Pure Consciousness?

Is the mind the same as the body? What is consciousness? Can machines have it?

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madera
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Re: Pure Consciousness?

Post by madera » Sat May 24, 2014 5:36 pm

Arising_uk wrote:
madera wrote:I find it amazing that all the awareness on this subject you have all failed to see your
lack of self awareness.
Amazing.
. Bad language is obvious.

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Arising_uk
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Re: Pure Consciousness?

Post by Arising_uk » Sat May 24, 2014 5:57 pm

Well, distasteful at times but not always a sign of a lack of self-awareness.

Gee
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Re: Pure Consciousness?

Post by Gee » Sat May 24, 2014 9:24 pm

Greylorn Ell wrote: Gee,

I'm grateful for your discretion. But if you did tell anyone, for example anyone reading this thread, they'd blow you off and would be correct to do so.
You did not notice the caveat "when you want to be"? I have little doubt in my mind that you are not the quintessential "nice guy" under normal circumstances.
Greylorn Ell wrote:I can find better people in a biker bar full of strangers than at a faculty party,

Well, I do not spend much time in "biker bars", but somewhere above Tucson there is a little mining town that has a picture of me on a bike, 40 some years ago, in their newspaper. Apparently, they thought that a young woman, who would ride her Honda 2,000 miles to visit her brother in Arizona, was newsworthy, so they did an article. My 15 minutes of fame. It was the best trip I ever made.
Greylorn Ell wrote:You'll have noticed that except for an initial verification, the "7 Wonders" piece was the only use I've made of your email address. I expect that this use was the result of a psychic kind of prompt. Initially I was going to PM you and request a copy of the eulogy. Instead, "7 Wonders." I'm delighted that it worked for you, and not surprised.

Aunt Dorothy was deaf from infancy, suffered schizophrenia all of her adult life, had no career, no family of her own, never married, and most of the family knew her as the well-dressed, sweet, little old lady, who sat in a corner, smiled, and watched. A eulogy is a summing up of a person's life. How does one write a eulogy about a person, whose greatest accomplishments were that she was well loved, and she survived, without also mentioning the horrors of ice baths and electric shock treatments -- those being the treatments for schizophrenia before medication was discovered that would help?

I had made a number of false starts and was ready to give up when I read your e-mail. "Wonders" helped me to change my perspective to what she wondered about, dreamed about, wanted, instead of the objective view of what I thought about her and my experiences regarding her. I was pleased with the results and would be happy to PM a copy to you.

Agreed. A psychic prompt, and not the first.
Greylorn Ell wrote:This post may seem off-topic but is not. For me, consciousness involves making distinctions between beon and brain. In my experience, "nice" people have well-programmed brains but are untrustworthy at the beon level.

Greylorn
What you would call the distinction between beon and brain, I would call the conscious and unconscious aspects of mind. Although I am pretty certain that there are more than two levels. I suspect that the core or beon is the self, the me, and that this core influences and causes subsequent levels of mind. But I also suspect that the chemistry in the brain influences levels of mind and actually draws or activates consciousness/beon, and maybe more. Mental illness clearly responds to chemicals, normal minds also respond to chemicals, so I think that it is folly to play with chemicals in our environment without understanding how these chemicals affect consciousness.

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Greylorn Ell
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Re: Pure Consciousness?

Post by Greylorn Ell » Sun May 25, 2014 6:09 am

Gee wrote:Greylorn;

Some time back you brought up the question of who we are. Where does the "self" come from? I wanted to address that issue at the time, but got distracted. The concept of self is central to any investigation of consciousness, so questions regarding mind are inevitable. You and I go about our studies from very different perspectives, so I would like you to consider some of the ideas that I have formulated regarding mind.

Gee,
I've read this twice, as requested-- thrice, actually-- and find that it pretty much reflects mankind's diverse confusions about the onset, and ultimately the very nature of consciousness. Your opinions on the subject are mostly a mix of conventional ideas from religion and science, gathered up and placed in the same basket, with the implication that the answer to the mystery of consciousness can be found somewhere within that basket. It cannot, for lack of a single theory that ties the various observations together.

E.g: You packed a picnic basket with buns, raw brats, potato salad, and a nice bottle of wine-- but forgot matches for the fire. Worse, no corkscrew! Until you fix that, we'll be dining on potato salad.

That you have reached and seem to recognize the confusions involved is an excellent starting point. I'll begin with a tale from the history of hard science.

As the 19th century drew to a merciful close, physics had learned so much about the nature of the universe that one famous physicist declared that there were no more major discoveries to be had. There were a few outstanding problems, to be true, but conventional physicists were certain that these would shortly be resolved with a bit of insightful math applied to current principles.

Within about five years of that incompetent assessment, Max Planck and Big Al threw a couple of turds into the happily spinning fan of conventional beliefs, bending the blades so badly that the fan has been wobbling ever since. Two of the minor problems that scientists were working on involved the sun.

1. Evolutionary and geological evidence clearly pointed to an old earth. The earth had to be warmed by the sun, which must be at least as old as the earth. Thus the sun must have been burning for millions of years, perhaps even a billion years. (Longer than 4 billion, as it turned out.) But what possible chemical reactions (the only possibility that scientists knew of) could have generated and sustained such tremendous energy release for such a long period of time?

Thus, the source of solar energy remained a mystery.

2. The orbit of Mercury, the planet nearest the sun, was not quite right. While all other planets orbited properly, strictly according to Newtonian mechanics, Mercury's orbit diverged slightly from the predicted Newtonian orbit. Why?

Big Al's relativity theory explained both of these mysteries. Relativity theory was developed in two phases. The first phase included the famous E=mcc formula that led to the explanation for solar energy-- the sun was actually burning mass. The second phase, General Relativity, nicely accounted for Mercury's orbit.

We can only guess if, had Einstein not been born, another would have devised the same ideas. I doubt it. I learned what I could of the theory but cannot reproduce the logic and math behind it. I've worked with a number of brilliant scientists, men whose minds I was fortunate to work in the shade of, but not a one of them had the mind to develop Relativity Theory.

Without that theory we'd still be wondering how the sun works, and grad students galore would still be trying to fudge Newtonian mechanics to explain Mercury's orbit. Galaxies and supernovas would be powered by mysterious, mystical forces, perhaps the direct hand of God. We would have neither nuclear weapons nor nuclear power plants, and the GPS would have remained an interesting concept, that for mysterious reasons, our best scientists and engineers could not get to work.

My point is that without a coherent theory which embraces all the available data relating to consciousness, consciousness will not be explained. Worse, people will promote conceptual explanations that are utterly false, even absurd.

Returning to the solar example-- There is no possibility that solar energy could have been explained by any number of exotic chemical reactions. Why? Because chemical reactions are pretty much irrelevant to the sun's behavior. It is a thermonuclear device, releasing the binding energy of deuterium nuclei.

Likewise, if Beon Theory is even remotely correct, trying to explain human consciousness without it is absolutely impossible! Your best efforts in doing so are no better than those of William James, Freud, Stuart Hameroff, and even the brilliant Roger Penrose.

I do not recall if you've read Thomas Kuhn; if not, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is a brief but essential read for you, or for anyone else trying to assemble diverse observations and partial explanations into a coherent theory of anything whatsoever. Or you can save yourself some reading time, perhaps at the cost of credibility, by simply accepting the validity of what I'm trying to explain in this post.

Put simply, if Beon Theory is even in the ball park of credibility, attempts to explain the mind in terms of physiological brain behavior is like trying to explain the sun via the Periodic Table of Elements and their chemical interactions. Adding a mystical spirit like the soul to the mix simply obfuscates the problem, because as defined, the spirit-soul cannot interact with the physical brain, and brings nothing to the table except questions such as, what are its properties, where did it come from, and why?

Ultimately, if you want to genuinely understand consciousness, master Beon Theory. Yes, my book is a difficult and often annoying read, reflecting the personality of its author. So, are you reading to be cajoled or mollified? Are you reading to validate your own beliefs and theories? If so, you'll hate "Digital Universe-- Analog Soul" if you've not already come to that.

Ultimately, if you get through it with a fair measure of comprehension (feel free to skip the sections about time, quantum effects, and the inapplicability of differential calculus to such calculations) even emotions will make a different kind of sense to you. In explaining that sense in ways I'd be unable to do, you will contribute greatly to Beon Theory's applicability. Perhaps you will correct some of its flaws, if any, in the process. I'll be surprised if not, for every serious student of the theory has contributed to it.

Your major post content follows, with a few interspersed comments:
Gee wrote:In the thread, "Supernatural" in the science forum, we were discussing reincarnation, and although it is a different subject, it is all about consciousness and there are some similarities, so I copied some of it for consideration here. It is pretty long, but read it twice and think about it before responding.

Because of technology and the advances in science, we can now track the development of a fetus from it's inception to birth, and it is almost like tracking evolution. Fascinating. Yet with all of this fascinating technology, we still don't know where the mother's consciousness and the fetus's consciousness begin and end.

Religion has tried to answer this question, and many religions accept that the new consciousness begins at birth, some think that it begins when the sperm and egg meet, others put the child's consciousness after birth. I read somewhere, it may have been the Bible, that the child is introduced to society at 2 or 3 months. This makes sense if you remember that there are some medical reasons why a child can be born, but not survive more than a month--such as in cases where there is a difference in the positive and negative RH factor. I think it was the Eskimos that thought a child should be introduced to society when it is two years old. This actually makes more sense than any of the prior considerations as a two year old is no longer dependent on it's mother for survival. Although the child is still dependent, the mother and child can be separated, the child can eat, walk, and make it's needs and wants known, so any adult can care for it.
A society living on the ragged edge of survival cannot thrive on bullshit. Aging Eskimos also had the integrity to walk into the cold night and meet their death alone, rather than hinder kinsmen. Shelter, food, and wives were freely shared with strangers. Wonderfully pragmatic people. I'll guess that the real reason for not introducing babies to society was to prevent their exposure to confused personalities, lest they mimic similar traits.
Gee wrote:Secular law does not have a clue, as is evidenced by the famous "Roe v Wade" Supreme Court case on abortion and the right to life. After considering reams of information and debating for months, the Jurists finally decided to break down a pregnancy into trimesters. So in the first three months, the woman's rights dominate; in the last three months, the fetus's rights dominate, as a fetus can be viable if delivered in the last three months; and the middle trimester is up for grabs and pretty much open to interpretation by the various states. The biggest problem with this reasoning is that as science advances, the fetus can be made viable at earlier, and earlier, stages until the argument about viability becomes moot.
Just what I wanted and needed-- more examples proving that the U.S. judicial system exemplifies the truth, "Shit rolls best downhill."
Gee wrote:But all of these are physical considerations and do not explain consciousness. Are there any facts? Any indications that can tell us when a fetus develops it's own consciousness? When do I become "me" rather than being a part of my Mother? I think that there are some facts, maybe even enough to put together a good guess as to how this might work.

So let's start at the beginning with the sperm and the egg. Are they alive? The answer to that would be yes. This is the easy part because if something is alive, it can be killed. Removing the egg or sperm from it's natural environment will cause it to die and rot, so it is alive. All life is sentient, which means that it reacts to stimuli and is aware of that stimuli, so the egg and sperm possess some rudimentary form of consciousness just like every other cell in the body.

For those who disagree with my assessment, please consider: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life
You have adopted the same understanding of consciousness as that of New Age religionists and those mystics who declare that monkeys, rats, cockroaches, tapeworms, e-coli, Ebola, and even rocks are conscious. Thus you cannot utilize the term "consciousness" to make any kind of a distinction. You are now free to declare anything you want to about consciousness, and be absolutely right.

A course in basic chemistry would teach you that each atom consists of a nucleus of positively charged protons plus neutrons, surrounded by negatively charged electrons hanging out in various levels, or "electron shells." The positive charge of the nucleus is usually balanced by the negatively charged electrons, yielding an electrically neutral atom-- but only when the atom is considered as an independent whole.

Imagine yourself as a very tiny, positively charged observer approaching an atom, say a hydrogen atom with one proton orbited by one electron. You would feel repelled by the positively charged nucleus, but attracted to the oppositely charged electron.

Because the electron orbits at a comparatively large distance from the proton, you would come upon it first. And because the force exerted by electrical charges is proportionate to the distance between them, you would feel the attractive force of the electron more strongly than the repulsive force from the more distant proton. Thus, you would be attracted to the hydrogen atom. This would constitute a chemical bond between you and the atom-- not so strong as the internal bonds within the atom, but strong enough to produce a functional force.

All molecules are groups of atoms that are connected by the unbalanced forces each atom manifests. There is no need to anthropomorphize these forces by giving them emotionally contextual names like "wants." Sure, if you're talking to kindergarten students and feel compelled to explain theoretical chemistry, saying that water exists because the sexist male oxygen atom "wants" to marry two hydrogen atoms gets the picture across. But with a few exceptions here, you are not writing to ignorant children.

The atoms don't "want" or "need" or "desire" the company of other atoms. However, following normal principles of energy exchange, certain relationships between atoms are more stable than others because the forces between them are more effectively neutralized.

The structure of the material universe is obtained as the result of forces and counterforces, not wants and rejections.

Your thinking is skewed by emotionally charged terms that do not apply to basic physics. Your thinking will be clarified by more conscientious applications of terminology.
Gee wrote:Do the egg and sperm possess "want"? Again the answer is yes. The egg will break out of the ovary, find the fallopian tube and travel along it to the uterus, where it will wait for fertilization. Whether this activity is caused by a physical prompt or whether it is caused by an awareness, it still exhibits a "want" to contnue, as all life does. I have watched films on sperm when they reach the egg, and can tell you that there is a frenzy of activity. So whether there is an awareness and knowledge of the egg, or if there is some chemical attraction to the egg, the sperm are in serious competition to reach and join with the egg. So again, this activity exhibits a "want" to continue, but is it any different from other cells in the body? I see no reason to think so.

The immune system seems to "want" to fight off unwanted bacteria in the body; blood cells seem to "want" to carry nutrients and oxygen to parts of the body that need them; tissue cells seem to "want" to reproduce themselves when it is necessary. All of the cells in our bodies seem to "want" to do their job in promoting the health and welfare of the body, so I can't see where the "want" of the egg and sperm are different or are separate in their consciousness. The end result is a separate consciousness, but it does not appear to exist at this level--there is certainly no evidence of it.
Here you are simply doubling-down on your personal choice of jargon. Eggs and sperm do not "want" one another in the same sense of wanting that shot the sperm into a tunnel with an egg at its terminus. The attraction is accomplished by an arrangement of molecules at the surface of sperm and egg. One will have lots of negatively charged surface molecules, the other will have a compliment of positively charged molecules. Negative and positive charges attract.

Big mistake, using emotional terms to describe chemical activity. If you care about being credibly consistent with the effective understandings of science, you will use chemical activity to explain emotions. It works quite well, as I've demonstrated in personal experiments.

I used to go out dancing in hopes of getting laid, like most males. I'm physically on the downside of ugly, but a decent dancer. When I used armpit deodorants I smelled okay but nothing happened. Then I tried slopping artificial pheromones on my pits, and was pleasantly surprised by a series of very short lived relationships that were hostage to my armpit chemistry.

Eventually I got the notion to skip the artificial chemicals and wash my pits with warm piss. This worked better than the deodorants (unless I'd had lots of garlic in the previous two days), not so well as pheromones, but produced relationships that lasted longer.
Gee wrote:What about after the egg and sperm join? Many people believe that this is when a new consciousness arises. I don't think so. First, there is no evidence of it; second, there is evidence to the contrary.
Note that this and subsequent observations are unrelated to your previous ideas about wants.
Gee wrote:People know that the joining of the egg and sperm creates a new DNA, which is assumed to indicate a new person, and so a new consciousness. It must have been a man who thought up this idea. It would be like someone receiving the architectural designs for their new house and asking, "So I have the designs. Where the hell is the house?" An appropriate response might be, "Well, the materials have been ordered, but they won't show up for months." Having the design does not mean that we have what was designed. Just like the separate sperm and egg, at this point we only have a potential for a new consciousness.


It is fair to blame men for this notion; why not? Yet there are plenty of female biologists and psychologists around who could have torn into this concept, had they the mind to do so. Your analogy of designs and house is cute, but doesn't fly. I've been engaged in quite a few construction jobs in younger days, from roadways to buildings, and I've never seen a single female on any of those sites, except when the project was home remodeling and my wife helped. In 20 years of engineering work, I've never seen a female person in the shops and laboratories, except as a secretary chasing someone down, or once, a process server. Thus I'd have to conclude that anyone looking at plans and wondering where the house is would be a female.

You set yourself up. I cannot resist a good straight-line. :D
Gee wrote:The arguments contrary are very clear and based in fact. Although the brain is not our consciousness, it is clear that the development of our consciousness is dependent upon the brain. Taking us from the awareness of a cell to the awareness of a human requires a brain, and a very advanced brain, so human consciousness for a fetus is not possible at this level. Another point to consider is that the mother's body may still reject the fetus, which often happens in the first few months. This rejection can be caused by a flaw or misforming of the fetus, but it can also be caused by a weakness in the mother. If the mother does not have the strength to carry the fetus, her body will reject it in consideration of the mother's health and needs. Clearly the consciousness and life of the mother takes precedence.

The next stage, where people believe the new consciousness arises, is at birth, and there is some evidence to support this assumption. First there is the obvious physical separation of the mother and infant into two different bodies, so there are two different consciousnesses. The problem with this is that, although the mother acknowledges this separation, the infant does not. The infant will be six to eight months old before acknowledging the fact that it is physically separate from it's mother. Prior to this time, the infant is unaware of any separation--physical or otherwise. This information came to me from the magazine "Psychology Today" which I studied carefully while raising my own children. It explained why a reasonable sweet baby of seven or eight months would suddenly become panicked when mom left the room. This is because the infant has finally examined him/her self from fingers to toes and has just become aware of the fact that mom is NOT connected. Oh no! She could leave! Hence the panic. So it appears that the first clues that we get regarding self-awareness come about six months after we are born. Prior to this point, awareness of the "self" includes the mother and probably most of the immediate environment. And we still don't know that mom has a mind and her own ideas--that comes later.
Why would you look to a pop-sci magazine devoted to supporting the principles of a science that has arguably been operable since 1890, when "Principles of Psychology" was published, but in its entire 124 year history has yet to explain human consciousness?

I believe that your interest in consciousness is the consequence of unexplained paranormal experiences. If so, why pay any attention to a so-called science whose practitioners, for the most part, do not accept the reality of paranormal phenomena?

Psychologists often manage some interesting experiments, to their credit, even if they fail to make much of the data. Nonetheless, I've participated in the early childhood raising of four children and have yet to observe any problems with the separation of a kid from its mother. True, they like having someone around, but I served just as well. My tricks were knowing how to warm a bottle of baby formula and change a diaper. Except for those tricks, I suspect that a large and friendly retriever would have served just fine.
Gee wrote:The second argument that consciousness starts at birth is the "want" that the infant exhibits that initiates the labor and subsequent birth. However, doctors are not in agreement in this matter. There are some doctors who will schedule a C-section birth based on ultrasound readings, but most will not, and prefer to wait until the labor starts naturally, then proceed to other methods of delivery. Many years ago I read an article about hatcheries where it was discovered that opening eggs to help the chicks hatch at a preconceived time often caused weak or less healthy chicks, so it was determned that it is best to let the chicks break out of their eggs themselves. I suspect that this is the kind of thinking that most doctors employ, that it is better to let an infant determine when it should be born. So this is a stage of development, but my thought on this is that the starting of labor to cause birth is very similar to the egg initially breaking out of an ovary. This appears to me to be another part of the process rather than an indication of human consciousness or intent.

So although religion and medical science have many opinions and theories regarding a new person's consciousness, these theories and opinions do not seem to reflect the facts of the matter. Psychology, I think, gives us our best understanding, and psychology states that a new person does not possess all of the aspects of human consciousness until they are seven years of age. Awareness of a separate body starts at 6 months, separate ideas from Mom's starts around 2 years, understanding that other people have a perspective starts around 5 years, and the rational aspect of mind starts around 7 years. So it does not appear as if a whole "soul" or mind is dropped into a vessel as stated by religion. And if a new consciousness grows or developes as it appears to, then what material feeds this growth and what activity prompts this development?
Beon Theory employs a different model. The brain is autonomous but not conscious, although it can mimic rather well to non-observant observers. Consciousness is a property of beon, only. The brain's job is to feed beon with sensory data until it acquires consciousness, which it can only do on its own. Consciousness typically arrives in fits and starts, gradually. A person might be intensely self-aware one moment, yet oblivious the next, even as an adult. It is shut down for sleep, at considerable energy cost to the brain.

During a person's formative years, beon is pretty much along for the ride. It typically thinks for itself, outside the brain's programming, only in subjects for which the brain has not previously been programmed. Watching my offspring grow, consciousness made brief appearances around the age of two, showing up now and then with increasing frequency as they grew.

My daughters were no brighter than other kids, yet did extremely well in school because their education was geared to the development of consciousness. I suppressed only adverse behavior, encouraged all questions, and encouraged them to solve problems on their own. Most evenings, I read to them from books a tad beyond their comprehension level, trusting a good story to retain their attention. TV was restricted to Sesame St, Mr. Rogers, any programs their parents watched while the kids were awake, and anything they chose when we were out and they babysat themselves. (For several years my wife insisted upon a babysitter, until she learned that the kids were keeping her awake by reading to her.)

I believe strongly that their success came from their parents' focus upon the expression of consciousness, an absence of judgment with respect to grades and other measures of performance, exposure to diverse ideas and information, and the restriction of conventional societal programming for as long as possible. I don't think that they were more conscious than their peers, but were conscious of more things, and unafraid to express their ideas.

What surprised me about their development was that, with one exception, their levels of effective personal consciousness deteriorated when we moved to a city and they entered large public schools, and subsequently universities. I attribute this primarily to society's effectiveness at programming the brain, which I was unable to counter because I was no longer around.
Gee wrote:When and how does the conscious awareness of a single cell turn into the conscious awareness of a person? When does mind form? How does it form? When does the consciousness of the child separate from the consciousness of the Mother? What causes these changes?

Your assumption that consciousness is a function of brain cells is a fundamental mistake, similar to the pre-Einstein belief that solar energy was the result of chemical interactions.
Gee wrote:1. When a human is born, their mind/brain is not a blank slate waiting to be written upon. It is already full of knowledge and understandings. One could almost consider it like a dos (disc operating system) already installed and waiting to be used. If anyone disagrees with this, please consider:

Innate ideas from Wiki: [url]http://en.wikipedia....iki/Innate_idea[/url]
Here's a different opinion. There is nothing in a newborn that resembles even a marginally functional "mind." The thalamus and hypothalamus are already programmed with all the instincts and sensory functions they are likely to need, although certain of these programs await hormonal activation. The cortical brain is mostly a blank slate, programmed primarily with curiosity, from which learning follows.

The state of beon is anyone's guess. If this life is its first time around, it is the quintessential blank slate and will spend its first lifetime with an I.Q. of maybe 80, if its brain is good and its parents reasonably intelligent. At other extremes, consider Mozart, who apparently composed his first piano concerto around age 3. Einstein was starting to talk around that age, according to stories, and was allegedly a mediocre student. His extraordinary mind seemed to lend itself best to extraordinary problems. First time around for those guys? Or for Marie Curie? I do not think so.
Gee wrote:2. When a human is born, they already have a personality. If you talk to someone who works in a nursery, they can tell you that some infants are agressive and dominating, some are shy and quiet, some are flirtatious and charming, some are quiet and curious--they already have distinct personalities. Just like a litter of pups or kittens, if you study them a while, you will note different personalities from birth. Where do these personalities come from?
They are properties of brains. Brains are set up by DNA, probably by some of the 98% of a DNA molecule that our glut of ordinary scientists label "junk DNA," simply because they haven't figured it out yet. (Refer to my earlier tale of the physicist who declared that we knew everything about physics that there was to know, before Einstein.)

Personalities are just programs run by the brain. Cat brain, rat brain, cockroach brain, human brain-- all the same, except that better brains can run more programs.

A computer's personality is a function not of its brain, but of the programs that brain is running. Each incarnation of Microsoft's Windows OS has a different personality than the others, as from Bill Gates' original DOS 1.1 OS. The personality of these programs is entirely a function of its code, which itself reflects the ideas and opinions (i.e. personalities) of the people who wrote the code.

Personalities are not conscious. I've written a variety of different computer programs at different times of my life, and the best of them had a sense of humor. My space-telescope control program announced the success of our mission by cracking up an entire NASA control room, followed by applause.

Although personality is not consciousness, perhaps you and others are confused because consciousness can modify or even transform personality. (e.g. "trying to be nice.") I've totally changed my personality from the chicken-shit little wimp brain that depended upon authority figures and was terrified of heights and girls, and even the MGM lion that snarled at me and chased my sissy ass, screaming and crying, out of the first movie theater I attended.
Gee wrote:3. Either this knowledge, understanding and personality are in the egg/sperm, or it develops. I don't think that many of us believe that eggs and sperm have personalities, so most of us suspect that these things develop or emerge. So what do they develop from, or what do they emerge from? If I am wrong, and it has been noted or theorized or proven that eggs and/or sperm have knowledge, understanding, and personalities, please let me know.

Most people will assume that these mental aspects come from DNA. Sounds good, but it is not true. DNA is no more than an instruction or mapping of what needs to be grown, it does not supply the building materials. A map of a city does not a city make. So DNA is more of an influence, and not even a very stable influence as it can be perverted or corrupted rather easily by chemistry.

For example, see Thalidimide: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thalidomide
As noted before, perhaps prematurely, DNA can certainly account for the brain's programming, and thus for its personality. Given that only 2% of human DNA codes for proteins, and that some of it must code for structure (another 5%) there is plenty of space left to include the fairly limited range of personalities (mostly bland and innocuous) manifested by human beings.

As I've noted in my book, and as others have pointed out, DNA cannot do anything by itself. It consists of symbolic code that must be interpreted by mechanisms within the cell. Cells control the gathering and assembly of the chemicals needed to keep themselves working and to grow new cells.

An influence does not need to be stable to be an influence. Moreover, stability exists at the expense of flexibility. Non-bland human personalities change as a function of chemistry. They are designed that way. The brain of a peaceful farmer that cannot become aggressive, angry, and deadly violent in the face of threats to self and family is unlikely to belong to a long line of peaceful farmers and their families.

Inasmuch as personality is a function of an electrochemical machine, how could it not be affected by chemicals that modify the machine's behavior?
Gee wrote:The building materials actually come from Mom, and her circumstance can seriously influence the development of baby. This has been well studied. Mom's intake of food, vitamins (or lack of), her emotional and mental state, and her environment all contribute to and influence the health, development, and well being of baby. Since we know that Mom provides the building blocks of what will be baby, why do we assume that she provides the physical building blocks, but not the mental? And that is what this is, assumption, as there is absolutely no evidence that she provides only the physical body of the infant. Why do we assume this? Is it because we believe that "God" provides the soul? I think so, because there is no other reason that makes any sense.
Under the conventional belief system, your argument is irrefutable. It could not be otherwise.

But there's good old Beon Theory (well, only a half-century old, and who knows if it's any good?) declaring that consciousness is the sole property of a non-biological entity, tightly integrated with the human brain-body system-- so tightly that its existence commonly lies hidden in physiology. Mom need not and cannot contribute her consciousness. She is not like the originally omnipotent New Agers' God who split himself up into the gaggle of nitwit souls of mankind. She gets to keep her mind, and in raising offspring she will surely need every bit of it.
Gee wrote:And we know that Mom's mental state and emotional health can influence baby, and baby's development. We also know that an emotional shock or trauma can actually cause a miscarriage, so emotion is definitely an influence. We also know that emotion is linked to chemistry in the body.
Yes. The disposition of the family dog will influence baby. Likewise the personalities of siblings and the kinds of radio or TV programs running in the background. Likewise traffic noise, low flying aircraft, police sirens, and loud arguments from the adjacent apartment. So what?

Way back when, my ladyfriend was expecting a baby. It was big, and reluctant to exit-- consistent with the lethargic personality he subsequently displayed. So she got behind me one hot morning for a dirt bike ride through the desert, no trails, lots of ups and downs and sudden turns, plenty of noise, occasional stops and starts. He got the idea. She delivered normally, two days later after I proposed another bike ride. Babies can listen, and they can sense the emotions and desires of others.
Gee wrote:So let us throw out the assumptions and consider alternatives. We know that Mom provides the physical building blocks, but she does not deplete her body while accomplishing this because she eats to maintain the nutrients for both mother and child. If she also provides the mental building blocks, how does she not deplete her own mental resources? Well, there would have to be a way to intake mental resources. How could she manage that? With hormones. All pregnant women, as a matter or fact, all reproducing females of all species, are loaded with hormones. If you review the Post on Emotion, Re: The Paranormal, dated 5/4/2014 a few pages back in this thread, you will see that there seems to be a drawing or activating effect of consciousness which is produced by hormones.
The real assumption that is the wart on the ass of consciousness studies is the notion that consciousness is a function of the brain, and its associated chemical control system. Why not throw out that assumption?
Gee wrote:So if reincarnation can happen; if an old soul a new soul or a Beon can initiate the development of mind, I expect that hormones are part of the mechanism that allows it to happen. G

Of course, but isn't that pretty much a no-brainer? By both my theories and conventional theories, the brain is essential to the manifestation of consciousness, probably to its development as well. A non-conscious beon parked alone in deep space is not going to develop consciousness-- not any more. It needs a brain. The brain is an electrochemical machine. It depends upon chemicals to activate certain of its mechanisms as appropriate. Therefore hormones are a necessary part of the consciousness mechanism.

Thank you for another conversation! :)
Greylorn

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Re: Pure Consciousness?

Post by Greylorn Ell » Mon May 26, 2014 7:45 am

Gee wrote:
Greylorn Ell wrote:Gee,

While I like your mind, you are proof that a competent mind is subservient to brain-based programs, especially to emotions. Especially in your case. You seem to be mentally invested in the importance of emotions.
Well, I like your mind too, but believe that you cheat yourself when you deny the importance of emotions. Emotion, just like knowledge, is processed both, top down and bottom up; they come to the mind and from the mind, so I don't see how you can call them "brain-based programs". The brain simply processes and interprets what comes in from either direction.
Gee,

(This reply is to your 16 May post, above. I'm doing some catch-up work.)

Beon Theory proposes that what is commonly called the "mind" is not a thing or entity, but is a function of other things/entities. One of these is the human brain, mostly the plastic, cortical brain. The other is "beon," an entity brought into existence by a physical process, not by any god, and well defined in the context of basic classical physics. Brain is a complex multi-layered biological mechanism designed to operate in conjunction with a human body and its complex systems. Beon, however, is inherently simple.

Beon can come into its brain-body connection as a blank slate. Even if it begins a sojourn in a human body after some prior lifetimes, that does not necessarily give it the expertise needed to manage a body and learn what it takes to guide that body through a useful lifetime. That's the brain's job.

The brains and control systems of all animals come with a built-in set of pre-programmed behaviors called "instincts." Likewise the human brain. Confused psychologists have labeled some of these instincts, "emotions." Whatever they call them, instincts or emotions, they are referring to programs built into the brain.

These programs are typically activated by circumstances. You've given birth and thus know the basic programs that babies run, like the "Put everything I can grab into my mouth" directive, and the "cry just to see what happens" experiment. As your children grew you saw the basic curiosity program at work, then the "learn to walk" directive, followed by "how far can we walk before momma can't find us." Etc.

You'll also have noticed the "basic personality" program, which you may have mistakenly thought to be a function of soul (beon, in my theory). Amid the running of these programs, beon began to emerge. It was mostly along for the ride, but it was beginning to learn that it could sometimes direct the ride, not necessarily in optimal directions. Those times are often referred to as the terrible twos, but are only "terrible" if momma fails to manage the process. I expect you to have managed it effectively.

No doubt you've watched the little darlings run their "Its mine/I want it" programs. If you were as good a mom as I expect, you also watched the popular "twart" reactions, followed by the popular "anger" programs. Depending upon the personality program, the anger program may be replaced by other tactics, such as "you don't love me."

You've also watched the puberty and independence-from-momma programs in action. The difference between you and I is that I try to distinguish the different mechanisms involved in "mind," and then to separate their properties. This is difficult because brain and beon are so tightly integrated that it is difficult to distinguish one from another without a suitable theory.

Moreover, you seem to have accepted Psychology as a credible science and useful source of information, despite its simplistic paradigm that holds the brain as the only engine of human thought and activity.
Gee wrote:All life possesses "want". We know this because of the survival instinct that makes live thing want to stay alive. But I think that for a very long time, we have tried to deny this simple fact, and not think too much about what it means to "want". We have decided that other life does not think, does not feel, because the idea of thinking, feeling, lower-life forms is uncomfortable for us. But the truth is that in order to "want", there must be some kind of feeling/emotion and there must be some kind of knowledge/thought.


I've addressed your "want" notion in a reply to a subsequent post. No point repeating it.
Gee wrote:Instead of dealing with that simple truth, we prefer to think that the "lowest life forms" have neither knowledge nor feelings; that the next level, mammals with brains, have only rudimentary emotion, and that we are the only specie that has actual thought. This is our comfortable lie, but this lie has consequences, as all lies do. One of the biggest consequences is that when we are feeling, or experiencing emotion, we relate that to lower life forms -- so emotional translates to unthinking or stupid. In order to prove that we are intelligent, we deny our emotions -- but emotion is the ONLY thing that makes life worth living. Everyone seems to have developed a "Spock" ideology. Spock, the Vulcan on the Star Trek series is supposedly the only one who can think straight because he does not have emotion; but Spock is the most compassionate character on that show -- and compassion is an emotion!
You are evaluating things according to your beliefs and the general opinions of others. Not mine.

Beon Theory demands that critters have knowledge. Spiders are born knowing how to spin webs; no one needs to teach a dung beetle how to roll shit uphill (one engineer's entropy joke?). They also have "wants" and feelings, although the emotion programs that cause a female black widow to kill and eat her mate seems to be limited to only a small percentage of female humans, for which I'm personally grateful. (However, variations of this program resulting in economic loss for the hapless mate are common.)

Despite having read hundreds of science fiction stories, I did not watch Star Trek more than a few times when it originally ran, but picked up reruns about a decade ago out of curiosity-- why didn't I like that program? Spock was one of my problems, particularly because of the emotional compassion you noted. That invalidated the theme of the logical, non-emotional Spock. Moreover, his so-called logic usually sucked. No surprise, because the turkey who wrote the script was a nit who had no understanding of simple logic, and covered his incompetence with the Spock facade. That's probably why the program died early. No consistency within its own theme.
Gee wrote:Compassion is emotion guided by thought. How can a person guide something that they deny they have? They can't. So I prefer to understand emotion, so that I can guide my own emotions. If I denied emotion how would I know when emotion is influencing me? I wouldn't. I wouldn't recognize it.
You are confusing a scriptwriter's confused description of an imaginary character with reality, not the best basis for your point. Second-derivative confusions should not be part of a coherent discussion about what programs the brain runs and how they manifest.
Greylorn Ell wrote:Beon Theory proposes that the brain is the necessary birthplace of mind, the cradle of consciousness, of self-awareness. Using a wider analogy than that of a child's cradle, like a family, do you want the family (and society) that programmed your brain with their rules of social behavior to run your entire life?
Gee wrote:Well, if I would have paid a little more attention to that "programming", I am sure that my life would have run a lot smoother. Wisdom came late in my life. (chuckle)
I appreciate the admission. You're not alone in the timing of wisdom.

A decade ago I declared that we spend the first 20 years of life learning bullshit, the next 20 unlearning it, and the third 20 years trying to figure out something better.
Greylorn Ell wrote:Dealing with the BO certificates is taking a bit of work. Tonight I found some interesting and unexpected material that will prove the fraudulence of his US citizenship, but only to those who can think objectively. Be prepared to deal with the fact that by voting for him twice, you demonstrated the power of your brain's emotions over your otherwise rational mind.
Gee wrote:You should be prepared to deal with the fact that this is a philosophy forum, so assumption is frowned upon. Just because I told you in a PM that I would never willingly put a Republican in the White House after what the Bushes did, especially after Bush Jr., that does not mean that I voted for Obama -- that was your assumption.

I think the first time, or maybe the second, I voted for Ralph Nader. I never expected him to win the White House, but his integrity earned my respect a long time ago, so I accepted him as a protest vote. You have heard of a protest vote, haven't you? There are more than two parties.

The thing that bothered me most about Obama was that he was too young. My husband used to tell my son, "There is nothing that a young man can do with all of his power and strength that an old man can't beat with a little treachery." There are a lot of old men hanging around the White House.

Also consider that fraud is often a matter of perspective. I am pretty sure that if we found an American Indian, who was trained in law and studied the treaties that were between different Indian Nations/Tribes and the U.S., he could show us that at least half of our Presidents could be found to be fraudulent in their claim of citizenship. If traced back far enough.
I apologize for a false assumption. I feel the same way about Republicans and have not voted for one since the 2000 election. I was tempted to vote for McCain in hopes that if elected, someday he'd get angry enough to have a terminal brain aneurism. I really like Sarah Palin. There were good reasons for the Democrats to fear her enough to resort to attacking her children. But McCain was certain to get the Arizona vote without my help, so, as before I voted for the Libertarian candidate by way of protest.
Gee wrote:Do you have any idea of how may times, since you learned that I was female, that you have stated that my decisions are based in emotion -- and been wrong? One would think that you would have learned by now.

No, I don't, but I've been married enough times to know that women keep a fairly accurate score, and that in this case, the actual count would be unfavorable to any hope I might have of maintaining a facade of objectivity.

After first reading this I went into denial for a few days, then wondered about my own behavior. Woke up this morning with the solution.

I hit the onset of puberty in a small Wisconsin town, subsequently to become famous for supercomputers and beer. A year younger than my fellow grade school students, I got my social standards by observing their behavior. Come wintertime and snow, the boys would cross the street and throw snowballs at the girls walking the opposite side. This seemed the wrong thing to do and not nice at all. Eventually I noticed that my friends aimed at the girls they fancied, and that the girls, about as smart as us boys, seemed more flattered by the attention than angered. In time I joined the practice.

Interpreting my inappropriate behavior in this silly context, I figure that I was subconsciously flirting. Having identified the problem, it will go away. Kindly accept my apologies.

Greylorn

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Re: Pure Consciousness?

Post by Greylorn Ell » Mon May 26, 2014 11:03 pm

Gee wrote: You did not notice the caveat "when you want to be"? I have little doubt in my mind that you are not the quintessential "nice guy" under normal circumstances.
Actually, under normal circumstances I'm friendly, even to strangers. Waitresses at my favorite bar go out of their way to take care of me and any friends, and not because I'm a big tipper. Gals who are there to dance rarely refuse me, and on many occasions I've taught their guys a few moves. More often than not I can tame an unruly kid in a supermarket. A friend attributed this art to my NRA cap, scruffy beard, and open-carry pistol, but I know that it's all about my inherent charm because I can do it without the firearm.
Gee wrote:
Greylorn Ell wrote:I can find better people in a biker bar full of strangers than at a faculty party.

Well, I do not spend much time in "biker bars", but somewhere above Tucson there is a little mining town that has a picture of me on a bike, 40 some years ago, in their newspaper. Apparently, they thought that a young woman, who would ride her Honda 2,000 miles to visit her brother in Arizona, was newsworthy, so they did an article. My 15 minutes of fame. It was the best trip I ever made.
Jerome, perhaps?
Gee wrote:
Greylorn Ell wrote:This post may seem off-topic but is not. For me, consciousness involves making distinctions between beon and brain. In my experience, "nice" people have well-programmed brains but are untrustworthy at the beon level.
What you would call the distinction between beon and brain, I would call the conscious and unconscious aspects of mind. Although I am pretty certain that there are more than two levels. I suspect that the core or beon is the self, the me, and that this core influences and causes subsequent levels of mind. But I also suspect that the chemistry in the brain influences levels of mind and actually draws or activates consciousness/beon, and maybe more. Mental illness clearly responds to chemicals, normal minds also respond to chemicals, so I think that it is folly to play with chemicals in our environment without understanding how these chemicals affect consciousness.
You're getting the general idea. Either you are plowing through DUAS at the recommended deliberate pace, or sleeping with the book under your pillow and getting the ideas via some kind of psychic osmosis. Whatever works. :) And yes, brain is a powerful influence on beon. Certain chemicals are a powerful influence on brain.

I too would like to see our use of artificial chemicals curtailed, for many reasons. What surprises me though is how resilient the body seems to be. Of course, many people survive, for example, cancers that are the consequence of artificial chemicals because of the introduction into their body of even nastier chemicals.

We will never eliminate consciousness-altering drugs, but I would prefer elimination of the artificial variety. I'm certain that the blood-brain barrier that allows a human to drink ethanol (a nasty brain toxin) without dying, but with an alteration of his conscious state, was no more an accident than the happy combination of grapes and naturally occurring yeast. For many people, unabated normal consciousness is an unwelcome and depressing experience that, without occasional reprieve, will end up as some variety of insanity.

You wrote, "What you would call the distinction between beon and brain, I would call the conscious and unconscious aspects of mind." We are not in disagreement here if you consider the context of these words. Beon and brain are mechanisms. "Conscious and unconscious aspects" are functions of those mechanisms.

Compare, for example, brain and beon to a car and its driver. The car is a mechanism capable of directed motion. To be useful, however, "directed" is important, and that's where the driver comes in. The driver is another mechanism.

Completing our analogy, motion is the function of a car, just like information processing is the function of a brain. Directed motion, such as the process of getting a car (or motorcycle) from Ohio to Arizona, requires a driver to do some purposeful steering and motion control. Those are functions.

Similarly, directed thought requires the purposeful guidance of beon. (Dreams are thoughts generated by undirected brains.)

I suspect that you tend to think in terms of functions because of your attachment to psychology, which I've never been a fan of. I found William James extremely frustrating, because he was so good at identifying meaningful functions of mind, but refused to consider any mechanisms behind it. He is indeed the father of modern psychology, inasmuch as other psychologists seem to take the same approach. (Last I checked, anyway.)

There are no functions without mechanisms. By refusing to deal responsibly with the data about mental mechanisms, psychology has dropped the ball.
Gee wrote:
Greylorn Ell wrote:You'll have noticed that except for an initial verification, the "7 Wonders" piece was the only use I've made of your email address. I expect that this use was the result of a psychic kind of prompt. Initially I was going to PM you and request a copy of the eulogy. Instead, "7 Wonders." I'm delighted that it worked for you, and not surprised.

Aunt Dorothy was deaf from infancy, suffered schizophrenia all of her adult life, had no career, no family of her own, never married, and most of the family knew her as the well-dressed, sweet, little old lady, who sat in a corner, smiled, and watched. A eulogy is a summing up of a person's life. How does one write a eulogy about a person, whose greatest accomplishments were that she was well loved, and she survived, without also mentioning the horrors of ice baths and electric shock treatments -- those being the treatments for schizophrenia before medication was discovered that would help?

I had made a number of false starts and was ready to give up when I read your e-mail. "Wonders" helped me to change my perspective to what she wondered about, dreamed about, wanted, instead of the objective view of what I thought about her and my experiences regarding her. I was pleased with the results and would be happy to PM a copy to you.

Agreed. A psychic prompt, and not the first.
As of this writing I've read Aunt Dorothy's eulogy several times, forwarded it (w/ your okay) to the man who sent "7 Wonders" our way, and in response to a PM query found that you did not think that it would be suitable for inclusion here, as being off-topic.

I am compelled to vehemently disagree with you. Your eulogy to an 80-plus year old schizophrenic says more about consciousness, mind, intelligence, and all the stuff we've been kicking around on this thread as if we knew something, than all the opinions and theories about consciousness ever invented. With your okay, I'll post it here.

However, if this was my thread, and if I had the ability to compose such a beautiful piece, I would first complete every unfinished conversation here in a manner that invites no further reply.

Then I would post the eulogy. And upon doing so I would post a message to our excellent moderators asking them to close this thread, on the grounds that nothing better can follow.

Greylorn

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Re: Pure Consciousness?

Post by Gee » Tue May 27, 2014 5:29 am

Greylorn;

Well, now you have everyone's curiosity up. They are going to start thinking that I wrote about the second coming, so you had better post it and set them straight.

Although I admit that it was one of my better pieces, I don't think it was the best, and I am sure that I could have made it better if I had more time. Eulogies are like that; short on time, unless the passing was expected. Aunt Dorothy's eulogy was difficult to write because of her circumstance, but that was not the biggest problem I had. The problems were how to portray her strength and courage without also telling about the horrors that she endured -- alone. And how to expose the inner woman without offending all of the relatives and friends, who loved her and thought that they knew her?

To help you understand our relationship with Dorothy, consider the following: Many years ago the family vacationed in West Virginia, where we were given a tour of some deep caverns. The tour guide announced that he was going to turn off the lights so that we could appreciate the total darkness that the American Indians had to endure when exploring the caves. I screamed, "No!", and pushed through five or six people to get to Aunt Dorothy. I explained to her what was going to happen, held her hand, and then gave the tour guide the OK. If I had not acted, she would have been deaf and blind to the world with no idea as to why. She might well have panicked. Afterward everyone was proud of me. No one else realized the problem, so I was the hero that saved the day.

That is how it was with Dorothy, we were the heroes that saved her, and she appreciated us and made us feel like heroes. But a hero sacrifices. What was it that we gave up? A little consideration, a few moments of time, an occasional interpretation. There is nothing heroic about that. We were never the heroes, it was always Dorothy. She was the calm, quiet, hero that accepted her circumstances and thanked us for helping her with her burden. This is the Dorothy that I wanted to expose.

So yes, post it. Then add a link to the "7 Wonders" so that people can see what inspired me. Maybe some of the members who have family or friends in similar circumstance will understand the disabled a little better.

Then I want to get back to business. I am working on a very long post to you. Expect to post tomorrow.

G

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Re: Pure Consciousness?

Post by Arising_uk » Tue May 27, 2014 5:14 pm

Hey up Gee,
Apologies for the late response but I get easily distracted by the simpler conversations and forget to reply to the thoughtful ones but fear not I pretty much never forget a thread. Oh! And it also takes me a while to 'think' about them.
Gee wrote:You have a dry sense of humor. (chuckle chuckle) Nothing about consciousness or life is "cut-n-dried". The truth of the matter is that the two divisions influence and bleed into each other rather routinely, so it is in fact a false dichotomy. But it is useful as a study tool. Physically we divide our bodies into the pulmonary system, the circulatory system, the digestive system, etc., for study, but in reality we would die if we did not have all of these systems working together.
So we agree, dualism with respect to mind/body and reason/emotion is false?
I did not make this division originally; I simply acknowledged it. ...
Fair enough.
Consider the following part of a post that I wrote on the supernatural:
Okey doke.
I went to Wiki and found that the word 'supernatural' was first used in the early 1,500s. This makes sense if you remember that 2,000 years ago, a bunch of pagans got together with the idea of an invisible God, and declared all things invisible to be of that God. For a time, even our personal thoughts were supposed to be put in our minds by either God or the devil, so for 1,000 years all that was invisible was God's. The Dark Ages. ...
I don't like this term as all the historians mean by it was that there were no written records. But I'll go with your gist.
Then philosophers and scientists started to prove that some things were natural laws, so they fought religion with debate and logic, sometimes winning and sometimes losing, until Aquinas finally threw open the doors to science and the Enlightenment. (This is a very simplified version of a tremendous struggle by many great scientists and philosophers.) ...
Got to be picky here. Aquinas et al were not scientists nor really philosophers as they've come to be understood, they were logicians and theologians and we owe them the debt of Aristotle(although we pretty much owe that to Islam ironically enough). It was Descartes who opened the door to the Natural Philosophers and hence scientists.
By the 1,500s all of the intangibles were being divided, some were left in the care of religion, some were proven to belong to science, but what to do with the others? Well, whatever religion did not want and science could not prove became the supernatural. Simple
Hmm...okay I'll go with the gist.
Science and religion created the false dichotomy with regard to the reality of consciousness. All of the mental aspects are part of our consciousness, but all of the mental aspects are not treated equally by science and religion. Realizing this frustrated me for a very long time until I considered the reason for the division -- the source of consciousness. Everyone was looking for the source.
Hmm...Descartes went with Dualism and Christian religion was happy with that as they had the Soul and since Descartes was a true believer and 'science' was still in its infancy I'm not sure your idea holds. As at the time the 'mental' was not really explored as everyone thought they knew they were mental. Descartes did explore what it was to be and specifically what it was to have a mental thought, i.e. clear and distinct ideas and perceptions.

I'm dubious that religion was looking for a source as they have the source, a 'god' given 'soul', much like GE's 'beon' in fact.
Science has decided that the source is internal and looks to the brain for consciousness. So it disregards religious interpretations as nonsense and assumes that the paranormal/supernatural is a figment of the brain's imagination. Religion has decided that the source is external and looks to "God" for the source. Religion accepts the external explanation, but excludes any supernatural/paranormal that does not enhance the religion's interpretations. Hence reincarnation is not paranormal in Eastern cultures as it is accepted and understood by their religions, but is paranormal in the West where Christianity does not accept reincarnation ideas.
I agree that 'science' has come down on the side of 'consciousness' being the product of being a body with senses in an external world but I think the 'brain' idea is up for grabs in this model, as it's becoming clearer that the CNS is not just the lump at the top and the other supporting systems play a large role as well. But I agree that the religious still want a 'soul' of some sort. With respect to reincarnation, I think this a concept too replete with problematics to be anything other than wishful thinking. Although a perfectly natural assumption given the time it was thought of, i.e. nature appears to go through the cycles of birth, death and rebirth so why not us?
So I took the divisions as handed to me and study how the differences in the internal and external work individually and together, because I study all of consciousness.
I'm still not really sure what you mean when you say "consciousness"?
"Knowledge" is a very well and often defined term in philosophy. The fact that it is still not quite understood is not because of lack of effort. Knowledge is not shared and is internal. Consider: You have just discovered that your bank has bounced your last three checks and are in a black mood. You meet with friends; so do you worry that your friends will pick up your thoughts on your bounced checks and stupid bankers (knowledge), or do you worry that your friends will pick up on your mood (emotion)? Knowledge is not shared unless we choose to share it. Emotions are shared automatically, unless we hide them. This is the nature of things we know and things we feel.
Hmm... my kids think I look angry when I'm just thinking hard. But my apologies as I did not understand that you meant subjective knowledge and was thinking more about knowledge like this - viewtopic.php?f=23&t=12354

But I get your gist. The thing is, you make a judgement here between sharing and hiding? When young, kids share their knowledge automatically until they learn to withhold it, why is this not the same process with emotions?
Both. Language is an external communication, but it is intentional. Your thoughts are private unless you share them. Your emotions are not private, unless you are careful to hide them.
But many think in language so its not just an external communication. I do understand what you are saying but I think the difference between us is that you wish a division between thought and emotion whereas I'm of the opinion that a 'thought' has to have the emotions in congruence to be a thought.
Agreed. I think that this may be part of the idea behind panpsychism, that knowledge and memory can be hidden within matter and not be known outside of that matter.
Personally I think panpsychism makes a mockery of the terms "mind', "consciousness", et al but don't really understand what you mean by this, "that knowledge and memory can be hidden within matter and not be known outside of that matter"?
As I stated above, the divisions that I am working with are in fact false. All of the mental aspects influence the other mental aspects, so they are not really divisible. But there is a definable difference in the way that some aspects actually work. This is what I am looking at. Thought and emotion influence each other and are part of each other, but they do not work the same way within us or between us. Awareness seems to be a lesser form of emotion.
You didn't really answer my question, "what feeling or emotion you can have that is not kinesthetic(tactile)?"
Our senses tell us what is going on outside the body, and they dump their information into the CNS. But nerves tell us what is going on with and within the body, not outside. This is the reason that you can have a tumor growing inside you, or a bacterial infection inside you, but be totally unaware of it until you feel pain or discomfort from the nervous system. We have no actual awareness within the body. Now there is awareness linked to the brain, but that awareness comes from mind and we don't actually know where the mind actually is. (chuckle chuckle)
Hmm...nerves are the CNS, the sensors are the CNS. We have a lot of awareness within the body but I accept that we don;t notice many things until the messages are loud and clear, although there may be an argument that we could if we had a language to interpret all the subconscious 'signals'(just guessing here but I have heard it said that people do say things like, 'I just don't feel right', long before a major diagnosis is made).

We do know 'where' the 'mind' is, its the being of a body with senses in an external world. What type of 'mind' appears to depend upon what type of body.
Hormones are very interesting. They are self balancing and work to keep the different internal systems in sync. But they are also very specifically linked to our most important instincts like sex drives, eating, sleeping, nurturing the young, and stages of life and death, so they help us to deal with the outside reality and work to keep us alive in the world. Recently I have begun to think that they also activate consciousness, so they are pretty important.
I agree they are important but only in the sense that they work within a system.
Consider that hormones are communicators and every specie has some form of hormone/s. Every specie does not have a brain. So if one considers that all life is sentient, conscious in some way, then it is more likely that hormones, rather than a brain, is what activates consciousness in life. Also note that the brain is "saturated" in hormones.
Hmm...not sure 'communicators' is the right term, signals may be better or communication method. It may well be the case that hormones are involved in the development of consciousness but without a complicated CNS and the other systems they'll just be a sentient not a consciousness in my opinion.
Maybe so, but I have a very strict rule regarding the study of consciousness, and that is to include other species in my considerations. I have noted that when people do not consider other species and limit their thoughts to human consciousness, the study ends up being a study of the human ego and how that relates to consciousness -- not actual consciousness. So if one is looking for the source of consciousness, this limiting causes one to think that consciousness comes from humans. This ends up circling back to the "God" idea though anthropomorphism.
I don't think there is a 'source' per se, other than just the being of a body with senses in an external world. To get consciousness, i.e. aware you are aware you appear to need something close to this body.
It may well be, but I try to study consciousness objectively. It would be difficult to study the relationship of language and consciousness objectively, when we know so very little about other species' languages. And how could we possibly know if a specie had a sense of self-consciousness and did not have a language to communicate that idea?
The rouge-mirror test appears pretty good. And it appears that complexity of the connections in the CNS may be the reason.

Because I prefer Phenomenology I think the study of the relationship between language and consciousness can be studied in great detail if one wishes, as we are such a being. Now it may not be 'objective' but it could at least be inter-subjective.
That is not a very realistic answer. You seem to be presuming that the cure for this problem is to demand that everyone become a buddhist or zen monk. You have also not offered any reason for the problem of madness associated with isolation to exist in the first place.
No, the cure is to not isolate people but if they are then a solution would be to explain that isolation does not necessarily entail madness, as proven by the zen, buddhist or hermit(although they might buck the trend).
You are side-stepping the issue. What makes us "social animals"?
Many factors I presume, not least our helplessness at birth.
That is not an answer. A real answer would also probably answer the question of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) where babies simply turn off, quit, and die for no apparent reason. We know that bonding has some influence over SIDS, but we don't know what "bonding" actually is, or why it works.
Theres been a few causes put forward, chemicals in the mattresses used in cribs for one, I once heard that breathing appears to have two sides, one is automatic but the other is a 'learned' or trained response, can't remember which way around it was but basically you either learn to breathe in or out. This might explain why nations where babies who sleep with others around appear to have low SIDS as they are always being 'jostled' or 'nudged' or 'disturbed' in some sense and so get 'reminded' to breathe whereas in those countries where the baby is isolated they just forget or haven't 'learned' well enough for it to become autonomic.
This implies that language causes intelligence. It would be interesting to see how you justify that idea.
Sorry to be picky but you'd have to define what you'd accept as 'intelligence' first. But I'll still take a punt, so when one gets language one gets a way of talking to oneself, this gives one a new-self that one can treat as an other then one can have conversations with one's 'self' and bootstrap oneself so to speak.
Good question. I had to think about this for a minute. "Conscious" is a term used by the medical community to denote a state of awareness that includes intentionality. An "unconscious" person does not possess intentionality, and is very dependent upon others to ensure his/her survival, but is also not dead. Many unconscious people in various states of coma have been known to wake up and discuss things that they heard while unconscious, so the medical community has noted that it is important to consider what an unconscious person might hear. This implies that even an unconscious person possesses some awareness/consciousness. Then there are the divisions as explained by Freud regarding the conscious and unconscious aspects of mind.
I think Freudianism as invented by Freud pretty much a fraud, mainly based upon a reading of Jeffrey Masson's book admittedly. I also think the phrase 'unconscious mind' a misnomer as I think it only sub-conscious mind, as an unconsciousness is by definition unknowable in my book so a waste of time trying to know it. I think there a great difference between being unconscious and the idea of an 'unconsciousness'.
Consciousness is awareness and the ability to perceive. All life is sentient; I got this straight from a neurologist. Sentience is the ability to perceive and react to stimuli, so that would imply that all life is aware to some degree.

Self-consciousness is another matter because the definition of "self" must be considered. Are we saying that a self-aware specie is aware of it's body as being distinct from it's surroundings? Or are we saying that it's "mind" is aware of itself as distinct from other minds? Or are we saying that it is aware that it has a mind? I think a person could write two or three threads on this alone.
I would say its a species thats aware its aware, i.e. its running a 'self' somewhere. :)
If you check back, you will find that the above quote is not mine. It is a quote that I copied from another forum that a member there wrote. But if you watched the video, it is interesting. Apparently bacteria can communicate with each other using a chemical that works much like pheromones. The bacteria will grow until they reach a certain mass or ratio, then they will communicate with this chemical and all turn on. This goes a long way in helping us to understand incubation periods for different diseases, but I have no idea of how or why it works. You would do better to ask a scientist, who studies bacteria. Nonetheless, there is communication going on and some way for the bacteria to be aware of their numbers or concentration, so awareness is a distinct possibility.
My apologies. My take would be that its like a computational neural-net, signal are sent back and forth and when a threshold is reached a function is activated in each one that turns them on. What the threshold is I have no idea and whether its 'awareness' would I guess depend upon what one means by awareness? I will try to remember to take a read about this behaviour and see what the biologists say.
This has been a "truth" in philosophy for a very long time, that we can know that we are conscious, but we can not know if someone/thing else is conscious -- I think this is bull.
We were talking about self-consciousness I thought? This is why I request you to clarify your usage. But I agree that we can, in the main, identify other sentient things but only in so far as they relate to how we understand ourselves is my opinion.
When there is an auto accident, we rush the people off in the ambulance so they can be helped, we will even rush animals off to the veterinarian, but does anyone rush the auto off to the mechanic? Do they worry that the fender might hurt? Are they concerned that the tires left half of their tread on the pavement and might feel tender? No. When there is an avalanch, we look for survivors and bodies, but does anyone worry about the rocks? They fell too, so they might be hurt.
In many countries not only would they rush their car to a mechanic they'd eat the animal as well. But I take your point.
Of course these ideas are ridiculous. No one is worried about autos and tires and rocks, because they are not conscious. Only life is conscious and we all know it. This is why we have "Save the Whales" and investigations regarding humane treatment at slaughter houses, and the Humane Society, because we know that life is conscious. Only the degree of consciousness is in question.
And what if self-consciousness is not a matter of degree?
Philosophy is supposed to study reality, but they dropped the ball on this one.
To be honest I think you've misunderstood.
G

PS Spell check is not working all of the time, so if I messed up, I apologize. My eyes are bad and I miss things.
You do fine and despite appearances I do not pick upon those who make spelling mistakes for fun.
p.s.
Sorry to hear about your loss.

Gee
Posts: 373
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Location: Michigan, US

Re: Pure Consciousness?

Post by Gee » Wed May 28, 2014 5:35 am

Greylorn;

Please consider my following responses to your prior post, which is now broken up into two posts.
.
Greylorn Ell wrote:Gee,
I've read this twice, as requested-- thrice, actually-- and find that it pretty much reflects mankind's diverse confusions about the onset, and ultimately the very nature of consciousness. Your opinions on the subject are mostly a mix of conventional ideas from religion and science, gathered up and placed in the same basket,
And yet with three readings, you missed the point. I asked you to read it, think about it, and read it again in the hopes that you could see it from my perspective -- rather than a my-theory-is-better-than-your-theory perspective. The reason that I seem to gather diverse things into the same basket is because I am comparing the different ideas in search of the truth of them. Holistic thinker? Remember?

The truth is that many people see the body as the self, others see the mind as the self, some see the soul as the self, but no one can validate their beliefs with any credibility. So the point of that post was to explore these ideas and point out some of the inconsistencies in these ideas. Also to consider possible alternative ideas that would be in the next post.
Greylorn Ell wrote:E.g: You packed a picnic basket with buns, raw brats, potato salad, and a nice bottle of wine-- but forgot matches for the fire. Worse, no corkscrew! Until you fix that, we'll be dining on potato salad.
Let me be frank, I make a pretty good potato salad and would be happy to eat it. If you can not be relied upon to produce matches and a corkscrew, then why should I share my potato salad with you?
Greylorn Ell wrote:My point is that without a coherent theory which embraces all the available data relating to consciousness, consciousness will not be explained. Worse, people will promote conceptual explanations that are utterly false, even absurd.
And my point is that if people do not take the time to examine the "available data relating to consciousness" for verasity, then they will promote conceptual explanations that are utterly false, even absurd, because they will be basing them on false data. Like the hundreds of theories that we now have.
Greylorn Ell wrote:Put simply, if Beon Theory is even in the ball park of credibility, attempts to explain the mind in terms of physiological brain behavior is like trying to explain the sun via the Periodic Table of Elements and their chemical interactions.

So who is doing that? One can not explain consciousness or mind by "brain behavior", but neither can one ignore the brain. I think of a brain much like I think of a cell phone. The cell phone can bring a friend's voice to me, but at no time do I actually believe my friend is in my cell phone. A corrupted cell phone can bring me nonsense, the wrong person, or even distort my friend's voice. I am just trying to figure out how pushing the buttons gets a specific person. The connection; how does it work? I think it works through chemistry; specifically hormones and pheromones. The little communicators.
Greylorn Ell wrote:Ultimately, if you want to genuinely understand consciousness, master Beon Theory. Yes, my book is a difficult and often annoying read, reflecting the personality of its author. So, are you reading to be cajoled or mollified? Are you reading to validate your own beliefs and theories? If so, you'll hate "Digital Universe-- Analog Soul" if you've not already come to that.
I am reading it to learn. But that does not mean that I will accept everything that I read. I am fairly certain that you understand aspects of consciousness that I do not understand. On the other hand, you do not seem to understand psychology, emotion, or the feminine perspective, and I am seriously concerned about the dichotomy that you seem to see regarding human life and all other life. It seems to ignore evolution, and it smacks of religious ideals.
Greylorn Ell wrote:
Gee wrote: I think it was the Eskimos that thought a child should be introduced to society when it is two years old. This actually makes more sense than any of the prior considerations as a two year old is no longer dependent on it's mother for survival. Although the child is still dependent, the mother and child can be separated, the child can eat, walk, and make it's needs and wants known, so any adult can care for it.
A society living on the ragged edge of survival cannot thrive on bullshit. Aging Eskimos also had the integrity to walk into the cold night and meet their death alone, rather than hinder kinsmen. Shelter, food, and wives were freely shared with strangers. Wonderfully pragmatic people. I'll guess that the real reason for not introducing babies to society was to prevent their exposure to confused personalities, lest they mimic similar traits.

You should clarify that wives were shared with strangers to sleep with for warmth -- not for sex. The corruption of that concept came from men who did not know which "head" they were thinking with. I think your "guess" is nonsense. The Eskimos also believe in reincarnation, which puts a different slant on their ability to meet death alone. I suspect that they understand consciousness more than most.
Greylorn Ell wrote:You have adopted the same understanding of consciousness as that of New Age religionists and those mystics who declare that monkeys, rats, cockroaches, tapeworms, e-coli, Ebola, and even rocks are conscious. Thus you cannot utilize the term "consciousness" to make any kind of a distinction. You are now free to declare anything you want to about consciousness, and be absolutely right.

There is a guy who wrote a book about the Ancient Greeks and theorized that they were not conscious because they did not have a word for consciousness. I think he is an idiot, who has managed to think himself into a circle of nonsense. They had a perfectly good word for consciousness; they called it life. All life is sentient; therefore, it is conscious. So I do not have a "New Age religionist" idea, I have a very old idea. It remains true that life is our only evidence of consciousness. I like evidence.

You have "beon" and a digital universe, Leibniz had "monads", the Ancients had the "elan vital" of Vitalism; Talbot had a "holligraphic universe", panpsychism has knowledge everywhere; and most of these theories, and more, are listed in the SEP (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) under the heading of "Consciousness". I can not make up a name and call it whatever I want, especially since I think that the above noted may all be variations and levels of the same thing. I considered calling it consciousness 1, 2, 3, etc., but don't yet know how many levels there are and where the boundaries are to define them; we will see.
Greylorn Ell wrote:The atoms don't "want" or "need" or "desire" the company of other atoms. However, following normal principles of energy exchange, certain relationships between atoms are more stable than others because the forces between them are more effectively neutralized.

The structure of the material universe is obtained as the result of forces and counterforces, not wants and rejections.

Your thinking is skewed by emotionally charged terms that do not apply to basic physics. Your thinking will be clarified by more conscientious applications of terminology.

Bullshit. You used the word "attraction" above and so does science. Attraction is a word that is also used to explain mating, so it also regards emotion. "Repulsion" is another word that is used in science and also used in describing emotions. A more "conscientious" application of terminology will not "clarify" my thinking, it will limit my thinking. That is the problem.

Science has evolved into so many diverse branches, each with their own terminology, that scientists in different branches can be discussing the same thing, yet talking past one another. This is the reason for the current interest in Philosophy of Science, so that someone can be trained to look at these diverse branches with a neutral perspective. I chose the word "wants" specifically to avoid terminology problems because it is universal and universally understood.

Besides, I am a girl, so I get to say doomathigy, and whatchamacallit.

continued below

Gee
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Re: Pure Consciousness?

Post by Gee » Wed May 28, 2014 6:46 am

continued from above
Greylorn Ell wrote:
Gee wrote: Having the [DNA] design does not mean that we have what was designed. Just like the separate sperm and egg, at this point we only have a potential for a new consciousness.
It is fair to blame men for this notion; why not?
Any woman who has had a baby knows that the baby did not come from DNA. DNA is only a mapping, or instruction, and does not do the work. So it follows that any person who believes that consciousness or humans come from DNA is either a man, or a woman, who has turned off her thinking.
Greylorn Ell wrote:Why would you look to a pop-sci magazine devoted to supporting the principles of a science that has arguably been operable since 1890, when "Principles of Psychology" was published, but in its entire 124 year history has yet to explain human consciousness?
This is a really dumb question. But maybe you're right; which of those much older sciences should I look to that have already explained consciousness? And if it is already explained, by those much older sciences, then what the hell are we doing here?
Greylorn Ell wrote:I believe that your interest in consciousness is the consequence of unexplained paranormal experiences. If so, why pay any attention to a so-called science whose practitioners, for the most part, do not accept the reality of paranormal phenomena?

I should probably look to paranormal-neurology, paranormal-biology, paranormal-chemistry, or paranormal-physics, rather than paranormal-psychology?
Greylorn Ell wrote:Psychologists often manage some interesting experiments, to their credit, even if they fail to make much of the data. Nonetheless, I've participated in the early childhood raising of four children and have yet to observe any problems with the separation of a kid from its mother. True, they like having someone around, but I served just as well. My tricks were knowing how to warm a bottle of baby formula and change a diaper. Except for those tricks, I suspect that a large and friendly retriever would have served just fine.
There is a great deal that you have not observed or seem unaware of. If you have been around little ones, then you know that they use play to practice skills and to learn -- as we all do. Think about the game of Peek-a-Boo. When did they start to find it interesting and fun? When did they get bored and stop playing it? Peek-a-Boo is a study of space and time; it teaches the child that things can still exist when they are not seen. But children do not play this game with objects, they play it with people. Babies start to find this game interesting around 6 months, as that is the time that they start to realize that they are alone, singular, unattached. They continue to play it until around 2 years, when they become comfortable with the idea that out of sight does not mean gone. This is probably some of the best evidence of the "separation anxiety".
Greylorn Ell wrote:Beon Theory employs a different model. The brain is autonomous but not conscious, although it can mimic rather well to non-observant observers. Consciousness is a property of beon, only. The brain's job is to feed beon with sensory data until it acquires consciousness, which it can only do on its own. Consciousness typically arrives in fits and starts, gradually. A person might be intensely self-aware one moment, yet oblivious the next, even as an adult. It is shut down for sleep, at considerable energy cost to the brain.

During a person's formative years, beon is pretty much along for the ride. It typically thinks for itself, outside the brain's programming, only in subjects for which the brain has not previously been programmed. Watching my offspring grow, consciousness made brief appearances around the age of two, showing up now and then with increasing frequency as they grew.

I believe strongly that their success came from their parents' focus upon the expression of consciousness, an absence of judgment with respect to grades and other measures of performance, exposure to diverse ideas and information, and the restriction of conventional societal programming for as long as possible. I don't think that they were more conscious than their peers, but were conscious of more things, and unafraid to express their ideas.
I do not yet understand beon theory, but have some impressions regarding the above.

1. There seems to be a mixing of focus, awareness, and intelligence in your concepts of consciousness that I do not fully understand.
2. Consciousness seems to be more of a function than a thing in your interpretation.
3. Your idea that only beon is conscious, precludes other life from being conscious, yet other life possesses focus, awareness, and intelligence.
4. How can other life be sentient and not conscious?
5. What makes life different from nonlife?
Greylorn Ell wrote:
Gee wrote: 1. When a human is born, their mind/brain is not a blank slate waiting to be written upon. It is already full of knowledge and understandings. One could almost consider it like a dos (disc operating system) already installed and waiting to be used. If anyone disagrees with this, please consider:

Innate ideas from Wiki: http://en.wikipedia....iki/Innate_idea
Here's a different opinion. There is nothing in a newborn that resembles even a marginally functional "mind." The thalamus and hypothalamus are already programmed with all the instincts and sensory functions they are likely to need, although certain of these programs await hormonal activation. The cortical brain is mostly a blank slate, programmed primarily with curiosity, from which learning follows.

The state of beon is anyone's guess. If this life is its first time around, it is the quintessential blank slate and will spend its first lifetime with an I.Q. of maybe 80, if its brain is good and its parents reasonably intelligent. At other extremes, consider Mozart, who apparently composed his first piano concerto around age 3. Einstein was starting to talk around that age, according to stories, and was allegedly a mediocre student. His extraordinary mind seemed to lend itself best to extraordinary problems. First time around for those guys? Or for Marie Curie? I do not think so.
Again you are equating consciousness with intelligence. You think they are related? How? Clearly you see reincarnation as advancing the beon, but you also see the beon as being advanced by the brain through sensory input. So why is beon only attached to human brains? Other species have brains, so why don't they also have beons? Is it because you believe that only humans reincarnate? If so, please explain why this is so, because it looks like human arrogance or religious training to me. If humans reincarnate and have a beon, then other life that has a brain would also reincarnate and have a beon. Or there is a reason why they don't.
Greylorn Ell wrote:
Gee wrote: 2. When a human is born, they already have a personality. If you talk to someone who works in a nursery, they can tell you that some infants are agressive and dominating, some are shy and quiet, some are flirtatious and charming, some are quiet and curious--they already have distinct personalities. Just like a litter of pups or kittens, if you study them a while, you will note different personalities from birth. Where do these personalities come from?
They are properties of brains. Brains are set up by DNA, probably by some of the 98% of a DNA molecule that our glut of ordinary scientists label "junk DNA," simply because they haven't figured it out yet. (Refer to my earlier tale of the physicist who declared that we knew everything about physics that there was to know, before Einstein.)

Personalities are just programs run by the brain. Cat brain, rat brain, cockroach brain, human brain-- all the same, except that better brains can run more programs.
Is this theory or fact? Where can I get information to validate this? Does beon have no input as to personality? Does a reincarnated beon have no input as to personality from the previous life?
Greylorn Ell wrote:
Gee wrote: 3. Either this knowledge, understanding and personality are in the egg/sperm, or it develops. I don't think that many of us believe that eggs and sperm have personalities, so most of us suspect that these things develop or emerge. So what do they develop from, or what do they emerge from? If I am wrong, and it has been noted or theorized or proven that eggs and/or sperm have knowledge, understanding, and personalities, please let me know.

Most people will assume that these mental aspects come from DNA. Sounds good, but it is not true. DNA is no more than an instruction or mapping of what needs to be grown, it does not supply the building materials. A map of a city does not a city make. So DNA is more of an influence, and not even a very stable influence as it can be perverted or corrupted rather easily by chemistry.

For example, see Thalidimide: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thalidomide
As I've noted in my book, and as others have pointed out, DNA cannot do anything by itself. It consists of symbolic code that must be interpreted by mechanisms within the cell. Cells control the gathering and assembly of the chemicals needed to keep themselves working and to grow new cells.

An influence does not need to be stable to be an influence. Moreover, stability exists at the expense of flexibility. Non-bland human personalities change as a function of chemistry. They are designed that way. The brain of a peaceful farmer that cannot become aggressive, angry, and deadly violent in the face of threats to self and family is unlikely to belong to a long line of peaceful farmers and their families.

Inasmuch as personality is a function of an electrochemical machine, how could it not be affected by chemicals that modify the machine's behavior?
Agreed. When most people think of hormones, they think of the endocrine system, but hormones are at every level of the body and even produced by cells. Hormones can also produce other hormones. Did you know that hormones can turn off and on different features of DNA? Since hormones can cause emotion and emotion can cause the production of hormones, and hormones can produce other hormones, and hormones can affect DNA, then emotion may be able to indirectly affect DNA. This would be something like mind over matter?
Greylorn Ell wrote:
Gee wrote: The building materials actually come from Mom, and her circumstance can seriously influence the development of baby. This has been well studied. Mom's intake of food, vitamins (or lack of), her emotional and mental state, and her environment all contribute to and influence the health, development, and well being of baby. Since we know that Mom provides the building blocks of what will be baby, why do we assume that she provides the physical building blocks, but not the mental? And that is what this is, assumption, as there is absolutely no evidence that she provides only the physical body of the infant. Why do we assume this? Is it because we believe that "God" provides the soul? I think so, because there is no other reason that makes any sense.
Under the conventional belief system, your argument is irrefutable. It could not be otherwise.

But there's good old Beon Theory (well, only a half-century old, and who knows if it's any good?) declaring that consciousness is the sole property of a non-biological entity, tightly integrated with the human brain-body system-- so tightly that its existence commonly lies hidden in physiology. Mom need not and cannot contribute her consciousness. She is not like the originally omnipotent New Agers' God who split himself up into the gaggle of nitwit souls of mankind. She gets to keep her mind, and in raising offspring she will surely need every bit of it.
I never stated that Mom contributed "her consciousness", just like she does not contribute her kidneys or her lungs. What I said is that she provides the basic building blocks, both physical and mental, so where does she get the "building blocks" for the mental?
Greylorn Ell wrote:
Gee wrote: And we know that Mom's mental state and emotional health can influence baby, and baby's development. We also know that an emotional shock or trauma can actually cause a miscarriage, so emotion is definitely an influence. We also know that emotion is linked to chemistry in the body.
Yes. The disposition of the family dog will influence baby. Likewise the personalities of siblings and the kinds of radio or TV programs running in the background. Likewise traffic noise, low flying aircraft, police sirens, and loud arguments from the adjacent apartment. So what?

Babies can listen, and they can sense the emotions and desires of others.
You have a lot of things affecting babies here; sounds like New Age stuff. Would you like to provide links to verify these?
Greylorn Ell wrote:
Gee wrote: So let us throw out the assumptions and consider alternatives. We know that Mom provides the physical building blocks, but she does not deplete her body while accomplishing this because she eats to maintain the nutrients for both mother and child. If she also provides the mental building blocks, how does she not deplete her own mental resources? Well, there would have to be a way to intake mental resources. How could she manage that? With hormones. All pregnant women, as a matter or fact, all reproducing females of all species, are loaded with hormones. If you review the Post on Emotion, Re: The Paranormal, dated 5/4/2014 a few pages back in this thread, you will see that there seems to be a drawing or activating effect of consciousness which is produced by hormones.
The real assumption that is the wart on the ass of consciousness studies is the notion that consciousness is a function of the brain, and its associated chemical control system. Why not throw out that assumption?

It would be nice if YOU would throw out that assumption. Apparently, you think that hormones are the "associated chemical control system" of the brain. Nonsense. Do I need to talk . . real . . slow? Hormones are in ALL life. Brains are NOT in all life. Hormones came BEFORE the brain. Hormones are NOT dependent upon a brain. A brain IS dependent upon hormones. Since hormones exist at the cellular level, it is much more likely that hormones initiated the development of brain, than it is that brain initiated development of hormones. See the difference?
Greylorn Ell wrote:
Gee wrote: So if reincarnation can happen; if an old soul a new soul or a Beon can initiate the development of mind, I expect that hormones are part of the mechanism that allows it to happen.
Of course, but isn't that pretty much a no-brainer? By both my theories and conventional theories, the brain is essential to the manifestation of consciousness, probably to its development as well.

Not really because everyone seems to be missing my point, which is that no brain is required for consciousness to exist. I will grant that a brain is probably required for "mind" to exist, but there is a great deal of sentient life that has no brain. Dandelions, daffodils, and trees are sentient life, but have no brain. They do, however, have hormones, although we use a different name in plant life.

You keep saying that your ideas are not conventional, but to me they are just like everyone else's. You go from the Universe (God) to the brain (man) and skip everything in between, and think that you have solved something. Even Darwin's Theory of Evolution did this; as long as we can attribute the beginning of life to "God", then Darwin's theory explains how it evolves.

I am looking for the source of life, the source of sentience, which is consciousness in it's simplest known form. I think hormones are the key to understanding it.

G

jackles
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Re: Pure Consciousness?

Post by jackles » Wed May 28, 2014 6:13 pm

think your on track g the illusion is loosing its grip

madera
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Re: Pure Consciousness?

Post by madera » Thu May 29, 2014 3:36 am

Gee wrote:While reading a thread in another forum, I saw the words "pure consciousness". Is there such a thing as "pure" consciousness? If there is such a thing, then what is impure consciousness? What does consciousness mix with that makes it impure? The obvious answer is that consciousness mixes with matter and makes us, but this answer mirrors Christianity and reeks of religion. (Pure consciousness (God) mixes with matter (us) for the purpose of creating life for the following reasons--fill in the specific religion's theories.) Or maybe that is not what he meant, as the thread was not about religion. So is this about gradations and degrees of consciousness? as exhibited by other species? What makes consciousness more or less, pure or impure?

How can there be degrees and levels of consciousness and awareness? I don't know, but believe that there are. Look at dogs and cats; both are mammals; they are similar; they are house pets; and they are loved by their owners. But they are very different in their consciousness. My dog will look me in the eyes and try to read my moods. If I am sad, he will sit quietly beside me; if happy, he will jump around and play; if angry at him, he will whimper; but if angry at another, he will jump to my side, bark, and help me to defend myself. Man's best friend. My cat is totally different. She does not look into my eyes, she looks at me; her eyes turn black when she stalks me in play; she blinks at me to show that she has forgiven me, and we can be friends again; she closes her eyes to show trust in me; but if I died, she would be more likely to wait and see if anything twitched so that she could attack it, than whimper in remorse. Cats are aloof. So although these animals are similar, they are very different in aspects of consciousness regarding emotion, empathy, thought, and awareness.

We have named many different types of energy, different types of force, even different kinds of light. We know that there are different kinds of chemicals, and matter, and life--so why does consciousness have to be one "pure" thing? I suspect that this concept is a holdover from religion. If consciousness were pure, and only one thing, how would it do anything? How could it "happen"? Where would the action come from? There must be something that it reacts to or balances with or bounces off of or mixes with, else nothing would happen. We are either talking magic, or God, or maybe consciousness could have more than one component in itself.

What if we look at this another way. What if we consider that consciousness is not, and can not, be pure? That instead, consciousness is a mixture of mental aspects that cause life. I don't think that this is such a huge stretch. Consider that consciousness and life are very closely related--actually, life is our only real indication of consciousness. Whenever we try to purify life, we end up killing it. We even have a name for this phenomenon--we call it sterilizing. When we purify life, we sterilize it, which kills it. Life and purity do not make good bedfellows, so why would we assume that consciousness and purity do? I can not think of anytime in nature or history where purity and life were compatible, but I can think of many instances where purity and life were and are incompatible. We have learned not to wreck our ecosystems--as neatening them up and disposing of the less savory aspects does not work. Historically, purifying races and cultures tends to lead to stagnation, whereas culture clashes tend to lead to growth. I don't think that it is a wicked sense of humor that pits men and women against each other in the ongoing "Battle of the Sexes", and suspect that this is a struggle which is necessary for life and growth. Diversity, chaos, and struggle seem to be more congruent with life than purity is--can the same be said for consciousness?. I think that purity is an ideal. So to say that something that we can not see, hear, touch, or understand is pure, is idealism and probably illusion.

Is it possible that there is more than one type of mental aspect that causes consciousness? Maybe two or three? I suspect that there are at least two different types of raw consciousness. When I say raw consciousness, I am considering the theory of consciousness known as panpsychism and see it as something that is pre-life. The problem with panpsychism is that it does not differentiate between life and non-life, so I think that it is only a part of an explanation for consciousness.

Of course, we don't have to take that path, we can instead agree that pure consciousness is all that there is--we can take the view of the solipsist. But I have problems with that path, probably because I am not narcissistic enough to believe it. Then there is the "dream" reality, where nothing that we believe is real, is actually real. But again, this does not answer my questions of how and why. Why would there be a dream reality? What is it's purpose? What would our personal dreams be? Dreaming of dreams? And how could we dream of things that don't really exist? Where would the ideas come from? Where is the cause and effect? It seems that we would need a great illusionist to pull off this kind of dreaming, and who would that be? I think that the illusionist would have to be God--and we are back to religion.

Anyway, this is what I think. I know as much about science as dolphins know about climbing trees, so I am not trying to present a theory of consciousness--just speculating. Wondering how things are possible, and what would be reasonably likely. I could very well be wrong, but seriously doubt that consciousness can be pure.

Gee
Pure consciousness comes from loving the truth but, many do not want the truth and settle for feeding the ego.

Gee
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Re: Pure Consciousness?

Post by Gee » Sat May 31, 2014 4:00 pm

Greylorn;

One of the statements you made keeps circling around in my mind, and the more I think about it, the more I like it. You stated that we trick the mind into thinking that it is conscious (not your exact words). Although I would not have put it that way, I think it is essentially an accurate statement. We generally think of the conscious rational mind, the aspect that Freud named the Ego, as the me or self, but I doubt that it is. The self is much deeper and has to be part of the sub/unconscious Super Ego, which would be closer to what I think you mean by beon. But I also suspect that there are more levels than just beon and rational mind because I include other species in my considerations.

I have been struggling with the divisions of mind, consciousness, body, etc., for some time now, and you are one of the few people, who can even comprehend the possibility, that what we call consciousness works through cause and effect, which causes aspects and divisions. Even though we do not agree on all of the divisions, you are very important because I can, at least, discuss these divisions with you.

After reading Madera's post, I realized that it is a good example to use for study of the focus, awareness, and intelligence aspects of consciousness that we were discussing.
madera wrote: Pure consciousness comes from loving the truth but, many do not want the truth and settle for feeding the ego.
The most notable thing about Madera's post is that it is almost a duplicate of Sarah's that was posted just a few days ago. They both copied my entire original post and then put a one liner type comment below it. This has been done more than a few times, and I generally find it irritating. In these cases when someone feels the need to post without first reading the thread, they inevitably state something that they believe to be profound, but don't realize that it has already been stated ad nauseum.

Madera's mind was clearly focused on the OP and his/her opinion of that OP to the exclusion of other considerations. Madera did not consider that this may have already been done; did not consider that readers would have to scroll through 10 or so inches of previously read information; and did not consider that I might already know what I wrote. It would have been easier to just write, "My opinion on your original post is . . . ".

You and I seem to agree that focus is related to matter. You see it as coming from the brain; I see matter as being necessary for focus to even exist. This focus would be produced by the rational aspect of mind, the one that we direct, that works with the senses, is logical and rational, and we are aware of it consciously. Focus comes from the brain.

The next point is awareness, and I think that we have some differences here. Madera was aware of posting, it was an intentional act, it was focused; there is no disagreement here, but Madera was not aware of what other members might find inconsiderate. So if another poster was more considerate of the readers and shortened, or referred to, the OP instead of copying it all, where did that consideration come from?

We do not focus on consideration, it occurs to us -- we become aware of it. It is not something that we consciously direct unless there is some manipulation or maybe we are trying to sell something. Consideration can be learned through training, which would imply that it is part of learning, the rational mind. But it is also part of experience, and some people seem to be born with more consideration, and it is part of their personality, so it would not be learned, it would be what we call innate. It comes to us from our experiences or personality? Would this be from beon or the sub/unconscious aspect of mind?

Although we can focus our awareness, and aspects of it can be learned and controlled, it appears that it is something that comes to the rational mind, rather than from the rational mind. Since a higher awareness seems to be related to experience, I would think that people who possess a higher awareness in their personalities, would be people who have incarnated and brought that awareness with them at the beon or sub/unconscious level.

The next point is intelligence. Madera did not post enough for anyone to gauge his/her intelligence. Although it should be noted that Madera also did not post any logic, reasoning, evidence, or facts to support the opinion, so it appears that Madera expects people to simply accept what was stated because it was stated. This implies that Madera would accept something just because it was stated and does not speak well of his/her ability to think; and therefore, his/her intelligence.

To me, that is what intelligence is, the ability to think. I don't honestly believe that thinking goes on at the beon or sub/unconscious level. I believe that thinking is part of the processing of the rational mind. On the other hand, we can only think about things that we are aware of, and awareness is at the beon or sub/unconscious level, so I see intelligence as requiring both. A computer might seem to be very intelligent, but it can only process the data that has been input into the machine, so I can see why you equate higher intelligence with more incarnations because there would be more awareness.

But as we discussed in a PM, I don't divide intelligence the same way most people do. I have serious doubts about the validity of IQ testing and see it as a test of learning ability, a test of logic, a test of speed, but not necessarily an accurate assessment of smartness. It does not test a person's ability to function in life, or to have wisdom, or to be happy. Intelligence, as measured, is over rated, I think because it only tests awareness of some kinds of things. It is also heavily dependent on emotional testing ability (some people freeze up on tests), vision, reading ability, and experience with that type of work.

Discussing the divisions of beon, brain, and universe; the divisions as explained by psychology; and even the divisions as explained by Eastern religions; and comparing our ideas, would help me to determine some of the causes and effects of consciousness. So tell me what you think of the above.

G


Arising;

I copied your post into my computer and am working on it. There are some things I would like to check, and I like to think about post also. Will post my response soon.

madera
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Re: Pure Consciousness?

Post by madera » Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:58 am

Ginkgo wrote:I think you have covered a fair bit here. When you talk about types of consciousness you seems to be hinting at, the 'hard problem' of consciousness and the 'easy problem' of consciousness as articulated by people such as David Chalmers. I get this idea from your account of considering different types consciousness. People such as Daniel Dennett would of course deny there is any 'hard problem' and say that consciousness is adequately covered in the easy part of Chalmers explanation.

The easy problem of consciousness is basically the idea that we have the ability to discriminate and categorize by attending to a stimuli. We can articulate a deliberate response on the basis of a stimuli. This sort of consciousness is sometimes said to be exhibited in the working of a sophisticated robot.

The 'hard problem' of consciousness can be simply summed as as 'experience' or why do we have experience. Chalmers expresses the 'hard problem' in terms of, "What it is like" . In other words, human experience as a unique subjective quality about it that cannot be accounted for in terms of the 'easy problem'.

I am not sure if this is what you are getting at in terms of, "types of consciousness".

As far as 'pure consciousness' is concerned I think this is more of a tradition in Eastern philosophy. I don't think we find much of it Western thinking.


Ginkgo
No it is not more of a tradition in Eastern philosophy alone.
Becoming aware of each individual thought is being conscious.
Anything that we are aware of at a given moment forms part of our consciousness.
Awareness is the key.

Ginkgo
Posts: 2525
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:47 pm

Re: Pure Consciousness?

Post by Ginkgo » Sun Jun 01, 2014 11:24 am

madera wrote:
Ginkgo wrote:I think you have covered a fair bit here. When you talk about types of consciousness you seems to be hinting at, the 'hard problem' of consciousness and the 'easy problem' of consciousness as articulated by people such as David Chalmers. I get this idea from your account of considering different types consciousness. People such as Daniel Dennett would of course deny there is any 'hard problem' and say that consciousness is adequately covered in the easy part of Chalmers explanation.

The easy problem of consciousness is basically the idea that we have the ability to discriminate and categorize by attending to a stimuli. We can articulate a deliberate response on the basis of a stimuli. This sort of consciousness is sometimes said to be exhibited in the working of a sophisticated robot.

The 'hard problem' of consciousness can be simply summed as as 'experience' or why do we have experience. Chalmers expresses the 'hard problem' in terms of, "What it is like" . In other words, human experience as a unique subjective quality about it that cannot be accounted for in terms of the 'easy problem'.

I am not sure if this is what you are getting at in terms of, "types of consciousness".

As far as 'pure consciousness' is concerned I think this is more of a tradition in Eastern philosophy. I don't think we find much of it Western thinking.


Ginkgo
No it is not more of a tradition in Eastern philosophy alone.
Becoming aware of each individual thought is being conscious.
Anything that we are aware of at a given moment forms part of our consciousness.
Awareness is the key.
Thanks for picking up that point, it lacked precision. What I should have said is that when it comes to physics and neurophilosophy there is no such things as pure consciousness.

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