We are slaves to our minds. Nature of the soul.
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
10-08-2012, 09:05 PM
RE: We are slaves to our minds. Nature of the soul.
(10-08-2012 08:39 PM)DLJ Wrote:  
(10-08-2012 07:07 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  God must be speaking to my soul because not 30 minutes before I read this post, I finished watching a doc that Johnny Cantor turned me onto about this very issue:

When do we become self-aware?
Where is our self-awareness reside?
Can it reside outside out bodies?

There was a bunch of good science-y stuff in it, but two experiments stood out for me.

1. The dude with a funny accent puts on a cyber helmet thingy with two small TVs right in front of his eyes. Three feet behind him are two cameras that mimic our own binocular vision. So he is essentially watching the back of his head. Meanwhile, the experimenter with the funnier accent uses 1 hand to tap the dude on the chest and uses the other hand to tap just below the cameras, at chest level. The dude totally lost his orientation and felt like he was out of his body. Then the experimenter wore the cameras and interacted with the dude in such a way as the dude felt like he was in the experimenter's body. It was mind blowing, as it were. I would totally like to experience that. Watch it, it's amazing. The experiment starts at the 29:47mark.

2. The dude with the funny accent does some sort of test where he has to make a choice between two options while his head was in some sort of MRI machine. I'm a little fuzzy on the details because I was driving while I was watching...er...listening to the program. Anyway, the experimenter (I can't remember if he had a funny accent or not) was able to predict what choices the dude was going to make a full 6 seconds before the dude actually made the choice. Again, mind blowing. This suggests that there is some part of our mind that is deciding things even before we are conscious of making the choice. The possible implication is that we are indeed, in a sense, slaves to our minds. Bizzaro to the max!
Anyway, if you don't want to watch the whole thing, the experiment is at the 50:26 mark.

And this has probably already been thoroughly discussed in the Elegant Nature of Science Thread and in the Subconscious: Fact or Fiction Thread, but it's all brand new to me and very exciting.

Thanks, Doc HoC!

So you have had your consciousness raised.... cool.

It makes me conscious of how lucky I was to be raised by/with BBC2. Dangit I miss proper television!

Notable line of monologue: How does it [consciousness] all happen? There is an obvious place to start looking [edgy, sciencey music, long enough for one to think of an answer]... the brain.

Hmmmm... maybe obvious to Horizon-watchers but not to many people I know.

I agree... Thanks Bemore, HoC and others who have pointed me to stuff like this.

So you didn't mind the funny accent?Blink

"All that is necessary for the triumph of Calvinism is that good Atheists do nothing." ~Eric Oh My
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
10-08-2012, 09:13 PM
RE: We are slaves to our minds. Nature of the soul.
Many years ago, when I was probably a teenager (so details are fuzzy, although the major points are clearer) there was a man in my town who was nice, friendly, and an all-around good guy. He started becoming violent, agitated easily, and his wife discovered he had a bit too much of an attachment to boys and girls (pictures/staring types of things), and he kept on complaining of horrible headaches. He had a brain tumour. They removed it. He was then again a nice, friendly, and all-around good guy. He started being a bit irritated easily, back to the kid thing, and headaches--he had ANOTHER brain tumour in the same spot (sadly he died from it if I remember right--because his work fired him for his return to being confrontational/etc, so he lost his insurance).

I had a classmate when I was in.... eighth grade I believe.... who had a brain tumour. He was a total jerk before, he made himself look like an angel after given how much worse he was after it was removed. His food tastes changed, his academic abilities changed (A student to barely passing, science/math love to only wanting to work on cars--like "instantly").

It was the start of me thinking/doubting the idea of people being independent of their self (i.e. no soul, actions are just products of chemical and electrical signals which we have little to no control over).

Even in psychology classes there's the neat test of putting a lifelike hand on the table with your hand under the table--stroke the fake hand and your hand at the same time, and your brain associates the fake hand as yours--then of course you slam the fake hand with a hammer. I find it all very interesting. Although I also notice that when driving (forklift more than anything else, or smaller "see all around" types of things) I notice that I "feel" things like my brain connects the machine to me, making "me" be the machine as well. Like when in a forktruck, I feel like I'm lifting things with my feet, and even think "ow" if I bump into something (like a pallet). Although it makes it easier to drive, as I know where "I" am at all times lol.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes elemts's post
10-08-2012, 09:23 PM
RE: We are slaves to our minds. Nature of the soul.
(10-08-2012 07:33 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(10-08-2012 07:07 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  When do we become self-aware?

More interesting to me is why we feel compelled to be self-aware at all? What's up with that?

Only organisms which have locomotion have brains. There is something about the usefulness of coordinating motion, (muscles etc), that produces "it", as a super-structure/function.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein Certified Ancient Astronaut Theorist
Political skeptic .. if there is a bad reason something bad might have happened, you can bet your ass, that's why it happened.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Bucky Ball's post
10-08-2012, 10:00 PM
RE: We are slaves to our minds. Nature of the soul.
(10-08-2012 09:05 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  
(10-08-2012 08:39 PM)DLJ Wrote:  So you have had your consciousness raised.... cool.

It makes me conscious of how lucky I was to be raised by/with BBC2. Dangit I miss proper television!

Notable line of monologue: How does it [consciousness] all happen? There is an obvious place to start looking [edgy, sciencey music, long enough for one to think of an answer]... the brain.

Hmmmm... maybe obvious to Horizon-watchers but not to many people I know.

I agree... Thanks Bemore, HoC and others who have pointed me to stuff like this.

So you didn't mind the funny accent?Blink

What funny accent?

The guy on the Athene vid with the Carl Sagan accent?

Scientists have to have that accent or they are not real scientists.

Mathematicians have no accent cos the are British.

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes DLJ's post
11-08-2012, 03:26 PM
RE: We are slaves to our minds. Nature of the soul.
When my brain takes over and acts upon instincts, I'm grateful. I totally wouldn't be able to close my eye in time and that mote, fly, wasp, or splinter would plunge right into my eyeball. But how does this disprove the soul?

With advancement of science, God packed his suitcases and moved from the sky or atmosphere to the outer space and once more again, to some other dimensions. Similarly I prefer to think of the soul as something external to the personality.

I prefer to think of the soul as a lightbulb and the personality itself as a series of lampshades, that veil and color the original light with their qualities or lacks of quality. Obviously, the last one determines the resulting light, that would be the condition of physical body and brain. A change on the brain level will determine the overall outer behavior, but it seems to me that's not the whole point.
The light of the soul is originally rather impersonal and very little remains of it at the end, most of people don't show much enlightenment and genius and even if yes then not always.
The lampshades are autonomous personality parts and are capable of living by themselves for themselves, quite happily. It takes a great effort to discover the light of the soul and discipline the personality that it would let it shine through more and more often, with lesser distortion.

I think of the soul as something genuinely authentic, an experience incomparable to the daily ego that we are. Our ego, as I experienced, is an artificial instrument that we think it's us. Ego covers and integrates the ugly clockwork of biology and neurology, but it also lies to cover whatever is unpleasant. Sometimes ego is exposed as a lie and that's a very unpleasant experience. Ego will try to reform itself, from a proud liar to a deeply humbled self-demeaning liar. Yet, we really need it and the soul needs it as its only means of expressing itself on material level, when it actually works.

As I experienced, the soul is a different, higher part of personality. I believe human development of consciousness begins with growing ego, then becoming aware of the higher self, the soul. This is a period where a person can see both, the beautiful light of the soul and the imperfections of ego. Many fanatical mystics go through this disillusionment and renounce impractically all the worldly things. Judging and renouncing things is again a chameleonic response of ego, not soul. The correct response is however to identify with the soul and to discipline the ego as an instrument of the soul, behaving according to its will. Being your best self, basically. And that actually requires quite a powerful ego, for some feats.

The problem with this philosophy is, that one lifetime is not enough to go through these phases. It requires many lifetimes and some people go through some phases in some of their lives. Many phases take many lifetimes, so with masses of people there appears to be almost no progress, save for some individuals. Of course, even advanced individuals may re-capitulate the previous phases in their life, which takes longer or shorter time. Sometimes even a half of the life or so. This is one of reasons why I must include reincarnation into my philosophy, but that would be another story.

(serious talk ahead)
I guess I just want to say, if you want to search for the soul scientifically, not just study the proverbial lampshades, you need to study exceptional individuals. People who really let the light of the soul shine through, who rise above others with their charisma, geniality, creativity, intuition, charity, power, self-discipline, talents and so on, and probably a lack of too many vices, quirks and idiosyncrasies. Their brain activity should show a different pattern, not this self-serving life of ego but specific brain centers responding to stimuli of the soul.

It should be also noteworthy to study people's experiences of the soul in direct contact. This experience is pretty much like a typical NDE, just without visions and without Jesus. This omni-benevolent loving and understanding wise presence in your mind, that understands you totally and gradually merges with you, for a time. (and there are no religious notions unless you throw them in) That's in a sharp contrast in how we normally exist as a mere ego. I have seen this influence, of course among religious folks but also in literature. Writers apparently like to include this influence in their books as a part of plot. Maybe I should contact Greg Bear and ask him about this passage in his sci-fi novel Darwin's Radio.

At the very least, this is a real psychologic phenomenon and a profound influence in some people's lives, including mine. I'd like to see your opinions on this and maybe you can point me at some literature. Maybe someone already studied it.

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
11-08-2012, 03:31 PM
RE: We are slaves to our minds. Nature of the soul.
(11-08-2012 03:26 PM)Luminon Wrote:  When my brain takes over and acts upon instincts, I'm grateful. I totally wouldn't be able to close my eye in time and that mote, fly, wasp, or splinter would plunge right into my eyeball. But how does this disprove the soul?

With advancement of science, God packed his suitcases and moved from the sky or atmosphere to the outer space and once more again, to some other dimensions. Similarly I prefer to think of the soul as something external to the personality.

I prefer to think of the soul as a lightbulb and the personality itself as a series of lampshades, that veil and color the original light with their qualities or lacks of quality. Obviously, the last one determines the resulting light, that would be the condition of physical body and brain. A change on the brain level will determine the overall outer behavior, but it seems to me that's not the whole point.
The light of the soul is originally rather impersonal and very little remains of it at the end, most of people don't show much enlightenment and genius and even if yes then not always.
The lampshades are autonomous personality parts and are capable of living by themselves for themselves, quite happily. It takes a great effort to discover the light of the soul and discipline the personality that it would let it shine through more and more often, with lesser distortion.

I think of the soul as something genuinely authentic, an experience incomparable to the daily ego that we are. Our ego, as I experienced, is an artificial instrument that we think it's us. Ego covers and integrates the ugly clockwork of biology and neurology, but it also lies to cover whatever is unpleasant. Sometimes ego is exposed as a lie and that's a very unpleasant experience. Ego will try to reform itself, from a proud liar to a deeply humbled self-demeaning liar. Yet, we really need it and the soul needs it as its only means of expressing itself on material level, when it actually works.

As I experienced, the soul is a different, higher part of personality. I believe human development of consciousness begins with growing ego, then becoming aware of the higher self, the soul. This is a period where a person can see both, the beautiful light of the soul and the imperfections of ego. Many fanatical mystics go through this disillusionment and renounce impractically all the worldly things. Judging and renouncing things is again a chameleonic response of ego, not soul. The correct response is however to identify with the soul and to discipline the ego as an instrument of the soul, behaving according to its will. Being your best self, basically. And that actually requires quite a powerful ego, for some feats.

The problem with this philosophy is, that one lifetime is not enough to go through these phases. It requires many lifetimes and some people go through some phases in some of their lives. Many phases take many lifetimes, so with masses of people there appears to be almost no progress, save for some individuals. Of course, even advanced individuals may re-capitulate the previous phases in their life, which takes longer or shorter time. Sometimes even a half of the life or so. This is one of reasons why I must include reincarnation into my philosophy, but that would be another story.

(serious talk ahead)
I guess I just want to say, if you want to search for the soul scientifically, not just study the proverbial lampshades, you need to study exceptional individuals. People who really let the light of the soul shine through, who rise above others with their charisma, geniality, creativity, intuition, charity, power, self-discipline, talents and so on, and probably a lack of too many vices, quirks and idiosyncrasies. Their brain activity should show a different pattern, not this self-serving life of ego but specific brain centers responding to stimuli of the soul.

It should be also noteworthy to study people's experiences of the soul in direct contact. This experience is pretty much like a typical NDE, just without visions and without Jesus. This omni-benevolent loving and understanding wise presence in your mind, that understands you totally and gradually merges with you, for a time. (and there are no religious notions unless you throw them in) That's in a sharp contrast in how we normally exist as a mere ego. I have seen this influence, of course among religious folks but also in literature. Writers apparently like to include this influence in their books as a part of plot. Maybe I should contact Greg Bear and ask him about this passage in his sci-fi novel Darwin's Radio.

At the very least, this is a real psychologic phenomenon and a profound influence in some people's lives, including mine. I'd like to see your opinions on this and maybe you can point me at some literature. Maybe someone already studied it.

Before we can study the soul, we will have to show that it exists.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
[Image: flagstiny%206.gif]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
11-08-2012, 04:03 PM (This post was last modified: 11-08-2012 04:11 PM by Luminon.)
RE: We are slaves to our minds. Nature of the soul.
(11-08-2012 03:31 PM)Chas Wrote:  Before we can study the soul, we will have to show that it exists.
Please, Chas. I don't want to sound patronizing or anything, you're the more intelligent and experienced here. But you frustrate me. I want to praise the interested and creative thinking. And maybe show it to you as an example.
What if first we need go get curious if the soul exists? You don't seem to be curious at all. If you were, you'd read the last two paragraphs and think about the experiences and psychologic phenomenon that I describe. Then you'd write something like,
- you never heard of it nor experienced it or
- it might have such and such such scientific explanation or
- there is already such and such research on something that might be it.

Too bad there is no God, I'd so want to say God save us from uncurious people Undecided

Albert Einstein said, "I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious."
Is there anything you are passionately curious about?

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
11-08-2012, 06:05 PM
RE: We are slaves to our minds. Nature of the soul.
(11-08-2012 04:03 PM)Luminon Wrote:  
(11-08-2012 03:31 PM)Chas Wrote:  Before we can study the soul, we will have to show that it exists.
Please, Chas. I don't want to sound patronizing or anything, you're the more intelligent and experienced here. But you frustrate me. I want to praise the interested and creative thinking. And maybe show it to you as an example.
What if first we need go get curious if the soul exists? You don't seem to be curious at all. If you were, you'd read the last two paragraphs and think about the experiences and psychologic phenomenon that I describe. Then you'd write something like,
- you never heard of it nor experienced it or
- it might have such and such such scientific explanation or
- there is already such and such research on something that might be it.

Too bad there is no God, I'd so want to say God save us from uncurious people Undecided

Albert Einstein said, "I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious."
Is there anything you are passionately curious about?

Dude, I think that Chas (in his terse statement) is saying that even if he was curious before, he is no longer. The evidence has been weighed and found wanting.

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes DLJ's post
11-08-2012, 06:41 PM
RE: We are slaves to our minds. Nature of the soul.
I think people are going to resist this type of research violently because what we will find is very likely that nothing much distinguishes us from say a dog or a cow.

People don't want to know that the cow in the slaughter house feels exactly the way we would feel. That includes people who should know better, who understand that we have the same emotions/reactions triggered by the same chemistry.

So we have the soul, a thing we can't prove or disprove and that makes us better than the rest of the animals.

Only humans can have a soul, so only humans can go to heaven.

There you have it.

[Image: dobie.png]

Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Dom's post
11-08-2012, 07:32 PM
RE: We are slaves to our minds. Nature of the soul.
I like being the slave of my own neural impulses.

Member of the Cult of Reason

The atheist is a man who destroys the imaginary things which afflict the human race, and so leads men back to nature, to experience and to reason.
-Baron d'Holbach-
Bitcion:1DNeQMswMdvx4xLPP6qNE7RkeTwXGC7Bzp
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes fstratzero's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: