Questioning Consciousness

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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby jakell » Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:04 am

SonicG » Thu Jun 02, 2016 2:48 pm wrote:Very interesting...Lots of interesting tidbits such as:
Many scientists have placed their hopes on big data, gleaned from new technologies that can record the buzzing of thousands of individual neurons, map their connections, and film the activity of entire brains in living animals. This hope is reflected in equally big budgets. In 2013, the troubled Human Brain Project nabbed $1.3 billion from the European Commission to try and build a simulation of the brain, while President Obama launched the BRAIN Initiative, an ambitious plan to develop new brain-imaging technologies.


Is inner space the new outer space??

Can Neuroscience Understand Donkey Kong, Let Alone a Brain?
http://www.theatlantic.com/science/arch ... in/485177/


I've always been suspicious of claims that, if only a scanner could be built that was fast enough, it would be able produce a snapshot of brain activity at a particular instant and therefore be able to capture the essence of a person's mind. This has nearly always been linked to transhumanist notions of being able to insert our consciousness into a computer.

The trouble is that a snapshot has no momentum to it, no time dimension, and it is arguably this that is the real essence of consciousness, not a static description of matter and energy states, no matter how detailed.

The computer model of brain activity, although used by some, is unsatisfactory to others who see the neuron as more than a simple on/off switch and that there is processing going on within the neuron too (eg, as described by Hameroff in a post of mine a few pages back)
" Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism"
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby minime » Mon Jun 06, 2016 11:48 pm

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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby chump » Tue Jun 07, 2016 6:48 pm



(from chapter 6: The Art of Teleautomatics)

... Ever since I was told by some of the greatest men of the time, leaders in science whose names are immortal, that I am possesst of an unusual mind, I bent all my thinking faculties on the solution of great problems regardless of sacrifice. For many years I endeavored to solve the enigma of death, and watched eagerly for every kind of spiritual indication. But only once in the course of my existence have I had an experience which momentarily impressed me as supernatural. It was at the time of my mother's death. I had become completely exhausted by pain and long vigilance, and one night was carried to a building about two blocks from our home. As I lay helpless there, I thought that if my mother died while I was away from her bedside she would surely give me a sign. Two or three months before I was in London in company with my late friend, Sir William Crookes, when spiritualism was discussed, and I was under the full sway of these thoughts. I might not have paid attention to other men, but was susceptible to his arguments as it was his epochal work on radiant matter, which I had read as a student, that made me embrace the electrical career. I reflected that the conditions for a look into the beyond were most favorable, for my mother was a woman of genius and particularly excelling in the powers of intuition. During the whole night every fiber in my brain was strained in expectancy, but nothing happened until early in the morning, when I fell in a sleep, or perhaps a swoon, and saw a cloud carrying angelic figures of marvelous beauty, one of whom gazed upon me lovingly and gradually assumed the features of my mother. The appearance slowly floated across the room and vanished, and I was awakened by an indescribably sweet song of many voices. In that instant a certitude, which no words can express, came upon me that my mother had just died. And that was true. I was unable to understand the tremendous weight of the painful knowledge I received in advance, and wrote a letter to Sir William Crookes while still under the domination of these impressions and in poor bodily health. When I recovered I sought for a long time the external cause of this strange manifestation and, to my great relief, I succeeded after many months of fruitless effort. I had seen the painting of a celebrated artist, representing allegorically one of the seasons in the form of a cloud with a group of angels which seemed to actually float in the air, and this had struck me forcefully. It was exactly the same that appeared in my dream, with the exception of my mother's likeness. The music came from the choir in the church nearby at the early mass of Easter morning, explaining everything satisfactorily in conformity with scientific facts.

This occurred long ago, and I have never had the faintest reason since to change my views on psychical and spiritual phenomena, for which there is absolutely no foundation. The belief in these is the natural outgrowth of intellectual development. Religious dogmas are no longer accepted in their orthodox meaning, but every individual clings to faith in a supreme power of some kind. We all must have an ideal to govern our conduct and insure contentment, but it is immaterial whether it be one of creed, art, science or anything else, so long as it fulfills the function of a dematerializing force. It is essential to the peacef ul existence of humanity as a whole that one common conception should prevail.

While I have failed to obtain any evidence in support of the contentions of psychologists and spiritualists, I have proved to my complete satisfaction the automatism of life, not only through continuous observations of individual actions, but even more conclusively through certain generalizations. These amount to a discovery which I consider of the greatest moment to human society, and on which I shall briefly dwell. I got the first inkling of this astounding truth when I was still a very young man, but for many years I interpreted what I noted simply as coincidences. Namely, whenever either myself or a person to whom I was attached, or a cause to which I was devoted, was hurt by others in a particular way, which might be best popularly characterized as the most unfair imaginable, I experienced a singular and undefinable pain which, for want of a better term, I have qualified as "cosmic," and shortly thereafter, and invariably, those who had inflicted it came to grief. After many such cases I confided this to a number of friends, who had the opportunity to convince themselves of the truth of the theory which I have gradually formulated and which may be stated in the following few words:

Our bodies are of similar construction and exposed to the same external influences. This results in likeness of response and concordance of the general activities on which all our social and other rules and laws are based. We are automata entirely controlled by the forces of the medium being tossed about like corks on the surface of the water, but mistaking the resultant of the impulses from the outside for free will. The movements and other actions we perform are always life preservative and tho seemingly quite independent from one another, we are connected by invisible links. So long as the organism is in perfect order it responds accurately to the agents that prompt it, but the moment that there is some derangement in any individual, his self-preservative power is impaired. Everybody understands, of course, that if one becomes deaf, has his eyesight weakened, or his limbs injured, the chances for his continued existence are lessened. But this is also true, and perhaps more so, of certain defects in the brain which deprive the automaton, more or less, of that vital quality and cause it to rush into destruction. A very sensitive and observant being, with his highly developed mechanism all intact, and acting with precision in obedience to the changing conditions of the environment, is endowed with a transcending mechanical sense, eiiabling him to evade perils too subtle to be directly perceived. When he comes in contact with others whose controlling organs are radically faulty, that sense asserts itself and he feels the "cosmic" pain. The truth of this has been borne out in hundreds of instances and I am inviting other students of nature to devote attention to this subject, believing that thru combined and systematic effort results of incalculable value to the world will be attained...

http://www.teslaplay.com/autosection6.htm

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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby coffin_dodger » Tue Jun 07, 2016 7:38 pm

I have the feeling that there were a lot more genius ideas, focussed and verbalised by Tesla, that have been buried behind his media-friendly electrical inventions. As witnessed by the above.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby coffin_dodger » Thu Jun 16, 2016 6:31 pm

Those that face truth - head on - and accept it, no matter how unsettling it may prove to be, are the vanguard. They live for the future. They are the new.

Those that shy away from truth, because it is too painful to face, are deniers. They fear ugly truth. They can resist acknowledging that which they have believed to be true, even when revealed, in fact, to be false.

Deniers are fettered; the vanguard is not.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby minime » Fri Jun 17, 2016 10:12 pm

Where does humanism end and transhumanism begin?
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby minime » Sun Jun 19, 2016 8:03 pm

Where does transhumanism end and humanism begin?
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby minime » Sun Jun 19, 2016 8:32 pm

THE CONFLICT DATES from the day when one man, flying in the face of appearance, perceived that the forces of nature are no more unalterably fixed in their orbits than the stars themselves, but that their serene arrangement around us depicts the flow of a tremendous tide--the day on which a first voice rang out, crying to Mankind peacefully slumbering on the raft of Earth, We are moving!


- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The Future of Man
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby coffin_dodger » Thu Jun 23, 2016 5:09 pm

minime wrote:Where does humanism end and transhumanism begin?

Science Fiction.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby minime » Sat Jun 25, 2016 9:58 pm

“If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby minime » Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:38 pm

It is very significant that the Indian breathing exercises, which have been popularized by Swami Vivekananda through his lectures in America, have not helped a single American to a higher condition, but, on the other hand, are reported to have brought all the more into hospitals and lunatic asylums. . . . It has not been proved, even of the most harmless exercises, . . . that they are appropriate to the organism of the European.


Hermann von Keyserling, The Travel Diary of a Philosopher
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Re: Eliminate brain fog

Postby Sounder » Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:49 am

Thanks minime, I will address breathing for westerners another time.

But note also that there are folk here at RI that use negative images and words to promote brain fog.

http://www.zengardner.com/heres-words-l ... -kindness/

The words you choose to use can literally change your brain.
by Raven Fon

Dr. Andrew Newberg, a neuroscientist at Thomas Jefferson University, and Mark Robert Waldman, a communications expert, collaborated on the book, “Words Can Change Your Brain.”

In it, they write, “a single word has the power to influence the expression of genes that regulate physical and emotional stress.”
When we use words filled with positivity, like “love” and “peace”, we can alter how our brain functions by increasing cognitive reasoning and strengthening areas in our frontal lobes.

Using positive words more often than negative ones can kick-start the motivational centers of the brain, propelling them into action.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, when we use negative words, we are preventing certain neuro-chemicals from being produced which contribute to stress management.

Each and every one of us are initially hardwired to worry; it’s how our primal brain protects us from dangerous situations for survival.
So, when we allow negative words and concepts into our thoughts, we are increasing the activity in our brain’s fear center (the amygdala), and causing stress-producing hormones to flood our system.

These hormones and neurotransmitters interrupt the logic and reasoning processes in the brain and inhibit normal functionality.
Newberg and Waldman write:

“Angry words send alarm messages through the brain, and they partially shut down the logic-and-reasoning centers located in the frontal lobes.”
An excerpt from their book tells us how using the *right* words can literally change our reality:

“By holding a positive and optimistic [word] in your mind, you stimulate frontal lobe activity. This area includes specific language centers that connect directly to the motor cortex responsible for moving you into action.

“And as our research has shown, the longer you concentrate on positive words, the more you begin to affect other areas of the brain.
“Functions in the parietal lobe start to change, which changes your perception of yourself and the people you interact with. A positive view of yourself will bias you toward seeing the good in others, whereas a negative self-image will include you toward suspicion and doubt.

“Over time the structure of your thalamus will also change in response to your conscious words, thoughts, and feelings, and we believe that the thalamic changes affect the way in which you perceive reality.”

A study done by Positive Psychology further elaborates on the effects of using positive words. A group of adults aged 35-54 were given a nightly task of writing down three things that went well for them that day, including an explanation of why.
All these things will continue as long as coercion remains a central element of our mentality.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby Iamwhomiam » Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:53 am

Well, I would say that every westerner who actually engages in proper or yogic breathing is indeed brought to a higher condition. At least higher than their condition before learning to breathe healthily.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby backtoiam » Wed Jun 29, 2016 2:02 pm

minime » Sun Jun 26, 2016 9:38 pm wrote:
It is very significant that the Indian breathing exercises, which have been popularized by Swami Vivekananda through his lectures in America, have not helped a single American to a higher condition, but, on the other hand, are reported to have brought all the more into hospitals and lunatic asylums. . . . It has not been proved, even of the most harmless exercises, . . . that they are appropriate to the organism of the European.


Hermann von Keyserling, The Travel Diary of a Philosopher



Rudolph Steiner strongly warns that due to the difference in the energy field between certain continents on which people are born that eastern breathing exercises can be very harmful to western people. Many have ended up in lunatic asylums because they didn't know the difference. I might cruise back through his books and see if I can identify the book in which he gives this caution. He explains his thinking quite well. Attempting to invoke the "kundalini" in the wrong way can easily create a trip to the asylum. I have known some and its not funny at all to say the least.

According to Steiner breathing exercises are beneficial, but, westerners should not do it like easterners do it because it can be very harmful. It can also be permanent. Once bitten twice shy.

added on edit

Max Heindel of the Rosicrucian Order also sternly warns against western people doing eastern breathing exercises. According to Max and Rudolph if you fuck this up you can go insane and if it goes wrong it can be permanent and it usually is or lasts many years. I have seen it with my own eyes and I understand the words of caution.
"A mind stretched by a new idea can never return to it's original dimensions." Oliver Wendell Holmes
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby Iamwhomiam » Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:54 pm

Many have ended up in lunatic asylums because they didn't know the difference.


I would love it if you would present us with one such case that can be documented.

Max Heindel of the Rosicrucian Order also sternly warns against western people doing eastern breathing exercises. According to Max and Rudolph if you fuck this up you can go insane and if it goes wrong it can be permanent and it usually is or lasts many years. I have seen it with my own eyes and I understand the words of caution.


What exactly have you seen with your own eyes, btia? Someone going insane from yogic breathing, which is nothing more than breathing properly?

Is that how you developed your limp? Or just your present state of mind?
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