Lawrence I. Miller CHT C.I.
The mind as a computer analogy. Like the mind, a computer actually has a number of components that are used in the process of its operation. Without going into detail, these components actually can only do one of two things. One is to store information/data; the other is to perform specific tasks. The mind appears to be very similar in that it stores information (programs and beliefs) and performs tasks (actions, behaviors). The processing ability of a computer is restricted by a combination of the information/data stored which tells the hardware how to perform a specific task and the hardware it has available to carry out that task. This would appear to be true of the mind also. In effect, both can do only what their systems are designed to do, and can perform only according to the information/data available and their physical ability to do so.
Even when a computer appears to be idle, it may actually be running automatic functions, for example, the program that makes your cursor move when you move your mouse. The mind appears to have similar functions, such as always listening for sounds. The computer programs that perform the many tasks required for proper function are always present, but not necessarily under our direct control. In a similar way, the mind is constantly running programs used for our current activity, such as driving. In the process of driving, a program called 'steering' is brought into play when we want to change direction. Our minds have types of programs present and necessary for whatever it is we are doing, but also not necessarily requiring our conscious direction. These are things which we refer to as having done them "automatically."
In computers, the series of steps to run a program is determined by the information/data that is already stored on the hard drive. These steps can be likened to our conscious mind where we decide what task/action we want to do next, like driving. Our existing knowledge to perform that task/action is brought from somewhere inside of us, and made available to accomplish the task/action. In the human mind. Where that information is stored is commonly referred to as the subconscious mind.
HOW a task or action is performed is based on the steps (or, in computers, sub-routines) we have learned or developed and stored in the subconscious somewhere in the past. Just like a computer, we just RUN the program; we don't think about it. Running a subconscious "program" does not involve analyzing it. Like moving your cursor, it's something that just happens.
If we were to notice that there IS a subconscious program running, we generally will simply assume that it is right and correct. It is only when we notice that we are not getting what we want that we begin to question the "program" ... just as we may notice that how our computer is running is not working as well as we think it should. As we accumulate more experience, we may discover errors in how we do things or better ways to do things. If this is a "sub-routine" we can change direction by recognition and decision, and we perceive there may be a benefit from making the change, we can make that change in a moment of conscious choice.
In some instances, however, we seem to be unable to make changes directly to the information stored in the subconscious mind through the conscious direction. The reason for this has to do with the storage method used by the mind. A similar method is used in computer programming. Both computers and subconscious minds have a method for 'hiding' information from the normal information access methods, particularly when that information is deemed vital to the normal/safe operation. In a computer program, vital information is flagged by the programmer and is restricted from manipulation or change. In order to change it, one must go to the operating system, delete the flag and reprogram it.
Similarly, the subconscious mind holds "programs" that are not under our conscious control. In the process of storing these programs (as issues), the subconscious mind appears to "flag" the program as being vital to our survival. In the initial process of storing the information, the conscious mind apparently makes a judgment that an event is good or bad. Now stored in our subconscious minds, these judgments include the original (unpleasant) emotion or feeling, the nature of the event, and the file is then given a "flag" which says that it should be restricted or hidden from access by our conscious mind.
This can, of course, be detrimental to the decision-making processes we use in the course of our everyday lives. Not all of this information is necessarily accurate in the determination of its survival value to our lives when it was, once upon a time, recorded as such. In order to access the original program, however, or to change it, we first must become aware of its operation. Having become aware of it, we can then look for ways to "reprogram" it by deleting or bypassing the "flag" and accessing the original program in the subconscious mind.