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Subconscious Decision Making

So I've had these unfamiliar experiences recently and I just wanted to share them. Also I was wondering if anyone has experienced anything like this over the course of their practice? Maybe these experiences are normal and there has been some blockage in me which has been removed?

I've been having these moments of almost instantaneous subconscious decision making. Like a puzzle or confusing situation will present itself. I will be confused about what to do so I'll just wait searching for an answer, then this crack, this window of opportunity will appear and before I know it I'm doing something that for my everyday self is uncharacteristic and subtle but also incredible.

To give an example, I was on a boat when my sunglasses fell off into the water. I remember a looooooonnnggg pause where I debated whether to go after them or not; I wasn't too familiar or trusting of the people I was with. Then I saw this like window, I can't even explain it but before I knew it I had jumped in the water with all my clothes on and I rescued those sunglasses. The people around kept talking about how epic it was and supposedly this pause where I debated about going in after the sunglasses was only a split second although to me it had felt like 5.

In alternative examples I've spoken to strangers and told friends off. I'll see this window and something to do or say will just appear to me from nowhere. I think it might be a sign that my practice is working? About a month ago I switched meditation techniques.

Comments

  • can you say what you changed from and to please?
  • I think there can be different levels of how we meter out our decisions. I think your intuition is becoming more accurate. For me this eventually decays because I download more of my subconscious into my conscience and then because I see projections onto each decision I become frozen. An example is if I become psychotically caught up in a menu or exposed to advertising gimicks in the grocery. If my subconscious becomes to conscious for me then I will be frozen about what to choose because all choices are wrong.

    So I am saying that I have at times had more intuitive behaviour, but eventually I see the intuitive moments as concrete visions and each is concrete because I am trying to fix experience and no answer is the right one.

    In your sunglasses example it is awesome that your mind just cut in and you just jumped. This example is so beautiful to me. I can't fault anything you said and I would just go with it. But having decisiveness and a gut intuition does not mean that we will never make mistakes. For example telling off the friend probably needed doing and with confidence everything gets better. However if you have ego distorting things it can ruin the pristine quality of the gut. Confusion seeps in and then the funhouse mirrors of samsara.

    In other words when we identify the intuition as 'me' our pride can get in the way of clear perception.

    Gut feeling is related to the navel chakra which also has to do with emotions. You are having a time of clarity. But there are ups and downs of each circuit or lap we make around the course. So you will not have a permanently clear intuition. But obviously it is a signpost of your practice imho.

    I think you will be ok unless you try to fix experience to protect your heart from feeling hurt or feeling small or dumb or whatever.
    lobsterfixingjulian
  • Jeffery has made great points. The development of intuitive awareness AND the retention of the critical capacity to make the intuitive jump, so to speak, is important. In the same situation I probably would not have jumped, unless the rigidity of those around would have benefitted from spontaneity.
    I do not follow intuition always. Having said that my experience is that it is more open, more natural, a more comprehensive way of being. Much more fulfilling, almost like a mature id
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Id,_ego_and_super-ego
    It is something to add to ones toolkit. It is not something to allow to get out of hand, this is why the critical aspects must be in place, otherwise one can be as rogue as a spoiled child . . .
    Perhaps some examples of how the intuition develops further:
    You will have an almost supernatural sense of people, women being more vulnerable, often are familiar with this.
    You will avoid danger before it comes into being. See above.
    You will know when you can be of service and how. Here we might say the elements of what we attune with, bodhicitta for example come into play . . .

    This is all quite natural.

    Everything is fine. :thumbsup:
    Jeffreyfixingjulian
  • I concour with Jeffery and lobster...it can be a useful skill but there are limits and limiting the ego and containing your subconscious decision making to reasonable parameters.

    My example of using subsconscious decision making comes in the form of snowboarding. You have to have a certian or critical amount of basic skills and realistically look at the situation. I use intuitive subconsciou decision making on the fly, i.e., when flying down the hill. However I have first used my logical/rational head to realistically assess the terrain and note if my skills or physical capicity is generally up for the task. Before I make a run down a steep part, I look at it, determine where to go and not to go, then calm myself and get my ego/rational mind out of the way...and switch to subconscious level....because it can react faster than thinking...and then drop or go down the line. However, if I over relied on just subconscious ...it would get me in alot of trouble. Often times if the run is challenging but doable, I will disappear and the body is on autopiolet...and enter into a flow state.
    Jeffrey
  • CittaCitta Veteran
    Please madam/sir what is the subconscious ?
  • Citta, is it Sems versus Rigpa?
  • CittaCitta Veteran
    edited August 2013
    I don't think so @Jeffrey. I think that the 'subconscious ' is another construct from western culture like 'ego' that has no Buddhist equivilant.
    In the case of ' the subconscious' as some kind of entity not even modern western psychology accepts the validity of the concept.
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    Citta said:


    In the case of ' the subconscious' as some kind of entity not even modern western psychology accepts the validity of the concept.

    So what is the modern thinking in psychology?
  • CittaCitta Veteran
    edited August 2013
    Well, and for anyone conditioned to previous western psychological conventions as was I, this might at first seem baffling..but modern psychology does not in the main see the existence of a 'mind' at all whether conscious, subconscious, or unconscious...if by mind we mean some kind of measurable thing that functions like a discrete entity.
    In other words modern psychological theory is closer to the skandhas/kandhas model, it is seen in terms of learned responses to stimuli informed by an organising faculty.
  • lobster said:

    can you say what you changed from and to please?

    I was doing mostly Goenka trained Vipassana meditation and also mixed Shambhalan and Goenka Anapana meditation. Now I do a tantric technique where I stare at a candle. I still switch back and forth from time to time. I have heard it is better to keep one's meditation practice alive.

    Thanks a lot for the insightful responses
  • Jeffrey said:

    I think there can be different levels of how we meter out our decisions. I think your intuition is becoming more accurate. For me this eventually decays because I download more of my subconscious into my conscience and then because I see projections onto each decision I become frozen. An example is if I become psychotically caught up in a menu or exposed to advertising gimicks in the grocery. If my subconscious becomes to conscious for me then I will be frozen about what to choose because all choices are wrong.

    Yes I know this shopping experience very well haha. Especially when pushy salesmen are involved.

    I think the weird part is that this intuition or instinct seem to come from nowhere. Typically for a lot of actions there is this feeling of being trained and acting within a pre-explored limit. Then there is doing things in a very deliberate way, usually results oriented. Here it's just like a split opening; in this second you can choose whether or not to do this.. and you either go or you let it pass.

    I hate trying to put things like this into words
    Jeffrey
  • howhow Veteran
    edited August 2013
    @fixingjulian

    IMHO..
    I would say these are combinations of meditative/concentration practices that are more safely explored within a teacher/disciple relationship.

    But of course, if everyone followed that advise, Buddhism itself might never have occurred.
    fixingjulian
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited August 2013
    @Citta, what does Buddhism call the experience of dreams? I spent some times with cousins but the first night I had weird dreams I couldn't remember about these cousins. Couldn't subconscious be a mixture of the awake state and the dreaming state?
  • VictoriousVictorious Grim Veteran
    edited August 2013

    So I've had these unfamiliar experiences recently and I just wanted to share them. Also I was wondering if anyone has experienced anything like this over the course of their practice? Maybe these experiences are normal and there has been some blockage in me which has been removed?

    I've been having these moments of almost instantaneous subconscious decision making. Like a puzzle or confusing situation will present itself. I will be confused about what to do so I'll just wait searching for an answer, then this crack, this window of opportunity will appear and before I know it I'm doing something that for my everyday self is uncharacteristic and subtle but also incredible.

    I often let my SC solve problems for me. I think most people do. But maybe not as dramatically as you descibe.

    I mean when the answer to a problem is not obvious you sleep on it. Or do something else for a while. and when you get back to the problem you see a new opening to a solution. If you can not remember something you ask yourself a question and go about something else for a while and suddenly the answer appears out of the blue.

    /Victor

  • CittaCitta Veteran
    Jeffrey said:

    @Citta, what does Buddhism call the experience of dreams? I spent some times with cousins but the first night I had weird dreams I couldn't remember about these cousins. Couldn't subconscious be a mixture of the awake state and the dreaming state?

    ChNN makes no distinction between waking and dream states @Jeffrey. He says that essentially they are the same ,that waking states and experiences are also dream states.
    But that there is a greater degree of detachment from that which arises in the sleeping dream state.
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