What is "Mind?"

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MikeL

Social climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 7, 2014 - 11:12am PT
Base:

Significance is another word for meaning. What is the meaning of the image that you posted? Are you implying there is only one?


DMT:

That is your picture of what I'm talking about, but that's not what I'm pointing to. It's easy to come to irrelevant conclusions when you are relying on your imagination.

In her book, "Living Beautifully," Pema Chodron talks about how to live in a groundless state, which is what Largo and PSP (I think) attempt to point to. I keep talking about simply living and doing without interpretations, which we seem to thrive on--especially here. Chodron writes:


"[Probing what is right in front of one] is the basic instruction to make friends with yourself--to be honest with yourself and kind. This begins with the willingness to stay present whenever you experience uneasiness. As these feelings arise, rather than running away, you lean into them. Instead of trying to get rid of thoughts and feelings, you become curious about them. As you become accustomed to experiencing sensation free of interpretation [emphasis added], you will become to understand that contacting the fundamental ambiguity of being human provides a precious opportunity--the opportunity to be with life just as it is, the opportunity to experience the freedom of life without a story line." (This is tantra.)


It's impossible to explain just how this all really happens. I honestly don't know. All I can do is point to some minor experiences that perhaps you have had. When you go on vacation to a foreign land, places where you are without ties and responsibilities or deep understanding of culture, I think what can arise is a sense of freedom and an ability to see things without automatic interpretations, without meaning-just experiencing. Letting go of interpretations and simply being in the here and now is like that, but on steroids. For me it presents an eerie feeling of effortlessness, weightlessness, and (yes) a lack of meaning.

All meaning emerges from story lines. Without the drama of story lines, there is no meaning. There is just experience.
moosedrool

climber
lost, far away from Poland
Sep 7, 2014 - 11:22am PT
Why the spiritual people put humans on a pedestal? If we believe evolution is right, we are not much different than apes, which not much different from monkeys, etc, etc...

Arrogance!

Moose
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Sep 7, 2014 - 11:43am PT
Base:

Significance is another word for meaning. What is the meaning of the image that you posted? Are you implying there is only one?

Mike, I didn't bring this up to attack you. This thread has kind of run into a wall. I'm right, you're wrong, etc. Lots of back and forth with no progress.

I just want to step back and remind us that nature is a BIG topic. Certainly the mind is an important topic, and I cede to you and Largo, at least in part, for the effort you spend. It is curiosity. Not everyone is curious, though.

As for meaning, that image could invoke many meanings. The one that I feel is that science has taken us from believing that the Earth was the center of the Universe to actual study of the entire universe as we understand it now (and so far) is an amazing thing.

I don't find spiritual meaning in those pictures. I don't think that science can be used to understand spirituality and religion. Nature just is what it is. We are observing nature. Every time we get a better telescope or microscope or other measuring device, we seem to find out that the universe is far more complicated than we imagined, say, 500 years ago when Galileo was locked up for merely looking at Jupiter and its moons.

We now know that the church was wrong, and Galileo was correct. Big time.

Still, we have fellows such as Blue and Go-B, who close their eyes and refuse to believe objective information. At this point it would seem quaint. However, a majority of the human race believes in a God of some type. In many faiths, that means that you have to disagree with objective observations and data. I wish that they would just relax. Nature is what it is. Nothing more. Science doesn't have an agenda.

They toss out the idea of the fossil record at whim, for example. The internet is full of desperate spiritualists who are trying to dismiss whole segments of science simply because it conflicts with their religious beliefs. Look at ISIS in the Middle East. They wish to build a nation whose laws all come from the Koran. Disagree and get your head lopped off.

I wonder what those guys in ISIS think about what we have now learned about the nature of the universe.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Sep 7, 2014 - 11:47am PT
Significance is another word for meaning

Actually, I don't think that significance IS another word for meaning.

Look at that picture of the structure of the universe. What does it mean to you?
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Sep 7, 2014 - 12:22pm PT
I wonder what those guys in ISIS think about what we have now learned about the nature of the universe.

What science has learned about the universe is largely irrelevant to ISIS , and in any case is fraught with countless negations of their religious ideology ---thereby representing an identifiable threat. In the most general sense they have occupied a philosophical position just one step up from the one illustrated by MikeL in his above post. Instead of no narrative whatsoever they have chosen just one: their draconian brand of Islam.

All meaning emerges from story lines. Without the drama of story lines, there is no meaning. There is just experience.

This washing of the hands of " story lines" is disingenuous from every angle--- and not sustainable, nor very believable.
This Buddhist approach is in itself an identifiable narrative of its own with predetermined methods , and it own set of dramas- --- stretching far back into the dim mists of time---while steadfastly claiming to be above it all .


Bushman

Social climber
Elk Grove, CA
Sep 7, 2014 - 10:21pm PT
Thanks Mike L. for illuminating some on Bhuddism. I'm first to admit there's a lot I don't know. I should do more research before I post, lest leave some pissed.
MikeL

Social climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 8, 2014 - 12:34am PT
Base (and others):

I didn't take your post poorly or personally. We're just talking. It really doesn't matter.

How some see creation, God, and all, well. . . that's their view. I'm just a joker here who often entertains no particular view at all.

"Uh-huh, yeah, . . . so Mike, . . . what does that mean?"

There is no answer to that question.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Sep 8, 2014 - 08:19am PT
Sam Harris on spirituality without unscientific falsehoods...

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/09/07/sam-harriss-vanishing-self/
WBraun

climber
Sep 8, 2014 - 08:22am PT
The growth of knowledge in the past 150 years is downright astonishing to me.

Yes, the brain will be over taxed by all the data and you'll get nice headache.

Why you think there's so much aspirin.

But then there is knowing which is pure, unquantifiable and ultimately more useful.

That knowing is the exploration of the consciousness of this thread ......
Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado, Nepal & Okinawa
Sep 8, 2014 - 08:24am PT
Darn fructose, you beat me to that post by seconds!

So here's a couple of quotes.Strangely enough, they sound somewhat like things largo has been saying.


I don’t actually argue that consciousness is “a reality” beyond the grasp of science. I just think that it is conceptually irreducible — that is, I don’t think we can fully understand it in terms of unconscious information processing. Consciousness is “subjective”— not in the pejorative sense of being unscientific, biased or merely personal, but in the sense that it is intrinsically first-person, experiential and qualitative.

The primary approach to understanding consciousness in neuroscience entails correlating changes in its contents with changes in the brain. But no matter how reliable these correlations become, they won’t allow us to drop the first-person side of the equation. The experiential character of consciousness is part of the very reality we are studying. Consequently, I think science needs to be extended to include a disciplined approach to introspection.


High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Sep 8, 2014 - 08:34am PT
Strangely enough, they sound somewhat like things largo has been saying.

Jan, with all due respect, that and the rest sound like what the sciences of the mental life (incl the science of meditation) have been saying for years.

.....

We continue to witness a rebranding of "spirituality" - just as I've suggested on this site going back a long time now as possible means of "progress" in these areas. Today this push is stronger than ever. Harris is helping along these lines.

Decades from now, so-called stock phrases might include, for eg, scientific spirituality (meaning science-based spirituality) or spirituality system or modern spirituality or nonreligious spirituality (if religious systems still exist) or nontheistic spirituality (if theisms still exist). A breath of fresh air, just what the planet needs, I say.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 8, 2014 - 08:49am PT
Harris is so predictable

He learns something from the bible then trys to go the opposite direction.

we all know what its called anti-christ

Who's ur Daddy?
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
Sep 8, 2014 - 08:53am PT
That is your picture of what I'm talking about, but that's not what I'm pointing to. It's easy to come to irrelevant conclusions when you are relying on your imagination.

Well perhaps you should consider how you communicate.

You say nothing matters. I did not dissemble your words, that is a direct quote of your oft-stated opinion of things.

If you find others dismiss your further ramblings based on your own previous statements, well, sorry bro. I can't help that.

DMT
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
Sep 8, 2014 - 08:55am PT
Harris is so predictable

He must be science, then!

As opposed to mystics.

DMT
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Sep 8, 2014 - 08:56am PT
The objective significance of the picture is that it provides a map from which we can make predictions and plan for the future.

The subjective significance is as you like it. Some find it breathtaking that, from our tiny little rock, we can perceive such grandeur. Others remain unmoved by things so far removed from their everyday existence.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
Sep 8, 2014 - 08:57am PT
And you obliviously have no clue to what else there is that can't be seen.

What is this obsession with the idea that if it can't be detected (measured) directly with the 5 senses its now the exclusive province of the mystics?

Its idiotic.

DMT
WBraun

climber
Sep 8, 2014 - 09:09am PT
Modern science as just another dogma that steals IDEAS and then calls it their own.
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Sep 8, 2014 - 09:21am PT
Our Universe
Our Universe
Credit: Tvash
MH2

climber
Sep 8, 2014 - 09:22am PT
I don’t actually argue that consciousness is “a reality” beyond the grasp of science. I just think that it is conceptually irreducible — that is, I don’t think we can fully understand it in terms of unconscious information processing. Consciousness is “subjective”— not in the pejorative sense of being unscientific, biased or merely personal, but in the sense that it is intrinsically first-person, experiential and qualitative.



We don't need as broad and vague a concept as consciousness to question the limits of scientific understanding. Could we 'fully understand' The Divine Comedy in terms of unconscious information processing?

Science is not a program to understand and explain everything. Science is a way to ask well-defined questions which can be answered with the tools we have. A marvelous aspect of scientific inquiry is the way some of the answers surprise us by going against our expectations.

It is best to resist the temptation to stake out territory where science will not take us. But it is also good to be humble in the face of mystery and simply grateful for beauty.

Tvash

climber
Seattle
Sep 8, 2014 - 09:27am PT
"And you obliviously have no clue to what else there is that can't be seen."

That's like calling someone "Shorty" because they're not 50 feet tall.

Mike L may not find meaning in anything (just experience!), but he is the God of Value Judgments.
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