What is "Mind?"

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Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Aug 22, 2017 - 08:14pm PT
"But modern scientists only delve in the inferior gross material energies."


But your name calling is a superior energy??
jgill

Boulder climber
The high prairie of southern Colorado
Aug 22, 2017 - 08:20pm PT
The thread is dead (Duck)


But still thrashing about, under the spell of Baron Samedi.



okay, whatever

climber
Aug 22, 2017 - 08:44pm PT
Harsh, but on point, without question, John Gill.... I will try to resist participating in this thread in the future!
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 22, 2017 - 11:53pm PT
Always interesting to read up on what people are up to per "the work."

For the first one - I have real estate on Pluto for whoever believes this is viable in any way whatsoever. But the draw of the fountain of youth, and the ghost of Dr. Frankenstein, triggers the woo in otherwise intelligent folk. But I always loved me some sci-fi, and computational neuroscience is marching point in that regards.

http://www.quantumrun.com/article/computing-bringing-us-closer-immortality

This one has some promise. When I was studying psych and working in a neurofeedback lab, I saw some remarkable things per brainwave entrainement.

https://www.inverse.com/article/34269-brainwaves-mystery-neuroscience-eeg-neurons

Also, I'm in Zurich working on a project and haven't been following this much. But this is worth reviewing. Dingus said:

Both MikeL and Largo refer to science and use examples from science, perhaps in an effort to talk to people here who they see as, "science-minded." That approach seems unnecessary to me.

I think they are courageous to do so. They at least try to reconcile their doubts and ideas with the body of science. This tells me that despite their contrarian natures they too accept science for what it is.


It's really an expression of a skepticism that is not slave to a kind of fundamentalist belief in one method of inquiry, and a kind of intellectual giggle that from the perspective of measuring, all other methods are somehow illogical or magical or "trying to do science without instruments."

It also pertains to the fantastic logical leaps required to "explain" the whole of consciousness by way of computational models. Of course when you are looking only at objective processing, you are unlikely to understand consciousness in any other terms. How could you? I think Mike and I both chuckle at the mistaken belief that other methods of inquiry are seeking stuff or content that is something beyond the reach of measuring, when in fact questing into the "big silence," for example, works in the opposite direction - that is, it works away from the "what."

Of course, when you approach consciousness only in terms or content, or the objects of awareness, it's no wonder that from that limited vantage, awareness itself will be thought of (but never experienced) as an object, a measurable thing, something a programmer can work up to process the objects and files of experience. Ergo we get wonky evaluations to the effect that awareness is a feeling, brain artifact, etc. "What else" could it be? There's your "what" again. Granted, to the mind fused with content/objects, such talk is nonsensical.

There's a load of other factors as well, but I trust at bottom, Mike and I are both far more skeptical than those who would expect a purported "observer-independent" mode of inquiry to render insights or truths about observing, awareness, sentience, above and beyond what an organism does (outputs). To expect otherwise is, to me, magical thinking.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 23, 2017 - 02:55am PT
Sh#t, I missed this whopper by Ed:

The notion is so far fetched that Chalmers likens it to magical thinking - that the very essence of woo is the philosophical belief that sentience is caused, entirely, by brain mechanisms.

Ed says: which is not a correct representation of any work going on in the science of consciousness, given the role that experience plays, which includes what (and how) we learn.

As discussed above, you have no conscious awareness of your life after your birth and before some particular age, for me it is somewhere around 4...

why not?

Could it be that you hadn't learned what you needed to even have a consciousness?
---


Predictably, Ed is fused to the "what" (content") and the how (processing) of consciousness. What is he missing? What he will always miss when all you are looking at is inputs, processing and outputs.

But first - the idea that the brain is a mechanism, that sources consciousness, is not remotely a misrepresentation of what the computation camp is doing. What are you drinking, man? When that camp starts talking about SIM (substrate independent mind), what the hell do you think they are after per programming the first sentient machine.

Yes, of course, consciousness is a process by which the mechanical brain learns to be conscious by way of experience. I agree with this, but not in the way you are presenting it, which is muddled and conflated by virtue of what you left out.

Developmental psychology has clearly shown that the individuation process is a stage development adventure (see Mahler) where a person, over time, develops a self, object constancy, and all the rest which we normally equate with conscious knowing.

But what was there from the start that we never had to "learn?"

Awareness. Simple as that.

We become increasingly conscious as we experience ourselves and the world and the cognitive process (thinking, conditioning and memory) ripens through experience. We enjoy a much richer degree of consciousness than a bat or a wolf because our brains are able to present to awareness a much more complex and nuanced load of content.

But awareness itself remains unchanged through this whole process, meaning it was never learned or birthed from our experience. It's the context in which consciousness occurs.

Also, Ed, nobody at any time tried to contrast Hilbert Spaces with consciousness. The whole point of my friend originally using that analogy was to illustrate a case where people use a model as a method of inquiry. Let that one go. And leave off thinking we are misusing "unity" because we are not referring to a synonym for the number "one," the integer between zero and two. That's math geek stuff - and believe it or not, I used to BE a math geek, though I'll never admit it formally.

We are using "unity" in its normal usage as a simple noun: the state of being united or joined as a whole. That is, when we consider our own experience in terms of brain generated content, meeting awareness, and giving rise to the conscious process, we are considering these elements "joined as a whole."

Dingus McGee

Social climber
Where Safety trumps Leaving No Trace
Aug 23, 2017 - 04:56am PT
Largo

But what was there from the start that we never had to "learn?"

Yes Largo we agree on the above intrinsic aspect of the brain's native feelings. But from here you have it wrong.

Awareness is a feeling much like fear or any of the other native feelings we have. It is a feeling we get when the brain sorts out those signals from the unconscious awareness that are passable to what we call full conscious awareness and sends them to what some on this thread call [the] conscious awareness [zone of the brain]. When this happens we [the captain?] get the feeling of awareness usually along with content. The content can seeming drop to none/zero-ish and we are left sort of feeling aware - a pleasant feeling as all is well - it is as pleasant as meditating.

When fear, another feeling, arises we need jolted into action and the feeling of awareness does not persist.

Largo

Awareness. Simple as that.

And that feeling of awareness is no more than a feeling of what the unconscious brain totality already knew but produces mostly in passive states.
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Aug 23, 2017 - 05:59am PT
I believe some here are over thinking this. ;)
MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
Aug 23, 2017 - 07:02am PT
Ed,

I would not have you think I’m saying there are "fixes in" in research. I don’t believe there are active intentions to mislead or to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes in science. (At least that is not my experience.)

I think I understand all the rest of what you wrote. Thanks. I’m not an expert on Kant, so I won’t speculate too far from what I’ve said. His distinction between noumena and phenomena has legs to it for me. I also appreciate your distinction between what Kant versus what Newton supposedly knew. That's good. (When I am in doubt, I will tend to favor what is more specific than general or theoretical.)

Dingus McGee,

At least you have seen that there are different opinions that appear to be legitimate, even though they don’t agree with yours.

I’ve not meant to throw around credentials intentionally: only to point out that I have *some* understanding of some of the issues when it comes to having conversations about “What is Mind?” If you have done some reading in cognitive science, in AI, in psychology, in sociology, in anthropology, in computer science, had some practice watching your own mind, studied to any extent in the writings of any spiritual tradition, done some reading in literature and the arts . . . then it seems to me that you can make contributions to this thread.

If you are arguing that one should be an expert in a field of study to make comments here on this thread, then there won’t be much for anyone to say about much of anything.

(And hey: What journals would you like to limit our discussions to here on this thread? Rather than posting citations, I chose some articles that represented different views that I thought most folks could quickly grasp.)

BTW, like Largo, I should have said something positive about DMT’s comment about trying to talk between science-based issues and non-science-based views. Cheers there.

You, Bob, and others complain about what Werner says about energies, yet in this last post of yours, you seem bold in saying what awareness is and what it isn’t. So, one could ask: (i) what is the research that claim is based upon? (ii) how can one be so sure that the claim is valid? (iii) what is so different between that claim and others’ claims? (iv) is that claim not saying that awareness (mind??) is brain? (v) What’s "a feeling," anyway? Is it something that one can pin down?

Hocking,

Any conundrum, paradox, irresolvable puzzle seems to call for thinking by most folks. Some of us, however, are saying that “thinking” will not resolve them. A criticism of “over-thinking” could be—itself—another indication of over-thinking. (Verstand or vernuft?)

MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Aug 23, 2017 - 08:34am PT
It's really an expression of a skepticism that is not slave to a kind of fundamentalist belief in one method of inquiry, and a kind of intellectual giggle that from the perspective of measuring, all other methods are somehow illogical or magical or "trying to do science without instruments."


Ah, good. Some competition for


Thus the clueless gross materialists are all puffed up about their so called inconclusive knowledge by rubber stamping each other with some imaginary degree from their interaction with the inferior energies.


MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Aug 23, 2017 - 08:37am PT
As well as being master of the dead, Baron Samedi is also a giver of life.


But the caveat, this entry has multiple issues, also applies here.
PSP also PP

Trad climber
Berkeley
Aug 23, 2017 - 08:47am PT
When the discursive narrative quiets down the feelings become more evident . They become the next narrative to work with. What are feelings ? The work is about whether I attaches to them or pushes them away. what is that all about ? As you work with them you gain insight about feelings. For me the way I interact with them appears habitual. Habit. If you don't react to the feelings habitually and just be with it the relationship with the feeling completely changes and you become free from the react mode and . the feelings don't control you.

But the habit is very strong so it takes effort and some work.
Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Aug 23, 2017 - 11:37am PT
"You, Bob, and others complain about what Werner says about energies, yet in this last post of yours, you seem bold in saying what awareness is and what it isn’t."



Well name calling would be negative energy and Werner seems to be full of it. Awareness is what I'm aware of...pretty simple. I'm aware that you and few others want to make it more than it is. :-)



Mike...really no complaints in my life, I got it pretty good and if there was it wouldn't be so trivial as Werner and what he thinks energies are.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Aug 23, 2017 - 12:37pm PT
Heroin is subjective bliss in an objective substance. Care to hazard a guess where the objective and subjective intersect in order to promote that subjective nirvana?
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Aug 23, 2017 - 12:40pm PT


jogill

climber
Colorado
Aug 23, 2017 - 02:28pm PT
But awareness itself remains unchanged through this whole process, meaning it was never learned or birthed from our experience. It's the context in which consciousness occurs


I tend to lean in this direction, also. But somehow awareness is created by the brain. Or else the Brain "tunes in" after birth. I go with the former. In either case moving on from this observation doesn't appear productive. I suppose you can enjoy it in Zen practice. Any thoughts about where to go from here?
WBraun

climber
Aug 23, 2017 - 05:22pm PT
the Brain "tunes in" after birth

That's how it works.

The brain is connected to the spiritual soul (the actual real living entity located in the heart) whose previous lives karmic consciousness is then revived.

The gross materialists can not see the spiritual soul with their material instruments
but it is understood to be there by the fact consciousness exists and pervades all over the entire material body.

The poor fund of knowledge by the gross materialists that assume the brain is the living entity itself
is the real cause of their bewilderment of how the life force operates in this material world.

Dingus McGee

Social climber
Where Safety trumps Leaving No Trace
Aug 24, 2017 - 04:16am PT
Speculation? yes


My thoughts on brainwaves are that much like the drummer in a band of musicians, the beat of brainwaves keeps the individual units[neural nets etc] working in a synchronized fashion.

Another possibility of brainwaves which they mention is the global safety siren effect and these are like our disaster alert sirens which are used to get our attention so we can switch action for our safety-- Globally Realign priorities.

MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
Aug 24, 2017 - 07:46am PT
Dingus: . . . the beat of brainwaves keeps the individual units[neural nets etc] working in a synchronized fashion.

I don’t remember this about neural nets. I don’t remember that they were synchronized. I thought they needed to be more dynamic and non-linear, so that they could explain learning, reconceptualization, and transcendence.

In all games and most mind modeling, theorists have posited or assumed certain objectives and metrics that would qualify what “success” looks like (even if for no other purpose that to show a process in an artificial model).

The problem for me with that line of thinking is that it stipulates that being is something that can be defined or discovered and articulated. That is, “the system” of human “being” is something that can be modeled. In any field of study that I’ve been actively involved in or observed, I haven’t found a consistent and enduring model of being. What we are as beings seem to be undefinable because being (i) seems remarkably infinite (e.g., dimensions and their characteristics) and (ii) seems forever changing or in constant flux.

In games and such, there are at least fixed goals and rules, but in “being,” there doesn’t, from what I’ve made out. (If anyone could state them with any specificity, then please do so.)

I know that individual non-linear systems have been modeled and run to show how the unpredictable can be somewhat predicted. But what humans—and especially consciousness—are, seems beyond stipulation. Look at the flocks of disciplines and how each of them seem to be forever shifting their understanding. That seems to be indicative of the being of “being.” Being seems to change objectives and characteristics, as a sort of metagame of games (which is, what?). There, ethics, religion, art, etc. inform and direct research, thinking, and being.

One can see such conundrums or puzzles by asking any field of study the double question of itself: what is the non-linearity of non-linearity? What is the literature of literature? What is the science of science? What is the philosophy of philosophy?

It seems to me that these kinds of conundrums is where we get a brief insight into the nature of being. Being seems a koan.

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Aug 24, 2017 - 08:16am PT

But what was there from the start that we never had to "learn?"
Awareness. Simple as that.

and how does it get there? what kind of awareness is it, not something we're aware of, you have no coherent memory of the time of "the start."

Interestingly, perhaps, you have assumed something is at work beyond the usual duality of what is learned and what is "innate." Those attributes considered "innate" are generally thought to be a part of the brain structure. Are you saying that "awareness" is an attribute that is wired into the brain and thus available "from the start?"

And finally, why wouldn't "awareness" exhibit the same development path as all other human (and more broadly animal) behaviors from birth to adulthood?

You are grasping at straws with this one, Largo, with no support for your assertion at all.
Dingus McGee

Social climber
Where Safety trumps Leaving No Trace
Aug 24, 2017 - 06:58pm PT
Mike L,

Dingus,

the beat of brainwaves keeps the individual units[neural nets etc] working in a synchronized fashion.

Note, that in my statement of speculation I did say "in a synchronized fashion" but not synchronized. Some areas of the brain may data-transmission-wise overwhelm other areas unless they know/measure each others receive/transmit rates. Certainly the rates are not infinite.

modeling being? I am not sure what you mean by being. Do you also mean something like predicting when an unstable person may get delirious while driving on the highway? It seems this kind of modeling would be modeling a specific person's being/actions.

In that article from SciAM that I suggested you read the researchers pinpointed a single brain cell in a mouse brain and left a transmitting nano microscope there that would watch for changes in a single molecule there for 2 weeks to detect when a specific signal arrived.

I suspect the activity conscious awareness arises at some location in the brain and maybe already that region could be pinpointed to some group of cells. After finding this location the seemingly difficult part is how to set up some meaningful experiment. Will Largo donate a living? human brain for this research??

The brain likely has a structure that was built by DNA instructions. It is this structure [modules] and their functions I would like to know more about, not how or predicting how some being performs using his brain in the diversity of the world as you report in how being changes.











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