Beyond the Conscious Mind: Unlocking the Secrets of the Self
The Nobel Prize-winning work of Roger Sperry revolutionized our understanding of human consciousness by proving that separate thinking and knowledge could exist in the left and right halves of the brain. Now, popular science writer Thomas Blakeslee - author of the highly acclaimed The Right Brain - takes us to a new level of understanding based on the theory of neural Darwinism by Gerald Edelman, another Nobel Prize winner. Blakeslee explains that our neurons spontaneously organize into hundreds of groups called modules that compete to respond to every situation in our lives - from reading this paragraph to falling in love. A vast preponderance of this activity operates outside of our conscious awareness. One of the most important, yet problematic of these modules is the one that rules our conscious thoughts - the self module. Planning, introspection, and interpreting behavior are among its chief specialties. However, just as a press secretary invents plausible explanations for a President's decision - without being privy to the real reasons - our self module often fabricates an explanation for our behavior when, in fact, it actually doesn't know our true motives. Since we accept its stories as true, it gives us a false sense of conscious control over all our actions and a distorted sense of reality. This distortion leads to many of the conflicts and misunderstandings that plague our relationships and work lives. Beyond the Conscious Mind helps each of us tap into and harness the natural creativity and talents of our whole mind. It is only by balancing our conscious mind with the wellspring of ideas in our unconscious that we can reach our full potential.
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Getting to Know Your Self
The Self Module as Press Secretary
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