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What Is The Subconscious Mind?

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For many years I had a recurring dream that I was in the Brown University Bookstore on Thayer Street in Providence, Rhode Island. (Above you see a picture of the Brown University Bookstore I took last year. The store is the grey building on the left. To the right is Thayer Street.)

After some years of this dream, I began to think about this place during my waking hours. 

As long as the dream went on, I never figured out why I was having the dream.   

As a kid I often went to the Brown U. store.  Last summer, in Providence for the first time in 20 years, I went into the bookstore for first time since maybe 1980. I’ve not had the dream since I went into the store last year.

In the past couple of months, I’ve had a new recurring dream. I dream I’m in parts of Providence that I knew as a kid, but did not see when in Providence last summer. I’ve now had this new dream three times.

Though I lived in Providence for my first 13 years, I consider Cincinnati, Ohio  my hometown far more than Providence. Cincinnati is where I lived the 18 years after Providence. Yet its Providence I keep dreaming about.

I think this is in part because I visit Cincinnati twice a year and have only been to Providence once in the past 20 years. I think if I did not regularly see Cincinnati, I would dream of that city as well.

In any case, all this got me to thinking about the subconscious mind.  What is the subconscious mind? 

A New York Times article from 2007  says it is something that guides your actions more than you realize. It says our minds respond in ways we don’t fully control in response to clues and triggers. For example, if we see a briefcase we may become more competitive. 

Past that article, what I found by poking around on the internet—perhaps reflecting a subconscious view that I don’t really want to know what is lurking in my mind—was nothing very solid.

There is a lot of stuff about using your so-called subconscious mind to quit smoking or become rich. Other web pages had a New Age feel. New Age stuff is fine for people who go for all that–But it does not do so much for me.

Wikipedia has a definition. 

Beyond my wariness of what I read in Wikipedia—And I do appreciate Wikipedia for all the pictures I use on this blog that I get from that source—I find myself wondering how we can well-define something that takes place in our subconscious. How can anyone know for sure?

I’d like to think that right now in my subconcious mind some type of dinosaur fight is taking place—

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Here is the defintion of subconcious from The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary.

” Of or pertaining to, existing in, the part of the mind which influences actions etc. without one’s “full” awareness.”

I think this is as close as we are going to get to a good definition.

Your subconcious mind is present in some respect and it is messing with you in someway. If all it is doing is making you have a dream about a place you left a long time ago, you’re likely getting off lucky.

( Here is a link to information about Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal. Maybe those of who reached this post via a search engine question will have thoughts of all the good FDR and the New Deal accomplished planted in your subconscious when you are deciding in the future how to vote.)

May 11, 2009 Posted by | Books, Cincinnati | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments