In earlier articles* in this series we have seen that it is our subconscious 'instruction sets' that determine the limits on our lives - limits on financial prosperity, limits on health, limits on social ability - limits on practically every aspect of our lives. But how are these limits set? What exactly is it that determines the 'set-points' that so precisely control our life experience?
(*see note at end of article)
The answer is surprisingly simple. The subconscious mind tries to decide what is important and what is not simply by ‘listening in’ on the conscious mind at all times, and giving priority to the things that it decides the conscious mind regards as important.
Unfortunately, the way in which the subconscious decides what is important to us is not necessarily the way we would want it to be. This is probably because the conscious ‘chattering’ mind generates volumes of totally inconsequential thoughts during any given day, and so the subconscious needs a way of filtering out all the ephemeral rubbish to get at what is genuinely important.
The ways in which the subconscious mind filters output from the conscious mind in order to estimate the ‘importance’ of conscious thoughts and desires are quite straightforward:
Thoughts that are charged with emotion are taken to be important. The subconscious mind itself is essentially neutral - it simply ‘observes’ the stream of data coming from the senses and bodily feedback without applying value judgements. But at the same time it notes the reactions of the conscious mind to these inputs together with the emotional reactions they have given rise to, and takes these emotional ‘tags’ as cues that indicate what is to be considered important and what is not.
A simple example would be pain. The subconscious mind feels no pain, but it observes what circumstances give rise to the negative sensation of pain as registered by the conscious mind. Once the association is made, the conscious mind will be automatically steered away from similar sets of circumstances in order to avoid repeating the pain-producing event. This process is common to virtually all animals of course, but in humans the subconscious system is much more complex and predictive, and includes social and emotional 'pain'. (Interestingly it has recently been discovered that emotional pain such as that arising from grief activates exactly the same areas of the brain as physical pain.)
‘Importance’ can also be conferred by association. The emotion that is experienced in connection with something feared or worried about, or conversely with something desired and anticipated does not have to be direct. It can be ‘by association’ that is, indirectly by connecting one thought that starts out neutral with another which already has an emotional loading. If the association is strong, the emotional loading attached to the associated idea or experience will be transferred to the new thought. This is a major principle used by the psychological toolset known as NLP (neuro-linguistic programming).
The third major criterion the subconscious uses to establish the importance of a thought is repetition. If the same or similar thoughts are repeated often enough, even if no particular emotions are attached and there are no established associations, then the subject of these thoughts will gradually edge up the scale of importance. If the repetition continues for long enough (usually 3-4 weeks) then 'internalization' takes place and the thought will enter the subconscious ‘goal list’. This of course is the main basis of all 'visualisation' and ‘affirmation’ type self help programs, although many of these will also make use of emotional loading and association in order to strengthen the positive effect.
Bringing The Power Of The Subconscious Onto YOUR Side
OK, so where does all this leave us? Our lives are largely directed by our subconscious minds, and in turn our subconscious minds take their own direction from the 'belief system' each has largely cobbled together from the huge pile of mixed (but mostly negative) junk it has accumulated via the conscious mind. Fascinating, but almost entirely useless if there is nothing much we can do to change things.
Unfortunately, as humans do not seem to come with an instruction manual, so there is no way we can know all this until we (if we are lucky) discover the truth in adult life. And by then of course a great deal of damage has usually been done. At best a random selection of mostly negative ‘goals’ has by default become our 'guidance system’ and the power we actually have to get what we want is either wasted or even actively used against us.
But as we have seen, the subconscious mind is essentially neutral. It simply doesn't CARE what you consciously want - it just directs your life according the the 'data' it has stored. So what if instead of placing yourself in conflict with your subconscious directives, you can quietly change the 'data' stored in the subconscious so that it supports rather than opposes what you consciously desire?
Now, the situation is rather different. A gap will have been created between the directives stored in the subconscious mind and the reality you are experiencing. In effect your internal thermostat's 'set point' will have been altered. So instead of maintaining the status quo by any means available to it, the principal objective of the subconscious now becomes to bring about a reality that corresponds with its new directives, i.e., a reality that matches the new 'set point'.
Instead of opposing your wishes, the enormous power of the subconscious mind becomes your greatest ally. Now it works on your behalf to bring what you want into your life, often almost without conscious effort and in ways that can seem almost magical at times. It continually seeks ways to reinforce your new, positive experience, in exactly the same way that it previously built powerful conditioned responses to limit or block any change.
And it will do this with all the same unemotional efficiency and power that previously kept you caged in your 'old' reality.
You will quickly find yourself just naturally doing those things you need to do to achieve your conscious goals, even if these previously seemed difficult or even impossible. You will discover internal reserves of energy, drive and persistence you never knew you had, and old tendencies to procrastinate or flit from one thing to another will just fall away. New ideas and ways of doing things will become 'obvious' and you will find others (even people you have never met) actively co-operating to bring about your objectives.
Your circumstances will suddenly start to be more benign, and more and more you will experience apparent co-incidences and 'serendipitous' events that all contribute to your success, and which often seem to come right out of the blue. Finally, the excitement, anticipation and wonder that you may not have experienced since childhood will return to your everyday life as you find yourself more and more in control.
This may all seem hard to believe, but this kind of life 'in the flow' is becoming reality for increasing numbers of people who are discovering how to bring it about, and it could very soon be your reality too. And once you are in this 'flow' it becomes almost impossible to remember why you once chose to struggle so long and so ineffectually, letting opportunities pass you by, always doing things the hard way. Generally just 'getting by' and vaguely hoping for better things in the future, rather than enjoying what life has to offer right now.
Now, the tremendous power that may have worked against you for most of your life will finally be working with you - an unstoppable combination, just as it was 'designed' to be.
This mighty ally is ready and willing to bring into your world everything that you desire and need in order to live your life to the full. All it lacks is your direction - your specific instructions and clear goals, delivered in a way it understands.
Once it has these directions, your subconscious mind will set about its new purpose with total dedication - to quickly and effortlessly bring you whatever you want.