Consciousness does not contain a complete copy of the whole human organism. At most consciousness reflects only a muddy outline of the whole, or a tiny piece in detail. How then could consciousness ever be in control?


12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. tjhunt89
    Jun 07, 2013 @ 22:42:16

    Because consciousness is the glue that holds it all together.


    • mbwilliams
      Jun 08, 2013 @ 10:10:37

      The way I see it, consciousness is merely a feedback loop on top of everything else. It is like a checksum making sure the automated processes do not get it wrong. Let me put it this way: a fly will batter into a glass pane until it can no longer do so. A caged animal will continue to walk around the perimeter looking for a way out that does not exist. But a human being has far more options due to it’s intelligence. This intelligence is the ultimate expression of evolution and a valuable gift. You could perhaps say it gives us more degrees of freedom than an animal. But most of the work is still done behind the curtain, by the unconscious.


  2. ron
    Jun 08, 2013 @ 12:01:40

    Consciousness. Hmmmmmmmmm
    Consciousness is merely how you see the world and yourself with-in it.
    Of course we often see ourselves as we wish to as opposed to who we
    really are.
    Look behind,above,below and around consciousness to find the unconscious
    being that is the real you.
    If you are not totally shocked at what you find then you haven’t been honest or sincere with yourself. Only when you acknowledge all the things about yourself that you hate to see in others will you begin to find the way to enlightenment.
    But prepared to feel sad/angry even ashamed at yourself before you even begin to learn.


    • mbwilliams
      Jun 08, 2013 @ 17:40:05

      I agree that we often project the things we hate to see in ourselves on to others. It is very hard to see the world as it actually is, rather than through a lens coloured by our own prejudices. Then again this is perfectly natural…so perhaps we shouldn’t give ourselves too much of a hard time about it!


  3. tjhunt89
    Jun 08, 2013 @ 16:30:44

    Its interesting how the tech savvy use computer terms to describe the human experience. I do the same thing. Its just so easy to. Anyway you are forgetting one thing: you are your subconscious. You control everything about it. Hell you created your subconscious. A subconscious thought is just a thought that has gone across your conscious mind enough times to become automated.


    • mbwilliams
      Jun 08, 2013 @ 17:38:10

      Great comment btw! I guess all this identity stuff depends on what we mean by ‘you’. Would the term ‘ego’ also encompass the subconscious? I would say it doesn’t simply because we are not aware of it – you are right in that I, indeed all of us, forget about it – and you also make a very good point that everything in the subconscious was at one time conscious. This is actually in complete agreement with my original post – consciousness can only hold so much of the total contents at any one time. So I then pose the question: how could we think that fragment is in control?


  4. ron
    Jun 09, 2013 @ 13:31:57

    I agree to a certain respect that the sub-conscious has had a pass through the conscious since it must originate through the senses. At least the external circumstance we experience.
    But the true sub-conscious is also a conglomeration of our emotional response to both reality AND our dreams whether acknowledged or not. These can be very deceptive like Deja Vu.
    If you count on the sub-conscious as somehow being just a store ground of acquired knowledge then you have discounted all those things the sub-conscious has made up for itself. Then you have lost the truth of the matter, and have stepped off the path. (kinda-sorta lol)


  5. ron
    Jun 09, 2013 @ 13:39:30

    Oh, by the way…. Generally speaking whenever I use the word “you” in these discussions I should be using “we”.
    I will try to use “we” from now forth as I’m talking to myself as much as anyone else lol.


    • mbwilliams
      Jun 09, 2013 @ 16:33:19

      Yes, I agree Ron, there is more to the subconscious/unconscious mind than just what has passed through conscious awareness. Nevertheless tjhunt89 makes a good point that ‘we’ can influence what is laid down. We can think of the unconscious (atleast the personal unconscious) as being like layers of sedimentary rocks being laid down over time. They give a record of our long forgotten past. Dreams are like this too: ever noticed how the locations your unconscious chooses are always places we used to live, not where we live now?


  6. mbwilliams
    Jun 09, 2013 @ 16:35:32

    I am sure you also realise Ron, that when we teach (i.e. Martial Arts) we need to bring what we know into conscious awareness so we can pass it on. Otherwise we may be able to perform a great technique unconsciously, but we are no longer aware how we do it, or how to show others how to do it also.


  7. mbwilliams
    Jun 09, 2013 @ 16:37:00

    We are being pleasantly sidetracked here…So I must return to the original question: given everything we know about the operation of the conscious and unconscious minds, can we confidently say there is someone there ‘doing it’? Or is there something to be said for my position – that it is all operating by itself, even consciousness?


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