Life’s passage depends very much on our outlook, the vision we hold of our place in the world and the way we use our nonconscious minds. Our health is an integral component of passage. Read my insert about vision and note that it is compulsive. Our brain collects information and processes it nonconsciously, but we do not perceive the full detail. The same is true of all sensory inputs. So we react selectively to a whole litany of messages from the outside world…and equally so to the signals coming to our brain from within.
Nonconscious isn’t the same as unconscious. The nonconscious function is really a parallel processing technique used by those super computers called our brains. The task is to process a vast amount of information, select that which we really need, and tuck the other stuff away somewhere. The problem is that we might not be aware of the instructions that drive the selection process. Things we really need to know about – signals we would really appreciate or should give serious attention – could well be put in the trash without us ever being aware of it. Yet we are under control of that selection mechanism and the priorities it presumes.
Nonconscious Mental Function
What we perceive from any or all sensory mechanisms depends on our personal make-up and our prior expectations. Predatory types wear such labels as self-centered, controlling, opportunistic and domineering. They respond to opportunity and are driven instinctively to find it. In the extreme, they hear no warnings that might dissuade them from the objective. The opposite is fatalistic character, that of prey. It involves feelings of victimization, suffering, defeat and inevitable failure. Consequently we might anticipate emotional or substance dependencies. These are embedded codes that aren’t adopted just for a fleeting moment. They are a permanent bias built into the programs that run our non-conscious mental assessments. Likely, they are fixed for any individual by the onset of puberty – unless some major disruption provides the opportunity of learning a modified code.
Current research about the nonconscious mind is concerned with creativity and learning, but the considerations apply equally to wellness and longevity. The nervous, immune and endocrine systems don’t sit beside one another as apartment dwellers might. They interact as a community in which each sector is able to modify part of the functions of the other. Chemical messengers that derive primarily in one location and act to alter or restore homeostasis can, in fact, be liberated by specialized cells in the other locations. Nothing is fully independent. So, our mental function and the bias embedded into non-conscious mental processing affects our health, our immune functions and out hormonal balances. The reverse applies also.
An extremely fundamental question then comes: “Can we learn to monitor our nonconscious functions and alter the program bias?” Forty years or so of careful research sets the objective clearly. We need to function in a smoothly shifting balance between predatory and fatalistic responses consistent with overall harmony and security. Medically, we might describe the alternatives as the sympathetic and parasympathetic response modes. We should spend least possible time in the anxious sympathetic response mode (aka ‘fight or flight’). This is opposite the trend of life in developed societies.
We should attend to the things that give us pleasure and health – and forgo fashionable craziness that we can neither understand nor conquer.This principle is far from a being a revolutionary doctrine. We just don’t know how to teach people the required skills. I talk about this at some more length at Wellness and in the article finding-ned detailing some of my personal experiences. Admittedly also, this is a repeat of comment made at Passage where I have tucked away a piece of poetry you might enjoy.