Why make problems?


One of the problems that people have with unconscious thought is that they do not completely identify with it. This seems a bit odd to me.

 

I hear people say things like, “I didn’t decide to do that, it was just my brain that was responsible”, or, “How can I have free will if I don’t make decision with a conscious mind?”, or, “Don’t blame me, I didn’t do it consciously.”  It is as if people have divided themselves into two beings.

 

There is their ‘real self’ and it controls, or in some cases does not control, their ‘other part’. They have some level of non-identification with this second, other self. I find it difficult to put myself in this frame of mind. I find it awkward to disown anything within my skin or any of my actions. I have never been a sleep-walker but if I were, I am sure I would feel that it was me that was sleep-walking. I would be told that I had been sleep-walking and if I believed that account then I would believe that I was sleep-walking. Who else?

 

I know the boundaries of ‘self’ are not that simple and can shift depending on circumstances. I can loss and gain bits – small bits. But really, to shift to such an extent as to lose a brain is hardly credible.

 

I also find it unbelievable that people can live their lives assuming that there are two people sharing their bodies. How awkward would that be! It would be easier to suffer from split-personality – where at least you are only one person at a time.

 

Now, I know that we can be convinced to believe a difficult or awkward concept. It is not easy to think in terms of curved space-time and all those details of post Newtonian physics. It would have been difficult to accept, when it was originally proposed, that the earth goes around the sun rather than vice versa. But this is different, here science and good sense is nudging us to accept a view that is easy and uncomplicated yet there are a great many that resist the idea and cling to an idea of selves that appears to be silly. They tie themselves, their philosophies and their psychologies in knots just to protect a self-image that is ridiculous – that they are two rather than one being. This has always, and continues, to amaze me.

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