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Updated: Oct 30, 2023

The Reticular Activating System, or RAS, is the information processing system that helps us focus on incoming sensory information and not be overwhelmed by it. We have meaning-making minds that take in raw data from the external world, we process it and then create meaning from it (programming). Incoming data from the the external world comes via our 5 senses (VAKOG - visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, olfactory and gustatory). Incredibly there are between 20 and 40 million bits of information that bombard us a second. We can only cope with between 5 and 9 bits of information a second. The RAS filters all incoming sensory information and channels it into the limited conscious or unlimited unconscious mind. It is our beliefs, attitudes, values, and conditioning which filter the incoming data. Information deemed unimportant is relegated to the unconscious and become 'invisible' to us - we only focus on the conscious information. We use filtering processes to process the information - these include things like Deletion, Distortion, Generalisation. We attribute meaning to things based on our previous learning/ conditioning, experiences, values and beliefs - those are the things we focus on. We think, feel and act on those things we focus on - where focus goes, energy flows!

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