How do we get out of our own heads?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Magical Realist, Feb 20, 2016.

  1. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    We have thoughts and ideas and words. We constantly float thru a dimension of semantical meaning most of the time. We are doing it now. We are experiencing a highly structured system of questions and statements and propositions all attached to imagined states and images and scenarios. So how do we step out of this linguistically constructed pseudo-reality into reality as it is? What escape is there from this infinite hall of mirrors, where we obsess over generalities and meanings and abstractions? How do we wake up out of this illusion of words and sounds and images being real things that exist outside of us? CAN we experience reality outside of thinking about it? CAN we know our present state of existing in any other way but AS a semiotic pattern hallucinated inside our own brains? What is this wordless "outside" that language is always referring to and positing? Is this externality even real itself?
    "Thought without symbols — life without language — it’s a cognitive reality that is virtually impossible for most modern humans to fathom. For the vast majority of us, our thought processes have been profoundly shaped by the introjection of language into our cognitive worlds, the taking on board of a massive intellectual prosthesis, the collective product of countless generations. Human thought, for the majority, is not simply the individual outcome of our evolved neural architecture, but also the result of our borrowing of the immense symbolic and intellectual resources available in language. What would human thought be like without language?"===
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2016
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  3. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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  5. Oystein Registered Senior Member

    Well that explains a lot about your mental problems.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016
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  7. wellwisher Banned Banned

    Consider this scenario. We assemble a group of person, one person to represent each of all the 6000 languages of the earth, in a large room. Each will think in terms of their own language.

    Next, I place a cat on a table, in the middle of the room, for all to see. Each person in the room will see the exact same thing, even though all language are different, and even though they may not be able to communicate effectively with each other. The image of the cat is connected to a visual language that transcends spoken language. Instead of letters, words and sounds this visual language uses has colors, patterns and textures.

    The way you leave the brain is to live outside yourself using this universal language of the human brain. Proof in science is based on this universal language. Similar experiments allow one to see the same result, regardless of native tongue.

    Language is over rated in terms of thinking since it is slow and limited. The importance of language is more connected to the transfer of information between humans. In the example above, all the different people can see the same cat, but nobody can transfer this to image to the others to verify they all see the same thing. They will need a common language to bridge what they all can see. But even then, it may be hard to fully transfer all the nuance. Language gets in the way.

    My problem in this site is language does not allow me to explain, what I see in my mind, using the universal language. What makes it harder is the jargon create an additional language barrier.
  8. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    With respect to p-zombie territory, it's difficult to imagine a sapient organism devoid of experiences even having a motive for proposing assorted hypotheses related to realism, since it would consist only of "body functioning and behavior transpiring in the dark". An absence of any "shown" perceptions, feelings, and thoughts would be the norm for it.

    So in light of such complete "emptiness" not being much of an inspirational groundsource for creative speculation, the very concept of "outside, etc" was apparently abstracted from our brand of cognitive and extrospective evidence. Our own newborns and any early cultures not exposed to certain spiritual beliefs, philosophy, and science did not even regard their manifested sensations and understandings as second-hand representations or empirical and intellectual evidence. But as the external environment itself.

    Since that era of innate belief or naive realism, we have 'maturely'(?) moved the 'true outside' up to another level, with the traditional one (now demoted to inter-subjective illusion) nested within it. [If its metaphysical status is of the anti-panpsychism variety, there's the curious similarity of that 'ultimate reality' being like the aforementioned p-zombie organism. Of lacking presence as either manifestation or reflective thought with global regard to itself (i.e., no evidence).]

    Perhaps we've kind of become like a Capgras Delusion sufferer, who grew up taking his original parents to be just that, but later started interpreting them as impostors. The question then being, "If these are no longer my true mother and father, then where have they moved to? Especially since the very idea of 'mother and father' was introduced from these two who are now faux."

    DAVID SILVERA: There was a problem with the car and I landed in the highway with my head first.

    NARRATOR: For five weeks David lay in a coma. Serious injuries led to the loss of his right arm, but to everyone's relief, when he regained consciousness his mental capacities seemed to be intact.

    V.S. RAMACHANDRAN: He was articulate, he was intelligent, not obviously psychotic or emotionally disturbed. He could read a newspaper. Everything seemed fine except he had one profound delusion. He would look at his mother and he would say, "This woman, Doctor, she looks exactly like my mother but in fact she's not my mother. She's an imposter. She's some other woman pretending to be my mother."
    --Secrets of the Mind; NOVA episode; PBS Airdate: October 23, 2001
  9. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    The fact that you use the metaphor of language for raw sensory data exposes the underlying substrate of universal semantic structure that defines reality for all of us. There may be 6000 different languages describing the same cat, but they are all doing the same basic thing: positing a set of sensory experiences as a spatially located and qualitatively instantiated example of a predefined category of being. Language is already structuring the perception of THIS patch of colors in our field of vision as a 3D object in space that exemplifies the category called "cat." We have not stepped outside of language at all in perceiving "cat." We have only imposed a semantic template over brute sensory qualities which posits an objective subject that is predicated to be such and such. That anything IS anything is due to the fact that we think about and cognize our world thru words and statements and definitions, where the given particular takes on the identity of the posited generalization. Once again, without words we are mere passive experients of a shifting 2D collage of disrelated and unique qualia.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016
  10. Waiter_2001 Registered Senior Member

    I agree. Drugs/Alcohol get you out of your head!
  11. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Experimenting with that now. lol!

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  12. wellwisher Banned Banned

    This is not true. The visual is objective, while language is subjective. All 6000 people see the same thing. However, there are 6000 different words for cat, since the words of language are subjective and arbitrary.

    If you take 10 people and have them all witness the same accident, you will get 10 different stories. Language adds subjectivity to something that begins objectively. If we recorded the accident on video, and then compare this to the 10 stories, only the video is totally objective.

    Say I visualize sheep jumping over a fence, so I can go to sleep. I don't need language to do this. I am using language to explain what I am visualizing, so you can visualize. You may also see sheep jumping, but not necessarily the sheep I see. Part of the reason is the visual happens quickly in the mind. For me to present what I visualize, in language, in a reasonable amount of time, there will be loss. If I could take my time to explain it in detail, since language is subjective, there may still be loss.

    In science, people write papers, but new ideas are not fully accepted, until others run the same experiment to see verify the observations in the first person.
  13. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    By going for a walk in nature.

    Eschew thought. Look at stuff. Listen. Smell. Touch.

    These are the things that - by definition - come from outside ourselves. Even if they are well-crafted illusions, they are still external stimuli. They are - by definition - our reality. They are the universe in which we are embedded - whether that universe is 46 billion light years distant, or 2 inches in front of our noses.
    Magical Realist likes this.
  14. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Yes! A return to the sensual and the sensory. I practice mindfulness in my spare time, and what I've noticed is that it focuses our awareness on the immediately sensed qualities of our situation. What do you hear? What colors are you seeing? What smells? What feelings are vibrating underneath your flesh? Words lock us into a false reality. Sensations restore reality as it is occurring. I've noticed driving restores my contact with the real. I experience reality as if I'm in a movie--a dynamic interaction between my intention and the changing qualities of my environment.
    DaveC426913 likes this.
  15. river


    Yes ; outside awarness ; without the want to know ; just experience the moment

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