Monday, August 31, 2009

Learning from Your Mistakes: A Survival Trait

You're on your way home from a get-together, when you blurt out, "You know what I should have told your cousin Cassio?" The iron-clad argument that would have won that theological debate has suddenly popped into your head -- too late.

The perfect comeback, the perfect answer or the perfect argument so often seems to come to us after the fact. If you've ever had the experience, you know how frustrating it can be: "Why didn't I think of that when it would have done some good?"

There's a perfectly good explanation for why these things just pop into your head after the party's over, and it has nothing to do with what you'd been smoking or drinking. (What are you, as a Christian Martialist, doing at that kind of party, anyway?)

There is a part of the mind that is always making connections. It takes fragments and pieces and fits them into the big picture -- sort of like taking a piece of a jigsaw puzzle and searching for a fit. I believe this is one function of what I call the I-mode of consciousness.

(If I ever write my book on a Biblical approach to psychology, you can read a full explanation of the I-mode of consciousness. It would be a little too involved for my purposes here.)

Anyway, the I-mode does not function well at making these connections on demand. But when you take your focus off that task, the I-mode will go on it's merry way, trying to find a fit for that piece of the puzzle. There are other times when it looks at the whole picture and finds a piece that doesn't fit -- doesn't belong in that place.

If you're with me so far, you may be looking for the application. What does this have to do with my survival?

I'll address that in another post.

1 comment:

Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

Argh! I know exactly what you're talking about. It drives me nuts!!

I like it best when I find a good answer to a common question and I keep it stored and ready for use. Mwaha!