My take on The Power of the Subconscious Mind.
I wrote the following article in several different sittings with different objectives in mind. Some of them are Facebook comments, some youtube video descriptions, others are from chat transcripts.
Afterwards I realized that they all had to do with the stream of subconscious, so I stringed them together as one article. Sorry if the article seems a little incoherent, or if as a whole it seems to lack structure. But as you’ll see later,and hopefully I can convince you, that’s this fragmentation of thoughts is the whole mechanism behind the subconscious.
Techniques to “unlock your subconscious power” is now a billion dollar industry. Zen Buddhists, Bruce Lee, Morpheus from the Matrix and others have be advocating the “free your mind”, “no mind”, concept for centuries.
But what I had come to realize is that “free your mind”, and having “no mind” does not literally tell your to have NO brain whatsoever. It actually and technically mean freeing a specific part of your brain – the CONSCIOUS mind while waking up the rest and more powerful parts of it – the SUBconscious mind.
Whenever i had a good training session at the gym, I always feel like I am dreaming.
Why is this?
Because during the most successful moments in my training, I have successfully removed the conscious and rational mind to access the infinite creativity and full blown madness that flow from your subconscious.
This is also the key for artists and writers, as well as athletes from all other types of sports.
I approach training in the same way. Unlock your subconsciousness and you will have no restrain on how much you can lift.
And just as Freudians believe that 99 % of our minds are locked away and stored as raw subconscious energy that can pretty much do and think up anything, the body is the same way.
Artists experience the “flow”, just as athletes experience being “in the zone”.
Most people only use a very small portion of their actual strength and power when they are performing because their bodies protect themselves from the release of this mad and incontrollable energy. And because of this, they cannot tap into the potential strength and power pool that is locked inside their tendons and muscles and nervous systems.
You know why, in the news, you hear of those grandmothers who can lift up a car to save a baby during a life and death situation? Because at that moment, they have no choice but to release this “brake” that blocks most of their strength.
(But afterwards she rips their muscles off of her tendons and bones because they can’t take the pressure)
What an athlete should do is train himself to deliberately unlock this potential power on call. Professionals do this very well and can use up to 90 percent of their strength and power.
This is how a 150 pound Olympic lifter can put up 400 pounds on the clean – he is activating nearly ALL of his muscles.
By analogy, what artists and writers, or anyone who wishes to unlock subconscious potential is to knock away the rational and the conscious mind so that he can use that 99 percent of raw creative power that is stored inside and let it flow the top.
This is what people mean when they say to “free your mind”.
This is very difficult to do. And like the athletes who injure themselves this way, people who release their subconscious often go mad.
Let’s look at the subconscious phenomenon from the neuroscientist’s perspective.
It is proven that when you sleep, a major part of your your cerebral cortex, especially the frontal lobe, the part of the brain responsible for rational, logical, linear, verbal thinking (the CONSCIOUS mind) is shut off.
And the rest of the brain, mostly responsible for the “subconscious stuff”, which thinks in terms of images, and is by far much less coherent and structured, lights up and become awakened.
This is the basic mechanism of dreaming. The reason why dream images are so creative, bizarre, emotional, and chaotic is because when you are “asleep”, you are actually only partially asleep – your subconscious mind is very much awake and the parts of the brain that are responsible for it are very much active – there are more neural activity going on in there than the waking hours.
A lot of artists and scientists go to sleep with an unresolved problem. When they wake up, the answer is already upon them. How does this happen? Well, the subconscious mind, which is very active during sleep, and especially in dreams, solved it for them.
How about the twin cousin of dreaming, DAYdreaming? Does it yield the same affect?
Yes, up to a point.
The Greek scholar Archimedes was known for the original “Eureka!” moment when he suddenly arrived at the “Archimedes principle” to measuring volume of irregular objects when he was just drifting off in the bathtub. And this other dude, (I forgot his name and too lazy to google it), came up with another ground breaking scientific solution to a problem he had been pondering for years when he wasn’t directly attacking the problem and was relaxing and watching horse races.
When we are daydreaming, we also let our guards down. But the reason why daydreaming is less “free”, and works less efficiently than actual dreaming in terms of sorting out information and actively solving your problems for you is because when we are awake, even when daydreaming, the conscious mind is still loosely capped.
Neuroscience also proved that when they deliberately use a “thinking cap” to shut off your left brain and the parts of it that are responsible memory and logical thinking, and then give them some puzzles to solve and questions to answer, they became vastly more creative and thought much more outside the box.
Most people when they try to think up a solution to a problem or try to come up with novel ideas, they rely on what they ALREADY knew, and tend to only think inside the box.
Since these experimenters had all the “inside the box” mechanisms temporarily shut down, and can no longer rely on their memory, prior experiences, dead knowledge and the rest of the stuff that had already “learned” in search of answers and ideas, they were forced to search for them OUTSIDE the box and make connections that were pre-established in the first place.
When I was in college, I read Andy Warhol’s autobiography titled “The philosophy of Andy Warhol from A to B and Back Again”. I was mesmerized by his prose and how original his ideas were.
But one thing he said that got stuck in my head was how his mind was a like a eraser. In fact, he said that he had no memory and that each moment was new because there was “only one button on his mind – ERASE”.
He also said he was proud of the fact that he thinks about nothing when he paints, and that it was his goal to be “as superficial as possible” so that he can function, even as a Nothing – a total Blank.
I had no idea what he meant.
How can one create so much work of art when one had no mind? And years later, when I read up on the Zen philosophy and brain science and other proponents of the fullness and the power of a “blank mind”, like Bruce Lee when he kept preaching his followers to empty their minds, to be like water, so that they could be so receptive as to re-create and re-carve their mind into anything they wish that I finally understood what Warhol meant.
Andy Warhol, the massive troll who trolled the whole world actually had, even if it’s at a subconscious level, a profound and fundamental understanding of the mechanism of the mind an consciousness.
So I was talking to someone about this whole free the mind concept, and using Bruce Lee as an example, he asked:
“Isn’t the case of Bruce Lee being an actor exactly the opposite of what he is saying? He would’ve had to LEARN those ‘fight scenes’ rather than ‘free his mind’ and fight through his body? Or am i not understanding this concept at all?”
My answer is simply this :
You can’t free your mind if there’s nothing there to free!
The key is to CONSCIOUSLY learn whatever it is that you are undertaking first, and THEN when you mastered it, let it go. “Forget” it”. Free it. DO it.
The Japanese author Haruki Murakami is known for his “stream of consciousness” technique when he simply lets his subconscious be transferred onto the paper transparently.
But if you read his interview, he is extremely well learned and had a deep understanding in anything from history to philosophy to art to psychology.
It is only AFTER he uses the conscious mind to learn and remember facts that he is able to transfer and transform that knowledge into the subconscious mind.
He is unique in the ways that he mixes up, stirs, and then spits out those pre-existing information. It is easy to learn and memorize facts and accumulate knowledge in the mind. It is another story to know how to make your own authentic remix with that knowledge and spit it out in a way that nobody else had done before.
I think the more “learned” someone is, the harder it is for them to let go. When their subconscious mind, the pure, infinite, raw and essential, raw creative energy is heavily suppressed and polluted by the heavy tap of conscious “knowledge” and “memory”, the harder it is for him to remove it. This is why you see so many dull PHDs with a shitload of dead knowledge but not an ounce of originality.
But ironically, the people who find it easy to remove the conscious tap usually are not well “learned”. Their tap is light, but it has no substance. So the stuff that they release aren’t really too good. This is why you see so many street rappers string up a load of cuss words together with no meanings behind them.
The best of the best did their learning, reading, and practicing or whatever you want to call it, and then knows how and when to let those skills and knowledge seep into their subconscious mind, and then have the know-how to stir and spit it out.
Here is a concrete, scientifically based example on what I’m talking about :
Violinists who FIRST started practicing a piece of music that they had never played before were activating their prefrontal lobes and other parts of their cerebral cortex (conscious mind).
But once they learned the piece the “memory/skill” is transferred to the lower parts of the brain (cerebellum and the limbic system) that are responsible for automatic/subconscious thinking/action.
In fact, if they think about things too much and activates their cerebral cortex during the performance when the subconscious flow is going on, they mess up due to interference of “too much mind”.
Anyone who had learned a dance or a musical instrument should know exactly what I’m talking about.
Here is a clip from the Last Samurai that illustrates this perfectly:
The same results were confirmed in golfers and other athletes, as well as dancers and artists.
So in short, when you try to learn something, the more you conscious think about it, the better you will perform. Once you have learned it through and through, you are better off just “let go” and let your subconscious take over.
Here is a personal account of how I discovered how my subconscious mind worked:
My dad always told me that I was somehow handicapped.
He understood my talent in certain areas, but had always thought that my brain was lob-sided.
I always thought that was true as well, but I finally figured out what’s wrong with me. I literally have a whole in my brain . But it is through this hole that my subconscious spills out. Most people, when they speak of the brain, they are only referring to the cortex and the parts of it that constitute conscious, rational thinking. And if you don’t consider the subconscious are part of THE brain, then perhaps I have no brain.
My conscious and rational mind, the part that suppresses the subconscious is not just weak and loose, but merely non-existence.
That is why I can easily access the subconscious because apparently the suppressed area of my mind that houses instincts, irrationality, chaos, unreason, and the unlimited treasure box of ideas…elements that as a totality represent man in “state of nature”, your true, creative essence uncorrupted by Reason, Order, and Conformity just flow around uncontrollably.
I never had to “find” ideas and “access” or “tap” into the subconscious treasure box because there is nothing to access TO. There is nothing to unlock because I’m already IN the raw infinite fabric of subconscious.
You know how artists and athletes talk about the “creative flow”, or being “in the zone”, where they almost become automatic because their subconsciousness is simply guiding their ways without conscious thinking and control?
And you know how the Surrealists and Freudians use this “free association” techniques where they simply let their minds take them whenever and whereverp they go? And you know how when we dream, the executive part part of our brain function shuts down so that our subconscious spurts out to create bizarre images filled with emotions? That’s how I feel most of the time, during most of my life.
That is why I am such a mess is overly emotion and my action and thinking are all over the place, often times non-sensical and incoherent. That is why I can’t think in words and why my thoughts are always so jumbled up, like dreams, even when I am awake. And that is why I am overly sexual and lack self-restraint and have no plans most of the time and just DO things.
Or put into other words, without the conscious cap that keeps me sane and civilized, my creative subconscious overflow. and that I can’t function in conformed and confined environments, both socially and psychologically and physically, most of the time.
Put another way, if most people have a Dionysus and an Apollo in embedded within them, I only have a Dionysus.
And if I was the main character in Fight Club, Edward Norton would never get in the way of the film and steal Brad Pitt’s screen time because Tyler Durden will never have to emerge or “escape” because he will be all there is.
If most people’s Superego checks their ID, my Id never had to be checked.
If most people’s mind work like iceberg, then I am 99.99 percent underwater, where without that 1 percent of conscious mind to block the 99 percent of the subconscious mind, I am totally free (or unfree).
And anatomically speaking, if most adult humans have a well-developed, high-functional frontal lobe, that part of the brain doesn’t exist in my head (vertically speaking).
And If most people have a left and a right brain, I only have a right one (horizontally speaking).
And if you agree with most neuroscientists that the cerebral cortex is responsible for reason and consciousness, and that it is what constitute what we called a “mind”… then sorry to say, I have no mind, only the subconscious forces that operate belong or outside of it.
Andy Warhol said that he only has one thing that makes up his mind – an erase button that is constantly clicking. Bruce Lee said to remain mindless so that you can become an empty cup and be able to re-create yourself without restrain. I want to be like that. I want to be a blank.
So what do I hope to achieve with this information?
Some people want to use their subconscious mind power to make money, to score chicks, to win fights, to be happier in life.
But aside from using to perfect the violin and to lift bigger weights and jump higher, I want to use its power, in and of ITSELF… as a Stream of Subconsciousness to attack and penetrate,(like a penis or any other phallic symbols), people’s conscious minds so that MAYBE they can see themselves through this hole and dent, and peak into their own subconscious mind.
Simply put, I want to make “works” that explore the life of the mind. And if most of what constitute the mind is the subconscious stuff, then that’s what I’m interested in depicting.
And what better way to make the present of the subconscious felt in the world than to “bring it out (up)” to dissolve the physical world and make it less material and less coherent?
(more on the interaction between the immateriality of the mind and the materiality of the world).
If you think my writings and other works of “art” are incoherent, irrational, and incomprehensible, it is because I am simply trying to portrait and paint a picture of the life of the subconscious mind and the true mechanics of consciousness itself.
And for those of us who know what it feels like to have a mind, I think we can all agree on the fact that in its deepest essence, it is a messy and chaotic place, full of anarchy and disorder. And without the conscious mind acting as a safety cap, is bound to erupt through full-blown madness.
So what I want to do is to simply transfer the transparency of my consciousness and subconscious mind DIRECTLY, in an unmediated stream of uninterrupted sensations, (dream) images, memories, and internal monologues (without the interference of logical analysis or “correct” punctuation or syntax) onto the paper, film, photograph, or the body itself through actions.
I believe the attack through my stream of consciousness is the best way to rupture and make a tend in another person’s mind from underneath with “WTF” buzzes – and through this “hole”, they can see, feel, and think about the world in a slightly different matter. If I can alter your normal mode of consciousness even for just a brief second out of your existence, then I can honestly say that my ego has been well fed and is full of fuck.
And with that said, I can now justify the “flaws” of my work and turn it into virtues.
If my writings lack coherent structural meanings, syntax or punctuations, if my photographs are poorly lit and bizarrely composed, if my videos lack theme and technical perfection, then it is because the subconscious, when it is “flowing” is indifferent, or should I say, simply doesn’t care about these things.
It is RAW – driven by ideas and content rather than techniques or form. And if you think my work is overly erotic or violent, then it is because sex and violence automatically grab our mental spotlights, through a pre-wired brain that through evolution, grave these things on a daily basis.