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Thread: Mindfreak

  1. #1

    Mindfreak

    SciWriter posted this in a thread that went to the Cesspool. I don't think it was because of what he wrote, so I hope no one minds if I resurrect it here to inspire discussion:
    The Presence
    Some have such an experience of a presence that they then leap to call the experience god, the cosmos, or the all. The experience is indeed felt, but is something else entirely. It is the left brain, where from the sense of self comes, sensing the unspeaking right brain as a presence.
    To call it god/all is of a cerebral mistake, not to mention it being a giant leap of unfounded opinion rather than fact.
    You can even feel it a bit now, kind of, however slight, such as when having dinner, driving, or doing some task. It then feels like your left brain is full, of course, and that the right is empty, the left side even feeling warmer; but, pause from the task for a second and holistically observe something as a whole, such as a furniture cabinet or a car, not getting into the details. Now the right brain is the half that feels warm and full—and maybe even a little spacey. That’s all it is, folks. In some it can get very extreme, medically bothersome even, like having two selves or positing an intruding self that is not one’s own.
    Patients whose hemispheres’ connection is severed to relieve epilepsy may even develop two separate consciousnesses, often at odds with each other, such as getting choked with one hand, the other hand trying to take it away. Another, differently sourced feeling, of being one with the cosmos comes during meditation, but is only of the calming of the brain neurons in the parietal lobe, those that maintain the identification of the self and also of where the body ends and the rest of the universe begins.
    That’s all it is. This can also happen during praying or chanting; it’s been measured in monks.Who then, upon recalling, or during a state of meditation, or just by living, can use an experience of doubtful analysis by the mere state of being to say anything further about the true nature, why, source, how, and wherefore of the conscious awareness of felt sensation—without consideration of the electrochemical states beneath? There are those who feel they have to say, based on introspection alone, and those who do not, for science also informs them of the states beneath.
    So what do you all think? Are prayer and meditation just tricks the mind plays on itself... or what!?

  2. #2
    Valued Senior Member Buddha12's Avatar
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    Another, differently sourced feeling, of being one with the cosmos comes during meditation, but is only of the calming of the brain neurons in the parietal lobe, those that maintain the identification of the self and also of where the body ends and the rest of the universe begins.
    Being one with the cosmos isn't what I feel whenever I meditate. I usually just feel very relaxed and peaceful but no thoughts of being one with anything but myself. There could be some who might feel what this one with the cosmos but everyone has their own mind to feel what they want.

  3. #3
    I think it is possible to fully explain why people believe in spirits and pray to the ones they think are more powerful without going into brain physiology.

    When we evolved language over 100,000 years, we developed speech and the ability to ask each other what causes the things we observed. We wanted answers so we came up with the spirit-concept and it worked very well until now. Beginning with the Age of Enlightenment, we developed the ability to explain so much of what was happening that the spirit concept became obsolete. Our ideological systems, however, serve a vital function. They give us common beliefs and so gave us a unity we needed to cooperate in solving common problems. So, as obsolete as they are, we hang onto them because we have nothing better to believe in common.

    Considering how much the world is divided now and unable to cooperate to solve major world problems, perhaps we should spend some time thinking about what kind of a belief system we would need to replace all those old and so obsolete religions that now so seriously divide us.

    Brough
    http://civilization-overview.com

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by charles brough View Post
    Considering how much the world is divided now and unable to cooperate to solve major world problems, perhaps we should spend some time thinking about what kind of a belief system we would need to replace all those old and so obsolete religions that now so seriously divide us.
    Broughhttp://civilization-overview.com
    How about reason and the scientific method as a belief system, and a level of common courtesy and respect for others as the Japanese show? Full steam ahead!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Epictetus View Post
    SciWriter posted this in a thread that went to the Cesspool. I don't think it was because of what he wrote, so I hope no one minds if I resurrect it here to inspire discussion:

    So what do you all think? Are prayer and meditation just tricks the mind plays on itself... or what!?
    lol
    "what do you think", eh?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Epictetus View Post
    So what do you all think? Are prayer and meditation just tricks the mind plays on itself... or what!?
    Yeah, before the wave function collapses them, or before they collapse the wave function, or however that goes ...


  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Epictetus View Post
    How about reason and the scientific method as a belief system, and a level of common courtesy and respect for others as the Japanese show? Full steam ahead!
    Isn't that a bit simplistic? What has science and reason to do with it if science and reason are not working? What "science" and "reason" do you have to explain why we are not "full steaming ahead with common courtesy and respect for others?" What is that we believe now that can explain it?

    It is our so-called "scientific" (secular social) beliefs and ideals that determine our conduct, and that is where the blame lies.

    By the way, the Japanese offer no lesson in behavior. These are the people who conquered Asia and considered non-Japanese-
    race people to be inferior like "running dogs," and "stacks of wood." They still do and treat their Korean citizens with contempt.

    Brough
    http://civilization-overview.com

  8. #8
    Look Mr Brough, I tried to answer your question, and you have every right to disagree with my reply, but my original post had to do with the efficacy of meditation and I am afraid we have strayed from the topic. Please start your own thread if you would like to discuss the matters you wish to discuss.

  9. #9
    Madam Rouge hissed: "CeCelia?" C C's Avatar
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    That’s all it is. This can also happen during praying or chanting; it’s been measured in monks.Who then, upon recalling, or during a state of meditation, or just by living, can use an experience of doubtful analysis by the mere state of being to say anything further about the true nature, why, source, how, and wherefore of the conscious awareness of felt sensation—without consideration of the electrochemical states beneath?
    Yes, biological and brain-specific sciences are the go-to experts when it comes to the accepted or known properties of anything concerning electromagnetism. Apparently leaving those strait-laced physicists behind in the dust when it comes to attributing novel science fiction properties to, what? Electrons? Virtual photons of EM fields? Ionic activity? Etc?

    Amazing how, if it involves the brain, the cautions fly out the window when it comes to such speculation, and some magic dance of oscillations that neural structure is engaging in suddenly endows "electrochemical activity" or electromagnetism or biochemicals or somesuch with what it didn't have before: An internal or hidden-from-public-view dimension of phenomenal properties (meditative moods, visual images, auditory and olfactory exhibitions, feelings, etc). As if the skull organ wasn't composed of the same, utterly devoid of proto-conscious precursor stuff as everything else in the world. ("But geez, Aunt Naomi -- it's a brain -- certain brain functions are surely a noteworthy demarcation for matter which nature has accordingly recognized and has bestowed this astoundingly novel emergent level upon, even though it's just a continuation of macroscopic meat organization.").

    Oh, what's that I hear in the background -- is that a member of a panpsychist-like camp, hissing with his/her own brand of scifi? Or is it just an empty concept framework not filled in with empirical content or precise abstract details, yet? Possible example...

    Piero Scaruffi:

    The mental cannot arise ex nihilo from the non-mental.

    Cognition is pervasive in nature.

    The mental is a property of matter, of all matter.

    Everything has a "mental" aspect, although it is likely that only in the configuration and structure of the human brain that "mental" aspect yields the human form of mental life (consciousness, emotions, the self, etc)

    Just like electricity and liquidity are macroscopic properties that are caused by microscopic properties of the constituents, so consciousness is a macroscopic property of our brain that is caused by a microscopic "mental" property of its constituents.

    The human mind is the product of the co-evolution of memes, language, tools, emotions and brains.


    http://www.scaruffi.com/phi/scaruffi.html

  10. #10
    Nice job cutting thru the shite You're my hero CC. Or are you my heroine?

  11. #11
    More like cocaine.

    Sorry. Couldn't resist.

  12. #12
    Madam Rouge hissed: "CeCelia?" C C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Epictetus View Post
    Nice job cutting thru the shite You're my hero CC. Or are you my heroine?
    No problem with the Chauvinism Patrol descending upon you if you use a suffix. I'm not one who regards -ine, -trix, and -tress as consigned to the archaic dustbin. There's still a practical need for people to indicate gender sometimes in a term without it having anything to do with sexism. Maybe new male modifiers are actually what is needed if actor, prospector, conspirator, and the like are considered gender-neutral now.

  13. #13
    Madam Rouge hissed: "CeCelia?" C C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wynn View Post
    More like cocaine. Sorry. Couldn't resist.
    Supposedly the choice of the wealthy, elite, and reknown at one time, before its status toppled via being readily available to and desired by even the lowliest junkie on the street. If Doyle had instead been a total resident of the 20th century, and written stories about Holmes in the post-70s era, it makes one wonder what drug he would have replaced it with. Or perhaps by now the "lofty" have just given-up on caring one whit about being distinct from their cousins of addiction in Mundane-ville and Trailer Park City, when it comes to whatever they're swallowing, inhaling, snorting, injecting, patching, or (goodness!?) suppository-ing.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Epictetus View Post
    Look Mr Brough, I tried to answer your question, and you have every right to disagree with my reply, but my original post had to do with the efficacy of meditation and I am afraid we have strayed from the topic. Please start your own thread if you would like to discuss the matters you wish to discuss.
    You are correct; I did stray from it. I assumed this was a science forum and not in some philosophy sub-section.

  15. #15
    flat Earth skeptic Aqueous Id's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C C View Post
    some magic dance of oscillations that neural structure is engaging in suddenly endows "electrochemical activity" or electromagnetism or biochemicals
    I like the concept of "suddenly endowed electrochemical activity". That--and the way the neuron propagates a pulse, by the consecutive flipping of ions in the axon--seem like ideas worthy of meditation. The induced pulse seems to be produced by a corkscrewing of field disturbances down the axon, although it's anything but a straight line, so the spatial orientation doesn't seem special.

    There are loops, too, in which the same pulse that fans out toward large arrays of dendrites is also fed back into the source, suggesting a "keep alive" circuit (no pun intended)--your oscillator. This would seem to add to the "suddenly endowed" activities a rhythmic endowment of some uncertain advantage.

    It's reasonable to assume that the ionic corkscrew is just a convenient way to send a pulse in living tissue. But what's the "purpose" of the pulse? Field disturbance? In a true wire we could try to understand how these pulses would couple with adjacent wires, as if crossover might explain something. But here the schema seems worked out to ensure high isolation between adjacent neurons. So for what other possible usefulness does a field disturbance occur? Then there is the superposition of all of these over the entire complex of field disturbances, although the amplitude of each would vary widely over space due to attenuation. This superposition of fields brings to mind the idea of spread spectrum techniques as a solution for high bandwidth communications--but, of course, so what?

    Electricity always was the cause of things from the elementary particles to atoms to bonding and so on. This is such a high organic level of electrical interaction. Yet there's a niche for this, somehow. That got me to thinking about the earliest of niches of this type - worms, jellies and so forth. They seem easier to comprehend from the functional perspective - the development of primitive muscle tissues, a necessary electrochemical medium, and the efficiency of centralizing muscle control from primitive nerves, ganglia, a notochord, a central cable that integrates the connections into decision points which set the integrated automaton into motion. After all, motility of these non-colonial metazoan forms was such a hugely different problem than simply wiggling a flagellum.

    That led me to thinking about the predecessor that was able to confer genetic traits that led to the emergence of nerves in the first place. It turns out that those genes are found in sponges.

    It's kind of a parallel phenomenon--in sponges, the individual cells are adapted to cooperative living by signaling. That "sudden endowment" you mention could be applied to the way some cells are left to their basic configuration--(choanocytes) planting themselves headfirst in the wall of the sponge cavity, and wagging their tails in order to pump water through the chamber - tens of thousands at a time - versus the signaling that causes the "sudden endowment" of particular cells to differentiate, for example, building the skeleton that their undifferentiated siblings will burrow into.

    If anything I just reversed course from the point at which consciousness presumably evolved. Still I'm left pondering how/what/why the colonial metazoan signaling mechanism led to the notochord/ganglia/brain/consciousness signaling mechanism among neurons. It's kind of cool (to me) to think of all of this biological progress as stuff that fits neatly within the umbrella of "sudden endowment".

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by C C View Post
    Supposedly the choice of the wealthy, elite, and reknown at one time, before its status toppled via being readily available to and desired by even the lowliest junkie on the street. If Doyle had instead been a total resident of the 20th century, and written stories about Holmes in the post-70s era, it makes one wonder what drug he would have replaced it with. suppository-ing.
    How about tobacco, just like Sherlock always used when he was deducing hardest? It's pretty semi-legal in our present era.
    ahem - can we please return to the original topic - good job on that so far CC (cocaine cogitatress)

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by C C View Post
    Supposedly the choice of the wealthy, elite, and reknown at one time, before its status toppled via being readily available to and desired by even the lowliest junkie on the street. If Doyle had instead been a total resident of the 20th century, and written stories about Holmes in the post-70s era, it makes one wonder what drug he would have replaced it with. Or perhaps by now the "lofty" have just given-up on caring one whit about being distinct from their cousins of addiction in Mundane-ville and Trailer Park City, when it comes to whatever they're swallowing, inhaling, snorting, injecting, patching, or (goodness!?) suppository-ing.
    I had nothing like that in mind - just the dichotomy between heroin as the "downer" and cocaine as the "upper," as they are sometimes known and taken for their specific effect.




    So much for the mind playing tricks on itself!

  18. #18
    Madam Rouge hissed: "CeCelia?" C C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aqueous Id View Post
    If anything I just reversed course from the point at which consciousness presumably evolved. Still I'm left pondering how/what/why the colonial metazoan signaling mechanism led to the notochord/ganglia/brain/consciousness signaling mechanism among neurons. It's kind of cool (to me) to think of all of this biological progress as stuff that fits neatly within the umbrella of "sudden endowment".
    It's almost contrary to intuitive expectations, the way biotic complexity can even abruptly increase from parts in a system losing functions. Like genetic errors eliminating a protein's ability to interact with certain partners. The functional degeneration turns them into new components for the system, instigating further cascades of change. Some of the ancestral "molecular machines" once at work in cells were probably more multi-purpose than the later protein complexes descended from them. One of the head researchers compared it to the expertise trend in the human community: "Just as in society, complexity increases when individuals and institutions forget how to be generalists and come to depend on specialists with increasingly narrow capacities."

  19. #19
    Madam Rouge hissed: "CeCelia?" C C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Epictetus View Post
    ahem - can we please return to the original topic
    So what do you all think? Are prayer and meditation just tricks the mind plays on itself... or what!?
    A couple of months ago there was that study released, which tentatively established a correlation between years of performing meditation and an increase in the folding of the cerebral cortex. I don't know if anyone ever posted it on sciforums, but if not maybe someone can track it down elsewhere on the web. The possible beneficial aspect of the physical change was that it might increase speed of information processing, judgement, etc.
    Last edited by C C; 05-09-12 at 02:06 AM.

  20. #20
    Re: CC above:
    My experience with meditation has been that it 'straightens' out my mind. I think combing out long hair is a good analogy. Things seem to get untangled and, speaking solely of my own experience, I feel more comfortable and at ease. For instance, I remember once feeling a bit overwhelmed about the many things that I needed to do one day. What would I do first! Then what? And what about ...? A real tizzy! So I sat down and meditated about 15 or 20 minutes without thinking about my day. When I finished, I stood up and all in a piece, I found my whole plan of action sitting there in my fore brain. And I said out loud to myself, 'Oh.'

    All well and good, but what it has to do with The Lord Buddha and the Eightfold Path, The Judaeo-Christian sky fairy or The FlyingSpaghetti Monster and his meatballs, I couldn't say. Maybe none of that is necessary; maybe I am right in saying meditation is just a 'combing out of the tangles in one's mind'.

    And yeah, CC there is 'a correlation between years of performing meditation and an increase in the folding of the legs, but I an mot certain of the folding of the cerebral cortex.

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