Saturday, February 20, 2010

Reticular Activating System (RAS)

Our mind is constantly bombarded by a great due of information received by our senses (visual, auditory, taste, smell, and touch). Fortunately, we are equipped with a Reticular Activating System (or RAS) that filters these sensory information. Without our RAS, we would simply be overwhelmed by information overload.

The RAS works by filtering all sensory information we receive, and channelling them into either our unconscious or conscious mind.

We are able to act on only those information that are currently in our conscious mind. The capacity of our conscious mind is limited, while that of our unconscious mind is unlimited.

How does our RAS sort information into our conscious and unconscious minds?

Our beliefs, attitudes, values, and conditioning act as the filters in our RAS.

Everything deemed irrelevant by our filters, “disappears” into our unconscious. They become “unseen” by us.

What do I mean?

Lets say, you bought a new car that is red. All of a sudden, every other car you see on the road is red.

It’s not that red cars suddenly appear everwhere once you drive a red car; it’s just that you didn’t notice them before. Before you got your red car, any red cars your eyes picked up “disappeared” into your unconscious mind, thanks to your RAS.

When you became a red car owner, red cars become relevant to you, and your RAS sends the visual information on red cars to your conscious mind. Suddenly, red cars are everywhere!

The red cars were always there, it’s just that you didn’t see them. They were (previously) unseen by you.

When you think about it, the same principle applies to other things in our lives like success, money, love, happiness. If you are not focusing on them, they “disappear” into your unconscious mind. Like the red cars, they have always been there, they are just unseen by you.

So, what is the implication of this insight?

For all the good things that you want in life, set your filters to focus on them so that your RAS will channel them to your conscious mind. Only then, can your conscious mind operate on them to turn them into reality.

Setting goals is one of the best ways to set our RAS filters.

For example, singles wishing to find a life partner can define in detail the qualities that they would like in their dream partner. Define what s/he would be like mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

Those who tune their RAS with what their dream partner is like, will not miss the opportunity when their MR/MS Right turns up in their life.

For those who have no idea what their MR/MS Right is supposed to be like, s/he will be invisible to them, even if s/he shows up in their life.

What other goals can you think of to set your RAS?

Use the wonders of our RAS wisely, and there will not be another missed opportunity or running into treacherous rocks because we are unconscious of them.

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