Your context and you

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by wesmorris, Feb 6, 2003.

  1. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

    The human mind will provide context to justify its decision making and actions to itself. That's a big part of its job. This site is an interesting place to see this phenomenon manifest itself time and time again. It seems to me that people RARELY observe... they merely contextualize and justify.. never questioning their previously established context because well....

    It's like this: there is the objective world and there is you. you can wrap the world around your perception or you can wrap your perception around the world. Most people fall for the prior, when they should strive for the latter... but honestly I don't think most people have the stones for the latter, because it's not pretty... it's not what they expect.. which is exactly why they cling to the prior... Can you see what I'm getting at?
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  3. Turduckin A Fowl Trinity Registered Senior Member

    Wes (is it ok to call you Wes?)
    How do you seperate self from perception? Or, rather how can perciever be sperated from perceived?

    Personally, I think it takes stones to try to balance both. I'm trying to make that point here:
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  5. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

    Re: Re: Your context and you

    I'd swear I've heard it put that we are separated from animals in our ability to observe ourselves "objectively". In other words critical thinking about your behavior. It is impossible to separate them wholly, but I think it quite possible (though it takes a directed effort) to strive to form contexts from that which is observed rather than the opposite.

    Well, I believe if you say you're balancing both, you're really just striving for the latter. You have no choice but to percieve the world as you currently understand it, the object is to increase your understanding of it by observation and analysis. I'm just saying to me it seems that a WHOLE lot of people do not participate in observation and analysis in earnest.. they merely employ the tactic of trying to maintain justification of the current perspective. I think this is because an "objective" perspective on reality is discomforting, for it seems that nature has no objection to most things we humans find morally or somehow otherwise disconcerting. *shrug* Maybe I'm way off? I'll check out the thread you suggested.
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  7. Fluidity Registered Senior Member


    You are walking through the woods, and you come upon an object. It is at rest in the middle of your path. You have never seen anything like it. You walk around it, but you do not touch it.
    You put your hand a few inches from it, and then you bend down and sniff the air. It has no scent. You look for a stick in the grass, and find oe that is about two feet long. You push at the object, but it does not move. You then decide to find a rock, and taking a few steps back, you find one at your feet. You throw the rock at the object, and something about the object frightens you. But, instead of running, you turn and walk at a normal gate, back to whare you came from.

    What kind of trees were in the woods?

    What color was the object?

    What shape was it?

    Why didn't you touch it?

    Why did you put your hand close to it?

    Why did you try to pick up the scent of the object?

    Why did you throw the rock?

    Why did you use the stick to push at it?

    What frightened you?

    Why did you go back where you came from?

    Did you determine what the object was, or anything important about it?
  8. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

    I'm not sure what you expect as a response considering that I'm not sure how you deem it pertinent to the issue at hand. Can you help me out a little? What aspect of your excercise do you deem pertinent?
  9. Fluidity Registered Senior Member


    I'm not sure what you expect as a response considering that I'm not sure how you deem it pertinent to the issue at hand. Can you help me out a little? What aspect of your excercise do you deem pertinent?
    What's wrong wes, you don't want to answer the little questions in the exercize?

    I'll tell you why:

    The story I walk you through is written objectively. Any question you can answer at all, is a subjective response. The exercize is to show you how subjective human nature is. It isn't a psychoanalysis. As human beings we have imaginations, past experiences, personal preferences, and each of these qualities manifests itself in analogous deduction. We are incapable of objectivity. Certainly, in a lab with a few bunsen burners and some calculators, we are going to get similar if not exactly the same results. The farther we venture into the world of the large, the harder it gets to be objective. The immeasurable, the unknown, and even the same things we both see are seen subjectively.
  10. Turduckin A Fowl Trinity Registered Senior Member

    Re: Re: Re: Your context and you

    No argument. But observation and analysis are two separate parts of the process, and the trick is to observe first, without judgement or analysis. I generally don't hear people acknowledge how intrinsically difficult that is. Just go outside, find a place to sit and observe for a while. If you've never tried it before you will probably find yourself judging or analysing almost immediately after something comes into view.

    No, I think you are exactly right. The difficulty is, the analysis of my observations has lead me to conclude that there is a spirit that moves through all things, including rocks, and you can communicate with trees and other living things. And that made me REALLY REALLY UNCOMFORTABLE when I first observed it. What can I say?

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  11. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Your context and you

    Yeah, but objectivity is like absolute zero to the subjective experience... you can never really get there and if you did.. time would stop or some other twilight zone kind of effect would kick in.

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    It isn't called subjective for no reason. Your brain is rewiring itself based on what I just typed. Only your brain is wired the way it is so only you percieve in the way that you do. Thusly (IMHO) your observation is inherently skewed to the you by the very act of observing.
    Like I was saying, I'm almost sure it's technically impossible.
    This cannot be helped... the brain with which you observe has been shaped by all previous observations.... the sum of the whole of all previous observations you might say. Not wholly accurate, but analagous I think. Then it must be that as you take input, your brain acts to integrate that information into it's 'conceptual map' so to speak. That act IS or can be thought of as the judging and analyzing you speak of.

    Well see, I have two problems with that:

    1) I don't like the word "spirit" very much because it is so easily mistaken for religion, which I consider a meme and thusly have mental defenses (such as discomfort and criticism) to gaurd against. If properly analyzed there is little room for logical discussion regarding things like "spirits" or "a spirit" etc.

    2) Communication with a rock seems so unlikely as to be infeasible without greater proof. If I were you I would regard my own conclusion as an obvious error in analysis and file it as a probapossibility in the back of my mind awaiting more evidence to disprove or prove. If I thought it was real I'd figure out a way to test for it to prove that it was real or not real, for the purpose of determining if I should rely on my senses for reliable information or not.
    I would imagine that you are just a little naive and overstating your position regarding mysticism... or at least hopefully sometime in the future you'll chill. I only say that because I think I know what you really mean... you don't neccesarily mean "communicate" or "spirit", it's just that you don't have any better words for something you're sure you're perceiving. I'm only trying to say that in my opinion it is more uh... correct I guess, to just say something like "I'm pretty sure there is some serious consciousness weirdness stuff that science has yet to even remotely touch". Eh, whatever... you do what you like! I was just being kind of sanctimonious... I'm done now!
  12. Turduckin A Fowl Trinity Registered Senior Member

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Your context and you

    Yeah, something like that. Did the rock communicate, or did something else speak while I was talking to the rock, or am I just out of my mind? The question itself makes sense only to the analytical part of human consciousness. If, however, as a result of 'the communication', I now know something without knowing or being able to explain how I know, then the question about what was doing the communicating is useless from a practical standpoint. That knowledge changes me, just as you pointed out earlier. I don't have to know how a radio works, or what all the parts are called, in order to listen to it. The only point to terms such as 'spirit' is to have a vocabulary to discuss experiences such as I describe with other people who have also had such experiences. It is always imperative to keep in mind that the word may have as many meanings as there are people who use the word.

    What I'm trying to say is that you can get damn close to absolute zero while experiencing something, but only if you are aware of all the influences that try to interfere with what I will term 'pure observation'. Once the pure observation is obtained and recorded in memory, then subjective interpretation can begin. And that interpretation is not fixed liked the stars in the heavens. There is no correct interpretation. There is only relative value.

    Let me try to illustrate it another way. Have you ever remembered an especially wierd dream? When you are awake, you begin to analyse and interepret the images which could be, in turn, disturbing, emotional, erotic, frightening, illogical etc etc. And yet, when you were having the dream, it illicited none of the reactions, none of the judgements you have now that you are awake? What you were doing while dreaming was close to 'pure observation'. This ability of the mind can be strengthened and exercised, but only if it is recognised and valued. If it is dismissed as useless or impossible, then it falls into the realm of 'talent'. This or that scientist was a 'talented observer'. If scientists would only get on the stick and begin to understand, manage and develop their mental capacities.

    "What a shame that scientists are so devoted to their belief in conscious thought that they so consistently obscure the actual methods by which they obtain their results."

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