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Understanding the Conscious Mind

The nature of the conscious mind is the constant shifting of attention from one item of interest to the next.

It’s the part of you right now that is listening to me, deciding if you agree or disagree with me...or perhaps now, planning your evening, making a grocery list, and inventory of the contents of your refrigerator, wondering what you will have for dinner tonight, and what is on Netflix, what time is it, checking your text messages, anything new, checking e-mail, and then a briefly back to the sound of my voice where you stay for a few moments.

Then on to a sound you hear out the window....a barking dog...reminds you of another barking dog from when you were young. And now your conscious mind turns inward, an extended memory, a daydream, a fantasy, imagination kicks in and creates new details and a brief story that amuses you....then, back to me, wait, what was he saying again?




The conscious mind holds 7 bits of information at time (+ or -2) and cycles from one to the other, replacing stale items with whatever seems interesting in the moment and captures and holds the attention.

If you want to master something you have to first understand its nature. How many of you would like to be able to sustain your concentration and focus for longer periods of time?


The unconscious mind, however, is monitoring and organizing intelligence behind 10 million computations/second. Beyond your conscious awareness. Digestion, respiration, circulation, liver enzyme production, heart-valve synchronization, blink reflex, hormonal balance, including What is the temperature of your right big toe? You know the answer, now, because I directed your conscious mind to your right big toe. But it was your unconscious mind that was tracking the temperature, and knew the answer.

Your unconscious mind is tracking and recording every detail, every second of your life. Think back to your or your first kiss at the 9th grade dance and see if it is linked to the smell of perfume, the taste of strawberry lip gloss, the sound of Journey’s Open Arms. If I were to slowly and vividly describe the act of cutting a lemon and squeezing it on to your tongue, you may very well pucker, your eyes may water, as salivary glands are activated. Interesting to note: the mind cannot tell the difference between what is real, and what is vividly imagined.

Think about driving home from work, and suddenly arriving in your own driveway, with no memory of the trip. Muscle memory: swinging a bat, riding a bike, tying a tie, in fact has nothing to do with the muscles at all.

Your unconscious mind delegates a part to handle complicated tasks, so your conscious mind can perform more important work, like wondering what you will have for dinner, what is on Netflix, where is that barking dog?

Parts is a vital concept because they are also at the root of our habits. Most smokers say that it feels like a part of them is doing the smoking. In fact, there is.


Neuroplastic and synaptic connections, visible on a brain scan, carry out all the details of smoking a cigarette. Including reminding you when you need another one.

People commonly say, I’d really like to get on the dance floor, start my own business, take up kick-boxing, fall in love with my soul mate, etc. but there is a part of me, who won’t allow it. Under hypnosis we negotiate with those parts, relieve them of duty or give them a new assignment.

As powerful as the unconscious mind is, it has limitations. It cannot reason, analyze, deduce or decide. It accepts suggestions. That’s why the participants of stage hypnosis show cluck like chickens when that suggestion is given to them.

And perhaps most importantly of all, the unconscious mind is subservient to the conscious mind. It takes its orders. To Be continued....