Print this page

Search Definitions and symbolism

Subconscious

It may be helpful to have The Model of the Mind for reference whilst you read this definition

If we take a look at our Subconscious in the Model,  it is almost a little being in its own right.  It is a being of Emotions and Perceptions and Sensory input

It is childlike and animal like. 

Its drivers are pleasure and pain – the pursuit of pleasure, the avoidance of pain.  And it judges what is pleasurable and what is painful from the emotions this provokes.

It is nervous and frightened, fearful and timid.  It has no language, or learning, it is instinctive and if treated well, loving.  If treated badly, it can hate.  There is nothing there to temper its reactions – no behavioural control, no words that can soothe it.  It knows only fear and joy, love and hate, jealousy and envy, compassion and empathy.  It can be gullible.  It is eager to please.  It is willing and without inhibition.  It can cling and is rarely truly independent - except when it really wants something or is really in pain and then it fights.  IT LETS YOU KNOW.

The Subconscious is not under our conscious control.

All the Will and our Conscious self can do is to adapt our behaviour to whatever the Subconscious does.  So the Subconscious may want to scream and shout because it is emotional, but the Will may control this behaviour by suppressing it with Learnt behaviour.

It tends to be submissive when challenged and it has no ego, no driving personality pushing it on.  It doesn’t plan, it just lives from day to day.  Some days are good days, some days are bad days, but it doesn’t anticipate days, because it only has its Perceptions

Since it has no ‘Memory’ , it only uses Perceptions, so it knows the truth.  The Conscious mind can spin all sorts of myths and madness around a perception until it is a lie.  But the Subconscious knows, you cannot lie to the subconscious FOR IT HAS SEEN and it has felt and it knows the truth.

It knows what pain and pleasure were attached to a perception and in that respect it never forgets.  One event of overwhelming hurt can set it on a course of avoidance for ever after and the Conscious mind will be bewildered at the emotions being provoked by something it thought had been ‘forgotten’ or dealt with in a ‘mature’ way.  And if it has experienced pleasure, real overwhelming pleasure, in which the emotions of joy and happiness and bliss were experienced in abundance, it will nag and nag and nag the Conscious to let it have another go.

And this is why we become addicted to things, our Conscious mind says logically no, but our Subconscious mind says illogically yes.  And it does this because it cannot make the link between the immediate effects of the substance or activity and the later after effects.  We eat French fries because our Subconscious loves the taste, even though our Conscious mind knows we have already had a heart attack from eating too many.  For a little being of perceptions cannot make links because it has no function of Reason and no Memory.

More detail can be found on the functions of the conscious self in the section on the Brain and its Left brain and right brain functions

More detail on the alternative names given to the Conscious and Subconscious can be found in Conscious and Subconscious synonyms

Observations

For iPad/iPhone users: tap letter twice to get list of items.