go well.
Both Presences Below Our Level Of
Consciousness Seek To Influence Us
Note that I have labeled the influence of these presences as being
“impulses and perceptions.” I have done this because when the “mind of
the Spirit” is in ascendance, we see things through those eyes and are
impelled to act in life giving, Godly ways (Galatians 5:22-23). On the other
hand, when the “mind of the flesh” (“God-wannabe”) is in ascendance,
we see things through those eyes and are impelled to act in ways that are
sinful (Galatians 5:19-21). The Apostle Paul described the war and the
fruit from it:
For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit
against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another,
so that you do not do the things that you wish (Galatians 5:
See Appendix F for an example of this in my own life.
A Couple of Myths
In our culture, there are a couple of myths that I want to expose.
1. We tend to view our Conscious Selves as completely rational
2. We see our Non-conscious Selves as fickle and unreliable.
Whether we know it or not, or like it or not, our conscious perception of
reality is powerfully influenced by what goes on below our level of
For example, suppose you tell a friend about a very personal problem you
are having, and the friend reveals this confidential information to others.
Would you be angry? Would this affect how you feel about that friend?
Would you like to “give them a piece of your mind?”
With your logical mind (Head) you may argue that it is wisdom to re-
evaluate your relationship. That would also be true; but is that what has
influenced how you feel about them? Can you see how your rational
perception has been influenced?
Or suppose that someone you know is on a football team. During the
game, how do you feel about the players on the other team? Are you
rational or non-emotional about them? Of course not. You are likely
feeling very aggressive towards them, whereas you would not feel that
same way if you just met one of them in a store.
It is impossible for us to be consciously neutral (completely rational) in
emotionally powerful situations. The conditions in our “Honeycomb,” that
cause us to feel our emotions, powerfully influence our conscious mind.
Science has proven this:
“Emotion directly influences the functions of the entire brain and
body, from physiological regulation to abstract reasoning” (Siegel,
Therefore, when our emotions come up (and despite how hard we may try
not to feel them), both our “thinking” and our behavior are influenced.
“Bad roots” that cause strong emotions give us strong impulses to “bad
fruit.” Sometimes the impulses are too strong to resist.
We also tend to view our Non-conscious Selves as unreliable. We don’t
trust what we sense. One of the reasons is that we lump all of our Non-
conscious attributes together. We realize that we are sometimes
impelled to do good things, and sometimes we are impelled to do bad
things. We tend to think that all those contradictory impulses come from
the same source – “me.” We don’t realize that there are two presences
inside, and therefore two voices.
A second reason that we don’t trust the signals coming up from inside is
that we don’t understand the language of our emotions. We were never
taught this by anybody. It would be like me trying to fly an airplane on
instruments. I have no training, and would undoubtedly crash and burn.
A third problem is that we haven’t known what to do about the signals
when we do hear them; because we haven’t known how to apply the
blood of Jesus to the “bad roots.” Without knowing how to cure the
problem when we hear about it, listening to the unpleasant feelings is
painful; and we don’t want to continue to hear them.
The bottom line is that the messages we receive from inside our Non-
conscious Self are not unreliable or fickle. They accurately tell us what is
going on inside there. Unfortunately, there is a war going on, and the
messages give us strategic information about how the battle is going.
A Big Mistake
Hopefully you can now see that if we distrust every message that comes
up from our Non-conscious self, and thus try to use our “head” to rule
our life, we get into trouble. Our “bad roots” grow and dominate more
and more of our life.
Therefore, if somehow we can be convinced to ignore the signals coming
up from our “Treasure Inside,” our “God-wannabe” will have free reign,
and we will be losing the war.
Being changed into the image of Jesus
A miracle can happen to you, like the transformation that
happens when a worm is transformed into a butterfly
(2 Corinthians 3:18).