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The Forum > Article Comments > All in the back of your mind > Comments

All in the back of your mind : Comments

By Cordelia Fine, published 23/1/2007

Research shows that seemingly trivial stimuli have the power to rouse particular motives lying dormant within.

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Very interesting article.

Is it true that when Socrates said - out with the Gods and in with the Good - he meant to think down deep, or was it simply to let our thoughts simmer in the back of our minds?

Maybe the is the way Nelson Mandela used his thoughts during much of his over twenty years in an Arparthaid concentration camp?

It is so amazing that he came out not with a mind full of anger, but one of foregiveness for his tormentors.

Not bad for a non-Christian to take a lesson from the Sermon on the Mount.

Still has one puzzling a bit, however, because it gives reminder of professor Geoffrey Searle and his 1972 publication, From Deserts the Prophets Come.

Does this mean that one has to live in the outback to think clearly, or that real insight only comes in the quiet, as the Quakers might say?
Posted by bushbred, Tuesday, 23 January 2007 3:06:48 PM
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I was following until it got to the subliminal coke message part. It's already been proven that subliminal messages don’t have any significant effect. Stimuli in a room, such as smell, yeah I'll buy the idea that it may alter your behaviour in subtle ways - but nup, flashes on a TV screen do nothing. Was proven many years ago. Even if the word 'Coke' registers in the brain, which is a leap, it’s an even greater leap to suggest it would actually affect you enough to go down the shops for coke.

It's an interesting topic, but a healthy dose of scepticism is required here...results of studies of this nature are notoriously vague and open to interpretation. I know the unconscious is a powerful influence over our lives (in fact it’s been reasonably suggested all our decisions are unconscious, our consciousness merely gives us a sense of control, but is in fact in the passenger seat), but how these processes actually work are still pretty much speculation.

Or maybe I'm completely wrong. I'm only basing this on what I've read myself, which from my perspective outweighs this article...
Posted by spendocrat, Tuesday, 23 January 2007 3:49:38 PM
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The so-called unconscious is in fact always conscious, a trivial example being that when the so-called conscious is asleep and part of the body has too much pressure, the “unconscious” notes and reacts to this; the sleeper changes position. It would be better to refer to the “deeper” mind, which is constantly aware and from which most of our actions/reactions arise, and the “surface” mind, that small part of the mind which thinks and rationalises.

The experiments Cordelia describes are also trivial, addressing influences which are minor and transient rather than approaching any deep understanding of how the mind works.

Bushbred, part of the problem is that our mind is always filled with clutter, with trivia, it’s hard to understand what’s going on unless you can step back and observe objectively, being removed from normal day-to-day stimuli and interactions facilitates this process. The practice I do, Vipassana meditation, requires quieting the surface of the mind so that one can explore reality more deeply. It initially involves focussing the mind on a finite, real object, one linked to both body and mind, observing the natural, normal breath as it passes below the nostrils, above the upper lip. Initially, most people can maintain attention for only a few breaths, we are trying to break the normal habit pattern of the mind, which runs from thought to thought, and the mind reacts strongly to this.

Many psychiatrists and psychologists after their first Vipassana course exclaim that their work has been false, without true understanding. Miss Fine would do well to do a Vipassana course before continuing with her researches
Posted by Faustino, Tuesday, 23 January 2007 9:45:20 PM
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Shades of Marcel Proust and his tea soaked little cakes : the 'madeleines' of legend: which reallly only serve to make me think of soggy cupcakes whenever I hear the name 'Madeleine'.

Mind you, whenever I smell freshly mowed grass I am called back to days of football, and pain, the legacy of some faceless council worker mowing the grass on a Saturday afternoon before the gridiron game that followed the very next day: and the images of guys preparing for battle, of cheerleaders and cold showers trying to ease the aches and knocks afterwards, the cramped drives home and the shivering from all the blocks, tackles and hits involved with the game. And all from the smell of mowed grass.

So lets take this back to the top: the feelings of people with borderline personality disorders and the tiggers for bizarre behaviour: the talking for hours on end just because a word mentioned at the wrong time. Those who link a harmless action today ith abuse from their childhood.

Some 'small things' trigger memories: I was listening to radio earlier tonight: the simple idea of a haircut or a vist to the doctor causing sheer absolute life threatening panic in a holocaust survivor.

The mind has corridors of memory that are not explored (yes, I am quoting someone, but I will be damned if I can remember who!)
Posted by Hamlet, Sunday, 4 February 2007 10:55:43 PM
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