Our mind or brain is one of the largest complex organs in the human body. The brain is divided into four lobes. These lobes are responsible for problem-solving, motor function, handwriting, memory, just to name a few of the many tasks your brain is responsible for. The two outer layers of our mind are conscious and subconscious. Some psychologists divide the mind into three main parts but for our discussion, we are going with just the two.
Neuroscientists believe our subconscious mind controls about 90% of everything our body does, whether awake or asleep. The conscious mind uses only 10% of our mind’s energy and some scientists believe it is even less. According to Dr. Lipton, the conscious mind processes at about 40 bits per second, while the subconscious mind operates at 40 million bits of data per second! Now that’s a lot of bits!
Your subconscious mind has a large memory bank too. It’s believed that by the time you are 21 years old you have stored more than 100 times the contents of the entire Encyclopedia Britannica. You could compare it to a computer as well because it saves and retrieves data.
Features of the Conscious Mind:
Features of the Subconscious Mind
Here is a simple test you can do to distinguish between the conscious and the subconscious mind. Start controlling your breathing rate. Take in a big breath through your nose and release it through your mouth. Repeat this action three times. While you’re focused on your breathing, you are using your conscious mind; but as soon as you stop focusing on your breathing, the control will go back to your subconscious.
Our subconscious is magnificent! It works 24/7 and has a tremendous amount of responsibilities including keeping our breathing regular, maintains our heartbeat at around 60-70 beats per minute, and regulating our body temperature to about 98.6.
Another responsibility of the subconscious mind is to make sense of our world and your surroundings. It uses the memories, emotions, values, and beliefs as filters to prevent us from being overwhelmed by the tremendous amount of information we’re exposed to. Our subconscious mind will condense it to an amount we can handle. You can see how our subconscious mind can be very helpful.
Try this exercise when you are driving home today. When you drive it is something that your subconscious mind is in control of. When we are doing a task that we do every day it is controlled by our subconscious mind. It is also a task that works on autopilot, which is not something I had given much thought to at first. So, when you leave work today you will be driving home on autopilot. Try to see how long you can consciously focus on driving home. This means you need to keep your conscious mind focused on anything that has to do with driving. For example, the speed limit, the lights, signs, other cars as they pass and any gauges in your car. You get the idea, right? Now see how long you can drive consciously.
Did you make it 30 seconds or 45 seconds? Isn’t it amazing how fast our subconscious mind breaks in and reminds you to, get the groceries on the way home or make sure to stop and get the dry cleaning?
In section 3 we will look at what forgiveness is and what forgiveness is not.