The freedom to choose?

person dropping paper on box
Photo by Element5 Digital on

We think we know. We think we are free to make up our own mind. We think the choices we make are of our own free will. Is it true? Our unconscious mind is a power thing. It is multifaceted, complex, always at work, and looking and thinking about things about which we are hardly aware.

I was voting the other day. I have no idea who these people are that are running for city council. I don’t watch TV. I barely listen to the radio. So how am I supposed to know who to pick? There are signs all over the place in my home town. My unconscious mind is watching them very carefully even if I am not. Maybe a familiar face, or colorful sign. Maybe the most prevalent sign. I am hardly picking up on any of it. While I’m in the voting booth it seems that for some reason one name or the other sticks out in my mind.  Like I should know this person or something like that. I have no doubt that the choices I made on that part of the ballot were driven by my unconscious mind. Associations that I am barely aware of. Signs I might have seen on the side of the road. A name that seemed to remind me of someone or something in my past. There would be no way of my making a choice in a random fashion. If I knew any of them then I could choose based on who I know. Otherwise, my unconscious mind will choose for me. So, to all of my hometown folk who may have won a city council seat because of my vote, you are welcome on behalf of my unconscious…or maybe you already knew that.

— Stephen M Taylor, M. D.

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