Conscious Living“Everything is the result of something else. To have, what you have not; you must do, what you do not.”-Zor
Like most of the Zor’s advice, the quote mentioned above is simple enough to understand yet extremely difficult to apply. The problem lies in the basic structure of our minds, for it is the mind which
controls our actions.
The mind is divided into two parts, the conscious and the subconscious. Our conscious mind has three primary functions. First it recognizes and interprets the immediate environment, (the smells, the sounds, the colors, and the temperature; everything that stimulates the five senses). Second, it is responsible for all future thoughts, (“I’ve got to do the laundry…prepare for a business meeting…file my taxes…make the kids’ lunch for school, etc.”). Third it processes our memories, (“That song brings me back to an old girlfriend…falling leaves remind me of high school football…holidays with the extended family,” etc.).
These three functions occupy our conscious mind 95% of the time. Incredibly that means our actions are controlled on a conscious level about 5% of the time. The subconscious manages the rest. This explains why we often pull into the garage after our nightly commute without remembering the drive home. It’s not our fault, 95% of the time we are unaware of what we are doing.
This in and of itself would not be a problem, but for selective breeding. Since the beginning of time, man has been bred to develop a subconscious that is fearful, anxious, and negative.
Think about it. Two troglodytes spy a spring-fed stream near a large boulder. Both are thirsty and the cool, refreshing water beckons. The first caveman, only seeing opportunity, sprints to his reward. The second, though equally entranced, has a more apprehensive nature and thinks, “I’ve better be careful, this place is new. This may be a trap. Is something evil lurking behind the boulder? Why would such an inviting oasis be uninhabited?”
Sure enough, his questions are answered as a saber tooth tiger springs from behind the boulder and devours his friend. The prehistoric world was a dangerous place, and this scenario was often repeated. The cave dwellers that survived long enough to procreate were the ones that rarely strayed from the chosen path and developed a pessimistic outlook towards life.
Now we see why it is so hard to follow through with positive changes in our lives today. Our subconscious has been hardwired to be repetitive and negative.
We may be committed to eating healthy and losing weight on a conscious level but that will only impact our actions 5% of the time. As soon as our conscious mind is otherwise occupied our subconscious, the part of the mind controlled by a negative, repetitive neuron network, immediately leads us down familiar paths, committing familiar failures.
If the subconscious mind equates eating with a certain emotion or thought, every time we have that emotion or thought, we will eat. Regardless of what we say we want to accomplish on a conscious level; lose weight, stop smoking, seek better relationships; we are doomed until we address our concerns at the subconscious level.
To do this we must restructure our thought process and be more attentive. We must recognize negative desires before they become negative actions and resolve them consciously. Fortunately, every time we bring forward a subconscious thought to our conscious mind we reinforce a process which eventually becomes automatic.
Training ourselves to live in the moment is the answer. We can change our lives but to do so we must be aware of what we are doing, when we are doing it. Imagine how successful dieting would be if every time we mindlessly reached for more food, we stopped and cognitively evaluated the situation.
This is the solution to creating the life we want. We must be vigilant in our efforts to remain aware of the characteristics we intend to change. As we consciously recognize and change our bad habits, new networks of thought are developed in our subconscious.
Over time the new, preferred network gathers strength and becomes dominant. We are now able to have, what we had not; because we can do, what we did not. —Ray Clements
Ray Clements (J.B.) is the author of “Zor; Philosophy, Spirituality, and Science”. A novel exploring true happiness and the importance of positive energy.