The least understood organ in the body is the brain. It is the seat of our thoughts, our memories and how we perceive the world, yet much of the brain’s operations are a mystery.1
However, it is the writers opinion, when we map the brain, we are simply getting a reaction to a stimulant, to me the question is, is that is enough, is it what happens in the real world or only at the time we map using a predetermined measure?
As an example, I would share with you that ‘evidence based research’ tells us that it takes the chemicals of marijuana 3 months to leave the body – yet, a client is able to cease the habit in the one session without any craving or withdrawal symptoms in hypnosis – how does that happen? We would acknowledge that research has shown that what it says is accurate – so how can this happen. In addition, if it does not happen to everyone why not?
It is because there is conflict between the conscious/subconscious. For example, – the conscious mind brings you to someone like me, usually because you heard from someone else who heard from someone else that they have been to see me and given up the weed. A part of you in the above scenario has possibly heard that you could become schizophrenic and you really are concerned about this as you are feeling the effects of taking marijuana getting progressively worse. You took it up many years ago because all your friends smoked – life hasn’t been too easy over the years and now your subconscious has used marijuana to help it cope with life’s happenings.
Although we may be talking marijuana here, it is the same scenario for anything – weight, alcohol, cigarettes, gambling. There is always a reason why we have a problem (a ’cause’ precedes the action).
John A. Bargh and Ezequiel Morsella wrote an article on “The Unconscious Mind”. They say that the unconscious mind is still viewed by many psychological scientists as the shadow of a “real” conscious mind, though there now exists substantial evidence that the unconscious is not identifiably less flexible, complex, controlling, deliberative, or action-oriented than is its counterpart. Bargh and Morsella write that this “conscious-centric” bias is due in part to the operational definition within cognitive psychology that equates unconscious with subliminal.
However, when reviewing the evidence that challenged this view, this research demonstrated the existence of several independent unconscious behavioural guidance systems: perceptual, evaluative, and motivational. From this perspective, they concluded that in both phylogeny and ontogeny, actions of an unconscious mind precede the arrival of a conscious mind—that action precedes reflection.2
Memories are the internal mental computer document files, which give us instant access to feelings and emotions about our personal past, complete with all of the facts that we know and the skills that we have cultivated. Encoding, storage and retrieval are important stages of the human memory process. In addition, at times forgetting, forms part of that process too.
Encoding can happen in the normal learning as in school where we take information from short-term memory, to long-term memory and then to habit via repetition. That learning is an active process that involves sensory input to the brain and paying attention to it long enough to go to our document files to be able to retrieve that information. However, Emotions can be a catalyst or an impediment to learning. It has been estimated that 95% of our reactions are unconsciously driven by the amygdala and only modestly impacted by the executive centers of the cerebral cortex.
Feelings receive first priority. Emotional experiences (both positive and negative) enjoy the highest probability of reaching permanent memory storage. 3
Albert Einstein who is often regarded as the father of modern physics and one of the most prolific intellects in human history. He tells us that the intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. That we have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.” Without an intuitive mind, would we ever invent anything? Everything we look at daily was only a thought in somebody’s mind before it came to be reality.
Professor John-Dylan Haynes using a brain scanner to investigate what happens in the human brain just before a decision is made, was able through reading the micropatterns of activity in the frontopolar cortex that showed the researchers up to seven seconds before, which choice participants were going to make, before they knew which option they were going to choose. This Haynes suggests shows that the decision is unconsciously prepared ahead of time but the final decision might still be reversible.4
If we successfully wish to change a destructive habit that is helping us in some way cope with our world, then we need to release the feelings and emotions of the reason why we are so stuck. And there are so many varying reasons that are personal to our life. So for one person it could be coping with a separation where the other partner deliberately makes it difficult for you to see the children, and for another it may be stress from childhood that you have never dealt with.
If you are stuck and nothing is working – remember the saying; there is no such thing as failure, there are just ways of doing things that don’t work. So don’t give up – remember Edison and the light bulb and the many times he tried different filaments that did not work until he found the filament that did work.
1ABC Health Online, Health Focus, 4/04/2013. http://www.abc.net.au/health/tag/brain-and-nervous-system/
2 Bargh J.A., Morsella E, Perspect Psychol Sci. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2008 June 26. Published in final edited form as: Perspect Psychol Sci. 2008 January; 3(1): 73–79.
PMCID: PMC2440575. NIHMSID: NIHMS49128
3 Wesson, K. March 1, 2012. Brain World Magazine. Learning And Memory: How Do We Remember And Why Do We Often Forget? http://brainworldmagazine.com/learning-memory-how-do-we-remember-and-why-do-we-often-forget/
4Max-Planck-Gesellshaft (2008, April 15). Decision-making May Be Suprisingly Unconscious Activity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 15, 2008, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080414145705.htm