Daniel Kahneman

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Re: Daniel Kahneman

Postby vinay » Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:03 pm

Thanks to both of you: Kathleen and Onceler for adding clarity. I am sorry, Kathleen, I had not followed the "stages of awakening" thread and you seem to have contributed more than everyone else. I really the like the criteria Kathleen has suggested. I particularly like "speed at which you drop negative emotion" seems so accessible. I call it Eckhart's "catch me if you canhttp://www.catalign.in/2014/02/eckhart-tolles-catch-me-if-you-can.html" experiment. Like Oceler, I do a bit of journaling. The last time I got angry was in June because someone cut the queue I was standing and went directly to payment counter. It took me around 10 minutes to cool down. Now, I want to focus on subtler negative emotions and see what happens.

David Bohm suggests an interesting experiment in his book "Thought as a system". He says one should first identify "buttons" which when pressed invoke negative emotions. In my case, "someone cutting the queue I am waiting in" would be one such button. Once one is able to come out of negative emotion sufficiently fast, one should press the button voluntarily by invoking a thought, situation, image etc. And see how the reaction comes up and goes down. His hypothesis is that thought is extremely cunning and it tells you "I got it" while actually it is just a concept in the mind. So he suggests that one should be doing such testing all the time.

However, these tests are self-tests - one is observing one's own reactions. If I understand correctly, Onceler is also interested testing others - say children. I don't know if "speed at which you drop negative emotion" kind of testing is possible objectively. The closest thing I have seen is Yale Prof. Judson Brewer's fMRI scanner which detects self-referential thinking and Gary Weber (the person who wrote the 4 stages blog) has put himself under the scanner successfully. Unfortunately, it is an expensive test. In "Thinking, fast and slow" Kahneman talks about "Day Reconstruction Method (DRM)" that he championed in measuring happiness. I haven't seen the detailed questions in the survey but the basic idea to test for intensity of negative emotions at end of the day. They found out that American women spent about 19% of the time in an unpleasant state as compared to 16% for French women and 14% Danish women.

Interesting Gary Weber says he did not use these tests during his 25 years of practice. From time to time he went to spiritual masters and they sent him back say, "You are not done yet". I guess one needs to be lucky to have both access and faith in a guru. For me, the tests suggested by Kathleen look more practical.
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Re: Daniel Kahneman

Postby KathleenBrugger » Thu Dec 04, 2014 12:14 am

vinay wrote:Thanks to both of you: Kathleen and Onceler for adding clarity. I am sorry, Kathleen, I had not followed the "stages of awakening" thread and you seem to have contributed more than everyone else. I really the like the criteria Kathleen has suggested. I particularly like "speed at which you drop negative emotion" seems so accessible. I call it Eckhart's "catch me if you canhttp://www.catalign.in/2014/02/eckhart-tolles-catch-me-if-you-can.html" experiment. Like Oceler, I do a bit of journaling. The last time I got angry was in June because someone cut the queue I was standing and went directly to payment counter. It took me around 10 minutes to cool down. Now, I want to focus on subtler negative emotions and see what happens.

David Bohm suggests an interesting experiment in his book "Thought as a system". He says one should first identify "buttons" which when pressed invoke negative emotions. In my case, "someone cutting the queue I am waiting in" would be one such button. Once one is able to come out of negative emotion sufficiently fast, one should press the button voluntarily by invoking a thought, situation, image etc. And see how the reaction comes up and goes down. His hypothesis is that thought is extremely cunning and it tells you "I got it" while actually it is just a concept in the mind. So he suggests that one should be doing such testing all the time.

However, these tests are self-tests - one is observing one's own reactions.

Now seems a good time to say "welcome to the forum vinay!" Two things in your latest post stand out to me:

1. journaling. I think this is an excellent place to start absent some kind of objective worksheet. You could even have a separate journal (if you already keep one) specifically for observations relating to spiritual growth. Like: "today I felt irritation in the grocery line but recognized it and dropped it before I did anything that other people might notice" (funny you bring up grocery lines--in the past I've shared on this forum about my problems with lines). How about something like workplace safety signs that read __ days since an accident. Instead you could have various categories: __ days since an argument with spouse, __ days since felt self-pity, etc. The journaling could also help you start recognizing those buttons or triggers that bring up negative emotions, so you could in the future watch for the buttons and not reflexively react.

2. Limitations on our subjective accounting of ourselves. Unfortunately we can kid ourselves. We can think we aren't angry anymore, when what's really happened is we've learned to explain our feelings in some new spiritual context that makes it seems as if the negative emotions have effervesced. This was discussed in that article mentioned in Gary Weber's blog post. The researcher noticed that for some of the participants: "The overall suggestion from the data was a disconnect between the internal subjective experience in these participants and other parts of their psychology and physiology." For instance, they claimed to be free from racism and sexism, they felt that in their new state they couldn't possibly have those attitudes, yet when the researcher administered a standard psychological test they all showed signs of racism and sexism. Some of these were people in level 4 of the continuum.

This brings me to another of Onceler's ideas. He once wrote that he saw a divide in spiritual seekers between those who sought transcendence and those who sought relief from suffering. I thought this was very profound. There are many who seek the experiences outlined in Mr. Weber's post and that's enough for them. But I notice that another aspect of the discussion in that article is that for most of these people, no one around the noticed that anything about them had changed.

I want spiritual growth to change me! I want to be kinder, more patient, less volatile, more at peace, graceful, loving, compassionate--and to such a degree that other people notice. For me this is what spirituality is about, not having spectacular experiences (although those are nice too).
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Re: Daniel Kahneman

Postby Onceler » Thu Dec 04, 2014 3:52 am

Wow, you both packed a lot into your posts, Vinay and Kathleen. I'll have to process the information in them. And welcome to the forum, Vinay.

I went back and read the original study thru the link you posted and I was kind of blown away.....coming out to a similar place that I think you're articulating.....I'm not sure I want what they have. Let me just say before I go on, that I have realized a consistent pattern to my personality.....I am extremely open to new ideas and will accept and absorb almost any line of thought, stimulated by them even (although I'm trying to forget the fairy period). However, after a time the new idea loses its luster and I return to what I call 'friendly skepticism'. This is a rather practical, agnostic position that allows a more 3 dimensional examination of the new idea and a working of gut intuition and reason. I have never been able to join any group because of this or fully align myself with any one idea or dogma, despite devouring a rich stream of new paradigms.

I liked Weber's blog post and even identified with the first location, but upon reading the research article, a rather shambling, slouchy anecdotal study with a small sample size yet with an appeal to the truth, the friendly skepticism kicked in and I wondered too if some of those in the study were not dissasociated by their transcendent state. Separated from their surroundings and awareness of their bodies and emotions. It almost sounds more like a dissassociative disorder than something to aspire to, especially location 4 where many felt a loss of emotion.

Write the scale, Kathleen, and let the fireworks begin on what should be assessed and what should not be included!
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Re: Daniel Kahneman

Postby KathleenBrugger » Thu Dec 04, 2014 6:45 pm

Onceler wrote:Wow, you both packed a lot into your posts, Vinay and Kathleen. I'll have to process the information in them. And welcome to the forum, Vinay.

I went back and read the original study thru the link you posted and I was kind of blown away.....coming out to a similar place that I think you're articulating.....I'm not sure I want what they have. Let me just say before I go on, that I have realized a consistent pattern to my personality.....I am extremely open to new ideas and will accept and absorb almost any line of thought, stimulated by them even (although I'm trying to forget the fairy period). However, after a time the new idea loses its luster and I return to what I call 'friendly skepticism'. This is a rather practical, agnostic position that allows a more 3 dimensional examination of the new idea and a working of gut intuition and reason. I have never been able to join any group because of this or fully align myself with any one idea or dogma, despite devouring a rich stream of new paradigms.

I liked Weber's blog post and even identified with the first location, but upon reading the research article, a rather shambling, slouchy anecdotal study with a small sample size yet with an appeal to the truth, the friendly skepticism kicked in and I wondered too if some of those in the study were not dissasociated by their transcendent state. Separated from their surroundings and awareness of their bodies and emotions. It almost sounds more like a dissassociative disorder than something to aspire to, especially location 4 where many felt a loss of emotion.

Write the scale, Kathleen, and let the fireworks begin on what should be assessed and what should not be included!

No wonder I like a lot of your ideas and posts, onceler, I am also a very practical person who brings an open mind and skepticism to anything I approach. I also have never joined a group for those reasons.

I will definitely work on the scale. I've got some more ideas. When I get it a little more fleshed out I'll post a thread about it, and then, as you say, we'll have some fun with the fireworks! Hopefully vinay will stick around because I think s/he will be a valuable contributor.
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Re: Daniel Kahneman

Postby Onceler » Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:33 pm

I like your posts too, Kathleen. I'm on the cusp between Aquarius and Capricorn (not that I put much stock in astrology, naturally). The tension between idealistic and wafty vs. practical and down to earth (I'm from swiss ancestry as well) is crazy making at times.
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Re: Daniel Kahneman

Postby vinay » Fri Dec 05, 2014 4:55 am

Thanks Onceler for the encouragement. Kathleen, I look forward to your post on scale. The nice part about the parameters you are suggesting is that it is very easy to try them out and see if works for oneself in one's current context.
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Re: Daniel Kahneman

Postby KathleenBrugger » Fri Dec 05, 2014 8:55 pm

vinay wrote:Thanks Onceler for the encouragement. Kathleen, I look forward to your post on scale. The nice part about the parameters you are suggesting is that it is very easy to try them out and see if works for oneself in one's current context.

I was talking with a friend this morning about the scale and we agreed that a very important feature should be its interactivity--the user needs to be able to plug in their issues/interests, whatever they are. The whole point is tracking progress, not imposing some preconceived idea of what progress looks like. The user can make that determination themselves.

Hey onceler--my grandfather was from Switzerland! :lol:
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Re: Daniel Kahneman

Postby Onceler » Fri Dec 05, 2014 11:10 pm

KathleenBrugger wrote:
vinay wrote:Thanks Onceler for the encouragement. Kathleen, I look forward to your post on scale. The nice part about the parameters you are suggesting is that it is very easy to try them out and see if works for oneself in one's current context.

I was talking with a friend this morning about the scale and we agreed that a very important feature should be its interactivity--the user needs to be able to plug in their issues/interests, whatever they are. The whole point is tracking progress, not imposing some preconceived idea of what progress looks like. The user can make that determination themselves.

Hey onceler--my grandfather was from Switzerland! :lol:



That makes total sense.....the interactivity part. The Swiss part too. Do you hate being late and always sort of know what time it is to within 5 minutes?
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Re: Daniel Kahneman

Postby KathleenBrugger » Fri Dec 05, 2014 11:52 pm

Onceler wrote:
KathleenBrugger wrote:
vinay wrote:Thanks Onceler for the encouragement. Kathleen, I look forward to your post on scale. The nice part about the parameters you are suggesting is that it is very easy to try them out and see if works for oneself in one's current context.

I was talking with a friend this morning about the scale and we agreed that a very important feature should be its interactivity--the user needs to be able to plug in their issues/interests, whatever they are. The whole point is tracking progress, not imposing some preconceived idea of what progress looks like. The user can make that determination themselves.

Hey onceler--my grandfather was from Switzerland! :lol:

That makes total sense.....the interactivity part. The Swiss part too. Do you hate being late and always sort of know what time it is to within 5 minutes?

YES!! That's hilarious.
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Re: Daniel Kahneman

Postby vinay » Sat Dec 06, 2014 3:36 am

Onceler wrote:Do you hate being late and always sort of know what time it is to within 5 minutes?[/b]


Makes you guys unsuitable to live in India :-) It has been my primary spiritual practice - to watch the irritation inside as people routinely come late for meetings. Eckhart sometimes throws percentages - perhaps just to give a sense. In one interview he says, "We spend 70% of our life waiting". In India, that may be 85% :-) "Drop the waiting" practice has helped me.

On the scale being interactive, one point to consider. If I am interacting with you to determine your state of consciousness, then my state of consciousness is directly influencing you. If I have had a bad day, it will influence you.

Came across this "Campbell's Law" which has some similarity to Heisenberg's Uncertainty principle. It says:

"The more any quantitative social indicator (or even some qualitative indicator) is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor." Here is an implication mentioned in the wikipedia page:

What Campbell also states in this principle is that "achievement tests may well be valuable indicators of general school achievement under conditions of normal teaching aimed at general competence. But when test scores become the goal of the teaching process, they both lose their value as indicators of educational status and distort the educational process in undesirable ways.


Not sure if there is a way to avoid this "test-focused teaching". It is rampant in India.
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Re: Daniel Kahneman

Postby KathleenBrugger » Sat Dec 06, 2014 10:03 pm

vinay wrote:
Onceler wrote:Do you hate being late and always sort of know what time it is to within 5 minutes?[/b]

Makes you guys unsuitable to live in India :-) It has been my primary spiritual practice - to watch the irritation inside as people routinely come late for meetings. Eckhart sometimes throws percentages - perhaps just to give a sense. In one interview he says, "We spend 70% of our life waiting". In India, that may be 85% :-) "Drop the waiting" practice has helped me.

On the scale being interactive, one point to consider. If I am interacting with you to determine your state of consciousness, then my state of consciousness is directly influencing you. If I have had a bad day, it will influence you.

India? How interesting. My husband spent some time in India back in the 1970s and he has told me stories about waiting. Glad you've been able to make a spiritual practice out of it.

Obviously I wasn't clear about what I meant by interactive. I meant in the computer app kind of way; that the growth scale wouldn't be a "one size fits all" but would have broad parameters; the user would be able to plug in the particular triggers or buttons that they are tracking.
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Re: Daniel Kahneman

Postby vinay » Sun Dec 07, 2014 4:49 am

Computer / mobile app sounds really cool, Kathleen. Do post a note in this thread once you have something, so that I will get an intimation. I still have not learnt the art of scanning the entire forum. All the best.
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Re: Daniel Kahneman

Postby Sighclone » Sun Dec 14, 2014 5:09 pm

Welcome vinay! Fine thread, thanks, all!

In reading Jeffrey Martin's admittedly sketchy study, (thanks, Kathleen, for that link from Gary Weber's now-very-popular blog, and Onceler for the critical comments) I was struck by one sentence:

One way to conceptualize this for purposes of discussion is as a change from localized to non-localized sense of self.


It reminded me that the primary message of ET is recognition of the "non-localized sense of self." Of course discussions of memory, anger, and really, anything discrete and relative that can be labeled falls in the realm of psychology, changes or discoveries about our "personality" or "separate inside self." All well and good. All useful ... lot's of stuff in there.

But ET talks about a "shift." For many it is quite sudden (it was for Gary Weber, Adya, Eckhart, Jac O'Keeffe, Osho, Francis Bennett, many others, and for me). For some it grows over time, or so it seems. And the "non-local" self is so vast and inclusive, once experienced, that it takes some time for re-integration to the "good ol' me," our very valid, very real and very unique "localized personality self." It's hard to imagine someone who has a clear and compelling experience of the "non-localized sense of self" being a racist. Unity consciousness simply includes all experience, and really dissolves any racial differences, leaving only love and honor for any life form.

Or so it seems. And yet the "separate self" is still a fully-functional self, available in a heartbeat, and essential for bumping around in daily life.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
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