Thinking, Fast And Slow

Ollie

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That sums it up completely Laura, one of the things that has plagued me for some time is 'fear of discovery' and as I've found out it's really about that 'the predator's mind fear of being discovered any minute now'.


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Oxajil

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Reading about the unconscious and how much of a machine we really are surely makes it a bit gloomy, but mostly I was just very curious and interested to read all those studies done and what can be concluded from them, and trying to apply those things to myself. It helps me to think about my situations in different ways. Having some more information on how the human mind operates, actually gives me a little bit of hope. Changing for the better is partly based on understanding one's machine right?
 

mb

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While I already commented about this earlier, I can't overstate how much Castaneda/Don Juan's "predator's mind" comes to my mind after reading the various books (and others) about the mind that we have been discussing lately. It first struck me a few weeks ago, and each new book has reinforced his point.

I see this on two levels. First, I see the evidence of an active predator that influences life on this planet. But I also see that we are biologically descended from other predator species, and that we literally have their mental machinery.

I have been considering these things for a very long time, but the recent reading has helped to bring the picture into sharper focus, partly by supplying new information and partly by refreshing older learnings. It seems (as I learned early in my esoteric study) that not only do we not particularly want to look closely at our behavior, but that when we do look, we are quite adept at forgetting what we saw.

It is interesting to watch the reactions of some of the forum members, and to see minds struggling "not to see." Of course we all react this way to a considerable extent, whether we show or hide it, but it is possible to make a breakthrough, after which it becomes OK for one to observe and acknowledge what one does. You need to be willing to see, experience, and acknowledge that you have this "predator's mind" or it will not really be visible to you. In a sense, you must be willing to "be" the predator that you are in order to ultimately become something else.

Once you see what you are doing, you can play around with it. This is what I was suggesting in the following exchange:

Megan said:
go2 said:
...As I said above, I am no longer a blind pig who reads a book and thinks I understand what it is to be a machine.

Could you read the book without thinking that?

So we have a statement, "I am no longer a blind pig...," but other statements, other versions of our internal narratives, are possible. Instead of assuming that the internal narrative is right and true, which it assuredly is not, you can try telling the story other ways and perhaps discover what might open up to you by thinking differently.
 

Laura

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Megan said:
I have been considering these things for a very long time, but the recent reading has helped to bring the picture into sharper focus, partly by supplying new information and partly by refreshing older learnings. It seems (as I learned early in my esoteric study) that not only do we not particularly want to look closely at our behavior, but that when we do look, we are quite adept at forgetting what we saw.

Yup. We go to sleep and dream we are magicians...

Megan said:
It is interesting to watch the reactions of some of the forum members, and to see minds struggling "not to see." Of course we all react this way to a considerable extent, whether we show or hide it, but it is possible to make a breakthrough, after which it becomes OK for one to observe and acknowledge what one does. You need to be willing to see, experience, and acknowledge that you have this "predator's mind" or it will not really be visible to you. In a sense, you must be willing to "be" the predator that you are in order to ultimately become something else.

Exactly so. You have to look long and hard to really see yourself, to see all the lies, not only to others, but the self, and realize, as Mme. de Salzmann wrote, that you are TWO. Realizing that, really coming to terms with it, can help an awful lot in forgiving the self when you see how much hurt you have caused throughout your life. Because once you have seen and suffered the seeing - and it can come close to killing you - then you have to let go of that suffering. I'm still working on it.
 

Windmill knight

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Psalehesost said:
go2 said:
I am surprised the forum sees Daniel Kahneman’s two centered model of man worthy of our time and effort. The two-brained model of man is the model of a psychopath, a being centered in the intellect, connected to the instinctive-motor center’s survival function without a feeling center of value of relationship. Mr. Gurdjieff’s model of man is a three-brained, self-developing being with thinking, feeling, and instinctive-motor centers or brains. Why bother trying to reconcile Kahneman’s two-brained model with Mr. Gurdjieff’s ancient esoteric three-brained model of man’s psyche?

You did not raise the same objections in the Adaptive Unconscious thread where, likewise, a system of two is discussed: The adaptive unconscious and the 'conscious' mind. Same thing as, in the terms used by Kahneman, System1 and System2.

Further, in relation to Gurdjieff, I think - provided that what I posted on this is more than wiseacring - that there is a case to be made for significant parts of the adaptive unconscious (or System1) corresponding to essence in G.'s terms (some parts would be common functionality apart from this) - and for the self of the 'conscious' mind (or System2) corresponding to personality. Seen thus - if it would turn out to be accurate - this model of two may better allow understanding a model of two described by Gurdjieff.

Although I'm not sure that the essence corresponds to the adaptive unconscious and the personality to the conscious mind (but it's an intriguing idea), I had a similar thought as Psalehesost when reading go2's post. The centers do not correspond to Systems 1 and 2. From reading 'Strangers to Ourselves' (ordered the other book but not arrived yet), my understanding is that emotions and thoughts can happen in both the conscious and unconscious mind.

As for the use of Kahneman's ideas for economics, game theory, etc., I don't see a problem there. Others use the information to enslave people, we use it to liberate us. Would you ignore a diamond because it's in the mud?
 

go2

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Megan said:
Once you see what you are doing, you can play around with it. This is what I was suggesting in the following exchange:

Megan said:
go2 said:
...As I said above, I am no longer a blind pig who reads a book and thinks I understand what it is to be a machine.

Could you read the book without thinking that?

So we have a statement, "I am no longer a blind pig...," but other statements, other versions of our internal narratives, are possible. Instead of assuming that the internal narrative is right and true, which it assuredly is not, you can try telling the story other ways and perhaps discover what might open up to you by thinking differently.


Yes, I can read the book proving I am a machine and pretend the knowledge will transform me into a conscious being. It will be another vain and arrogant lie. It is an entirely different thing to suffer failure trying to stand apart from the machine´s demands, temptations, desires, habits, etc. with a new narrative. Non identification with the machine is when the real war starts, not when I read a book. The experience of failure trying to control the levers of the machine is the beginning of real understanding of the terror of the situation for us all.

Oh yes, Megan. Let´s try playing around with the levers of power controlling the machine. That is the line of force of my post. We are playing with the Devil, as we used to say. Well, the Devil never forgets a trick and he will eat flies when he is hungry. The predator´s mind will add knowledge protects and I am a machine to its resume and continue business as usual. The machine will pleasantly polish apples all day long, while a new and barely conscious I is smothered in its sleep.

All that being said for effect; your suggestion to step away from identification with black OR white thinking and play with a black AND white narrative and their mingling, may begin to find a point of balance for real I somewhere between black AND white or is it hovering above the mechanical alternatives either black or white. I don´t have the answers how to proceed beyond the shock of real understanding that go2 is a machine, discovered by experimenting with the levers of power in the black OR white machine. It is a matter of being, not a matter of knowledge. I wish to have being to remember and do what I know. Unhappy man that I am, I know and cannot do. Perhaps, a little humor would help.

On a little different line, I understand Laura´s contention that she transforms anger into a force to do. I am far from mastering such an elemental force, but it seems aim must be part of Laura´s answer. I aim to be a good guest within the hospitality of the forum. When I forget this aim, the force of anger to outrage, hurt, and control is apparent when I reread my words. I also see through the fog, that I am almost certainly an emotionally centered man. It was feeling Kahneman giving the Nobel Prize Lecture that was the origin of force for these comments. I held the post for many weeks, before playing the Devil´s song. I am grateful to the forum network for transforming this line of force into something positive to add to our knowledge and being.
 

anart

The Living Force
go2 said:
Yes, I can read the book proving I am a machine and pretend the knowledge will transform me into a conscious being. It will be another vain and arrogant lie. It is an entirely different thing to suffer failure trying to stand apart from the machine´s demands, temptations, desires, habits, etc. with a new narrative. Non identification with the machine is when the real war starts, not when I read a book.

go2, I'm finding it increasingly difficult to understand your thinking in this thread. In fact, it reads like you're in full destruction mode, entirely missing the crux of the matter - and vehemently doing so. No one has EVER said that reading a book will transform a person. It is only in the application of knowledge gained by reading books that anything changes.

So - what is really going on with you? Are you behaving so petulantly for a reason, or just because you can't get over yourself enough to actually try to move past the self-pity into something more useful?
 

truth seeker

The Living Force
go2 said:
I don´t have the answers how to proceed beyond the shock of real understanding that go2 is a machine, discovered by experimenting with the levers of power in the black OR white machine. It is a matter of being, not a matter of knowledge. I wish to have being to remember and do what I know. Unhappy man that I am, I know and cannot do.

So it sounds as if you feel as if it's useless to try because with all that you feel you have learned, you don't know how to utilize it? Perhaps this makes you feel as if there's something "unfixable" or "wrong" with you? Know that this is common and that although many times we can't see our own progress, it's there.

Maybe there were times in your past where you were made to feel as though you had to always have the answers? Unfortunately this isn't possible. If I'm off, please correct me. If it's true, why not share this burden so you don't have to be alone in it?
 

mb

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go2 said:
...Unhappy man that I am, I know and cannot do. Perhaps, a little humor would help...

That's very possible. Or you could try _http://www.lifesucksbigtime.com, where you get to vote on other people's problems. It's brimming with stories.

The trouble with all these stories is that they aren't true. Some of it might be true; who knows? But when you believe all the stuff your mind is creating, good news or bad news -- you're screwed. At least until you stop believing it. Forget the levers of power -- just find the mute button.
 
A

andi

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Go2, from what you wrote it looks to me like you are punishing yourself for being what you are. Wasn't that the point, to find out about yourself? If you feel you are so "bad", why not look back where you began -any difference?
 
A

andi

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truth seeker said:
go2 said:
I don´t have the answers how to proceed beyond the shock of real understanding that go2 is a machine, discovered by experimenting with the levers of power in the black OR white machine. It is a matter of being, not a matter of knowledge. I wish to have being to remember and do what I know. Unhappy man that I am, I know and cannot do.

So it sounds as if you feel as if it's useless to try because with all that you feel you have learned, you don't know how to utilize it? Perhaps this makes you feel as if there's something "unfixable" or "wrong" with you? Know that this is common and that although many times we can't see our own progress, it's there.

Maybe there were times in your past where you were made to feel as though you had to always have the answers? Unfortunately this isn't possible. If I'm off, please correct me. If it's true, why not share this burden so you don't have to be alone in it?

Second that.
 
A

andi

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If I fallow what Laura said earlier, looks like the predator mind we are fighting, this alien installation, could well be the machine in us, or what make us the machines we are. If we are souls, then it is our personality that is the alien installation and we fight as essence to bring the personality to its origins. OSIT
 

Oxajil

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go2 said:
It is a matter of being, not a matter of knowledge.

As G. wrote:

"There are two lines along which man's development proceeds, the line of knowledge and the line of being. In right evolution the line of knowledge and the line of being develop simultaneously, parallel to, and helping one another. But if the line of knowledge gets too far ahead of the line of being, or if the line of being gets ahead of the line of knowledge, man’s development goes wrong, and sooner or later it must come to a standstill."

And:

"Without self knowledge, without understanding the working and functions of his machine, man cannot be free, he cannot govern himself and he will always remain a slave."
 

Buddy

The Living Force
go2 said:
Yes, I can read the book proving I am a machine and pretend the knowledge will transform me into a conscious being. It will be another vain and arrogant lie. It is an entirely different thing to suffer failure trying to stand apart from the machine´s demands, temptations, desires, habits, etc. with a new narrative. Non identification with the machine is when the real war starts, not when I read a book. The experience of failure trying to control the levers of the machine is the beginning of real understanding of the terror of the situation for us all.

go2, while I agree with you that we can hardly gain a visceral understanding of our mechanical state from books, I'd say we can increase our understanding of some of the mechanics of suffering. That might (or might not) put us in a better position to allow change to happen.

Basically, we can get ourselves into a state where we are holding onto two highly contrasted states of consciousness. At any given moment we're seeing one and being the other and we can throw, or attempt to throw, our awareness back and forth between them. Every time we cross the threshold between these highly contrasted states, a current in our 'sympathy to self' layer can be induced to flow. This is not unlike passing a coil of wire through the poles of a magnet and generating in it an electric current, but only while the coil is positively moving across the lines of force. Of course, in terms of established thought and thinking patterns, naturally the narrator stands ready to interpret and 'explain' everything from some known frame of reference - and sometimes to do this instead of simply looking at what is actually happening.

Owen Barfield's 'Poetic Diction' is a good book to understand this dynamic better, OSIT. Ostensibly written for poetry students, he quite plainly describes these mechanics in terms of "aesthetic appreciation". As a person with an active sense of aesthetic appreciation, this works for me! I've been able to shine this light on my own related internal processes and validate it. And because for me it is real, it becomes easy enough to see the mirror image of this dynamic operating in the negative half of the emotional center. At least this is my figurative expression of the subjective perceptions of this phenomena.

To me, with regard to what you are experiencing, this is how things appear, and for you, this is what I have to offer from the aesthetic angle. From the esoteric angle, I think Megan essentially says something similar here. Wonderful post BTW!
 

Laura

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Laura said:
You can build will power, apparently:

How Focus Builds Brain Connections

Dr. David Perlmutter


Neurons develop a relationship that facilitates future coordinated activation as a response to being repeatedly stimulated.

This is how networks are constructed.

While it is quaint to consider the beauty of Tiger Woods’ golf swing as representing a pinnacle in the development of “muscle memory,” the real credit for his performance lies in the memory encoded in the neural networks in his brain that have been refined through years of practice.

But it takes more than simple repetition of a stimulation or activity to create the brain connections that lead to the formation of neural networks. Dr. Michael Merzenich, professor emeritus at the University of California, San Francisco, performed a series of experiments in the mid 1990s demonstrating the importance of attention in the formation of neural networks.

In one experiment he applied a tapping stimulus to the fingers of two groups of monkeys. Occasionally, the rhythm of the tapping would change. In one group, responding to the change in the tapping would result in a reward; a sip of juice. In the other monkeys, a change in the tapping did would not provide any reward, even if the monkeys responded to the change.

After six weeks, examination of the monkey’s brains revealed profound changes in the monkeys who, by virtue of being rewarded, paid close attention to the stimulus, waiting for the rhythm change.

Specifically, changes were recorded in the specific area of their brains that was involved in processing stimulation to the fingers. No such changes were observed in the monkeys who weren’t paying attention to the stimulus, despite the fact that the stimulus, the tapping on their fingers, was exactly the same.

Looking back on these results and considering the implications for humans, Dr. Merzenich remarked, ”Experience coupled with attention leads to physical changes in the structure and future functioning of the nervous system. This leaves us with a clear physiological fact…moment by moment we choose and sculpt how our ever-changing minds will work, we choose who we will be the next moment in a very real sense, and these choices are left embossed in physical form on our material selves…” In essence, creating neural networks, and indeed the process of neuroplasticity, requires focused attention.

As Dispenza stated,”The key ingredient in making these neural connections…is focused attention. When we mentally attend to whatever we are learning, the brain can map the information on which we are focusing. On the other hand, when we don’t pay complete attention to what we are doing in the present moment, our brain activates a host of other synaptic networks that can distract it from its original attention. Without focused concentration brain connections are not made, and memory is not stored.”

And as Sharon Begley summarized in a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, “The discovery that neuroplasticity cannot occur without attention has important implications. If a skill becomes so routine you can do it on autopilot, practicing it will no longer change the brain. And if you take up mental exercises to keep your brain young, they will not be as effective if you become able to do them without paying much attention.”

So becoming mentally engaged with an activity is requisite for learning that activity. We can choose to strengthen those pathways that serve us in positive ways.

And as we will see later on, this is the science that underlies our ability to choose to enhance our ability to connect with the divine energy field that permeates our existence. Moreover, the corollary of Dr. Hebb’s “neurons that fire together, wire together” thesis provides the understanding that neurons that don’t fire together may ultimately not remain wired together.

So activities need to be maintained if they if their neural networks are to remain functional. This may sound familiar and distressing, but the “glass full” aspect of this concept is that it allows for the disappearance of dysfunctional or detrimental networks when attention is directed away from them.

Research now demonstrates that just the mental aspect of an activity is enough to create the neural connections associated with learning it. In 1995, Dr. Pascuel-Leone conducted experiments in which he demonstrated changes in the brains of individuals only mentally practicing a piano exercise. These brain changes were virtually identical to those seen in subjects who actually physically practiced the instrument. These subjects demonstrated that the mere act of thinking about an activity imparted physical changes in the brain.

And it is this profound discovery that has become a focal point of unified interest in discourse amongst philosophers, scientists, and theologians alike. As Schwartz and Begley propose in their groundbreaking book, The Mind and the Brain,

“ … the time has come for science to confront the serious implications of the fact that directed, willed mental activity can clearly and systematically alter brain function; that the exertion of willful effort generates physical force that has the power to change how the brain works and even its physical structure. The result is directed neuroplasticity.”

David Perlmutter, M.D., FACN is recognized internationally as a leader in the field of nutritional influences in neurological disorders. A board-certified neurologist, Dr. Perlmutter is the author of bestselling books including Power Up Your Brain: The Neuroscience of Enlightenment and The Better Brain Book .



Dr. Perlmutter has appeared on 20/20, Larry King Live, CNN, Fox News, Fox and Friends , the Today show, The Oprah Show, and The Early Show on CBS. He serves as medical director of the Perlmutter Health Center in Florida and is an adjunct instructor at the Institute for Functional Medicine.
 
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