What is "Mind?"

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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.
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Jul 16, 2014 - 02:39pm PT
that, and poor Blu got Damasio wrong pretty much across the board. Not much of a useful discussion to be had when short term memory doesn't bother coming to dinner.

Hint: Damasio's single definition of Consciousness has 3 functional components.

One of which is the Self - which has 3 functional components, too.

I could see how such a 2 tier hierarchy of 3's might get confusing.

Stick with the Holy Trinity: Only one tier.




Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jul 16, 2014 - 02:50pm PT
which is why I find this common experience very interesting, Blue...

if you can't every remember being conscious, but everyone around you thinks you are... that's seems a very difficult case to make if you are claiming that brain and mind aren't the same thing... or perhaps that mind doesn't "emerge" from brain.

you are claiming that you are conscious "in the moment" but essentially unaware that you were later because you can't remember.

and from an old argument way back, you lack "first person" experience, the only way you are "conscious" is through a third person consensus that you are.

Tvash

climber
Seattle
Jul 16, 2014 - 02:57pm PT
"Is this think on?"
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Jul 16, 2014 - 03:07pm PT
interestingly, that typo was actually a typo.

Proof positive that my subconscious cleverer than I am.
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Jul 16, 2014 - 03:15pm PT
I have a very clear memory of my first moment of self awareness, lying in a crib, with the soft horizontal surface I was on meeting the smooth vertical headboard, and then noticing that I wasn't alone, because my cousin, a few weeks younger, was in there with me. Must've been a few months old, not able to crawl yet, just like a light came on and I woke up there. It's a weird memory, and I also remember first remembering it when I was maybe five or six and figured out what it was about.

So there's that.
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Jul 16, 2014 - 03:36pm PT
My first real memories were from age 4 - they are pretty much as vivid as if I'd experienced them as an adult. I reckon everything was new - every Missile (popsicle), missile (real ones with soldiers on them tossing candy to the kiddies), dead cat, and dead human (we lived next to a mortuary).

And that was just Day One on this planet.

One thing I've noticed about memory - it can be very inaccurate with regards to chirality. You remember something being on the left - but it was really on the right. For perhaps similar reasons, my mind's eye pictures Afghanistan to the East of Pakistan. Actual maps look like a mistake.

Weird, myan.

I do remember looking out of a moving car and the smell of diesel at age 3 - but it's so fuzzy I don't count it.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Jul 16, 2014 - 03:49pm PT
pp,
you talk alot about "i", seems like alot of the Zen work is around the "i". If Zen is a tool, who's holding it "i"? How does I know what I needs? If i'm not mistaken, sounds like your I is just repressing the I's it don't like by casting blame on the outside environment?

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.

Let's use your example since it describes my childhood to a tee.. cept we also got beat. That all caused me to grow angry through the years, and live suppressing emotion. All the way through my 20's till 30's. my relationship with my parents grew void. All attempts of a relationship through communication would invariably end with uncomfortable silences. Inevitably upon separation anger would rise.

Then i found Jesus. Early in my walk with Him, this 40 yro anger rose. So i took it to Him and laid it at His feet. He said one thing to me, go humbly and forgive your mom and dad. That day changed my and all our lives! For me, i opened up like a flower emotionally in many aspects of life. And my anger towards them was gone! Never seen it since. Our relationships grew and got deeper with every communication. To the point where they actually apologized back to me. They both even started going to church. Mind you they had been separated since i was 5. They went a good 20yrs without ever speaking a word to one another. They didn't see each other for almost 30yrs. Now they are actually being good friends to each other.(i'm praying they will get back together). This is the Holyspirit at work..

What i'm saying by my comparison is, relinquishing the "i" is very important, but who you relinquish it to is even more important!
Your right, some of our "bad branches" are caused by a "bad root". One can keep trimming back the branch, but it'll keep growing back. We should aut go to the root, and dig it up, and show it in light. This is opportunity to fix two bad branches, not just one. For if the root is holy, so are the branches. Everyday, i pray Jesus' will be done in my life, Not mine
Bushman

Social climber
Elk Grove, CA
Jul 16, 2014 - 03:51pm PT
My first memory was that of a dream, waking from the dream, and how I dealt with it. I was two years old and the dream was absurd. This all happened when my parents, my older brother, and I were returning on a freighter from a year living in Europe in 1959/1960. It was absurd. The rule on the ship was that you had to have a sailor hat, and if you lost your hat, the cook would cook you on the grill at the bottom of the big smoke stacks. I dreamed that my older brothers hat flew over board after it blew off his head and they were going to cook him under the big smokestacks. Terrified, I woke from the dream and ran crying to my parents, and crawled into my mother's berth.
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