What is "Mind?"

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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.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Jul 16, 2014 - 03:57pm PT

BB, can you narrow down what you are pointing at in that thread?

sorry i copied it off tvish's post. Hit on his it works.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Jul 16, 2014 - 04:20pm PT
tvish, here you go dude. i jus read it again. i dont see where i was wrong with what i said. Maybe you just don't understand it?

[quote]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extended_consciousness[/quote]
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Jul 16, 2014 - 04:52pm PT
I think our consciousness is largely getting the memo after the fact. . . . Complexity leads to the illusion of free will (Tvash)

It's interesting how close this seems to comments MikeL has made on how little choice we actually have and how every action is "perfect" - how could it be otherwise?

I think much of what passes as "free will" is not, but I do think we all have some measure of free will and are not simply neural machines. As for suppressing the dreaded "I" and thereby attaining an honest perspective of our conditioning, I suppose that is one psychoanalytic path available for personality disorders.

If the "I" is not in charge, then what is it that exerts will to action? The mechanical view here might have it that such "will" is a series of electrochemical impulses over which we have little control. But here I will have to agree in some sense with JL when he says we can talk about no-thingness until we are blue in the face, but without the actual experience we know not of which we speak. This comment applies to the experience of the apparent separation of "I" from the physical body. Until you have that experience and evolve momentarily into a different realm of being you know not of which you speak.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Jul 16, 2014 - 04:58pm PT
Great post, jgill, but if I may retort. How would you know the difference whether you consciously decided to do something or unconsciously decided to do something and then had an after-the-fact sense of agency about it? The first part of this should not be difficult at all. We call in "instinct" in animals. They just tend to exhibit this range of behavior under this range of circumstances. Let's assume we do the same thing but in a much more sophisticated way. We just do something based on our "state" and the current circumstances in our world. That is not free will. We immediately "make sense" of this action based on memories...(and stuff).

This is no parlor trick. Separating action from sentience is really huge. It is my most important original thought in this discussion.
PSP also PP

Trad climber
Berkeley
Jul 16, 2014 - 05:39pm PT
BB'er said "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"


This is basicly the same thing as letting go of the attachment to "I" just a different style.Christian style. You let go of your anger ,which is "I" am angry. Christian style or Zen style doesn't matter as long as you do it.
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Jul 16, 2014 - 05:42pm PT
If Mike believes every action is perfect, we don't agree.

As I've tried to foist upon thee before, when you have a thousand wavering value engines all screaming for attention in different keys, one's 'choice' of action can vary. creativity proves that our decision engine is
really
fkn
complicated.

Plus, if your perceptions are off kilter - garbage in, garbage out.

All I'm saying is that it doesn't seem possible for one's consciousness to call any shots at all, because those shots have already been called by the the very same stuff from which consciousness emerges.

I'm now going to choose to have dinner with a beautiful woman, then walk the sculpture park.

Best I can do in this life.


BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Jul 16, 2014 - 06:37pm PT

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

How about think back to "your" first awareness of being conscious at age 2/3. Where was your conscious before that? i don't think you/i can remember because our infant brains memory had not developed enough yet. Put together the fact that we just don't remember everything we put our eyes on and make the focal point in our conscious. Lets jump forward to when you were 7/8. You know you were conscious, but you can't remember hardly anything you were conscious of on any given day. i also think there are multiple layers of consciousness, and maybe your only thinking of one? Basically being aware enough to feel the poke of a stick? Open eyed awareness. i'm sitting here focused on the screen punching keys, conscious of each letter. Meanwhile, i hear the radio talk'in, the water cooler running, the dog lick'in my foot, it's hot,and so on. While my brain narrowly focuses no how to spell this word. My "full-time running,wide open awareness conscious" is keeping tabs of everything in my environment i'm not narrowly focused on. "keeping tabs" through my other senses. If i get cold, my narrowness will be interrupted and i'll turn off the cooler. Who tells you to pull the blanket back up when cold while your asleep? Your brain is prompted by a level of your conscious. Being cold is relative to what you consciously agree as warm.

Again, who really knows? i have ideas, i'm just trying to figure out words.
i'm dig'in Damasio's theory's,jus not some of his terminology.
Go check it out!



jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Jul 16, 2014 - 07:10pm PT
We just do something based on our "state" and the current circumstances in our world. That is not free will. We immediately "make sense" of this action based on memories...(and stuff) (eey)

Rather than try to refute this I will offer an example that may reinforce your assertion: Have you ever had the experience of an unexpected sudden loud noise or explosion while you were sleeping, perhaps dreaming, and awakening immediately but having the eerie experience of having had a dream that seems to have been lengthy and that led up to and incorporated the loud noise into its storyline? How could this possibly be? It seems to defy logic and suggest even a bit of time-travel into the past, but that, I'm sure, is an illusion.

Your post probably refers, as well, to the moments of reflection and decision-making prior to "doing something" doesn't it?

All I'm saying is that it doesn't seem possible for one's consciousness to call any shots at all, because those shots have already been called by the very same stuff from which consciousness emerges (Tvash)

Suppose that "stuff" sends up the signal for the "I" in one's consciousness to make a decision and enjoy the sensation of free will?

MH2

climber
Jul 16, 2014 - 07:14pm PT
I also have wondered if my brain has plotted dreams out in advance. It certainly feels that way sometimes. Or maybe it works backwards from some point? Or perhaps there are several parallel lines of dream?
MH2

climber
Jul 16, 2014 - 07:16pm PT
I have memories that I think were formed quite early, but have only a vague notion of when they date from.

I think it is reasonable to guess that babies have a level of consciousness. We can only guess at what another person is thinking and feeling from what they do. Baby's brains are probably busy absorbing the world around and learning to organize movement and don't have much motivation to impress an audience with their erudition, but they squeal and squall for food, attention, and clean-me-up. And they babble beautiful somethings.


Here are a couple examples of what might be objective evidence of consciousness, if you are not too finicky about the definition.


Face recognition








Will, want, need, strive, or crave


jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Jul 16, 2014 - 07:28pm PT
Here are a couple of examples that might fit with eeyonkee's theses:

When I was about ten and living in a suburb outside Houston some friends and I had played baseball and were walking home. I started to show off by spinning a bat in the air and catching it by the handle. Then I missed and it struck me in the head, knocking me down. I didn't loose consciousness, but I had the strangest experience when the bat struck: I saw a deep blue field like the sky with a number of perfect, five pointed solid white stars - just like you might see in a comic book.

More recent, a few years ago I had been sitting for a long time, then got up a little too fast, almost blacking out. But another instant visual appeared: a plane filled with small flashing squares of various colors, exactly like interference patterns on a digital TV. The Matrix, maybe?


;>)
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