September 9, 2011

The truth is not so simple

Never underestimate the depth and complexity of human consciousness.

According to Tor Norretranders, when we engage in a conversation, we exchange information through all our senses, not just our ears.

Before we speak, we take our original ideas and filter out anything we consider irrelevant, then communicate. This takes place remarkably fast, although what we end up actually saying is relatively slow.

In fact, we unconsciously process about 11 million bits of information per second, but only about 50 bits per second via language.

Our capacity to consciously process information is only about 16 bits per second. This happens a sluggish half a second after our unconscious processes the other bits.

We consciously and unconsciously pick up on each others' unconscious signals from their body language, tone and tenor, as well as their words.

So, if someone is uncomfortable and trying to hide it, our unconscious mind may interpret this as untrustworthy. We may then become suspicious of their motives.

Ever receive a compliment from someone and wonder if they really mean it? They may not. Or, they may really like you and simply be embarrassed expressing it.

The real takeaway from all of this is that what we think is 'the truth' is really just a perception based on a complex series of signals we interpret.

Next time you find yourself thinking "This is the truth!", think again.

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