An undercurrent is a type of current which runs below the surface of air or water. The direction of an undercurrent is typically opposite to that of surface currents, and the strength of the undercurrent varies, depending on the situation and the circumstances.

Surface currents make up about 10% of all the water in the ocean and are generally restricted to the upper 400 m (1,300 ft) of the ocean. 

Similarly a thought or an emotion running below the surface of what is apparent in human behaviour has powerful repercussions on one’s life experience and of course the strength of the undercurrent varies, depending on the situation and the circumstances.

Deep ocean currents are driven by density and temperature gradients.

Human undercurrents usually run deep and are the result of unresolved emotional issues or un-expressed emotions. Some undercurrents can flow undetected for years or even a lifetime whilst others are more gushing and push through to the surface.

Ocean currents are measured in Sverdrup (Sv), where 1Sv is equivalent to a volume flow rate of 1,000,000 m3.

Numerically speaking emotional undercurrents are suppressed, undetected or leaking energies in one’s energy field and are relative to Time, Temperature and external Pressures from one’s environment.

Here are some simple examples of human undercurrents:

  • I kiss my partner good morning but really I want to thump him for snoring all through the night


  • I hug my child telling her how much I love her whilst I struggle to contain the feeling of wanting to strangle her for cutting my new dress to pieces


  • I continue to smile at every customer where I work but I really hate it and wish I could have left yesterday.


  • I am ready to collapse but I continue to scrub the floors clean because if I don’t do it who will?


All the above are simple daily undercurrents that run just below the surface of human behaviour. We are often so used to living with them that we forget to question their existence and their effect on our lives.

Calm waters on the surface are not always a sign of what runs bellow.

Unclaimed emotions such as anger, fear or jealousy create powerful undercurrents that determine the outcome of a situation or a relationship more than what appears to be true on the surface.

Deep ocean currents are responsible for forming life on earth.

Deep human undercurrents are formed from the moment of our conception, the pre-birth period and up to the 5 or 6 years of our incarnated life. Unresolved traumas or ancestral streams create life forming currents much like those running across ocean beds.

Swimming against a current will exhaust a swimmer and is the most common cause of drowning.

Undercurrents are formed when waters run in opposite directions. Often we do one thing when we really want to be doing another. What happens when the heart calls for one thing whilst the mind decides on another?

Inconsistencies in water temperature or salt content influence water currents.

Inconsistencies in our conscious or unconscious behavior are created by human undercurrents that run undetected in our emotional and mental bodies. The conflict between what we want and what we do is the cause of most illnesses in humans and what leaves people wondering why in life they try for one thing but achieve another?

A rip current, commonly referred to simply as a rip, is one specific kind of water current that can be found near beaches.

Human undercurrents can also be conscious or unconscious attempts to undermine another human being or manipulate events so that your own priorities are attained usually to the advantage over another. This could explain why people choose to swim in murky waters.

Entire personalities much like eco-systems can be formed by unsatisfied egos.

Typically an undercurrent will carry you to where it wants you to go rather than where you intended to go in the first place. This would be the case of undetected emotional undercurrents that leave a person feeling powerless or not in charge of their life.

Early detection and beach awareness is the obvious way to deal with nature’s undercurrents.

Human undercurrents on the other hand can also appear to serve one’s purpose. In the   long run this will lead to unsatisfying relationships and a backlog of power struggles that will make one’s life a misery rather than joy.

Stop, listen and reflect is the answer to dealing with any kind of undercurrent.

It is entertaining but most often disturbing to observe at what lengths we go to keep undercurrents unseen. For the moment an undercurrent is brought to the surface its energy is released and often life changing. Are we ready to accept change?

Stillness shows up where the currents flow.

Staying in touch with ourselves has not been given the primary importance it deserves. If achievement was proven to be influenced by the quality of the water we swim in then keeping our inner water crystal clear and current free would become paramount.

Honest adult behavior is about unveiling the undercurrents whether it appears to serve us or not.

Choosing the way you will begin the process of mapping your undercurrents can be as simple as sitting in silence for a few moments each day, floating on the surface of your pool or diving deeper with the help of a more experienced water listener.

Noticing the impact the newly detected undercurrents have on one’s life is a strong incentive to dive deeper.

Aligning one’s truth on all levels can take an entire life or more. Beginning to verbally express the undercurrent is a fast track way to release the power of an undercurrent and to soften its hold on one’s life.

Put simply don’t put off expressing what you feel and what you want any longer even if it comes out all wrong.

The repercussions will be less in time than keeping things under the surface if that is what you are really worried about!