Subconscious Power and Personality
Your Reticular Activating System (RAS) is a wonderfully useful, inborn function of the brain that regulates arousal and sleep-wake transitions. It is the part of your brain that keeps an eye out for things that are important to you. It activates attention because something is familiar or important, like recognizing a familiar face in a crowd or hearing a glass break in a noisy bar. Because its main function is sleep-wake transitions, it allows mothers to be alert to noises their baby might make in the next room, or if the dog is getting into the garbage in the dead of night. Sounds that are familiar, like a train passing at 3 o’clock every morning or the dog scratching in his sleep, will be ignored as unimportant.
“Light sleepers” are people with high functioning RAS and in waking life are more prone to notice important things. In fact, it can be a very useful problem solving tool. RAS will look for solutions to problems, even if you’re conscious mind is unsure of the solution. If you’re looking for a new place to live, it will make “for rent” signs come to the forefront of your daily landscape. It can wake you just minutes before the alarm on the morning of an important meeting. Imagine the usefulness of a high functioning RAS!
You can imagine the subconscious as having been programmed since birth. Your daily actions are performed primarily without thinking. But in the beginning, when you were first learning, you had to figure out how to perform simple tasks like walking, typing, developing hand-eye coordination. You are essentially programming your subconscious as you learn tasks and they can then be relegated to “background work.”
You must, to a large degree, trust that program, and as it runs, it becomes more and more refined. As repetitions increase over time, the program becomes hard to change. This program is hardwired to your personality. It operates in the same ways described above. You generally don’t have to think about how you’re going to act, you just do it, and the script in your subconscious, build up from years of practice, will tell you what to say and how to act.
If you’re in a new social situation or an unfamiliar setting, you loose the advantage of a predefined personality, of known rules for how you should act, and so you actually do have to think about it. And this can produce awkwardness, saying the wrong thing, or being ridiculously nervous. The subconscious will be at work and along the way will adjust to make this situation comfortable and give you a sense of personality that meshes with the environment. The situation typically dictates the program, which is why people can seem to have different personalities when they’re around friends or at work or alone.
If you truly desire to change the program. You can. But it takes work and it takes repetition. Changing your environment or daily situations is one of the easiest, fastest ways to make a significant change.
The creative subconscious is perhaps the most powerful part of every human being. It’s the principle that allows for the effectiveness of brainwashing, magical belief, and personal success. It has power enough to kill you. Or, to actually save your life.
Simply put, the creative subconscious “contains an image of who you believe yourself to be. It includes the personality programs mentioned above, but covers everything from health to skills and talents. It will adjust this image as it learns new things about you” (Fagin).
It is both extremely dangerous and incredibly useful.
If your actions or beliefs aren’t corresponding to the image that the creative subconscious has of you, it will make you conform. If you believe that you are a poor writer, it will actively sabotage your efforts to make sure that you are, or stay, a poor writer. Conversely, if you (and it helps if you have external encouragement) believe yourself to be a great writer, your mind will help you as much as it can fulfill your self image.
In sports, this is one of the most useful tools to get an athlete to perform their best. Successful people generally have a positive self-image and believe in themselves and what they do. Creating a model for success begins with your mental self image.
The creative subconscious is one of the main reasons spells and magic work. The mind can generate real physical changes. If you believe in voodoo, and someone leaves a doll with a pin in its arm, you can feel real pain simply because of the belief that you will feel it.
Accessing your Subconscious
There are many ways to become attuned to your subconscious, uncover its personalities and put it to work for you. It’s a good idea to focus on a problem you want to solve, an area of your personality you wish to uncover, or a goal you’d like to understand more about, before attempting to access your subconscious. It’s not necessary, and it is a good idea to access your subconscious freely, without a stated purpose, just to see what comes up, but by focusing on a desired input, you can reach that information much more directly.
- Meditation – Meditation is a great way to quiet your mind and find focus on accessing a particular part of your subconscious or to find a solution to a problem. For a guidelines to mediation, check out our meditation section.
- Self-Hypnosis and Hypnosis – Either being hypnotized or inducing self-hypnosis is a fantastic method for uncovering subconscious personalities, hidden desires, as well as to change habits and subconscious programming. Check out our hypnosis section to learn more.
- Walking Meditation – Walking meditation is great for self-talk. Walk very slowly (slow motion slow) and pay attention to your surroundings while trying to dim the mind’s chatter. Then, become aware of what you are noticing, and then you can integrate thought into the walk. What are you noticing? Why? Is RAS helping you see something you might not have noticed?
- Floatation Tanks – Flotation tanks were created in the 1960s are are used today as a form of instant meditation. You body is suspended in a saline, warm water solution inside of a dark and quiet tank. Your mind will undergo profound changes in this state, also known as sensory-deprivation. I recommend learning more about it before trying it.
- Trance Writing – also known as “automatic writing” is performed without conscious direction. Let yourself go. Just grab a piece of paper and a pen, or you can do it on the computer, and write without letting your mind think and direct your prose. Just jabber, words, images, themes, anything that comes to mind. You can later analyze the writing to discover clues about what you’re feeling or harboring.
Accessing it directly can be a powerful aid when you’re trying to accomplish a goal. With your subconscious directed to help accomplish your goal you’re sure to succeed.