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Sub-conscious of a nation

The subconscious is something lurking just below awareness,

· in a human being,

· in a community, and

· in the collective awareness of a nation.

The collective conscious of a nation is comprised of several sets of beliefs, biases and prejudices. That makes it a rather malleable set, constantly shifting and assuming new shapes. It is an active entity which charges ahead, and charts the course of a nation. It is also a passive entity which follows the leaders, in bits and parts, not as a whole. And that makes it highly moldable clay in the hands of master craftsmen.

Parallels between an individual and a nation

1. History


The subconscious mind is nothing but the “neural pathways” that have been established in your brain as result of your past beliefs and conditioning. During your unconscious existence, when you weren’t aware enough, you ended up imbibing a lot of limiting beliefs, negative conditioning and misguided perceptions about life, that you took to be “true” and hence believed in them enough to create strong neural pathways in your brain about them — causing these patterns of thought to become “subconscious”.


We carry the painful memories of being a slave nation, of a partition that cut across a generation that had grown together, and of being subjected to third party manipulation before the declaration of sovereignty. Though that generation is now largely extinct, it has left behind those fears on the collective psyche.

Unfortunately, the British model of ‘Divide and Rule’, is also seen as a successful model, and is emulated in the corporate and political arenas. ‘The Great Divide’ between the haves and have-nots still exists, as amassing of wealth by a few, by exploiting the masses continues. The Rebel instincts, too, refuse to die down, as they are denied a share in the ownership of the nation. Action and Reaction, Heart and Brain, Conscious and Subconscious of the nation, thus, continue to feed each other.

2. Mass Behavior


It has been studied biologically that the signals of the heart are transmitted to the brain via the blood stream, while the brain’s signals are transmitted to the entire body, in terms of the vibration it produces (for example a fearful thought creates a vibration of fear which is felt in the body and accessed by the heart). So, the heart feeds the brain, which in turn feeds the heart and thus creates a cycle of amplification of any signal that got started.


The economy, inflation, lack of gainful employment, social repression are all ‘signals of the heart’, that feed politics, uprisings, immigration, movements and rebellion. The elite few who hold economic, social or political power are capable of sending out these ‘signals’, and watching the ripples in the pulse of the nation.

3. The Gap


A lot of people who realize certain truths, and gain clarity, feel frustrated that their brain is not able to sync up with this understanding. The basic deal is that your conscious mind has gained the understanding, but your subconscious mind is yet to get programmed in it — it still has strong neural pathways associated with the old beliefs, conditioning and thought pattern. The conscious mind can get it immediately, and you can feel a sense of relief and elation on getting the clarity, but the very next day you can come up against the subconscious mind that starts churning out the old patterns.


This pause, the time gap between the realization and response is dangerous. This is the moment when vested interests strike on the emptiness, to exploit the awareness, and impose a new pattern. They confirm the newly found belief, of deprivation and a hunger for progress, but do not allow the masses to reach the underlying cause, and integrate the conscious with the subconscious. Instead, an alternate consciousness is imposed, which diverts attention from their role in the drama. The masses are given an inane cause to uphold, a meaningless battle to fight, a new passion to create a false sense of identity. It is at this point, that the social reformers and all those who sought to bring a genuine awakening, have failed. They could not move faster than the pause, which interrupts integration of the conscious and subconscious. Hence, the healthy behavior patterns have been unable to take root.

4. The Role of Emotion


When a thought creates a feeling in the body it’s called emotion. Emotion is a physical/bodily experience of a thought. Basically, intense/strong emotions are “unnecessary” and are the reason for 99% of physical suffering in the body, the rest 1% may be physical suffering created through some physical damage/injury. You can “think” without creating any significantly felt emotions. There is no such thing as “good emotions”. It is only a state of absence of resistance/emotion which feels good,


Once an emotion is generated, the individual or group of individuals goes all out to justify it, mostly by rationalization (generation of a suitable logic), and inviting others to confirm it. This process takes the form of the ‘pulse of the nation’, the public sentiment or a mass hysteria.

We have seen it in several movements, elections and slander campaigns in India. It works. Hence, it will continue to be employed as a tool. Reliance on ‘thought’ and ‘sensitivity’ rather than ‘emotion’, needs to be inculcated in functioning of the human mind.


Speed is the form of ecstasy the technical revolution has bestowed on man”

says the Czech novelist Milan Kundera. The ‘thought consumer’ just consumes and assimilates, and gets a high from it, without that pause to think and analyse. The brain does not know the difference between reality and illusion, and neural pathways are created. Higher the volume of this bombardment of views, the more real do those views appear, and become synonymous with an imposed reality.


Are we doomed to go down the same route, and come back in a cyclic turn of events? Do we have to hit rock bottom, before we start moving up again? Or is there a way to prevent the disaster?

Are we willing to ‘Pause and Think’ before we absorb whatever is thrown at us? The future will thank us for being an enlightened nation, if we manage to achieve that. Imagine the caricatures falling off, one by one, and an enlightened and responsible nation emerge. And then, work towards making it a reality.

(Source of Text in italics:

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