Who’s Really In Charge?

Think you’re a rational, thinking human being in control of yourself and your surroundings? It’s an illusion. New research suggests our subconscious is really the part of us that is in control.

I’ve always known how important the unconscious is when it comes to creativity – it generates the most surprising and affecting parts of stories while I’m in that hazy, detached writing zone. (And that’s why writers who want to get published shouldn’t plot things out too heavily in advance – you’re cutting off the bit of you that is the most important part of the process.)

Now we know the subconscious mind stands behind everything – choosing when and how we respond, and identifying certain emotions – love, fear – as “more important”. The analogy in the above article is that the conscious mind is a searchlight, but the subconscious decides when to switch it on and where to shine it.

0 thoughts on “Who’s Really In Charge?”

  1. Such a thought provoking bit of writing . My imagination sees the conscious mind as a seafarer`s tiller that has a two way feed back loop connected back into the huge and powerful hull of the great ship of the sub – conscious . The weather of waking reality ; the cut of the our jibs , and the yardage of sails unfurled into the winds of change may determine the course we follow .
    But what of dreaming ? Where are we as we dream ? And lucid dreamers, what landscapes do they walk , even change or rearrange ? We humans have our common archetypes , as old as we are and as enigmatic . What is this language created from the common grammar of our symbolism ; what purpose does it serve ?
    I long to dream each and every night . No Newtonian laws to form barriers that try to contain imagination`s creative engines . Anything imaginable is possible , and the impossible becomes the common place in our dreams .
    The vast vaults of an unconscious dreamer`s mind I liken to the same governing quantities we have discovered in the Cosmos around us : one tenth physical matter , and the rest we have named dark matter or dark energy. Perhaps our dreams form themselves from that alien dark energy , limitless and free of the gross framework of ” reality . “

  2. And I was just recently reading about the CouĂ© method of autosuggestion. As someone born with depression (in a family of depressives), this doesn’t surprise me. I fought against my subconscious mind for a long time before I realized I had to figure out ways to alter it. (With good success, too.) Because I realized the subconscious was in charge.

    I do my best writing when I’m sleepy, just before bed. (Havoc for staying on schedule.) I write a fairly detailed plot, almost like a first telling. Then I retell the story, rarely consulting the plot and diverging from it a good bit. It’s the last minute sleepy writing that screws the plot. But it’s the best stuff.

    I’ve also found that even when I’m not sleepy a bout of really good writing will leave me feeling a bit disoriented.

  3. That’s an interesting process, David. I have the same issues of disorientation after an intense period of writing, and I also like to write late in the day. A while back I stopped doing all but the sketchiest plot and started winging it – trusting to the shadow-me.

    Geoff, as a luid dreamer myself, I have some interesting (if way off the scientific norm) views on dreaming and consciousness. Certainly there’s more to it than an aggregate of the day’s experiences – and in some cases *much* more.

    I really like the idea of dark matter as the subconscious of the universe!

  4. I’ve been performing and writing most of my life and I find that this phenomenon applies in performance too. No matter how hard and how long you practice you can still stand up and after one number know that it hasn’t got the sparkle. When writing poems or lyrics it is often the throwaway which fits the bill and the stuff I spend hours on perfecting I often spend seconds in throwing away later. Not to mention football teams who run rampant one minute and then cower like dogs the next. I’ve always put all these things down to something mystical, some magic upon which you can draw on but which sometimes is not in the area, as it were. That’s my view and I’m sticking to it! (perhaps!)

  5. Unleash the shadow me . Hi Clive ! Mark !

    Clive`s itinerant Magic , I believe , could be the manifestation of a series of events that have their genesis in that deep and dark well that is the unconsious mind . Perhaps dreams are but ” spells ” that conjure up change in the waking world, rippling through into this waking reality .
    For myself ; the more ” monsters from my id ” ( thanks to : forbidden Planet .) that I embrace the greater the change , the greater the spell`s power is in the waking realm .
    This is true from the pycho – analitical positions on dreaming , as well as the more esoteric and mystical viewpoints .
    One thing I think we can agree upon is this : unconscious dreaming transfers energy from the that medium to the nuts and bolts waking world . Does it do this in response to stimuli from the conscious mind , or , does this stimuli solely originate from the non – physical part of our being ?
    Is it a mixture of the two ?
    Unleash the shadow me`s , my friends……………..

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