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The Human Mind

What can you tell me about the human mind?

The human mind is like an onion with many layers. The outer layer is our conscious mind, which helps with our daily decision-making processes working according to the reality principle. It is intelligent, realistic, logical and proactive, especially in new situations where we have to apply rational thought processes to work out what to do and how to do it. However, it can only deal with between two and nine things at any one time and becomes easily overloaded, when we carry out complex tasks. i.e. Remember the process you underwent whilst learning to drive?

Remember how your conscious mind worked out what to do incrementally, slowly assimilating all the pieces of information to allow you to take a car on the road and get it from A to B. Could you possibly imagine driving in that way now? In order to drive well you need to utilize both conscious and unconscious processes. The subconscious or main hidden layer of the onion works on “auto pilot” i.e. reacting according to the pleasure principle in that it seeks to avoid pain and obtain pleasure and survival, regardless of external considerations. It is concerned with our emotions, imagination, and memories as well as our autonomic nervous system which controls our internal organs automatically. These four main functions are very closely interlinked – in other words the mind affects the body and the body affects the mind. It is powerful and very clever at dealing with many complex instructions at any one time but is not intelligent.

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