Beyond the Conscious Mind

How do you explain a theory of consciousness? How do you excuse the fact that you have no facts? I have read many articles and a few books on the functions of the brain, but finding no answers to the question of degrees of consciousness, I decided to experiment and develop a theory based on my own ideas. Once I had my theory in place, I went through various psychology books to see if there is a theory similar to mine. What I found is there are few facts, and many theories, none of which contained the answer I was looking for, and believe I may have found.

Though much research has been done, and many discoveries made concerning the areas of the brain and their functions, consciousness is still under debate. What is it? Where is it? How is it we believe it exists, but can not prove its existence? There are Dualists, who believe the mind and body are separate entities, and materialists, who believe what we consider our consciousness is simply the interaction of neurons.

Having no formal education in psychology, neurology, or philosophy, I would say my theory begins with the dualists, by the simple definition I have given of the term. Consciousness is life for humans. It is the electricity which awakens and allows the machine to run. However, unlike a machine, we have the ability of control within our conscious mind. The first step being the understanding of what is our conscious mind.

Our conscious mind is our awareness of ourselves as living beings. It is the "I am here. I am alive I think. I feel.". It is the main voice, or voices, we hear in our heads. Where do the voice(s) come from? Usually, they come from our subconscious, with our conscious mind deciding what direction we take in thought, and what thoughts we express. Our consciousness is our awareness of being, and the monitor of our thoughts and actions.

The subconscious lies beyond, beneath, the conscious mind. The greater part of which houses information from both inherent and inherit knowledge. Inherent knowledge is from our species. Much like the salmon know to swim upstream to spawn, humans hold knowledge of their species. Survival instincts, the desire for knowledge and understanding, providing for and protecting their young. Barring damage to the brain, these instincts exist. They may also be overridden by the conscious mind, or other areas of our subconscious - such as depression may override survival instincts. Inherit knowledge differs from inherent as to its source. Inherent knowledge is from our species, whereas inherit knowledge operates along bloodlines. Talents and abilities possessed without prior learning are many times the result of our inherit knowledge. Artistic and musical talents are known to pass along family lines, as are mathematical abilities and mechanical skill some do not readily think of as talents.

An almost equal amount of our subconscious as inherent and inherit knowledge, is our personal memory. Childhood, adolescence, songs, sights, thoughts, ideas, all are stored within our subconscious mind. Some are readily retrievable, others are not. Many times, the memories within the subconscious control our conscious mind through hints and suggestion. Usually, subconscious memories sneak into our conscious minds unknown to us. In such a manner, an oberservation made years ago is connected with a statement made two days ago, and an idea based on the connection presents itself in our conscious mind.

The subconscious mind, as a whole, is like a powerful computer we carry with us through life. However, it can influence our behavior when damaged or allowed. Many people allow their subconscious to control their thoughts and actions, but with our conscious mind we have the ability to use our subconscious properly.
The amygdala is now shown to be the center of the fight/flight instinct. When something puts us in a fearful situation, the circumstance of the situation, even the minute details are 'recorded' by the amygdala for future reference. If we are bitten by a dog, from the references in the amygdala, a fear response may be triggered whenever we see a dog. Unless information contradicting the fear is presented, the fear persists. It is possible to override the message of fear sent from the amygdala to our conscious mind, but it takes first acknowledging the fear, then trying to determine it's cause, then, the hardest part, deciding whether that fear is justified in the current context.
Without acknowledging the fear first, our conscious mind will justify the fear according to the current situation, reinforcing the fear instinct in future, similar situations. Without the conscious understanding of how this works, the subconscious can control the conscious mind, the conscious mind justifying the control, and the individual never being aware of the control. The subconscious must be acknowledged in order to be used properly.

Our subconscious is only with us within our life, this consciousness we know. Beyond death, I believe, the subconscious enters into what I refer to as the Collective Unconscious. The Collective Unconscious contains all the thoughts, memories, idea, of those who have passed on.
Picture it as a swirling mass of thought. Upon life, the conscious mind is present, the subconscious, with its separate areas of inherent, inherit, and storage/retrieval/computational skills, are in place. Within the subconscious mind is included a piece of the Collective Unconscious. Each individual has a piece of the Collective containing, in some cases, a variety of information outside of their inherent, inherit knowledge, or in other cases, a large piece of a previous person's subconscious. This, I believe, is where the notion of reincarnation surfaces. If a large part of someone else's memories were placed within your brain, you would believe you are, or were, that person. Those 'pieces' from the Collective Unconscious within the brain are what cause a person to recognize a place they have never been before, to recognize an author's name from many centuries past, who they then read and develop an affinity for the work. The Collective Unconscious is usually the least tapped area of the subconscious.

As the Collective Unconscious is a continuous 'circle' of information, I believe we have the ability to 'look' beyond our consciousness into this continuum. If time is a constant, the continuum would contain the events past, present and future to our normal measurements of time. A glance, or vision, from that whole, would be what we refer to as psychic abilities. I also believe this is the vision of the 'tunnel into the light' many people experience in near-death accounts.

On death, the conscious, and subconscious within an individual leave the body and travel through the Collective. All but the conscious mind, are left in the Collective, as the conscious mind progresses to the center of the spiral. I would call it Heaven, with God at the 'center', giving the consciousness, subconscious, and piece of the Collective to each indidvual on life.

Some may call the above theory sacrilegious, on either religious or scientific terms, but I believe human knowledge has progressed far enough for both sides to realize they may now be able to learn from each other, and some things do not provide facts. Thus we have our theories.

© J.Simon

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