November 9, 2013 How Can We Believe What We Can't See?
How do we know the subconscious really exists and is in constant action? If you look for examples in your life, you will see it.
The other day I found myself out driving and having to stop short. Automatically my right arm flew up in front of the empty passenger seat next to me, as though to keep an invisible passenger from flying forward.
I found myself thinking about this.
I grew up back in the time before all the back-seat-rear-facing-child-car -seats and I remember always clamoring to get into the front seat whenever my family took a drive. Truly I am not even sure we used our seat belts either (times were different :) ! So, more than once I saw my parents do exactly what I did the other day.
So this action: stopping short, arm flying out to help restrain the passenger, was etched into my subconscious, for as long as I can remember. And I still do it today, even if my passenger is wearing the seatbelt, or even if no one is in the seat! It makes no logical sense really, but there you have it, that automatic response that comes from something.
And we know what that something is.
Have you ever heard a song or caught a tendril of a fragrance, that immediately catapulted you back to a former time in your life, a time you never would consciously have remembered? This happens to all of us, as though we have suddenly hopped in a time machine. This, too is that subconscious in action again. A long buried memory, an old dusty file suddenly there on our metaphorical “desktop”, and we’ve just clicked it open ..
Or for days you are trying to remember a name, a title, a tune and then as soon as you stop trying to remember it; it floats in front of you and lands right on your tongue?
So much of what we are, is a combination of our memories and experiences, though we aren’t able to consciously process all of them, every moment.
But they exist.
And sometimes; they harm us. Or limit us. Hold us back. Keep us glued to bad habits, keep us from contentment, from joy, from success. .
Now none of us can change the past. But we can change our perspective of the past. But we need to know where and how to look. And not all of this can really be done on the surface where consciousness and logic rule.
Sometimes we have to get into the murky place where an event has gotten linked to an emotion. On a level too deep to clearly see.
Consciously, for instance, we all know the statistics of airplane travel being safer than a car. But for someone who subconsciously has airplane travel linked to fear is going to have a hard time overriding the fear to take in the logical facts. For the logical facts to help them.
It took me such a long time to truly understand a basic concept of subconsciousness. This is:
“The subconscious does not distinguish between fantasy and reality” It accepts all things as real things.
It is our logical mind that evaluates data and chooses what are facts and what are fancies.
The subconscious just takes things in, it makes no evaluatory judgments.
This is actually what allows us to enjoy the greatest gift of being human; our ability to imagine.
I am beginning to think that, in life for us, our imaginations are both our greatest strength and our greatest weakness. A total paradox.
Human imagination has lead to the creation of things of breathtaking beauty.
And also created bloodbaths and suffering beyond comprehension.
And everything in between.
This goes for us as a species and us as individuals.
What have you created with your imagination, with “art supplies” taken directly from your vast subconscious, boxes and boxes of unremembered memories? I bet there is no one out there who would answer this question with the word “Nothing” .
We all do it, all the time, whether we label it as such or not.
So in a therapeutic sense for change to take place, all we must do is logically, with consciousness decide to change it. From smoking to insomnia, to terror of open spaces, for weight loss, for getting over the insidious shaking that happens before giving a public presentation, for literally; anything that is doing us harm rather than good!
This is the first thing.
The second thing is to harness our own remarkable powers of imagination to see a future without this or that obstacle. Touch it, taste it, smell it, hear it, see it. Feel it. This is what engages our subconscious and allows the desire to change to lead to actual change.
And no; we will never solve all of our own problems.
Conflict and rising above things and accomplishing things even though we are terrified is part of what makes us all pretty interesting.
But just because one can't change everything doesn't mean one shouldn’t attempt to change some things.
You know what it is you really want to do. And if you are thinking about things such as making changes and looking into Hypnosis for it, not only are you SMART; you are already halfway there!