Consciousness is like money. It has a value. Is there a limit to how much consciousness we have? What do you spend your consciousness on?
During a breakfast conversation in Denmark at a mask workshop, Bernhard Wagner raised the idea that consciousness is like money: it has a value, and perhaps a limit.
He suggested that we can only be conscious of so much, and that the unconscious takes care of the rest.
I can certainly say this is true of me now when driving! My unconscious mind seems to make most of the decisions, leaving me free to think, or listen to a podcast or sing.
This got me to thinking: when I sit at home in front of the television, am I really conscious? Are the pictures and sounds speaking to me consciously or unconsciously? And if I am unconscious, where is my consciousness at that moment? Taking a nap? Or waiting for the next concept, like a judgement about the writing, to snap me back into consciousness? And if I choose not to engage with something, will it go away or sneak into my unconsciousness like a cat burglar anyway?
Bernhard is a musician. He plays rhythm, and learns a new beat by shaking a percussion instrument repeatedly until the beat becomes learned ‘in the body’, or unconscious. He suggested that learning happens when new experiences progress from the conscious to the unconscious, through repetition.
If consciousness has a value and a limit, we must choose what to be conscious of very carefully. If we do not choose, and repeat this process again and again, it will become part of the unconscious – a learned habit.
What are you bringing into your consciousness and repeating?