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Luis Javier López Arredondo

http://www.unorule.com

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Where do thoughts come from?

Where do thoughts come from?
A thought active connections in the brain or vice versa?
If I control my thoughts, do I control my brain connections?
Consciously I do not control my brain... Are my thoughts random emanating of pure subconscious?
Do I really control my thoughts?

Topics: mind philosophy
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      Nov 20 2012: Dissagree.
      Yes - know yourself.
      But then
      Do your own thinking.
      If you are starved of evidence, then there is no way you will be able to think.
      If the evidence you have been given came from another's mouth or book: test it! If you can't test it, then it is probably a lie.
      If you have faith in the untestable - send me money.
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          Nov 20 2012: It's all good Don.

          I would wish you peace. But peace is not appropriate in the face of ignorance.

          Instead. I'll wish you clarity.
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          Nov 20 2012: Not in you Don,
          We are not the only commentators here.
          I see a lot of ignorance in assumptions based on dogma printed above and below.
          no one seems to have done any research, or in arrogance expect us to assume they have - without the benefit of quoting sources.
          That is ignorance as far as I'm concerned.
          i generally commit to long posts in order to avoid leaving huge holes of assumption.
          But many are talking in shorthand making alusions to phantom cyphers that haven't a hope of being correctly de-cyphered. All holding onto keys for fear that understanding will expose what is being hidden.
          I will give my keys freely - when i speak with someone, I intend to be heard well enough for understanding - should anyone be bothered fully read and ask for clarification - as you have done..
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        Nov 20 2012: Mitch,
        Have you read William K. Clifford's "The Ethics of Belief"?
        http://ajburger.homestead.com/files/book.htm
        He advocates the strictest evidentialism I've seen. He raises the requirement of evidence to the rank of an absolute moral rule: "it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence."

        Do you see a problem with this statement? How do I know how much evidence is "sufficient"? And how can I test this very statement? In fact, very simply. I just apply this statement to itself. Why should I believe this statement? It crumbles like a house of cards under its own weight as any absolute moral rule would. This is what the power of "self" does to our proud ego. This statement of Clifford is a faith statement, nothing else.

        It is ironic that immediately after stating this absolute moral rule, he makes two exceptions to it: "We may believe what goes beyond our experience, only when it is inferred from that experience by the assumption that what we do not know is like what we know." (this refers to scientific inference). But how are we to verify this assumption?

        and " We may believe the statement of another person, when there is reasonable ground for supposing that he knows the matter of which he speaks, and that he is speaking the truth so far as he knows it." This is necessary so that we build upon experience of others and don't reinvent the wheel. But how do we verify the other person's credentials and expertise? Reality changes so fast that a person who was considered an expert a year ago may now go fly a kite as many mortgage brokers did. But even Clifford does not dare to go as far as you do. Shall we stick to our own thinking or shall we open our minds to ideas?

        Speaking of research, you might also be interested to understand better circumstances and reasons to believe: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-belief/
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          Nov 21 2012: hi Arkady,

          I'm glad you noticed ;)

          Well, from the get-go, I have a good idea what Clifford will be banging on about - simply from the title. It contains 2 words "Ethics" and "Belief". Both of these words have no real definition. I call them "garbage bin words".
          I have cracked "belief", and i suspect "ethics" is burried in the dynamics of the autobiographical-self "quadrad" structure. i am dealing with that in my current thesis.
          Blief has another name: perception. Perception is the topological sortation process by which sensory data is converted into information.
          An "informatum" is a reference object formed by and used by a "self" as part of the process of maintaining definition of self. The entire thing is organised around "advantage". Advantage being the field of possibilities which lead to self-continuity(survival).
          This process is part of the negentropic flux loop - whereby we delay entropy into a local flux-pause - at the expense of a flux reversal outside of the "self".
          We make the mistake of assuming closed systems - no system is closed beyond the temporary flux loop of the self.
          An assumption is an insuficiently trained perception which leads to noisy informata.
          I have also rendered "morality" into a the "advantage" frame.

          You know the words "reified" and "deified"? These words pertain to untrained, possibly untrainable perception - they always result in noisy informata.

          Also .. Consider the Mandelbrot set - unlike some fractal phenomena it is a-periodic. In fractal layering, one must obtain 2 clear samples . To assume periodic self-similarity, one must have 2 clear samples of different levels of the system - if there is periodic self-similarity, all subsequent samples are predictable. If it is a-periodic, there can be no prediction.
          The Bayesian learning system is remarkably effective at a-periodic prediction but it is fallable.
          The unknown is not to be feared simply because it is dark - but we harm ourselves if we do not attempt to illuminate it.
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        Nov 21 2012: Hmm... negentropic flux loop... Mandelblot set...

        I feel like my little son who was learning to read a year ago. He would read a long word, pause for a while, then read it again as if trying to remember it and say with fascination "that's a long word..."

        I love to look up stuff like this. I've seen Mandelblot sets in computer screensavers, but never tried to figure out how they work. Interesting. Reified and deified... I never used these words in English, but I know them in Russian. I can see how people reify God and deify things all the time. Both processes seem to cause idolatry - worshiping things. Too often our mind works backwards.

        Usually, when we want to confirm a rule, we need to check if there are exceptions. This is a tenet of scientific method laid out by Carl Popper. Yet, here is a quote from an ABCNews article
        reviewing the book "Judgement Under Uncertainty":

        "A famous study by psychologist Peter Wason neatly illustrates how we tend to look only for confirmation of our ideas, seldom for disconfirmation. Wason presented subjects with four cards having the symbols A, D, 3, and 7 on one side and told them that each card had a number on one side and a letter on the other. He then asked which of the four cards needed to be turned over in order to establish the rule: Any card with an A on one side has a 3 on the other. Which cards would you turn over? (The answer is below.)

        These are just a few ways in which we systematically fall victim to psychological illusion.

        Answer: Most subjects picked the A and 3 cards. The correct answer is the A and 7 cards."

        http://tinyurl.com/bfmkzof
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          Nov 21 2012: Hi Arkady,
          Everything should conform to observation. All else is speculation.

          Yes there are pitfalls in the way people think, but close observation overcomes most of these. There are exceptions, but not enough to make a difference excpt one: the local minimum. I will go into it if you want - because it is a fundamental knowledge.
          Everything I say is observable. ANd I am very happy to be corrected, so long as the erro rcan be observed.

          The Mandelbrot set is another fundamental knowledge - as part of Chaos theory.This includes the description of seemingly random results from simple systems and formulae, also the endless repetition of certain patterns and shapes(fractals). Chaotic systems always demonstrate a fractal property, but some linear systems can have this property too. Until very recently, scientists and mathematicians dealt with "linear" systems and assumed that the universe was fully described by them - e.g. that platonic primative shapes can be combined to describe all shapes - when any non-linear phenonomenon was observed, they were ususally dismissed as "oddities" and pushed aside. This kinfd of assumption turned out to be a 3000 year old mistake. It has been demonstrated that the vast majority of phenomena are fractal and chaotic.

          So I was referring to 2 different classes of "deduction"(a form of prediction): 1. that if a system sampled at 2 levels is self-similar, then it will be self-similar at all levels - from the infinitely large to the infintesimally small. 2. If the samples turn out to be not self-similar, then the system is chaotic. Many people mistake chaotic samples as stochastic noise. Threr may be such a thing as "random" but there is definitely a thing called "chaotic". I speculate that there is no random and the word "stochastic" simply refers to an undiscovered chaotic sytem influencing the observation.
          I recommend the book "Chaos" by James Gleik - it is a good read.

          I will have to continue in a second post.
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          Nov 21 2012: SO. There is observation and there are the methods of prediction based on observation.

          Prediction is observed to be an essential property of life. All life must seek sustinence - to do that, it must predict the location of that sustinence, either through awareness or in-built reaction.

          In the more sophisticated living organisms such as humans, the property of prediction is far greater than that posessed by simple organisms. Here is a very good presentation of how prediction works in humans - it mentions the Bayesian learning/predicting system.:
          http://www.ted.com/talks/daniel_wolpert_the_real_reason_for_brains.html

          It has been observed that the Bayesian system operates well in neural networks. It is not constrained by linear or rational ruleset limitations because it captures the system dynamic through "trial and error" and stores that dynamic as a "pattern recognition" in the network itself.It has also been observed that the Bayesian prediction system has better success at predicting chaotic outcomes than does reasoned deduction or mathematics - but, it often does not do as well as deduction and math with exactitude in linear systems - unless it is fully "trained. Mathematical and deductive formulae are not adaptive, Bayesian prediction is adaptive.

          I accept that we have flaws in our perceptions - but I also know why we have those flaws and how they work. I also know that, given enough training, the flaws dissapear.
          I can describe to you exactly what a perception is, and I can explain in an observable way that "observation" is a process coupling between senses and perception.

          I am working on the notion of entropic flux loops - entropy is described as the flow of energy from ordered to disordered states - this is stated in Newtons laws of physics - but I add that none of it is proven outside our own locality. But in our observable locality it is observable that all selves are loops in entropic flow
          Locality is all we need - anything that enters it becomes local
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        Nov 22 2012: Mitch, great post. We seem to follow similar paths in our interests. I'll read more about chaos. What I read about it links to many, many things. First of all, it links to "self". I recently became interested in religion. Oddly, it greatly stimulated my interest to science. Especially, my interest in questions "why do we believe things?" "When do we know that we 'know' something?" This lead to realizing that these questions are circular. As we observe outside world, we perceive "self" as much as we perceive the outside world. Then I thought about religious concepts - free will, omnipotence, omniscience. I realized that these concepts are circular as well. Then all these circularities in the New Testament - greatness through humility, life through death, the golden rule. Then the name of the Lord - "I AM".

        Then I started to come across various circular scientific and mathematical concepts. Fibonacci numbers: they start with 0,1 - basic concept like "yes" and "no", "existence" and "non-existence". Each next (future) number is the sum of the present (self) and the previous (past): 1,2,3,5,8,13,21, etc. Each number has "memory" of its predecessors and predicts the next. Their occurrence in nature is amazing. They describe patterns of sunflower seeds, pine cones, model reproduction of rabbits, and also shapes of galaxy and hurricane spirals. They are also related to golden proportion used throughout classical art. Hurricane Sandy had a shape of Fibonacci spiral: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2012/10/fibonacci-hurricane-sandy/.

        Fibonacci numbers are closely related to self-similarity and fractals. Did you ever cut broccoli or cauliflower? Just today I came across a romanesco broccoli in a grocery store. I've never seen it before. Amazing shape. In my opinion, we can either look at a galaxy or a broccoli, or a fern, or the devastation of the hurricane Sandy. All of them are manifestations of "self" - "I AM".
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        Nov 22 2012: Another example - exponential function. It is a number multiplied by itself. It is a derivative of itself and an integral of itself. It erases the difference between addition and multiplication. It is a solution of vast majority of differential equations in physics. Periodic functions are, in fact, a combination of exponential functions with complex arguments. Periodic functions also represent a circularity. By the way, Fibonacci spiral is a logarithmic spiral.

        It's strange. These references to "self" are everywhere. Do you think, I'm obsessed with "self" and circularities? In everyday life, it's hard to have a conversation with other people about these topics, but in this forum I find a great number of people who seem to think like me.

        Thomas Bayes, English mathematician and theologian. Georges Lemaitre, Belgian astronomer and a priest, the founder of big bang theory. Gregor Mendel, founder of genetics and a monk. Hmm... Is there a link between theology and science? Perhaps, it's called "self", "I AM"... What controls our thoughts? - "Self". As everything else in this world.
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          Nov 22 2012: Hi Arkady,

          The circularity you percieve is an artifact of language.
          Send me your email and I'll send a copy of my half-finished thesis - it deals with all this.
          It is very much work-in-progrss, but the key ideas are in place. - just needs some indexing, tidying up, graphs, diagrams and source references. I expect to have it in publishable form in a few weeks.

          The last part of my thesis deals with "I Am". Essentially it is the initial "self". the hypothesis states that a self is a wave in entropy - an inflection in the entropic gradient that cancels the entropic potential - a phenomenon we percieve as "order" ( "order" is a very fluffy term .. one would do better to simply concieve of it as an energy "flow"). Order is no more than a pattern that persists in time - the force of entropy seeks to break-up such patterns and leave a homogenous, featureless "smear". The self is a "standing-wave" in this process from pattern to no-pattern.
          So what happens is that the energy flowing into the "self" maintains the self-pattern, then flows-on beyond the self. That energy which departs the "self" is "super-entropic". in other words, what passes out of the self is even more homogenised than what default entropy would produce. Thus, the amount of entropy is balanced over-all .. a conservation of entropy. The best illustration is that highly ordered "food" goes into an animal, and highly disordered "waste" goes out.
          In the universal context, it is the gradient of entropy which spawns "selves" - so you can concieve the departing energy as a "field". Within that field, the entropic gradient is steeper - and spawns new "selves" to occupy that gradient. This happens recursively with each "self" creating a niche for new selves in the field created by its existence. So then the great "I Am" is the outer macro-wave, which spawns ever smaller selves from galaxies, to stars, to planets, to animals, plants, bacteria and then to atoms and then to particles - and beyond. A spiral.
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          Nov 22 2012: The model also explains gravitational and electro magnetic fields.
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      Nov 20 2012: Yes indeed Don, “Know thyself” and this is not about recognizing ourself in the mirror :)

      By how we react to situations we come into or the thoughts that come into our mind, we determine the road we are taking.
      “Know thyself” is knowing where the 'road' we are on is taking us. Do we really want to go there??

      I am not sure where "proof" comes into this, other than maybe proof that we do have the freewill to change our route for the better.
      We may have to fight and kill the Philistines in our life and march around Jericho a couple of times. Our life can be very difficult to change, but we're worth it.
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        Nov 20 2012: You wouldn't want any proof wandering into your temple Adriaan, it might upset your excuses and justifications for all those philistines you plan to kill.

        Loose lips sink ships my man - you would do well to keep it close - else your victims might escape..
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          Nov 20 2012: It would help to know what the Philistines in the OT represent. Every name of a city or a person has a spiritual meaning that connects to our being on a journey.
          When the Children of Israel were fighting the Philistines it represented our good intentions fighting off our selfish intentions. God does the actual fighting, but as long as we 'keep our arms up,' we'll be fine.

          You are right, ships can sink, but they also have purpose, just like a body.
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        Nov 20 2012: Not interested in your secret society machinations.
        Light does not shed darkness.
        Your secrets betray you.
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      Nov 21 2012: Mitch what are you referring to with "your secret society machinations" ?? I am trying to explain things, not keep anything secret. Because light does shove darkness away.

      Does anything spiritual fall in that category with you? Do you believe matter is all there is?
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        Nov 22 2012: Adriaan,

        I percieve that you are a good man, but I also percieve that you are stuck.
        The allure of the hierophant is the coveting of keys.
        A hierophant is defined by the keys on his belt.
        And on his belt they stay .. why is that?
        It is because all must do favors to the hierophant before the door will be opened.
        You say that the OT requires keys?
        I smell hierophants - I do not trust them, and I suspect their motives.
        let us assume that these keys are like lamps, and that the robes of the hierpophant is a bushel.

        No .. A true man gives away keys - it's not as if they are consumed by giving.
        If the writers of the OT were true men, they would not pervert these keys by their secrecy.
        They were exploiters.
        And I think you need to understand that in order to get those keys uncovered and in plain sight.
        I am not asking a small thing here - I am asking you to write the bible of the good man - to de-frock the hierophant and emancipate his victims of darkness.
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          Nov 22 2012: Thank you Mitch, and you're right, being stuck is never good. I may support the spiritual interpretation of the Bible because that is what makes all the contradictions and absurdities make total sense. I have absolutely no problem with science, as long as it does not go beyond its limits of the senses.
          In fact being stuck is another way of saying, being 'a slave in Egypt' because one of the "keys" in Genesis is that Egypt does represent knowledge, facts.
          Many Bible figures also go to Egypt (even Jesus) because we do need to learn facts and be knowledgeable. We do not become doctors by walking into an office. When , however, we limit ourselves to that activity and don't use it, we become slaves in Egypt.

          And yes, "You say that the OT requires keys?" God gives Revelations accommodated to the receivers (over possibly millions of years). Parents also adopt their communications with children about Santa, sex etc for their acceptance but also very much for their protection. If we had been given all the facts and manuals, most people would try every possible way to change them and 'I'll do it my way! (the 2 trees in Eden).

          --"It is because all must do favors to the hierophant before the door will be opened."--
          No one, ever, has to do me a favor. My website is always open, I have no way of telling who, or how many visitors there are. I often leave links related to a subject, if TED allows. You, or anyone else, can get on my websites (via profile) and read, download and use anything you want.
          Often people start reading with the desire to find something that does not make sense or is just plain wrong. Over time that approach can change.

          An interesting thing can be found in the link below, about Genesis, when a search is done for the word "because." Many times things in the Bible are strangely written, then the word "because" is used to explain the reason why.

          http://sites.google.com/site/liveitupspiritually/home/writings/Arcana%20Coelestia%2001.pdf?attredirects=0&d=1
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        Nov 22 2012: Hi Adriaan,

        I spent a good long time in the company of the religious of all sorts.
        I observed the hierophant to be the great exploiter.
        There is an alure that corrupts in the power given to the gate-keeper.
        Then there is another kind of man. This man throws open the doors.
        This is the man we call "prophet"
        He is the man who found the key, opened the door, ripped the door off it's hinges and threw the keys down.
        He became un-stuck from teh allure of teh power in the keys.

        I will read the material of your link, but I note that the original Latin is not included - I would have preferred the author had the honesty to include the original latin for the reader to translate for himself - and extend the spirit of teh analysis for himself. I resent the assumption that the reader is without the skills required.
        These are the subtle devices of teh hierophant.

        you say "If we had been given all the facts and manuals, most people would try every possible way to change them and 'I'll do it my way! (the 2 trees in Eden)."

        Here is where you are stuck.
        You assume Sin in a heart. I observe that SIn is placed into a heart. And so did Jesus - when he mentioned "stumblig blocks".
        These keys in the Bible are no more than footseps in the journey out of darkenss.
        If one were so disposed, one could obtain the state of the journey by examinind anything in depth - even a stone will reveal this.
        The true faith consists of teh steps of one's own feet as darkness is left behind.
        To read the bible and rest there seems to me like the parable of teh woman who looked back and was turned to a pillar of salt.
        It is teh motion of the man departing darkness that is a light for all - it is in the deeds not the words.
        You are a good man - I would enjoy to see your works.

        Mitch
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          Nov 23 2012: Mitch, thanks for replying. I am sorry that your experience with religions has not been very positive, but I'd like to think exceptions are possible.
          I have absolutely nothing to gain by how people respond to what I say or provide links to. I put out birdseed, take it or leave it :)

          --"but I note that the original Latin is not included"--'
          There are so few people nowadays that know Latin that this was not included. And yes some translations are better than others, and even a good translation may have a few words in it that people do not agree with. I'll try to find a digital Latin copy and email that to you.
          There is some info on Wiki regarding the "Arcana Coelestia." Also, as you probably know, at the time this first volume was written (1749) it was normal for any intelligent person who wrote a noteworthy book, to write it in Latin.

          About sin. At birth we all have only (hereditary) tendencies toward sin and goodness. When we do not 'brake the cycle' and accept and practise the sins, they become ours.

          Your last 6 sentences I fully agree with 100%, especially the last one LOL We will be known and judged by our fruits that we have done in freedom, not by what we've read.

          It is not the words, or the thoughts, but the deeds! Perfect!
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        Nov 23 2012: I will go on a little bit as it is clear that there is a burden here to take up.

        The division of science and religion is entirely artificial.
        Those who engage in observing this division are under the glamour of domination.

        It is a lesson to us all that our hearts are exposed, both you and I, by our conflicts. And in this, we bare the darkness of our forebares.

        The true struggle is not us aginst us, it is us against the darkness we have inherited.

        I note that these battlegrounds were not defined by us - but by the darkness our ancestors contrived.
        We are not them, yet we bare their legacy.

        Yes, honour our parents, but honour to the very depth of our ability - even into the fullest light of our criticism. WHat we are bequethed must be sorted - wisdom from cruelty - before the fare is fit for the feast - to do otherwise is to be poisoned and become the princes of darkness.

        The theme of the topic was the question of where thoughts come from. Using this as an oportunity to enter the battlegrounds created by our fathers' failures is not an answer.

        Elsewhere in this thread, I have contributed to the advancement invited by the question.

        I would respectfully ask you do the same - and quote your souces and structure your observations such that the reader can participate in your observation - and gain the gift of light rather than suffer the jingling of keys beneath arrogant robes.

        The children plead for light, and are violated by the locked door - and the very wall in which it stands. How is it, that the plea for light is not met by light - except through subservience to the wall?

        What is this we do to our children?

        We do to them what our fathers did to us, untill the day we refrain - and this is the quest.
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          Nov 23 2012: Mitch there is one book I would very much like to share with you, The word "thoughts" appears 80 times and includes descriptions of our thoughts as well as even the thoughts of spirits and angels. This book is not written by Swedenborg but could be seen as a compilation of the close to 30 (religious) books he wrote.

          http://webhome.idirect.com/~abraam/documents/TheSpiritualWorld.pdf

          It says "Thought is spiritual speech" and is caused, directed and shaped by our affections. Our affections, taken together, are ruled by one king. This 'king' is referred to as our ruling love.
          Really appreciate your thoughts and a very poetic expression of them.
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        Nov 23 2012: Hi Adriaan,

        Many thanks for the link - I appreciate you taking the effort!

        Not all my experiences with the religious have been negative.
        However, it was the very contrast that sent me searching further - to discover why it is that the same bag can contain such light and such darkess both? What is it that I can give to sort the grain from the chaff? And so I did - and continue to do.
        I am as tainted by the stain as any other - but it is by my own eyes that light enters - literally.
        I appreciate the calls from fellow seekers "come! See this .. or that." and so I look - and so it is not all worth looking at - some of it is an invitation to put my head into darkness and be lost in it.
        SO I have had to walk in my own boots.. Sure, it is our power to walk a mile in another's shoes, but beyond that we are shod like horses to pull ploughs and carry them at their pleasure - to suffer the mistakes and perversions of other men.
        It is by the prints of my own boots that I now judge my next step. And it is by that path that I can tell the calls of perversion from the calls of compassion. By this method, I have found lights far greater than my own - in living men. THose dead are embers that fade into ashes arranged on teh brows of the phoney messiah. And one need not look so far for truth - it is plainly at hand - as is heaven or hell.

        I am quite happy that some need the aproximate circles of words such as "spirituality", however, this circle also encompasses delusion and ignorance. we cannot just take these words and say - look there is spirituality! Have we been closer to see what is truly in that circle?
        Part of my task is to make that examination - and deliver understanding in replace of assumption. Then when a mouth utters "sprituality" there will be no doubt as to what lies inside it.
        So I search in the deepest observations of what we are - what we have truly found - then to cast the dross from the seed within the chaff - for my eyes, and my companions.
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          Nov 23 2012: Mitch, right on! "we cannot just take these words and say - look there is spirituality!"
          Precisely, even though Jesus says 'heaven is within you' that does not mean it is inside an organ or any physical part of our body.
          That was, initially, what Swedenborg was going to research and find which organ was Jesus talking about, the seat of our soul.
          That was the beginning of a long process of the opening of his eyes.

          I just sent you an email with a connection to read the first link above, in Latin. It is also possible to compare it to different translations. I really hope it helps your search and if there is anything else please do let me know.
          There is also another reading option, with also a word-search tool but I think you'd have to register in order to use it. I'll look into that.
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        Nov 24 2012: Hi Adriaan,

        It's much appreciated.
        Let me explain my stance a little:

        At one time I was deeply involved in the spiritual search, I spoke at length with clergy of many denominations, read all accessable bibles, visited temples of many kinds and spoke to the adherents therein.
        I also spent a year studying the phenomenon of proselytisation.

        After years of this it became plain that theree was no truth to be found in the mouths of humans. Certainly there was a lot of good intent and enlightened vision, but all tainted by ... something.
        So I retireed to secular life for a while and just kept the spiritual search going at second priority.
        Strangely, the seach continued around me without my actively searching, I found myself on the "ley lines" of human influence with contact with British royal mythology and ancient druidism also threads of Isreael winding through history into my life.
        Another thread opened up - the emergence of neural topology and chaos math which I followed actively for a few years - doing my own computer modeling and experimentation.
        It is through the coalescence of all this that I now percieve the "something" that taints us all.
        It is perception .. to be more precise, it is secondary perception - it is a flaw in language itself.
        we make the error of persisting in our autobiographical selves - fictions. These autobiographical selves are simulations running in "world views" world views consist. largely, of things we are told and taught - not hings we personally observe. Our world views accumulate the cumulative error of all the mouths and ears through which it has passed.
        This leads us to be living in total fiction.
        The Arcana Coelestia may well provide an incisive roadmap.
        In the mean time, I am preparing a thesis which is a structural method to help with all this.
        I perceive some urgency in this - the tower of babel was(is) not a fiction.
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          Nov 24 2012: Hello Mitch, thanks so much for sharing. Much of what you say, my wife went through on her level.
          As a young girl she had a NDE and no one she talked to, over the years and in several religions, could explain what it was she went through. Explain away, yes but she knew it was a very real experience, and had no doubts about that. This made her very un-interested in religion, to put it mildly.
          During our courtship this came up and when I said that her experience was normal and could be explained, she was flabbergasted. Now I'm wondering, did she marry me for me, or for my religion? :)

          You seem to describe a group-game where one whispers something in the next person's ear and that one passes on what he/she thought was said. There too, yes, we go through the process of accessing our memory and knowledge of words to see what interpretation of our ear makes sense as to what the person was saying. We do not want to sound ridiculous to the next person either, and maybe stop the game. Life, I guess is not much different. But still, we have to go by what makes sense to us and, in a way, gives us peace.

          If there are in your great and determined research certain areas of deep interest, with maybe specific questions, please do feel free to email me and we'll see what can be done and who I can pass them on to.

          We came to Canada in '78, so our kids could go to a church-school that did not exist in Nederland.
          I am no minister, in fact a drove a city bus for 28 years. But, as Swedenborg says, what is the use of knowing if you don't put it to use or share it with others.?
          Ten years ago we lost our 29 year old daughter who was to get married the next year. In situations like that a belief system can make or brake us. I'd like to think it made us into, at least, more helpful people.

          BTW it so happens there is something regarding the tower of Babel..
          http://webhome.idirect.com/~abraam/studies/Parable_tower_of_Babel.pdf
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          Nov 24 2012: Hi Mitch, just looked at this website and it really allows a deep study of the Bible text (without registering) and the thought behind that text. BTW we do believe that these thoughts are from God..
          This Project is also translating the Bible based on the spiritual interpretation. This is sometimes quite different from someone translating it according to existing assumptions or conditions. E.g. the value of numbers are kept the same. No measurements are transfigured to miles or inches because the number itself has a meaning, which is condition, not the distance.
          http://www.kemptonproject.org/
          On the right the Bible text can be selected and I recommend to click on "study," however, just below is to just "Read the Writings" where you could select "AC 1" at the bottom to read the text of Arcana Coelestia #1. Below on the right is the option to read the Latin text.

          Enjoy and have a warm weekend. Here snow is on the way..
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        Nov 24 2012: Hi Adrian,

        The "world view" is far more than a group game. It is a basal unit in the gestalt organism we call "society".
        A good lot of the "error" of the "chinese whispers" is generated by self advantage. In other words, the truth was bent to breaking and continues to be bent as more self advantage is leveraged by exploitive individuals. The only escape from it is the test of direct observation.
        Unfortunately, one's world view can build to such a large body, that there is simply not enough time in a life to test it all.
        I resonate for the loss of your daughter. I lost a brother some years ago. The sudden discontinuity in our world-view leads to great uncertainty and pain .. all our predictions and expectations are rent. Here is one place where religion can help - to smooth-out the great chasm left by death.
        However, the true self has only sadness, not injury. The discontinuity of world view is an issue for the autobiographical self .. the core self is not so affected. It took me about 2 years to recover from my brother's death .. losing a daughter would be worse.
        Many thanks for the links - I appreciate your help!
        To me, the tower of babel is a description of how we become lost in our own cleverness and lose our hearts and lives in the process. THis is exactly the process of world-views and the function of language. THe tower rises and falls with the language and accumulation of aberent world-views - over and again. The comming fall will be significant due to our error in appreciating our true risk, and our arrogance in thinking the risk can be mittigated - when, in truth, it can only be shifted.
        The survivors, if any, will need to know how to stop building these monsters.
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          Nov 25 2012: Hi Mitch, thanks for your reply. What helped our dealing with the loss of our daughter was indeed our religion (or look at life). The is portrayed in her memorial service,
          http://webhome.idirect.com/~abraam/documents/Memorial.rtf
          This website was used at the time and I made her the theme. What it says here might help you too, regarding the loss of your brother.
          We felt happy for her, being promoted to the position of angel, but yes, for us it was a tremendous loss.

          Our llife depends so much on how we use and control our thoughts. Because with how we conrol our thoughts we form our character. I compared it to 'spiritual vision' before, and in whatever direction we aim that vision, that's where we are headed. What direction we're going is like deciding what to love. Based on what we love that's what our character becomes.
          Lots of people seem to disregard that freedom and see it as not real. To me that is unrealistic. We can, and do, think about anything we want or react to any thought that pops up.
          A few years ago I had such an experience. My wife was sending money to our kids in Colorado. As I was got close to the post office, the thought occured to me that I could easily put the money in my pocket and no one would be the wiser.
          I see the spiritual world as real and influential. That it was not me bringing that thought up but that some bad spirit was trying to make me do an evil deed. So I chuckeled and told it to get lost.
          How different that situation might have been if I had been confinced that this was me doing the suggesting. Maybe that would have made it easier to see it as having value, a good way to go.
          These days there are so many mental situations in which the spirit is totally disregarded. E.g. depressions are seen as a chemical imbalance, as if that's the only cause. I see it as a TV signal that is fine, but a receiver that needs repair.
          I know this is putting it very simple, but what do you think?
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        Nov 25 2012: Hi Adrian,

        I see it as posessing an "executive" function.
        A bit like watching water run through sand.
        The water is the exploration of possible outcomes.
        This is exactly what autobiographical self does - it generates possibilities from which the "executive" chooses.
        The executive is part of the core self - it posesses "policy" - our "moral" rulesets, which, although not testable in the short term, have some evidence of being beneficial in the long term.
        One major policy would be honesty. At the onset of a potentially dishonest possibility, the executive will consult policy and dismiss the dishonest impulse. On further examination, the executive can run the scenario over a longer timespan - usually it will find that the dishonest option will cause a divergence of the auto-self constructs .. which would represent an unecessary injection of "noise" into our relationships (having to maintain lies). After a while, the executive would not need to run the long-term projection and would cement it as habitual policy.
        The notion of being "recievers" is a fascinating concept. I have observed it often. At the moment I am exploring it in terms of social dynamics - ordinary physical phenomena with an emergent property formed by our social interactions. However, this effort is partly undertaken to isolate the non-ordinary component. So that the "signals" are not all taken as the same thing. There is an observable dynamic of network systems to develop unresolved "cachements". For instance, I can train a simple network to recognise the letters of the alphabet - but it will have problems with the letters O and Q, also V and A .. it "percieves" these as "the same thing" - they occur in the same cachement - and it takes considerable training to get the network to develop 2 distinct cachements in order for it to have tthe discrimination.
        So too is the distinction between normal social dynamic and extraordinary perception. Fine distinction is the art of wisdom.
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          Nov 26 2012: Hi Mitch, as I said, my picture is a simple one. When I talked about a TV signal and a receiver, it only meant to portray a connection. In this case between our mind (spirit) and our brain (organ, matter).

          Maybe that book Arcana Coelestia is not as thought provoking and applicable to our daily life, because it 'only' explains Bible text on a spiritual level. You seem to go much deeper.
          On the KemptonProject site we can 'Read the Writings' (with which are meant Swedenborg's religious books) but we have to know the initials to get started.
          The book above is AC (followed with the paragraph number you want to read)

          Another book I would very much recommend is Heaven and Hell (HH) Talk about where our thoughts come from..!!! We have not only heaven within us, but also hell and both would very much like our attention and support.

          The next book is all about God, what He is and how we relate to Him as images and likenesses. Title is Divine Love and Wisdom (DLW).

          This should keep you off the street for a while :) I sincerely hope you are interested in this information and approach. If there are any thoughts about "Where thoughts come from" these are the books that, I honestly believe, can lift the veil.

          In the famous book "Life After Life" the psychiatrist Raymond Moody devoted a whole chapter on Swedenborg, and as you know it helped my wife too. In Swedenborg's time the cutting edge of medicine was the use of leaches. NDE was an almost unknown concept.
          IOW for some reason and in more ways than this, he was very much ahead of his time.
          I hope you'll give it a go.
          All the best

          And again if you just want to get the English versions, just holler
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        Nov 26 2012: Many thanks Adriaan (and also Don for the valuable prompting).
        It will certainly "keep me off the streets" as it were, even though I have a current deficit in street activities - but enough time to digest new perspectives.

        I have specific markers for such things as heaven/hell and afterlives .. but these are not high priority untill I have dealt with the pragmatic observable dynamics which will polute higher percetions if not properly "nailed down".
        The pragmatic-observable strips away a lot of historically unexplored assumption. What was once assumed to be divine has shown itself, without doubt, to be banal physical phenomena. Without doubt because these things can be repeated ad infinatum without the intercesison of any deity.
        I am not attempting tpo be inflamatory by this observation - but if I am to do spitituality and degree of justice, it must be on the basis of my utmost honesty.
        There still remains the work of discerning the dynamics at work between short and long term policy in the realm of "morality". This also applies to such things as tangible/intangible benefits in a business case - all inextricably linked as far as our moral behaviour is concerned - and remains as a divide between the proponents of politics into adherents of governing of(facism) and governing for(democracy). I observe that western democracy is currently indistinguishable from facism - the shift being from one of communality to one of dominance(See Pinker's talk on modes of language).
        And similarly in business where the intangible benefit(communality) is rejected in teh favor of teh tangible(reciprocity). And further to the demise of the mode of "leadership" at the hands of hierachial(dominance) behavior overpowering communal modes arising from teh advent of agriculture.
        IN short, I aim to plot a path forward for mankind to return to the practice of communality. Which can only happen after a great catastrophy. Which is ensured by teh tower of babel - so we better be prepared.
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          Nov 26 2012: Yes Mitch, what kind of catastrophy would it take to change anything? Is it not so that we cannot change the world, but we can change ourselves?
          Some people do indeed need a personal catastrophy, the loss of a marriage, house, job etc before there is a wake-up moment that drinking might be the problem that caused it all.

          I think we can only change ourselves, and when enough people realize that, this will become a better world. The less we give hell a chance to be present in this world, the more 'room' for heaven that will create. In line with what Don says, make kindness the first reaction to the world around us.
          So my first advice is: read Swedenborg and share where possible.
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        Nov 26 2012: So what is this spirit stuff.
        What is it made .
        What holds it together.
        How does it generate thoughts, or hold consciousness.
        Are there spiritual neurons, and spiritual atoms, and spiritual electrons.

        We dont seem to know much about this concept, at least not much based on evidence.

        Is spirit just an argument from ignorance, or perhaps a metaphor for what we don't understand about life and consciousnesses?
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          Nov 26 2012: High Obey.
          --"So what is this spirit stuff."-- . etc"
          In one of the links I mentioned to Mitch (http://webhome.idirect.com/~abraam/documents/DLW.pdf) it is described in the first paragraph. Basically it is the spiritual substance, love. Few know what love is, but the general consensus is that it is not nothing.
          Love brings people together like gravity works on the natural level. Don't worry, there will be no evidence of whatever I say. You choose not to read any books or explanations, so don't worry, you'll never be forced to change your perspective (even after your body dies). Just as I cannot and should not (or have the least wish to) persuade anyone into buying anything they don't want to. I have even less power or wish on the spiritual level to make you accept and love something you choose not to.
          Everything I put out as one puts out birdseed. Take it or leave it.

          I believe there is a spiritual world or realty that gives life to matter, whether it is a flower or a neuron. We are a spiritual body in a material body. When a man dies he is still a spiritual man, just as a woman is still a spiritual woman.
          Life is above the natural world, and only 'connected' by way of the "science of correspondences" (You could Google that).
          It is that level of life that gives us freewill. It is not caused by loose neurons.
          May I suggest you read some stuff and then see what you may want to talk about? As they say, what do you have to loose?
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          Nov 26 2012: Hi Obey 1,

          As far as I can tell, spirit seems to be the gradient of entropy.

          No matter how you gain entry to it, it's still pretty amazing and wonderful. And results such as kindness, compassion, humility and clarity always result.

          At the moment I'm exploring the idea of living creatures being akin to little waves on the universal entropic gradient line. The patterns maintained by the peak of teh wave are what we observe as a "self" - a local zone where entropy is suspended. But what we do not observe is the super-entropic "tail" that balances out the peak. Since it is the gradient of entropy which fuels everything, the super-entropic tail presents a sub-environment favouable to more selves. from that, one can postulate a "mother wave" who's tail contains all of life. From there it would be fractal. I am yet to construct a useful mathematical model.

          It would be interesting if Wolfram's computational ideas might be translated into the actual gradient of the negentropic wave. This would extend the model to encompas such things as galaxies, stars atoms and particles - all these demonstrate negentropic properties.
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        Nov 26 2012: Hi Adriaan,

        Totally agree - loss is often the catalyst to improvement.

        The "marker" that I have kept for heaven/hell is from observation - this is the seed from which I will draw my bearings. It is:
        "The inhabitants of hell have free licence to torture each other without let or hindrance. Conversely, the inhabitants of heaven have free reign to bless each other without limit."
        I have also observed that one may occupy special places in this schema - there is the white circle and the black circle. THese are like fortresses, with the generally light and teh generally dark surrounding them.
        But it seems that the dark agregates around the white circle, while the light surrounds the black.
        Those in the white circle cannot be touched by anyone in the general darkness - those in the black are impervious to the generally light. But the fortresses contend. A being of light has no one to fear but the black master, the black master is ever at peril from the white.
        It may be wishful thinking, but I believe that there can always be more light, while darkness is limited by its final resting place of nothing - and is defined by the light.
        The "gods' which I have observed moving here and there are somewhat nebulous .. they seem to manifest through humans and animals .. they are most noticed through the transformation of circumstance - the topology of reality seems to concentrate and flow in their presence. If you do sacrifice to them, the bless you, if you deny them, they bless you, if you do their work, you join them .. become them .. - it is a blessing, but all that is done as a god is at the will of that god - and the blessing of a god remains with that god - i.e. all that incredible power and vision is of the god. It is a trap to believe that any of it belongs to the worshiper - who becomes simply a channel.
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          Nov 27 2012: Hi Mitch, I'm very curious how you observed the situations you describe. I believe Swedenborg's spiritual eyes were opened and he communicated with those in hell as well as those in heaven.
          Good and evil are opposites, so as opposites they do not mingle, communicate or even influence each other in the next life.

          God's blessings are bestowed on all in heaven and enjoyed by all. Many having had a NDE can tell you the immense, overpowering love they felt. Actually they can't, it is inexpressible, but still very real.

          Your final statement seems sort of right, that life, or its blessings are not our own, we are receivers of life and of its blessings. Although we do have the feeling that life, very much, is our own. Otherwise we would not feel human.
          The heavenly situation is to love others more than oneself. Which seems impossible here but is normal in heaven. Heaven is the result of the quality of our character, which again is determined by what our loves are.
          When we pass on, we wake up in the same spiritual world we are in now, but then we go through two stages if on our way to hell, but three stages if we are on our way to heaven.
          Part of that is because we have an internal and an external mind. We are, and control the external mind, God governs and changes the internal according to how we handle the external one. God protects our freewill as the apple of His eye.

          This shortened version of Heaven and Hell starts with what happens after we die..
          http://sites.google.com/site/liveitupspiritually/home/writings/Heaven-and-Hell_Short.pdf?attredirects=0
          It's always good to know where we're headed.
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        Nov 27 2012: Hi Adrian,

        The experience of heaven and hell? well the "hell" experience concerned a road rage drama I got involved in - many years ago. We 2 combatants engaged in all sorts of dangerous hate-filled agression, and in the midst of it, there was no policeman, no external agency whatsoever to prevent what we did to each other. And afterwards, we parted on a merry ways filled with the hatred radiating out of us. That was the clearest example - very instructive. I have observed the dynamics when one refuses to play .. the general light and dark. With the free blessing .. well, you will know it .. those in light elevate each other to great brightness.

        With gods .. yes, well, I once made a dedication to Durga, Mahishha and Shiva .. kind of by accident .. I made a set of flutes based on teh Mysore festival of Durga. It was in honour of teh wood that came to me from a fellow in Barrow-on-Humber .. he had gotten some rosewood furniture from a local lord who's family were expelled from india along with the Raj. We worked together to have the set made, and in the process I was advised by a north Indian fellow who directly translated the full legend of Durga from a sanskrit document that had been in his family for .. a long time. Durga is essentially the General deity of "overcoming" .. In India, the spirituality is not kept in stone buildings on Sundays - it is a true religion. Durga has her own musical scale(Raag) - as does Shiva. They are played at different times of the day. They both have a creative and destructive aspect. Mahishha was an imortal demon-spawn who attempted the invasion of heaven, and was finally defeated by Durga in a 100-day war. Mahishha, being a demon has no Raag, but is manifested by the Raj - who were also defeated by Durga.So the flutes were made in that 100+ year old wood in the culturally specific scales - Mahisha being teh indic equivalent of the western diatonic scale. (contd).
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        Nov 27 2012: The scales were tuned to the exact frequencies of theofficial Raags - using the 22-note chroma of southern India. Once they had been proven to be true by my north Indian friend, I took them as display piecvces to the various folk music festivals as part of my cultural jehad.
        The story and the flutes attracted some remarkable events - such as a 50-foot auric flame erupting from my tent. The personas of Durga and Shiva came visiting through various people with blessings and demonstrations of power. Dark people who entered that flame were struck to the ground and required medical attention. These avatars now carry their flute-totems, who knows where. I retain Mahishha in trust. This is an example of the true sacrifice. Of course, When made the offers, I denied the advances. Both sacrifice and denial granted me blessing. I will not work for lesser gods.

        In regard to life after death, well, My own NDE experiences revealed no such thing - nor any necessity for such a thing. But as I say - these are "markers" - experiential "stubs" I have not persued any deeper knowledge, and will not do so until I have removed as much of the common phenomenology as I possibly can. I have no room for error, and no tollerence for halucination. If there is something, it had better be the real deal.
        This is where your links will help - even the dross describes the contours of what lies beneath.
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          Nov 27 2012: Hi Mitch, --". .the spirituality is not kept in stone buildings on Sundays - it is a true religion."--

          So true! A long time ago I had a discussion with someone and he asked when I practised my religion. When I said 24/7 he was very surprised.
          Religion should be part and structure of a good life. To only be kind and good to people around Christmas is ridiculous and does no good, does not change the world.

          I think the link to DLW will tell you what we believe about God and how He works. For one thing, He is not looking after us only on Sunday mornings either. :)
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        Nov 27 2012: Yes, I think a lot of damage has been done to the "spiritual" component of human community.
        The continuity has been harmed. My experience with Indic culture illustrates this quite well.
        I also get a lot of insight through my work with traditional music. The cultural skeleton is preserved through it, and it is remarkably robust.
        As always, I lay the schism of human cultural integrity firmly at the door of money and the psychopath. I suspect the psychopath formed at the divergence when humans started eating meat. Money is a direct result of agriculture - it arose along with slavery and the practice of dominance which has since supplanted the true nature of leadership.
        This represents a 25 thousand year deviation from our true place in the world, we have deviated so far that I suspect few, if any at all, would recognise it, let alon return to it. But one does what one can.
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        Nov 28 2012: Thanks Adriaan.

        So if spirit is love. It is essentially a concept. it does not exist in the sense our bodies do.

        Rather it is closer to being a feeling. That may be expressed in actions or words.

        Love is not a physical entity.

        Sounds like spirit is just a metaphor.
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          Nov 28 2012: I think spirit is more real (and loving) than any 'cloud' of matter. The more you go inside matter, the more you can look through it.

          "So if spirit is love. It is essentially a concept. it does not exist in the sense our bodies do."
          Right, it does exist but not as our material body exists. The spiritual realm is the cause and the physical world is the effect of that cause.

          Just as every single move we make (on purpose) with any part of the body is caused by a love. A love to stay healthy, to survive, to express, to see, to submit, etc. Our body language is the expression of our mind/spirit.
          Just because science cannot detect or measure anything beyond matter, does not mean that beyond matter nothing exists.

          Obey do you see men and women as the same, but just having different bodies? What if their minds are at least as different as their bodies are.. These couple of pages are about the origin of that difference http://webhome.idirect.com/~abraam/studies/Origin_of_Masc-Fem.pdf
          Let me know what you think, OK?
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    Nov 19 2012: My first wife was the victim of abuse. I didn't know how seriously it had affected her until after we were married.

    We used to play cards (rummy). She kept telling me what cards to put down, and she never named a card that I didn't have in my hand. I asked her how she knew. She said the cards are not marked if that's what you mean. I said what do you mean. She said I just know what the cards are, it wouldn't matter if the cards were marked or not.
    One day I went and bought a brand new deck of cards. I took them out of the box, shuffled them under the table so my wife couldn't see them. Then I glanced at the first card and said "what's this card?" She named it correctly. I glanced at the second card. She named it correctly again. I went through 16 cards like this. She missed two. I didn't have to go through the rest of the deck. I realized that she had already demonstrated a mathematical impossibility.
    I put the cards on the table and said "do you mind telling me how you are doing this?" After a brief pause, she said "they tell me." I said "who's they?" She said "these people inside." I said "what people inside?" She said "I don't know how to explain it. There are these people inside, and they tell me things, and I just know."
    I didn't know what to ask her after that. But that day would forever change my concept on where thoughts come from.
    I asked her how this had come about. She said that her abusive childhood drove her to withdraw from life. One day a door to a different world opened up to her and she would eventually become part of this other world.
    Like Adriaan said, we are connected to a spiritual world. I don't understand that world. But I no longer deny that it exists.
    • Nov 19 2012: Are you saying that thoughts are not our own, but they come from somewhere else? Or rather that she gets told ideas from some other thing besides her own thoughts? In other words, how do you jump from "my wife gets information from someone/somewhere else" to "our thoughts are spiritual"? I might be willing to trust you on the story, but I am not that willing to jump to conclusions about thoughts being "spiritual."
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        Nov 19 2012: Think of it this way. We think upon the signals streaming into the brain by the senses. My wife had developed different senses that were internal and not external. I believe that our brains are capable of transmitting and receiving signals internally, similar to a cell phone built into the brain. It's not that simple, but it's the closest simile that I can compare it to. She didn't need to physically see something to know of its existence.

        What I am reading now in science is telling me that the visible world only makes up 4% of the universe. If we base our knowledge purely on what we can observe, that leaves 96% unaccounted for. We live in a culture that is very much analytical. Ancient cultures that developed information on spiritual insights were very much associative. It uses different brain functions.

        Another important point is the fact that everything that exists is made of the very same substance (protons, neutrons, electrons) and the only difference is the manner in which the substance is assembled. We devote great effort into particle accelerators because we know that if we can unravel the structure of the fundamental particles of matter, that we can begin to understand the workings of the entire cosmos. Every single atom, including those in your brain cells, contains the universal code. What knowledge can the brain impart from this? Is this the source of inspiration and intuition? We can only wonder.

        Now put all three of these ideas together and see what insights you can glean from them. It is truly fascinating and mind boggling. I am not saying that all our thoughts are not our own. But we must consider that fact that some may not be.
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          Nov 19 2012: Interesting... Quantum physics says that we cannot determine precise location and speed of any particle. We can only talk about probability of a particle being at any given place at any given time. This means that when we consider the space occupied by our body, we can say that all particles in the universe are present in that space with different probabilities. This idea washes away concepts of "here" and "there", "now" and "then", "I" and "not I". In this context, the question "who controls what" looses its meaning.
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          Nov 19 2012: "What we see as death, empty space, or nothingness is only the trough between the crests of this endlessly waving ocean. It is all part of the illusion that there should seem to be something to be gained in the future, and that there is an urgent necessity to go on and on until we get it. Yet just as there is no time but the present, and no one except the all-and-everything, there is never anything to be gained--though the zest of the game is to pretend
          there is."

          Alan Watts (1915 - 1973)
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          Nov 19 2012: "We do not "come into" into this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean "waves," the universe "peoples." Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe. This fact is rarely, if ever, experienced by most individuals. Even those who know it to be true in theory do not sense or feel it, but continue to be aware of themselves as isolated "egos" inside bags of skin."

          Alan Watts (1915 - 1973)
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      Nov 19 2012: That's fascinating!

      Rupert Sheldrake has done some studies that show some remarkable things - such as: we almost always know if someone is watching us. Dogs often know when you are coming home - as soon as you make the decision, and even if it is at random times.
      He calls it "morphic resonance".
      I suspect that this is attributable to chaos resonance - where chaotic systems, in their chaos phase, will influence each other and synchronise while still remaining chaotic (i.e. no periodic frequency). This presumes a common media .. a media that is undiscovered, as yet, by science. But this is understandable in light of the fact that science has never really looked at it. I think Sheldrake is one of the few brave enough to try. He seems like a nutter surrounded by nutters, but they are all intelligent ones.
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        Nov 19 2012: You may want to look up Schumann resonance. There are resonant waves between the earth and the ionosphere that are in the same frequencies as brain waves.
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          Nov 19 2012: Yes, I've seen some of that, but it does not seem to have a causal influence .. perhapse there is some corrolatory influence. Sheldrake observes that the phenomenon is generally demonstrated by people who have close relationships.
          Autobiographical-self quadrad convergence(familliarity) could explain that to some extent.
          This is why many of the lab-tests fail to pick it up - they tend to exclude fammilliar persons as part of the control - and, hey-presto - no statistical result.
          But, this does not seem to be the case with "knowing when someone is watching".
          The being-watched effect can occur even with geographical separation - such as being watched via CCTV.
          It could well be that the Schuman frequency might be acting as a carrier in some way .. or perhaps something else. There is definitely something there.
          I have personally observed that humans can access dormant abilities in life-threatenning situations. Science does not like to examine these things.

          Be careful about people who sprout-off about "brain-waves" it is nowhere near as simple as that. However, the "carrier" notion might be a fruitful area to explore - but carrying what? One would have to measure field interaction as a starter. Do you know if any such study has been done?
          Assuming that one needs only synchronise brain-frequency with Schumann resonance, one could, conceivably subtract the delta of the sine wave as a signal. However, one is then left with the problem of how to interpret the resulting signal. It is certainly possible that familliarity would allow association of observed behavior with specific electromagnetic signal - and just "learn" it. But .. then, how would one tune-out all the other signals? There are 7 billion of us. Also, there would be the old inverse square problem - and these phenomena seem to be unafected by distance.
          I'm more inclined to think that longitudinal tesla-style propogation is at work .. no carrier required. Such a thing might produce chaotic resonance.
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          Nov 19 2012: I'll also add this:
          The example of your first wife with "they".
          In schizophrenics "they" are dissociated autobiographical selves (A-selves).
          We create A-selves with each relationship that develops with others.
          These A-selves are used as "actors" to run simulations of the relationship by casting them through scenarios in ones "world view" (accumulated causal maps).
          In each relationship, we create a pair - one to represent self and one to represent other - these then evolve to represent the relationship. The evolution results in a convergence, where, in context of the relationship, the model for self learns how to interact harmoniously with the other.
          The centering function that keeps these A-selves functional arises in the proto-self where our body-state is monitored.
          If the A-self convergence results in simulation outcomes that only result in harm to proto-self (as in an intensely abusive relationship) - and no harmonious convergence is possible, the core-self will wall-off the personal A-self to stop it triggering fight/flight continually - which will lead to eventual stress-death.
          You cannot un-think anything, the A-self might be disconnected but it will not go away - it will continue to evolve beyond the control of the core self.
          Such a dissociated A-self may very well discover some of the dormant abilities - particularly if the abuse continues. It may finally find the key - the way-out - the path to a harmony, but it is walled off - and has to hijack the auditory channel to let the core self know.
          We also see this in the split personality thing. But I suspect that this arises from casting multiple relationship A-pairs with each new life-threatenning abuse event.
          It's great food for thought!
          .
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          Nov 19 2012: Question: did your wife know the cards before you saw them?
          Ooops - sorrry - you already said that - you saw them for her to know them.
          She was reading you, not the cards.
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        Nov 19 2012: Mitch,
        I understand the schizophrenics portion of your post. I came to that same conclusion as to her other personalities in which I was aware of at least three, and a charismatic counselor told me that she had at least seven. What I can't explain is how these "other" selves could see outside the normal parameters of sensory input. I takes the level of thought beyond the limits of the space between our ears.
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          Nov 19 2012: Hi Roy,

          The senses are just energy detectors - they produce raw data. They flow through a noise-reduction layer which produces refined data which then goes through at least 2 layers of sortation (perception) - that converts it to "information".
          Information uses the causal maps(world view) in various "memory" locations and, in combination with observation, updates the world view. The core self is aware of the world view, but it also conducts a narrowing of the field of "awareness" to maintain contextual framing.
          Generally, the core self is concerned with integration - it knits together information coming from the proto-self, the senses and the A-selves - in order to evaluate what should be passed to the motor systems.
          The A-selves operate as simulation agents that play-out these simulations directly against the world-view - these simulations are then available to the core self as predictions.
          The core self accesses that information by bringing the A-self channel into contextual awareness. It's a bit like opening a door, behind which the A-self resides.
          Now, If this door has been locked, teh core self will not go there. But the A-self continues to operate in the world view and has access to all the perceptional information flowing into it.
          The question remains "where is the A-self getting signal energy from?" In the normal fall of events, the signal energy flowing through A-selves arises from the awareness signal eminating from the core self (when it "opens the door").
          It has been observed that a lot of what happens in a brain is to do with mutual supression of network "nodes". Thus "awareness" is a supressive process - supressing everything which is outside the field of context.
          If you close a door to an A-self, you also close the supressive action - and it never turns off.
          However, if the door is locked, these dissociated A-selves remain outside of core awareness.
          Multiple abuses and multiple abusers results in multiple rogue A-selves.
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          Nov 20 2012: Roy, I do hope you have seen, and used, this link before.
          It is a combination of two books. One about God and one about His governing humanity.

          How He is, causes how we are.
          If we knew how the mind works, we would know how God works. This whole books is about affections and love. Explained is how our affections are like the bricks our love consists of. Hopefully those 'bricks' are building a temple, not a garbage dump.

          This could easily be seen as a scientific approach to spirituality. A very systematic system, point by point, is used to explain who we are and why. It is also called the "Science of Correspondence."
          http://sites.google.com/site/liveitupspiritually/home/writings/DLW_DP.pdf?attredirects=0&d=1


          I also wanted to mention that my wife and I often have the same thoughts come up. In fact she then 'complains' about a lack of privacy :)

          We are never alone as spirits, as we are as bodies. In fact Swedenborg saw it happen that a person, when he was separated from spiritual influences, fell in a swoon as dead.
          We are so much and intimately connected, spiritually, that the emotions we feel are caused by those in the spiritual world around us.
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        Nov 19 2012: Don,
        Abuse buries itself in the subconscious in the form of suppressed pain. Because it is there, it expresses itself in various ways. But because it is subconscious, the victim is not aware of its source. Anything that triggers it becomes seen as the object of its source regardless of intention. And those triggers can be totally obscure; you don't know what you did or said that set it off and neither does the other person.

        The book "Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health" by L. Ron Hubbard seems to explain the process well. I say this with reservation because Scientology, which is the church founded by L. Ron Hubbard, has issues. I would recommend reading the book, but stay away from the church.

        Another book on the same lines is "The New Primal Scream" by Doctor Arthur Janov. He has a parallel work, which will give you another view for comparison, and explains why improperly trained counsellors can do more harm than good.

        Pure love, prayer, and a thirst for understanding the problem is the only means in which to deal with it. I found a charismatic counsellor that walked me through the problems with my first wife up until her death. I still reflect back on the lessons that it has taught me.
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      Nov 19 2012: My take it is that spirit is one and we all share that spirit being alive in any particular way like a current in a stream.

      If one current dissociates its cause can connect with different, even multiple currents and focus on one or the other at a time.

      Nothing is hidden from spirit for spirit is all that is.
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        Nov 19 2012: Frans,
        I really LOVE the simplicity of your comments! You speak about "spirit", I call it energy, and I think we are talking about the same thing? I also believe that energy/spirit moves through the body/mind, we are all interconnected with this spirit/energy, and at different times, multiple channels, or currents, (including and not limited to intuition, instinct, ESP, subconscious, universal consciousness, etc.) may be open or closed.

        Whether or not we choose to recognize the many opportunities to see, hear, feel and "be" on different levels, depends on how open or closed we are to the possibilities. In my humble perception, being mindfully aware in each and every moment facilitates these connections
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    Gail . 50+

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    Nov 11 2012: thoughts are things. We access them through potentials.

    You control your brain connections by controlling your thoughts. In other words, if you think fear-filled thoughts, you will increase activity in the amygdala (fear/anxiety center of your brain). This produces cortisol that is the anxiety chemical. With cortisol flowing through your body, you will make fear-based decisions. Those fear-based decision have their own consequences, and in this way, you create your own reality.

    The inverse of this is when you have stopped the cortisol from coarsing through your body. (Regular meditation accomplishes this.) When this happens, there is a thickening of the frontal cortex (the executive part of the brain). With time, the IQ raises as much as 6 points. When you live in-peace, you will make different decisions as you go about your day, and different consequences will manifest.

    This is how your thoughts are powerful THINGS.

    A person who lives in fear will choose thoughts that produce more fear-based consequences. A person who has walked through fear will choose thoughts that support peace-based consequences. In this way, they are not random.

    thoughts may appear subconscious to those who are not aware of what they are thinking.

    If you are aware of what you are thinking (and emoting by the way, because emotions follow thoughts), you can control them - or not. But when you see how powerful your thoughts are, you will want to because you do create your own reality according to your beliefs. Beliefs are thought constructs.
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      Nov 11 2012: Nicely put TED Lover. I do agree fully with you, the things that we decide to focus on have a real impact in our brains and hence in our present and future thoughts.

      But I would be curious to know if you are familiar with the work of Daniel Kahneman, in particular as it refers to what he calls system 1 and system 2 (system 1 corresponding to what we usually refer to our instincts, our emotional responses, system 2 would be the one we usually refer to as our rational conscious thinking)

      I think that there is strong evidence that a good deal of what happens inside our brains goes beyond our "conscious control", and even when we make concerted efforts to become aware of it, it is not possible to control everything that happens inside our own brains

      thoughts?

      cheers
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        Nov 12 2012: I'm not familiar with Kahneman, though I did just watch his TED talk. Thanks for the tip. I love learning new things. Until I'm better informed, I cant respond to your question.
  • Nov 21 2012: Good question, but pretty tough one to answer :)
    Well..
    Provided that feelings are not yet thoughts, I would say….
    From our memories and the way we perceive our past experiences.
    The way we perceive something is strongly affected by home discipline, education, culture, religion and politics, etc. And hopefully, a great deal of reading also affects it. Every day, we find something new and realize something new or already known, and our memories combine our feelings and knowledge into a thought.
    For instance, when I was young, I was told by my parents that talking back to adults is quite rude. In the elementary, middle, and high school, I learned the same lesson. So, whenever I felt like talking back to grown-ups, I thought I was being rude, which made me feel a bit ashamed. But at the same time, I’ve observed many teenagers who literally talk back to their parents or teachers. Some seemed rude, but others even seemed quite brave and smart. Through lots of TV shows and internet, I learned children can speak up in front of adult—hopefully in a polite way, and adults should be ready to accept it at times. So, I realized there are different opinions on whether it’s rude for teenagers to speak up(it could be talking back) to adults. And I tried to find a way to adjust those two opinions because I also learned through reading books that being flexible and not prejudiced are pretty important. So, I’ve learned how to communicate with adults by speaking up to them in a polite way(as long as I can).

    You see some pattern there? Most of my thoughts come from the mixture of what I ‘learned—embedded knowledge’, ‘was told—about what I ought to do or behave’, ‘read—literally food for thoughts’ and ‘saw—related to my feelings, not yet a formed thought’.
    And I express my thought into words. In the process of doing that I realize that I try to organize my thoughts , which means I also learn how to sort out my thoughts.
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      Nov 22 2012: It may be a tough question Elizabeth, and you have done an excellent job in offering a simple, clear, accurate answer. My perception is that sometimes people make this question/answer WAY too complicated!

      I believe our feelings are generated, supported and actualized with our thoughts. So, change our thoughts, we can change our feelings, and this sometimes changes our life experience. It has been proven that we can control, direct, or guide our thoughts...as you say so insightfully.

      Our thoughts, as you say, are made up of memories, the way we choose to perceive past and present experiences, affected by education, culture, and various other experiences in our life adventure. I agree that every day we have the opportunity to discover something new, and our thoughts may change, depending on how open we are to new and/or different information and our thoughts CAN stay the same (which means our feelings may stay the same) when/if we are NOT open to new information.

      You offer some GREAT "food for thought" Elizabeth, and I love to observe how you move through the thought and learning process. In my humble perception, life is an exploration, and I love taking in information from as many sources as possible to explore all there is to experience...our thoughts can influence our feelings, and mindful awareness can change each and every life experience. I do indeed decide in each and every moment what I want to spend my energy thinking about:>)
      • Nov 23 2012: Thank you Colleen. That's sweet of you. I'm flattered.
        But honestly, I'm not sure whether I made a really good point there because my comment may not contain more psychological, such as our subconscious area, and creative ideas. I just realized I should have done more research on this matter.
        Anyway, there are quite many profound thoughts about this kind of issues. And I admire some TEDsters who are not only resourceful or clever, but also thoughtful.
        One of the things I love about TED is I get to have many opportunities to learn from various wise TEDsters like you.
        As always, I hope, in the end, we all end up improving, developing and expanding our thinking abilities in any conversations on TED.
        "I agree that every day we have the opportunity to discover something new, and our thoughts may change, depending on how open we are to new and/or different information and our thoughts CAN stay the same (which means our feelings may stay the same) when/if we are NOT open to new information."
        As for that part, I couldn't agree with you more.
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          Nov 25 2012: Thanks Elizabeth, for your kind words. I share your hope, that we will all improve, develope and expand our thinking/feeling abilities because of TED conversations and being mindfully aware in each and every moment:>)
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      Nov 22 2012: I agree with you again dear Kate...imagine that!!! Nice to connect with you again:>)

      Thoughts do indeed come and go, and I agree that we can give our thoughts the energy to rule us by focusing on them....or not. What we focus on expands...and that indeed may become our reality. Some folks apparently do not want to control, direct and guide their own thoughts, and that is always a choice each of us has in any given moment.

      I also agree with you Kate...."some very wise words on this thread and some....."! It really feels like some folks like to make this question SO complicated, when, in my perception, it is very simple. It has been proven that we can control, direct and guide our thoughts, so I don't understand the debate about that.
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    Nov 20 2012: Thoughts are one of the creation by you through your brains. We are born to perform some action.
    Action is only performed when you want to be but this depends on your thought. Still one question, are we control this thing.
    There is two thing that contradict each other concept of "God and science". In the concept of god , "We are responsible for everything whatever we performing" and we don't print your thoughts on Canvas , so we sometime not control this. Another approach different scientific research say every thought create some specific process in your mind and we will paint on canvas. If they prove this thing 100% we are just going to another dilemma . "Are we worth for this world " bcoz my thoughts should be changed.
    Lastly I want to say i am controlling my thought and this is also my creation whatever this is "Bad or Good".
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      Nov 13 2012: That reflection motivated me to post the question. Or it was just because I was destinated to do so...

      Completely agree.
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      Nov 20 2012: "IF it is seen there is no self. . " there is no life.

      How could anyone even think like that, without a mind? And then pose a question??

      OK, who farted? My neurons! LOL
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    Nov 11 2012: We live in two worlds at the same time. In fact we live in one but are only conscious of the other. What I'm trying to say is that spirit gives life to matter, if there is no spirit in matter it is dead.

    That means there is a spiritual world and a natural or material world. Our mind is on a different level 'above' the brain which is the receiver of the body.

    Our body has eyes, our mind has thoughts. We can control our thoughts very much like we control our eyes. We can aim our eyes, focus or shift them, decide that we like what we are looking at, or close them.
    We can also focus our thoughts, change them, dwell on them decide (from a higher level) if we like them or change our thinking entirely.

    This book explains what I see as a spiritual reality,
    http://webhome.idirect.com/~abraam/documents/TheSpiritualWorld.pdf
    ---Added
    What is around our body is (usually) decided by us based on what we like.
    What is around our mind is determined by what we love. Our love attracts good/bad spirits and possibly angels. They make thoughts pop-up without us asking for them.

    When someone hypnotizes us, he/she communicates with one or more of those spirits. Not with us, and this has given rise to the assumption there is reincarnation. But the communication is by-passing us and connects with those that have lived here so many years ago.
    I really want to emphasize that we are not our body, but that we are our mind or spirit.

    Personally I find the medium John Edward a great help in discovering how this communication actually works. He has his own website and I love it.
  • Dec 3 2012: ...thoughts are the combination of experience, emotion, knowledge; attached with the imaginations resulted from mixture of all or few of them...when they attached with fear, greed, need, anxiety, pride, insecurity, love, forgiveness, gratitude or some kind of feelings, they create waves into the mind and it results into unrest...give time to them to rest...stay conscious...don't fight with them...they will settle with time...

    ...always check your emotions when things are getting place...stay happy and smiling...rest they will do...
  • Nov 24 2012: okay I'm going to take it less from a philosophical point of view and more from a physics/biology perspective. Intense thinking has been shown to burn more calories than idleness which equates to energy being 'burned'. For energy to be being 'burned' we most be firing off nerves and/or producing heat, pumping more blood...etc... essentially something is being done to the brain to generate these extra thoughts. So more thoughts require more energy, if thoughts were being created purely by consciousness i don't think we would see this effect. I think we can safely assume thoughts are a result of brain activity (no surprises there i guess) but as to who's in control that's a tough one.... I would definately not call thoughts random however obviously the very fact that there is an online discussion about this is evidence enough that our thoughts reflect our environment and understanding. I actualy remember a very interesting bit from karl pilkington who said while on his way from the shops hios brain told him he forgot onions and then proceeded to argue all be it poorly that his brain is in control and can override his thoughts as if he is two seperate entities but i think we have all had this experience. similarly i think the fact that we have people with split personalities to me is enough to show that the BRAIN IS IN CONTROL... (scary music)
  • Nov 21 2012: Silence
    • Nov 21 2012: I think thoughts also come from in a wave of tumult. In a state of chaos, we just get confused and don't realize our thoughts could come from it. Silence is a fertile soil to grow our thoughts, indeed.
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    Nov 20 2012: @Don Re work and play.

    Here is what Mark Twain has to say:

    "What work I have done I have done because it has been play. If it had been work I shouldn't have done it.

    Who was it who said, "Blessed is the man who has found his work"? Whoever it was he had the right idea in his mind. Mark you, he says his work--not somebody else's work. The work that is really a man's own work is play and not work at all. Cursed is the man who has found some other man's work and cannot lose it. When we talk about the great workers of the world we really mean the great players of the world. The fellows who groan and sweat under the weary load of toil that they bear never can hope to do anything great. How can they when their souls are in a ferment of revolt against the employment of their hands and brains? The product of slavery, intellectual or physical, can never be great."

    "Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do. Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do."

    You are a happy man, Don. You are also quite unique. My dad is 83, and people say, he is the only person of his age they know who uses computer. So, I'd like to pay my respect.

    By "game" I meant the interactive unpredictable nature of it, not the seriousness. Things are only as serious as we make them to be.
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    Nov 19 2012: Why do we think we control anything in this world?
    Why do we think we can control anything in this world?
    Why do we think we need to control anything in this world?
    Who are "we"?
    Why do we "think"?
    And what is it we want to control?
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        Nov 19 2012: Re: "What would we be if we didn't think?"

        We wouldn't know. We wouldn't be aware of our own existence.

        It seems to me that this question "what would be if..." is what gets us in trouble. It gives rise to expectations and doubts and gets in the way of experiencing and enjoying "what is", the present, "now" and "here". That's the question that Eve asked herself contemplating eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge.

        ...And that's the question that leads to curiosity, taking risks, gives us the knowledge, and changes our lives, for better or for worse (hopefully, for better).
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          Nov 20 2012: Hi Arkady, it so very much depends on our view of what the serpent embodies, to come up with the reason for Eve to eat from the wrong tree..

          It was the exact point at which humanity stepped on the slippery slope. The good news is that at some point that slope is going up again, I hope.
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        Nov 20 2012: @Adriaan. I agree. The motive always matters.
  • Nov 11 2012: just click on Gita part two

    http://www.eckharttolletv.com/adwords1?_s_ref=Ew1aa2K8S&kw=[eckhart%20tolle]&creative=8378704666&gclid=CLyX3-j_xrMCFYl7QgodYS4Amw

    and then feel the answer to "where are you between two thoughts?" that is the "where"
    • Nov 14 2012: Hi, Ed !
      Someone said that 99% of time we think we are thinking we are listening.
      Maybe that 1% of no thinking is the place where our thoughts come from.
      • Nov 15 2012: Hi nn !!!!! Trusting You and your are Well!!!

        now if the TED moderator doesn't smack me down for this one :-) As for what this "someone" is referring to ....it may be valid ....But at what level of consciousness is that statement based??? That never comes to the surface at TED so lets cut to the point that True "listening" has absolutely nothing to do with "thinking"....and here I mean the traditional "thinking ego" which exists as a resonance 450 and below ...above 450 exists the ability to "listen" without the free of losing one's own confidence in "who I AM beyond name and form"

        and so may I suggest that the realization of the "I AM" turns the "someone" said ....to...as the Sufi say "Universe turned In side out" and our Real thought ...our "creative potential" ....come from the "99%" of what "Ego thinking" is not???
        • Nov 16 2012: Thanks, Ed !!!
          Thanks, TED moderator ! :)
          "Ego thinking ' is listening to/participating in collective ego thinking ; that's what we do on daily basis for millennia and i guess it's what all the stuff is made of. Maybe 'someone' who i quoted addressed to that mid-frequency mental/waking ordinary human consciousness. Yes, i think True "listening" has absolutely nothing to do with "thinking"..because it has nothing to do with ego.
          But what is going on now is really very interesting and maybe takes place for the first time in the recorded history : through 'ego thinking'/science we've come up with the idea that ' ego' alongside with all complexity it generates is not real.
          The slayer and the slayed are one.

          Enjoy your weekend , meanwhile :) !
  • Nov 11 2012: Just a personal experience that might add to your thoughts.

    For a while I worked the grave shift (midnight to 8 AM) at a job that was so boring it was literally mind-numbing.

    I observed people doing things and saying things that were bizarre, and clearly had no connection or relationship to any recent stimuli. I developed the hypothesis that the boredom caused the brain to make completely random connections, resulting in thoughts that would never occur under other circumstances.
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    Nov 11 2012: Speak the word 'cat' in your mind. Think it out 'internally loud'. You controlled your brain connections if you 'heard' it.

    Imagine a 'cat' in front of your 'inner eye'. You controlled your brain connections when you 'saw' it.

    Now, have a good 'idea'. Something really 'brilliant' which has not been around before. You controlled your brain connections if you 'got' one and maybe it is worth sharing... :o)

    There are parts in our brains in which we can control our thoughts, which are probably just the tip of the iceberg.

    The rest of the brain is not directly accessible and therefore not controllable by our consciousness yet it is self-propelled in its activity.
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      Nov 11 2012: I thought 'cat' because you told me so. So you control my brain.

      I wrote this question that made you write this answer. You thought 'cat' because of me. I control your brain.

      No one would have thought in cat if we have never met here....

      I would like to find an answer further than "me".

      Then, the question could be... who is me?
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        Nov 11 2012: .
        'I thought 'cat' because you told me so. So you control my brain.'
        That's why we have to be careful of other people!

        'You thought 'cat' because of me. I control your brain.'
        No. I choose to answer and take a look at my 'icon'.

        'No one would have thought in cat if we have never met here....'
        This, we don't know. Many things are on 'minds' somewhere.

        'I would like to find an answer further than "me".'
        In principle, answers about you will be transferable to most others.

        'Then, the question could be... who is me?'
        Yes, but you probably have thought about this before my cat... :o)
  • Nov 11 2012: Some of my thoughts are internal, but some of my experiences lend credence to the possibility of the paranormal i.e. outside the realm of experience in these dimensions. Is this just some thought process internally generated e.g. hallucinations or is it real? Our thoughts can be random but I tend to see patterns and associations that others miss. One of my observations is that you always state the obvious because what may be obvious to you may be obvious to no one else.

    One aspect of thought I use is intuitive iteration. This just focusses on intuition as a very powerful research tool. Whenever I think I have a very powerful gut reaction, I don't let facts and logic overrule my intuition for a good reason---whenever I've had a strong gut reaction to a situation, I find that the "facts" and logic change and conform to my initial "gut" reaction. By cycling through an intuitive iteration sequence it is possible to find the truth. It is only when the facts, logic and intuition merge that I believe I've discovered something worthwhile.

    Thomas Paine said, "My own mind in my own church." His thought process was not controlled by the prevailing religion, and, in that sense were a reaction to rather than a cause of others' thoughts.

    Is thought solely internal or are our "thoughts" connected to some larger process?
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      Nov 11 2012: I met someone who thought that its thoughts were real and heard its relatives and other people.

      This person was treated as a crazy one... Could it be right and we all be wrong? Perhaps this person has any kind of paranormal power that nobody can teach to control...
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    Nov 11 2012: My understanding is that thoughts come from associations you make from things you have observed.

    Ideas and images will not combine entirely randomly in the sense that certain ideas may be associated in your mind because they either have been experienced together or have an underlying common feature.

    How you use your brain in learning and processing new ideas will affect the neurological pathways.

    I don't have a handy reference link for you, but I am sure you can find what you are looking for with a bit of searching.
  • Nov 27 2012: Which types of thoughts? are there different "types"? When i think it generally comes to me in language maybe accompanied by an image. Where do they come from? I couldn't tell you and I'm very skeptical of any answer given. It seems as though when i think some part of me finds the words i wish to express. However im not consciously aware of how this is happening. Im sure the neuroscientists will point to the structures of the brain in generating thought and use some very convincing evidence collected that when certain brain areas are stimulated certain thoughts emerge. But this really just passes the buck to subconscious selection of thoughts and i havnt the slightest idea how this works. Then we evoke evolution we have thoughts that are adaptive. What about mental illness? Some thoughts are then maladaptive? This train of thought I'm using eventually leads you to dualism or some strange form of it. I think modern science points to the fact we are not in control of our thoughts and I have no idea what this means. Is there some other part of me that selects the thoughts i employ? It seems as though thoughts, ideas, and images form from the firing of neurons but how does a chemical create an image in my mind? How does 1 milivolt and electrical activity in my brain create the complexity of thought? Its funny scientists say we only understand roughly 4 percent of the universe. The brain computes 4 billion bits of information a second and we are aware of only 2,000 of those. In my opinion there is a dark matter or energy that we don't understand which functions in the brain. Theres something we are missing which may be out of the reach of our biological structure. To summarize theres only so much one can understand through introspection if anything at all. Theres only so much we can understand by studying another if the two could ever converge maybe we get an answer.
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      Nov 27 2012: Hi Brian,

      What if there is no duality? What if the subjective sense is just an emergent property?

      My reason for offering this is from programming a bunch of neural net models years ago and just watching them. I could tweak the "1-milivolt" trigger and various synaptic potentiation parameters until the nets began to oscillate .. in continuously evolving patterns. These were pretty dumb neurons with only 8 synapses each, but I got a sense of observing something "alive". Specially the closed cycle networks that were more akin to cellular automata. Since then, it has been easy to percieve the "sentience" in things such as insects and animals. At the moment I am going through the process of "making friends" with the local magpies .. even with such small brains, they have enough social wiring to respond with the convergent self model. Does it really matter if thought is separate from the simple cycling of signals?
      I do enjoy Sapolski's ideas abut mal-adaptation .. he seems to be pointing at contextual advantage for some of the pathologies.
      But I would take the 4% notion with a huge grain of salt - in the face of the infinite, all knowledge is infinatesimal ;) this allows for endless exploration - a thing that gives me great joy for some reason!
      • Nov 27 2012: Hey Mitch, man that must have been thrilling pushing those synapses into chaos and seeing them dance to life. I imagine the magpies will enjoy your company Mitch let me know when your systems sync. Im not sure if it matters if thoughts are separate from signal cycling also not sure what the implications would be. Mitch it most likely is an emergent property some adaptive measure that allows us to see what it is we need for some reason unknown to me. Maybe just the way we can understand reality as most things seem to exist in duality. Maybe because we have 2 brain hemispheres two arms, legs, eyes, ears etc...

        Evolutionary psychology is a very interesting field and there may be advantages associated with certain pathologies. I just grabbed my salt shaker and realized the pieces were all to small to be taken with the 4% claim. As we continuously search inward we simultaneously search outward and new structures enter our conscious world. If we look we see that 4% is a number based on having some ideas about what 100% is and ill need some water to digest the size of the salt rock needed to swallow that. I was just vaguely trying to connect our understanding of the universe with our understanding of the brain. Which roughly holds the same amount of neurons as stars in our galaxy. In the mean time i sit back and revel in the beauty of our universe. I do my best to feel the joy you speak of Mitch. That joy is one we feel as children that mustn't be lost. When we lose it a death drive ensues and our atoms wish to return to a singular state. If we stay as children, always looking for new answers sitting in awe of the complex chaos and peeling the endless layers of function, we live on in our greatest form.
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          Nov 27 2012: Yes, it's a brilliant life if we open to it!
          I think that the sense of duality is simply a result of "self". In the case of us humans, the self is defined by our skin .. most "selves" have some equivalent of a defining membrane - or at least a definition zone to isolate the pattern.
          Just lately I am exploring the notion of entropic loops. This is the principle of "self organising systems". If one assumes that all available energy is the result of continuous entropy, then the principle of self requires the delay of entropy - a zone of "negentropy" in which to become defined. However, the universal gradient of entropy is preserved - so for every bubble of negentropy, there must be a balancing zone of super-entropy.
          Since entropy is the universal active principle, the negentropic zone is the manifestation, while the super-entropic zone is teh "field of potential". In this way, we get a good understanding of the difference between actual and potential. It explains such things as sub-atomic particles and electro magnetic and gravitational fields.
          All that lies on, or above the universal entropic gradient(negentropy) is manifest .. matter and actual energy, all that lies below the gradient is potential.
          The point at which the slef-wave intersects the gradient is where we find the defining membrane.
          It also explains environmental niche - a super-entropic field potential is more conducive to the formation of a self.
          In this way you see a fractal self-similarity in orders of reality - the actual/potential waves populate the potential fields in descending fractal layers
          If you can imagine a self as a wave on the gradient of entropy, you can see explaination for a lot of things - for instance how an Electron, being the potential field of the proton can only be described as a gausian blur of possibility. And the proton itself can be observed to occupy a gausian zone. It also explains the collapse of the probablity wave - measurement transforms potential to actual through self
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      Nov 27 2012: Hello Brian,
      Yes it seems we have so much around us (spiritually) that we are not aware of and thus no way to use it. We can have a few thoughts about something, but it may take a long time to bring them into words.
      I'd like to describe it as having a funnel to flow our thoughts to our lips, in so many more words.
      And the more languages we know, the more funnels we have. :)

      This is our view of the human mind, which we see as a distinct realm from the material world. Maybe it helps to bring that environment into reality.
      http://webhome.idirect.com/~abraam/documents/TheHumanMind.pdf I hope it helps,

      In the Bible there are three scenarios portraying the human mind, the Ark, the Tabernacle and the Temple. But that is a whole other story.
      • Nov 27 2012: Swedenborg is an interesting man although I'm not the biggest of fan of Christianity( or any religion) I think that contrary to illusion there can be some truth found in these tales. Swedenborg searched for truth and believed he found it. Look to Freud and you also see three organs of mind playing complex roles, its strange how certain models despise each other yet mirror one another. Thanks for the link...
  • Nov 26 2012: mark!
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    Nov 24 2012: Good question Luis but, I fear, it is one with no simple or beyond a shadow of a doubt answer. My ideas go toward thoughts as being a property of an all pervading Energy. Maybe quantum entanglement can help describe the random, controllable, and metaphysical aspects of thought. I hope this article is helpful.
    http://arstechnica.com/science/2012/10/quantum-entanglement-shows-that-reality-cant-be-local/
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    Nov 23 2012: This is a facinating idea for me as well. It is not tangible, measurable, hence it has no unit of measurement and a handful of unproven theories. Yet :thought: is paramount to our existence. My expereinces have lead me to understand that our thoughts come from our Consciousness and it is influenced by several aspects including our ability to choose and our choice of reaction to real events in our lives. I would say you do manage and influence your thoughts rather than "control". But nevertheless your thoughts controls you, your choices, behaviours, actions and reactions that builds your core personality.
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      Nov 23 2012: Hi Maaher,

      It is no longer unproven theory.

      Thoughts are electro-chemical signals which travel along the topology of synapses moderated by neurons.

      THe illusive nature of thoughts is that they are adaptive. THe very topology upon which these signals travel changes. And this is no longer a mystery either. THe synaptic topology is governed by survival of teh animal.

      Consciusness is also no longer a mystery. It is the coupling of the body to the brain which gives rise to an area of focus - all of which is defined by the needs of the body and the integration of senses with body, memory and imagination.

      Imagination is no longer a mystery - it is the conduct of simulations using body-maps which are applied to causal maps stored in what we call "world view".

      Dreams are no longer a mystery. THey are mental signal disconnected from teh body regulation during a thing huamsn call "sleep. We require sleep for 2 reasons - 1. rest. 2. to conduct unfocussd simulations in order to pre-view all possible futures concerning the stored events of teh day. The following days gain the benefitr when these pre-potentiations confirm or no. It's a kind of behavioural "priming".

      There is no mystery.

      But the news of this has to overcome the ignorance of humans stuck in entrenched world view. Many prefer fantacy to reality - and that also is no mystery.
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        Nov 23 2012: Hey Mitch,

        Thanks for the reply. Much appreciated.

        My understanding was that when thoughts happen, several electrochemical events happen, hence we can state the electromagnetic signals can be measured. But to answer the question here, does electromagnetic signals induce thoughts or is it the other way around? That I do not think has been proven and carries a few theories. For example what induces human intiution, or instincts?

        With regards to conscience, yes it isnt a mystery, however it is only framed within an undefined parameter of possibilities. That is, scientifically, we have identified memory, thought process, and chemical factors that induces them or erases them, however, there is a significant area of consciouness is undefined. ie. patients regaining memory, past life memories, moral choices etc do not have a defined scientific structure.

        Similarly, if imagination is confined within the state of "world view" as you explain, then we must be able to replicate identical imagination patterns and consiquent results given a set number of program inputs. But this isnt true, we each posses an element of individual pattern that is tied to our thought processes and conscience, hence we all think different. We may behave in similar pattern but we certainly think different.This in my belief ties to our dream patterns as well.

        In short, we can certainly capture, manage, and influence these factors once it is induced and created but certainly not measured in its state of rest. Thats if thoughts are not induced it cannot creat the result of eletrochemical events. Hence reffering back to the question, where do these thoughts come from?

        Human ignorance is just amazing! I totally agree with you. We consider ourselves as the most evolved and intellegent species. yet we make deliberate choices that harm us after fully understanding the eventual consequences. For example, the choice to smoke. And we take great comfort in fantacy as escapisim from the reality foten.
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          Nov 23 2012: Hi Maaher,

          The electro chemical signals are the thoughts.

          It is our tradition that thoughts and signals are separate - an understandable fiction.

          It takes a little bit of research to understand it. A thought is not just a single signal path, but a whole network of paths which the signal traverses.

          I recommend you look at some of the work done on neural networks. The one I most recommend is Philp K Wasserman's book from 1989 "Neural computing theory and practice." this is not a comprehensive text, but is a very good introduction to the fields of research which underly our breakthroughs of AI and neurobiology. It deals with a few examples of early neural simulation structures. I spent a good deal of time programming models of these and other structures - when you do that .. it changes your life. Even the simple ones are mesmerising to watch (I always had visualisations running when I tested them).
          For consciousness, have a look at this:
          http://www.ted.com/talks/antonio_damasio_the_quest_to_understand_consciousness.html
          it also briefly covers the realm in which imagination occurs (the autobiographical self).
          The extrapolation into dream function is my own - but I'm fairly confident of the outcome. Have a look at this one:
          http://www.ted.com/talks/daniel_wolpert_the_real_reason_for_brains.html
          This explains the basis of the Bayesian function of teh world view (adaptive causal maping)
          .Also look at Sapolski's lecture series:
          http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL848F2368C90DDC3D
          It is all falling into place. These age old questions are turning out to be remarkably simple things - we have invented more in our philosophies than really exists.

          The key is the toppology of neural networks. Once you "get it" it replaces humndreds of mistaken beliefs. I miself had the question "what is meta-space?" the place where all our symbols reside, and how they are stuctured. My answer is .. there is no metaspace .. just physical networks - an emergent property, in an open system.
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          Nov 23 2012: (contd.)

          It is a terrible mistake to think of a brain as a computer - it is nothing like a computer. The inputs. processing, memory and outputs are all integrated - specially the memory and processing.. we can artificially separate these things for the sake of analysis, but in the end, it must all be seen as a whole - and not just the brain, not just the nervous systems, but the whole creature we call "self" that is only partly described by our skin - in social animals the system extends outwards to our community - and beyond into our ecosystem - to our solar system and beyond.

          THere is a great mystery why the Cambrian epoch gave rise to nearly all the phyla we observe today - Darwin evolution did not seem to explain it - but it does. The Cambrian species explosion was due to the emergent power of teh nervous system - it created a vast new environmental niche to occupy - which it did. It is the topological breakthrough of teh neural network that brought life into this great phenomenon we call nature.

          I have also developed structural explainations for morality and irational decisions.
          It's a problem - such knowledge will destroy a lot of jobs and careers based on the old fictions. But I'm sure they will find more productive persuits.
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    Nov 23 2012: There is a saying that I have come to admire;
    "What you pay attention to, you become conscious of"
    I don't where it came from, but I see it happening all around me. We choose to some degree in what we pay attention to.

    Our minds are reactive. We respond to stimulus. At the same time, we seem to have a predisposition to what we are looking for. Two people can look at the same thing and be affected completely different because of their psychological makeup. Our desires, skills, intent, motivation are all different. There are some that will see this conversation and be completely disinterested. I believe that those who respond are deeply interested in thought to begin with. They are searching for answers about why we or others think the way we do. They don't just go with the flow, they are trying to steer their own course.

    That being said, some thoughts are purely reactive. That is what the advertising agencies are banking on. Others are very analytical, they want to think about things to make better decisions. Some are problem solvers, but their brains seem to be hardwired for what kinds of problems they are good at solving. So we all have our own thought processor and they are all different, either by genetics or environment. There is no one answer to these questions.

    As far as brain connections, a baby is born with far greater connections than an adult. As the baby grows, those connections that get responses become stronger, whereas those connections that don't get responses become reconfigured. In the end, the final neural map is a function of environmental conditioning during early years of life. That is why a good loving and nurturing environment is so important. Abuse has a powerful and often negative effect on how we think.
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    Nov 19 2012: Ever wondered why in eastern meditation practices, the goal is to get rid of all thoughts whatsoever, empty our mind completely? That's because it gives a sense of purity, peace, and ultimate freedom. Nobody can control our thoughts when we do not have any.

    The trick is to tell whether we truly have no thoughts or we just think that we don't. And that requires some thinking.
    • Nov 19 2012: The goal of meditation is to get rid of sense of self. When there is no sense of self, there is no mental 'observer' to observe.
      In deep meditation the thinker is the thought.
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        Nov 19 2012: Good point. We are our thoughts. We are what we think we are. We are a part of the universe and the universe is a part of us. The question of control and free will appears to be circular.

        Down below, I replied to Roy's comment with some references to quantum physics and quotations from Alan Watts that also reflect this view.
        • Nov 19 2012: On quantum level , in meditation , there is nothing in your mind to collapse the wave function ; no ripples of possibility are focused into 'realities'.
          As for Alan Watts, he's great, no question about it, but ...
          Let me quote :
          Those who see worldly life as an obstacle to Dharma
          see no Dharma in everyday actions.
          They have not yet discovered that
          there are no everyday actions outside of Dharma.

          Or maybe i've missed this idea in his philosophy , but i think it's necessary for ' as above so below '
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        Nov 19 2012: I guess, Alan Watt's borrows from Zen a lot. Here are some other quotes from him:

        "Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes."

        "Omnipotence is not knowing how everything is done; it's just doing it."

        I have just discovered Watts a few days ago from a random quotation in gmail header. There are tons of his recordings on Youtube. I'm going to listen to them.

        And thanks for your quotation. I love to discover new sources this way. A brief search revealed that the quote is from Dogen and led me to a few other pearls:

        "Do not think you will necessarily be aware of your own enlightenment."
        "If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?"

        Awesome. Thanks a lot.
        • Nov 20 2012: Arkady,
          why do you like these quotes or thoughts they carry ? Why do you pay attention in the first place ?
          Because these thoughts resonate with the context of your mind and your mind is tuned by the content of your thoughts, which are not yours either.
          Isn't it circular ? :)
          So, we do listen when we think we are thinking ! We take thoughts from the collective pool and contribute to it. Everything is yours and nothing belongs to you.The question remains : where do thoughts come from to fill the pool ?
          And here are my ( :) ) thoughts :
          " I " is collective, " am" is what makes it personal . " am " is experience . And these rare moments of direct experience of ' something' we don't have a name for or too many names : God , the Whole , the Presence... when you do not think nor listen is the source of all thoughts.
          Btw. Mark Meijer is the one/many who you'll enjoy to talk to about Alan Watts :)

          Thank you and enjoy your day !
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        Nov 20 2012: @Don

        I borrow from you and the rest of the people. Here is how it works for me. A few recent examples. I check my gmail. Google shows one-line notes at the top of the email list - a link to the news, a quote, or an ad. This one read: "You don't look out there for God, something in the sky, you look in you. -- Alan Watts
        Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/alanwatts253017.html#qiUX7tcQ8DO2UtdX.99

        I clicked on the link and discovered the ones I posted (you can do it too). Then I searched "Alan Watts" - and came across a bunch of Youtube posts.

        Now, I posted some quotes here and got one from Natasha. I searched it and came across this:
        http://wordslessspoken.org/tagged/Dogen

        The other time, I received an email from a bank. They had a quote "We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are." attributed to someone. It "rang a bell" with this video http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_dennett_on_our_consciousness.html. I like to know where things come from. I looked it up and found that the person quoted wasn't the first to say it. The saying is attributed to Anais Nin, but also to Talmud.

        Songs are most interesting to decipher. I love Mark Knopfler. His songs prompted me to look up many things and names including Sonny Liston, Ray Croc, Mason-Dickson line, Albion Motors, etc.
        Other gems from songs include "We are programmed to receive. You can check out any time you want, but you can never leave", "All we know is just another brick on the wall". I like to look up song lyrics and dig into origins - including nuances from translations.

        It's random. That's how our brain works. Impression -> association -> action -> another impression, and so on. We don't control impression and association. We think we control the action, but it follows from the previous impression and association. It's like a game. We don't really control it, but we can play and have fun.

        ... and also with you
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          Nov 20 2012: HI Arkady you may be interested in the connection between Alan Watts and via, via all the way to Swedenborg. I found this information: D.T. Suzuki called Swedenborg the "Buhda of the North"

          "Suzuki's extensive project ostensibly started when the Swedenborg Society in London contacted the Japanese embassy and asked for a competent translator to render Swedenborg into Japanese. The embassy suggested Suzuki..
          Suzuki agreed, and in due time translated Swedenborg's Divine Love and Wisdom, Divine Providence, Heaven and Hell, and Heavenly Doctrine. He also turned up as an official delegate at the International Swedenborg Congress when it was held in London in 1910, along with other Swedenborgian notables, such as Henry James, the novelist. Letters still at the Swedenborg Society in London indicate that Suzuki also agreed to produce at least one biographical sketch of Swedenborg as a separate little volume in order to promote the sale of the longer more technical works throughout Japan. As well, in 1914, Suzuki was one of the three men who officially launched the Japanese Swedenborg Society, which from then on oversaw the publication and distribution of Swedenborg's works in Japan.

          The rest of the story is well known. Suzuki returned to the United States in the early 1950s and stayed for some ten years. During this time he became the foremost exponent of Zen in the West. ALAN WATTS, who had known him in London from the 1930s, considered Suzuki his teacher. Now, with Watts paving the way, Suzuki influenced psychoanalysts such as Karen Horney and Erich Fromm. (A year before her death, Suzuki even escorted Horney on a three-month trip through the religious shrines of Japan.) He influenced Jazz musicians such as John Cage and his works were avidly read by popular writers such as J. D. Salinger, and poets such as Alan Ginsberg and Gary Snyder."

          How it all comes together..
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        Nov 20 2012: I think about contradictions by profession. One part of my job requires to improve semiconductor yield. The other part of my job requires to improve quality and reliability. These efforts are opposite to each other. Here is a Zen picture that I have on my wall at work.

        http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2000-02-06/

        I cannot survive without Zen or "do not judge" thing. I also must learn to humble my opinions. My life was more difficult before I learned how to do that. It's an effort to preserve sanity.

        Thinking of quality makes me philosophical. It makes me think of things like "why do I believe what I believe"? "When do we have enough evidence to 'know'"? The role of errors in our life, etc. I witness every day how people blind themselves to reality and see what the want to see. I observe double standards when people talk about quality of their own work and quality of our suppliers. It's all very practical and very fascinating.

        Re: "So, we do listen when we think we are thinking ! We take thoughts from the collective pool and contribute to it. Everything is yours and nothing belongs to you.The question remains : where do thoughts come from to fill the pool ?"

        This analogy does not feel right. You seem to think of "we" and "collective pool" and "something else" from which thoughts come into the collective pool. The analogy of feeling waves in an endless ocean is better. All thoughts are there. We just need to perceive them.

        And, yes, I enjoy talking to Mark a lot. My favorite quote from him is "What is true and what is useful are completely different considerations". I wonder if it's his or he got it from somewhere else.
        • Nov 20 2012: Maybe we are boiling to semantics here :)
          Knowing exists in a wave form, it's not dual . Can you get information without processing it ?
          Processed information is dual, it is a thought. Thoughts are ' knowledge ' , it's knowing about .Wave/particle duality is universal , i guess..
          Thoughts are real, convincing , highly applicable, can be stored , but not quite true for nothing has independent existence from anything else ; a thought being shaped into words is detached from the whole by the very act of shaping it into words. The analogy of feeling waves in an endless ocean is really better, but 'waves' are not thoughts.
          In a way we 'think' our reality into existence, but it is illusion. To have the opening to something which is really real, that sets the agenda you need to be out of time out of mind and loose the sense of self.
          Sorry, my 'explanation' can only add to confusion, but it's really difficult to tell, you do know that . Maybe it doesn't make sense to you, and it's OK :)

          Thanks for the link, I'll go there in a couple of hours.
          Cheers !
        • Nov 20 2012: Hi, again !
          Maybe you should post your link in the conversation about truth.
          The majority of people can admit that without lying their daily work cannot be done. In fact , lying is so fundamental to our goal oriented, consuming culture that it has ceased to be lying at all and has transformed into a variant of truth. We say : it's part of life and the more we get stuck in it the more we need an antidote, Zen , ' don't judge ' thing helps, it does .
          "The excessive increase of anything causes a reaction in the opposite direction." Why do you think we are talking about Truth , God , Love so much these days ?
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      Nov 20 2012: That is total rubish Arkady.
      Thoughts are not just the psychobabble of the Autobiographical selves.
      What the Eastern approach suggests is to bring the identity back to the core self.
      THe core self is not concerned with language. This "emptyness" you talk about is a red herring - the core self in repose does a lot fo thinking - it does it much faster than the A-selves.
      Autobiographical selves are simulations, the core self is the real deal.
      When you compare them, it only seems like the core self is empty - it is anythng but empty.
      You mistake the pathology of being trapped in autobiographical selves for "thought".
      It is not the case when you escape the pathology.
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        Nov 20 2012: Mitch, I'm not sure how to define psychobabble.

        I agree on the point of bringing the identity to the core self. To do that, we need to clean our identity of the junk that we associate ourselves with, don't we? Otherwise, our identity is tied up to that junk. I'm not an expert on Eastern philosophy, so, if you give me a reference or two to improve my knowledge, that would be great.

        Re: "THe core self is not concerned with language."

        I've read that human consciousness originated with language. I don't think we can have a conscious thought without language. If you think otherwise, I'd appreciate if you elaborate your opinion.

        "Self" is a weird concept. It's at the core of itself. Whether it's empty or not - it's a question of faith.
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          Nov 20 2012: Yes, faith has a role. But the mechanism is not understood yet, and it can result in making things worse rather than better.

          We keep saying "human human human" .. you know why?
          Because we subtracted ourselves from the world during the last 2 climate stadials - the Older and Younger Dryas events.
          At this point, humans retreated from the Earth into their Autobiographical selves. We have been around for 150-200 thousand years, or longer. But we have only been insane for the last 25 thousand years - and only intensely insane for 11 thousand years.

          You say "consciousness consciousness consciousness" but no one really knows what that word means. For instance, what is the difference between consciousness and awareness? .. and is it the same as "vitality" or "spirit"? .. few people even attempt to define these things and becasue of that these words have zero meaning.
          The only guy I have seen have a really good go at a definition is Antonio Damasio.
          I am trying to take the lead of guys like Damasio and sort it out against my own direct observations.
          For instance, I simply refuse to accept that animals and plants do not posess consciousness - direct observation contradicts that assertion .. it seesm like a grand arrogance and a poisonous delusion that only insane humans entertain.
          All this malarky about "dominion" and human supramacy.
          ALl poison - spoon fead to us by religions and other vested interests who have a stake in our continued insanity.
          Enough!
          This thing of "language" it is a by-product of the mechanism required to translate (code/decode) what others say - it is an imaginary place, a collection of perception that we call "world-view" in which we cast these imaginary selves to simulate and predict the stuff of communication - in order to widen our fields of perception.
          It is imaginary - it is illusion - if we mistake that for "consciousness". Then - we are, indeed, insane.
          Enough insanity! Faith begone! Give me the truth, not your untestable opinion.
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          Nov 20 2012: Appology - you asked for a link:
          http://www.adyashanti.org/index.php?file=watchvideo

          THis guy is very good with the Eastern .. thing .. I won't polute it with meaningless words.
          However, you have to keep in mind that this guy is speaking from within sanity - describing the scenery.
          He cannot enter our insanity and use our insane assumptions without becoming insane. He alludes to some techniques, but the real stuff he is saying is in the gaps between the words. YOu will see for yourself what I mean.
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        Nov 20 2012: Great. Thanks, Mitch. It makes sense now. I'm well aware that "consciousness" is a fuzzy concept. I think, what you say is much in sync with the quotes from Alan Watts I posted below.

        Re: "Enough insanity! Faith begone! Give me the truth, not your untestable opinion."

        I'm afraid, you're up for a disappointment. There is no truth. The truth is in the process of searching it.

        And thank you for the link.
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          Nov 20 2012: YEs,

          I did cross that "truth" bridge long ago.
          My apology for using the word.
          We cannot exceed our fields of perception - all thought and belief is merly perception and perception, when it is functioning in a sane manner, seeks to draw closer to "truth" without ever capturing it, or even needing to capture it.
          What we DO capture is ways of drawing closer. Yes, truth exists, but for living things, it is the process of following it, adapting to it - and this is the joy of life - the journey.
          So. by "truth" I mean "tell me your journey towards truth" - show me the steps that I may follow.
          And then, if you give me steps fo smoke - you commit me to a fall and I resent that.
          I am resolved to remain a very cranky observer.
          I have had enough of the pap and ignorance that people take for knowledge. And I resolve to stop dignifying it.
          We need a new word - "truth" is not enough.
          I observe that many have interests in widening our proximity from truth - their mouths are all full of "god" and "spirit" and "responsibility" .. but i tell you now:
          The mark of a good man is his journey out of darkness. The maps he reveals for all others in darkness is his shining light.
          And if he leaves no maps? He has been consumed by his darkness.
          We are all consumed in the end, but the only thing that matters is if we have reduced the burden our parents and community placed upon us - as was placed upon them by their parents and community for 25 thousand years.
          A good man places a smaller burden on his children than the burden he was violated with as a child..
          Now tell me there is no "truth"?
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        Nov 20 2012: Well said, Mitch.

        Re: "A good man places a smaller burden on his children than the burden he was violated with as a child. Now tell me there is no "truth"?"

        This is YOUR truth. It's called faith. There is no absolute truth for everyone (except for circularity which says "I am true".)

        You say "Faith begone! Give me the truth." You may despise faith, but you need it if you want to get your truth. It may not be faith in God, but without faith, you will be tossed around by the waves of this ocean called life.

        Re: "I observe that many have interests in widening our proximity from truth - their mouths are all full of "god" and "spirit" and "responsibility"... We can't live by the faith of others. We need to get our own. We need to ask ourselves "why do I believe?" and if the answer is "because I was told so", throw it away and find your own faith and your own truth.
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          Nov 20 2012: Faith?

          Ah I get it!

          Faith is observation?

          That's funny, everyone keeps trying to convince me that faith is trusting without evidence. I.E. blank assumption. Was I imagining that?

          SO .. help me out here - what is faith?
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        Nov 20 2012: Again, Alan Watts has a few great quotes:

        "To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don't grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float."

        "And the attitude of faith is the very opposite of clinging to belief, of holding on."

        "Faith is a state of openness or trust."

        "But the attitude of faith is to let go, and become open to truth, whatever it might turn out to be."

        "In other words, a person who is fanatic in matters of religion, and clings to certain ideas about the nature of God and the universe, becomes a person who has no faith at all."

        To me "state of openness or trust", perhaps, explains it best. It's not clinging to our own ideas, material things, or evidence - it's trust that, when we need it, "it will be given to us" in whatever form, letting go of worry. I'd say, that was my emotional understanding before I read the quotes. The quotes just confirmed that I'm not alone in this understanding.

        It's not synonymous to credulity or gullibility. Sometimes faith causes a lot of skepticism to what you see and hear. Just like it does for you.
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          Nov 20 2012: Ah - so it's almost like "acceptance".

          Yes, this makes sense.

          I could wish that all had this definition.

          I have observed the phenomenon of "providence", but have long since recognised that it comes from the awareness granted by the thing you call faith - the intelligence of the whole. We can become stuck in issues closing-off everything else, and by the local logic of those issues, the big picture truth - and the opportunities that arise from it, are obscured.
          Providence can exhibit in very subtle ways - and is the result of choosing the harmonious thread in the chaos - the thread that contains providence.
          It is still just causal physics - whether we have the explaination or not. It will be accessible to research if we care to go look.
          There is no mystery in the light of awareness - except awareness itself .. and I suspect even that is no more than chaotic flux of entropy gradients.

          I thank you for your help.
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          Nov 20 2012: Hi guys, maybe it is a bit off topic but our definition of faith is "an internal (spiritual/mental) acknowledgment of truth."
          And truth is what makes sense to us. If we do not understand something, we cannot see it as truth or have faith in it.
          There is real or genuine truth but that is Divine Truth, which is totally beyond human understanding. That's why we have divine Revelation, to at least give us some idea.

          That being said, a person's faith is absolutely useless and meaningless if there is no charity (love of the neighbour) present as well. In fact charity without the other is also useless.

          In relation to that, we have a will and an understanding. The will is fed by love, the other by truth. Those two in balance and applied to life, create usefulness. But here too, one without the other is useless and makes us non-human.

          Our thoughts come from either hell or heaven. We should use our understanding to determine from which source the thoughts came. Then we are hoped to change our will to love and support the thoughts from heaven. That will make us, and this world, better.
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        Nov 20 2012: Mitch, yes, "acceptance" is another word to describe what I said. Thanks.

        I enjoyed this conversation. It's nice to meet a person who is open to listen and understand what others say and mean.

        Re: "There is no mystery in the light of awareness - except awareness itself .."

        "Self" is always a mystery. "Self" always seems like an exception, but it's not. It's possible to be aware of our awareness in which case it's not much of a mystery. Which is a mystery in itself... :-)

        OK. That's enough of that. Rubbish it is...
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          Nov 20 2012: lol! yes rubbish. talk talk talk.

          However, I will promote your definition of faith. I think it is a sound one.

          As to the "self"? well, I'm getting a long way down the track with that one - there is much fluff and nonsense attached to it. For now i am happy with the "entropic flux-loop" understanding.
          And the work undertaken by Damasio and others has cut away a lot of the confusion there.
          Not so much mystery as we would assume!
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    Nov 19 2012: Thoughts come from entropy as it is locally-redirected into local negentropy .. no .. hang on, that's "consciousness".

    Thoughts are sub-localisations of the negentropic flux though topology maintained by synapses between neurons.

    The negentropic flux is caused by chaos - this is why many of our existential definitions seek to identify boundaries in the fractal layering of teh flux.
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        Nov 19 2012: Hi Don,

        Yes .. and .. .. yes. But not quite ..

        The entropic flux is a new bit.

        Understanding how neurons/synapses form the topology is one thing .. but what is it that flows through that topology?

        Without allowing myself to say "spirit" .. well, I can say "energy" - in a way that describes consciousness. There are 2 flavours of energy going on (if you don't count atomic motion [heat]). Firstly there is electrical potential in the neuronic pulse, secondly there is the electro-static field reaction of the neurotransmission and reception leading to ion potentiation. .. But where does all that come from?
        Well, initially it comes into the internal system from outside .. firstly senses - which are just energy-detection, then there are the internal energy potentials supplied by our bodies from eating other living creatures. But where did all that energy come from - and where is it going?
        Well, it comes from a low entropy point and goes to a higher one. While we have it in our negentropic loop, any net difference between default entropy and what is retained in our loop is called negentropy - the potential difference is a flux. The practice of looping entropic potential is only local - the entropic output from our loop represents a gradient higher than the defualt - thus balancing the default global flux. We are local negentropic loops .. borrowing time from the universe by hanging onto the flux - AKA alive.
        I haven't wrapped my mind around it totally yet, but that's the basics.
        Essentially, our thoughts are a subset of that entropic flux we have captured. The stuff that goes through the synapses.
        I like this, because I can have a spirit as well as a topology ;) But it is the topology + energy that does all the thinking - the spirit(flux) is just the flow that defines us as alive and unites us with everything else.
        (edit) we need to get the words sorted. there are the words "consciousness", "awareness", "presence" etc .. but they are ill-defined. One can be "unconscious"
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        Nov 19 2012: Bingo!

        We have our carrier medium for the telepathy thing!

        It is entropic flux. Can this medium have waves?

        Now we're talking!

        (edit) .. on second thoughts .. not to get carried away. entropic flux is already described mostly by the normal phenomena we observe .. perhaps if we have missed something there. I'll sleep on that one - it's somewhere in fractal-layering. .
  • Nov 14 2012: I like Bohm's redefinition of thought, he suggested that the body, emotion, intellect, reflex and artifact are "one unbroken field of mutually informing thought " All these components interpenetrate one another to such an extent that thought is seen as a system ; concrete and abstract, active and passive, collective and individual.
    It sounds very true for me :)
    • Nov 15 2012: Hi

      feels its True Too!!

      Blake said the same "Strange and hard this tail I tell but true. Objects gross and unseen Soul are one."