What is "Mind?"


Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 20301 - 20320 of total 22205 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
May 16, 2018 - 07:53am PT
"Scream Practice." Like!

Grade A post, Dingus. Thanks for the POVs.

Maybe you'll be a writer/author in your next life. ;)



Food for thought: Do we really want our "sciences" to be prescriptive? To what extent, what degree, do we want them to be prescriptive? to "contain" ethics, and dos and don'ts? and to be inspired/driven by aims/goals? It certainly could be an easy slide into such given the precedence - the fact that the "applied sciences" of engineering and medicine, both core fields, are already prescriptive.

The more "science" is/becomes prescriptive (e.g., via the ever-emerging "social sciences"), the more you're likely to hear it or its contents called "scientism", no?

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
May 16, 2018 - 08:02am PT
Dingus is a writer in this life.

Social climber
Wise Acres
May 16, 2018 - 08:28am PT
Jan, our daughter went to a very liberal arts university and she looks at many issues from a different POV than us.
She expresses her beliefs in a thoughtful understanding way. She will start working on her MS this fall.
As parents we want her to make her way in life and are so proud of her!


Just read this after posting...

Parents donít want their children to make the wrong decisions, so they donít allow them to make the decision. And then the child becomes dependent, and then the parent resents that, and it gets off into a blameful thing early on. If you are encouraging children to do all that they can do ó and not squelching the natural eagerness that is within them, so that they can shine and thrive and show you and themselves how good they are at adapting to physical experience ó then everyone wins.

Excerpted from Dallas, TX on 3/13/99

Our Love
Esther (Abraham and Jerry)


Mountain climber
Colorado & Nepal
May 16, 2018 - 10:10am PT
Fructose, care to elaborate on any of those interesting ideas? I guess I can understand how medicine is prescriptive, given it deals with life and death decisions, but I'm having a hard time understanding how that applies to the hard sciences?

Personally, I would not want hard science to go down the path of PC restricted discourse as some of the social sciences have which I regard as having too much well intentioned heart and not enough logic.

Maybe only those sciences which directly involve human beings should consider issues of ethics? There's always been a debate as to whether biological anthropology belongs with the social or the biological sciences. Then again we have the nuclear scientists with their Doomsday clock, so I'm not sure we can draw a line.

Meanwhile, I don't think of ethics as being do's and don'ts. Rather, before we act, what about the consequences as best we can understand them and how can we ameliorate the deleterious effects for those who will experience them most? That sort of thinking.

Social climber
Wise Acres
May 16, 2018 - 10:14am PT
This one is really good my fellow brothers and sisters...

ACIM Lesson 191

I am the holy Son of God Himself.

Here is your declaration of release from bondage of the world. And here as well is all the world released. You do not see what you have done by giving to the world the role of jailer to the Son of God. What could it be but vicious and afraid, fearful of shadows, punitive and wild, lacking all reason, blind, insane with hate?

What have you done that this should be your world? What have you done that this is what you see? Deny your own Identity, and this is what remains. You look on chaos and proclaim it is yourself. There is no sight that fails to witness this to you. There is no sound that does not speak of frailty within you and without; no breath you draw that does not seem to bring you nearer death; no hope you hold but will dissolve in tears.

Deny your own Identity, and you will not escape the madness which induced this weird, unnatural and ghostly thought that mocks creation and that laughs at God. Deny your own Identity, and you assail the universe alone, without a friend, a tiny particle of dust against the legions of your enemies. Deny your own Identity, and look on evil, sin and death, and watch despair snatch from your fingers every scrap of hope, leaving you nothing but the wish to die.

Yet what is it except a game you play in which Identity can be denied? You are as God created you. All else but this one thing is folly to believe. In this one thought is everyone set free. In this one truth are all illusions gone. In this one fact is sinlessness proclaimed to be forever part of everything, the central core of its existence and its guarantee of immortality.

But let today's idea find a place among your thoughts and you have risen far above the world, and all the worldly thoughts that hold it prisoner. And from this place of safety and escape you will return and set it free. For he who can accept his true Identity is truly saved. And his salvation is the gift he gives to everyone, in gratitude to Him Who pointed out the way to happiness that changed his whole perspective of the world.

One holy thought like this and you are free: You are the holy Son of God Himself. And with this holy thought you learn as well that you have freed the world. You have no need to use it cruelly, and then perceive this savage need in it. You set it free of your imprisonment. You will not see a devastating image of yourself walking the world in terror, with the world twisting in agony because your fears have laid the mark of death upon its heart.

Be glad today how very easily is hell undone. You need but tell yourself:

I am the holy Son of God Himself. I cannot suffer,
cannot be in pain; I cannot suffer loss, nor fail to do
all that salvation asks.

And in that thought is everything you look on wholly changed.

A miracle has lighted up all dark and ancient caverns, where the rites of death echoed since time began. For time has lost its hold upon the world. The Son of God has come in glory to redeem the lost, to save the helpless, and to give the world the gift of his forgiveness. Who could see the world as dark and sinful, when God's Son has come again at last to set it free?

You who perceive yourself as weak and frail, with futile hopes and devastated dreams, born but to die, to weep and suffer pain, hear this: All power is given unto you in earth and Heaven. There is nothing that you cannot do. You play the game of death, of being helpless, pitifully tied to dissolution in a world which shows no mercy to you. Yet when you accord it mercy, will its mercy shine on you.

Then let the Son of God awaken from his sleep, and opening his holy eyes, return again to bless the world he made. In error it began, but it will end in the reflection of his holiness. And he will sleep no more and dream of death. Then join with me today. Your glory is the light that saves the world. Do not withhold salvation longer. Look about the world, and see the suffering there. Is not your heart willing to bring your weary brothers rest?

They must await your own release. They stay in chains till you are free. They cannot see the mercy of the world until you find it in yourself. They suffer pain until you have denied its hold on you. They die till you accept your own eternal life. You are the holy Son of God Himself. Remember this, and all the world is free. Remember this, and earth and Heaven are one.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
May 16, 2018 - 10:34am PT
Hi Jan, more later. But first...

here's an example of a james randi exposing the shenanigans of a uri geller...


Personally I'm glad these guys exist in the world. Thanks, Doug!

Good hacks are needed to expose the shady ones.
Whodunnit? lol

re: (1) mind-brain predisposition (2) yanny vs laurel perceptions

One more...


Both insightful and a bit spooky, no? lol

"Flawed but functional"

(1) Iran nuclear deal,
(2) traditional faiths,
(3) mind-brain functioning

Welcome to Enlightenment 2.0. (Not for the faint-of-heart.)

Edit Follow-up...

High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
May 16, 2018 - 11:00am PT
re descriptive science vs prescriptive science

Jan, remind me, what's your background here? How much have you thought about, or else distinguished between, the difference between so-called descriptive analysis and prescriptive analysis? This ties into the subject matter above.

I suppose this is yet another example of nuanced thinking.

We used to post about these same concepts years ago at ST, didn't we? Or at least I did. (A lot. lol)

More later...

(I just spent way too much time on this yanny laurel phenom!!)

Social climber
Wise Acres
May 16, 2018 - 11:19am PT
Cool - yanny, yanny, yanny! : )

photo not found
Missing photo ID#530267

...'Granny' or 'Lovey' ?


May 16, 2018 - 12:42pm PT
I don't think of ethics as being do's and don'ts.
Rather, before we act, what about the consequences as best we can understand them

Yes .... acts are made according to time and circumstance with good intelligence and not by absolute do 's and don'ts ......
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
May 16, 2018 - 01:53pm PT
It now seems the Yanny Laurel soundbite wasn't an intentional slice and splice audio manipulation after all, just perhaps a weirdly synthesized audio file.


Still, it demos the constraints, operating characteristics, etc of the human nervous system (the mind-brain) across its population incl its variation or variability. Pretty cool.

Can you trust your ears?



So, imo, descriptive vs prescriptive (or, descriptive vs normative) is worth knowing about. Maybe someday this useful distinction will be taught in our public schooling systems, even as early as 6th grade.

For example: (1) descriptive analysis vs prescriptive analysis; (2) descriptive science vs prescriptive science.
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
May 16, 2018 - 01:58pm PT

I was astounded at the idea that a father should not ask his daughters for their opinions. Thatís so different from my upbringing where I had to justify every opinion with logic. How is it possible not to, I am still asking myself. The big advantage I can see however, is that it avoids judgmentalism which was also rampant in our household.

And how could a daughter grow up not feeling judgement from her father? I'm sure mine would tell you they felt it from me all the time. I would submit some of it was real and some of it was imagined. A simple look can convey a whole lotta judgement as you know.

That said, when a father asks his daughter 'what do you think about god?' he is putting her in a hard place. I preferred to state various perspectives and hopefully envelope some of their perspectives in those distant 3rd parties. We could talk about them 'once removed' with no need to defend, or recoil. I would tell them how their grandfather resolutely refused to talk about his personal faith, saying it was personal :)

I also taught them to be vicious acey duecy players who will gut you with a smile and a rueful "I could have told you so, kid' shrug, and leave you bleeding on the backgammon board ;)

I was pitiless with them in turn. I never cut them any slack that way. They eventually snatched the pebble from master's hand.

High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
May 16, 2018 - 02:28pm PT
Dingus, I think if you and your daughters lived pre-20th century, let alone in the Stone Age, and in a small tight-knot community or tribe, you would've been more pressed, relatively speaking, to inculcate them, test them, judge them, etc. Speaks to the time and circumstance we live in.

I'm sure all this goes without saying though.
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
May 16, 2018 - 02:59pm PT
Yes HFCS. There are plenty of other societal constraints, plenty of which my forefathers did not have to deal. No personís an island and all that rot. I was privileged to be a citizen of Pax Romana and my daughters enjoy freedoms their grandmothers could only dream about. But they have to work for their living same as the rest of us, same as it ever was ;)


Trad climber
Golden, CO
May 16, 2018 - 04:12pm PT
They eventually snatched the pebble from master's hand
Did you tell each of them..."Time to leave"? (I mean, at the appropriate moment and all -- you don't want to be kicking them out early just because they're quick studies).
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
May 16, 2018 - 06:44pm PT
No, not really :)


Social climber
Southern Arizona
May 16, 2018 - 08:40pm PT
Iíd like to try to clarify some notions about meditation and selflessness.

Meditation is not an end or an objective. Itís a tool. Similar to what Jan noted, meditation can show one that there are things other than what can be conceptualized. It can open one to other dimensions of reality. Focusing on what can be supported empirically (ala. measurements in science) versus what cannot be empirically verified is narrow and maybe even prejudiced. Meditation may be beneficial to some folks psychologically to get them calm, but that is not its ultimate purpose. It's to show mind.

Second, spiritual orientations toward selflessness by serving others is NOT about others. Itís about you. Other people are in whatever situations they are for reasons that go beyond what people can understand. Itís a very complex and complicated universe that transcends what modern minds can grok. Heuristically, one can think of it as karma.

Serving others leads to selflessness, which is what the activity is really all about. See what selflessness is, and you can see what This is. Itís your consciousness. Itís all about you. It's all you can see. See what consciousness is, and you will see whatís going on.

None of us can save the world or each other. Put your own oxygen mask on first.

ALL practices are about finding yourself. It doesnít matter if itís accounting, nursing, art, marketing, climbing, zen, or motherhood.

ďCompassion is wisdom in action. . . . At the beginning of practice, many of us experience an overwhelming, bleeding-heart impetus to save the world, mixed with equally overwhelming despair that there are just too many problems and too few resources. As practice matures, our awkward attempts or pessimistic withdrawals are replace by genuine compassion arising from practice and realization. We see what we can do and we do it. We do it without even reflecting or knowing that weíre doing it. Compassion happens. It happens the way we grow our hair. It is that simple and that mysterious.Ē

(John Daido Loori, ďRiding the Ox Home: Stages in the Path of EnlightenmentĒ 1999, p. 39)

Loori was abbot of Zen Mountain Monastery in Mount Tremper, New York.

May 16, 2018 - 09:09pm PT
It can open one to other dimensions of reality

Some would agree with this. I would be more cautious, for what is experienced in meditation may be simply a mental construct and not a path to other dimensions. Do psychedelic drugs lead to other dimensions of reality?

Guess it depends on how you think of "reality" - physical or otherwise.

But getting back to pregeometry . . .

(just kidding)

Mountain climber
Colorado & Nepal
May 17, 2018 - 05:08am PT
One of the interesting phenomenon of psychedelics is that they create heightened perceptions. Colors suddenly become more vivid and beautiful. One sees trees and grass in great detail as though every blade or leaf was perceived at once. Ordinary things like traffic lights become beautiful and endlessly fascinating. The whole world shimmers.

This poses many interesting questions about mind. It appears that our mind has been changed by chemicals, but what if our external world really is that beautiful all of the time and we just don't notice it? If we were to use psychedelics every day for the rest of our lives, would these phenomena continue or would we get used to them and find these perceptions to be just ordinary?

These questions become even more interesting when one gets similar psychedelic effects from meditation. How does quieting the mind and repeating a mantra bring that about? Have we changed the chemicals in our brain without knowing how, or has quieting the brain enabled us to see external reality as it truly is all the time?

Does a master see this beauty always or has the master gotten used to the new normal? is this what "Before meditation, chop wood, carry water and after meditation chop wood and carry water" really means?

And what is happening when these effects fade and other different extraordinary phenomena begin? How many of these different phenomena are there? And why do the masters say, don't get caught up in them and don't mistake them for true spirituality?


Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
May 17, 2018 - 06:58am PT
And why do the masters say, don't get caught up in them and don't mistake them for true spirituality?

In other traditions it is like the stars at night. They are not the goal but we can use them to navigate. Have you ever heard of the guy that got two patents for the Celtic Cross? It is actually a device to measure time like an astrolabe.

Social climber
Southern Arizona
May 17, 2018 - 08:18am PT
jogill: But getting back to pregeometry . . .

:-D Yes, please do.

Jan: what if our external world really is that beautiful all of the time and we just don't notice it?†


Noticing brings even more noticing. Look how education, experience, talking to others, and so forth exposes more than what one saw earlier. How can that be if it werenít for the inherent capability of mind? Is reality infinitely detailed (like a fractal) and layered, or is the mind simply playing tricks on itself (which presents a puzzle in itself)? Whether it be drugs, meditation, mental illness, education, or the finger of God, how is it that reality seems to change or blossom with a change in mind?

Which is it? Is it external phenomena concrete / real and the basis for all presentation, or is it mind that is the basis for all presentation? How would / could one know?

A naive view might imagine that mind and reality are mutually causative, a dance as it were. (A few physicists might be naive.)

Messages 20301 - 20320 of total 22205 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks

Try a free sample topo!

SuperTopo on the Web

Recent Route Beta