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January. 25, 2022

The “Mind” (Part I)

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You are about to embark upon a 3-post adventure into the “mind”, which is perhaps one of the most poorly understood — if not ‘the’ most poorly understood — part of a human being.

We know that there is a ‘conscious’ mind and a ‘subconscious’ mind.  Therefore, we’ve divided the mind into two parts:

  1. Conscious mind — we tend to think of this as our “brain”, which is able to process thoughts, ideas, circumstances, etc. and synthesize outcomes.
  2. Subconscious mind — this is the part of our minds that is on ‘autopilot’ throughout the day.  It’s what’s doing the work while you’re driving a car in order to get you home safely.  It’s what allows me to type without thinking through each individual letter before doing so, and it’s how we do anything while consciously occupied by something else like work, home, paying a bill, or having a conversation.  Without a subconscious mind, you would not be able to carry out two tasks at once.

However, simply dividing the mind into two parts leaves many questions.  For starters, where is the mind located?  Is it inside the body or outside?

Compounding evidence suggests that the mind may be located outside of the body, and our “brains” (which are not exactly the mind) may act as an ‘antenna’, so to speak, when it comes to receiving information to process.

Another popular hypothesis suggests that the “mind” is not in one location, per say, and it is instead located throughout the body, as memory might be stored.  With this opinion, the suggestion is that all cells can think, or at least specialized cells can that exist everywhere.

Can the mind ‘really’ be divided into two parts, or should our intention be to get the two parts to think together?

The pre-verbal age of development is considered to be before age 8.  Prior to age 8, children are unable to fully express themselves through language, they tend to express themselves more emotionally, and they may experience incomplete thoughts when attempting to communicate.

As such, the subconscious mind is highly impressionable.  It learns what it hears, memorizes patterns of speech, statements, ideas, thoughts, circumstances, and beliefs, and then replays them for you throughout your adulthood to aid and assist with growing responsibilities associated with being an adult.

The busier your conscious mind becomes, in other words, the more reliant you become on your subconscious mind.  Yet, the irony is that many of the beliefs, patterns, and self-talk styles you developed happened before you were 8 years old; and while you had trouble communicating for yourself.  Therefore, it’s based upon who you saw the most and who you spent the most time with:  your parents.

So, when you are consciously occupied (i.e. focused on doing something), it is your subconscious mind that is taking over.  And more than likely, you are behaving like your parents, repeating statements and speaking to yourself in such a way through your internal dialogue that simulates what you heard before age 8.

Is this really how you want to think?  Do you want your subconscious mind to have “filled up” by age 8?  Do you want to be so busy-minded that you spend your adult life relying upon your subconscious mind instead of being present and in the moment?

How would you like your mind to operate?

I think this is the BIGGEST question.  Personally, I would like my mind to be kind to me and others, avoid judgment, be quick to discern accurately and respectfully, love deeply and widely, give benefit of the doubt, etc.

Is this too much to ask?

Or, in other words, is the mind automatically going to be a pessimist?  Is it going to be an ‘id/ego’ battle as so many psychology resources tell us it will be?

Or is there another way to master the mind and allow your subconscious mind to work for-you throughout the day, feeding you with positive self-talk, self-love, and beliefs about yourself and the world around you that are supportive to you and your lifestyle?

In the next post, we’re going to talk about re-patterning the mind, what is possible, and how to do it.  I hope you enjoyed today’s lesson, and if you found it useful, please be sure to pass it along.

Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Dr. Kareem
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