Do We Know our Own Mind? | Exploring Consciousness
Welcome to the Rabbit Hole! Where we journey inside our world and ourselves and submit to the whims of curiosity.
I recently did a workshop on marketing to what consumers really want and the power of learning what that is before they can even tell you. Freud theorized that 10% of our mind is conscious and the other 90% consists of sub-conscious and unconscious...but that was around the turn of the century, not even the most recent turn of the century. Over a hundred years later, neuropsychologists have done numerous studies on the matter and many now believe he was right except that it's more like 2% (OR LESS) of our mind that is conscious.
So what is this elusive "consciousness" that we have so little of?
If you look up the etymology of the word conscious, you will get 2 root meanings:
- knowing & aware
- active & awake
which both seem a little simple to describe this poly-dimensional state of being that we tend to believe that we function within.
I did a little more investigation into the pieces and parts that make up our consciousness - just call me Freud...no, on second thought, please don't.
con-: together, with, connect: from "com-" meaning communal, collective
-sci-: to know, to learn, knowledge
-ous: possessing, full of
So the theory behind consciousness is that we are full with knowledge. BUT Freud, and now a host of other smart people tell us that a huge majority of this knowledge we are so full of is SUBconscious. Actually, neuropsychologists now theorize that this portion makes up more than 98%. So, how does that change our etymological equation above (yes, I made that term up, yes, I'm stickin' to it.)
sub-: 1. under, below, beneath
It doesn't sound very promising to think that the piece of our mind that is most in charge is labeled not full of knowledge or at least subordinately so. Uh-oh. But hold on a minute; maybe there is another way of looking at this.
sub-: 2. imperfect
What if this root to our language is much more accurate?
My hypothesis? I say it's all one thing. That we are all searching for one something and though it looks different on the surface, once we peel the layers of the humanity/life/existence onion, we will find that there is one core, one meaning, one purpose, one understanding. For Marley it's One Love, for Mackelmore it's the Same Love.
So, being the incurable word nerd that I am, I believe that the connection between our consiousness and what lies beneath is imperfectly connected but that it is still us. If we are conscious of the ignorance of our consciousness and we know that ultimately it is all connected there is a beautiful space available to us. This space is a sort of transconsiousness that means we know there is so much we don't know that we know so we trust our brains to connect dots and see connections and give us insight that we can't follow through the depths of our subconscious, but that we can trust stem from there and are bigger and more brilliant than we realize.
And really, if you take it a step further, and you believe in that sort of thing (I do), the con- also means communal, which also indicates that we are conscious together; that there is an element of collectiveness about our awareness; a one that is bigger and even more polydimensional than our personal one. More on that later...
Trust in your mind, lovelies. Embrace the delusion defined by your awareness of the world around you; enjoy the results.
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http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/con, http://wordinfo.info/unit/1908, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/-ous, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sub-, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/un, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_Man_Is_an_Island, http://www.sgi.org/buddhism/buddhist-concepts/interconnectedness.html