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Kumāra Bhikkhu

Buddhist Monk, Sāsanārakkha Buddhist Sanctuary

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Are you happier while at the computer, or while taking a walk?

By "taking a walk", I do mean taking a walk, even if just for a short while; not walking while engaging with a smart device. So, what's your experience?

P.S.: Just in case some of you misunderstand, the question is not meant so that we choose one over the other. (We do both anyhow, don't we?) It's not even so that we decide which one is better. It's about self-discovery. What's true for you? If you like to take it further, asking why would be great.


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  • Sep 20 2013: I am happiest when I sleep because all things are real and anything is possible.

    "Nothing exists outside the mind for it is the mind that makes it so"- Keith W Henline

    The internet (world's knowledge) at my fingertips at the speed of thought is my second choice.

    "Our only adversary is ignorance"- Keith W Henline

    Nature is my reward.

    "Freedom is the law of nature" "Justice lives in the halls of nature"- Keith W Henline

    Bottom line: I am happiest while in the service of others, myself included.
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      Sep 22 2013: Hi Kieth,

      I have found that sleep is made so that we can prepare ourselves.
      This works on every single level - from the cellular to the synaptic to the genetic .. and probably beyond.

      In the synaptic - it is clear that life's experience is disconnected in sleep, from the conscious need, to allow it to speculate all combinations of all the maps we have made.

      The basal brain moderates the body-inputs to do the necessary things in the body-output. A bit simplistic, but good enough to talk about.
      So - in sleep, the inputs from the spine are supressed, and the outputs are blocked - otherwise we would twitch ourselves out of bed and injure ourselves - you will probably know when this fails and you twitch in your sleep.

      So what's going on there? I have found that the Cartesian join of all maps made are allowed to play-out in sleep without physical consequence. Of course, the most refreshed maps will dominate - but not totally.
      They all combine in what we call dreams - the narrative continuity is lost because the re-combination is simultaneous - we impose narrative upon waking - if we retain it.

      Sleep is simply the disconnection of neural maps from individual-temporal harnessing to outcomes of advantage. All outcomes are calculated simultaneously - a preponderance of negative outcomes is a nightmare, a preponderance of positive is a pleasant dream.
      All are speculative -

      The affect is that you begin the day - upon wakening, pre-sensitized to make advantageous map-connections - if these connections are not acted-upon, then the speculative connection will atrophy and sublimate.

      If you accumulate a lot of sublimated connections, they will begin to recur in dreams more and more until it seems like an actual experience.

      Such a dream-map will over-power real physical experience and become core belief.

      In this way, aberrant core-belief becomes circular religion - so watch out - more sleep is better fo the troubled - but acting on intuition is the only escape from dispair
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        Sep 24 2013: Hi Mitch,
        Keith writes, "when I sleep because all things are real and anything is possible."
        He is of course referring to dreaming. Is dreaming something that is occurring all the time in the brain except when deep sleep is occurring in the brain? It occurs to me that we fantasize during non-sleep time, but we think that this is different than dreaming.

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          Sep 24 2013: Hi Theo,

          Good points.

          But I don't think dreams are the same as fantasies.
          A fantasy is directed imagination. It is more temporally narrated and tends to have an objective.

          Dreams, on the other hand seem a lot less time-based, and have no specific objective. They tend to include narratives and objectives in chunks.
          This seems entirely consistent with disparate maps co-firing.

          I suppose I'm extrapolating from Damasio's observations about the role of integrated body function - no upper-brain-stem = no consciousness.
          It infers that dreams might have a pre-conditioning role. A speculative association between the day's experience and major parts of the stable world-view conglomerate. "Making sense" of experience.

          Also, there is a good chance that we all have a different understanding of what happiness is .. I often forget about that. I suppose we all do - so I appreciate your comments.
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          Sep 25 2013: Another conjecture:
          The human capacity to sleep is the factor that enables imagination.
          Imagination is speculative Bayesian forecasting - as Wolper observed, it is an intrinsic part of the motor systems.
          I speculate that it is the capacity to disconnect motor-outcomes in the brain stem that allows a motor-map to fire speculatively.
          This would mean that "mirror neurons" are motor neurons being fired with the brain-stem supressed. This means they are dual-purpose.
          It remains to be seen which part of the brain does this "switching" between active-motor and speculative-motor.
          But I will note that Damasio has observed the constant brain-stem consultation with almost everything the brain does.

          In a way, you could say that everything we imagine or plan is "sleep" .. it's the same stuff, but done in microseconds rather than all-night.
          The difference between motor-speculation and dreams is duration of state.
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      . . 100+

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      Sep 22 2013: Our fundamental physiological wellbeing, which includes the very critical part of our mental wellbeing, depends entirely on getting enough sleep.

      Sleep is vital both in quantity and in quality. And the importance of sleep can not be emphasized enough.


      I am pleased to read that you are aware that sleep is your source of happiness. This is the only way of being able to be of best "service to others".
      • Sep 23 2013: I agree with you and Russell Foster on the benefits of sleep from a health perspective and since I have suffered from sleep apnea for over thirty years, not knowing what it was, it is even more important to me now.

        From my hypnosis experience and studies I have discovered that the sleep state and hypnotic state are very similar if not the same. Realizing this over forty years ago I have used that knowledge throughout my life to access and process information while asleep and upon awakening I write down what I have discovered. Some things I reveal, some things I have not and never will.
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        Sep 23 2013: Sleep, the other dear old medicine! :-)

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