Constant repetition in childhood goes deeper, because the child really has no conscious. He has more of the unconscious just near the surface; everything enters into the unconscious. As he learns, as he gets educated, the conscious will become a thicker layer – then there will be less and less penetration towards the unconscious.
Psychologists say that almost fifty percent of your learning is finished by your seventh year of age. By the seventh year of your life you have known almost half of the things that you are ever going to know. Half your education is finished, and this half is going to be the base. Now everything else will just be imposed on it and the deeper pattern of childhood will remain.
That’s why modern psychology, modern psychoanalysis, psychiatry, they all try to penetrate into your childhood, because if you are mentally ill, somewhere the seed is to be found in your childhood, not now. The pattern must be located there in your childhood. Once that deep pattern is located, then something can be done and you can be transformed.
But how to penetrate it? Yoga has a method. That method is called abhyasa. Abhyasa means constant, repetitive practice of a certain thing. Why, through repetition, does something become unconscious? There are a few reasons for it.
If you want to learn something you will have to repeat it. Why? If you read a poem just once, you may remember a few words here and there. But if you read it twice, thrice, many more times, then you can remember lines, paragraphs. If you repeat it a hundred times then you will remember it as a whole pattern. If you repeat it even more then it may continue, persist in your memory for years. You may not be able to forget it.
What is happening? When you repeat a certain thing, the more you repeat, the more it is engraved on the brain cells. A constant repetition is a constant hammering. Then it is ingrained, it becomes a part of your brain cells. And the more it becomes a part of your brain cells, the less consciousness is needed. Your consciousness can move; now it is not needed.
So whatsoever you learn deeply, you need not be conscious for it. In the beginning if you learn driving, how to drive a car, then it is a conscious effort. That’s why it is so much trouble, because you have to be alert continuously and there are so many things to be aware of – the road, the traffic, the mechanism, the wheel, the accelerator, the brakes and everything…and the rules and regulations of the road. You have to be constantly alert about everything. So you are so much involved in it, it becomes arduous, it becomes a deep effort.
But by and by you will be able to completely forget everything. You will drive, driving will become unconscious. You need not bring your mind to it – you can go on thinking anything you like, you can be anywhere you like and the car will move unconsciously. Now your body has learned it. Now the whole mechanism knows it. It has become an unconscious learning.