Who Knows You & Your Mind.
The conscious mind adheres to a sense of understanding that’s designed by the subconscious and this has precipitated a magnetism in religions showing a universal demand for spirituality.
I’m not religious, but I do think there’s value in how religion is a vehicle for a lot of people to become spiritual. And the value of mindfulness that arises from spirituality seems to have been valued across most civilisations. From Abrahamic religions to the Indigenous beliefs in Australia and the pagan ideologies in antiquity, there’s palpable evidence that no matter the time, people have always sought more than just physical sensibility in this life.
I think it’s incredibly understated how religion has always had a place in time, and that it’s always existed across separated communities. There must be an underlying force in the mind that yearns for whatever religion can offer.
I think this force is the quest for understanding — a subconscious demand to normalise the real-world experience into a framework of meaning. In the same way that a computer is built atop of hardware, a kernel, the operating system and then applications, I see the mind possibly being built in its physical elements, the brain, the mind, and then modules of behaviour. It’s in the mind, the realm where the subconscious is projected into our consciousness, that we become guided to discern our momentary existence.
This underscores the overwhelming influence our subconscious has on our day to day experience. It’s an idea that I think is gaining credence given the rise in spirituality and mindfulness and the associated neuroscience research that’s supporting it. For instance, it’s incredible to think that for some patients, travel can be more helpful in treating depression than anti-depressants. There’s also a growing literature on the health benefits of meditation — something that always been used in one form or another in the major Abrahamic religions.
The madness of our subconscious is that it’s only fleetingly accessible. Perhaps in dreams, perhaps in reflecting on long term behavioural trends and perhaps on studying our intuitions. It’s through this, that I think the mind’s unending journey for meaning takes form.
What this means, is that without a fundamental understanding of why the world is, the mind can never settle. What this means to everyone is different — to some, it takes the shape as “whatever happens, happens”, or to others, it’s a belief in an afterlife or a more scientific angle. The point being, that for everyone, there is an underlying score of reasoning that we all silently adhere to and I don’t think many people know what their’s is.
While religion is disintegrating, so too is the way we usually consider questions that unsettle us. If the subconscious will always be asking these questions, then it’s important to provide the mind with the opportunity to explore them in new ways if we are to truly dismiss religion once and for all.