The “Brave New World” of the 21st Century requires a “Brave New Discipleship” strategy.

How to Merge Your Two Brains

Posted on: October 27, 2015

Conscious Subconscious.001


We used to think that the brain was poured in concrete at birth, and could not change in adulthood. That idea was turned on its head in the 1980s and 1990s when science made dramatic strides in technology including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), and magnetoencephalography (MEG).

These new technologies have allowed scientists to peer deeply into the brain to see and conclude things that have altered forever our understanding of “thought.” We are now able to map the brain’s electrical activity in detail and are actually able to watch the brain think in real-time.

This gives us a greater understanding of which part of the brain controls which mental functions. This has led to an increased understanding of the basic divisions of the brain: the conscious brain, and the subconscious brain. The Subconscious brain is something like 1 million times more powerful than the conscious brain. The conscious brain operates with a very short-term memory span, generally limited to 20 seconds or less. The subconscious brain, however, remembers everything it experiences forever.

The subconscious brain is responsible for the majority of our thinking. In a recent article in Scientific American, we read, “We are aware of a tiny fraction of the thinking that goes on in our minds, and we can control only a tiny part of our conscious thoughts. The vast majority of our thinking efforts goes on subconsciously.” *

In an article in the New York Times, entitled “Who’s Minding the Mind?” we read, “We are finding that we have these unconscious behavioral guidance systems that are continually furnishing suggestions throughout the day about what to do next, and the brain is considering and often acting on those, all before conscious awareness. Sometimes those goals are in line with our conscious intentions & purposes, and sometimes they’re not.” ** (emphasis added)

What that means is, sometimes what we think on a conscious level is not the same as what we think on the subconscious level. Sometimes what we are harboring in our subconscious is opposite of what we embrace in our conscious mind.

On the conscious level, we know the verse that says, “My God will supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) But knowing that often doesn’t help us when we face financial crisis. Often, in the face of the financial crisis, we are deeply troubled and anxious.

Why is that? Well, it’s because what we think on the subconscious level is often opposite of what we embrace on the conscious level. On the conscious level, we think, “I need to trust the Lord because He loves me and will take care of me.” On the subconscious level we think, “Well, yeah, but he might not take care of me on the level to which I’ve become accustomed.” So anxiety typically reigns supreme in the face of financial crisis.

Therefore, because conscious values are often different from our subconscious values, one of the great challenges for the Christian is to bring the attitudes, values, and behavior of the subconscious mind into harmony with the attitudes, values, and behavior of the conscious mind. And one of the most powerful ways we do this is through repetition of the truth. As we have been looking at in several recent blogs, when we memorize and sufficiently meditate on Scripture verses that speak to our need, the truth sinks into our subconscious, and begins to alter our fundamental attitudes and values and behavior.

Repetition is the key to mental ownership!




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