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The Unconscious Conclusion

Updated: Feb 22

A besutiful gate

If the knowledge in psychology about the human mind is true, then we all in theory have an unconscious part of our minds. This unconscious part is a department that, no matter how much we learn about ourselves, will never be fully realized by our conscious mind.

Therefore, there will always be a part of ourselves that will forever be hidden from our sight, no matter how much we improve our self-knowledge. This means that total self-realization, at least by the self, is impossible.

If a person ever reaches a state of fully understanding themselves on a psychological level, both on the conscious and unconscious level, then they will become the antithesis to the belief that every human has an unconscious part of themselves that they are too unconscious of to fully realize. This would deduce that, while we have an unconscious mind, its own unconsciousness is not infinite, and can be breached by our realization, as long as we indeed have such a degree of insight about ourselves.

The question is, therefore, are we humans capable of such self-insight, required to decipher every motive and content of the otherwise hidden part? Of course, we can always go to a psychologist or any other psychology expert and let them decipher that part of the mind, but remember that they can only reveal the symptom, and not the cause.

Going to therapy, like taking psychiatric medication, is something that handles a specific problem at a specific time. Once the symptom is deciphered, the unconscious will resume creating new symptoms, which will keep us in the dark about ourselves (or at least some parts of ourselves). This is one of the reasons why psychological treatment can take years, as it only treats the symptoms and cannot necessarily cure the underlying problem. (I myself have been in therapy for almost a dozen years.)

If ultimate self-realization is impossible, like fully curing a mental illness (as they are both psychological), then should we abandon this quest? I think this question has a similar logic to that of a suicidal person who thinks, "Why should I live if it will all end anyway, along with anything that I worked hard for?"

The fallacy in this paradigm is the assumption that everything has to be eternal or total in order to be truly worthy of our time and effort. In the gaming world, this can be compared to a completionist, a person who has a drive to complete every single feature in their game in order to feel accomplished (and even then, I assume that is their goal). The thing is, we do not have to be absolute in any field of life in order to seize the optimal goodness of it, as optimality is both attainable and far more realistic.

Therefore, if we are not to succumb to negative bias, we can try to know ourselves as much as possible without having to worry about total self-knowledge. Why? Because it is very hard, if not impossible, to attain, and also not very realistic of an achievement when we can simply become "masters" of ourselves without reaching "divinity" in that certain expertise.

Furthermore, we can use the unconscious as a tool, rather than a means to an end. We can use the "signs" it may give us through dreams, our actions, and our art. It can be seen as a tour guide that leaves clues along the way, clues on the path to ourselves. With our desire and its power, we can go hand-in-hand and increase our self-knowledge as far as humanly possible, until we become "experts" of ourselves.

In fact, it is reasonable to think that we don't have free will because we are influenced by so many unconscious layers of influence. We might as well only be the ones who make certain choices out of these influences, rather than out of our own, independent will. I personally disagree, as I believe we can exist beyond external layers, especially through solitude. However, I do agree that not everyone is as autonomous as they may think (including myself).

Going back to absolution, it is a very problematic matter because there isn't necessarily an end-goal when reaching the very top of it. After all, when one completes something fully, they can either repeat it or go to the next thing, without necessarily having an in-between solution. For example, if you fully complete a game, you can either start anew or continue playing without being able to complete anything (as everything is already completed) -- or do something else with your time.

If you know yourself entirely, including the very unconscious part of yourself, leaving no trace of unawareness -- what would you do with that knowledge? After all, you can't "re-know" it, and you can't know anything new, as everything has already been known.

Perhaps, then, a constant aura of mystery is actually a good thing for the inquiring mind.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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