What is "Mind?"

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QITNL

climber
Jul 29, 2014 - 11:39pm PT
Mike L - Since you asked: music was my day job for like 25 years. Started young. I wore a bunch of different hats. Worked with hundreds of different genres and cultures around the world. I came away with a somewhat different perspective of self and art. It became one of the most important tools in my chest.

Self-expression is a wonderful thing and absolutely should be encouraged. Every kid should have the opportunity to learn at least one instrument. But there's a big jump between self-expression and art. Art involves expressing the thoughts of someone else - the listener - not necessarily the thoughts spinning in your head. A song is a journey, you are the guide - but it's their trip.

That's part of the production process. A good recording engineer doesn't stamp his sound on every record, but comes in with a fresh set of ears each session. His most important task is to listen.

It becomes embedded in the final product. When a couple says "they are playing our song," that's the ultimate compliment.

I still employ this principle in my new gig, building websites. Before we touch a line of code, we'll spend a long time listening to our clients. Moreover, I'll remind them: it's not about you, it's not about your product. We need to focus on the visitor, put our heads into their experience. Their mouse clicks generate the most important lines of code in the project.

It's a bit of a leap, not everyone is comfortable with that. But hey, self-expression is great!

Back to work....
MikeL

Social climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 30, 2014 - 02:37pm PT
QITNL:

It seems to me that you are mainly talking about work. I could be wrong. What I was thinking about was life. I was thinking an artistic life, rather than an artist's life.

(Am I far wrong?)
QITNL

climber
Jul 30, 2014 - 03:25pm PT
I wouldn't know about the artistic life, other than don't bother calling before noon. Once I got a drums credit on a record, so I indulged myself and acted like a drummer for a week. That was fun.

I rarely talk about art with other artists, but rather our parents, sports - at this stage, our children. Art is just something you make. After it goes out the door, people attach their own meaning to it - you encourage that, give them some space to fill in.

If you appear on-stage, you might have a public persona, but that's for the benefit of the audience. The goal is to get them to identify with that persona. When the lights go down, it gets packed into a flight case, comes out for the next show.

When you're working in or alongside advertising, self opens up a whole different can of worms.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Jul 30, 2014 - 05:08pm PT
What is mind?

Smug Western science, when will it learn? This should convince anyone Western science doesn't have all the answers...

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=415610768578614

This is amazing. So I'm wondering, if I learn this no-thing meditation, would I be able to do this? How many years must I train to reach this level of achievement/performance? I'd love to be able to do this!

Apparently there no end to the powers and mysteries of the mind.
PSP also PP

Trad climber
Berkeley
Jul 30, 2014 - 05:14pm PT
That is martial arts Fruity ; yeh right the aikido master can stop a train.

It looks like the typical work place where everyone kisses the bosses ass.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Jul 30, 2014 - 05:17pm PT
I don't know, I see "mind" at work there, don't you?

As I said, amazing!!



PS. Don't be a spoiler now. ;)
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Jul 30, 2014 - 08:06pm PT
That's the damndest thing. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it!
MikeL

Social climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 30, 2014 - 10:44pm PT
QITNL:

I once had a close friend who was a call girl. The way you talk about art was the same way she talked about sex. It might also be the same way most here talk about their reality.
QITNL

climber
Jul 31, 2014 - 03:05am PT
Mr. MikeL -

I once had a close friend who was a call girl. The way you talk about art was the same way she talked about sex.

That's a real interesting analogy. I may steal that line. Was she good in the sack? Just curious.

Bull Durham said it all.



MikeL

Social climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 31, 2014 - 08:29am PT
QITNL: Was she good in the sack? Just curious.

I wouldn't know. It was all business to her. A few times we talked about what she did with johns, and it was about as freaky and disgusting as I could imagine, and for really straight and respectable people. I came to see that everyone is a freak. None of us are normal in any way.

I think that every role and discipline that people find themselves in is magical and wondrous at first, but with repeated exposure becomes rote, rutted, dumbed-down, abstracted, and instrumental. We just stop living (being) in the here and now. Then everything becomes just work.

Being detached from attitudes of normalcy tends to expose experience as pristine awareness. On the other hand, detachment can lead folk to become indifferent, and indifference diminishes people's inherent loving-kindness and compassion. Without a full measure of both, wisdom (so-called emptiness) cannot be realized.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jul 31, 2014 - 09:39am PT
I think that every role and discipline that people find themselves in is magical and wondrous at first, but with repeated exposure becomes rote, rutted, dumbed-down, abstracted, and instrumental. We just stop living (being) in the here and now. Then everything becomes just work.

I feel lucky then... my "job" hasn't really ever become "just work"
maybe a life in science is special.
PSP also PP

Trad climber
Berkeley
Jul 31, 2014 - 10:26am PT
Randisi asked "Is meditation an exception to this "every role and discipline"? "

I think it depends heavily on why you are meditating and whether you have a good teacher.

If you are doing it for "I, Me, My" (Trungpa called this spiritual materialism) it will become a boring job. If you continue to ask what is "I" it stays fresh and spontaneous.

It is tricky because "I" is constantly trying to co-op everything. That is why a good teacher is so necessary.
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Jul 31, 2014 - 03:11pm PT
It is tricky because "I" is constantly trying to co-op everything (PSP)

There it is again . . . that damn pesky "I". Root of all evil.


I feel lucky then... my "job" hasn't really ever become "just work" maybe a life in science is special (Ed)

Me neither. I've been retired for fourteen years and still do the stuff out of pure enjoyment.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Jul 31, 2014 - 05:23pm PT
Might I just say that, in spite of the grief I've given the "big guy", this thread has been instrumental in me getting a firmer grasp on the subject matter. I would hope that this would be the case for others. I don't agree with Largo at all, but it was a brilliant idea to start a thread like this. The climbing community is a big network indeed, and there have been some super-smart contributors to this thread, IMO.

I've been reading Jared Diamond's latest book, "The World Until Yesterday". The subject matter is a related field, anthropology. The conclusions drawn by Diamond are entirely consistent with humans basically responding to events in a "programmed" way that includes mainly their own self-interest and that of their closest family and group members. Under certain conditions they actually do cooperate outside of their group, but even that can usually be shown to have an ultimate cause of self interest.

To expand on what Ed said, it's a great time to be even an armchair scientist.
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Jul 31, 2014 - 06:23pm PT
Jebus, I think I might be your mini-me.

I agree with all of that.

Accept I'm not reading Diamond right now.

That would too freaky.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Jul 31, 2014 - 09:25pm PT
Steven Pinker made the onion!

http://www.theonion.com/articles/psychology-comes-to-halt-as-weary-researchers-say,36586/

Next week, he wants me to "guide" him on Dark Star (Temple Crag) in search for more crystal. :)

.....

So, eeyonkee, as a nuanced and well-read thinker, eh? :) it occurs to me you might be familiar with the recent dust-up just this year between Harris and Dennett re: "free will". Basically, Dennett proposes keeping the term "freewill" (despite the will at base not being free of prior causes) for same reason English speaking people kept the terms "disaster" (from the stars) and "sunrise." His argument re "sunrise" - When learned people learned the earth's rotation causes the night to give way to dawn and day, people didn't holler for its impeachment; they didn't start referring to "the illusion of sunrise" (cf: "the illusion of freewill") and on that basis reject/discard the term on the basis of it being inaccurate or wrong; instead they kept it, preserved it, respecting its usefulness nonetheless; so Dennett's proposed the same with "freewilll" - keep it, preserve it on grounds that it is useful, indeed even that it exists when action/conduct "freely" follow's volition (despite its causal basis). Personally I see it both ways, can roll either way, I suppose, depending on context and/or company. Perhaps not unlike the term "work" as well - as it has a street definition and a technical definition. Any thoughts on your part, O Nuanced One? :)

Regarding a better understanding of "freewill", I did appreciate Dennett's apt comparison to "sunrise" though.

Cerebral times.

Can't wait for my next reincarnation cycle, a honey badger would be okay.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Jul 31, 2014 - 11:42pm PT
On re-reading, maybe I wasn't clear enough. In other words...

1) Don't throw out "disaster" (<from the stars) just because... modernity's shown the stars don't cause the troubles in our lives.

2) Don't throw out "sunrise" just because... modernity's moved past geocentrism understanding-wise.

On the same basis...

3) Don't throw out "freewill" just because... modernity (modern science) has shown/ is showing volition's not at all free of prior causes.


On linguistic grounds, I think it's a pretty good argument.
A toast to D. Dennett for the apt comparisons.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Aug 1, 2014 - 05:01am PT
Just how tall are you, Tvash? HFCS, I need to read up on the Dennett/Harris argument. I gotta say, Dennett is one smart dude. If he's suggesting something, I'm going to be listening.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Aug 1, 2014 - 06:52am PT
re: harris dennett flap

I am saddened by the many rifts in the atheist community, but this one saddens me the most. -Jerry Coyne

http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/sam-harris-vs-dan-dennett-on-free-will/
Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado, Nepal & Okinawa
Aug 1, 2014 - 06:56am PT
Give them another hundred years and there will be different sects and denominations of atheists just as there are of other belief systems. Human nature is human nature.
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