I just remembered something today that I knew I knew, but yet didn't at the point in time I wanted to know it. It was the name of an actor I wanted to recall on the drive to work. I knew for a fact at some point in my life I had heard it, I knew of several films he had been in, but yet could only recall the character names. Off and on now for the past couple of years, when something like this happens, I make a point to exercise my memory recall by not looking up the answer and instead rely on myself. In the car ride today despite my best efforts I couldn't recall what I wanted to know, but! I have been learning more about the subconscious and I simply told it / myself to recall the knowledge and I went about my day not continually stressing over it.
It wasn't until maybe 12 hours later that out of the blue, in the middle of doing something else, I got fascinated again with remembering this actor's name. I still didn't know what it was, but it fascinated me again. I tried for a bit to remember and then set it again as a task for my subconscious. Maybe 2 hours later while eating an orange I remembered it!
What really fascinated me was the absolute surety I had, I didn't have any doubt at all that I had recalled the correct information. It was as sure as any other conscious fact you recall. By itself this little exercise is neat but it's way more interesting to me because of how I got the information and the ramifications.
You know how philosophers like to pose questions of dreaming and being alive, that's where I'm headed. The idea of the unconscious, subconscious, and conscious; different ways of denoting you. Perhaps it should've always been obvious to me but I as an individual really am fragmented between those three facets. However many facets you could count doesn't matter to me so much as the fragmentation itself, the split between the conscious and something else. So the philosophical question I alluded to earlier is what is reality? Is it consciousness and the waking life, dreams? Why pick and choose, perhaps they're all real, different ways of perception.
In modern views of science dreams are neurons discharging themselves at night, storing long term memories and other tasks, your brain forming a narrative of this activity. I don't deny it, but why not explore. Atheists would retort but why not explore the reality of the flying spaghetti monster while you're at it. :) Awareness of this view is where I willingly diverge from modern science.
As I've aged I've become more aware of non-tangible things: intuition, hunches, belief in myself, whatever you name it. The key thing is, like the surety of knowledge from my earlier memory experiment, is the surety. Something I feel strongly about despite the lack of a reason. I've tested these feelings whenever they've come: followed through at times, denied at times. For myself this other sense has become as valid as the classical five. There is still the questioning, the reaching out with my hands to touch and verify what I think my eyes see. There's also the growing realization this sense operates in its own way, a different way, but yet it's there. So as for the flying spaghetti monster I simply have no strong desire to believe in that, this sense isn't abstract like that, it is as specific as the eyes seeing this and not that.
In any case the events of my life, the attractants of my thoughts, have led me to me. Dreams, the unconscious, the spirit as a shuttle, how do I determine what is real and not, must a dream necessarily not be reality, what is reality, how do I keep from losing myself, how do I even know myself. Lots of questions, pretty exciting to begin exploring the answers. :)