Book Review: Subliminal by Leonard Mlodinow


If there is anything that amazes me as much as the universe, it is the brain, the human brain. The most complex machine of all time, managing numerous details at a time,  the human mind is surely a mystery waiting to be solved. In his book “Subliminal”, the author beautifully takes us on a ride to understand how the unconscious brain works along with its conscious part to help us go on with our lives. The language is very simple, and the book is full of amazing experiments undertaken by social psychologists and psychiatrists to understand how the unconscious mind without our knowledge, shapes most of our decisions which we think have been made of our own free will.

One of the most amazing thing I read on this book was how our brain just remembers bits of information and using experience tries to make sense of it when required. Thus, all the theories and laws are just our brain’s way of making the sense of the universe around it, and so never will scientist be able to find the one true theory,  the theory of everything that actually is. We can just make approximations. Because that is how our brains work. I would try to write a separate post on this topic.

The book also explains how we misjudge people based on the social groups we identify them with, or how we misjudge products and companies based on their name and superficial qualities, and even how we misjudge ourselves based on the social groups we identify ourselves with. How we unconsciously have preconceived notions to make our way through the day, making important decisions unconsciously, or based on a hunch. Decisions we feel are our own, but they aren’t. Stories of past we have woven, which as time passes, go further away from the truth, but we deny that they might be false. How injury to a specific part of the brain can particularly affect your capability to detect sarcasm, or associate two things with each other, or see objects on a particular side and not on the other, though you could sense motion on that side, and many more of such curious anomalies.

The book introduces us to different schools of knowledge, with different outlook on the working of the brain. Neuroscience is an amazing field, which began achieving greater heights since the beginning of the 21st century. Our brains are truly masterpieces, that are trying to understand themselves and their complexities through science. Though it bugs me that  how the unconscious nature of my brain is affecting my life without my knowledge, how it is preventing me from knowing the actual truths, or making exact judgement, I wouldn’t deny that after reading this book I am even more curious to know more about it. Happy Reading!

-The Cosmogasmic Person


2 Comments Add yours

  1. GST Course says:

    Hey keep posting such good and meaningful articles.


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