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View Diary: *New Day* Our Brains = 3 lbs. of Tofu (167 comments)

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  •  ...hey, our brains just think... (10+ / 0-)

    ...they can't help it. If you do nothing thoughts just keep happening.  You can choose which thoughts to pay attention to and which ones to ignore.  AND you absolutely can purposefully create a thought to pay attention too.

    In many meditation practices, the "choice" it to shut the little voice up in your head (it's the thought generator).  When the little voice invariably yaps (it will, over and over) then you choose to NOT pay attention to it any longer than to realize it's there.  It's all a choice and all a practice.

    Eventually, you don't need meditation to practice.  All of the day...everything you do as you the practice...

    Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences.

    by paradise50 on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 08:27:11 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Well said -- you beat me to it (10+ / 0-)

      Thoughts happen (to most of us anyway). Recognizing that a spontaneous notion may conflict with our self-image is that talent which keeps us from prematurely voicing it.

      It works for me -- sometimes :)

      If we are going to live at the speed of code, we need to remember the stillness of eternity. -- dharmasyd

      by Darryl House on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 08:37:07 AM PDT

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    •  Yes - I think in general.... (8+ / 0-)

      ...this all boils down to the axiom of volition - free will.  It can't be explained - it just is.  Like the axiom of existence - you can't say where it came from - it just is.

      Boehner Just Wants Wife To Listen, Not Come Up With Alternative Debt-Reduction Ideas

      by dov12348 on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 08:53:52 AM PDT

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    •  My practice is to just watch the thoughts (5+ / 0-)

      without judgement, without approbation or dismay.

      The funniest thing happens...the more you watch them? The more they dissipate like a soap bubble.

      Oh, I used to be disgusted
      Now I try to be amused
      ~~ Elvis Costello

      by smileycreek on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 09:38:21 AM PDT

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      •  ...exactly, they only "exist" for as long as... (4+ / 0-) place your attention on them.  The moment you take your attention away, they no longer exist...because they only existed for as long as they could captivate your attention.

        Oh dear, this is sounding like Quantum Physics. Thing are all "waves" until consciousness puts attention on them at which point they become "matter" (particles). Oh dear!...

        Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences.

        by paradise50 on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 10:16:41 AM PDT

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        •  oh ... (4+ / 0-)

          you know about the wave-particle duality, I am sure.

          A central concept of quantum mechanics, this duality addresses the inability of classical concepts like "particle" and "wave" to fully describe the behavior of quantum-scale objects. Standard interpretations of quantum mechanics explain this paradox as a fundamental property of the Universe, while alternative interpretations explain the duality as an emergent, second-order consequence of various limitations of the observer. This treatment focuses on explaining the behavior from the perspective of the widely used Copenhagen interpretation, in which wave–particle duality is one aspect of the concept of complementarity, that a phenomenon can be viewed in one way or in another, but not both simultaneously.
          I think that fits to your above comment of "either or" explanation of waves and particles ...

          Oh dear, if I had the Einstein tofu, really, I would understand these thingies !

    •  why isn't that called self-mind-manipulation (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      smileycreek, paradise50, dharmasyd

      and why wouldn't that actually represent a case of deliberate self-oppression of your thoughts ? in trying try to impose on your brain a judgement as to what thoughts must be oppressed and which ones must be enhanced ?

      Unfortunately mnakind thinks and can't stop it. That's what is so regrettable, yeah right.

      Think about what would have happened if Einstein or Oppenheimer just would have stopped thinking and fried a little bit of their tofu. We might have been better off, no?

      Now you say actually, if the Einstein brain tried to focus only on the "good thoughts" and not the "bad ones" we would have ended up without relativity theory and atomic bomb?

      What about all the rest of the bunch: Felix Block, David Bohm, Niels Bohr, Enrico Fermi, James Franck, Otto Frisch, Klaus Fuchs, Rudolf Peierls, Emilio Segre, Leo Szilard, Edward Teller and Eugene Wigner, all couldn't stop thinking of how to build the atomic bomb, but you say they could have, if they just tried to manipulate their thoughts as to make some of them go away?

      I will try to manipulate my thoughts now in the direction to shut down my doubts and make the rest of my thoughts believe in what you say. :-)

      I liked your essay very much. I would like to know more about this. Can't stop my brain from thinking something of this theory is fishy.

      Don't beat me up, I am just a lost case in matters of self-manipulating my tofu-brain. Wow, to think I could do that and just be a happy gal all the time ... wouldn't that be .... PHANTASTIC !!!

      •  arghh, didn't edit a bunch of things, sorry /nt (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        smileycreek, paradise50
      •  It is easy to get mired in the existential (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        smileycreek, paradise50, dharmasyd

        It can be an insidious trap. We examine our minds with our minds so how can that possibly be trusted? Conversely how can it not?

        That is, to me, a hall of mirrors.

        One of the prime attributes of fractals is their self-replicating property. The closer we examine them, the more detail is revealed that is superficially indistinguishable from the more distant view.

        The essence of conscience lies therein. I do believe we can and must govern our thoughts.

        Speaking for myself, this represents the beginning of spiritual identity exploration. The notions of self and soul follow and with that one embarks on a life-long journey.

        ichiroheian o inoru
        (I wish you a smooth road).

        If we are going to live at the speed of code, we need to remember the stillness of eternity. -- dharmasyd

        by Darryl House on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 01:57:53 PM PDT

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        •  self-exploration of your spiritual identity (4+ / 0-)

          seems to me not to be the same as governing your thoughts.

          I guess this is beyond my paygrade or quality of tofu.

          •  I'm intrigued (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            smileycreek, paradise50, dharmasyd

            This is a topic that has fascinated me my entire life so please forgive my curiosity.

            One expansion of my comment above would be to say that conscience is distinct from self or soul and must be reconciled before further exploration can occur.

            That exploration doesn't necessarily need to take place but, speaking for myself, it is inconceivable that it would not.

            So, then... conscience. A recent television program had a dialogue line that is an imperfect analogy but colorful: two dogs battle within each of us -- one evil, the other good. Which one survives to show its face to the world? The one that we feed.

            To me that implies that we starve the other.

            My question to you is how do you interpret the notion of conscience? Please know I have absolutely no intention to be argumentative, I am genuinely curious.

            If we are going to live at the speed of code, we need to remember the stillness of eternity. -- dharmasyd

            by Darryl House on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 02:38:09 PM PDT

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            •  oh my, you are so polite, and I am so rude ... (4+ / 0-)

              I tried to say that the subject is beyond my capability to make sense out of it, so whatever I comment on is only a spontaneous expression of puzzlement of something I read, not anything I have ever thought about in depth or studied.

              Do you ask me what conscience is? I don't know, but I believe you have it with the moment you understand words, ie it starts as early as one and a half to two years, I would say. At the same time you have the conscience of good and bad. Actually even my dog has a little bit of conscience and knowledge of good and bad (she just has it for seconds and then forgets about it).

              How it comes that we know what is good and what is bad, I don't understand. Like paradise50 said in his essay, we are hard-wired naturally to be predominantly attentive to anger and fear. We are mammals, animals are that way, there is no reason we would be different. As that I don't see in that a "paranoia" bias, but being a fact of our genetic material.

              Why do we have a conscience of good and bad? May be because our brains evolved and it started to think like crazy and we believe we are smarter than animals because we have so much more sophisticated ways to influence our environment and with it our chances of survival, at least we believe that to be the case (I doubt it).

              We can't stop thinking, but we can recognize if a thought or action was destructive to others or self-destructive. The instinctive urge to secure our own survival (like in any animal) dominates the instinct  to protect the survival of your fellow human being, but we know what was good and what was bad in our actions, either because we suffered our own mistakes or we made someone else suffer for our thoughts or actions and feel ashamed about it.  

              Why I am doubtful that we can control our thoughts is just the fact that we can't stop thinking, neither about ourselves (self-exploration) nor about what surrounds us.

              In that sense I do believe that we are dumber than animals because they at least don't self-destruct and kill only for their own survival, when attacked or when they starve.

              We deliberately engage in self-destruction and other destruction of others, feel bad about it, try to control it, but apparently never are successful in it. Then you realize that all you have is "to pray, hope and believe", which is an effort to control your thoughts and actions. You need something God-like to believe in.

              Then what paradise50 suggests is more or less what any religion ask you do to, control your thoughts to fight the bad thoughts that follow you around because you have a conscience. But not everybody believes in it. Faith in something is in the mind of the beholder. Some don't have it.

              And now I am going to sleep. I have not read one book about this issues, feel completely unworthy of expressing myself and ... think this is supposed a funny, lightweight NEW DAY group and it all doesn't fit in here ... :-)

              I hope that I managed to express myself without offending you or paradise50 or anyone else. And forgive that I am not educated enough to talk about stuff like that.

              •  Thank you very kindly for your thoughtful reply (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mimi, smileycreek, paradise50, dharmasyd

                Me offended? Pshaw. You not qualified? Balderdash.

                Inappropriate for this group? Ok. maybe I'll concede that one (a little bit) and take responsibility for digging too deep into topics better suited to, at the very least, later in the day than the merry awakening for which this diary series has made a home.

                So I'll leave us here with the very insightful thoughts you have proffered and wander to ponder about them more.

                Again, thank you very much -- rest well.

                If we are going to live at the speed of code, we need to remember the stillness of eternity. -- dharmasyd

                by Darryl House on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 05:48:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I had to come back to this and thank you again (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mimi, smileycreek, dharmasyd, paradise50

                It is so clear to me that you've put a lot of thought into this and I'm very grateful that you've shared that with us.

                I've found myself thinking about your words all evening and I'm sure that will continue for quite some time.

                That's a rare thing, getting this old codger to fire up more than a few neurons at a time. I'm fully engaged and I really, really like it. Thank you again.

                If we are going to live at the speed of code, we need to remember the stillness of eternity. -- dharmasyd

                by Darryl House on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 07:23:16 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

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