Saturday, 19 May 2012

Lie to Me

I always had a problem with the subconscious – not my own so much (at least not for the purposes of this discussion); rather the notion: the notion that there lies within our minds a hidden – an entirely autonomous – subterranean mantel from which raw material erupts when it reaches a critical mass. I think my problem lies with the idea that the “subconscious” often forms an uneasy synonymity with the “unconscious” – uneasy for there is a certain asymmetry between the respective concepts: the “subconscious” functionally coexists alongside consciousness, while the “unconscious” suggest the higher functioning of consciousness has somehow slipped off-line. The oddity about both is that there is the residual suspicion that there is something – some thread – that connects both the “subconscious” and “unconscious” and with consciousness. When we say someone is “unconscious”, we don't necessary mean they are no longer sentient in the manner of, say, a rock, rather, that is kind of suspended availability; a lack off formal access; not necessarily that they are comatose, but they are not picking up on something; they are unaware. Similarly with “subconscious”, there is also the suggestion of a certain type of restricted access or, at least, an access that is triggered by more unconventional means. In other words, on closer inspection, the prefixes “sub” and “un” do not denote a total absence of consciousness, rather different states of its being. Take the notion of “self-deception” - there's an implication in some people's mind that there is a fully analogous process at work with when we deceive ourselves as with other people. When we deceive other people, we are hiding something from them, be that by means of slight-of-hand-distraction – hiding and / or lying – employing the various arts of deception. The problem with self-deception or, more precisely, comparing self-deception to the deception of a third party (or parties), is that, in that case of the self, one can at best avoid a truth one intends to deceive oneself about, for the hand of concealment isn't hidden from you – it is yours: the left hand cannot be separated from the doings of the right hand and vice versa, as every good politician knows; however, they also know that the truth can be hidden behind the ideologies of left and right.

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