36. Introduction to the Unconscious

What is the unconscious? Do you believe in it? How is it relevant today? The most obvious place to start is the supermarket. Clever sales techniques such as the smell of baking bread as we go through the door, or the way products are placed and constantly moved around the store so that we buy them. Subliminal messages encourage us to buy things that we do not need, usually to support a life style that we are buying into.

Go and watch Derren Brown suggesting a product logo to two marketing men, who end up creating an image that he had previously drawn. We are all open to suggestion. The Unconscious would argue that we are open to suggestion far more effectively subliminally than we are consciously. After all the conscious has so many rules and regulations to stop you buying something it is more effective to bypass it!

Packaging is a good example. The way the product is packaged can make or break the sale. Twenty years ago opening the box of your apple computer was a revelation. It had pictures of colourful flight balloons all over the front with a welcome message hoping you would enjoy your apple mac inside. Unheard of when all you expected were a set of instructions. The colour and the way it was manufactured made you think it had been created for you!

Freud discovered the unconscious in the freaky city of Vienna in the late 19th Century. A city full of creative ideas with a submissive female population of servants employed in households run by dominating authoritarian men. A man of his time he was sexist, got it wrong and fell out with anyone who did not agree with him. Yet the unconscious survives today, with the daily Freudian slips, and references to childhood influencing adulthood.

Then Jung’s idea of the Collective Unconscious: a shared history of humanity might neatly explain the idea of history repeating itself. Why do we not learn from history? Like our own individual lives the repetition might be telling us something that we choose to ignore.

Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2012
All rights reserved
Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only.
This article is designed to provoke argument and critique.

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