Friday, July 25, 2008

Satanic Voices in my Head

Everyday we go on with our monotonous lives without ever really thinking. Which is why whenever we have free time we get to think things a lot. Over and through. Up and down. Thoroughly. Comparing past and present scenarios. Imagining future ones. How it has been. How would it be. What is the best angle for the chair to be at so that you can catch the fan, the TV and keep an eye on the pot if something is cooking. And you get to make conclusions.

Thinking. It's such a complex task that humans do without even thinking (intended pun). Or do they?

Did you know that before we move any muscle or perform any action, it takes our mind 1.5 seconds to make it happen?

You must be thinking that can't be true - because you fold your arms as soon as you think it - you scratch your nose as soon as you feel the itch - you slap him across his face as soon as he tries to feel you up.

It appears that our brain has a separate component - the subconscious. It's the subconscious where the electrical signals start working 1.5 seconds before we say something or perform any action. We are not aware of it, but we already know it. (Hey, don't try to negate me - ask the scientists and researchers who did the MRI tests to confirm this fact.)

So now, what is this 'subconscious' anyway? Another fairy tale? They say it's always more active than the rest of our brain, and it takes in each and every detail about everything we do or say like a sponge (yet it never helps us during our exams). It's so weird.

But think about it. Our mind tells us whatever the subconscious tells it. Right? And apparently our subconscious is not exactly in our control. We take direction from it. We don't direct it ourselves. Then whose control is it under?

All those media messages that we receive day in day out - has anyone ever thought about how they affect us?

In the early '90s when the dish antenna was still something new - in Pakistan at least - I remember there was some kind of campaign that asked people to switch off their television screens for a whole week. The advert featured a little girl staring at the tube with the audio blaring and the commentary said something like, "Is this your child or the network's child? What kind of values will she have? What kind of ideals will she look up to?" Etcetera etcetera. Then they asked people to switch off their televisions for a week.

This example is important. Because someone realised a long time ago that this tube - this TV screen that we stay glued to whenever we don't have anything else to do has the power to dominate our subconscious.

Does anyone remember the famous RATS incident during one of those US political campaigns? See, what they usually do is that they run words over the screen for as long as a millisecond - long enough for our subconscious to store it but too short for us to actually notice it. So that when our subconscious finally reveals those words to us as thoughts, we think they are our own thoughts.

The RATS incident was when the word RATS appeared during Bush's TV appearance (if I am not mistaken) for long enough for people to just see it. Still, only some people remembered it though.

So where was I? Ah yes, thinking! Yes. Nowadays we don't think. We let the tube do the thinking for us. We let the tube decide which football league to support, or which actor's performance to be impressed by. That is partly true for me at least - I rely on movie reviews a lot. I know some people who actually read the reviews after watching the movie. I try to write my own afterwards, heh. On Flixster!

So anyway, thinking is good. It makes the mind cloudy for a bit, which is a signal that something is going on (the machinery is still functional). It can help straighten things out as well. It can help you decide what you really want (or don't want) out of life. It can help you decide things regarding your family, friends and relationships.

Life is still a mystery to me though. I don't understand a lot of things. And I am adamant on finding answers for myself. Lucky for you, you don't have to do the thinking (or the searching). You just keep reading.

*in an evil satanic voice*
Give me the reigns of your subconscious! Muahahaha!

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