April 12, 2012

Hypnotized Existence

My dreams taught me an interested thing in the last week - not sure why at this time exactly, but it's an important lesson nonetheless.

First, I had a dream that I was three months pregnant.  So I told people I was due November 1st.  But in the dream I didn't even take a millisecond to do the math.  But when I woke up, I wondered "why November 1st, what does that mean?" (Yes, I take my dreams seriously).

Then I realized November is six months from now, so it was literally my due date in the dream. But why did I know that without even thinking about it.  Usually I have to count the months, ya know?

Two days later I had a dream about a man named Clive.  When I woke up, I wondered about it cause I thought it was an odd name, I don't know of anyone named Clive, it's such a random name for me to have in my subconscious.  Curious, I googled 'Clive' and got 'Clive Owen' the actor.

I didn't/don't know of him (so I thought).  He was the exact guy in my dream, looked exactly the same.  No idea why I'd dream of some random actor I've never heard of.

But these two dreams made me realize somewhat how the subconscious mind works, which was both interesting, and worrying. 

My brain can do that math without "thinking" about it because it already knows it.  I, in my thinking process, have to "do the math" to come to the answer, but my subconscious already knows it because it's stored in there, as something I've already learned.  It doesn't need the time that I do to calculate, it had held onto that information.

I may not know of Clive Owen, but my subconscious mind does.  So many movies, tv shows, advertisements, tweets, updates, articles, etc. that we are not going to recall most of the little tidbits of information we come across: names, faces, dates, facts... if we remembered all of these things, we couldn't operate sanely on a daily basis, I think.  But if we've seen it, a part of the brain has retained the information - somewhere, probably, in parts of the brain that we have yet to consciously utilize.  It's in there, stored up.

They say that everyone in your dream are people you've seen in actual life.  Even just walking past them down the street.  The subconscious mind observes and takes in so much!

It is amazing, really, and so cool.  Our brains are so powerful, so much more than we can imagine, and we've only tapped into part of it so far.  What is going to come in the future?  How will it be when we evolve more and more and unlock other parts of the mind we have not yet had access to?  It's an exciting thought.

But it is worrisome.

This phenomenon makes it a piece of cake for us to pick up messages, unbeknownst to our conscious mind, that greatly effect who we are, what we do, what we believe, and what we value.  Talk to any ad person who's willing to tell you - this is a large part of how advertisements are created.  They spend a lot of money studying how our brains work in order to persuade us into thinking what they want us to think, thereby gaining loyal customers - usually starting when they're very young because that's when the mind is most susceptible.

Because of this phenomenon, every single person is powerless against picking up unwanted messages.  Unless of course you live outside of any society and aren't connected in any way to media/tv/internet.

Why is this such a big deal?  Because hypnotism is serious.  Because you go see hypnotists to help you quit smoking by trusting the hypnotist with your subconscious mind to influence you in a positive way.  That hypnotist could easily take advantage of the situation and give you any kind of suggestion they want.  You wouldn't know it, but your subconscious mind would, and that's good enough to effect you on all levels.

What if the hypnotist were to tell you, while under, that you are not beautiful unless you wear X-brand sunglasses?  It may not be a big deal, but imagine getting that message all the time: you would start to believe it. Imagine your kids getting messages of this kind everyday, as their thoughts, their minds, their personalities, and beliefs are forming.  What do you think that does to them?

I may not present a convincing argument, but I hope it makes you think.  It's not just sunglasses, digital cameras, and barbie dolls they're selling you.  It goes much further than just advertisements, but I think I'll not go further into it here.

A lot of who we think we are, is not even true.  Our identities are shaped by what we see, hear, and experience.  It's scary.  And I hope there comes a day when we won't be used so casually for the profit of others.  I know I'm a dreamer, but crazier things have happened.

I encourage you to do a bit of research on what I'm talking about - you can't really get away from the problem but I think it helps if you know it exists. That awareness does have some power over it.

Anyway, just wanted to share what my dreams have made me think about this past week.

<3 M

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