Conscious, Unconscious, Subconscious


Understanding the Conscious Mind

The conscious mind is the objective or thinking mind. It has no memory, and it can only hold one thought at a time. The mind has four essential functions. First, it identifies incoming information. This is information received through any of the six senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, or feeling. The conscious mind is continually observing and categorizing what is going on around a person. The second function of the conscious mind is comparison. There, the information is compared with all of one’s previously stored information and experiences. Is this new information received? Is it something that has been mastered in the past and successfully adapted to? The third function of the conscious mind is analysis, is this a threat? The fourth function, deciding. What would be the best solution to this problem?
The conscious mind performs two functions: It accepts or rejects data in making choices and decisions. (Tracy). A person is walking across the street, hears the roar of the moving vehicle. The person turns and sees the vehicle is bearing down on them. Their knowledge about the speed of moving vehicles is compared with incoming information lets them know they may be in danger. The first question the mind evaluates is, “Do I get out of the way? Yes or no?” If the decision is “yes,” then the next is, “Do I jump forward? Yes or no?” If the decision is “no,” because of cross traffic, then the next question is, “Do I jump backward? Yes or no?” If the decision is “yes,” this message is instantly transmitted to the subconscious mind and in a split second. The whole body jumps back out of the way, with no additional thought or decision on the person’s part. (Tracy).

Understanding the Subconscious Mind

Think of the subconscious mind as a tape recorder, it only listens and records. It is subjective, it does not judge, and has no logic. It does not think or reason independently; it merely obeys the commands it receives from the conscious mind. The subconscious mind permanently stores all of one’s previous life experiences, beliefs, memories, skills, all situations experienced and all images ever seen. Its capacity is virtually unlimited. The information stored consists of accessible information once attention is directed to it, such as remembering a phone number that is frequently used. (Tonner) “The subconscious mind is responsible for the automatically triggered feelings and emotions that one suddenly experiences upon facing a new situation. (Radwan).
As mentioned, the subconscious mind only listens, so if a person is constantly saying or thinking “no one loves me,” that information is recorded, and eventually those emotions and self-seeking behaviors will be sent. The person will begin to have an emotional experience I.e.: depression, sadness. Those emotions turn to behaviors such as seeking a spouse that will reinforce that belief. When a person feels under the weather, the body is communicating that the current thought process is out of sync with what is beneficial one’s well-being.

Understanding the Unconscious mind

The unconscious mind processes all of the information that is received, drives 95% of one’s beliefs and behaviors, and selects what one consciously recognizes, reacts to, and processes. (Onner). During childhood, there is a countless number of memories and experiences acquired that forms who a person is today, although this information is not easily accessible. Behaviors may indicate unconscious forces that drive them including beliefs, patterns, and subjective maps of reality. (Staroversky).


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