Skip to content
Surprising Science

A Communitarian Subsconsious

Like schools of fish that respond to predators, we need to rely on our unconscious impulses because, by and large, it makes us smarter and quicker, says psychoanalyst Ken Eisold.

Our species’ advanced level of consciousness, i.e. being self-aware, often interferes with our ability to utilize collective wisdom—the kind of subconscious wisdom that turns a school of fish away from predators. Humans, however, prioritize individual desires over those of the community; we choose competition over cooperation. And in doing so we create a host of psychological maladies that pit the individual against society. A greater trust in our subconscious motivations and a critical examination of our conscious ones would go a long way toward making social bonds more satisfying and fulfilling our biological, which is to say social, destiny.


Up Next