Sunday, February 13, 2011

Light up the hidden world

In the book Blink: the Power of Thinking Without Thinking, the author, Malcolm Gladwell explores and attempts to explain some of the mystery that comprises our subconscious world. One interesting thing he points out is that our subconscious selves may possess attitudes and beliefs that are contrary to our consciously held values.

To demonstrate this psychologists at Harvard use something they call the Implicit Association Test (IAT). For example, when Gladwell took the Race IAT, he discovered that he had pro-white associations subconsciously even though he himself is half-black; in fact, 80% of those who took the test had such results. Why is this? Surely not all 80% of the participants are racists! One explanation is that our society is full of things associating good with being white and, conversely, inferiority with having coloured skin. Even as we consciously decide against racism, our minds are fed images, information and impressions--which our subconsciouses can't help but absorb. 

No wonder countercultural values can sometimes create a nasty mess inside our minds!

Toward this end, Christians should consider verses like this: the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our inner most thoughts and desires (Hebrew 4:12). By cherishing the truth in the Bible, God's word can illuminate our subconscious world and instill deep within us the values that we consciously choose to uphold--even values the world around us subtly oppose (Ephesians 6:16, Psalm 119:9-16). 

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