In the discussion above I have imagined ways in which a card guesser might do better than chance, essentially by accessing information that reaches his or her unconscious mind. The thesis of this book is that the human unconscious mind is in some sort of weak contact with the unknown world, so that it may occasionally be able to acquire useful information from it. It can then pass it ‘upstairs’ to the conscious mind, probably distorting it in the process. I imagine that the conscious mind suddenly becomes ‘aware’ of its new knowledge, but cannot evaluate it and does not know where it came from. Sometimes that conscious mind goes on to ‘translate’ its new notions into spoken or written language for other people—I have noted a few cases in which the acquisition of new knowledge seems to precede that linguistic translation. In many other 190cases, such as the card-guessing experiments I discuss in the previous chapter, the novel idea remains private. In either case, the unconscious mind is in my view the first information-receiver. Now psychiatrists have put a lot of effort into acquiring data from the unconscious mind. They have explored it in several ways. One is the interpretation of dreams; another is an attempt to get at it slowly via the ‘talking cure’. Either way, the psychiatrist hopes to explore memories or aspects of the personality of the patient which have been ‘repressed’ into the unconscious mind. I do not know why this recovery is beneficial to the patient, but it often is. I assume that most of the data in the patient’s unconscious mind is not disturbed by this enquiry; indeed, the psychiatrist usually has no idea what might be there. Here I want to talk not about notions from the conscious mind pushed into the unconscious one by repression, but about ways in which the unconscious mind can acquire information from the unknown world, which it can then pass ‘upstairs’ into consciousness. The first way is extremely rare and valuable. I call it ‘insight’.