Thinking is difficult for people. It is much easier for them to present a stream of pre-digested ideas and memes constructed of past experiences. Those were made and compressed into coated morsels of mind candy that, when strung together, appear to represent thought. Almost everything we think of as thinking is automatic mind drool exuded by our inner zombie.
The totality of this lack of intelligent control became apparent to me when I realized that everything I did was preordained by my zombie mind-body. This automatic behavior was most easily observed when doing something entirely routine and fast paced like washing the dishes, walking through the house or going to the toilet.
If you pay attention to your behavior you will soon discover that your body starts to do coordinated things before you mentally decide to do them. Your body is responding to external and internal stimuli appropriate to the task before you but before you become aware that something needs to be done. This action is similar to instantaneous reflexive actions that your body does automatically when it encounters dangerous events like tripping but it is different. But, is it different?
Self-saving reflexes only occur occasionally but the actions I am now aware of and trying to describe are always in action. Perhaps, what we usually call a reflex is just a more visible action of exactly the same type but because it is stimulated by an unexpected slip of some kind the quick action by our zombie self makes these reactions become vividly apparent. What I was observing was that this same zombie was in action all the time but it is invisible unless you observe yourself carefully. When you trip while descending a staircase your hands go out instantly and your legs do whatever is appropriate to prevent you from falling in an uncontrolled tumble. You can observe these events to have taken place immediately after the event because you are made conscious of them by their dramatic and unusual character. But, what I am saying is that when you pick up your toothbrush, if you observe yourself carefully, it becomes apparent that your arm and body were turning into the proper position for doing the next action a half second before you did it or even thought about doing it.
Another example of your zombie being in control is when you are talking. You will observe that complete sentences come out of your mouth but that if you watch yourself carefully it becomes apparent that the words are being formed even before you know exactly what you are going to say. It is only after you have spoken that you know what it is that you were thinking. If my zombie behaves like this it seems reasonable that everyone else’s behaves in a similar way. If that is the case then what we see when we observe another person behaving is the structure of their inner zombie and not the intellectual presentation which they consider themselves to be presenting.
People think of the conscious part of themselves as being in control but if my observation is accurate the self observing self, usually thought of as the conscious self, is only a witness to their own inner zombie and not much more in control of their behavior, than an external observer. At least not in the short run. But, in a longer run they do have some reflective control and can to some degree control the habits which their zombie learns.
We are in control of our actions of the future but not of our actions of the present.