What is "Mind?"

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Tvash

climber
Seattle
Jul 16, 2014 - 10:46am PT
"The meditation potentially enables you to see the conditioning and you have to see it before you can do anything about it. "

I'm not so sure. Choice theory adherents would strongly disagree.

Dragging yourself through your childhood troubles by any means does nothing more than subject yourself to whatever pain your experienced all over again. Pointless, damaging - and often endless. I doubt the meditative analog to psychotherapy produces any better results.

The key is to choose - TODAY - to take a different path and free oneself from early conditioning. Not easy - but it's much more effective than undertaking some voyage of self discovery through memories that are already highly altered and thus inaccurate anyway. Such a 'now' approach shunts the very human propensity of clinging to excuses.

In the end, though, whatever works for you is what works.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Jul 16, 2014 - 10:49am PT
Or the very human propensity of "dwelling."

Of course a deep irony here is that I often have to "dwell" on life's seamy side as part of my work. But everyday I also imagine a time in the future where people won't have to as much because out of date IOSs no longer exist. Or at least no longer present a major problem either like they did 20-40 years ago in my formative years or like they do today. We can imagine. We can dream. We can hope.

In my next reincarnation, owner of a small surf and scuba shop in Malibu would be nice.
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Jul 16, 2014 - 10:52am PT
You don't get a choice of what goes into your brain as a child?

I remember choosing quite a lot.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Jul 16, 2014 - 10:57am PT
from wiki;
Consciousness is the quality or state of awareness, or, of being aware of an external object or something within oneself.




Consciousness—The having of perceptions, thoughts, and feelings; awareness. The term is impossible to define except in terms that are unintelligible without a grasp of what consciousness means. Many fall into the trap of equating consciousness with self-consciousness—to be conscious it is only necessary to be aware of the external world. Consciousness is a fascinating but elusive phenomenon: it is impossible to specify what it is, what it does, or why it has evolved. Nothing worth reading has been written on it.[20]

i can't find anywhere that sez you need to remember an incident to be conscious of it. i am conscious of the fly that jus landed on my arm, but i prolly won't remember next week. A blind person would be conscious of a fly landing on them, just have a different understanding. So would an Alzheimer patient. So would a baby!
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Jul 16, 2014 - 11:01am PT
Memory association is a necessary component of a functional mind, which is, in turn, a necessary component of consciousness (per Damasio - who's definition, largely based on observation, represents our current state of knowledge as well as anyone's IMO)
PSP also PP

Trad climber
Berkeley
Jul 16, 2014 - 11:03am PT
TVASH said "The key is to choose - TODAY - to take a different path and free oneself from early conditioning. Not easy - but it's much more effective than undertaking some voyage of self discovery through memories that are already highly altered and thus inaccurate anyway. Such a 'now' approach shunts the very human propensity of clinging to excuses."



You can't chose if the conditioning is really strong and you have to look at the conditoning or be aware of it to leave it behind. As you say it is not easy! Meditation makes it easier; it supplys you with a tool to observe, experience and realize the conditioning can be let go.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Jul 16, 2014 - 11:28am PT



Consciousness—The having of perceptions, thoughts, and feelings; awareness. The term is impossible to define except in terms that are unintelligible without a grasp of what consciousness means. Many fall into the trap of equating consciousness with self-consciousness—to be conscious it is only necessary to be aware of the external world. Consciousness is a fascinating but elusive phenomenon: it is impossible to specify what it is, what it does, or why it has evolved. Nothing worth reading has been written on it.[20]

i'd love to hear a real life example of that one.
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Jul 16, 2014 - 11:33am PT
"You can't chose if the conditioning is really strong and you have to look at the conditoning or be aware of it to leave it behind."

Yes you can, actually. You just act - without knowing jack about why you are conditioned one way or the other.

We all have this power - every second of every waking moment. This is a basis of Choice Theory, Rational Emotive Therapy, and a number of other similar, proven practices that have abandoned the "you just have to understand yourself better" rat holes.

Arguably, the world would be a much happier place if people stopped trying so hard to 'understand themselves' and just started making better choices.
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Jul 16, 2014 - 11:46am PT
So says the Christian....

You're nothing if not human, Blu!

That...and I have no idea how your quote is relevant to the current discussion of consciousness, but thas coo.
PSP also PP

Trad climber
Berkeley
Jul 16, 2014 - 11:49am PT
TVASH said "Yes you can, actually. You just act - without knowing jack about why you are conditioned one way or the other. "

I didn't say anything about knowing "why" you are conditioned (you said that).

There are alot of people "just acting " without knowing it is conditioned acting. They/we are literally blind to the conditioning behind the action. As you said earlier "it is not easy" . Why isn't it easy?

Looking at why isn't it easy is a key to be able to let go of the conditioning.

I agree you just have to do it. But you can't do it if you don't see it.

Tvash

climber
Seattle
Jul 16, 2014 - 11:54am PT
An understanding of the difference between emotion (autonomic response) and feeling/action (choices) is def helpful.

I'm sure we largely agree, but I have to fake like I've got a unique viewpoint for that special snowflake feeling.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Jul 16, 2014 - 12:11pm PT
tvash, you know you're arguing back n forth with a couple guys who are convinced (they've been convinced) that there is an immaterial spirit (old term: ghost) behind the machine. Since they're just a half-step removed (evolved?) from go-B, I think you should raise your game.

For instance: What do you think of Sam Harris's recent exposition on "free will"? I'm sure you've watched it.

I don't know, maybe I'm looking for a little higher, more meaningful, back n forth bantering between "the science types" here. I mean, in between all the climbing we're doing. :)

.....

Any chance you're a radiolab fan of Robert Krulwich? Very interesting material here. Say, this one, on morality...

http://www.radiolab.org/story/91508-morality/

I really like these (1) because I like Robert; (2) because these radio pieces are downloadable.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Jul 16, 2014 - 12:24pm PT


There are alot of people "just acting " without knowing it is conditioned acting.

Life IS A Conditioned Act! Don't we get up every morning and go to bed brushing our teeth? Ain't our whole day an conditioned act? Interrupted only by a few seconds of free-will.

Maybe are you implying that we go around acting out "wrong things" or "bad things" that are implanted within us and we don't even realize whats motivating said actions?

If that's it? Who informs you that said action's are wrong, or bad?
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Jul 16, 2014 - 12:28pm PT
eeyonkee,

Look what I happened across last night...
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=269282&msg=269315#msg269315

Wow, I had no idea you had entered the fray so long ago! Long before my time here, too. Excellent! Enjoyed reading many of your posts, too, all of which I thought were right on the money.

Way to represent!!

(2006, that's like ancient history, lol!)
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Jul 16, 2014 - 01:30pm PT
As I understand him, I largely agree with Harris' views on free will.

I think our consciousness is largely getting the memo after the fact. As I've stated before, that must be true if consciousness and the neural firings that support it are one in the same thing - in other words, there is no 'woo' layer, only an illusion that seems to require one. Similarly, such a model must also be true (if magic is to be avoided) if consciousness is an emergent property from a huge array humbler stimulus/response/life management neural systems produced over time by evolution.

Complexity leads to the illusion of free will. A sea monkey will go towards the light. We're no different, really - but there are thousands of lights, our attention is imperfect and limited, and complex memory association means that a blue light might call to us one second, but a red light the next. How such decisions cascade is as complicated as describing how each snowflake moves in an avalanche or what the weather will be like a year from now on this day.

Finally, there is the quantum/random factor. I think current moves to describe the magic of consciousness by trying to map quantum physics over to neuroscience are largely pop bullsh#t, but there may be something to it at the base level - which, after all, leads up to the macro 'decisions' we consciously experience.

Since I don't know jack about how quantum mechanics effect neural networks (quantum mechanics was the only D I've ever gotten - bad prof, inadequate prereqs, or just too stupid? Hmmmm).

As social monkeys, we can help each other drift one way or the other in our decision making - ie, in how our internal life management/value systems score possible future actions, predict their outcomes, or affect our feelings and well being. Given this - nothing is 'written'.

Except, perhaps, this disorganized ramble.
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Jul 16, 2014 - 01:41pm PT
I can say that a person has tremendous power to choose with regards to how one interprets and reacts to life events. This is often a pretty pitched battle - with deep seated animal responses, at times destructive, in direct conflict with considered reason and analysis. At such times, we seem to be 'choosing' a thought pattern - downward spiral v upward spiral in one simple case - but, in reality, our life management/value engines are subconsciously driving the whole effort IMO.

BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Jul 16, 2014 - 02:04pm PT


Except, perhaps, this disorganized ramble.

That's what i'm talk'in about!


Memory association is a necessary component of a functional mind, which is, in turn, a necessary component of consciousness (per Damasio - who's definition, largely based on observation, represents our current state of knowledge as well as anyone's IMO)


Here you state that Damasio says Memory is necessary to be conscious.i jus read about his latest book where he Theorizes there are 3 types of consciousness. 2 of which require NO memory.

But details don't matter when you KNOW the overall picture
PSP also PP

Trad climber
Berkeley
Jul 16, 2014 - 02:04pm PT
BB'er said
"Life IS A Conditioned Act! Don't we get up every morning and go to bed brushing our teeth? Ain't our whole day an conditioned act? Interrupted only by a few seconds of free-will.

Maybe are you implying that we go around acting out "wrong things" or "bad things" that are implanted within us and we don't even realize whats motivating said actions?

If that's it? Who informs you that said action's are wrong, or bad? "

A typical conditioned mind habit is thinking you are not a very competent person and you go around feeling like sh#t alot of the time because you think you are incompetent. Often this is something that was conditioned into you by havng caretakers as a child that told you you were sh#t your whole childhood or just weren't capable of support and love because they were drunks or numerous other scenarios.

you might say well everybody knows that; big deal. Knowing it doesn't help alot; the key is how do you undo the conditioning.

That is the purpose of true meditation to act as a tool to pierce through the conditioning. What is the "I" that has been conditioned?

No attachment to "I" and the conditioning (suffering) is gone.

You can't pierce the conditioning by philosiphizing.



(HFCS) as I have said before Zen has absolutely no conflict with science. And tell me about these ghosts I believe in.


BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Jul 16, 2014 - 02:07pm PT

[quote]Look what I happened across last night...
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=269282&msg=269315#msg269315[/quote]

i'd love to hear eey"s take on the 95%
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Jul 16, 2014 - 02:26pm PT
BB, can you narrow down what you are pointing at in that thread? Damn thing is over 250 posts long.

I assume it has something to do with your Christianity being opposed to Evolution. Be clear.
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