Our thoughts have the power to determine our reality. To understand the working of the mind, we interviewed Dr Bruce Lipton, the stem cell biologist known for promoting the idea that genes and DNA can be manipulated by a person’s beliefs. He talks about the connection between the conscious and the subconscious mind, and its significance in our daily lives.
We are programmed to think in a certain way, to behave in a certain way right from childhood that restricts us from experiencing the life we want because majority of the time (95%) according to Lipton, our life is controlled by the subconscious mind. We use our conscious mind only 5% of the times, and our conscious mind is where our desires and aspirations reside. Lets understand more about how the conscious and the subconscious run our daily lives. (Due to word constraints the interview is divided into three parts)
Fractal Enlightenment Interview’s Bruce Lipton
Before answering the questions, I would like to summarize very briefly about the difference between the conscious and the subconscious mind, its very important because the answers will all relate back to this understanding.
Explaining the Difference Between the Conscious and the Subconscious Mind
The two minds exist as interdependent elements meaning each is a separate mind but they can work and collaborate together. The significance of saying that is some people think the conscious mind and the subconscious mind are directly connected with each other, so if I change the conscious mind I will change the subconscious program. This is totally incorrect and actually causes a lot of problems in people because the conscious mind learns differently than the subconscious.
Lets first talk about the conscious mind, the latest evolution of the brain is due to a piece of neural tissue right behind your forehead called the pre-frontal cortex. This is the seat of the conscious mind and the conscious mind represents you as an individual, a unique entity. Its probably the connection place of your spirit and source to your biology; the conscious mind represents you.
The conscious mind is the creative mind, this is why the conscious mind was so important in the evolution of humans. Lower forms of life are just reactive or reflexive, meaning input/output stimulus response. The conscious mind offers something different than the subconscious, the conscious mind is creative and as a result of being creative we don’t just need to have stimulus response, we can get a stimulus and change the response each time. But a lower form gets a stimulus and repeats the same behavior over and over again.
Here’s the thing, the conscious mind being creative and connected to you is the mind that has your personal wishes, desires, and aspirations for life. In another words if I say what do you want out of your life, and all the things you tell me will come from the creative conscious mind – it really represents what you want out of life.
The conscious mind can learn in many different ways – watching a video, reading a self help book, going to a lecture, even just going “aha, I have an idea” can change the conscious mind activity. The significance of the conscious mind in its creative character is profoundly different than the significance of the subconscious mind, which is the habit mind.
Deciphering the Subconscious
Subconscious has programs in it, its not very much of a creative mind. Its creativity is more of a level of creativity of say 5-year old child. The subconscious learns in two fundamental ways in normal life – the first 7 years of our life the brain of a child is predominantly in EEG frequency called Theta.
A child’s mind in Theta is not fully in a level of consciousness, its their imaginative mind and that’s why children below 7 have great imagination. Theta is also hypnosis. The significance is during the first 7 years of a child’s brain development, the subconscious is working in Theta and downloading behavior, but its doesn’t download from itself, the subconscious mind acquires behavioral programs by observing other people like his mother, father, family or community.
Those observations are essentially recorded just as on a video tape which is the subconscious mind. The conscious mind is not working at this time so whatever recordings are coming in during the first 7 years of life they are not being critically reviewed by the conscious mind.
Just a note, there are special neurons in the brain that offer the mechanisms of how observing something can become your behavior, these neurons are called ‘Mirror neurons.’ What they actually represent is an organism even lower organisms, dogs, chimps for example, can observe somebody or another individual of their own type, so dog observing another dog, or chimp observing another chimp, can observe their behavior and have a knowing of whats going on in their mind.
You can look at somebody’s behavior and get a feeling of what they are feeling, one is sad and you can see the sadness in them. You can feel sadness because the mirror neurons pick up that observation and give you an opportunity to feel what they are feeling, or do what they are doing. Very important point is the programs that come into the subconscious mind come in because the mind is in hypnosis and Theta is the predominant state of the child’s brain in activity.
When a child passes age 7, it can add new programs to the subconscious mind, but it does it through the process of habituation, which means you repeat things over and over again – repetition leads to the development of a habit. A habit is a program in the subconscious mind, so when a stimulus comes in and there is a habit in the subconscious mind related to that stimulus, it will automatically engage into that behavior. That’s what an habit is, all it needs is a stimulus and the program will play itself out.
Conscious mind changes easily, while the subconscious mind is designed not to change very easily for a simple reason – once to learn an important behavior, lets say learning how to walk, it becomes a program. If that program changes everyday then you have to learn how to move around everyday. Once I learn how to walk I want to keep that program, I don’t want to change it. This is why the subconscious is resistant to change because its design is to maintain and keep the learnt program.
The conscious mind can do one special thing and that is think. It can pay attention to whats going on in the world around you, but if the conscious mind is thinking then at that moment it stops paying attention to what’s going on and goes into the thinking space where it tries to resolve what its thinking about.
All of a sudden your conscious mind is absent, because it is busy thinking, and the behavior is automatically switched to subconscious programs. For eg – you are driving the car and you are imagining something, you don’t stop driving or miss out on what’s going on the road. The moment you have a thought the driving is taken over by the subconscious mind. Note – the subconscious mind is one million times powerful computer than than the conscious mind.