What is "Mind?"

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zBrown

Ice climber
May 13, 2019 - 07:14pm PT
In case the ST dies before the answer is finalized

....

jogill

climber
Colorado
May 13, 2019 - 08:16pm PT
Or the question




Many, if not most, of the really long threads on ST are not about climbing.
zBrown

Ice climber
May 13, 2019 - 08:29pm PT
Right ^

What Song - 20k.
Mind - 22k.
Flames - 19k+
New Religion - 10k
Every Picture - 6k


And last but not least

The Dope Plane of 1977 - nearly 3k since 2005

MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
May 14, 2019 - 06:42am PT
z,

I'll take "the dope plane" for $200, please.


Former,

The writings here in this thread seem to constitute a conversation. If we "read" someone's writing in a way that was might have been unintended, then one can point out the differences, and / or provide other interpretations. (As in other threads here on ST, the conversation occasionally is rough and personal as its contributors.)

The human "mind" in general is a plague and over time had achieved little but destruction of the planet, never-ending wars/violence . . . [and] the source of most human suffering . . . .

What makes the connection for you between such events as you indicate above and "mind?" Why not, for example, the lack of resources to go around, biology (evolutionary theory), the nature of the universe ("creative destruction" and / or dukkha at-work), a mischievous or vengeful God, the unbridled avarice of the rich, etc. being the culprit of what I should understand from your writing to be "bad" things in the world?

Or perhaps I should understand that you see such events neutrally?

If you chose mind as "the cause" of all "bad events," then what about "good events?" Do you see any of those? If so, wouldn't mind also be causing them, too? And if it were, then wouldn't we say that mind causes all events (good, bad, neutral)?

Maybe I'm not understanding the view that you have.

(The quotes you provide remind me of Silenus' cynical comments to King Midas.)
WBraun

climber
May 14, 2019 - 12:00pm PT
There are NO good events in gross or subtle materialism.

Since all events done in gross material consciousness are done in illusion and delusion ......

The gross materialists motto is: "There is No need for ultimate reality" since we gross materialists makeup our own sh!t and project it onto that reality.

The gross materialist scientists have had their intelligence taken away and all they have left is their illusionary so-called smarts masqueraded as advanced knowledge .....
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
May 14, 2019 - 02:01pm PT
Seems like we may not ultimately get to the bottom of this. If only we had another 22k to work with.
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
May 14, 2019 - 05:36pm PT
If only we had another 22k to work with.


We may not have another 8 years.

All you really need was already said on page 0:


http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1593650/What-is-Mind
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
May 14, 2019 - 06:50pm PT
On what emergence "is":


What makes the vanes of a radiometer turn?


Who was important in coming up with the answer?



Why does the flow of water in a pipe go from laminar to turbulent as the flow velocity increases?



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osborne_Reynolds
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
May 15, 2019 - 12:45pm PT
My final answer.

Mind is an accident of evolution. It could easily have never emerged. But it did. The distinction between mind and consciousness is open to debate, but I choose to think of mind as self-reflective consciousness. Self-reflective consciousness evolved along the mammalian line of vertebrates for sure, but may have also evolved in non-vertebrate lineages like octopuses and maybe many others. Consciousness, an earlier evolutionary construct, evolved within a larger group of animals, and basically involves the holding of multiple streams of memory at the same time in order to make a decision. The decision-maker is the organism. Although the decision-maker may be conscious, its decisions are never actually conscious. When you are outraged as a Democrat or Republican, it is largely unconscious.

Mind is a later evolutionary construct that extends consciousness. Mind actually happens later than the decisions it takes credit for. It does, however, influence the NEXT decision. Clearly, this must've served some survival strategy.

There are names for unconscious and conscious memories. Non-declarative memory is unconscious; declarative memory is conscious. Non-declarative memory evolved first. In humans, declarative memory was further extended in what Michael Gazzaniga calls "the Interpreter".

Edit:
One way of looking at the Interpreter is as a name given to what makes us seem intuitively different than say, squirrels. Squirrels are a good, comparative species because they are mammals but don't seem all that self-reflective. Dogs, on the other hand, do appear to be self-reflective to a degree, as I see it. But I don't think that dogs have an Interpreter either. I would characterize the progression as consciousness (squirrels), then self-reflective consciousness (dogs), then human self-reflective consciousness involving the interpreter (the masters, us). The Interpreter gives us our identities. Our identities are based on our long-term memories, genetic predispositions, and our go-to algorithms that are based on both genetic predisposition and long-term memories, which include memories written to the Interpreter.

We are not all that different than trees. They etch their experience in the form of tree rings. We etch ours to long-term memory that includes the Interpreter. The Interpreter is an additional storage mechanism (of memory) that ascribes meaning to an event. Example: I read of another inane Trump tweet. In addition to any other long-term memory I may have of this event a week from now, I am able to directly experience the "feelings" about this event that were written to the Interpreter -- possibly without knowing the details of the actual event. This is how we are tribal. It's our go-to algorithms as influenced by our Interpreter that make us this way.

And that's what I think.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
May 15, 2019 - 03:14pm PT
eeyonkee,

Two days ago, I underwent "deep sedation" (cf: "general anesthesia") via 200mg proprofol for about 20 minutes. Since I've had a lifelong interest in mind-brain, the mental life, consciousness, neuroscience, sentience, etc.... I had really been looking forward to this experience and could hardly wait, and my gameplay from the start was to maintain my mind, or to maintain my consciousness, however you want to put it, no matter what. So I set my mind to the task. I was determined no matter what - no matter what a few milligrams of chemical substance introduced into my vein were to do - I would not lose it to any changes. Not my visual. Not my auditory. Not my thinking. To nobody's surprise, I failed. Totally and unconditionally. This experience only reconfirmed previous experiences and bayesian credences. What we call mind, or what we call consciousness, is fragile, ephemeral, always on the edge of change or extinction, and 100 per cent obedient to our underlying physics, chemistry and physiology.

A humbling, reflection-provoking, reality-checking experience, to be sure. I can't recommend it enough for anyone else like me interested in mind-brain relations, consciousness, wakefulness, introspection, sentience, etc...

P.S. This time around, there was no amnesic type drug used - known to mess with one's memory fore or aft. So moments later, hours later and now days later, happy to report, my memories were/are intact, up to the moment before looking into my PA's eyes, and from the moment I was awakened from a dream state 20 minutes later. Pretty cool.

P.P.S. Health: Excellent. Screening: Excellent. Thankful, here.
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
May 15, 2019 - 06:21pm PT
We are not all that different than trees.


True, if looked at from the perspective of a type III civilization. When looked at from my perspective, I find it hard to imagine marrying one.
MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
May 16, 2019 - 06:13am PT
eeyonkee,

Hardly anything is clear about consciousness other than it seems to exist; that is, it seems impossible / illogical to deny.

What Gazzaniga has is a theory. There are many of those in this field of study. If his theory gives you some peace and certainty, then I might suppose that would be a good thing. With all due respect, it may not be a good thing, on the other hand.

For me, the crucial thing that you've said is that the mind is self-reflective. Again, a good and a bad thing (as it were). Self-reflection often employs an ego and its defenses. One might say that the conceptualizations you've generated are ego maintaining its castle. The great psychologists have been arguing for a century that an ego is only "one voice" (and the loudest) among many.

Is it possible that there are no final answers? Is there any situation anywhere where there are no final answers? Can you think-up a situation (not just about mind) where there cannot be a final answer--that there is no answer that is final, complete, or accurate?
MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
May 16, 2019 - 06:16am PT
HFCS,

You've painted a picture of a black box. You have indicated a situation and a condition, and then you say what the result is without indicating what happened in-between. Not so very good science, imo. Stipulating a condition and then saying what a change or result is, simply stipulates, "post hoc ergo propter hoc."
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
May 16, 2019 - 07:28am PT
not so much a black box, HFCS talks about his experience in anesthesia

where did his consciousness go MikeL?

his experience relates that upon receiving the chemical he was unconscious until he was administered the counter acting drug.

the usual protocol would be to have a nurse determine his level of consciousness as he recovered from the drugs. this protocol is very explicit in how to determine the levels of consciousness, I've posted it up thread (probably long ago), as a proposed starting point for an answer to the question posed in the OP title.

science often starts with the attempt to explain an observation, isn't this what HFCS has provided?

WBraun

climber
May 16, 2019 - 07:53am PT
He lost consciousness of his material body from the drug.

That's all.

But he himself was still alive and living in it.

When the drug wore off he regained consciousness of his mortal material shell that he's trapped in due to his overall disease of material only consciousness.

Sometimes you leave the body completely and Paramatma takes care of it until you are to return.

This happens during heart transplants for example.

Modern science is in the dark on these events as they can only see dead matter .....

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
May 16, 2019 - 08:44am PT
He lost consciousness of his material body from the drug.
That's all.
But he himself was still alive and living in it.


that is circular, how does this consciousness arise between the "material body" and "him"?
you seem to infer that the material body is fully physical (responds to the administration of drugs) and that the response somehow effects the interaction with the "him" (supposedly an independent entity).

WBraun

climber
May 16, 2019 - 08:50am PT
"him" (supposedly an independent entity).

Yes .... he IS the life force itself which drives his gross physical material body and his subtle material body (Mind).

Just as the operator of a vehicle is the driver and NOT the vehicle itself (crude material description).
MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
May 16, 2019 - 10:25am PT
Ed: where did his consciousness go MikeL?


Go? You must mean this metaphorically.

No where, I'd say. Would you possibly say that the description is no different than the example you gave Largo about water (gas, liquid, and ice)--basically a transformation of the very same "thing?"

HFCS simply reports no "experience" while under anesthesia. He has nothing to report in his post. There is no in-between that he has experienced, according to his writing. Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

Where does one's hunger "go" after one has eaten? These are only assumed concepts as presented, Ed, not unlike what eeyonkee presents.

I don't see HFCS's little experiment any differently than the "learned" speculations of the 1600s.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
May 16, 2019 - 02:19pm PT
Assumed concepts are what keep aircraft in the air. I would never fly if I knew that the organization that built my plane had beliefs similar to yours, MikeL.
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
May 16, 2019 - 05:18pm PT
No where, I'd say.


Sophistry.


If consciousness (as we "know it") were still present during general anesthesia, then we would remember, have knowledge of, and feelings about what had happened while we were anesthetized. We don't. Why don't we? There isn't an answer to that question, yet, but if we learn more about how general anesthesia works we will probably learn more about consciousness.
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