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Your conscious mind is your objective or thinking mind. It has no memory, and it can only hold one thought at a time. This mind has four essential functions. First, it identifies incoming information. This is information received through any of the the six senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, or feeling. Your conscious mind is continually observing and categorizing what is going on around you. To illustrate, imagine that you are walking along the sidewalk and you decide to cross the street. You step off the curb. At that moment, you hear the roar of an automobile engine. You immediately turn and look in the direction of the moving automobile to identify the sound and where it is coming from. This is the first function. The second function of your conscious mind is comparison. The information about the car that you have seen and heard goes immediately to your subconscious mind. There, it is compared with all of your previously stored information and experiences with moving automobiles. If the car, for example, is a block away, and moving at thirty miles per hour, your subconscious memory bank will tell you that there is no danger and that you can continue walking. If, on the other hand, the car is moving toward you at sixty miles per hour and is only 100 yards away, you will get a “danger” message that will stimulate further action on your part. The third function of your conscious mind is analysis, and analysis always precedes the fourth function, deciding.
Your subconscious is the work desk of your mind. Controlling and directing it is the key to personal change. The Role of the Subconscious: Apart from short term memory, the subconscious also plays an important role in our day to day functioning. It works hard at ensuring you have everything you need for quick recall and access to when you need it. Things like – * Memories – such as what your telephone number is, how to drive a car without having to consciously think about it, what you need to get from the shop on the way home etc. * Current programs you run daily, such as behaviors, habits, mood * Filters (such as beliefs and values) to run information through to test their validity according to your perception of the world * Sensations taken in via your 5 senses and what it means to you If it doesn’t happen to have a filter or reference point in its RAM for some bits of information that come in, then it has a direct line to the storage place of the mind – the unconscious. It will ask the unconscious to pull out the programs that it best associates with the incoming data to help make sense of it all. The subconscious is also constantly at work, staying a lot more aware of your surroundings than you realize. In fact, according to the NLP communication model we are assaulted with over 2 million bits if data every second. If your conscious mind had to deal with all that you would very quickly become overwhelmed and not be able to get anything done. Instead, your subconscious filters out all the unnecessary information and delivers only that which is needed at the time, around 7 chunks of information. It does all this behind the scenes so you can perform your daily work uninhibited. And it does this as logically as it can, based on the programs it has access to in your unconscious.
The unconscious mind is very similar to the subconscious mind in that it also deals with memories. But there is a difference between the two. The unconscious sits a layer deeper in the mind under the subconscious. Although the subconscious and unconscious have direct links to each other and deal with similar things, the unconscious mind is really the cellar, the underground library if you like, of all your memories, habits, and behaviors. It is the storehouse of all your deep seated emotions that have been programmed since birth. Unconscious is the term usually preferred by Psychologists and Psychiatrists to refer to the thoughts we have that are “out of reach” of our consciousness. It shouldn’t be confused with the medical term for unconscious, which basically means knocked out or anesthetized, although both definitions do have similar qualities. In simple terms, the unconscious is the storage place for all our memories that have been repressed or which we don’t wish to recall. A traumatic event in our childhood that has been blocked out is an example, but it doesn’t have to be so serious as this. It could be something very distant like what you had for lunch on your first day of school or what the name was of the childhood friend you played with a couple of times. It’s a memory that we can’t pull out at our choosing. It’s there, but we can’t remember it no matter how hard we try. Certain psychoanalytical methods can bring back these memories (such as hypnosis) or it can be triggered by a particular event (a scent, a familiar place etc). The important point to remember here, is that we cannot, by choice, remember anything in our unconscious without some special event or technique. This is the unconscious.