We have briefly covered the differences between the brain and the mind, so how about sub-dividing the mind itself. Although we can’t physically do that, we can use different physical ways to describe the differences.

SNLP_Solutions_Conscious_Mind_Subconscious_Mind_Unconscious_Mindigmund Freud described the mind like an iceberg, with the concious mind being the part of the iceberg that we can see and the subconscious, or unconscious, being the section that is submerged. Like the iceberg we tend to use approximately 10% of our minds for logical processing and conscious thought. The unconscious mind deals with the habitual parts of our lives, the things we pretty much don’t have to think about. For example the conscious mind may decide that we will walk from this point A to that point B. That is pretty much the involvement of the conscious mind. The unconscious mind knows how to move each muscle in our legs to propel us, how to move each muscle in our arms and torso to balance us, how far to lift each foot from the floor to be able to clear any low level obstacles and so on.

Essentially any skill that has been learned to a point where we can do it “without thinking” lives in the unconscious part of our minds. This learning method is further described in Learning new skills.

There are so many different metaphors for describing the split of the conscious and unconscious mind. The elephant and the rider for example is another good way, much like the iceberg metaphor, the elephant being the unconscious and the rider being the conscious.