I don’t know if it’s coincidence, selection bias or something deeper. All I know is I’ve been seeing the same nonsense a lot recently:
Folk talking about how the unconscious mind makes up 95% of your thinking.
One I read recently said 85%.
To which I have to ask, as articulately as possible…
Because these same folk will freely tell you your conscious mind can only focus on four to nine things at any one time.
Let’s be generous, then. Let’s say you can focus on nine things. And let’s say your unconscious is 20 times the size of your conscious mind (which makes it more than 95% – like I say, generous).
That means your unconscious mind can only focus on 180 things.
If that sounds right, pay attention to your left foot for a moment.
Before reading this, you probably weren’t aware of your left foot. But your unconscious was. It was processing signals from this part of your body – and all others – looking for anything unusual, like a spider crawling on your toes.
So your mind automatically tracks sensations from your left foot.
But what do we mean by ‘sensations’? There’s pressure, temperature, texture and pain.
And what do we mean by left foot? There’s the top and underside of five toes, the ball of the foot, the arch and the heel. Each sends different signals – if you drop a hammer on your foot, you know which toes it hits – so that’s fair to count them separately.
That’s four different signal types from 16 parts of the foot – or 64 things to focus on.
(Again, that’s generously only counting the arch as one thing. If you step on a strawberry, you know which part of your arch made jam. But anyway.)
That’s only skin deep, though. You can feel each of the 33 joints in your left foot. Each of those can feel maybe not texture, I’ll discount pressure, but definitely pain and heat. That’s another 66 signals, bringing us to 130.
Notice how if your left foot is just sitting there – and even ignoring the hundreds of muscles in your each foot – we’re getting dangerously close to maxing out your unconscious’ ability to handle it.
So, gee, I wonder if your unconscious is more than 95% of your mind.
To simply monitor your body, let alone do anything, it would have to be more than 99%.
Then as soon as that body wants to move?
Or process sensory information apart from touch?
Or use language, anticipate threats and regulate the body’s temperature?
Now we’re looking at something vastly beyond the conscious mind’s scope.
We’re not talking about your unconscious being hundreds of times the size of your conscious mind.
We’re talking billions. Trillions maybe.
Or maybe even more.
(At that point, you lose the ability to comprehend the numbers anyway.)
So how much of your unconscious are you using, pendo?
How much are you training this incomprehensibly vast processing power inside your body?
How much of your potential are you leaving on the table?
Maybe you should rethink the way you use it: