19 Oct 2014

How the mind works (or NOt).

The Captain, as many will know, has longstanding issues with the workings of minds – and by extension failures of the mind to work properly (aka stupidity and madness). It’s been some 20-odd years now that I (the Captain, for those who do not know) have been studying the ‘thing’.  By mind I include brain – as I see the two as inseparable. [And I’m not at this stage about to deviate to debate whether the soul is a separate and independent inhabitant of the brain. For those who believe mind and soul are separate and separable, I simply say, submit yourself to me with a request for some brain damage, and we’ll see what happens next about your soul. Jeez.. I always have to distract myself with all sorts of lame arguments that people are likely to come up with – so bare with me or not!].

Right – back on topic, if I may. No – I’m not about to give you the secrets to the workings of the mind/brain. What I will say today – as I do – is that in the last 10 years, there has been an explosion of information and research on certain aspects of how the mind functions (and by extension ‘not’). The unconscious mind is something that people are likely to think, “Oh it’s that subconscious thing – innit – nothing new there. Go away.. it’s old hat!!!” People who go like that – even in the privacy of their own heads -  I immediately would classify as idiots. Tough if you come to feel insulted.

The Unconscious is even deeper than what people would conceptualise as ‘the subconscious’. Oooo.. this could get scary.. and when people get scared they look away!! Do I care?! You don’t believe me – so look here and click the image (at right) to read more:

Or – don’t click it – if you know you know it all, or you spitefully decide not to click it or read further.

Sure – it’s all theory some will say – and that’s fine for them. Some of such people have never seen God but still believe in God, and there is even less tangible (hard) evidence for a God [evidence is different to inferences and reasoning for]. But no, God still exists – and is not a theory for them. But all this ‘psychobabble’ will be categorised as ‘theory’ and dismissed very quickly. I’m always amused by all this.

If there was something in you, like an unwelcome influence over your mind, imperceptibly controlling your responses to the world you interact with – I suspect you’d want to know about it. Well, here is the equivalent. The Unconscious controls how you react to the world and people. It orchestrates all ‘above’ it – and I’m betting that 90-something percent of all people do not know much about it. Did I say it is evil? No – I did not!!! If you even fleetingly thought so, that was your ‘subconscious’ and ‘unconscious’ leading you to react in that way. Implied meaning flashed before you, where none is so expressed. I was simply giving an analogy to awake your consideration (I said nothing about evil nor did I imply such).

What most of us know as ‘the mind’ is that little 10% (or so) at the top that we are aware of, in our daily activities. But make no mistake, the mind’s actions are quite often affected by that 90% or so that is below the surface of awareness. So – I’m not here to tell you all about how it works, because that would be the subject of a few PhD theses. However, it is for anyone interested in this, to springboard from here onto Google to see what more there is. Of course, no one need be interested in any of this – the human race has survived for thousands of years without any of this knowledge. Ahhh.. but will it survive that much longer without recognition and action on it – is the big issue?


Supplemental reading:

  1. The unconscious mind at work
  2. Think Different: The Merits of Unconscious Thought in Preference Development and Decision Making