Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Was playing with a random baby at lunchtime, which got me thinking about who we are. Again.

I figure this. I need to "break" us into two things - effectively the conscious and the subsconscious. This is essential in understanding why we do the things we do. I don't like using these two words though, as they imply "awareness" and "instinct", and I think it is different to that - we can be unaware of socially-dependent decisions, for instance. I will use them here, but change them when I get round to writing this up properly. However, "biological" and "social" facets of our own "entity" would be more appropriate, perhaps.

The consciousness, that conceptually aware bit of us, wherever it comes from, is responsible for who we are. I think it is this bit that defines out attitudes, our thoughts, how we relate, etc etc. This is completely defined by our experiences and our memories.

The subconsciousness is something that exists before our consciousness develops. It is the animal within us, and it is what makes us eat, cry etc. A new born baby (or possibly anything up to the point where it exits the womb) is purely "subconsciousness", as it has no experience yet.

These two are in marked opposition to each other, and our sum is where they meet. For, in any given situation, either our subsconscious can rule over our consciousness, exerting biological pressures on informed decisions, e.g. to find food, to get angry, etc. or our "consciousness", informed by external factors, can make a decision that takes everything else into account.

Ramifications. This implies that those issues coming under our own body, such as food, pain, etc, are (initially) under direct control of our subconsciousness, while everything else (opinions, et al) is the consciousness. This is, however, entirely subject to change, as one or the other gains more influence.

Secondly, it also places a nice arc on how we should see life. If we start at one extreme - all biology, no thought - then there is something attractive and harmonious about ending it in a state of reversal - all thought, no instinct. Our lifelong lesson should be how to move all the functions we are born with into a state of control. We should take what we have, and use it to be our own self.

Historically, there are very few to have achieved this. Jesus, for instance, (religious issues aside) apparently fasted for 40 days - voluntarily overcoming hunger, and then went on to commit himself to his own death. Whether or not control over death counts I'm not sure yet, but control over the fear of death, and the pain involved, does.


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