The unconscious sprang to the attention of the West a hundred years ago, and we are still struggling to absorb its full impact. It was one thing to understand the concept, to see it and believe it, but another to live with it, to take in fully its challenge to our deepest cultural assumptions. Today, as we expand our understanding of its reach, we are still coming to grips with what it means. This “new unconscious” is driven by the identities we assume, the groups we belong to, the ideas we inherit, the languages we use–all the elements that provide meaning and structure to our world.
What You Don’t Know You Know is about this emergent understanding, and how it forces us to rethink our relationships with each other as well as our beliefs about what it means to be a person, to have a self. It is for all those who want a better understanding of the complexity of human motivation, whether as an executive faced with employees resisting change, an elected official trying to forge agreements among competing interests, a consultant brought in to restructure an ailing corporation, or individuals struggling to understand their relationships and why they do the things they do. All too often, our actions do not conform to our explicit intentions or to common sense. We are more constricted than we think, but sometimes
we are also smarter.
From the Hardcover edition.