Some time ago I went to a party where I did not know many people.
I was apprehensive about this party because I had not been told much about it. For example, I did not know what type of party it would be (e.g. dinner or disco), what dress standards were expected of me, what time to arrive, what to bring, or really anything very much at all.
I guessed at the clothes I should wear, (something nice and safe to cover the maximum number of possibilities), took along a bottle of quite good wine (just good enough for dinner but not too good for a disco), and arrived at a fashionably safe eight o'clock.
I took this opportunity to examine how my subconscious mind was working - and I was really amazed! (You have to be very alert to catch your subconscious mind in operation because it acts very quickly.)
I walked into that room, (clutching my bottle of wine), and my subconscious mind was ALIVE and RACING in an effort to evaluate the social position as rapidly as possible. So DESPERATE was I to work out my social position in this strange group, that for a good ten seconds I just stood in the doorway, soaking up data.
My eyes raced around the room examining a cross-section of the people there; men first, then women. (Had I been a woman it would have been the other way round.) In under two seconds I had scanned twenty people and worked out an average standard of dress, compared it with my own, and filed away the difference.
(Not too significant, I was about right.)
My subconscious mind breathed a small sigh of relief!
Then my eyes flitted round the room and evaluated the whole 'scene' as one entity. Within less than a second I had evaluated the 'type of party', and compared it with the complete list of every other party I had ever been to in my life, before filing it away under the heading which fitted best -'Smart disco/buffet'.
Since I had been to many such parties, I also attached an anxiety level to this information - (low anxiety).
My subconscious mind breathed a slightly larger sigh of relief.
I could relax again; there were quite a few single people.
After this, I took three seconds to evaluate the average CLASS of the people at the party. This incredible feat involved scanning about thirty people at random and making value-judgments about each one's clothes, hair, posture, face, voice and manner; then averaging the whole lot to arrive at an 'average class' of the party, (chosen from an internal subconscious scale of about 100 sub-classes). I compared this average with my own class (a deeply held Positive Self Image belief), and worked out if I was higher or lower class than most of the people there.
The subconscious mind didn't really care if I was higher OR lower class so long as I was ABOUT THE SAME as most of the people there. What it feared was the UNKNOWN situation of spending an evening with people of a very different class.
I could relax! My subconscious mind was not being forced to re-evaluate its World View. My level of fear diminished and I walked into the room with confidence.
Total elapsed time? Under ten seconds!
In America, and other nearly classless societies, an identical process would be carried out, but with wealth as the criteria rather than class. In Britain, despite what anyone says, it is definitely CLASS which people evaluate first, THEN their comparative wealth.
Do you see how my subconscious mind was DESPERATE to know where it fitted in? It was REALLY SCARED about that party, until it had evaluated the data collected by the conscious mind and worked out exactly where the party fitted into its World View.
Had I walked into that room to find everyone dressed in funny blue uniforms and doing a dance which I had never seen before, I would have been REALLY ANXIOUS, almost to the point of turning and running! I would have spent the first few minutes FRANTICALLY trying to work out where I fitted into this party, and how I related to these people.