Humans have the most evolved brains of all the species of life on the Earth. The brain gets its input of experiential information from memory, its process is thinking, and its output are commands to sensory and actuary organs of the body to act accordingly.
A living-being has two types of interactions with the external world – sensory to pick up information, and actuary to influence the external world. Former interaction is carried out by five sensory organs while the latter is carried out by the actuary organs of the body.
Both the sensory and actuary organs may perform their functions in two ways – subconscious and conscious. The subconscious performance is carried out fast under control of the mind – the neuronal network spread in the body. For example, ‘seeing’ is a sensory input at subconscious level while its counterpart ‘watching’ is a conscious sensory activity. While a subconscious sensory actions leave no or a light impression on the memory, this doesn’t enrich the person with more experiential information, conscious sensory activity of watching deeply records the information gathered in the memory which may be retrieved back later and utilized if need be. This applies to all the five sensory organs of a body. Thus, only conscious sensory activities add to a person’s experiences.
Our action organs too act in two different ways. Routine reflexes of the body caused by instinct of survival and safety are operated by the mind with no involvement of the brain. Even oft-repeated activities by tongue, hands and feet, and excretion organs may also be performed at subconscious level under control of the mind only. Such operations are performed fast by the person. Conscious working involves a long process of tracking relevant experiential information from memory, thinking and commanding the actuary organs concerned, it is time-consuming and somehow inconvenient to lazy persons.
Subconscious approach is based on habits and controls only oft-repeated sensing and activities by the body, while every new activity essentially needs conscious approach with involvement of the brain. Conscious actions leave a deeper impression of experiential information on the memory for future uses. But even oft-repeated activities may be taken up consciously through involvement of the brain. This slows down the activities as compared to those with subconscious approach, but keeps the brain always in active mode, hence sharp. The sharpness of the brain and its remaining in ever-active mode expedites conscious activities somehow.
A person has the options open to him for each sensory and actuary operation for putting into subconscious or conscious mode. Based on this, he/she gets enriched by experiential information and capability of putting his/her brain to apply for solving a problem. All intellectual and creative activities by a person need involvement of his/her brain, hence are conscious activities. Persons too much habitual and dependent on the use of their minds only can perform routine activities faster but become incapable of using their brains for intellectual and creative activities. Thus, intellectualism requires regular practice of using of using brain by a person.
It is not that the habitual practices have no positive role in human life and only intellectual practices are sufficient to serve all purposes of life. Habitual practices save on human resources and their capabilities, hence essential from economy point of view. It is similar to production at mass scale of a developed is essential to make it available to the large human population, while development of the product using creative talent is also essential without which no production would be possible. Thus, both the conscious and subconscious activities are essential to human life in overall perspective.
Therefore, if you want to be an intellectual some day, do most of the sensory and actuary activities consciously, and make it a habit of your body. You would soon find a quantum change in your outlook, ways of working and your favorite things to do.