Difference Between Conscious and Unconscious

Conscious vs Unconscious


There are a number of differences between the Conscious and the Unconscious. Conscious is to be aware, intentional and responsive. Unconscious, on the other hand, refers to being unaware or performing something without realizing. The existence of an unconscious mind has been acknowledged thousands of years ago by many civilizations, especially Hindus and it has been described in detail in their sacred texts called ‘Vedas.’ The unconscious mind is totally different from our conscious mind. It does not perceive events as good, bad, or indifferent in the manner that the conscious mind does. Conscious mind gets blinded by our interpretations of good and bad. Our judgments and rigid frames of reference make it nonobjective and biased. This is what creates problems for us. This and many other differences between conscious and unconscious will be discussed in this article.

 What is Conscious?

The conscious mind is logical and rational. It reacts to different situations in life. Here, it must be remembered that the conscious mind is not aware of the presence of the unconscious mind, but the unconscious mind is very much aware of the conscious. We learn so many things and skills through our conscious mind. However, it is impossible for the conscious mind to remember all these things, and many of these things get transferred to the unconscious. Another surprising fact is that our emotions are being credited with the unconscious mind. It perceives events and paints their picture in our conscious mind. It means that all our feelings are the result of our conscious mind. Thus, we can learn to solve many of our emotional problems training our conscious mind to think differently.

Difference Between Conscious and Unconscious - Conscious Mind

What is Unconscious?

Great achievers of the world have freed their minds of judgments and biases. They see things as they are without passing any judgments. These people have learnt how to tap the potential of their unconscious mind and were known as creative people. Unconscious mind does not react like conscious and only perceives what is happening that is beyond conscious mind. Unconscious prefers to remain free and works without your knowledge. Non verbal communication comes even before verbal communication takes place. Our unconscious mind detects a smiling face and elicits a smile from our conscious mind. The unconscious mind is spontaneous and intuitive. Most of the subjects that we learn are a result of our unconscious mind as the conscious mind finds it difficult to understand deep theories. For example, it seems that learning how to ride a bicycle is simple enough. But most of the learning is done by the unconscious mind as the conscious mind is incapable of keeping track of balancing, maintaining hand and eye coordination, and looking at obstacles all at the same time. The art of riding a bicycle, once we master it, is transferred to the unconscious mind. It is seen that many people, who did not ride a bicycle for 40-50 years in their lives, could do it easily even at the far end of their lives. This was possible as their unconscious mind stored all the knowledge. The physiological Responses of different body parts are too complicated for our conscious mind to keep track even of. It is our unconscious mind that regulates all such systems like nervous system, circulatory system, breathing system, urinary system, and reproductive system, and so on.

Difference Between Conscious and Unconscious - Unconscious Mind

What is the Difference Between Conscious and Unconscious?

  • Conscious mind is sequential and logical while unconscious mind is spontaneous and processes information instantly.
  • Unconscious mind is capable of multitasking while conscious mind does not have this ability.
  • Unconscious mind can make associations and links between many thoughts and ideas while conscious mind is linear and thinks in terms of cause and effect.
  • Unconscious mind knows why while conscious mind seeks why.
  • Unconscious minds perceive and feel while conscious mind does intellectual thinking
  • While conscious mind works in the waking state, the unconscious mind is associated with dreams, reflection, meditation and sleep.
  • Conscious mind has to make effort to move parts of your body while unconscious mind does it involuntarily.

Image Courtesy:

1.800px-Census-reading-hi [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

2.Dreaming_of_Sugar_Plums, author Clement C. Moore (1779-1863), publishers Charles E. Graham & Co. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons