# Communicate with your subconscious mind ?

1. Aug 23, 2007

### loikan

Hello!

I wonder if anyone here that can communicate with the subconscious mind. I have tried many times but i don't get any signs. I have bought the book thegeniewithin Harry W Carpenter.
I wan't to know if someone here can communicate with the subconscious mind that can help me.

2. Aug 23, 2007

### chroot

Staff Emeritus
Mainstream psychology no longer recognizes a 'subconscious mind.'

- Warren

3. Aug 23, 2007

### wuliheron

I prefer to call it the "Toddler Within". Toddlers can brain each other with a toy telephone fighting over a piece of lint, and otherwise display behavior and emotions that are out of proportion with the situation or even completely out of touch with reality. Although the adult mind in us can know better, many of these emotionally immature reactions persist throughout our lives.

I've had some success with lucid dreaming and surrender in general. In lucid dreams I just tell myself over and over as I fall asleep "Finish the dream". By running that tape through to the end I find it is like reassuring a child that, no matter what, I will be there for him.

4. Aug 24, 2007

### zoobyshoe

No one bothered to tell me. Got a link for this?

5. Aug 25, 2007

### En_lizard

why? it doesnty exist?

6. Aug 25, 2007

### Pythagorean

Subconscious existence:

I think it's more difficult to say that the subconscious doesn't exist, because it's interpreted a couple different ways:

1) The hypothalamus' actions: breathing, heartbeat, temperature regulation.

2) That casual kind of assumptions you have brewing underneath your word-based thoughts.

3) Freud's subconscious.

-----------------------------

1) I know exists, but I don't really think it's some form of consciousness, I think it's a biological machine more or less

2) I experience, but I don't know what the psychological term for it is; I've always called them subconscious without giving much thought to it.

3) I have no idea what Freud was on about, but he's been considered wrong about most of his assumptions, so I can only assume that this is what one means by no longer recognizing a 'subconscious'.

7. Aug 26, 2007

### ardalin

I would largely agree with Pythagorean. There are a lot of things going on in our brains, including things we are not conscious of. If you want to call those processes the "subconscious mind," then that is perfectly fair to do. But I'm not sure what it would mean to "communicate with it." You are communicating with it all the time! If you couldn't interact with your non-conscious mental processes, what exactly would they be doing?

But you can't "talk" with them. It's not even clear what that would mean. You could gain increased conscious control over some of them (i.e., through "bio-feedback"), but that wouldn't be talking with the subconscious, it would simply making something that was non-conscious conscious.

---
Please take a minute for science at http://coglanglab.org

8. Aug 26, 2007

### TheStatutoryApe

The description of the book Loikan mentions is 'positive thinking'. So I'm assuming it's more along the lines of assumptions we make without necessarily knowing we're making them. Modes or models for processing experiencial data and how that effects us psychologically.

9. Aug 27, 2007

### wuliheron

Denial is another interesting aspect of what some people call the unconscious. How could it be possible for a person to lie to themselves or be unaware of themselves? A more accurate view might be that such things fall under the category of pretense. For example, we might pretend that we are not aware of our heartbeat, in order to focus our attention more on other things.

People use a variety of ways to help focus their attention. For example, when attempting to picture something in our minds we become more likely to say things like "see what I mean". These are acquired habits that people often call unconscious acts.

10. Aug 27, 2007

### ardalin

Very easily. Our memories are not designed to be accurate. Nor is consciousness. Our mental abilities were designed to help us function effectively. Denial can be effective.

Here's another classic example: people are very bad at knowing what will make them happy. Many victims of a crime believe they want revenge. However, study after study shows that revenge does not make you happier. Similarly, children make parents less happy (and also live shorter lives). It isn't necessary for evolution that we actually like children or like revenge; it is necessary that we are highly motivated to have both. (The bright side is many things that we think would make us miserable, like losing a limb, typically don't make people unhappy and may even make them happier.)

I wrote a post on a similar theme recently on my blog:
http://www.scienceblog.com/cms/do-you-see-what-you-see-14026.html

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http://coglanglab.org

11. Aug 27, 2007

### wuliheron

Ancient Chinese saying, "Don't listen to what people say, watch what they do."

There have been studies of what is sometimes referred to as the zombie aspect of our personalities. For example, when asked to estimate how steep a hill is, people are often wildly inaccurate. However, ask them to show you with their hand and their accuracy goes way up. Such studies demonstrate clearly that our so-called subconscious mind tends to appraise the situation quite differently from that of our conscious mind.

Edited - off topic

Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2007
12. Aug 28, 2007

### Staff: Mentor

No, that means it's easier to show something than to articulate it, it has nothing to do with the subconcious.

Last edited: Aug 28, 2007
13. Aug 28, 2007

### Pythagorean

I'm curious, what does the psychology/neuro community call this?

I have two examples, and I'm not sure if they occur in the same parts of the brain or are even considered the same behavior:

2a) when you're driving somewhere that you've driven many times before, you don't really think about where you're going. You can go off into la-la land, insignificantly bantering with yourself until you reach your destination at which point you have no memory of most of the drive (besides what you were thinking to yourself).

2b) Assumptions or judgments that you've made or been raised into that you don't even notice you're making when approaching a problem.

14. Aug 29, 2007

### wuliheron

No, there are other experiments that have been done that prove my point. For example, people are asked to play a game of cards in which they draw from one of two decks. Unbeknownst to them, one of the decks is rigged. When asked which one is better than the other they show little better than a fifty-fifty chance of picking the correct deck. However, they actually play the better deck more.

There are a number of such experiments that all lead to this same conclusion. Of course, you could claim that all these people are merely lying or incapable of clearly articulating what they know, but without any demonstrable motive or problem in articulating the answer it seems silly to me. Again, I think of the subconscious more as a pretense or denial of their awareness of the reality of the situation. Something caused more by the reliance on habits than a conscious decision to lie or the inability of expressing ourselves clearly.

As Lao Tzu said,

Habits are the end of honesty and compassion,
The beginning of confusion!

Nonetheless, as human beings we are the masters of habits. We create habitual ways of looking at the world (ie- beliefs) as a routine way of thriving and surviving. The trick it seems is to be aware of what we are doing, accepting of what we are doing, and thereby a little more open minded about what we do.

15. Aug 30, 2007

### zoobyshoe

In ascribing these things, alternately, to pretense, denial and habit, I think you're overlooking the phenomenon of Procedural Memory. It's something you'd be interested in if these sorts of issues concern you. It's a type of memory that doesn't seem to be dependent on the usual functioning of the amygdala/hippocampus, because it continues to work even when those parts of the brain have been damaged beyond the formation of new long term memories. You can teach a person with this kind of damage to perform a new procedure, and the next day they will be able to perform it but with no recollection of how or when they learned it.

16. Aug 30, 2007

### moe darklight

Is this strictly in the Freudian sense of the subconscious? Because I was under the impression that the idea of unconscious thought ("background," non-conscious processes) is accepted by mainstream science.

If this is not the case, are there any articles I could read that talk about evidence against this?

17. Aug 30, 2007

### chroot

Staff Emeritus
I was referring to the Freudian notion of a subconscious -- a "tape recorder" in the back of your head that remembers and stores everything that's ever happened to you, yet is ironically not available to your conscious mind.

Obviously many functions become autonomic -- eating, even driving -- after being practiced enough. The brain is extremely good at off-loading repetitive tasks into less expensive, automatic areas of the brain.

- Warren

18. Aug 30, 2007

### moe darklight

O, ok.

Still, that notion of the subconscious is not 100% erroneous. The idea that everything is stored in perfect detail might be wrong, but, as far as I know, the verdict is not yet in on concepts such as repressed memories.

Doesn't the unconscious extend beyond mastication and breathing? "Gut feelings" or even the processes involved in learning (how does the brain go about storing and organizing that information) are certainly not conscious.

Maybe the term subconscious no longer applies. It just creates trouble (but a great deal of  for manufacturers of "subconscious healing music" and crap like that).

19. Aug 30, 2007

### wuliheron

There are a great number of other things I left out that can effect and affect us including not least of all procedural memory. However, their influence is noted precisely because it effects our habits and beliefs.

20. Aug 31, 2007

### Pythagorean

Ah yes, Freud's "tape recorder", I guess I do remember something about that.

One thing I hear about (but have never actually seen) is people locking bad memories away, and then requiring hypnosis or some sort of similar therapy to bring the memories back and face them (think Hollywood had a hand in that assumption).

Does this ever really happened and is there a name for this part of the "mind" or brain?