Patterns in our brain our formed when our conscious thoughts take root into our subconscious. In other words, when we do, say, or think things intentionally that we are aware of often enough that they then become part of us when we aren’t readily aware of them.
How? By spending intentional time in various activities that solidify thought patterns in our conscious mind that then create new brain pathways, and those pathways are solidified through repetition. Once formed, these pathways lie on a subconscious level (just a fancy way of saying that which we aren’t readily aware of, like an app running on a computer but the window isn’t open on the desktop). And at that point, they can turn into behavior patterns, unwanted or not.
Religion has got this DOWN. Let’s start with the weekly, and often several-times-a-weekly, group “therapy” called church. Joining in repetitive chanting with emotional music, group think is engaged, the conscious mind dissipates and these messages sink straight into the human psyche. Then we sit with “open hearts” (our brains are primed) to listen to someone we deem has authority (so their credibility is assumed so our own critical thinking is diminished) speak about these lessons, “truths” that go straight from our conscious into our subconscious often without thinking. Then the service ends with further solidification often in the form of an altar call or more chanting/worshipping.
But church isn’t enough. We are taught, encouraged, and often guilted into “Daily Spending Time with God” in order to not just be a Sunday Christian. I called it my “God Time.” This consisted of time spent in prayer, scripture reading, scripture studying, scripture memorizing, song singing, internal analysis of the application of these lessons through journaling and prayer. Textbook brainwashing. Brainwashing doesn’t have to be negative, we can use it to our advantange (stay tuned for my next post tomorrow). But for this post, I just want to explain how powerful it can be. It’s no wonder that lives were changed in Christanity. But, it wasn’t due to some supernatural miracle, nor was it in the name of Jesus. It was in the name of science psychology and the phsyiology of the brain when immersing oneself with the same messages repetitively, trustingly, and in various ways– over and over again.