Is There Really Such Thing As A "Subconscious"?

32 replies
Your thoughts please, forum friends?
#subconscious #thing
  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Do you consciously tell your heart to beat? Do you breath when you're asleep?

    Must be at least something to the idea.
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  • Profile picture of the author jaiganeshv
    AFAIK, It is there, to an extent it tells you while you start something new
    begin a new project, get into a new relation, or start something new..

    It sometimes even alerts me before buying a WSO

    Thank you.
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    • Profile picture of the author Isaachun
      I guess it depends on what you are asking. In medical terms, the subconscious is the part of your brain that handles all your autonomous bodily functions (heart beating, breathing etc).

      In psychological terms, it is the part of your mind that is not under direct control of your conscious mind. Your subconscious help you program your habits etc.

      I would say it is pretty much a commonly accepted concept of the mind, and is the basis of psychology branch such as hypnosis, NLP and so on.

      It's a fascinating thing to explore, I'd say.
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  • Profile picture of the author DrGUID
    I used mindbody medicine to cure an illness, so I have to say that yes, there is a subconcious. Furthermore, it can be manipulated. The subconsious is stubborn, and it's not easy, but given that the subconcious is something like 98% of the mind, the results can be spectacular.

    I want to read about NLP, it sounds fascinating.

    Oh and by the way, I read that the stomach has a nervous system as well, so there really is more to "gut instinct" than you might think.
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    • Profile picture of the author mobiusman
      Originally Posted by DrGUID View Post

      Oh and by the way, I read that the stomach has a nervous system as well, so there really is more to "gut instinct" than you might think.
      Yes absolutely. It was known to be around over 100 years ago and was re-discovered by Dr. Michael Gershon a cell biologist at the Columbia Medical Center in New York City.

      He studies the digestive system and so he stumbled on a huge supply of neurons hidden in sheaths of tissue in the gut and that are the same as those found in the top brain. He called it the enteric nervous system and it can and does act alone.

      He wrote a book about it. The Gut Brain.

      I'm doing a video that talks about it and my new theory about how we can automatically buffer stress effects while they are happening in real time 24/7 without learning a new discipline.

      There is a mechanism and a reason for why "gut feelings" happen.

      -David
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      Mobiusman talks about the Head Brain/Gut Brain system. Did you know you have two different brains?
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  • Profile picture of the author JagSEO
    It is like an automatic driving force if your conscious mind don't accept reality, your subconscious will do the rest for you. I think most of the time the subconscious mind will make you or break you as a person, it is a programmable logic that has default language.
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  • Profile picture of the author futurestrategy
    I beleive that there is a subconcious. Especially after reading "Power of your subconcious mind" by Murphy.

    It has given me some positive approach to a few daily affairs.
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    • Profile picture of the author billMarket
      Why don't you explore meditation and find out???

      Tip: Working with your subconscious is the most powerful thing you can do. It is what is really in charge, we just aren't conscious of it
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  • Profile picture of the author josephkerr
    billMarket, I like that reply. "Find out for yourself." Well put, sir.

    And Isaac, I think you have my favorite forum signature I've ever seen.

    Thanks for the replies everyone.
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    "Cigarettes make the sun come up, whiskey makes the sun go down, and inbetween... you do a lot of standing around." -Warren Zevon

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  • Profile picture of the author don21stc
    Whether you use the word 'subconcious' or 'id' or 'ego' or 'karma' or any of the other words that have specific meanings to those familiar with the esoteric realms of mind study as distinct from professional pscychology and psychiatry, there can be no doubt that much of what goes on in people's mind is not founded on logicically thought out conclusions derived from observation.

    For example, I bet very few of us have studied body language objectively, but there's no doubting that most of us respond to it without consciously knowing why we do.

    Consequently the word 'subconcious' is as good as any other to refer to what we all know goes on in our minds sub-consciously - i.e. below the level of conscious thought control exercised by our brains over our mind.

    My own deliberate observations indicate to me that our subconscious doesn't 'express itself' using language or if it does, it is used sparingly. In my case, what I consider to be my subconscious manifests itself in mental images and feelings and other people I've spoken to seem to be broadly similar to me in this respect.

    The problem with mental images and feelings are that they are very difficult to pin down and describe in words but I have made it my practice to try to analyse any such subconscious 'stuff' which I feel may be limiting me or somehow distracting or even preventing me from doing what I've told myself that I want to be doing (or maybe should be doing).

    As an example, when I first got interested in this subject, I picked on my laziness as being worthy of study. It turned out to be fairly easy to get a handle on even though it didn't involve much imagery, but I won't bore anyone with the details.

    By deliberately studying this subject, I feel that I've made progress in slaying some of my proverbial dragons but my most noticeable progress has been in recognising a significant number of apparently relatively trivial examples of limiting behaviour, some of which I can definitely trace back to my childhood. (Conventional wisdom would probably say that ALL are traceable to childhood!)

    Where I can see mental images, the resultant effect produced is relatively easy to explore and I'm pretty sure that it's the images that produce the effect rather than vice versa.

    But where vague feelings are involved, the process is much more difficult for me but maybe not for others. Difficult, but still worth pursuing in my opinion.

    Maybe I'm crazy thinking like this, but I don't hear voices in my head (not yet) so I think I'll stick at it!

    Any comments are most welcome especially any suggestions on how to tackle vague feelings!

    Don
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr. Enthusiastic
    Don, thanks for the excellent post. I think you might enjoy the books Conscious Living and Conscious Loving by Gay & Kathlyn Hendricks. They have a lot of material about how to go from a vague feeling to specific awareness of what you experience in your body, then tracing that back to the roots of the emotion. If you'd like to discuss this stuff in more detail, feel free to send me a PM about it.

    Chris
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  • Profile picture of the author AzzX
    I wonder if the state when you know you are dreaming and are in control of your dream is part of the subconscious or in fact a heightened state of awareness. I do a bit of writing and a lot of ideas I get I have considered to be an idea from a subconscious thought.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin Reynolds
    I agree with thehypnoman (my fellow hypnotist) if there wasn't a subconscious, we would be out of a job!
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  • Profile picture of the author FortressDewey
    yup, there is, I call it my "gut" feeling. Can't necessarily put my finger on why I feel a certain way, but I know when it is kicking in.
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  • Profile picture of the author josephkerr
    Well it seems the discussion is alive and well. The reason I ask is because it can be very enlightening to question the basic and what we take for granted. One of my favorite examples of this is Cantor and his set theory.

    For those of you who aren't math nerds, Georg Ferdinand Ludwig Phillip Cantor (yeah) started questioning the basic assumptions of math and came up with a new way of looking (which he proved mathematically) at infinity. As the Stanford website puts it,

    "Until then, no one envisioned the possibility that infinities come in different sizes, and moreover, mathematicians had no use for 'actual infinity.'"

    A more famous example questioning assumptions at large is Galileo claiming the Earth is not, indeed, the center of the universe (though these days with the theory of relativity and quantum theory... his discovery is less shocking because the center of anything really depends on how you measure it. That and the church has taken a big back seat in our culture).

    Anyway, those guys were recognized as geniuses and dropped A-bombs on their societies... while I'm sort of just playing with a pea shooter by comparison. I think it's important though to question this.

    That we have a subconscious mind is a social agreement, like money. That doesn't mean it's not useful, or we can't do anything with it. But in the sense that money isn't real wealth... it's a symbol for real wealth (you eat the burrito you pay for with the money, not the paper money itself)... money is a fiction.

    But it's a fiction we all agree upon to keep society running smoothly.

    Similarly... the "subconscious" is a measurement of what's going on in what we call our mind, which is another measurement. And the term only makes sense at all in relation to what we would call a "conscious" mind.

    My next question then is... how do we measure what we call subconscious? If it's the processes and functions we're not aware of then to say we have a subconscious is really not saying much more than what happens outside of our conscious awareness happens, and then identifying with it. And that could go just as well for the beating of our heart as for the force of gravity or the rotation of the planets around the sun.

    So... what do you think everybody... how do you measure a conscious versus a subconscious mind?
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    "Cigarettes make the sun come up, whiskey makes the sun go down, and inbetween... you do a lot of standing around." -Warren Zevon

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    • Profile picture of the author don21stc
      Originally Posted by josephkerr View Post

      My next question then is... how do we measure what we call subconscious? If it's the processes and functions we're not aware of then to say we have a subconscious is really not saying much more than what happens outside of our conscious awareness happens, and then identifying with it. And that could go just as well for the beating of our heart as for the force of gravity or the rotation of the planets around the sun.
      At the beginning of Joseph's post, he talks about mathematical and scientific stuff so thought I'd throw Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle into the discussion!
      Just as trying to measure a particle's position introduces uncertainty into measurements of other physical parameters (e.g. velocity), so I would suppose that trying to measure the subconscious in terms of brainwaves, or any other parameter known to science, is likely to induce uncertainty amounting to confusion in the collective conscious as well as subconscious minds of the scientific community!
      What produces Heisenberg's uncertainty is the act of observing and because the subconscious mind is so subjective, I would expect that those observers with a rigid scientific approach might not fare at all well in their research.
      That's not to say that it's not worth trying but the results could well be more entertaining than enlightening.
      Don
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      • Profile picture of the author josephkerr
        don21stc, you had me at Heisenberg. < 3

        Also, you seem to get it. So kudos to you, sir.
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        "Cigarettes make the sun come up, whiskey makes the sun go down, and inbetween... you do a lot of standing around." -Warren Zevon

        "तत्त्वमसि"

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  • Profile picture of the author MCDavies
    This is a great discussion here! I certainly do believe in the subconscious, which is something that I think helps us function normally.

    The brain is full of electrical impulses and has millions of things happening all at the same time. Right now I'm consciously gathering my thoughts and writing this post. While subconsciously I'm breathing, sitting and keeping a posture.

    If I had to be consciously thinking about every little detail about my regular body functions, I couldn't possibly concentrate on the things that matter the most. Like writing a simple post and checking for spelling and grammar.

    Now as far as being able to measure our subconscious, it may be done by brainwaves.

    Our brains produce "sweeping" electrical charges. These charges create rhythms known as brainwave patterns. You can see them with an electroencephalograph (EEG). EEG's record and measure large amounts of neurons firing in unison. Brainwave patterns are commonly grouped into four different categories: Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta. Each of these brainwave patterns are associated with various states of mind.
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  • Profile picture of the author Griffon
    Why does one want to "measure" the conscious mind? That sort of scientific "metric", consicous mind approach would seem to break down in relation to something as nebulous as the subconsicous.

    Just because we have no accurate way to measure it, doesn't mean it doesn't have a profound effect on our daily life. Kind of like the "dark matter" of our brains...it may comprise that vast majority of mental activity, but by its very nature, we are only tangentially aware it is there......
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    • Profile picture of the author Jack J
      Is There Really Such Thing As A "Subconscious"?

      The question sort of begs a definitive "yes or no" answer. It's a bit too... exclusive and immutable, for my liking.

      I would rephrase the question to "Does believing in a subconscious, on aggregate, have benefits outweighing "not" believing in a subconscious"?
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      • Profile picture of the author josephkerr
        I agree Jack, well put.
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        "Cigarettes make the sun come up, whiskey makes the sun go down, and inbetween... you do a lot of standing around." -Warren Zevon

        "तत्त्वमसि"

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        • Profile picture of the author josephkerr
          Tonio, I kid you not. You're right.

          It is that basic a question.

          But be careful in this case not to mistake basic with stupid. I'm not denying my own stupidity, mind you... I know as a human being it's practically the fuel on which I run, but the attitude of knee-jerk dismissal here might lead you to miss something important.

          Ultimately though, I'm not quite sure what to say to the person whose curiosity and sense of wonder in life aren't alive enough to ask questions like "am I really here" or better yet "what does it mean to say 'I' anyway?", because that suggests a lack of a playful and intelligent attitude toward life that I can't relate with.

          And to Griffin, (Neal?), I agree about how what we call the subconscious is nebulous and language is clumsily precise. So to try to measure it would be like trying to hold water in your hands by squeezing it... the more you struggle the more it gets away. But that's just my point. It's not that I want to measure the subconscious, it's that the idea and concept of a subconscious are themselves measurements of the nebulous process that's going on that can't be named. Names themselves are attempts at putting a wiggly universe into neat boxes with straight lines.

          It's this attitude of control, of trying to wrangle the world into submission, that really gets under my skin. And I feel that many schools that make a study of the psyche for medicine, like psychiatry, psychology, hypnosis, etc. are useful tools to relieve pain, but can become unreliable and dangerous when that inner Napoleon complex starts to rear its ugly head and people are after domination and manipulation.

          Especially when in reality... our ability to measure a phenomenon does not necessarily equal our ability to control it, though some slick salesman have been able to make a case otherwise. (I'm not picking on anyone either, because I've taken the bait just as much as anybody.)

          It's for that reason I love Derren Brown, because he often likes to make a test and demonstration of suggestibility, not just to take advantage of people (although that part can be entertaining) but to educate people about just how powerful and potentially dangerous suggestibility can be. And it's all about your decision to accept authority as such. There exists no authority at all apart from our buying into it.
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          "Cigarettes make the sun come up, whiskey makes the sun go down, and inbetween... you do a lot of standing around." -Warren Zevon

          "तत्त्वमसि"

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  • yes there is a subconscious
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  • Profile picture of the author SilentX
    If there was no subconscious there would be no emotional distress that we did not understand. How many times have you felt stressed or anxious or angry or sad or happy and did not know why? That is only one blatant example of the sub conscious. HUGE amounts of research have been conducted based on Freud's discovery of the subconscious and the preconscious. If you're interested, I'd suggest reading up on it, because there is a ton of interesting info out there and SO much has been uncovered in the past 50 years its astounding.
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    • Profile picture of the author PJ Harmsworth
      Yes....the subconscious mind is very powerful. Feed it with lots of good stuff and you will reap positive results!
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  • Profile picture of the author michaelbnielsen
    Yes very much so...

    The subconscious mind is what very often will dominate your actions as it is your core beliefs.

    The beliefs you hold in the subconscious mind has been placed there by parents and grand parents, school teachers, bosses, friends, etc. who all have expressed their opinion as to you, your talents, your skills.

    Most of the time you meet the subconscious mind when you start to do something that seems logical with you conscious mind. As you start your idea will constantly be compared to what is stored in the subconscious mind, which in turn often turn to sabotage of the execution.

    f.ex. You are with the perfect partner. Everything is perfect. It is like you have know each other forever and know everything the other wants and needs. Out of the blue you might feel lost, scared, less safe. You might even start running away from what is so perfect. Why?

    Typical it would be because somewhere along your life someone that meant a lot to you left and you have made a connection that when something is feeling real good, it cannot last forever. In many cases you find ways to confirm that good thing cannot last forever.

    Change and reprogram that subconscious part of you mind dealing with relationship and you will have a different behavior.

    Unfortunately most of us are not even aware of our own self destructive behavior when it happens. That is typical us that will say "See what I told you"

    It is very complex and worth a study if you really want to have success

    Michael

    PS The subconscious mind is strong and that is why positive thinking is important. It helps reprogram or keep the right programming of the mind. As the mind is not able to know the different between a real event and an event that is a very vivid imagination, using positive affirmation as a tool is one of the better ways to makes every fiber in your body feel what you want to feel.
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  • Profile picture of the author koncorps
    Absolutely. That's all I have to say to that
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    • Profile picture of the author Chucks Ihebuzor
      Ha ha , i'm gonna get techy and liken this to a laptop.

      The conscious mind is like your RAM memory that takes care of what is happening now.

      The subconscious mind on the other hand is like your hard drive. If you store or save a lot of junk, then you have an unproductive system in terms of output.

      Just thought i'd give a spin to it

      To your success,
      Chucks
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Dennis makes a great point up top. How does the heart beat when we're sleeping. Do you consciously pump your blood? Breathe? Do you consciously attempt to heal a wound? There is an intelligence that the wealthiest and wisest learn to use which makes them the wealthiest and wisest. That and the fact that virtually every person who has spent the majority of their lives - not thinking about it for a few minutes, hours, or days - have some to an agreement that there is a god-like part of us which runs the show.

    Our conscious mind can't possibly understand the actual power of the subconscious but we know enough that it exists.
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