means below the threshold (of conscious
"Everything is relative--except for relatives, which are
Where is a person's threshold of consciousness? It
varies. I'm only noticing the air conditioner in the room because I
decided earlier to use it as an example. But until the moment of
starting this example I was not conscious of hearing the air
conditioner. Would I have noticed if it stopped? I was now and then
hearing snatches of music from the table radio, mostly when I stopped
typing. Where was my threshold of consciousness in each of these
moments? Awareness of the sub-liminal is relative.
If you don't believe it, notice what happens when I
remind you that you are reading this. Now you are more aware of an
act that you were alrfrom eady doing. When I call your attention to
it by mentioning it from within the act
itself, your level of consciousness jumps from one level to
another. To read 'correctly,' you have to be unaware of doing it, at
one level, while, at another level, being totally aware of it.
Then there's your butt. It's touching something. Before
I mentioned it, you probably weren't aware of it touching anything at
all. But it's never disconnected from your brain. Yet in some way it
WAS disconnected, gone--until I called your attention to it. Then,
your butt was there again. When I start talking about something else,
you'll stop noticing your butt again. I'll draw your attention
somewhere else. To your tongue. Feel it in there, taking up all that
space in your mouth? Now where'd that butt go?
You'll mostly stop noticing it, but not totally. It's
connected to your brain 24 hours a day. Normally, you shift your
position when your butt tells you to, even if you are 'totally'
engrossed in something going on outside your body, such as a sports
event or a movie.That's an example of unconscious awareness, if you
And then there's the title at the top of almost all
these pages. It says ADVERTISING, with
the word s u b l i m i n a l
behind it three times.
Once you see the words 's u b
l i m i n a l' you can't stop seeing them.
But did you notice that you can't pay total attention
to the big word ADVERTISING and to the
little words 'subliminal' at
exactly the same time? All the words are there on the page at exactly
the same time. But you can't consciously pay attention to all of them
at the same time.
You have to keep shifting your attention back and forth
between the two 'attention 'layers' that I've created by having BIG RED LETTERS and the hollow black letters. Ads are carefully
designed to manipulate your attention (and memory) the same way.