We are wired to believe in free will, but even if we accept the notion with full consciousness we cannot deny those moments in which it seems fate is alive and well and has tight in its grips, be it for good or ill. Yet this fate, I maintain, is nothing more than the yank of unconscious reins.
We cling to patterns like junkies, as if the mother’s heartbeat leaves us addicts for more. We naturally gravitate towards the familiar, as the familiar is predictable, the familiar is a pattern. We find security here, as when in the womb, because we find pattern — repetition of the familiar — and this offers us the illusion of control, as we can predict and so anticipate and so have a fighting chance to manipulate the outcome if the present course does not look to be in the aim of your favor. If it is in our favor, we can just let those cards naturally play out in our favor.
In any case, it is always easy to convince ourselves that a prediction was actually a self-fulfilling prophecy. That rather than having known it was going to happen, we had made it happen. Or that we had known something was going to happen and effectively manipulated it into our favor.
We are experts at getting what we are taught to believe we need. Unfortunately what we feel we need is not always synonymous with what we think we want, and is actually quite often to be found in diametric opposition to what we want. So perhaps a familiar pattern is having an abusive figure in close relations. One may not want this, but if a woman has grown up knowing nothing but her drunk and abusive father, that’s the only point of reference she has from that point on for a close male figure.
We know that the unconscious mind communicates to the conscious mind. Could the unconscious minds of two people communicate through an unconscious body language of nonverbal cues? To some degree we know this is the case, as people exchange certain mannerisms and postures in our underlying courtship rituals. This was revealed through studies in evolutionary biology. We also know the knowledge of common nonverbal cues can be utilized in order to hypnotize or program a person to follow a certain command. In other words, all in all we know not only that conscious minds can speak to other conscious minds but that unconscious minds can speak to their own conscious mind, and that conscious minds can speak to their own unconscious mind as well as the unconscious minds of others to the extent that it bypasses their conscious mind. Is the final conversation in the pattern set here all that much of a leap?
It suddenly hits me that we already seem to have evidence of this.
Through unconscious “hot“ and “cold” reading and nonverbal communications, we identify and gravitate toward potential targets for our needs, project upon them and then get them to take on the role faithfully in projective identification, and we then let the unconscious forces produce a self-fulfilling prophecy based on the same old story. The objective of this is to provide a psychological sense of comfort and security through an illusion of conscious control produced by rationalizing “in” unconsciously-generated compulsions.
This is only half the story, as suggested by the book A General Theory of Love in their presentation of the notion of two people having compatible “attractors.” This is to say their mutual patterns of condensed experience with paternally or maternally-based pair-bonding have a key-in-lock, foot-in-shoe, hand-in-glove kind of affinity, and so they naturally fall into gravitation around one another. In their struggles to make you fit better into the silhouette of their “attractor” in their own minds, they will project; in order to reinforce those projections, you unconsciously manipulate your conscious self to manipulate the targets of your projections to actually identify or embody the role of the projection. “You are” as an answer to the question, “Who’s your daddy?” may have more relevance than you would have ever, in your most wretched train-wrecks of gruesome thought, dared to considered possible. Aside from that, in would appear that love is not, as I have previously stated, nothing more than a hormonally-induced form of temporary insanity. It is also evidently a conspiracy targeting two conscious people, with the conspirators their respective unconscious minds.
Attractors don’t only exist for pair-bonding, it would seem, as recurring patterns in your relationships over time have certainly manifested in life. When my family moved from our old house to our new one in 1988, we also changed schools, and I immediately noticed that groups formed that bared the same roles and styles of relations that I had seen in the groups at my old school. Sometimes even their sizes were the same. I began to wonder if there was more to group structuring than the usual pack and pack-leader. Maybe there wasn’t so much a hierarchy but a system of interlocking roles that developed in which each provided what the other “needed,” however unwanted. Groups were closely-knit relations, but groups also have relations with other groups. We also have relations between individuals within groups, and many people belong to many groups. It seems possible that unconscious minds are influenced by a sort of unconscious social network just as we are influenced by our conscious ones. In life, there are always two levels to every social situation: the Surface and the Underneath.
The surface is the land of interacting conscious egos; the underneath, a network of unconscious conspirators playing us like unwitting psychological sock puppets, the propaganda and cover stories we cling to mere myths, making our real history one of much more depth and breadth than we could ever consciously acknowledge. On the surface, we egos weave and embrace our self-fictions and forge relations with denied aspects of ourselves in the reflections we catch of them in the eyes of others. In the underneath, unconscious minds communicate through gestures, postures, facial expressions and positions, through subtleties in choice of language, suggestions in tone of voice, in what we wear and when and so many other ways, one unconscious mind bypasses its conscious counterpart completely to communicate with another unconscious mind through the medium of the nonverbal, of the implicit.
It could be that they conspire to wire certain social relations based on shared affinities between mutual condensed histories, and much as the conscious ego does with certain unconscious impulses, it rationalizes them in a way that is resonant with the elaborate network of schemas it constitutes. Just as conscious awareness weaves itself an ego to rationalize the unconscious, it weaves similar fictions for itself to rationalize its bonds with others, to satisfy itself that the past is not always present.
This is how we deny that we are held in the grips underneath.