Belief

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Re: Belief

Postby Manyana » Sat Oct 03, 2015 12:58 pm

Here Eckhart talks about the difference between belief and faith:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1LxD2HEhhg


And talks more about faith here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9tWUhSa7GM
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Re: Belief

Postby randomguy » Sat Oct 03, 2015 9:02 pm

ashley72 wrote:That's because your an integrated system. You have billions of neurons in your brain with trillions of connections all integrated to your senses (transducers) with the environment. Can't you recognized your a communication system with extraordinary integration with the environment? ... That's basically why your conscious of things in the environment. Belief is just a by-product of the integration.

It's fortunate for me then that understanding this or other ideas like it is not a requirement to be. I might just disappear right out of the present moment. The brain is pretty miraculous to think about though.
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Re: Belief

Postby ashley72 » Sat Oct 03, 2015 10:07 pm

randomguy wrote:
ashley72 wrote:That's because your an integrated system. You have billions of neurons in your brain with trillions of connections all integrated to your senses (transducers) with the environment. Can't you recognized your a communication system with extraordinary integration with the environment? ... That's basically why your conscious of things in the environment. Belief is just a by-product of the integration.

It's fortunate for me then that understanding this or other ideas like it is not a requirement to be. I might just disappear right out of the present moment. The brain is pretty miraculous to think about though.


Some theorist's like Julian Jaynes, theorized that humans went through a pre-conscious stage in evolution before languange emerged whereby they perceived the world around them and did many problem solving tasks before they could self reflect or narrate their own lives sequentially. A bit like a zombie or machine learning robot functioning autonomously without an inner life or introspection.

This zombie stage may arise early in evolution because there is less of an integrated system, because of the lack of a fully fledge symbolic language of concepts within the integrated system. If you think about how introspection works, it seems to be govern by a set patterns and rules which appear to be metaphoric in nature.

The structure & nature of Introspection is interesting to introspect on. In other words, introspect on introspect! Sounds like a positive feedback loop :lol:

But seriously, Jaynes did introspect on the structure of introspection and he concluded that our abstract mind space has been directly borrowed from our physical space by way of metaphor making. Our mind space is a big part of how we place our self consciously in an abstract mind space or mind world, it allows for the sequential nature of our inner lives to evolve over time abstractly. We all know our inner life's seem like a reflection of our physical lives, not a perfect 1-to-1 reflection but good enough for us to function self consciously.

I think people are wrong to think of our inner life (consciousness) as being primary in nature.

When a baby is born it lacks introspection and self consciousness... These human traits don't develop until years later, in fact as an adult matures so too does our self conscious nature.
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Re: Belief

Postby snowheight » Sun Oct 04, 2015 11:56 am

Hey Ash, love ya' bro'. Mean it. :)

ashley72 wrote:Bill,

I'm not really following why perceiving self identity is deemed a lie, but somehow perceiving a selfless state would supposedly be closer to the truth?


The question is based on a misconceived premise as the underlined is quite obviously something voiced and grasped.

ashley72 wrote:Let's consider this...

Human beings are a system which functions entirely through self regulatory processes. Everything from sweating to maintaining body temperature of 37 deg, to cognitive processes which lead to panic or greed. Our nervous system couldn't function in this way without cyclic cause-and-effect (governed by self reference). In other words, processes are cyclic in nature, the output can feedback into the input.

Even "perception" is governed by cyclic regulation of cause and effect. Our senses, such as eyes are transducers which convert one form of signal energy to another form of signal energy. In other words, patterns of light signals get transformed into neuronal signals. These neuronal signals are then processed in a tangled hierarchical fashion (no clearly defined highest or lowest level) by different parts of the brain... which is subject to cyclic chains of cause-and-effect within the human nervous system.

You can also think of light signals as information. So we can then talk about information entropy. When the light information is converted by the eye (transducer) into neuronal signals, the eye cannot increase the information entropy of source. In other words it can't increase the amount of uncertainty.

An example would be the source message "aaaaaaaa" couldn't be converted to "adfrmzhp" a message with higher entropy (greater uncertainty). Or another way to think about it, the number of microstates (configurations) available at source cannot be increased by the transducer.

How does it all become cyclic? Take for example a person speaking and creating sound waves, vibrating air-waves. A microphone (transducer) can convert those vibrating air-wave signals into electromagnetic waves which can be amplified through a speaker (transducer) and converted back to vibrating air-waves. However, if the speaker is put next to the microphone, those vibrating air-waves start feeding the output signal directly back into the input signal causing an increase in the initial signal size recursively. This causes a very low initial vibration to become very violent as it recursively cycles getting bigger and bigger!

In a way, this is how our own self identity works. Light signals & sound signals all get transduced by our senses, eyes, ears, etc. These signals are regulated in a cyclic fashion within our nervous system or brain. These undergo both positive & negative feedback loops constantly or playing the game of self organization.

i.e. a communication produces further communications and hence any communication system (social system) can reproduce itself as long as there is dynamic communication.


These are all the details of how the experience of self-reference manifests, and I agree with rg, and I'd bet that 'trails and andy would also agree, that these are very interesting. :D Your knowledge along these lines is impressive and I mean that sincerely and with no hint of condescension.

The idea of the lie can be elaborated on. As all information is founded on contrast, what is pointed to by the idea of what doesn't change can't be reduced to information. As the senses are of what comes and goes, they can't directly report what is pointed to by the idea of absolute stillness.

As the perception of contrast necessitates the subject/object split, there is no direct expression by sensory information of what is pointed to by the undivided, by what is transcendent of the split, by the idea of not-two. This is what the metaphor of √-1 represents. It's not by sensory perception that the truth of the illusion of self-reference is revealed.

There is no intellectual defense available for these ideas that point indirectly, because when grasped by the intellect they become lies. That's why Tolle specifically disclaims offering a philosophy when he made the distinction between clock-time and psychological time. He used the word "Being" to refer to what it is that we are, and which is timeless:

"Neither God nor Being nor any other word can define or explain the ineffable reality behind the word, so the only important question is whether the word is a help or a hindrance in enabling you to experience That toward which it points".

If these ideas weren't just pointers, if they were intellectually defensible, then self-inquiry would be a collective affair that could be done once, for all and for everyone with finality. Instead, it's something that everyone has to do for themselves. Not only do Tolle and others that use these ideas not ask you to believe them, but they all always prescribe a process of finding out how you relate to them personally, on your own.

Tolle's primary prescription is ever so simple: watch the thinker.

Does what appearances appear to, ever make an appearance? This question is of course misconceived, as there is no "what" involved at all. Unfortunately, anything I type to you will be a lie. Sorry dude! Kant help it! :mrgreen:

But if we follow Tolle's call to practice, to meditate, to rest silently in/as awareness, or if we follow kiki's advice to dispassionately witness the contents of mind as they come and go, this question can be answered, just not objectively, not with intellect. What is found is that the indivisible subject that never appears is only ever cast as a projection in the shadows formed after the subject/object split.
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Re: Belief

Postby ashley72 » Sun Oct 04, 2015 2:04 pm

Let me be clear this mind doesnt believe objects exist as discreet particles in space (subject).... so the object/subject split is an illusion that gets borrowed from the way the symbolic mind maps (metaphorically) the sensory experience in physical space. Self consciousness which emerges as symbolic brain met-aphorizes an abstract mind-space to introspect on...is the epitome of this illusionary split. Our abstract mind introspects an abstract symbolic reality not at the fine grain reality of the very minute...it looks at reality in a very course grain macro level, where self organization of complex systems are operating at multiple layers of complexity. If you look at a computer screen of a computer game, it's not at all apparent that this computer game with all its wonderful graphics (macro level) is built entirely from yes/no states of silicon transistors oscillating off/on at lighting speed frequencies.

Everything physical is undulations of energy in motion that can also "stand" out like a discrete bit of in-form-action (the binary aspect). There is no separation as such just oscillations with discrete phases of peak amplitudes & troughs. This is the contrast in which information is founded on.

I don't believe consciousness is primary. To be conscious is to be aware of the self "macro" nature. Its impossible for a human to ever truly be conscious of the oscillating "electrons" that make up their nervous system. Just as a robot will never be conscious of the oscillating electrons in its silicon transistors. The macro level of system wide integration is where the shades of grey and the statistical nature of our lives get derived from.

In regard, to Tolle and his simple prescription "watch the thinker". Are we truly watching the thinker? Or are we merely experiencing spontaneous self organization of coordinated events at an integrated macro level, that emerge from many billions of smaller localized interactions based on a one-a-trillion self-modifying algorithm that manifests sentience?

I might be talking total crap :lol: ... the point is so is anyone including Tolle when he speaks (points to) of the un-manifested which he believes is consciousness in its primary form.

But one thing is for sure... It's bloody complex to the human mind!
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Re: Belief

Postby randomguy » Mon Oct 05, 2015 8:43 pm

I don't believe consciousness is primary.

Could that be because those other beliefs in the ideas where mind and phenomenal relationships appear as the source of awareness are so brilliantly compelling that this other possibility may be seen as an alternative belief when more relevantly what is being spoken of and what is nearly impossible to speak about clearly except as an invitation to explore it for one's self has little to do with belief altogether except to point out that belief just obscures the recognition of it?

Is there consciousness in the absence of belief?

The catch is that seeing undoubtedly that consciousness or awareness precedes the experience of the phenomenally observed requires exploring what it is like without attachment to the stories brought about by thought. Thought is itself phenomenal hence observable. To attribute consciousness to a material phenomenal thing of origin such as a symbolic mind and/or clustered oscillations still requires something of the "ineffable reality" in which it exists and from which the object(s) came. So what does it buy other than the satisfaction of knowing by way of attachment to a phenomenal explanation? In stillness, in quiet, subtle openness like a gentle listening it can be seen that the phenomenal comes and goes within observation. This includes all explanations that just go away when not thought about. What remains when nothing is explained? Where do the division's go including the one between phenomenal and non-phenomenal?

Are we truly watching the thinker? Or are we merely experiencing spontaneous self organization of coordinated events at an integrated macro level, that emerge from many billions of smaller localized interactions based on a one-a-trillion self-modifying algorithm that manifests sentience?

The experience of a thinker is created by attachment to brilliant stories composed within thought. The experience appears to what remains when the stories are gone.
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Re: Belief

Postby ashley72 » Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:39 pm

When a person enters a trance state they lose track of their body, emotions, sense of time and even of their physical location. In other words, their sensory system is deprived.

Interestingly, trance states occur during acute panic cycles where the sufferer enters are state of de-personalization or de-realization. The sufferer can start to feel like the surroundings are no longer real anymore, and they look at themselves in the third-person. It comes about from acute avoidance behaviour brought about acute fear caused by a positive feedback loop that suddenly hits a ceiling level. If it didnt there would be no way to stop the panic cycle from becoming more unstable.

To me this dramatic change in the state of consciousness during waking is proof that anxious thinking is critical part of the causal chain of consciousness. Anxious thinking can breed more anxious thinking (positive feedback) until we hit a trance state of avoidance behaviour (depriving our sensory feedback)

Trance states can also occur In meditation practice when we singular focus on an object of meditation and ignore all other sensory information. Again we depriving our sensory feedback.

Trance states are just narrow focuses of attention that are unsustainable. During trance states people can step outside of their ordinary belief system.

You've heard of hypnotic states? whereby a hypnotist is able to get the subject to do things they wouldn't normally do. This is because the subject becomes more pliable and open to suggestibility.
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Re: Belief

Postby snowheight » Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:42 pm

ashley72 wrote:I don't believe consciousness is primary. To be conscious is to be aware of the self "macro" nature. Its impossible for a human to ever truly be conscious of the oscillating "electrons" that make up their nervous system. Just as a robot will never be conscious of the oscillating electrons in its silicon transistors. The macro level of system wide integration is where the shades of grey and the statistical nature of our lives get derived from.


As far as problems go, the mind/body "problem" sure is a doozy. :D In terms of self-inquiry, the underlying question is misconceived, as the division between mind and body is just an ephemeral creation of mind to begin with:

ashley72 wrote:Let me be clear this mind doesnt believe objects exist as discreet particles in space (subject).... so the object/subject split is an illusion that gets borrowed from the way the symbolic mind maps (metaphorically) the sensory experience in physical space. Self consciousness which emerges as symbolic brain met-aphorizes an abstract mind-space to introspect on...is the epitome of this illusionary split.


... and in this, once again, we encounter the pattern of self-reference.

Now, this answer (that the question, "where is consciousness?" is misconceived) can seem like a short-cut, a cheat, and depending on how the self-inquiry is going down, it can be really dissatisfying, but not necessarily so. In intellectual terms, it really is only as good as the answer to a word problem in the back of a math or physics textbook.

In other contexts of course, this question underlying the notion and nature of consciousness isn't misconceived at all. Would-be healers have made this distinction for centuries In clinical settings, and the further AI technology goes, the closer it gets to becoming a topic central to a process of engineering.

ashley72 wrote:In regard, to Tolle and his simple prescription "watch the thinker". Are we truly watching the thinker? Or are we merely experiencing spontaneous self organization of coordinated events at an integrated macro level, that emerge from many billions of smaller localized interactions based on a one-a-trillion self-modifying algorithm that manifests sentience?


This is the core of the inquiry: what is watching? Now, we can ask about the nature of the watching and we can deconstruct the watcher as an object intellectually, but this is all premised on the subject/object split to begin with. That's fine really, but it's a different kind of inquiry, one that reveals what comes and goes and the relationships between these appearances in terms that can be known and voiced. What Tolle is suggesting is something different. An inquiry that isn't about symbolic meaning at all.

As to be human is to be unique, how each person conducts this inquiry will never be the same, but it's pretty easy to discern that the tools used to produce and refine symbolic meaning aren't the ones that will finish the job of finding a non-symbolic subjective truth. A high IQ surely is no perquisite for the questioning to end. And end it can, and does, and along with it comes the end of certain patterns of curiosity, doubt and fear. This is the state of inner-peace, and in it, one can pursue all sorts and manner of interests about the mind-body problem in various relevant contexts.

Where our back-of-the-book answer on the "mind/body problem" (that it is misconceived, because mind and body aren't actually distinct) can be other than a hindrance is in the pursuit of various practices that have been suggested historically by figures like Tolle. These involve looking inward, quieting the mind, becoming conscious of the nature of conditions and conditioning, and looking outward, embracing what we sense, and becoming present to the here and now.

These practices can seem to a person to be a sort of process of integration. As the mind calms and defenses dissolve, the world comes into a clearer focus, gratitude can start to set in, and a sort of contagion of freedom can be encountered. The process itself can take on a life of it's own. Ironically, it's at just such a point that dropping either a mind or heart based reliance on any notion of either form or emptiness can lead to the end of that process. Any end to the inquiry which leaves us with a sense of division between a view inward or a view outward, isn't really an end at all, just a pause.
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Re: Belief

Postby snowheight » Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:53 pm

kiki once made mention of encountering the void during one of his meditations, and Bode Miller once described a downhill ski run in two contradictory terms: complete and utter relaxation while totally alert and present.

When the mind and the body fall away, and all that remains is awareness aware, there is no doubt, no illusion, and also not a hairs breath of distance from the maelstrom of creation.
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Re: Belief

Postby ashley72 » Tue Oct 06, 2015 10:26 pm

snowheight wrote:but it's pretty easy to discern that the tools used to produce and refine symbolic meaning aren't the ones that will finish the job of finding a non-symbolic subjective truth


“ Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either.” Albert Einstein

Consciousness will never be understood by introspection alone...because introspection is looking exclusively at macro level behavior from a first person or subjective perspective only. Introspection is also not non-symbolic because the "subject" is also a symbol in cognition.

Just like you can't unravel how a computer graphics engine works by observing the display (top layer). You've got to get under the hood & start at the binary level of information & work your way through each layer of the multi-layered system for a full understanding.

You can't put things like symbolic meaning to one side & say this isn't going to explain consciousness, because that would be like saying a binary system can't explain how the graphics display on the screen.

Mathematical algorithms have already explained the process of unsupervised category learning. Consciousness or awareness is no different. It's got to do with system wide integrated feedback... and I'm sure in the future a mathematical model will describe the laws of conscious behavior in both artificial systems & biological systems.

I can't finish here without saying, metaphor is how humans communicate their subjective experience.

Visual metaphors:
"Do you see what I am saying?"
"I see your point"

Auditory metaphors:
"Can you hear what I am saying?"
"That rings a bell"

Tactile metaphors:
"Do you get what I am saying?"
"I feel ya man"

Metaphor is a mapping from a source domain to target domain. It follows a mathematical structure.
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Re: Belief

Postby snowheight » Tue Oct 06, 2015 11:48 pm

ashley72 wrote:
snowheight wrote:but it's pretty easy to discern that the tools used to produce and refine symbolic meaning aren't the ones that will finish the job of finding a non-symbolic subjective truth


“ Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either.” Albert Einstein

Consciousness will never be understood by introspection alone...because introspection is looking exclusively at macro level behavior from a first person or subjective perspective only. Introspection is also not non-symbolic because the "subject" is also a symbol in cognition.



Any conceptual understanding we have of consciousness as it relates to what it is that we are eventually becomes a hindrance to an ongoing self-inquiry. In terms of Albert Low's expressions, it becomes a place where the mind comes to rest. His prescription was "arouse the mind without resting it". This addresses two common pitfalls in self-inquiry: mistaking suppression of thought and emotion for stillness, and missing our own unconscious reliance on a monism, like "Consciousness", that might be at the core of a false, self-referential sense of identity.

Any idea we have of ourselves that can be voiced or understood is a lie, and if we have an idea of reality, then we have an idealized sense of identity. At the end of self-inquiry is the absence of these.

I'll always be very grateful for everyone that was on this forum at the time for catalyzing the part of my self-inquiry that resulted in becoming conscious of that aspect of my prior sense of identity. We don't have to stop believing that the Sun will rise in the East or start believing that the Easter Bunny is real in order to find where our minds might be resting. We just have to start getting really honest with ourselves about how we see ourselves in relation to what it is that we think that we're not.

The other Al's quote about little-truths was originally made in the context of societal justice. In the final analysis, there really is no topic that isn't related in some way to self-inquiry, and the ideal of the objective jurist is as good as any to demonstrate the nature of the lie. :D
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Re: Belief

Postby ashley72 » Fri Oct 16, 2015 1:59 am

Conceptual understanding of Consciousness is not a hindrance to self inquiry at all.

Take for example this electronic circuit as an analogy to Consciousness.

Image

What we have here is an input transducer (microphone) and an output transducer (speaker) bridged by an amplifier. Now if you place the microphone too close to the speaker you will create positive feedback loop... whereby the output signal feeds directly back into the input signal creating a high pitched screeching sound (increasing power).

How does this relate to a human being & Consciousness? Well humans also have input transducers - eyes, ears, nose, tongue & tactile sensations. These input transducers act like the microphone feeding input signals to the brain (the amplifier or attenuator) which in turn have an affect on our human behaviors/response (output transducer).

Humans are also prone to positive feedback just like in the electronic circuit example. Because the brain acts like an amplifier to modified the input signal.

In the case of a panic cycle. A single anxious thought can lead to anxious behavior which in turn can lead to more anxious thinking.. because the brain can act as an amplifier if it also treats the anxious behavior (output) as dangerous it becomes a vicious cycle of increasing panic.

Image

But the good news about the brain, is it can also act like an attenuator and perceive the anxious behavior as non-dangerous which will lead to less anxious thinking.. hence less anxious behaviors i.e Negative Feedback loop.

So how does this relate to Consciousness? Well because this analogous circuit example helps us understand about the structural nature of Consciousness / Self Awareness... it is a system governed by Feedback Loops.

When we practice Buddhist meditation, such as vipassana https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vipassana

You sit and observe tactile sensations & thoughts which arise without judging them. So if an anxious thought arose whilst meditating this way, you would merely observe it without trying to judge it. What your doing here is getting the brain to act like an attentuator (negative feedback loop).... which is the reason people who meditate this way usually quieten the mind and feel very relaxed, calm and peaceful during this contemplative practice.
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Re: Belief

Postby smiileyjen101 » Thu Oct 29, 2015 5:24 am

But one thing is for sure... It's bloody complex to the human mind!

And yet human babies grasp and express the urgency of it in their survival interpretations & techniques when early in the human body form.

When a person enters a trance state they lose track of their body, emotions, sense of time and even of their physical location. In other words, their sensory system is deprived.

Not all trance states are sensory deprivation - others can be acute sensory awareness outside of the immediate (tactile) area/environment.

For me above & below speak to whether one is traversing in the energies of fear (shut down/insulate) or the higher energies of creation/ love (open up, see the bigger wider picture & adjust the focus putting things in wider perspective).

Interestingly, trance states occur during acute panic cycles where the sufferer enters are state of de-personalization or de-realization. The sufferer can start to feel like the surroundings are no longer real anymore, and they look at themselves in the third-person. It comes about from acute avoidance behaviour brought about acute fear caused by a positive feedback loop that suddenly hits a ceiling level. If it didnt there would be no way to stop the panic cycle from becoming more unstable.

To me this dramatic change in the state of consciousness during waking is proof that anxious thinking is critical part of the causal chain of consciousness. Anxious thinking can breed more anxious thinking (positive feedback) until we hit a trance state of avoidance behaviour (depriving our sensory feedback)


I agree with the above on the level that the energies of fear resonate at a lower/denser vibration & can be experienced as 'all consuming' and seem to have no end in sight as they are experienced in a loop. Reality 'switches' and interruptions to the thought cycles can bring people (snap them out of it) out of the looping by interrupting the self conducting flows of fear energy and widening their perspective again.

Once interrupted the panicking person's fears shrink back to a manageable 'in perspective' focus.
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