This blog reveals what goes on in your mind when you think, make decisions, set goals, etc. and how subconscious and unconscious thoughts and processes influence you in your daily life using simple logic.
By Parag Jasani owww.YourDailyLife.blog Updated on
most effortless activity a person can engage in is the
may be a good reason for a common man to take it for granted, but does not explain
why science does not engage in the effort of understanding how it works.
the dictum coined by French philosopher Rene Descartes, “I think,
therefore I am”, thoughts are the mark of our existence.
the fundamental building blocks of our lives.
How can a
person lead an effective life without understanding them?
can science not consider them?
studying a house without considering the bricks it is built on.
There is a general belief that billions of neurons and
trillions of connections make the brain infinitely complex, which makes it
difficult for science to understand how it works.
reality, the culprit is not the complexity
of the brain, but the approach science takes to understand how it works.
The following simple logic explains why:
Anything that has multiple parts which work collectively to
reach common goals has to be driven by a system.
Such parts cannot work independently and still reach common
simple and fundamental fact is not taken into consideration by sciences
of mind and brain, which study various
aspects of the brain, but do not study it as one system.
includes neuroscience, which is one of the most advanced fields to study the
not studying it as one system, it relies on correlations to study the brain and
uses a linear approach.
is a system made up of interrelated elements. Most of its components are
interdependent and do not work in a linear fashion.
correlations are only good to understand how a relatively simple system like, e.g.,
a car engine works by correlating workings of its parts like piston, valves,
spark plugs, etc., not something as complex as the brain.
functionality of the brain is contributed by interactions of multiple
interconnected and interdependent mechanisms working individually and
collectively. Such mechanisms have evolved over thousands of generations to
optimize their operations.
they make a unified whole which has emergent properties. On
their own, such mechanisms are very simple, as they are not a product of
elaborate pre-planning of an intelligent designer, but have evolved in a
bit-by-bit manner for thousands of generations through the process of natural
selection. Not considering their interactions makes the complexity of brain appear to be much
more than what it actually is.
using a holistic approach of a goal driven system to understand how such
mechanisms interrelate and interact with each other, it is not possible to
understand how the brain works, which can best be done by using what is known
as “Systems Thinking” approach.
years, I have studied how the brain works as a system using the systems
thinking approach, which has resulted into creation of the only existing fully
causal account of the human brain.
opens up a new paradigm in mind and brain sciences and explains each and every step
of the thought process in a comprehensive manner.
How Does It Affect Human Life?
lives are driven by our minds, which are controlled by our thoughts, the void
resulting from lack of studying them directly
affects the quality of our lives.
people believe their thoughts just pop into their heads. Being effortless, they
do not know that thinking is a complex process driven by multiple mechanisms.
Not considering such mechanisms is one of the reasons why many complain they
cannot control their thoughts, which is obvious based on the simple logic that
you cannot control something you don’t even know exists.
a car, you need to deal with mechanisms like steering wheel, brakes,
accelerator, etc. that control it. In the same way, to control your thoughts,
you need to deal with mechanisms that control them.
mechanism explained in the post Can
Your Legs Do the Thinking explains the reason why people engage in fidgeting behaviour like
shaking legs, biting nails, pacing around, etc. when engaged in deep thoughts.
Instead of treating such behaviour as a sign of weakness, discomfort,
nervousness, etc., as the current science believes it to be, it is
better to understand how it benefits your thought process.
such mechanisms are not explained by science, to optimize and improve quality of their lives, many people are drawn to solutions provided by self-help or spiritual resources.
resources offer many
solutions, but do not explain how the thought process works, as they depend on science, which itself does not explain it.
They provide knowledge on different types of thought processes,
their properties, tools to manage and utilize them, etc. based on correlations
or symptoms, but are not based on the understanding of how the thought process
works and how various mechanisms influence it.
resources are based on thousands of years old solutions, a period when there
was no concept of information processing on which mechanisms underlying the
thought process work.
they help you by explaining you how little control you have over your mind. They
provide solutions that are simple to adapt, as they are about promoting or
demoting certain thoughts and behaviour.
people have the habit of getting stuck into their past. They advice such people
to let go of their past and live in their present moment.
Living in the
present moment is a good solution, but then, going into
the past is also necessary, because without it, you cannot use your experience and knowledge to
optimize your current and future interactions.
you get stuck into the past is not considering side effect of what I call the
“Rescaling Mechanism” explained in the post What
is Degree of Attention?, which results into you getting caught up in the
endless loop of drifting between different aspects of one or more past
avoiding, it is much better to utilize your thoughts
for your benefit by being aware of such side-effect, as that will not only
prevent you from getting stuck into your past, but also help you optimize your
They also ask you to stay away from
anger and treat it as a negative emotion.
In reality, if used in the right place and the right time, anger is the best
tool for the circumstances it is designed for by the process of natural
selection. To illustrate the same, I will use the following
of using atomic energy for a positive purpose like generating electricity, if a
person uses it to
make a bomb, would you call such energy to be negative or the intention of the
easier to blame anger, because blaming you requires the explanation of how the
thought process works. That may be the reason why they treat anger as a
resources also blame you for being a slave to technology based on the increased
usage of mobile phones, computers, internet, etc. How is it possible for you to
become a slave of something that does not have the power of volition, that is,
the power of making decisions?
matter of fact, it is your own thought process that makes the decision to
engage in such activity. Instead of avoiding such behaviour, it is much better
to understand mechanisms underlying such thought processes and why they
influence you to engage in such behaviour.
nutshell, thinking is an elaborate process. Instead of following solutions that
make you avoid such feelings and behaviour,
it is much better to make the extra effort of understanding how mechanisms
behind thought processes work without disturbing their original purpose. It
gives a whole new meaning to the word introspection.
understand it better, you can take the first step by understanding the
step-by-step summary of a typical thought process I have explained in the
following topic. Once you start, you will soon realize that
it is not about
something new; it is about what you have
been doing all your
you don’t understand it in detail, being aware about it can also make a
difference, as demonstrated by the following example:
optimize daily interactions, the brain has evolved with a mechanism I call
“superiority harmonizing mechanism”, which is hard-wired at the root of thought
processes of all human beings. It makes us feel superior to others and
overestimate our qualities and capabilities in relation to same qualities and
capabilities of others.
self-help and spiritual resources ask you to stay away from such feeling of
superiority by giving the reason that it inflates your ego, which is the source
of your suffering and the reason you get upset, angry, arrogant, etc.
blocking such feeling, just paying attention to understand its simple logic
explained in the post I
Am Better Than You can help you optimize your life.
Summary of the Thought Process
is the step-by-step summary of a typical thought process. Its purpose is not to
give a detailed explanation, but to give you an idea of
the amount of processing that can happen in your brain when you make a
decision, something you have being taking for granted all your life.
It will be
beneficial to keep the flowchart in
front of you, as the step numbers mentioned in the summary correspond to step
numbers mentioned in it.
first step, Step 1 of the detailed explanation,
information from your ongoing interactions are segregated and processed in
two different ways.
next step, Step 2a1, explains how parts of your interactions are
pre-evaluated for their associated emotion factors, confidence levels,
probability values, etc. before they enter consciousness.
next step, Step 2a2, explains why some of your interactions, based on
interaction processing in the previous step, are executed automatically, i.e.,
without you consciously executing them. It also explains the degree of
control you have over conscious and non-conscious interactions by
explaining their underlying mechanisms, which are the basis of your
initial reflexes, habitual behaviours, intuitions, phobias, etc.
next step, Step 2b1, explains when you become conscious of the experience
you are having.
next 3 steps, Steps 2b2, 2b3 and 2b4, explain how you, based on contextual
awareness, become aware of various aspects of the experience you are having,
which is made possible by linking them to the awareness
linking makes it easy for you to ponder over them.
next step, Step 2b5, explains how you evaluate various aspects of the
experience you have pondered upon in the previous step. Such processing
also enriches your perception.
next step, Step 3, explains how all information about the ongoing
interaction is connected to the awareness buffer, which allows quick and
easy access of all conscious and non-conscious information related to it
by navigating through links in the buffer, which help in making optimized
next 5 steps, Steps 4a1, 4a2, 4b1, 4b2 and 5, explain how you gain
sufficient information to make decisions based on your knowledge, skills,
personality, habits, genetic predispositions, etc.
next step, Step 6a, explains how you make one or more decisions on how to
handle the ongoing interaction based on information gained in the previous
step, the result of which is linked to the awareness buffer. If required, it
is also processed by step 6b and step 8.
next step, Step 6b, explains how and why your thoughts are converted into language,
which is also the basis of the inner voice you hear while thinking.
next step, Step 6c, explains how you consider other people if they are
either involved or are likely to get involved in the interaction to make
your decisions more effective.
next step, Step 6d, explains the basis of intuition, gut feelings, eureka
moments, etc. that occur during the thought process.
next step, Step 7, explains how you, based on your knowledge, skills,
personality, habits, genetic predispositions, etc., judge and finalize
which of the decisions you had come up in Step 6a to handle your ongoing
interaction is the best for execution, which then becomes your goal.
next step, Step 8, explains how you select thoughts, views, opinions, etc.
to be communicated to others in verbal or written form and what you do to
make them effective. It also explains the basis of non-verbal
communication like gestures, facial expressions, etc.
last step, Step 9, explains how and when the finalized decision
The detailed version additionally explains the origin of the thought process, how it works in different modes, how non-conscious thoughts work, why are thoughts converted to language, how they help in making decisions, how are intentions formed, etc.
To summarize, thought process is at the very root of our lives. Other than natural causes, everything that has ever happened or is happening to anybody or anything can be attributed to the thought process. Using a holistic approach to understand how it works and how mechanisms influence it can not only bring major changes to your life, but human life as a whole.