Wednesday, June 07, 2006
When Subconscious Strikes
Patrick Meitland from the British Sitcom named Coupling, says in an episode, “Not everyone has Sub-consciouses” & he makes an error while speaking & says something which is going on in the background of his mind but which he clearly hadn't intended to say. Subconscious in action I think. But this happens to all of us. Ever since the concept of subconscious mind was discovered, I think most of the people started living a better life. A better life in a sense, they must have stopped thinking about, 'why did I think about something which I hadn't planned to think about?' or 'why do I feel something which I don't want to feel?'
People's lives have definitely been easier these days, as every emotional problem has a more or less plausible answers. Psycho-Therapists rule these days, thanks to Freud. But what exactly happens when this silent entity strikes. What do we feel? What does our body go through? What immense surge of emotions does the body feel? What sort of chemical reactions take place in our body to generate the subconscious shock? Reading through Freud's notes on interpretation of dreams, is a pleasure in its own. Considering the profuse use of language & intelligent choice of words, makes it more believable.
The subconscious plays games, it makes you think of things when you don't want to think about them & it puts thoughts into your brain & makes you contemplate over them. So in short, it tends to waste your productive time :D. This is pretty arrogant to say, but when your subconscious is in action, it takes you into a different world, interlocked thought processes, complex mind maps, weird thinking patterns. Although if this power can be harnessed for normal thinking, I mean, regular thinking, then 'out of the box' thinking wouldn't be the same. Creativity will flow on a daily basis. But sometimes it puts funny thoughts in your head too, like this blog post of mine, I wasn't even thinking of writing something about the subconscious mind, but here I am, fumbling with words.
But when subconscious strikes, you are about to sleep. You just glance over the day that just passed. Another fruitful or fruitless day, thats what you think ? You think about the people you met, the work you did, the conversations, the colors, the food, the emotions, the material world that just passed by you on that day. In that moment of deep self assessment, you feel sleepy & actually fall asleep. All these things that you were thinking about, were memories being recollected, so it was an active brain process in which your senses were involved. Now comes the interesting part, the subconscious dude also has access to this memory. Although a virtual process & not an actual part of the brain, the subconscious takes over all these memories. It judges the strongest emotions you had, all the experiences that you had & all the relations to those particular emotions. It makes a complex E-R diagram(Entity Relations diagram more commonly used in designing databases). Then cooks up visuals & audio impulses that makes you feel that its actually happening. Your senses aren't involved yet you feel you are actually there. You are dreaming & you never know. The amazing & the most important part is, the things that happen in our dreams aren't stored in our regular memory, they can be stored to a certain extent which are pertaining to actual events, but not the hypothetical part. If this didn't happen, believe me, we would be surrounded by weird misunderstandings all the time.
So the subconscious thingy never makes any story line or plot on the basis of your memories. All it does is provides a mental projection of your emotions regarding a particular memory. So all you see in dreams is what you actually want to think about a certain situation & not what you ought to think about. Although I am no expert on dreams & I am an avid dreamer myself. I enjoy dreams. There are a few nights when I feel that I haven't dreamt at all & on some nights I feel that I have slept very less & wasted all my sleep in dreams :D. Although, sleep does a very important phenomenon other than generating dreams & making the body rest. It builds the memory, it ties the lose ends of our memory, strengthens the memory of things that you have done a few hours before going to sleep. That's why its always helpful to memorize stuff when you read it before going to bed.
Subconscious also strikes when you are awake. A state of arousal when you meet your loved one, the state of enjoyment when you eat your favorite food, true happiness that brings tears to your eyes. As these actions are considered to be live ones they actually aren't. They are subconsciously generated impulses that make you feel extreme ends of any of your emotions.
I think I will get back to my favorite dream now. The one where I jump from a 100 floor tower & my parachute doesn't open till I am halfway through...