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The more psychology, neuroscience and the like that I read, the more it seems clear to me that the mind is (at least) a two-sided thing. All the theories that seem to jibe with observed reality seem to share the common feature that you have one element of the mind that acts entirely on its own and is, for the most part, the thing that drives our behavior. And, again, in common, virtually all of the theories seem to suggest that this process is beyond our control, that it is unconscious or instinctive. The other part of the mind is basically only engaged for certain functions, after the unconscious part of the mind has already set the context. Thus, the "conscious" part of the mind is like a computer program running in a virtual environment. It perceives the environment it is presented with as "real" and does what it has to do in that context. The conscious mind allows us to "solve" certain kinds of problems through communication or cleverness or computation, etc. But only those problems passed on to the conscious mind by the unconscious mind are really ever examined.

I have seen some evidence that it is possible to force oneself to engage the conscious mind on a problem that would otherwise be handled by the unconscious mind, but the evidence seems to indicate that this is a process requiring such mental effort that the mind resists doing this. It is not natural and, therefore, not an activity that can exist at scale in day to day living.

In short, whatever they may be called, it certainly seems that the mind is a multi-part (at least 2) entity, and that the part we call "consciousness" is actually a rather minor player in the overall picture.

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