A.3.19 – Riding the Auto

Defined Words: automated, riding the auto

 

When you go for a walk you don’t think about every single step, you just walk. When you sing along to your favorite songs you don’t think about the shape of your tongue, you just sing. When you have done something enough times you don’t have to think about doing it, you just do it. Repetitive actions can be taken over by the Organism, freeing up our consciousness to do other stuff.

A neural path is formed when neurons synapse to each other and it requires conscious focus. When a neural path is used often, the path becomes solidified and requires less consciousness to activate. When you’ve solidified a neural path so much that consciousness is no longer needed, we call that path automated. Automated neural paths can be carried out solely by the Organism.

You probably have quite a lot of automated neural paths already: speaking, walking, writing and typing are just a few common examples. Each of these examples requires the motor center to activate and send signals to the Organism. The consciousness is freed up to do other stuff instead of focusing on each step or each syllable.

I like to use the phrase riding the auto to explain the phenomenon of letting the Organism do something that your consciousness does not need to focus on. Have you ever gone on a long drive and midway through the drive you remember that you’ve been driving a car for the last several minutes? You were riding your automated neural paths that have been solidified over the years that you’ve spent driving. You can trust that the Organism will continue to obey your primary baser function: Don’t Die.

If you’ve ever played basketball, you know that making a layup becomes second nature after a few hours of drills. Stephen Curry, a professional basketball player who is very focused on his neuromuscular development, often holds his hand up and wiggles his fingers after making a particularly ridiculous layup. I haven’t spoken with Steph but I assume his hand motion is a signal to say that he didn’t consciously make the shot; he was just riding the auto. He and many other athletes attribute their earned automation to God working through them. It’s important to remember that your actions are due to your own neurons; even if you’re not consciously present, they are still your neurons.

Riding the auto can be a scary thing to try, but almost always ends in a sense of wonder and pride in your own abilities. You know this feeling if you ever had to ask yourself, “How did I just do that?” You are a human, which means you are very good at forming neural paths while being physically capable of surviving in the wild. The amount that you’ve already automated instinctually might surprise you if you took time to think about it, not to mention the activities that you have spent time practicing. You’ve worked hard to solidify your neural paths, take some time to enjoy allocating a job to the Organism; your consciousness has earned the break.

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