What is your Primal Being?
All our studies, articles, and lectures focus on the Primal Being. But what is this Primal Being? It is really simple to say it is your subconscious but that really doesn’t do justice. A lot also happens in the body (is that part of the subconscious for you?) The conscious becomes subconscious (when is it really a part of the subconscious?) And parts of the subconscious overflow becomes conscious again (does that still count?)
Did you already get lost? So did we in the beginning. So let’s start with the right question: Where is the line between conscious and subconscious?
Muscle memory gives us the best clue in this regard. By training a muscle repeatedly in the same way we can create a habit that moves from conscious while learning it, in the beginning, to completely ingrained into our subconscious.
This type of training is often associated with martial arts training but is also an important part of our daily routine: Walking, typing, driving, cooking, etc. All things we have spend countless times doing to make it second nature. Research shows this takes somewhere between 1000 and 30.000 repetitions.
Why does this happen? It’s actually quite simple: If you don’t need to think about what you’re doing you have space and energy left to do other things.
When we would need to think about every step we make, every letter we type, things would slow down and we would be overstimulated every single day. Luckily our brains are capable of making shortcuts when we repeat the same thought process the same every time. This is the same process that we use when learning anything.
So somewhere between those repetitions conscious slowly turns into subconscious. Through training rational choices become automatic responses, regardless of how good they are.
“Practice doesn’t make perfect, practice makes permanent”
- Sarah Kay -
The same rules for training apply to thoughts, emotions, and manners. After 1000 to 30.000 repetitions you have a habit that is so ingrained that there is no more conscious decision on how you or your body responds. When this happens we talk about the Primal Being taking over.
Nurture or Nature?
Our training to get our Primal Being to take over starts from our birth. Most of our emotional habits are formed side by side with our gross motor development. This is how we learn to get the attention we want/need before we can even crawl.
We learn by sensing and trying, we learn to speak, walk, how to eat, how to behave, how to cope with grief or anger. This development grows stronger and stronger over time and forms a large part of a person's character, persona, and values. (If not all) Parts of ourselves that are so ingrained they have become part of our true inner core: our Primal Being.
But not everything we do is just taught behavior. We breathe, we sense, we digest, we feel emotions. We didn’t need a teacher for that. Fight, flight, freeze, and tend are already ingrained in our core survival system. We can train and adapt these responses further but our body already knew what it needed to do the moment we were born (and for some things even before) All these traits are highly needed to survive at its basic core and form a supportive base of how we experience our life. Or better yet, how we subconsciously experience life differently, how our Primal Being helps us survive/overcome whatever challenge life throws at us.
Who is boss?
About 70 to 90% of what we do in a day needs little or no conscious attention. It is important to understand the importance of this number. It doesn’t say you only use your conscious brain 10% of the time! (a mistake often made) It means that you do 9 times more in a day than you are conscious of. Did you think you already were busy? Be glad your Primal Being has taken over so much of the work you only need to focus on such a small part.
In that conscious 10% new choices are made, new things are learned and change can start. But with 90% of choices out of your hands, it is easy to repeat what you always do and it’s hard to change.
Modern humans love to believe they are superior because of their rational choices. For their ability to think before they act. Just being able to control or suppress your Primal Being at will is highly valued. Emotions or other irrational acts don’t have a place in the workspace or at school.
But in the end, we live following the lead of our Primal Being. We fall in love, get children, are lazy, we fight, we hoard, we grief, we fear.
We do our best to live rational lives based on irrational wishes. This ends up in us only listening to our wishes if they are strong enough or come by when we are not necessarily trying to be rational.
Many of us fight this battle between the wishes of the conscious and subconscious every day. Most often without knowing it. Neither side winning or losing, a life always in dis-balance. Balance can be attained only in one way: by nurturing the relationship between your consciousness and the full spectrum of your subconscious: your Primal Being.
As with any relationship, this is a matter of communication and listening to each other's needs. A balance in compromise and caretaking.
It’s never easy to follow the lead of someone that seems to have opposed interests. Your Primal Being wants to punch someone where your consciousness likes to stay out of (legal) trouble. Your Primal Being may fall in love where you really aren’t looking for it.
With such opposites, it may seem impossible to get yourself balanced. But there is one thing both your consciousness and your Primal Being always focus on your best interest.
Sometimes you need to overcome your irrational fears to move forward and find a way to comfort yourself. Sometimes you need to take a step back for your true self to get space. There is no easy answer, only good communication, compromises, and hopefully one-day blind trust between your consciousness and your Primal Being.
This is exactly what our research and articles focus on. How can we live in better harmony with our Primal Being? Through food, meditation, movement, and any other activity we can figure out. Through knowledge and exercise, we all can get a better bond with our true inner core, your Primal Being.