“Stress is a by-product of subconscious beliefs you have about the world. You can't choose not to believe something. You believe it because you think it's true. To eliminate stress, you must learn to challenge these beliefs so that you see them differently.” Andrew J. Bernstein
What Is Neuroplasticity?
Neuroplasticity is the term used to describe the ability of the brain to learn, adapt, and alter its biological networks according to the information it is given. It is how we educate ourselves from childhood, and the brain begins to function as a learning tool well before birth. It has been shown that new-born babies can recognise familiar sounds and speech patterns. This is the budding of the child’s language on its first day out of the womb. It doesn’t stop when we finish school. Our brains continue to change themselves in subtle ways on a daily basis until they no longer function at all. We all have neuroplasticity and the information we put in our minds and then dwell on has a direct correlation to this natural and biological process.
How Does Neuroplasticity Work?
The brain is a series of different functioning parts that work in unison with each other. The two hemispheres are found on either side of the brain and contain similar roles. Neuroplasticity is the change in how these separate functions work together through adaptation over time. There are four types of neuroplasticity that have equal levels of relevance to our daily lives. Homologous Area Adaptation is when a brain function is assumed by the opposite hemisphere of the brain, effectively handing over control to one or the other hemisphere. The different hemispheres have different cognitive approaches to information and by assigning control to one or the other, a direct choice is made about how to handle particular information. Cross Modal Reassignment is where the brain begins to use other parts of itself to handle information. This is where a new thinking process begins to take place and different perspectives can be found.
A Compensatory Masquerade is the term used when the brain resets its approach and begins to look at something from a fresh perspective. Akin to just “giving up”, sometimes it’s necessary to put on a different mask and tackle the information from a subtly novel persona, which can be generated from the psyche. The opposite end to this process is Map Expansion. This is when the area of the brain charged with a function is given the room to grow and build new networks, empowering it and strengthening it. This is usually the most common form of neuroplasticity when we learn as adults, although we all rely on each of the four throughout our lives.
How Does Neuroplasticity Relate To Our Subconscious?
Our cognitive processing is the way we think. Our thoughts are made of images, feelings, and words. What we think in our waking awareness is called our consciousness. When we are aware of something, we are conscious of it. The subconscious is the part of our cognitive processing that we are not aware of but is still present regardless. It is a direct result of our brain’s functioning and information processing based on what it has been given to work with. The biology of our brains is ancient and the way our brains process information on a basic level is archaic, with the modern, most human parts of our brain originating from a forest floor environment with predators and unforeseen events. Our learning provides the tools we need to put this biological thinking and function to use in the modern world. Each of our thoughts, however, can be rooted in the ancient dialogue of the silent part of our minds.
What Is The Opposite Of Subconscious?
As we have under underlying train of thought that springs from the biological and archaic parts of our natural minds, it seems fitting to account for a higher power or higher thought process that transcends our conscious thought. This can be seen as a balancing function to limit the desires and will of our primeval mental processes. Sometimes called the Id, the sense of being connected to a grander scheme of right thought and right action helps to keep all of us in certain limitations of behaviour. Clearly we are not all the same and the power of this psychological concept can vary from individual to individual and the degrees in which it functions within varying circles of the social realm can differ as well. A higher power, a sense of moral right, and a plausible manifestation of this in persona form all work towards a sense of gravity towards the best outcome. The more refined this sense of Id or moral purpose, the better choices we make in relation to our higher purpose or chosen destiny.
How Does The Id Relate To Art And Creativity?
By appealing to the sense of right by defining it in contrast to the sense of wrong, we can help to build larger cognitive maps of our environment both socially and environmentally. When we have better maps, we will automatically make better, more informed choices about future actions and observations. The creation of images and feelings within given context can help the mind to build networks that incorporate the dynamics of the scenes it has observed. This is how we learn, and the subconscious part of our mind has no boundary between reality and fantasy. This means you can communicate right ideas and make moral arguments by using abstract and fantastical dialogues. We can talk to the subconscious in terms of the higher consciousness or Id through the medium of the normal consciousness when we can apply ideas and lessons that make sense and leave us feeling content and satisfied.
By helping the mind to build networks that appreciate the dynamics of examples from many perspectives, we can begin to understand our lives and the lives of others in greater detail. Things can begin to make sense in new ways that we didn’t notice before and our methods of dealing with various situations can evolve as we learn more about our priorities that we need to be aware of. By exposing the mind to a variety of sensitive and morally sound situations through drama, art, poetry, music, games, and more, we can learn how to think about a variety of situations in a way that benefits us and those around us. It is not necessary to preach or define, a rewarding or peaceful and tranquil setting opposed to a demanding or chaotic and stressful one is the only contrast the subconscious needs to work with.
Art That Speaks To The Passions
When art is particularly conductive, as in it electrifies you and charges the mind with new thoughts and interest, it has the ability to use thought and feeling together in such a way that appeals. We all have different tastes however the aesthetical acclaim can always be traced back to influences and sources who helped inspire the passion to create in the first place. In fact, all creativity can be traced back to the earliest days of humanity where we made sounds by banging things, painted images with pigments, and began imitating the melodies of the birds and the mountains. A positive experience can be made from the right use of feelings, images, vocabulary, and social dynamic that culminates in a reasonable and understandable fashion. Even surrealism or spontaneity can be seen as a pattern that, once learned, becomes predictable and easy to be carried into. When we empower the mind through the use of fiery rationale or exciting and novel positivity, we can raise the psychological well-being and standing of those who enjoy it. Art can communicate powerful and liberating ideas with description, drama, and abstraction. When we use morally good standings to appeal to the needs of the subconscious to create sense of the world, we can create a linear pattern of thought that people can draw upon when ever they want.
Imagination Is The Bidirectional Conduit To Our Subconscious And Our Awareness
The subconscious and the conscious work in synergy through the imagination. Images and ideas are presented from the under-thoughts in bubbles of inspiration, anxiety, and dream. The conscious mind can manipulate the imagination to produce what ever it thinks of, if given enough information to build a reliable picture. When information is not given, the subconscious will fill in the gaps with its foreseeable possibilities. The types of experience we feed our imagination will communicate with the subconscious and inform it of things to draw upon in future situations. Our subconscious cannot tell the difference between right and wrong, neither can it tell is something is serious, a joke, or pure fantasy. If we feed it with any of these things, it will absorb it and draw upon it as if it were files in a database. It is in the actions of our consciousness, guided by the higher consciousness or id, that we determine if our subconscious mind is providing right or wrong information. Art, therefore, provides a voice to the id or higher consciousness in the way it provides universal messages to the whole at the same time as drawing on conscious thoughts by building on subconscious foundations such emotion, irony, rhythm, synchronicity, and so on. The framework for consensus is built upon the passions derived in creative output ranging from religious thought to art to legal declarations. These consensus ideas about right and wrong action define the direction in which society progresses as a whole.
Putting The Power Back Into Language
Words have the ability to build reasonable and identifiable mental pictures in the minds of those around us. We can define situations and perspectives that build a scenario model that applies to the world around us. In an infinite realm of possible ideas and thoughts, we like to find a clear and guided path that accounts for our needs and wants by means of our surroundings. This means that the words we use to describe the infinite picture matter.
The perspective we choose to adopt when we take on our tasks will determine the quality of the experience and the ability of our mind to operate within the best parameters. We want to make the parameters as empowering as possible by means of healthy and realistic language. Art can provide exactly what we need and provide the opposite, too. When we are given alternative visions of unrestful imaginative scenes, we can use these as the shadow side of what we are aiming towards. The effects of inaction and the effects of failure to think are clearer for the use of the negative view in art.
The words we use to describe the picture matter a lot. As the thorn has roses, the rose has thorns. What you use as the primary nomenclature will determine the angle on which the sun shines on the subject. We can shine the light in any direction we like however the most positive and empowering view is the one that enables us to take the best action. Being aware of the negative side helps us to understand why the positive view is the right view. This means art must be prepared to offer all sides of the subject. Acceptance of the negative and empowerment through the positive are what gives us the psychological framework to be more effective in our lives and in the lives of those who we help.
Psychological Reticence That Prevents Personal And Social Growth
We as people can display several types of mental blockage that ultimately prevent our mental growth in particular directions. We can have hang-ups and timorousness that make us avoid particular aspects of our lives and we can have prejudices and presumptions that stop us from taking particular ideas seriously. Hostility toward a subject or something about it can make it difficult to hear necessary information about the situation’s volatility or opposing perspectives. A sense of outrage either moral or social can cause a blindfolding effect by distracting our cognitive process with a primal sense of self-preservation either through language or force. When we are in a hostile frame of mind about something we are a lot more reluctant to listen to or empathise with the subject. Contrary attitudes and aggression are more likely when we bring hostility into the equation.
Apathy is when we always have an excuse to not act. There are times when we do need to hold back from acting especially if we are intellectually unsure or emotionally certain. Both of these situations should serve as warnings that the mind is not ready for the responsibility of the action. However, our lives are full of needs that we must aspire to fulfil, and we must act in order to meet these needs. The mind can think of many excuses and reasons why something should not be done, however if it is necessary and within your ability then the excuses are simply holding you back. The subconscious can churn out as many excuses as it can remember and some more from the mixing pot so the conscious mind has to be prepared to handle these.
Fear is probably the most common form of psychological reticence. We are normal to fear things, anxiety is something we all have to live with. Being able to recognise it and not let it take control is the way to find courage in the world. Confidence in our ability to learn how to cope with the things that frighten us can help us move forward while acknowledging our natural state and normal anxiety. Our goals and desires keep us working towards them and the effectiveness we are able to manifest is directly proportional to the level of mental blockage we are able to distinguish and work around. We can be realistic and stay in our league when handling new things and be strong enough to stand tall when you find yourself among giants while maintaining a healthy sense of perspective. An awareness of what holds us back and a continual effort to rewrite the patterns can bring our better circumstances given time.
What Does Art Have To Do With Mental Blocks?
The imagination is the way we communicate with our subconscious and the subconscious is the source of all our immediate thoughts and feelings. If we can talk to the subconscious through art by using rewarding and consistent messages that fit the social picture while identifying with the individual then we have the ability to provide remedies for our psychological blockages and aspects that prevent social cohesion and progress. By offering a variety of perspectives we can offer the plus and minus side to situations from across the realm of human experience and beyond in order to help the mind build a clear and vivid picture of the world it lives in and its metaphorical counterparts. The subconscious is an abstract thinker, it deals in images, symbols, metaphors, and associations. This is why art can be abstract and non-linear as well as sensical and direct.
Mental blockages can be addressed by the continual input of new perspectives and alternative modes of perception. The arts have the ability to offer these without directly confronting the issue, as in the art provides a scene outside of the individual that can then be related to self though contemplation. The reticence and prejudices that have formed in our subconscious through the use of strongly worded statements that appeal to the emotion can be challenged again and again by use of probing and examinatory creativity and art.
The Illumination Of Desire And Virtue Through Art
Our deepest desires are based on emotional needs and wants that grow from the subconscious. We use our conscious mind to rationalise these needs and wants and put them into the social context. When we are psychologically healthy, we apply our desires to useful and rewarding activities that do not harm ourselves, other people, or the wider environment. Naturally, we all have flaws and personal quirks that mean our behaviours can challenge the consensus of right and wrong however as long as we remain within the law, we are free to do as we choose. What we choose to do and what we desire to do depends on our subconscious thought process. We then rationalise this according to our priorities, beliefs, and moral grounding. Our wider mental environment paints a picture of ourselves and our abilities within the world at large. The way we see each of these aspects of the living experience defines the way we perceive our desires and needs, and therefore our correct action. Our perspective on ourselves, our capabilities, and the social world we are in will focus our priorities and reasoning. Our subconscious will then interpret itself into our behaviour and thoughts. This feedback mechanism helps to solidify our understanding of the world and builds on certain assumptions about the world and other people.
The assumptions and imagined reasons that we carry with us begin to form when we are very young. Before we can talk, our mental landscape is completely sensory. Without cognitive language to articulate our imagination and learn from other people verbatim, our inner perceptions are based on the things we see, feel, smell, and hear. We begin to learn about the world from this stage and by the time we learn language, our basic ideas about reality are already in place. Art can imitate this phase of learning by exposing us to external yet present and relevant situations. When we are provided with a piece of art, be it film, music, picture, sculpture, or something else, we’re presented with a new and fascinating scene from the imagination that provides all the cues we need to adopt a child-like absorption of what’s given. We can enrich the mental environment by manner of providing detailed and vivid expressions of human creativity that draw on universal concepts that we can all relate to in varying degrees. Good art can therefore bring about a bigger picture, offer new perspectives, and increase the cognitive resolution of what we already understand. Art can be used to challenge our predefined assumptions about the world by offering new perspectives. This helps us make better and more informed decisions based on what we already want and need.
The Power Of Perspective
Strong emotions can be evoked in the presentation of concepts and ideas with unusual or knowingly wrong rationale. The strength of the emotion defines how solidly our subconscious mind incorporates the information. It can be positive or negative and the association of the scene with the emotion can take place very quickly. A strong emotion and a particular setting can result in an immediate transition within the subconscious that can take a long time to undo. This means that art has a lot of power of the mind in the way that it can create scenarios and imagery that directly speaks to the emotions. Strong and powerful emotions can be brought about by redolent scenes created by words and the senses in combination.
The way we choose to portray settings, situations, and modes of thinking therefore define the way our subconscious minds learn to associate with these things. Powerful perspectives that inspire courage and forward-thinking work with disempowering perspectives that create hostility and apathy. The two sides of the scene need to be lucid and resolved to draw a picture that the subconscious can relate with our higher aspects of thought. There will often be multiple ways of looking at situations that take account for both positive and negative aspects of our psychology and art can help us to make sense of them all.
The more source material we have to draw upon, the more patterns and associations we can become familiar with, the greater our subconscious scope. With the application of conscious thought, we can navigate the output of our inner minds and take on the world with an empowered and strong mentality. As artists, we can be responsible for providing good input that not only enriches the human psyche but enforces positive thinking and strong personal outlooks. If we can create an environment of growth and rewarding collective appreciation with a well-defined antithesis we appreciate and digest, the world will be better off for our efforts. If in doubt, just make art.
Interesting book: Dreamer's Journal: An Illustrated Guide to the Subconscious (The Illuminated Art Series)
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