I figure that we're sitting comfortably between two extremes - in that place where faith in a deity isn't necessary, but an optional part of one's personal canon. the idea of something greater only matters if we give it a purpose on an individual level. Intrinsically motivated atheist? Great. Spiritual story-teller? Wonderful. As long as it is'nt the dogma of another that leads you.
What can I say, we've always been a little out there.
Our last article proposed that all those senses we identify with as being a kind of divine message or supernatural presence are mechanisms of the unconscious mind, trying to communicate with its conscious counterpart. When people speak of being attuned to or aware of something more... , they never tell us that they had a sudden revelation to change the oil in their car or zip up their fly, the message seems to be much deeper and more revelatory. They speak of feeling drawn to a particular place, person or thing. What if our unconscious is the culprit behind this feeling?
The brain has billions of neurons and more connections than there are stars in the universe. How hard is it to see how miraculous that is on its own? Just beneath the conscious thought processes taking place while you go about your day, the currents of the unconscious are collecting mass amounts of data to filter through. It is unknown how much information the brain actually processes at any given moment, but conscious thought is rarely regarded as a very intense activity.
On the other hand, the unconscious mind is believed to take in vast amounts of information. That being said, we are just beginning to realize the connections between the unconscious and conscious mind and there seem to be more communication between the two going on. Unfortunately, neuroscientists and theologians are too cautious to explore the thin line that defines consensus, or shared, reality with the reality we all experience individually.
We are all trapped, scientists and spiritualists alike, in our own backyards, peering over the fence and into the vast expanse of the forest that those in the know have deemed too dangerous for the rest of us to explore. But like I said, we're rogues here at Derivative Psychology.
Building the framework to explore this relationship between the two cognitive forces takes time. I think that a good indicator of an individual with a workable neurological setup is being particularly skilled at free associating ideas and intermittent leaps in creativity. I would quote my favorite crazy haired physicist's belief in the power of the imagination here, but that'd be a little too cliche.
We believe that synchronicity, or percieved coincidence, is the mechanism behind this communication between the higher and lower minds. The idea that I could be talking to an individual about a book I had accidentally left on a bench in Philadelphia a year ago only to find that they had been in Philly for a different reason, found the very same book and had it in their possession because they had only just begun reading it this morning would seem like an amazing coincidence, but is it really?
It happens in instances not as dramatic, but there are certain schools of thought that believe that my unconscious as well as that of the other would have recognized the strangeness of the Philly book situation much earlier than our conscious mind through an intermingling of verbal and nonverbal cues that highlighted the oddity.
Wether my unconscious noticed that my friend was using words and sentence structure particular to the book or travel in Philly, I might have unconsciously picked up on those cues and unknowingly steered the conversation toward a seemingly fated bench in Philly and setting us up for that brief moment of awe as we tried to grasp what was going on.
Whatever the case, we seem to be far more in tune with one another than previously thought. To our credit as a species, we are making strides to level the playing field. Every year we communicate, share and revel in the experience of others and discover more evidence telling us just how interconnected we are. I lose a book and you find it. Nothing special when we look at things objectively, but when I share my story and you pull the tattered pages from your pocket? Magic.
If only we knew how to alter the bridge between consciousness and unconsciousness to get communication between the two flowing more efficiently.