I love this insight into “autopilot” from Biology of Belief.
Consider you intimately know someone and you also know his or her parent. From your perspective you see that your friend’s behavior closely resembles their parent. Then one day you casually remark to your friend something like, “You know Mary, you’re just like your mom.” Back away! In disbelief and perhaps shock, Mary will likely respond with, “How can you say that!” The cosmic joke is that everyone else can see that Mary’s behavior resembles her mom’s except Mary. Why? Simply because when Mary is engaging the subconscious behavioral programs she downloaded in her youth from observing her mom, it’s because her self-conscious mind is not paying attention. At those moments, her automatic subconscious programs operate without observation.
Another familiar example of how “invisible” behavior operates: You are driving your car while having an intense conversation with a friend in the passenger’s seat. You become so involved in the discussion…
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