We earlier talked about the equation of life and said it looks like this:
External circumstances + Internal circumstances = Your Life Experience
We can now make the equation more specific, at least in some situations:
External circumstances + Your subconscious structures = Your Life Experience
So what are those subconscious structures?
To explain this, we will use two analogies (and remember, an analogy is meant to illustrate a point, not give a complete description of the topic).
The first analogy is the bicycle. If you learned how to ride a bicycle as a child, you probably remember how difficult it seemed in the beginning. A bicycle has an obsessive-compulsive desire to lie down flat on the road, and in order to achieve this, it is perfectly willing to hurl you into empty space, causing you to hit the road and scrape various body parts.
There was probably a point where you were ready to give up, because it seemed impossible to keep the bicycle upright. Yet, one day a change happened, and from then on it became easy, in fact automatic, to keep the bike upright. After a short while, your conscious attention was no longer focused on balancing the bike, so you had awareness left over to see where you were going.
What happened? Well, as a result of those repeated attempts, you created a structure in your subconscious mind. In the case of the bicycle, this wasn’t so difficult because you already had structures designed to keep your body upright, and they were simply adapted to riding a bicycle.
Yet the real significance of this is that your subconscious mind is designed to help you do certain mechanical or repetitive tasks, so that your conscious attention is freed up to focus on other aspects of life. This, of course, makes it sound like your subconscious mind is your faithful helper. And it is, but it is sometimes too faithful because it cannot change the structures by itself.
Again, consider a person who has the ability to make you feel upset. Why do you react that way? Because sometime in the past, a structure was created in your subconscious mind, and when you encounter that person, you cannot consciously choose how to react because your subconscious structure takes over your reaction.
We all started out life as relatively powerless children. We were all exposed to people who had power over us and acted aggressively, be it parents, teachers, siblings or a bully on the playground.
Being exposed to aggression is unpleasant, and in order to avoid our conscious agony, we created these subconscious structures that took over our reactions. We then didn’t have to react consciously to situations, where we felt we didn’t have the power to change those other people. Our subconscious minds took care of the reaction and our conscious minds were set free from the overwhelming task.
Obviously, letting your subconscious mind ride a bicycle is a helpful thing. And letting it take over your reactions to difficult situations may seem helpful too. But imagine that a subconscious structure was created at the age of six when you felt powerless. Even as an adult, that structure will take over your reaction to aggressive people, meaning that even though you are now an adult, you still react to such situations as a six-year old.
As an adult you are no longer powerless. You have options that´ you did not have when you were six. But you cannot choose those options if you allow your subconscious structure to take over your reaction to certain situations. You may therefore be an adult by age, and you may function like an adult in many situations. yet in some situations, you are functioning with the maturity of a child, and that obviously is not the way to improve your Life Experience.
The subconscious computer
Now for the second part of the analogy. You are probably reading this on a computer of some kind (a smartphone is also a computer). You know that a computer has two parts. There is the physical circuitry and wiring, and then there is the software. No matter how complicated the physical part is, it can do nothing without the software, the programs.
Your brain is much more complicated than even the most sophisticated computers, but your brain is still just physical hardware. It could do nothing without the software, the programs that tell it what to do.
Your subconscious mind is like one of these new computers that have artificial intelligence, meaning they can change their programming based on how you use them. As you go through certain repetitive situations, your subconscious mind begins to create a program based on how you consciously choose to react to such situations. We could also say that throughout your life, you are programming your subconscious computer in terms of how you react to situations.
When a program reaches a certain level of sophistication, your subconscious mind assumes that in any similar situation, you want the program to take over your reactions. Therefore, when such a situation occurs, the subconscious mind takes over your reaction before you even have time to make a conscious decision.
Again, think about riding a bicycle. You lean a little too far to one side, and the bike begins to tip. Yet your subconscious mind takes over your muscles and tilts to the other side so quickly that you couldn’t have done it consciously. A very helpful ability when riding a bicycle or driving a car, but not nearly as helpful when dealing with other people.
Consider another feature of a computer program. The program is installed on the computer’s drive, and it simply lies dormant there until you click a certain icon and open the program. Some programs are even activated automatically when you perform certain other tasks, and this is how the subconscious mind works.
You may not have been on a bicycle for ten years, but the moment you get on a bike, your subconscious mind takes over your reactions, and you can hold the balance perfectly without thinking about it.
Again, helpful for mechanical tasks, but not very helpful if your subconscious mind causes the adult you now are to react to an abusive person at work the same way you did when you were six.
Your subconscious mind functions like a computer program in that it acts mechanically. It will always act the same way in situations that activate the program. Yet life is complex, and situations can be similar without being identical. The program can only act in one way in all situations, it cannot think creatively or adapt to new circumstances. Only your conscious mind can do that, but it cannot do so if it is pushed aside by the subconscious program before it has time to think.
So where does this lead us? Well, the simplest way to describe your subconscious mind is to say that it is much like a computer, and the main programmer is YOU. Throughout your life, you have been programming your subconscious computer, but you obviously have not been consciously aware that you have been doing this. Neither have you been aware of what programs you create and what the consequences of those programs are.
As hinted at earlier, a modern society should really have taught you this in Kindergarten, but since you weren’t taught this, you now have only one option: to educate yourself.
If you really want to improve your Life Experience, if you really want to unlock your highest potential, if you really want to become a functioning adult, you simply have to start doing some maintenance work and clear out some of the hurtful and self-sabotaging programs in your subconscious computer.
Again, this may sound scary, but making it easier is what HAP is all about.
What selects your reactions?
Before we move on to consider what you can do to change the subconscious programs, we need to take a closer look at how they work.
Say you find yourself in a difficult situation. If you look at the situation from a purely theoretical viewpoint, you can list a number of different ways that a person could react to that situation. You may even know people who are not bothered by such situations, or you may know people who react in a more extreme way than you do yourself.
The point is that when you are in a certain situation, an impulse is sent into your mind. As mentioned before, it is possible to react consciously, but in many cases the impulse triggers a program in the subconscious mind.
This leads to the realization that you may have a number of such subconscious programs, and most of them are normally dormant. When an impulse enters your subconscious mind, it is like it touches all of the programs, and it then activates one of them. The program then takes over your reaction and your conscious mind is neutralized.
There is a selection process happening in your subconscious mind, which then activates one program out of several. This is an unconscious process, and it may be somewhat random. The impulse coming in has a certain form, and it looks for a close match.
Because situations are complex, the impulse may not have an exact match, so it looks for the closest possible match, meaning that the program that is selected may not be suited for the situation. Your reaction may not be very constructive in that situation, but it is the closest match your subconscious mind has, and your subconscious mind is programmed to take over your reactions without evaluating them creatively.
We earlier talked about the core of your being, which is the part of your conscious mind that can step back and look at a situation from the outside. This conscious self can make a creative evaluation of a given situation and choose the most suited response. Your subconscious mind cannot choose; it can only make a selection between available programs, and those programs then react mechanically without evaluating whether the reaction matches the actual situation. You may know the old saying that if the only tools you have is a hammer, you think every problem is a nail.
The good news about this, is that the core of your being, we might call it your conscious self, can step outside your subconscious mind and look at the reactionary patterns you have. It can ask itself: “Why do I always react that way?” Even by becoming aware of your reactionary patterns, you can make some progress in terms of choosing a better reaction. You can also learn how to erase programs from your subconscious mind, and HAP will later teach you how to do this.
Subconscious programs can also be created by trauma
Before we move on, we need to consider that programs can be created in two ways. We have talked about programs beings created by repetition, such as learning to ride a bicycle. The other way programs can be created is through a traumatic situation that has a shocking impact on your psyche.
A severe shock has the effect of overwhelming your conscious mind. It is simply too much for the mind to deal with, and this causes your conscious mind to give up, meaning your subconscious mind must take over.
A subconscious program can be created by just one traumatic event. Such a program is not simply created in order to help you react to similar situations. It is also created to help your conscious mind to never again feel overwhelmed.
Such programs can have an impact not only on shocking situations, but on how you approach life in a general way. For example, some survivors of trauma are always fearing some dramatic event, because they never again want to be surprised and therefore overwhelmed. They feel that if they can anticipate, they will not be shocked, but this means their lives are colored by always looking out for danger.
Again, the only way to be free is to become aware of such programs and then consciously dissolve them. The good news ids that even though the effects of trauma are very severe, HAP will show you how you can overcome any trauma you could have encountered on this very difficult and violent planet.
Before we move on to considering how to deal with subconscious programs, we need to consider the biggest lie about yourself that you were exposed to as you were growing up.