What is "Mind?"

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MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
May 19, 2017 - 06:19am PT
Jgill: Is that before or after demise?

How much time do you devote to sleeping in your life? To eating? To reading? To loving? To understanding yourself? A few hundred hours? Much more? To climbing? To your favorite diversion?

Heavens, we wouldn’t want to devote or investigate anything for a few hundred hours, would we?

What ARE you doing with your life?
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
May 19, 2017 - 08:02am PT
Vox loses credibility...

https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2017/5/18/15655638/charles-murray-race-iq-sam-harris-science-free-speech

The Cherry Picked Science in Vox's Charles Murray Article...



https://medium.com/@houstoneuler/the-cherry-picked-science-in-voxs-charles-murray-article-bd534a9c4476
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
May 19, 2017 - 01:30pm PT
Once again, David Eagleman proves we are "powerfully confused" in concept, framing and language re "free will"...

http://www.pbs.org/video/2365572490/

Maybe in 100 years, this confusion, publically and individually, will sort out.
jgill

Boulder climber
The high prairie of southern Colorado
May 19, 2017 - 03:58pm PT
Heavens, we wouldn’t want to devote or investigate anything for a few hundred hours, would we? What ARE you doing with your life?


At this stage of life I have no desire to know myself any better. I y'am what I y'am. And the good thing about getting old is you might tend to forget unpleasantness in any of its forms. Or, those things have lost their sting. Have a julep and sit on the porch.

Actually, I enjoy elementary math investigations and computer graphics, and I still exercise a bit. Sometimes the math stuff takes a few hundred hours collectively, so, yes, I do investigate "anything" for those time periods.

But meditation seems a waste of time. Just MHO.
WBraun

climber
May 19, 2017 - 04:20pm PT
But meditation seems a waste of time. Just MHO.

Then why are you doing it all day long?

Meditating on the gross materialism ......
yanqui

climber
Balcarce, Argentina
May 19, 2017 - 06:13pm PT
The great result of "scientific" psychology in the 20th century: a test that is slightly better than random at predicting what "race" people say they belong to.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
May 19, 2017 - 06:45pm PT
What's the difference between focused thought and meditation, when someone entering the room unannounced, causes you to jump out of your shoes by surprise ?
jgill

Boulder climber
The high prairie of southern Colorado
May 19, 2017 - 07:55pm PT
Meditation: is a practice where an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or for the mind to simply acknowledge its content without becoming identified with that content,[1] or as an end in itself.[2]The term meditation refers to a broad variety of practices that includes techniques designed to promote relaxation, build internal energy or life force (qi, ki, prana, etc.) and develop compassion,[3] love, patience, generosity, and forgiveness. A particularly ambitious form of meditation aims at effortlessly sustained single-pointed concentration[4] meant to enable its practitioner to enjoy an indestructible sense of well-being while engaging in any life activity (Wiki)

I suppose the definition could incorporate intellectual activities. But that's not what normally appears in this thread. My previous comment referred to Zen-type meditation. I suspect that may have been what MikeL has in mind. Maybe not?
MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
May 20, 2017 - 07:38am PT
jgill: I y'am what I y'am.


:-)

Well, some folks attempt distinctions between mediation and contemplation. Among typical meditators, there are those who will make distinctions between vipassana and shamatha. Shamatha, otherwise known as “calm abiding,” is the ability to focus on one thing / thought / emotion for an extended period of time. Gelupa Buddhists are big on it. Alan Wallace has a book entitled, “The Attention Revolution,” which lays out the 10 stages of development. In the last stage, purportedly, one can stay focused on a single mental element for 3-4 hours. Few people ever get to that stage.

Vipassana is insight meditation, focusing on something that will change how you see the world. Compassion, the Buddha, a deity, wisdom, emptiness, boddhichitta, etc. are all various mental things (or simulations / visualizations) that one can meditate on and see into by which to investigate what reality is. I’d say there is a fair amount of dogma to be found here, but it’s all good if you keep in mind your purposes. Any training program has its pros and cons.

Contemplation is not meditation. Contemplation is simply being aware of awareness itself (this is just an expression). Awareness is indescribable, infinite, energetic, creative, spontaneous, unitary, and empty of content, but it expresses itself as content, as manifestations, as apparitions, like a dream. Awareness is referred to as The Natural State, the Here-and-Now, Experience, Naked Awareness, Rigpa, etc.

All these distinctions end up to be heavy-handed expressions of an indescribable conundrum of something that is as obvious and inescapable as the nose on your face.
——————
In actuality, you are a miraculously present infinite field of transcendental being presenting itself to itself as subtle radiant energy of pure intelligence. This truth is consonant with the view of Dzogchen, Kashmir Shaivism, Advaita Vedanta, Kundalini Yoga, primal Buddhism, and with all radical spiritual traditions. Since this is already and eternally the sole condition, the spiritual challenge is merely to recognize that this is the case, with no special conditions or abilities needing to be cultivated, nothing in one's life needing to be changed or improved in the slightest. 
(Peter Brown)
————————
It is important to live this directionlessness, this not-knowing, this waiting without waiting for anything. It acts on your cells, on your psychosomatic body, bringing them to dilation and harmony. All that remains is your directionless awareness. Live in this absolute absence of yourself. It is the threshold. You are in complete openness, open to nothing, free from all ideas, free from all hope. And when you are completely transparent, open to openness, you are taken by Truth, by Grace. That is certain.
(Jean Klein—The Book of Listening)
————————
-We suffer.
Yes, we suffer, as a result of BELIEVING in our hypothetical interpretation of our experience. We’re free to try out all the stories and interpretations we want; as long as we remember they’re hypothetical, we won’t get trapped by them. Then it just becomes a play, or an exploration of possibilities.

The bottom line is, we can’t know where we are, we can’t know what we are, we can’t know what’s happening, other than to experience it as it is. But that opens the door to celebration; that opens the door to letting go; that opens the door to freedom. When we can’t know anything, where does that leave us? With a smile on our face and a song in our hearts! (laughter).
(Peter Brown)
—————————
Absolute perfection is here and now, not in some future, near or far. The secret is in action - here and now. It is your behavior that blinds you to yourself. Disregard whatever you think yourself to be and act as if you were absolutely perfect--whatever your idea of perfection may be. All you need is courage. 
(Nisargadatta Maharaj)
————————
Q   You speak often of glimpses of reality. In the last couple of days I’ve had such glimpses. Is there nothing I can do to extend those times?

JK: There is nothing to do. In doing you go away from it. See it. Discover yourself in the seeing. The seeing is the answer. It is what you are looking for.

Emphasize the seeing. Seeing is stillness. Nothing is seen. You are more or less looking for a state, an object. But what you are can never be objectified.

Be completely open to your surroundings. All your surroundings are objects. Surroundings begin with your body, senses and mind. And your further surroundings are body, senses and mind, too. All is object. You are the ultimate subject. The ultimate subject can never be objectified. All that exists, all that is perceived, are objects in your awareness.

So be completely open. Until one day you discover yourself in this openness. You can never assert it. It is a non-state where you are constantly in question. You will see that this question is the answer.
(Jean Klein—The Mount Madonna Dialogues)
—————————
. . . just be patient and don’t have any expectations. You won’t have a glorious, sudden awakening; it will be ordinary-everyday. Perfectly ordinary. That’s appropriate, because if you did have a huge awakening it might be too much for you to handle. As an enlightened person said long ago, it “creeps up like a thief in the night.”

The big joke about it is, when you have one or two little insights, they seem so simple and true, and you ask yourself, “How is it that I never saw it before?” It has been there all the time and you never saw it.

Everybody has expectations of something absolutely marvelous, something explosive and beautiful. But in reality it’s downright ordinary, everyday. The ordinary world is just seen in a different way, as homely rather than hostile. This ordinariness makes the state easier to attain, and more stable. Otherwise it would just explode and quickly disappear. A quiet realisation is far better than an explosive sense of wonder. An acceptance that this is the Real.

Emotions may arise –the body may change its chemistry, it may heat up or cool down, but does it affect me? Have you ever experienced anger building up until you feel you could murder somebody, and yet you’re quietly sitting there thinking, “What the hell is going on here?” It’s not you, it is a conditioned happening. Conditioned happening becomes identified as a so-called self which isn’t there. We think that because this is happening there must be somebody doing it –a self, an ego, a burden. When we realise that consciousness is what we are, all of this conditioning means nothing. It doesn’t lead anywhere, so we can just let it go, and it will die out. Then we become more peaceful. Because peace is the nature of consciousness. It never gets upset. It just reveals facets of itself to itself and sees them as conditioning.
(Russel Williams—Not I, Not Other than I. The Life and Teachings of Russel Williams)
-----


Be well.
yanqui

climber
Balcarce, Argentina
May 20, 2017 - 12:36pm PT
This one's for DMT (or anyone else who's interested). It comes from a graduate student who's working with an AI program that makes up colors and tries to name them. I stumbled on it through a facebook friend. Early versions produced names that didn't seem to make much sense. Tweaking things a bit and letting the program evolve (i.e. run through various iterations) got these results. Microchip humor?

Credit: yanqui
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Topic Author's Reply - May 20, 2017 - 12:53pm PT
I think the comment that "meditation" is a waste of time can be viewed several ways. First, it might mean that a person is afraid of or is quickly bored when their mind is not actively engaged in evaluating or some form of discursive enterprise. This mindset is after a result, an output.

However if meditation is stripped of all preconceptions, then settling quietly into your own skin is simply an exercise of coming to know thyself, so to speak, in the most intimate and profound way, BEFORE you start evaluating. I think few people would be willing to say they have lost interest in knowing who they are, which is the basis of personal authenticity.

So far as personal identity goes, one of the most penetrating koans is: Who am I? Most people mistake their personal history and physical makeup to be who they are. The koan asks us to go a step further or deeper by asking what IS before memory or physical identity. When body and mind fall away, to use the old language, what is left?

Because what is left is not an external object or phenomenon, you can't "find" it in the normal way of grasping some thing with sense data or imagination and spinning ideas and feelings around it.

Delving into this, into the heart of your own self, is the great adventure. Oddly, there are many inner prohibitions to ever doing so, so few ever do.



jgill

Boulder climber
The high prairie of southern Colorado
May 20, 2017 - 06:45pm PT
When body and mind fall away, to use the old language, what is left?


A corpse.


In order for meditation on self to be of value you must believe what you witness in those mental states. The mind is a trickster and is chuckling as you burst out with "There is no 'I' !!!"
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
May 20, 2017 - 08:48pm PT
F

Is Schizophrenia a circadian disease too? Yes, it is. Neuroscientist Warren Meck thought that the basal ganglia’s dopamine loop was an internal clock because of its activation during temporal processing. It turns out it is likely a gear used in the SCN optical clock activated by the sun. Meck was the first to postulate that the rate at which signals traverse this loop offers the brain a time keeping mechanism. No one linked it to the SCN as a distal target of the optical lattice between the retina and basal ganglia.
We know now that increased dopamine increases the rate of the basal ganglia loop cycling. This forges connections between disparate parts of the brain. This suggests that more dopamine we make the faster our internal clock would seem. Our percpetions would be associated with a slower perception of external time. Time dilation 101. This occurs with increases in body temperature and yokes perfectly to UV light's ability to make dopamine in the eye during daytime. Darkness lowers levels of dopamine levels and a slower rate of neural circuit frequency would correspond to a slower internal clock and a perceived acceleration of external time. This is likely why low dopamine states are associated with time contraction and disease states and are linked to circadian de-coupling events. Today the microwaved blue lit world is the major de-coupler of humans. The association in dopamine and melatonin is a non linear relationship because both molecules are created and linked to specific light frequencies and this makes the relationship not so clear-cut for those who do not understand non linear optics well. The under- or over-activity of the dopamine system is linked with impairment in accurate time estimation, sometimes making it seem slower, sometimes faster. There is no obvious or linear correlation between perceived speed of time and the amount of dopamine present as one might suspect but I believe there is a fractal relationship due to a lack of UV and IR light perception in the retina. Schizophrenics have altered sense of time. They also have althered fragmented thoughts because of this inability to time reality properly. This is one reason why nnEMF affects attention and awareness because it ACUTELY can raise and lower dopamine levels seemingly altering reality as it unfolds. That is the world a schizophrenic observes. Focus and attention come easier when one’s CNS is not being pulled down multiple pathways by contravening evoked potentials from man made electromagnetic waves. Paying attention, establishes traction between your internal frequencies and the external world, synchronizing with it, using it to help calibrate your internal pace of timing. Deficits in time perception in Schizophrenic patients is helpful for the quantum clinician in understanding how sunlight builds time management in the brain.
Deficits in time perception have been observed in a range of disorders, and there is typically a trend to misjudge durations in most of them because of the uncoupling of the circadian mechanism:
•Manic patients tend to overestimate duration
•Depressive patients tend to underestimate duration
However, schizophrenic patients show poor estimation without a trend. Results are not systematic (Vogeley and Kupke, 2007)
Schizophrenic patients were asked to answer two kinds of discrimination questions:
•Do two stimuli have the same duration?
•Are they short or long?
They performed worse than controls but without a systematic bias towards over or underestimating. (Elvevag, 2003)
Dopamine transmission plays a massive role in schizophrenia. Goldsmith et al (1997) found an increased number of dopamine receptors in post mortem and PET scan studies of schizophrenics.
Interestingly, increase in dopaminergic transmission increases the speed of one’s ‘internal clock’, whilst inhibition slows it down. (Rammsayer, 1993)
As schizophrenia is characterized by a disruption of communication in the brain, the unsystematic nature of impairment is not surprising. It demonstrates that in healthy individuals, integration across the brain is key for temporal perception. http://snip.ly/sp1e0

Altered circadian patterns of salivary cortisol in individuals with schizophrenia: A critical literature review. - PubMed - NCBI
NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV


Neurosurgeon Dr. Jack Kruse weighs in on schizophrenia.

SCN= Suprachiasmatic nucleus , the brain's time keeper
nnEMF= man-made electromagnetism
CNS= central nervous system

MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
May 20, 2017 - 08:57pm PT
Try not to take this stuff as unequivocal fact.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
May 20, 2017 - 09:07pm PT
MikeL : I take nothing as "unequivocal fact".
Do you take the assertions you yourself make on this thread as " unequivocal fact".
Science has a way of correcting its errors.
Does your method of thinking have a way of doing so?
jgill

Boulder climber
The high prairie of southern Colorado
May 20, 2017 - 09:09pm PT
You guys stop equivocating.

Ward Trotter

Trad climber
May 20, 2017 - 09:11pm PT
I want MikeL to rationally refute the above comments or recuse himself from the discussion.

Here's the "take away" folks:

Dopamine transmission plays a massive role in schizophrenia. Goldsmith et al (1997) found an increased number of dopamine receptors in post mortem and PET scan of schizophrenics

Why would the stem cells in the brains of schizophrenics produce an increase in dopamine receptors?
Answer: because the schizophrenic in part is disconnected from natural light cycles by circadian dysfunction and the brain is hopelessly trying to catch-up. Dopamine is produced in the eye and frontal lobe by exposure to sunlight.
MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
May 21, 2017 - 07:03am PT
Ward: Do you take the assertions you yourself make on this thread as " unequivocal fact".

I'm generally saying that we can't know just about anything. What we seem to have are interpretations, and this one appears to be no different than any other.

I know this sleep and nighttime light stuff are topics of interest for you. Great. However the way the summary you posted was written struck me a bit dogmatic and unequivocal. “We know” needs to be presented to reflect that “this is what we’ve been led to believe—and we have a lot of evidence for these beliefs.” Great. I’m all for those “reasonable” claims.

“Is” appears to be a really big word.

I want MikeL to rationally refute the above comments or recuse himself from the discussion.

We can’t refute or prove anything, Ward—leastways not scientifically. I take that to be what you mean by “rationally.” What we end up with is a body of beliefs.
Dingus McGee

Social climber
Where Safety trumps Leaving No Trace
May 21, 2017 - 07:54am PT
Ward Trotter,

MikeL : I take nothing as "unequivocal fact".

But, to make this declaration of all inclusiveness [by saying take nothing] is an unequivocal fact of how you behave if the statement you make is true of your behavior.

In our making of your statements and their referencing do they also reference themselves?

A conclusion does follow. go figure....
yanqui

climber
Balcarce, Argentina
May 21, 2017 - 07:59am PT
But meditation seems a waste of time.

My parents thought rock climbing was a dangerous waste of time.
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