Friday, September 14, 2012

Taoism & Operating Subconsciously

Although we can only focus on one thing at a time, multitasking is far more natural to us than constant focus. Meditation exposes our inner lack of control and inability to hold focus on one thing at a time and, when it comes to historical accounts of a person able to dedicate a lot of constant thought to one issue, then they are far and few those who display this ability. This is a strange statement. We can only focus on one thing at a time, but we all know from common experience that our focus constantly shifts from one thing to the next.

Sorry, I lost my train of thought then and had a swig of coffee.

It is certain that evolution would favor those who shifted attention frequently as one who was stuck in one thought could well find themselves starving or under attack. It is not obvious why evolution would not have encouraged the ability to focus on more than one thing at once. Yet do we actually operate this way? Is it one thing or nothing? Apparently not.

Have you been stuck on a problem then either forgotten about it or had a good sleep and awoke with the answer? This is a common experience and research into it has shown that our subconscious is always at work on multiple tasks and, in fact, when people feel they are being Wu Wei and just getting things done by not really trying, when they master a particular act so much that even the complexities of say drawing happen just as breathing, it is the subconscious at work. It is known by all in that state that if they become too conscious of the event, then they'll flop.

Is the feeling of being conscious of only one thing at a time perhaps a flaw in our thinking? Could it be that if we operated entirely from our subconscious and never have conscious attention enter the picture that life really would flow with the Tao in perfect Wu Wei?

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