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 term riding the auto to explain the phenomenon of knowing the Organism is doing 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, probably the NBA player most 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, like many other people, attributes his automation to god working through him. It’s important to remember that your actions are due to your 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 yourself. 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. You would be surprised to see the amount that you’ve already automated instinctually, not to mention the things you 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 it.