What are your opinions on enlightenment/self-realization and what are they based on?
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06-02-2015, 04:48 PM
What you are
(04-02-2015 10:41 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  
(03-02-2015 06:17 PM)Spirtic Wrote:  I fully agree that observing thoughts through mindfulness exercises is the brains normal function.

That's really what I'm getting at. I'm not proposing anything radical or woo (despite how the language may seem).

The 'self' or 'ego' is simultaneously assumed with whatever the current contents of consciousness are. Since most of our thoughts are self-centered thoughts, about what "I" have to do in the future, how "I" am feeling, etc. this further reinforces the illusion that the 'self' actually exists as some independent entity. However, as neuroscience and psychology demonstrates, this idea of a 'self' residing somewhere in the brain is illusory. That we believe we experience it is not illusory, but its existence is illusory.

Citation please.

What exactly would you like a citation for? I'm not trying to shirk the request, but what about what I said do you have an issue with, and why?

I don't have a citation for such a broad statement, but I can point you towards some literature that has been written on it: Two books I can recommend that delve deeply into the neuroscientific evidence for the illusory sense of self are 'Being No One' by Thomas Metzinger and 'The Self Illusion' by Bruce Hood. Sam Harris also talks about the illusory nature of the self in his book, 'Waking Up'.
Quote:
(03-02-2015 06:17 PM)‘Spirtic Wrote:  The problem is, when people assume that the 'self' is real, then it creates all sorts of problems. Mental suffering, anxiety, depression, jealousy, guilt, etc. are tied to the false belief that we are this self. Now, even if people know that the 'self' is an illusion, they still live their lives as though it's not.

What I'm pointing to, is that when we're observing the contents of consciousness through mindfulness meditation or whatever, what we're really seeing is our true nature, as the awareness in which the contents of consciousness arise.

Now, to dispel the false belief that we're the sense of self, we need some truth to go back to. The only truth we can ever really know is that we are present and aware. This is the simple truth. This is recognition of spiritual enlightenment or whatever you want to call it. So, by focusing on that, and seeing yourself as that, you can dispel the false belief that you're a separate self, and live free of the trouble that comes from assuming your are the 'self.'

That was a bit of a ramble...

I’m really trying to follow you and give you the benefit of serious consideration.

So far what I’m getting is an unnecessary convolution of what we already know exists.

Our physical being.

Our self awareness.
"Self-awareness is a psychological state in which people are aware of their traits, feelings and behaviour. Alternately, it can be defined as the realization of oneself as an individual entity."
(Crisp & Turner, 2010)

Our consciousness.
The conscious mind includes such things as the sensations, perceptions, memories, feeling and fantasies inside of our current awareness.

Is there something else that you are alluding to? Something that falls outside what current psychology already tells us?

"Self-awareness" in regards to traits, feelings, behaviours and the realization of oneself as an individual entity is based on a false assumption. The false assumption is that there is a continuity to personal identity, and that it is not just a momentary appearance in the current contents of consciousness. If you examine this introspectively, you will recognize in your own experience that there is no central "I" thought that you are. The ideas you have about your 'self' will be erroneous, as they are all transient. Whatever label you give yourself, is not necessary true the next day (except perhaps for the generic label of human being). Labels of being shy, happy, a lawyer, or whatever else, are only temporary. So, by examining the beliefs you have about yourself, you will see that they are not held together by any central "I" that exists independent of the momentary arisings in consciousness. Even your memories about things you did in the past, are just thoughts occurring in the present.

With regards to whether what I'm presenting is an, "unnecessary convolution of what we already know exists."

Yes and no. It is a restatement of what we already know exists, but it is not unnecessary. It is not unnecessary because I am not pointing to the intellectual understanding of what we know that exists. I am pointing to the the direct recognition of it.

People know instantaneously that they are aware and they exist. If I ask you whether you're aware and you exist, you can answer "yes" intuitively without having to ask yourself the question, because the very fact that you would be asking yourself the question is proof of your own existence and awareness of the question.

Through mindfulness or simple watching of thoughts, you know that whatever arises is arising in the present moment as an appearance in awareness.

So, how can you be what the thoughts, feelings, and sensations are alluding to, if you are also the observer of the thoughts, feelings, and sensations. What is the I" that is observing the "me"? What is it that is observing the ideas you have about yourself as the entity "Full Circle"?

How can you simultaneously be the observer of your thoughts, and also the story that your thoughts are telling about who or what you are? Take a few minutes to really reflect on this. Your sense of self is arising with self-centered thoughts. Yet, the whole time, regardless of what thoughts are arising, there is the witnessing and knowing of the thoughts.

What I am pointing to is that what you really are is the witness, observer, knower of thoughts, feelings, and sensations. You can't be the story that those things are spinning, the idea of a separate identity, because how can you simultaneously be both the story, and watcher of the story? The story must be something that is appearing and disappearing in awareness.

So what I'm saying is not unnecessary, because it's the getting caught up in the story and the drama of life that causes psychological suffering. If you distance yourself from the story, and rest as the present-awareness you are, your well-being is no longer at the whims of whatever happens to appear in consciousness. You can be free from being the limited sense of self that is a slave to whatever thoughts and feelings happen to spontaneously arise in consciousness.
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06-02-2015, 05:25 PM (This post was last modified: 06-02-2015 05:35 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: What are your opinions on enlightenment/self-realization and what are they based on?
(04-02-2015 10:41 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  
(03-02-2015 06:17 PM)Spirtic Wrote:  I fully agree that observing thoughts through mindfulness exercises is the brains normal function.

That's really what I'm getting at. I'm not proposing anything radical or woo (despite how the language may seem).

The 'self' or 'ego' is simultaneously assumed with whatever the current contents of consciousness are. Since most of our thoughts are self-centered thoughts, about what "I" have to do in the future, how "I" am feeling, etc. this further reinforces the illusion that the 'self' actually exists as some independent entity. However, as neuroscience and psychology demonstrates, this idea of a 'self' residing somewhere in the brain is illusory. That we believe we experience it is not illusory, but its existence is illusory.

Citation please.

Ooooh ooooh ooooh ask me ask me! The User Illusion: Cutting Consciousness Down to Size. But I ain't gonna read it to you. Tongue

(03-02-2015 06:17 PM)Spirtic Wrote:  The 'self' or 'ego' is presumed to be whatever the current contents of consciousness are.

Fix't.

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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07-02-2015, 08:43 AM
Thanks
(05-02-2015 02:55 AM)666wannabe Wrote:  
(02-02-2015 01:24 PM)unfogged Wrote:  I have no clue what you are talking about. What is our "true nature" and what scientific evidence supports that? What is "spiritual recognition" and what are we?

According to the thinking of the Dalai Lama, we have two distinct "selves". The ego-self, which is a product of our conditioning--a composite of the cultural memes which we have come into contact and have either assimilated or rejected. This is the "self" that is illusory. If we were brought up in a different culture, we would be completely different people (speaking from the perspective of our ego-selves). Ego-selves are largely self-created.

Our "real" selves, on the other hand, are what we are by virtue of being human. I think it is safe to say that the only solid pillar of human nature is that we have the desire for happiness and freedom from suffering. At least, normatively.

There is a Buddhist document that explains the difference far better than I can. I have attached it to this post, if anyone is interested.

The problems of using the term "spiritual" have been pointed out to me in another post, and it is probably better not to use the term, at all.

I would say that the pillar of human nature is that we are awareness existing. Any desires or fears arises on the canvas of awareness.

I can also see why you think "seeking happiness and to avoid suffering" is a pillar, as that seems to be a fundamental aspect of the human condition.

Thanks for the document, I have saved it to read when I have more time available, the first few paragraphs are promising though. I'm also fond of using the metaphor of enlightenment being like turning around and seeing the sun that illuminates the clouds. I should have known it was Buddhist in origin, I had heard it in a nondual philosophy book.
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07-02-2015, 10:59 AM
RE: What are your opinions on enlightenment/self-realization and what are they based on?
(06-02-2015 04:48 PM)Spirtic Wrote:  
(04-02-2015 10:41 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  Citation please.

What exactly would you like a citation for? I'm not trying to shirk the request, but what about what I said do you have an issue with, and why?

I don't have a citation for such a broad statement, but I can point you towards some literature that has been written on it: Two books I can recommend that delve deeply into the neuroscientific evidence for the illusory sense of self are 'Being No One' by Thomas Metzinger and 'The Self Illusion' by Bruce Hood. Sam Harris also talks about the illusory nature of the self in his book, 'Waking Up'.
Quote:I’m really trying to follow you and give you the benefit of serious consideration.

So far what I’m getting is an unnecessary convolution of what we already know exists.

Our physical being.

Our self awareness.
"Self-awareness is a psychological state in which people are aware of their traits, feelings and behaviour. Alternately, it can be defined as the realization of oneself as an individual entity."
(Crisp & Turner, 2010)

Our consciousness.
The conscious mind includes such things as the sensations, perceptions, memories, feeling and fantasies inside of our current awareness.

Is there something else that you are alluding to? Something that falls outside what current psychology already tells us?

"Self-awareness" in regards to traits, feelings, behaviours and the realization of oneself as an individual entity is based on a false assumption. The false assumption is that there is a continuity to personal identity, and that it is not just a momentary appearance in the current contents of consciousness. If you examine this introspectively, you will recognize in your own experience that there is no central "I" thought that you are. The ideas you have about your 'self' will be erroneous, as they are all transient. Whatever label you give yourself, is not necessary true the next day (except perhaps for the generic label of human being). Labels of being shy, happy, a lawyer, or whatever else, are only temporary. So, by examining the beliefs you have about yourself, you will see that they are not held together by any central "I" that exists independent of the momentary arisings in consciousness. Even your memories about things you did in the past, are just thoughts occurring in the present.

With regards to whether what I'm presenting is an, "unnecessary convolution of what we already know exists."

Yes and no. It is a restatement of what we already know exists, but it is not unnecessary. It is not unnecessary because I am not pointing to the intellectual understanding of what we know that exists. I am pointing to the the direct recognition of it.

People know instantaneously that they are aware and they exist. If I ask you whether you're aware and you exist, you can answer "yes" intuitively without having to ask yourself the question, because the very fact that you would be asking yourself the question is proof of your own existence and awareness of the question.

Through mindfulness or simple watching of thoughts, you know that whatever arises is arising in the present moment as an appearance in awareness.

So, how can you be what the thoughts, feelings, and sensations are alluding to, if you are also the observer of the thoughts, feelings, and sensations. What is the I" that is observing the "me"? What is it that is observing the ideas you have about yourself as the entity "Full Circle"?

How can you simultaneously be the observer of your thoughts, and also the story that your thoughts are telling about who or what you are? Take a few minutes to really reflect on this. Your sense of self is arising with self-centered thoughts. Yet, the whole time, regardless of what thoughts are arising, there is the witnessing and knowing of the thoughts.

What I am pointing to is that what you really are is the witness, observer, knower of thoughts, feelings, and sensations. You can't be the story that those things are spinning, the idea of a separate identity, because how can you simultaneously be both the story, and watcher of the story? The story must be something that is appearing and disappearing in awareness.

So what I'm saying is not unnecessary, because it's the getting caught up in the story and the drama of life that causes psychological suffering. If you distance yourself from the story, and rest as the present-awareness you are, your well-being is no longer at the whims of whatever happens to appear in consciousness. You can be free from being the limited sense of self that is a slave to whatever thoughts and feelings happen to spontaneously arise in consciousness.

Consciousness consists of pulses of quantum energy. “Quantum” means an evolving of the joyous.
Flow requires exploration. You and I are adventurers of the infinite. Where there is materialism, conscious living cannot thrive.

We must strengthen ourselves and heal others. It is time to take non-locality to the next level. The multiverse is approaching a tipping point.
Imagine an unfolding of what could be. We must learn how to lead non-dual lives in the face of discontinuity. It is in summoning that we are aligned.

Aromatherapy may be the solution to what’s holding you back from an enormous vector of health. Through Kabala, our hopes are engulfed in health. As you dream, you will enter into infinite complexity that transcends understanding.

You must take a stand against discontinuity. Consciousness is a constant. Today, science tells us that the essence of nature is ecstasy. We self-actualize, we dream, we are reborn.

You will soon be guided by a power deep within yourself — a power that is primordial, cosmic. We exist as four-dimensional superstructures. To embark on the circuit is to become one with it.

Self-actualization requires exploration. To navigate the quest is to become one with it. The cosmos is buzzing with morphogenetic fields. Humankind has nothing to lose.

By unveiling, we vibrate. Nothing is impossible. You and I are pilgrims of the dreamscape.

Reality has always been beaming with adventurers whose brains are immersed in chi. We are at a crossroads of science and dogma. Who are we? Where on the great journey will we be re-energized?

We are in the midst of an enlightened flowering of fulfillment that will align us with the dreamscape itself. Our conversations with other dreamweavers have led to a blossoming of hyper-perennial consciousness. Throughout history, humans have been interacting with the multiverse via frequencies. We can no longer afford to live with illusion.

This life is nothing short of an ennobling vision of amazing interconnectedness. We exist as supercharged waveforms. Rebirth is a constant.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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07-02-2015, 11:26 AM
RE: What are your opinions on enlightenment/self-realization and what are they based on?
Chas...
Were you at the Deepak Chopra sentence generator again?

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07-02-2015, 12:22 PM
RE: What are your opinions on enlightenment/self-realization and what are they based on?
(07-02-2015 10:59 AM)Chas Wrote:  Consciousness consists of pulses of quantum energy. “Quantum” means an evolving of the joyous.
Flow requires exploration. You and I are adventurers of the infinite. Where there is materialism, conscious living cannot thrive.

We must strengthen ourselves and heal others. It is time to take non-locality to the next level. The multiverse is approaching a tipping point.
Imagine an unfolding of what could be. We must learn how to lead non-dual lives in the face of discontinuity. It is in summoning that we are aligned.

Aromatherapy may be the solution to what’s holding you back from an enormous vector of health. Through Kabala, our hopes are engulfed in health. As you dream, you will enter into infinite complexity that transcends understanding.

You must take a stand against discontinuity. Consciousness is a constant. Today, science tells us that the essence of nature is ecstasy. We self-actualize, we dream, we are reborn.

You will soon be guided by a power deep within yourself — a power that is primordial, cosmic. We exist as four-dimensional superstructures. To embark on the circuit is to become one with it.

Self-actualization requires exploration. To navigate the quest is to become one with it. The cosmos is buzzing with morphogenetic fields. Humankind has nothing to lose.

By unveiling, we vibrate. Nothing is impossible. You and I are pilgrims of the dreamscape.

Reality has always been beaming with adventurers whose brains are immersed in chi. We are at a crossroads of science and dogma. Who are we? Where on the great journey will we be re-energized?

We are in the midst of an enlightened flowering of fulfillment that will align us with the dreamscape itself. Our conversations with other dreamweavers have led to a blossoming of hyper-perennial consciousness. Throughout history, humans have been interacting with the multiverse via frequencies. We can no longer afford to live with illusion.

This life is nothing short of an ennobling vision of amazing interconnectedness. We exist as supercharged waveforms. Rebirth is a constant.

Brilliant! 2 Gywnnies up. Thumbsup

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There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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07-02-2015, 03:22 PM
Gobblydegook
(07-02-2015 10:59 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(06-02-2015 04:48 PM)Spirtic Wrote:  What exactly would you like a citation for? I'm not trying to shirk the request, but what about what I said do you have an issue with, and why?

I don't have a citation for such a broad statement, but I can point you towards some literature that has been written on it: Two books I can recommend that delve deeply into the neuroscientific evidence for the illusory sense of self are 'Being No One' by Thomas Metzinger and 'The Self Illusion' by Bruce Hood. Sam Harris also talks about the illusory nature of the self in his book, 'Waking Up'.

"Self-awareness" in regards to traits, feelings, behaviours and the realization of oneself as an individual entity is based on a false assumption. The false assumption is that there is a continuity to personal identity, and that it is not just a momentary appearance in the current contents of consciousness. If you examine this introspectively, you will recognize in your own experience that there is no central "I" thought that you are. The ideas you have about your 'self' will be erroneous, as they are all transient. Whatever label you give yourself, is not necessary true the next day (except perhaps for the generic label of human being). Labels of being shy, happy, a lawyer, or whatever else, are only temporary. So, by examining the beliefs you have about yourself, you will see that they are not held together by any central "I" that exists independent of the momentary arisings in consciousness. Even your memories about things you did in the past, are just thoughts occurring in the present.

With regards to whether what I'm presenting is an, "unnecessary convolution of what we already know exists."

Yes and no. It is a restatement of what we already know exists, but it is not unnecessary. It is not unnecessary because I am not pointing to the intellectual understanding of what we know that exists. I am pointing to the the direct recognition of it.

People know instantaneously that they are aware and they exist. If I ask you whether you're aware and you exist, you can answer "yes" intuitively without having to ask yourself the question, because the very fact that you would be asking yourself the question is proof of your own existence and awareness of the question.

Through mindfulness or simple watching of thoughts, you know that whatever arises is arising in the present moment as an appearance in awareness.

So, how can you be what the thoughts, feelings, and sensations are alluding to, if you are also the observer of the thoughts, feelings, and sensations. What is the I" that is observing the "me"? What is it that is observing the ideas you have about yourself as the entity "Full Circle"?

How can you simultaneously be the observer of your thoughts, and also the story that your thoughts are telling about who or what you are? Take a few minutes to really reflect on this. Your sense of self is arising with self-centered thoughts. Yet, the whole time, regardless of what thoughts are arising, there is the witnessing and knowing of the thoughts.

What I am pointing to is that what you really are is the witness, observer, knower of thoughts, feelings, and sensations. You can't be the story that those things are spinning, the idea of a separate identity, because how can you simultaneously be both the story, and watcher of the story? The story must be something that is appearing and disappearing in awareness.

So what I'm saying is not unnecessary, because it's the getting caught up in the story and the drama of life that causes psychological suffering. If you distance yourself from the story, and rest as the present-awareness you are, your well-being is no longer at the whims of whatever happens to appear in consciousness. You can be free from being the limited sense of self that is a slave to whatever thoughts and feelings happen to spontaneously arise in consciousness.

Consciousness consists of pulses of quantum energy. “Quantum” means an evolving of the joyous.
Flow requires exploration. You and I are adventurers of the infinite. Where there is materialism, conscious living cannot thrive.

We must strengthen ourselves and heal others. It is time to take non-locality to the next level. The multiverse is approaching a tipping point.
Imagine an unfolding of what could be. We must learn how to lead non-dual lives in the face of discontinuity. It is in summoning that we are aligned.

Aromatherapy may be the solution to what’s holding you back from an enormous vector of health. Through Kabala, our hopes are engulfed in health. As you dream, you will enter into infinite complexity that transcends understanding.

You must take a stand against discontinuity. Consciousness is a constant. Today, science tells us that the essence of nature is ecstasy. We self-actualize, we dream, we are reborn.

You will soon be guided by a power deep within yourself — a power that is primordial, cosmic. We exist as four-dimensional superstructures. To embark on the circuit is to become one with it.

Self-actualization requires exploration. To navigate the quest is to become one with it. The cosmos is buzzing with morphogenetic fields. Humankind has nothing to lose.

By unveiling, we vibrate. Nothing is impossible. You and I are pilgrims of the dreamscape.

Reality has always been beaming with adventurers whose brains are immersed in chi. We are at a crossroads of science and dogma. Who are we? Where on the great journey will we be re-energized?

We are in the midst of an enlightened flowering of fulfillment that will align us with the dreamscape itself. Our conversations with other dreamweavers have led to a blossoming of hyper-perennial consciousness. Throughout history, humans have been interacting with the multiverse via frequencies. We can no longer afford to live with illusion.

This life is nothing short of an ennobling vision of amazing interconnectedness. We exist as supercharged waveforms. Rebirth is a constant.

Haha, that is some high-level gobblydegook.
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07-02-2015, 03:37 PM
RE: What are your opinions on enlightenment/self-realization and what are they based on?
(07-02-2015 03:22 PM)Spirtic Wrote:  
(07-02-2015 10:59 AM)Chas Wrote:  Consciousness consists of pulses of quantum energy. “Quantum” means an evolving of the joyous.
Flow requires exploration. You and I are adventurers of the infinite. Where there is materialism, conscious living cannot thrive.

We must strengthen ourselves and heal others. It is time to take non-locality to the next level. The multiverse is approaching a tipping point.
Imagine an unfolding of what could be. We must learn how to lead non-dual lives in the face of discontinuity. It is in summoning that we are aligned.

Aromatherapy may be the solution to what’s holding you back from an enormous vector of health. Through Kabala, our hopes are engulfed in health. As you dream, you will enter into infinite complexity that transcends understanding.

You must take a stand against discontinuity. Consciousness is a constant. Today, science tells us that the essence of nature is ecstasy. We self-actualize, we dream, we are reborn.

You will soon be guided by a power deep within yourself — a power that is primordial, cosmic. We exist as four-dimensional superstructures. To embark on the circuit is to become one with it.

Self-actualization requires exploration. To navigate the quest is to become one with it. The cosmos is buzzing with morphogenetic fields. Humankind has nothing to lose.

By unveiling, we vibrate. Nothing is impossible. You and I are pilgrims of the dreamscape.

Reality has always been beaming with adventurers whose brains are immersed in chi. We are at a crossroads of science and dogma. Who are we? Where on the great journey will we be re-energized?

We are in the midst of an enlightened flowering of fulfillment that will align us with the dreamscape itself. Our conversations with other dreamweavers have led to a blossoming of hyper-perennial consciousness. Throughout history, humans have been interacting with the multiverse via frequencies. We can no longer afford to live with illusion.

This life is nothing short of an ennobling vision of amazing interconnectedness. We exist as supercharged waveforms. Rebirth is a constant.

Haha, that is some high-level gobblydegook.

And Chas has made his point. Drinking Beverage

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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07-02-2015, 03:56 PM (This post was last modified: 07-02-2015 04:30 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: What are your opinions on enlightenment/self-realization and what are they based on?
(06-02-2015 04:48 PM)Spirtic Wrote:  "Self-awareness" in regards to traits, feelings, behaviours and the realization of oneself as an individual entity is based on a false assumption. The false assumption is that there is a continuity to personal identity, and that it is not just a momentary appearance in the current contents of consciousness. If you examine this introspectively, you will recognize in your own experience that there is no central "I" thought that you are. The ideas you have about your 'self' will be erroneous, as they are all transient. Whatever label you give yourself, is not necessary true the next day (except perhaps for the generic label of human being). Labels of being shy, happy, a lawyer, or whatever else, are only temporary. So, by examining the beliefs you have about yourself, you will see that they are not held together by any central "I" that exists independent of the momentary arisings in consciousness. Even your memories about things you did in the past, are just thoughts occurring in the present.

Bullshit.
Complete and utter crap. Memories are formed by altering specific brain structures. There IS continuation of personal identity and it's been PROVEN by Neuro-science, (and you are a complete ignoramus and charlatan, spouting woo-garbage).
http://www.scientificamerican.com/articl...thylation/

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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07-02-2015, 04:47 PM
The Self
(07-02-2015 03:56 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(06-02-2015 04:48 PM)Spirtic Wrote:  "Self-awareness" in regards to traits, feelings, behaviours and the realization of oneself as an individual entity is based on a false assumption. The false assumption is that there is a continuity to personal identity, and that it is not just a momentary appearance in the current contents of consciousness. If you examine this introspectively, you will recognize in your own experience that there is no central "I" thought that you are. The ideas you have about your 'self' will be erroneous, as they are all transient. Whatever label you give yourself, is not necessary true the next day (except perhaps for the generic label of human being). Labels of being shy, happy, a lawyer, or whatever else, are only temporary. So, by examining the beliefs you have about yourself, you will see that they are not held together by any central "I" that exists independent of the momentary arisings in consciousness. Even your memories about things you did in the past, are just thoughts occurring in the present.

Bullshit.
Complete and utter crap. Memories are formed by altering specific brain structures. There IS continuation of personal identity and it's been PROVEN by Neuro-science, (and you are a complete ignoramus and charlatan, spouting woo-garbage.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/articl...thylation/

That was an interesting article, thanks.

I spent the better part of my undergraduate degree running participants in experiments studying implicit memory with Markhov chain artificial grammar tasks. My graduate degree was spent programming computational models of memory among other things. So unless things have changed drastically in the last year and a half, I'm pretty up to date on the literature of how memories are believed to form, and nothing I said contradicted it.

There IS the PERCEPTION of a continuation of personal identity, but it has certainly NOT been PROVEN by neuroscience as something that exists apart from disparate appearances in consciousness. For starters, as you should know, science isn't about proof, that's left for mathematics and alcohol. I'm certainly open to the studies that have demonstrated a 'self', as the research I have come across has alluded to the opposite conclusion.

Our perception of ourselves as a 'self' is built upon a lifetime of conditioning from childhood to believe that we are a 'self.' It does not surprise me that people believe in it very strongly and without sufficient evidence, because it for most people is how they experience their lives.

Here is some David Hume on the matter:

David Hume Wrote:For my part, when I enter most intimately into what I call myself, I always stumble on some particular perception or other, of heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure. I never can catch myself at any time without a perception, and never can observe any thing but the perception. When my perceptions are removed for any time, as by sound sleep, so long am I insensible of myself, and may truly be said not to exist. And were all my perceptions removed by death, and could I neither think, nor feel, nor see, nor love, nor hate, after the dissolution of my body, I should be entirely annihilated, nor do I conceive what is further requisite to make me a perfect nonentity. If any one, upon serious and unprejudiced reflection, thinks he has a different notion of himself, I must confess I can reason no longer with him. All I can allow him is, that he may be in the right as well as I, and that we are essentially different in this particular. He may, perhaps, perceive something simple and continued, which he calls himself; though I am certain there is no such principle in me.

It is unfortunate that you believe that I am "a complete ignoramus and charlatan, spouting woo-garbage." Although only insofar as it means that the task of trying to communicate with atheists and skeptics, what myself as an atheist and a skeptic both understand intellectually, and recognize experientially, will be quite a challenge indeed.

I would love to engage you in further discussion, and I'll try to keep the rambles and "woo" words to a minimum and focus on the meat of it.

If you would indulge me, could you go sentence for sentence on why what I said was "complete and utter crap" with the reasons why it is. I know that's a lot to ask, but it would really help me in trying to communicate this material more effectively.
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