In parables everything has to be searched, because one never knows where the meaning has been hidden in its words. For example:
Zarathustra passes through a period of seven days.
Seven days are symbolic and significant; they are symbolic of the seven stages of human consciousness. For centuries the so-called crowd of humanity has known only one stage, in which we live – the so-called consciousness.
It was only in this century in the West that Sigmund Freud and his colleagues introduced the very shocking idea of the unconscious mind – because he was working with dreams, with hypnosis, with analysis, and he found a great unconscious space in man, of which he is not aware; although it affects his actions, his ideas, his behavior, his whole life-style.
Sigmund Freud became more interested in your unconsciousness than in what you call your consciousness because your consciousness, he found, is not reliable. You lie, and you lie so sincerely that it is very difficult to detect it. You don’t even know that you are lying. You have become so habituated to lying that it appears to you that you are telling the truth.
But when you are asleep you are beyond the control of all the religions, of all so-called moralities, societies, cultures, civilizations. Suddenly you are more authentic. Your dreams say much truer things about you than you say yourself. You may even contradict them; you may find it very difficult to believe that this has come from your own unconscious.
Sigmund Freud brought to the light one more stage of your consciousness which he called the unconscious mind. His disciple and later on his rival, Carl Gustav Jung, tried going even deeper than the unconscious, and discovered that everybody is carrying within his being a collective unconscious – which is not his, which belongs to thousands of years, which carries the whole past in it.
It was even more shocking: we are not aware that we are carrying the whole history of humanity. But in the East we have been aware of these stages: the unconscious, the collective unconscious, and one more, which perhaps soon the West will have to find – the universal unconscious. The collective unconscious is concerned only with humanity; the universal unconscious is concerned with the whole universe. You are not only carrying, in subtle forms, the whole history of mankind, you are carrying within you the whole history of the universe itself.
These are the three stages below your so-called conscious mind. I am calling it so-called because in the East we have found the real conscious mind. The so-called conscious mind is only utilitarian – a small part which is useful for day to day work, but it cannot give you a glimpse of the truth.