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Conscious and Subconscious Mind

A few quick thoughts on the ‘conscious’ and ‘subconscious’ mind.

Our brain is a neural network. The patterns it runs are very different than binary symbolic logic patterns. Thats why we can do face recognition so easily, but we aren’t that good at math.

At the same time we use use language, symbols, and numbers. We do use symbolic logic. This obviously runs on the NN hardware, but it follows the rules of deductive binary symbolic logic just the same. (you could say this is our internal dialog, but I’m not 100% certain).

And so we have 2 ‘modes’ of processing.
1. Pure pattern matching (neural network), evolutionary style thinking, not predictable, open ended, intuitive, non logical, parallel processing, and so on.
2. Deductive symbolic logic. Step by step, exact, predictive, and so on.

Now Erickson decided to call them ‘conscious’ and ‘subconscious’. To me, consciousness is awareness and that can be awareness of either ‘mode’, but those names have stuck.

And so I think yes, there is a hard split between 2 ‘minds’, but it’s really just 2 styles of processing.

One of the ways of getting hypnotic responsiveness is to slow down or eliminate the symbolic processing logic type of operation (the internal dialog perhaps). In my opinion this is what Elman meant when he spoke of bypassing the CF. It’s what creates the trancified look of fascination that we often see in awesome subjects. Without internal dialog, thats how you look 🙂

What do you think?

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