Short Neuro-Cogno Post
May 26, 2007
It was while I was practicing Zazen today that I became aware of the time duration of the thoughts I was observing. Some thoughts took longer than others to “complete.” This duration awareness struck me when I was thinking about a conversation I had about education. The recall lasted so long, that after I came out of focusing on that portion of my past, I could detect the duration I lingered over specific sentences and gestures.
Unrelated, I have been thinking about what constitutes the point between conscious and unconscious thoughts. When I am solving a problem, I often step away to get a drink and have to run back because the solution has popped into my head. Something about rendering a thought-endeavor unconscious allows you to run it in parallel with other thoughts. When a thought-endeavor remains in the conscious it can not run in parallel. Often times, focusing on an issue that has already been clearly defined will paralyze solving it.
Now I see the connection between the prior two paragraphs. Perhaps unconscious activity are those thoughts we linger on for near-zero duration. Not enough to draw specific sensations, but enough to draw general/aggregate emotion and to skip to other related thoughts.