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AWARENESS

Posted July 7, 2012 by Jim Centi in Open

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commented on Oct. 7, 2013
by dustproduction

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35

Mystics throughout history have advised that the path to liberation is self transcendence. Their message has been often been phrased to reflect that the separate self is an illusion to be transcended.

To insure clarity, the “separate self” is the experience of “me” or “I”.

In more recent times, Neuroscience is informing academia and followers of the academic world that the “I” or “me” is an illusion. Their proclamation includes the message that freewill is an illusion.

I’ve been informed that IONS will eventually be addressing the message of neuroscience and that it is particularly interested in the illusion of the separate self and self- transcendence.

For most humans, the separate self is their their sense of self. When told that their sense of self is an illusion, a common human characteristic may surface “fear of the unknown”.

Are you willing to consider the possibility that transcendence of the separate self is the path to mental and spiritual evolution and that fear is unwarranted?

Consider the following:

The separate self is a repository for beliefs and opinions about almost everything; it has beliefs relative to what is possible and impossible, rational and irrational, proper and improper. It has political, economic, religious, atheistic, agnostic beliefs and beliefs about science and justice etc. etc. Just about anything susceptible to cognition encounters the subtle or not so subtle judgment of the separate self.

It seems reasonable to conclude that when awareness is not filtered through the illusion of a separate self, there is no judgment. It may be more proper to say that to the degree awareness is not filtered through the separate self, judgment is diluted. When there is no judgment, there is unconditional acceptance of individuals, events and situations.

Can you appreciate that awareness filtered through the judgments of the separate self is certainly not the experience of pure awareness?

The separate self cannot “know “or “experience” the nature of pure awareness because the separate self is the obstacle to pure awareness.

The separate self can only speculate on the nature of pure awareness.

I am writing this as a separate self and will therefore humbly offer my speculation on the nature of pure awareness:

The nature of awareness that is free from the judgment of the separate self resembles the serenity that accompanies the purest form of inner peace.

  • 35 Comments  
  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Oct 07, 2013

    Dear William, Is this statement reflective of your level consciousness and intelligence?

  • Billgreenjeans Oct 07, 2013

    I see that Secretary Chuck Hagel has called back almost all of the roughly 300,000 furloughed DofD employes so the troll here is back on the job.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Oct 05, 2013

    What is the "SELF?" Is there disagreement about this video? If so where?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGv1Nay2z-U

  • Anonymous Icon

    RealityOverScience Sep 20, 2013

    Hear my words that I might teach you
    Take my arms that I might reach you
    But my words like silent raindrops fell
    And echoed in the wells
    Of silence

    Scientific rigor can't teach anyone or anything else until it has first taught itself.

    Answers don't come from plugging things into unconscious convention.

    Science FIRST needs to apply its "rigor" to itself, because it has inadvertently founded itself upon the FAITH that the Universe is a particular physical-only process that clearly does NOT exist, in the real world!

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Sep 18, 2013

    I thought I would reenage in some unfinished business with the voices of the past, since many questions in this thread are left unanswered.

    Reposted: Is there is no room here for the sceptic, or that non-believer are not welcome to engage in discussion at IONS, even if it is in the spirit of investigating where the edges of our agreement ends and our disagreement begins? My comments are posted here as part of a larger discussion. This is a collaborative process of exploration and is part of a established exchange of ideas in a public forum that belongs to IONS. Others are free to engage as they wish, with in the guideline that IONS has provided, and here I will note that insults are not permitted (I will add that I find them puzzling, but humorous).
    Who is IONS? Their mission "is supporting individual and collective transformation through consciousness research, educational outreach, and engaging a global learning community in the realization of our human potential." These discussions serve the propose of engagement in learning.
    The mission of IONS is also to collaborates on leading-edge research into the potentials and powers of consciousness, exploring phenomena that do not necessarily fit conventional scientific models while maintaining a commitment to scientific rigor." This "scientific rigor" that IONS is committed to is the very thing about my argument that many here find objectionable. Well, complain to IONS, I merely agree with them. This is why I quoted the research they recommend we read in some of my comments. This is not religion, belief and faith is not enough.

    To quote a Paul Simon song, "Proof is the bottom line for everyone."

    IONS adds, "We take inspiration from the great discoveries of human history that have been sourced from insight and intuition and that have harnessed reason and logic for their outer expression. It is our conviction that systematic inquiries into consciousness will catalyze positive concrete transformations in the world."
    These are goals I share. I too believe that a systematic inquiry into consciousness will transform the world. "Broadening our knowledge of the potentials of mind and consciousness and applying that knowledge to enhancing human well-being." Nearing all of my comments strive for this end.

    The Dalai Lama welcome scientists to conduct research into the Buddhist practices. He knows that if science can establish an understanding about the beliefs of the Buddhists humankind will be served. He is not afraid to entertain the sceptic. Nor does he insult them or ignore them.

  • Anonymous Icon

    Patricia Nielsen Aug 11, 2012

    I am not scientific and not religious but I have had some experiences in "knowing" -- information that comes unbidden. Usually this happens when I am engaged in menial tasks that require little or no attention but are automatically performed. Once while I was vacuuming, I spoke out loud the name of a horse I knew was boarded at my local race track. Several weeks later when a friend and I were at the track, the program showed that horse was in fact schedule to run that day. She was not a sound animal, was moving up in class, and was high odds. I bet her to win, and she did at 9-1. One day while I was shuffling paperwork I was thinking of how I regretted returning a book to the library before I had finished it -- I told myself I might have learned something -- then suddenly in my mind I said "like the meaning of Reason d'etat." The next day I opened my online betting account and this was the name of a horse running in the second race -- and again, this was the winner of the race. A few years ago, I was typing something into google and saw among the selections of answers that "At last" was the name of a song by Etta Place. Never heard of her. I listened to the song, and it is the only one I have ever download to my media player. A few months later Beyonce sang this to President Obama at his inaugural celebration. Not too long after that, Etta Place died. I don't feel these things are coincidences but states of knowing what we are not seeking to know -- it feels like a little gift. Now I am waiting to see what significance Kirkusk has. I woke up repeating this word over and over and until I achieved fully consciousness. I had to vary the spelling to find it online because I never heard of it and finally found out its in Russia. My knowing feels like this is of some slight significance.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Aug 09, 2012

    One question I have is how much the experiencing self is aware of its own nature. Paul Brok's writes in his book of essays, "Into the Silent Land" that a tumor or brain injury can alter the identity of the self unknowingly, ~" a tiny leak of blood into the temporal lobe and you can end up with a new person."
    He tells the story of Robert, a contented man who suddenly finds himself unhappy with his lot, so he buys himself a Fender Stratocaster just like the one Jimi Hendrix had played, and leaves his wife and children. It turns out he has a brain tumour. When the tumour is eventually removed, years later, he asks for his wife and children and expects his life to revert to how it had been. But, of course, it is too late.

    So we have the Self we have, but if we woke up with a different self we would not be aware of the difference it seems. Broks says, "Well it's about how personal identity is fragile, and how at one level we're basically meat and at another level we're basically fiction: human beings are storytelling machines, and the self is a story, and we tell a story about ourselves, and we just pick up on the story."

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Jul 22, 2012

    Psychologist Susan Blackmore makes the point that the word ‘illusion’ does not mean that it does not exist, rather an illusion is not what it seems. "We all certainly experience some form of self, but what we experience is a powerful depiction generated by our brains for our own benefit."

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Jul 22, 2012

    Upon reflection of some of what Bruce Hood talks about the question arises as to the purpose of what is intuitive and how it connects to the emerges of a self in the brain. Who, in the unconscious, is doing the intuiting?
    Hood says, "Whilst you can educate people with a kind of slower System Two,(which is the control as opposed to the automatic), if you like, you never eradicate the intuitive ways of seeing the world because they were never taught in the first place. They're always there. I suppose if you want to ask me if there any kind of thing that you can have as a theory that you haven't yet proven, it's the idea is, I don't think you ever throw away any belief system or any ideas that have been derived through these unconscious intuitive processes. You can supersede them, you can overwrite them, but they never go away, and they will reemerge under the right contexts.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Jul 21, 2012


    I do hope people will read the entire interview.

    " I think Nietzsche’s nihilism and Woolf’s depression could have been reflections of their intuitive understanding that the richness of experience must be made up of a multitude of hidden processes and that the core self must be an illusion – and maybe that upset them. But I don’t think appreciating that the self is an illusion is a bad thing. In fact, I think it is inescapable. My critics often dismiss my position as too reductionist or too materialist. Well, if the human condition it is not materialist, then an alternative good explanation must be non-materialist. Show me good evidence for souls and spirits and then I will be forced to change my view. But so far there has been no reliable evidence for souls, ghosts or supernatural entities that inhabit bodies. They are conspicuous by their absence. In contrast, we know that if you alter the physical state of the brain through a head injury, dementia or drugs, each of these changes our self. Whether it is through damage, disease or debauchery, we know that the self must be the output of the material brain."

    Bruce Hood, author of "The Self Illusion,"

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Jul 21, 2012

    re: "The separate self "

    Jonah Lehrer is the author of Imagine, How We Decide and Proust Was a Neuroscientist. He recently interviewed Bruce Hood, a psychologist at the University of Bristol. In his excellent new book, The Self Illusion, he seeks to understand how the singularity of the self emerges from the cacophony of mind and the mess of social life.

    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/05/the-self-illusion-an-interview-with-bruce-hood/

    LEHRER: The title of The Self Illusion is literal. You argue that the self – this entity at the center of our personal universe – is actually just a story, a “constructed narrative.” Could you explain what you mean?

    HOOD: The best stories make sense. They follow a logical path where one thing leads to another and provide the most relevant details and signposts along the way so that you get a sense of continuity and cohesion. This is what writers refer to as the narrative arc – a beginning, middle and an end. If a sequence of events does not follow a narrative, then it is incoherent and fragmented so does not have meaning. Our brains think in stories. The same is true for the self and I use a distinction that William James drew between the self as “I” and “me.” Our consciousness of the self in the here and now is the “I” and most of the time, we experience this as being an integrated and coherent individual – a bit like the character in the story. The self which we tell others about, is autobiographical or the “me” which again is a coherent account of who we think we are based on past experiences, current events and aspirations for the future.

    The neuroscience supports the claim that self is constructed. For example, Michael Gazzaniga demonstrated that spilt-brain patients presented with inconsistent visual information, would readily confabulate an explanation to reconcile information unconsciously processed with information that was conscious. They would make up a story. Likewise, Oliver Sacks famously reported various patients who could confabulate accounts to make sense of their impairments. Ramachandran describes patients who are paralyzed but deny they have a problem. These are all extreme clinical cases but the same is true of normal people. We can easily spot the inconsistencies in other people’s accounts of their self but we are less able to spot our own, and when those inconsistencies are made apparent by the consequences of our actions, we make the excuse, “I wasn’t myself last night” or “It was the wine talking!” Well, wine doesn’t talk and if you were not your self, then who were you and who was being you?



  • Anonymous Icon

    Jim Centi Jul 18, 2012

    This topic was written prior to exploring the site recommended in the topic AWARENESS TWO.

    It is appropriate that I elaborate a bit on the content of this topic.

    Transcendence of the self is not easily described; it is something that must be experienced. Nevertheless, I will attempt to elaborate or describe the experience a bit.

    This topic infers that transcendence of the self provides freedom from all belief. It would have been more appropriate to have said that transcendence of the self provides freedom from the “intensity” of belief.

    Upon transcendence of the self, during moments of solitude, there is a marked dilution in the reoccurring thoughts that pass through awareness; this provides a sense of inner peace.

    Upon transcendence of the self, when communicating with others, there is a marked dilution in the “intensity” of opinions and beliefs expressed. This contributes to a sense of inner peace or lightheartedness.

    Transcendence of the self must be experienced to be appreciated. Descriptions are really meaningless. I found that exploring the site Liberation Unleashed, in an open and sincere manner, can provide the experience.

    http://liberationunleashed.com/index.html

  • Anonymous Icon

    Jim Centi Jul 16, 2012

    Dustproduction,

    Your response to me is authentic and appreciated. It is not something I would ignore.

    I do not see our most recent exchange as reflecting a place where our agreement ends and our disagreement begins. I see our recent exchange as marking a place where our disagreement may have ended and our agreement seems to be beginning.

    There may be a future time when we point to some form of philosophical or ideological dogmatism noticed in each other’s comments, but I feel confident that it will not be addressed by directing insults or refusing to communicate.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Jul 15, 2012

    Is there is no room here for the sceptic, or that non-believer are not welcome to engage in discussion at IONS, even if it is in the spirit of investigating where the edges of our agreement ends and our disagreement begins? My comments are posted here as part of a larger discussion. This is a collaborative process of exploration and is part of a established exchange of ideas in a public forum that belongs to IONS. Others are free to engage as they wish, with in the guideline that IONS has provided, and here I will note that insults are not permitted (I will add that I find them puzzling, but humorous).
    Who is IONS? Their mission "is supporting individual and collective transformation through consciousness research, educational outreach, and engaging a global learning community in the realization of our human potential." These discussions serve the propose of engagement in learning.
    The mission of IONS is also to collaborates on leading-edge research into the potentials and powers of consciousness, exploring phenomena that do not necessarily fit conventional scientific models while maintaining a commitment to scientific rigor." This "scientific rigor" that IONS is committed to is the very thing about my argument that many here find objectionable. Well, complain to IONS, I merely agree with them. This is why I quoted the research they recommend we read in some of my comments. This is not religion, belief and faith is not enough.

    To quote a Paul Simon song, "Proof is the bottom line for everyone."

    IONS adds, "We take inspiration from the great discoveries of human history that have been sourced from insight and intuition and that have harnessed reason and logic for their outer expression. It is our conviction that systematic inquiries into consciousness will catalyze positive concrete transformations in the world."
    These are goals I share. I too believe that a systematic inquiry into consciousness will transform the world. "Broadening our knowledge of the potentials of mind and consciousness and applying that knowledge to enhancing human well-being." Nearing all of my comments strive for this end.

    The Dalai Lama welcome scientists to conduct research into the Buddhist practices. He knows that if science can establish an understanding about the beliefs of the Buddhists humankind will be served. He is not afraid to entertain the sceptic. Nor does he insult them or ignore them.

  • Anonymous Icon

    Jim Centi Jul 15, 2012

    Dustrpoduction,

    I will respond succinctly to your three main points.

    Regarding your comments of Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor’s presentation; it was formulated and presented as theatrics. I was entertained, but do not concur with her presentation.

    Regarding your bewilderment of my use of the term “I” if the self is illusion, my previous comment to you explained that terms such as “I” are required due to the nature of language.

    Regarding your statement that begins “Finally this statement”. I admit that my comment may contain flaws; its sole purpose was to detach from your aggressive bickering expressed in this forum.

    I responded succinctly to the previous points, because more important to consider is the paradigm that separates you from me and others in this forum.

    You have an exceptional admiration for scientists who are dedicated to scientific materialism.

    The objectivity of scientific materialism maintains that science can provide an adequate view of the entire natural world that includes only objective phenomena, while excluding subjective experience altogether. It could be argued that the objectivity of scientific materialism is not true science, but like most ideologies, it supported by an unexamined assumption.

    It is this assumption that causes scientists devoted to scientific materialism to discount subjective experience as irrelevant and sits at the foundation of their dogmatic resistance to the subjective experience of psi. Fortunately there are a few scientists, such as those at IONS, who are not dominated by the objectivity of scientific materialism and they explore subjective experience.

    Your dedication to the objectivity of scientific materialism has surfaced in your comments to me relative to the subjective experience of self transcendence. This experience is not an illusion; it can be validated by intimacy with the experience.

    If you continue to direct disagreement toward me, as a reflection of your allegiance to the objectivity of the materialistic paradigm, I will simply ignore you.

    This is why most in this forum ignore you and others direct insults to you.

  • A I Jul 14, 2012

    I take scientific data into acoount, my own expeirence and also my philisophical learning.
    Individuality and intellgience, what are they?
    My consideration of what creates subjective reality, separate of awareness, which to me settles on what is potential in science called the perfection phislophy perhaps. But that the unconscious mind is basically, information from the senses, which are given values based on physical intellgience, or maitainance of homeostasis. So it's a ever growing body of images with attached values. It uses a language of archetypes, as in dreams. the consciosu mind is a tool used for adaptation in situation when we meet a barrier. Then we can reason, or compare images/concepts, or imagine, which is when we realize reason cannot find a answer, we then use a concept and project it into the possibility...which is scientidically, quantum flux or all worlds, or in that area of theroy of quantum menchanics and then using cnncept as a focus, so what we get is proporitonal to the concept. Albeit, it is a unlimited field.
    That awareness is a quality derived from potential, and a field and that, the phsyiolgoical body creates a point, from which we fashion I naturally. By introduction of point. Then personality is unconcsiously image/value, and consciosuness is reason, imagination/creativity.
    That the whole of natre is intellgience which is tendancy to conservation of energy, taking into accoutn the nature of relative collectives of energy, or form and their responsiviness on both a superficla level and a profound level. I use term that are scientific but can be given terms phisophically.
    TO me the system is alive, and tha choice is the quaity of flux tha is all worlds, and breakign down that by factors, in animal, we have the added resouce of mental body as well as the man levels of intellgience, from atomic, to mineral to level which are increasingly higher dimational until it reaches infinity. Thus my poitn of choice and no choice being non confiluctual as we are dervied frm both limit and non limit.
    I agreed with dust, as it made sense that the brain stem, it woudl make sense woudl be wired to have areas related to various forms of intellgience, but add that intellgience is the fundamental root of reality, rather than a symptom. The body is a combinations of certian spectrums of energy and there are levels th exist which are higher value energy and exist with and maintain their own values without the brain. They work together and the sum is it allowes for nature which depends on diverisity and self autonomy of parts.
    No self is merely that seeing pulls from a field. that the brain as it evoles can access higher levels of compelxity.
    BUt so no self is grasping the "I" is a concept and so dispells the illusion whic his natural assumption due to the interpositon of limit physically.
    But such a theory as i proffered allows for both scientific and also the metaphsyics and allows for personal experiences I have had.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Jul 14, 2012

    the incomplete statement was intended to read:

    "I find that nature of "I".... again this subjective approach to the objective "I". Can we have it both ways? Your statements that ask us to consider the separate self as being oppositional to our "true self," connected to all things, is akin to the experience related by Jill Bolte Taylor. I'm sure we are all familiar with her story.
    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight.html

    We might be best served by discussing whether she is correct in her conclusion that: "We are the life-force power of the universe, with manual dexterity and two cognitive minds. And we have the power to choose, moment by moment, who and how we want to be in the world. Right here, right now, I can step into the consciousness of my right hemisphere, where we are. I am the life-force power of the universe. I am the life-force power of the 50 trillion beautiful molecular geniuses that make up my form, at one with all that is. Or, I can choose to step into the consciousness of my left hemisphere, where I become a single individual, a solid. Separate from the flow, separate from you. I am Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor: intellectual, neuroanatomist. These are the "we" inside of me. Which would you choose? Which do you choose? And when? I believe that the more time we spend choosing to run the deep inner-peace circuitry of our right hemispheres, the more peace we will project into the world, and the more peaceful our planet will be."

    I would argue that this thinking is gravely flawed. We cannot simply choice. But either way, there is always a self.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=neuroscience-of-selfhood

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Jul 14, 2012


    When one write, "a difference may be that I place value also on my subjective experience." isn't one coming from a place of "self"? We cannot discuss your subjective experience, but in attempting to do so does one not defeat the point of the discussion by making it all ones "self"?

    There is still the need to clarify the sources of this statement: "Others in the field of Neuroscience have stated that the “I” or “me” is an illusion." What others? When I first posed the question this was the vague reply.

    re: " Neuroscience is informing academia... that the “I” or “me” is an illusion."
    References please.

    "Although the illusion of “me” or “I” is not front and center as is the illusion of “freewill “in the Neuroscience material; if the material is explored in depth, I have found that the illusory nature of the “I” or “me” is generally addressed, depending on the depth of the source."

    "I find that nature of "I".... again this subjective approach to the objective "I". Can we have it both ways? Your statements that ask us to consider the

    My arguments are reasoned in the academic ideas of prominent people in the field. The purpose of my argument is to approach an understanding of how all people experience a self. Neuroscience repeatedly demonstrates that only a small group of animals, including humans, have the ability to recognize it's self. Before we dismiss the self us us ask, "Why is this a evolutionary trait?"

    Finally, this statement, "....the experience of a separate self, this involves esoteric or spiritual matters for which your previous comments express a disdain. Does this assume that there is no other alternatives to adjusting our conditioning except to acknowledge a dualist approach and admit to having a "Spirit?" Can a mental construction, that of a self, not be re-constructed without a super natural belief. By your own argument, beliefs are constructs of the separate self.

  • Anonymous Icon

    Jim Centi Jul 13, 2012

    nous777,

    You are not on my bad side. Refer to me simply as Jim, that Mr. stuff makes me feel older than I am.

    Your writing has improved a great deal since your first post. Keep up the good work.

    Best wishes........Jim

  • A I Jul 13, 2012

    Mr Centi.

    I hope I have not gotten on your bad side. I came here a few days ago as I felt to do so and I go with it.
    I do have a habit to speak stream of consciosuness and forward and declaritively so that I come a cross as a know it all. I am not. I know very little. The study of realitiy has been the love of my life and I had recently come to a revalation I think has value per how individuality happens.
    So I have been writing about it often and do by nature wen I see question answer them, some opinion, and some from experience.
    I am not enlightened, I am probably like you growing and in process of growth.
    I do have alot of time and due to a spinal injury and that I live in a remote area wild area, in the deep secluded montins of Tn, I have far too much time. I hope that what I write is helpful or interesting, much is theoritical, much is from experience. BUt I do not claim to be enlightened nor special, I am simply put a critter who lives a common life
    I am in my life at a poitn where I am getting a slow realization all is one. I understood for years but it is sinking in so that it's becoming a unquestioned state of awareness which is pleasin got me. What holds me back is of course fear of loss of self, and also vacillation due to weather than puts pressure o my injured spinal chord, so that in normal state i experiene deep well being and satisfaction, and a strange sense of divine love, as well as a faith, and my midn is silent. In weather the pressure change creates a reflex and shuts down my autonomic system. But it has allowed me a really in depth look at how the brain works. It ironicallly has been vital into seeing how mind works, albeit it pulls me from the clarity and wel being I so cherish
    I agree with most everythign you say. I do just try to take part on these discussion so that i am helpful and beneficial. I am not sure I am seen in that way. Nevertheless I hope that some of what I said has been beneficial to you and others. As is my intent as this subject has been the force of my life.
    I just was considering that I am not coming across in the way I intended. If so, I will happily cease from commenting. I do in no way mean to come across any other way than beneficial too all parties.
    I just considered i may have come across not as I intended and if so, I apologise.
    Thank you.

  • A I Jul 13, 2012

    I am watching this series of comments evolve. I tend to be in the opinion that science is limited. I do see the importance of science reachign a point that it can resolve certain conflicts that pass on to mankind culturally, through passing on beleifs.
    THe improtance to me is the removeal of conflicts that are cultural so man tends to rely more on his intellgience rather than rote learnign and thought.
    In a way, per my personal expeerience, as I was brougt up in a deeply conditioned family, and had a strong inner movement to rebel against this and aslo in a way, rather than dismiss the conditioning, correct if it I could. Take the goods and discard the bads...and create a proper understanding...in the end, to end suffering generally as beign empathetic, sufering is something, I am aware of in others, which often can be uncomfortable and led me to coucel people startign at 14 years old. To ease them in a way I ease myself, as my experience of me is somewhat less defined.
    Science has some good aspects, but it has imense superstians. As well, does the religous side. As, i my life i have known and couceled many mystics and peopel with normal, but misunderstood abiltiies, and seen that, peoepl can have considerably highly evolved abiltiies and still can retain beleifs and also neuosis. In so that we have chasrismatic people with I suppose interesting abilties, that get followers and despite the increased sight, still subscribe to myths. I also see the damage to to societal alienation due to scientific and cultural tendancies.
    Science, as religons and all trades, have collective egos....and mankind itself needs to be seen as set apart, special from nature.
    To me, removing suffering has to do with resolving cultural conflicts in beleif so man can work together.
    Being aware of subtle energy, as ealier in life I wasnt so aware, one has to confront beleifs and as I became more sensitive, I was more interested in how that the infomation per se. So I have spent my life on trying to integrate science and religon/myth adn phislophy.
    As consciouess is addressed with the technolgoy fo the brain, it also forms in pure energy forms, in heirarches, similar to how Mr Dust production described how centain scientists conclude the brain is wired hierarchically, and we have a blend of spectrums of intellgience.
    In so much the brain to me is a tranlator or transducer thay allows communciation...and each is a unity and part of a singular system that produces the indivudal, human or otherwise.
    But so that obsevations historically of human behavior by the ancients and more recent mystics, seem more matured in theer understanding than science, which studes the more superficial. We are taught culturally to recognise and given images of authority.
    To be free we must work to think for ourselves and remove all prejudice. It is not always easy. We are just nature...which is many things and one.

  • Anonymous Icon

    Jim Centi Jul 13, 2012

    dustproduction,

    You and I view this material differently and there may be value in acknowledging the nature of our differences.

    We both place value in what authorities with credentials say; a difference may be that I place value also on my subjective experience.

    Consider Demasio’s closing statement “The conductor undeniably exists in our minds, and nothing is gained by dismissing it as an illusion." If I interpret your comment correctly, you accept Demasio’s words as a representation of truth.

    Am I to rely on Demasio’s words that nothing is gained and completely dismiss my personal experience? I have experienced the liberation that occurs by accepting that the personal self simply does not exist and accept my personal experience as authority.

    I cannot discount my personal experience based on the words of someone simply because they have credentials. To do so would be to irrationally grovel at social status.

    Others in the field of Neuroscience have stated that the “I” or “me” is an illusion. They have not rationalized this information to impotency.

    In order to experience what the website of Liberation Unleashed [LU] has to offer, it is necessary to not only dismiss generations of conditioning, but also dismiss the opinions of certain authorities.

    Because I consider my personal experience as authority, I do not dismiss as nonsense what those who do not reveal academic credentials say on the LU website. http://liberationunleashed.com/index.html

    Of course, language has its barriers. If there is no separate self, no “I” or “me”, there also is no “we” or “those”, but use of these terms is required due to the limitations of language.

    If it is not an excessive burden, I ask this of you; if you choose to respond to my comments, look to your personal experience for truth rather than quoting some external authority.

    If you cannot accept the information on the LU website, say so and if motivated, say why you cannot it without relying on some external authority. I have no respect for an authority that considers my subjective experience irrelevant.

    Perhaps if we discuss our personal subjective experience, others who have explored the LU website may join us.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Jul 12, 2012

    Looking it the explanation of the word "self" as it is being used here causes me to wonder about the meaning of the word "illusion."

    In his book, "Self Comes to Mind" Antonio Demasio says that the self is emergent. He writes that brains begin building conscious minds at the level of the brain stem. His hypothesis is that there is a "protoself" which is the foundation for more complex levels of self. (views shared with Jaak Panksepp and Rodolfo Llinas) "But the conscious mind as we know it is a far different affair from the conscious mind of the brain stem, and on this point their is universal agreement."
    Demasio's claim is that "Conscious mind begins when the self comes to mind." With the protoself as a foundation, the core-self is next, which constitutes the "material me." Finally there is the autobiographical self, which embraces all aspects of one's social persona, the "social me" and the "spiritual me." As for the details on the specifics of how this all functions together, I will suggest reading the book. The broader point here is that the ultimate conscious product occurs from numerous brain sites (the upper brain stem, a set of nuclei in a region known as the thalamus and specific, but various regions in the cerebral cortex) at the same time, and not in one site in particular.
    He illustrates this by using the metaphor of an orchestra, like a symphonic piece consciousness is not the product of a single musician or whole section.

    "The odds thing about the upper reaches of a consciousness performance is the conspicuous absence of a conductor before the performance begins, although, as the performance unfolds, a conductor is now comes into being. For all intents and purposes, a conductor is now leading the orchestra, although the performance has created the conductor--the self--not the other way around. The conductor is cobbled together by feelings and by a narrative brain device, although this fact does not make the conductor any less real. The conductor undeniably exists in our minds, and nothing is gained by dismissing it as an illusion." Demasio 2012

  • A I Jul 12, 2012

    That is exciting. To mr Centi, I checked out that Lieration Unleashed sight. Liked it. Especailly as they arent charging or cetrilizing it or charging adn that she's a normal person. That's so healthy adn exciting as all i my life I tried to express to people that, that such things are normal and not to be seen as super or para, it's normal....as otherwise you get problems....but it was refrehsing and to me healign should always be free and that it's innate to want to help others, it's healthy actually.
    I shared the sight with my dad as my fam are all super science people and being family, it's hard to be heard. It's easier liek wit hmy dad, insted of tryign to help him, I lead him to CHopra's books, as CHpra was a doc so my dad being old school, needs authority and respond sto office before he listens. I can say the same thing and he won't hear cause i'm his son. It's weird. But thank you for sharign that sight.
    Secondly, to dust production. Thank oyu for sharing that sight, I agre with that model, "that quantum waves collapse when intelligent brains select one among the alternative quantum possibilities as a basis for future action". SOunds errily liek faith. Haha. I have a simialr model, and that like, when we imagine or project, the idea when we reach a limit where we give up by way of comparison of images by reason, we then, since the mind is the doorway between the perfect and the imperfect, linear adn non-linear, so with the idea of all worlds, or alternative quantum possiblities, that what imagination or projection is, is we introduce taht concept to project into the perfect, and what we recieve is proportional to the limits of the concept we use as a flashlight, if that makes sense. So creativity is similar event, and is aboult balancing feeling, accessing the perfect and the creative idea is the balance of the equation. But i wanted to really understand how mind works, and creating a more accurate model of mind, psycholgoy and human behavior, or jsut behavior as I belevie intellgience is the foudnation of reality, Ions uses consciosuness, but I revised it a bit...which is another long rant that's not germane here.
    I am developing or have develped a model that allows for the more sutble abilties and so forth as well. And try to push to peoepl that, such thigns are normal aspects of expression when consciosuness starts to heal.
    But thank you both. Both things are exciting to hear. Thank you again.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Jul 12, 2012

    There is a great talk here by Henry Stapp. "Is consciousness entirely material?"

    http://www.closertotruth.com/

    Some of Stapp's work concerns the implications of quantum mechanics for consciousness.
    Stapp favours the idea that quantum waves collapse only when they interact with consciousness. He argues that quantum waves collapse when intelligent brains select one among the alternative quantum possibilities as a basis for future action. His theory of how mind may interact with matter via quantum processes in the brain differs from that of Penrose and Hameroff.

  • A I Jul 12, 2012

    Heh, yes I can rant on, sorry about that. Have lots of time of late.
    To respond to your experience you mentioned I say this. That the nonself adn self occur concomintant without conflict. Does often take time.
    The old sayings that consciosuness is like a reflection on a pool of water. So consiosuness is the result of images pulled from sensual imformation and values are attached by the body seekign hoemostais. Thus emotions come frm them as motivators based on values.
    Though it a result of sensual infomration entering and boucing off the mirror wit the mental body of images, and so thought....as emotions are responces.
    Again in time, we become aware of bot the limited concsiosuness, which ocurs because the body is limit. But that the body is part of it's environment and ecosystem. They are one. SO that part of the growth is the awareness that one plus one equals one, that despite diverisity the universe is a single contunuous event. AWareness, is posibly, what the previous letter by Ed, relted to all worlds theory, or flux, potentiality, and what Plato called perhaps the perfect or the good, and that all nature, even the inert is responsive and chooses the most conservative, energetically, choice, or the most probable adn the unvierse breaks down in a linear fashion from a non linear vaccum or Kaos.
    So again free will probbly is not actualy, and yet pardoxically it is....whole matter is moot by that of limit and on the other side unlimit. Not explained well, but trying to be consise.
    In way then tropisms are related to atomic fusion or fission, and that human thought often is not consevative or intellgient in that we interact often with a mental image of reality rather than reality. We intelectualize things. SO the mind when we see sometihng, it pulls a iage or concept to name it, and the tendancy is to settle there and often we dont' look beyond that. But that so conflict arises when our mental image of the world is not on part with what is actual. YEt we have insight, and jsut tend to stop lookign when context is offered by the mind's offerings of concepts and image when. One has to work to look beyond that, to think. Profundus or the deep.
    Then eventually we realize there is one event, and has no conflict, conflcit isin mind alone. ALbeit lower nature is change and deals with friction of more solidified groups of energy.
    Again sorry about the wordiness. You are never expected to answer back. Just i liek to answer stuff when I have time free, I have alot of time free.
    IT was said socrates was asked whatis one plus one. His answer was one. To see that is the crux of ancient thought. AS I am, so are you all. Then to start o recognise that is one life....event. Then it takes time to digest....that's all.
    Ok?
    Peace to you all.

  • Anonymous Icon

    Jim Centi Jul 12, 2012

    edzevallos,

    In this topic, when reference is made to the self, it is referring to the personal experience of “me” or “I”.

    Neuroscience is informing academia and followers of the academic world that the separate self [the experience of “me” or “I”] is an illusion.

    Earlier in these comments a link was provided to a site that serves the purpose of assisting individuals to experience life without the illusion of a separate self, which is a liberating experience.

    The site is Liberation Unleashed and the link is below:

    http://liberationunleashed.com/index.html

    After reading the material and viewing the videos available on the site you are still unable to experience life free from the illusion of a separate self, dialogues are available with individuals who help.

    In my opinion, if one is familiar with the work of IONS, which is generally outside the margins of the consensus reality, it is likely that participation in the dialogues may not be necessary.

  • Anonymous Icon

    edzevallos Jul 12, 2012

    It seems difficult the terminology, semantics, that you are usisng in your writing. However, in my opinion, what you call self self is perhaps concience (mind), and what you call pure awareness is perhaps physical reality. The physical reality is external to the mind, exist, in a level that is not completely assess by our senses, and, so far neither by science and the derived technology. It is like comming back to the well known counterbalance between Epistemology and Ontology. The former, Epistemology, is in our minds, it is how we appraise the physical reality, and usually through models in a compressed trend. For instance, a scientific theory is a model of the reality (not the reality itself) that helps to understand the reality, and to a limited extend (many times very limited) can predict an outcome. Instead, Ontology deals with the reality itself, what is really real. It is, therefore, essentially metaphysical, as we are naturally handicapped to know the entire reality. A piece of Epistemology, such could be a theory, is better and better as long as fulfills two conditions (in my opinion): matches broaderly with reality, and is simpler. In other words, this is similar to the Occam's razor principle and the kolmogorov's algorithm (whisc, both are the same!). I also think, nihilistically, that the so called "free will" is and illusion, or even a delusion, made by the human mind to fill a gap of knowledge, as some sort of self consolation. In principle the physical laws are, to the best of my knowledge, universal (at least in this universe) and deterministic. So, there is no reason why the human mind in its intrinsic functioning can be out of the physical principles. Believing, the contrary would be a fallacy, falling into a hard core antropomorphism. Anybody, may think taht can easily falsify this opinion; however, if we go deeper into the quantum realm, this "free will" turns into a big fallacy. One can say that have the choice to turn right or left. However, the actions themselves may open different versions of different realities (multiverses); thus, even when you turn right, in another version you are turning left. All histories are already "written". There is no way out.

  • Anonymous Icon

    Jim Centi Jul 11, 2012

    Nous777

    I am impressed with your prolific writing, but attempting to respond to all of it represents a burden that I am not willing to endure.

    Honoring the wish to communicate with someone like you who has reached an admirable level of awareness and yet not stress my endurance, I will stay with this topic alone. That may be only temporary decision.

    My perspectives seem to change from time to time; therefore what I write now expresses a perspective that may exist only as I write this.

    I sense that speaking in broad generalizations about the nature of human experience may be over ambitious, since it is obvious that the awareness of individual humans varies greatly. With this in mind, I create another rule for writing this, I will write of my personal experience, with the consideration that others may benefit from it.

    My freewill is expressed in the choice to experience a separate self or to experience no self.

    The separate self is necessary when communicating with others as it requires expressing the opinions of the separate self.

    No self is more of a private matter in that one is free from the experience of a “self” with its endless array of opinions. In the purest form of no self, the experience of thought does not exist or it is extremely diluted.

    No self provides degrees of serenity, but there is the occasional eruption of a desire to communicate the experience of serenity to others. The problem is that communication with others requires a separate self. What a dilemma; to exist or to not exist.

    Communicating via the internet has its advantages because it provides the opportunity to express the views of a separate self and then take respite and experience the solitude conducive to no self and the degrees of serenity it provides.

    The value of this Discussion forum may be that it provides the opportunity to experience a benign form of schizophrenia; existence or nonexistence.


  • A I Jul 11, 2012

    The observation is well put.
    The odd ability the mind has to take images, and build a mental concept of images and concepts that becomes personality and that fundamentally, that context allows us to interact with the world and maintain the needs of our body as the tecnolgoy that is the body is more mobile and in a sense more fragile but more adaptable and expressive.
    The idea that personality has a actual beneficial purpose and the creation by way of the limitation, and accessing intellgience at varing levels, and develope over time intellgience, insight and so forth.
    The irony that as we develope tehcnolgy and knowledge, and taht to use it, we abstract tha information in a spectum of energy we call thought.
    That we can mistake ourselves for thought and in a way, and in severe modalities beoem trapped in intellectualism.
    I recall in one of Herman Hesse's books, the image of a bird in a cage with an open door......the strange ironic state of mankind.....
    The oddity that reality is paradox, is compased of opposites that haveno conflict, and thought, being image responses, to resolve the acceptance has to, in order to break the cycle has to graps it's own nature....and fall back into reality, that which, always was....
    We need knowledge in order to learn and that oddly, in the end we must abandon it....for the most.....and evolve into insight....in a way how we started, innocence.
    The odd realm where we are both free and also predetermined......and the battlign with the need for self importance and also the irony we are that....that what we seek is self evident and the default....whole thing is odd.
    I hope this doesnt come across as odd.
    Albeit well stated and thank you for your comment earlier, to the author.
    I recently gather that, being aawre of the suffering that can exist in life as well as pleasures and taht of the seeming insanity that is culture and civilisation, often enought, we do have tenderness adn sweetness as well, but I thought as to why we choose to be here. As I am conviced that life is something we at a level in our totality, we select, is that we are mesmerized by it's beauty, in love with it, entranced.....
    Othewise why else woudl we be here? We are quite more than often we imagine.....all of us.
    Be well.

  • Anonymous Icon

    Jim Centi Jul 10, 2012

    Dustproduction,

    It seems that you explored the site in greater depth than me.

    I read the written material, blogs and viewed the videos above the science videos related to personal experiences and was pleased with what I experienced so I left the site. My experience seems to fade occasionally. I may go back and participate in the dialogues to get a firmer foundation, if the experience fades to a greater degree.

    Apparently, the advice indicating everyone's experience can be different is correct. It seems that for some, participating in the dialogues may take several weeks. For IONS member, who are not confined to the margins of the consensus reality, the time required is likely to be shorter.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Jul 09, 2012


    Included it this website is this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Biv_8xjj8E&feature=player_embedded#!
    Lots of science here!

    " With the help of a hammer-wielding scientist, Jennifer Aniston and a general anaesthetic, Professor Marcus du Sautoy goes in search of answers to one of science's greatest mysteries: how do we know who we are? While the thoughts that make us feel as though we know ourselves are easy to experience, they are notoriously difficult to explain. So, in order to find out where they come from, Marcus subjects himself to a series of probing experiments.

    He learns at what age our self-awareness emerges and whether other species share this trait. Next, he has his mind scrambled by a cutting-edge experiment in anaesthesia. Having survived that ordeal, Marcus is given an out-of-body experience in a bid to locate his true self. And in Hollywood, he learns how celebrities are helping scientists understand the microscopic activities of our brain. Finally, he takes part in a mind-reading experiment that both helps explain and radically alters his understanding of who he is."


  • Anonymous Icon

    Jim Centi Jul 09, 2012

    Hello all,

    Following the posting of this topic I received word of an organization that serves purpose of removing the burden of a separate self from the human psyche.

    I spent several hours on the site and would like to tell you about it.

    The site if free. It has participants from all over the world and it accommodates different languages.

    The site is not easily navigated, but leaning how to navigate the site is well worth the effort.

    There are different levels of participation: those who are free from the separate self, those who seek to be free from the separate self and those newly freed from the separate self.

    Dialogue sessions are available where those seeking to be free of the separate self interact with one or as many of three individuals who are free of the separate self.

    There is no meaningless chit chat and egos are dispatched in a friendly and compassionate manner.

    The communications are void of both spirituality and science. What transpires is honest dialogue between individuals.

    I strongly recommend that you explore the site before actually participating.

    The site is Liberation Unleashed and the link is below:

    http://liberationunleashed.com/index.html

  • Anonymous Icon

    Jim Centi Jul 08, 2012

    Dustproduction,

    If you Google “The illusion of Self” or some variation of that term, you will find the references you request.

    Although the illusion of “me” or “I” is not front and center as is the illusion of “freewill “in the Neuroscience material; if the material is explored in depth, I have found that the illusory nature of the “I” or “me” is generally addressed, depending on the depth of the source.

    Why the illusion of separate self is not emphasized as strongly as the illusion of freewill, we can only speculate; perhaps it is because accepting that freewill is illusion is less demanding than accepting the invalidation of one’s sense of self.

    Boiling you comment down into a sentence, your state <“Now the reason this is important is because this refers to evidence about the ways babies are conditioned away from one type of consciousness to another, not for the benefit of the child, but because it is how we are conditioned.>

    If you are referring to the experience of a separate self being a matter of conditioning, I agree with you. My agreement is not based on some external source, but on introspection. When mom repeatedly points to herself and says “me mama” and points to the baby and says “you Jimmy”, the separate self is being formed; the conditioning of culture fills the bottle and puts a cork in it.

    As far as your question >the question is whether a mind can adapt, or to what extent the mind can adapt, once it has been conditioned to a certain type of consciousness or awareness.> Again, if you are referring to diluting or eliminating the experience of a separate self, this involves esoteric or spiritual matters for which your previous comments express a disdain. I would prefer to discuss this with someone who would be more receptive.

    Due to scanning your previous commenting habits , I must ask that you give others a chance to comment on this topic and not be a dominant force.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Jul 07, 2012

    re: " Neuroscience is informing academia... that the “I” or “me” is an illusion."
    References please.

    In a different discussion I referred to the research of Alison Gopnik of UC Berkley into the way babies think. She points out that babies and children are actually more conscious than we are as adults. An adults' attention and consciousness look kind of like a spotlight. Our consciousness of things that we're attending to becomes extremely bright and vivid, and everything else sort of goes dark. We even know something about the way the brain does this.

    She adds, "So what happens when we pay attention is that the prefrontal cortex, the sort of executive part of our brains, sends a signal that makes a little part of our brain much more flexible, more plastic, better at learning, and shuts down activity in all the rest of our brains. So we have a very focused, purpose-driven kind of attention. If we look at babies and young children, we see something very different. I think babies and young children seem to have more of a lantern of consciousness than a spotlight of consciousness. So babies and young children are very bad at narrowing down to just one thing. But they're very good at taking in lots of information from lots of different sources at once. And if you actually look in their brains, you see that they're flooded with these neurotransmitters that are really good at inducing learning and plasticity, and the inhibitory parts haven't come on yet. So when we say that babies and young children are bad at paying attention, what we really mean is that they're bad at not paying attention. So they're bad at getting rid of all the interesting things that could tell them something and just looking at the thing that's important."
    Now the reason this is important is because this refers to evidence about the ways babies are conditioned away from one type of consciousness to another, not for the benefit of the child, but because it is how we are conditioned. This is also talked about in the book "Now You See It" where Cathy Davidson discusses the famous gorilla walking through a video unnoticed.

    The question is whether a mind can adapt, or to what extent the mind can adapt, once it has been conditioned to a certain type of consciousness or awareness.

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