The Destructive Unconscious

I am reading Strangers to Ourselves – about the Adaptive Unconscious.

He says our unconscious minds evolved before our conscious minds, and does most of our mental processing for us. These are a group of modules, each able to perform a specific task quickly (such as understanding speech) – while other modules (such as image recognition) perform their tasks at the same time – in computer terms: parallel processing.

I am sure he is right – but I am also sure that some parts of our collective unconscious have been built recently, as a reaction to our stressful times. The original unconscious was built to make human life successful – but this recent addition has resulted in our becoming unsuccessful, and destructive.

This destructiveness is hard to observe consciously – and its presence has to be inferred indirectly, by observing what people are actually doing – not what they are saying. We are all skillful liars, and always have been.

Does this get us out of jail? No, all it can do is make these unconscious processes conscious. This is the oldest problem in history – the continual battle between good and evil – where evil seems to have the upper hand – because it has the forces of mass communication (TV) behind it.

These new scientific discoveries gave us new tools to work with – but so far, they are not being used very much. Plenty of people have pointed out our problems, in great detail – but they have not said these were unconscious problems.

They have not used the most powerful tool they have.


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