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I once read a book called Thinking, Fast and Slow and in this book it describes how the brain has two modes of thinking – type one and type two. Essentially these modes of thinking are the conscious and the sub-conscious. The sub-conscious is extremely powerful in the amount of information that it can process, but it does make mistakes because it simply acts on the information that it has, without thinking about whether or not that information is complete or accurate. In comparison the conscious mind is far slower and able to deal with less information at once but it has the power of reason – it can analyse the quality and completeness of the information to hand.
I find this rings true in every day life – for example, when driving, its easy to do so without thinking about it almost at all. This is amazing when you do stop and think about how much information you have to process when you are driving. And this is a great representation of how powerful the subconscious mind can be.
In contrast, think about trying to do two simple tasks at once – juggling and doing your 15 times table – this would more than likely be very difficult, because your conscious mind cannot concentrate on many things at once.Its almost like the conscious mind is very small in terms of how much it can handle at once.
This made me think about the mind, and the soul, and wonder whether what we think of as the conscious mind is actually just us using our body, our brain, and what we think of as the subconscious mind is our soul. And it makes me think perhaps our soul is eternally powerful – but this has absolutely nothing to do with the physical world, so its power cannot be put into words, it cannot be represented by physical things, it just is. It is pure understanding without any physical representation of understanding. Whereas our brain has to put everything into some sort of physical form – a thing, a though, a sound, a sight – before it can make any effort towards understanding it – and this act of putting things into physical form is very slow, very time consuming and very archaic in comparison to the power of the soul.
And this is why they say that nothing is everything, not thinking at all is like becoming one with the world, to know nothing is to know everything. Like driving – when you have to put every aspect of driving into some physical representation, its very very arduous, but once you know how to drive you do so without thinking, without putting it into physical form, you just do it.
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Sometimes I think about how, as humans, even though we think we are very clever, really we are not – because for all of our thinking and analysing, we have so many problems in the world, and we focus so much on material things like earning money, taking in information, thinking about the meaning of life – all of these things we think of as clever because we are cleverly using information, actively and intentionally doing things. However, in the scheme of things, what does it all mean? When the richest person in the world dies, or the cleverest person in the world dies, what has it all been for?
In comparison, if you look at the animal kingdom, you might think they are not at all clever, or evolved, in comparison to the human race – they don’t think for themselves, they can’t build houses or travel to the moon, or discover new things, they just lead the same simple life day in and day out. But when you put that into context and into the bigger picture, is that any less clever? Or is it more clever? They are living their lives without thinking, with out becoming pre-occupied with material things. When a lion kills and eats an antelope, it doesn’t waste time cutting it up, cooking it, adding salt and pepper, adding a garnish or any other material distraction, but rather it simply kills it and eats it because it needs to do so to survive.
I find it hard to put it into words, but there are definitely parallels here with what we would look at as non-evolved practices when compared to the pinnacle of learning – the lion killing and eating its pray is like the human driving the car without any thought at all, after he has mastered that task, and completely and entirely understood its purpose.
And if that unconscious mind is effectively a representation of our soul and its infinite power and understanding, then perhaps the non-evolved that make up the animal kingdom are actually far far superior to us humans, and closer to the soul, who they really are and what it really means to exist.