Do You REALLY Know What Conscious-Unconscious Means?
The only topic that wreaks more havoc in the community than this one is the question "what is NLP?" In my opinion, we need AT LEAST four distinctions to make sense of this conscious-unconscious deal...
Let's peel those off to see if my observations tie in with yours.
AWARE-UNAWARE Often times, people use the terms "conscious-unconscious" to mean "aware-unaware".
That's OK, as long as they know what they're talking about.
Here's the phenomenon: some stuff you're aware of and some others you aren't.
You're aware of some processes, like tying your shoes, and unaware of others, like beating your heart.
This distinction also applies to the big existential questions.
Today, we're aware that the Earth revolves around the sun but before we were unaware of that.
FOREGROUND-BACKGROUND "Conscious-unconscious" is also used sometimes to mean "foreground-background".
Think of the various windows you might have open on your computer screen.
Your internet browser window is currently in the foreground, while Excel, Word, PowerPoint or any other window might be in the background.
This distinction simply means that some processes are accessible consciously but aren't focused on right now, so they stay in the background.
This is obvious when I shift your attention from the computer screen to the weight of your left foot.
PROGRAMMER-EXECUTER "Conscious-unconscious", in some contexts, also means "programmer-executer.
" We talk a lot about this particular distinction in NLP when we say that the unconscious mind actually is more powerful than the conscious mind.
Conscious mind gives the instructions, unconscious executes them in the background as a stored procedure.
Think of all the stuff on your computer that is just spinning in the background.
All of that was programmed at some point and installed to be executed "unconsciously".
MASCULINE-FEMININE "Conscious-unconscious" also touches on "masculine-feminine".
The analogy here is that of the seed and the earth.
The conscious suggests and the unconscious makes that grow and expand.
While this is similar to the third distinction, it's not quite the same.
Programmer-executer has more to do with actions while masculine-feminine has more to do with ideas.
A great example of this are hypnotic metaphors.
These are just four dimensions that I notice when talking about the conscious-unconscious diad.
There might be more.
But there are at least these four.