Besides the obvious like judging people at first glance or taking seemingly random streets and ending up in a place you already know, etc.
I´d say the most immeadiate example of the power of my subconscious mind would be some dreams I have in which I rememer people I have not spoken to in years. They certainly are not a big part of my conscious mind in any way, shape or form, but the constant reapearing of them in my dreams must signal that there is something about them that my life might be missing.
So fellow Dopers, which moments have you had in which your subconscious mind has suprised you?
When I was having a stroke and was in the midst of getting my brain scanned in a MRI machine a phrase popped into my head, “Qui regio propter magnam.” I have never taken Latin and am not Catholic so I have no idea where that came from. It’s either a subconscious mind thing or dying brain cells’ last firing. A while later, I got the translation, “He who rules through great deeds.”
Weird memories play through my head when I’m at work. For some reason, typing the date often reminds me of my stepmother I haven’t seen in ten years. About half the time I’m at work I’m having vague memories of living in Los Angeles, either the people or specific moments or places or meals.
I still have dreams that take place in a house I haven’t set foot in since I was about seven, and it wasn’t even my house.
On rare occasions (maybe two or three times in my life), I’ve been asked a question and answered it, but didn’t consciously know the answer until I heard myself uttering it.
I think this has happened to lots of folks.
Only in fights. Survival is a great motivator.
It’s music for me. I start thinking of a tune out of the blue & eventually, it dawns on me that the lyrics apply to what I was working on at the time.
There is a room in our circa 1760 house with a day bed. I have laid on the bed for a nap many times and heard the very soft sound of a radio. There are complex talk shows sometimes even with odd formats (to me) like Latino ones. It plays very grand songs from everything from show tunes to classical to songs that would make the Country Top 10 charts. You can just barely hear the music and I never can quite make out the words although they all sound gorgeous. I have strained and tried to write down as much as I could but I don’t know music and I certainly can’t write it down to describe it.
I have mentioned the phenomenon to several people over the years especially my wife and it was basically the same as the scene in Field of Dreams when Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” comes on during one of Kevin Costner stories. One day, my wife laid down in the bed and came back reporting the same thing hardly remembering that I ever mentioned it.
There is no radio and there is no ghost. The room just generates some type of white noise sometimes that forces your brain to generate its own content. If I knew how to capture that, it would be a great thing.
Musical themes will pop into my head all the freakin’ time with no warning. I assume it happens to everyone, but I still think it’s pretty neat.
The dreams in which I told myself jokes that amused me so much that I’d wake both myself and my wife from sleep-laughing. Yet the premise and punchline were so unknown to me, so outside my realm of experience, that I still wonder how they could have developed.
I once had a dream where I saw everything in the universe all at once. It isn’t something my brain can conceptualize now, but I remember the process of waking up was like moving through some sort of vortex, and I knew I was seeing everything, just for an instant. It can’t really be described or even remembered in a meaningful way, but it happened. It was awesome.
I had no idea it was a holiday but the bank was closed so I figured it must be. Hours later I was going to check the mail and my brain said hey the bank is closed, so there won’t be mail either and I didn’t bother to check. It’s not like I was actively thinking about it, it just popped in my brain. For some reason it amazed me at the time that my brain would just pop out with some kind of useful conclusion when I wasn’t actively seeking one.
Once when I was a teenager I was experimenting with subconscious stuff, and in one instance tried out what I later knew to be called bibliomancy – that is, for some reason I just thought I’d try closing my eyes, opening a dictionary at random and putting my finger on a random word.
I opened my eyes, and my finger was right underneath the word “death”.
I sure didn’t try that again, and I hoped to holy flurking schnitt that it was just my subconscious. Or coincidence.
Sometimes when it’s really quiet in the office and I am kind of zoning out the Dope, I start to hear things in a British accent in my head. It’s not like when I’m about to fall asleep but it is this level of drooping into something less than fully conscious…?
I once had a dream in which I was a soldier in the Civil War. I was gravely injured and dying of gangrene. The surgeon said something like, “Looks like we’re going to have to amputate!” and I remember begging for a drink of brandy since there wasn’t any good anesthetic, being 1862 or so. I was very, very adamant on this point. So much so that when I woke up, I had a lingering panicked feeling that I needed to go buy some.
I was impressed my subconscious mind remembered 1) Civil War-era anesthesia was a crapshoot and 2) brandy was supposedly sometimes administered in such situations.
Sometimes when I’m in a public place, I’ll get the slightest feeling of movement just outside of my field of vision, so I’ll turn and look. It’s always a woman walking by, and usually a good-looking one. Any random dude, however, could land a 747 on the street without me looking up. I’ve always been impressed with my inner perv, though it struck me as kinda strange.
In my dreams, I speak Spanish perfectly. I know it’s in there somewhere. Now if only I could tease it out in real life.
A few weeks ago, I was lying in bed not quite awake and for some reason I was trying to remember the “old” name for Beijing. I kept hearing a word in my head that I was translating as “Topeka” and I was so annoyed. Topeka! It’s not Topeka!
I had to get up and come downstairs to look up Beijing and find… Peking. Topeka, Peking, whatever.
This! I can (and do) read newspapers and books in Spanish just fine, and my writing is okay too. I can think of the word/phrase/concept I want to say, and hear how I mean to pronounce them, but when I talk… awkward, American girl sounds come out or I trip over my words by speaking too quickly. But in my dreams I must be less shy.:rolleyes:
I once had a dream where I and everyone were in an early French colony in North America. This meant that we were speaking old French, not modern French, let alone the King’s English.
Nice trick for someone who doesn’t speak more than one or two words of French not related to food.
Similar thing happens to me.