Did you ever notice the things you do without thinking about them? Things that you do “unconsciously?” For instance have you pressed down on imaginary brakes in a car while you were in the passenger seat? When you brush your teeth, do you think, “Today, I’m going to get this right.”? Have you ever wept during a film or while reading a book? Even when you consciously know you’re only reading a book or seeing flickering lights on a screen, somehow the experience has bypassed your logical conscious mind and has engaged your subconscious mind which is where your emotions are.
I distinctly recall seeing the musical Little Miss Saigon on Broadway. We had third row seats so we could see everything. It’s a very powerful story with a heart-wrenching climax. As it was unfolding, I could feel my eyes beginning to tear up. I fought it hard. I knew the lights were about to come up and I didn’t want to my friends seeing me all teary-eyed. I looked at the curtains. I told myself, these are just actors. None of this is real. It didn’t help. Sure enough, the curtain rose and I was all wet faced. But, I quickly discovered I wasn’t the only guy touched. There were a lot of men and women wiping tears away.
The subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between what is real and what isn’t. That’s why we respond emotionally to film and plays. That’s also why we stomp on brakes we know are not there. Top athletes operate on a subconscious level. A fighter doesn’t have the time to decide, “Oh. Here comes a hook kick. I’ll slip under it and counter punch. No wait, I have a better idea…” He has to respond on a subconscious level instantly or he will get leveled himself.
Emotions make up the next part of the subconscious mind. Have you ever had a broken heart? It’s a lousy feeling and such a strong emotion. It actually feels as though your heart is broken. You don’t want it and wish you could get rid of it, but it has to run its course. That is not an intellectual decision. You don’t go into your conscious mind and say, “I’d like an order of a broken heart and severe chest pain, please.” Emotions pierce the conscious mind whether you like it or not. Just like me watching “Miss Saigon” and tearing up.
When the movie, Jaws, was released in the mid-seventies, many people got an irrational fear of going into the water after seeing the movie. Even though a shark had never attacked them, the fear they experienced watching the film pushed them from respecting the water to fearing it.
Films are wonderful because they can penetrate the conscious mind and take us into a trance state where the subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between what is real and what is imagined. Even though you know that the film is nothing more than light projected onto a screen and everything is fake, you go into a trance that records the fear into your subconscious mind. Since one of the main jobs of the subconscious mind is to protect you, it pushed some Jaws viewer’s respect for water and sharks to a level of irrational fear.
That’s why people with irrational fears will tell you, “I know it’s silly, but I can’t …” Consciously they know it’s irrational. That’s also why it’s difficult to get over the fear in the conscious state. It was installed in the subconscious mind and often requires a process on the subconscious level to correct.
When you sleep, your conscious mind rests. However, the subconscious mind works 24/7 quietly beneath the surface. It works much like a computer. When you are born, it’s as though your computer was empty. It didn’t have an operating system. With every experience, emotion, influence, touch, taste, sound, sight and feeling, your operating system begins to program you. Some programming is fine while other programming may be harmful in the long-term. Keep in mind that the subconscious mind’s job is to mold us into the person it perceives us to be based upon the programming. If your dad told you that you were stupid over-and-over again when you were young, you begin to believe your programming and act accordingly. Your programming becomes you.
This programming is created by the various components of the subconscious mind starting with long-term memory. Your subconscious mind is like a full color, full sound security video camera that is recording everything and sensation that you have ever seen, heard, felt, tasted, smelled, experienced or that has happened to you.
The subconscious mind is the opposite. It’s a non-stop camera recording from the inside.