The fact is that the majority of our thoughts and actions are on autopilot. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing either. Our habits, routines, impulses, and reactions carry us through our lives so we don’t have to stop and think about it every time we wipe our ass or start a car.
I’d say it’s a good thing. I’m not sure if it is that I’m an oc astronomer or if it’s a natural trait of me that I cannot stop and think about what I am doing.
Our brains are a complex and interconnected system that has to process billions of thoughts every single second. Many of those thoughts have been programmed into us from the earliest stages of life. As a result, the majority of our actions are automatic and governed by our instincts. In extreme cases (like being abducted by aliens) we’re able to make those actions look like a conscious decision.
The problem is that the process of programming into us is so powerful that the actual conscious action of making a decision is often difficult to separate from the automatic actions. Sometimes an alien abduction can be as easy as grabbing a bag of candy and eating it.
The fact is that the majority of our actions aren’t driven by conscious thought. They are driven by automatic instinct. Because our instinctual actions are automatic, our conscious thoughts aren’t necessary to follow them. For example, imagine the instinct to run towards a person who seems in danger. The automatic instinct is to run towards the person who is in danger, and only the conscious thought of running would be necessary to keep the automatic instinct in motion.
We all know that instinct isnt the whole story. A great percentage of our instincts are actually learned over time. This is why we all have to deal with instinctual urges all the time.
The more we learn about our instincts and those of other animals, the more we realize we can learn to control them. This brings us to the third level, awareness. We can learn to control our instincts, but we can also learn to control the instinct(s) to which they give rise. We can also learn to know when to exercise control, and when to let go.
Awareness is a wonderful thing. It helps us make more informed and intentional choices, and it makes us more aware of situations that might go wrong. Even though instinctual urges are what make us human, we can exercise control over those urges. We can even let go of them if that’s what we need to do to get through an important situation.
Of course this is easier said than done because most of us have an innate ability to control our instincts. Most of us have no problem getting in a car and driving off. In fact, in the real world, the instinct to drive is the most common one in most people. The trouble is that we often don’t control our instincts, so they control us. This is why people who drive excessively or impulsively end up killing themselves.
Well, we all know that instinct comes with a little bit of responsibility. We have to take our own lives because when we do, it’s usually because we had no control over ourselves. For example: if you’re having a hard time making your decisions, you probably know that if you drive off the cliff, you might not come back. This is because the decision you make is based on probabilities that you don’t control, so you can never be 100% sure.