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Apple Talk / Re: Open Bar: Free Russian Orphans with Every Purchase
« Last post by The Wizard Joseph on February 19, 2018, 07:37:51 pm »
Jesus Coyote I'm very glad that you didn't die! I've had similar breakdowns and they are absolutely not okay at all.
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Last post by PoFP on February 19, 2018, 06:17:00 pm »
In our group, we've been talking about the Black Iron Prison. (They don't use the "black iron" part, but it's defintiely the same idea.)

Our automatism takes over our lives. We need habits and schemas and heuristics, but we get stuck in them like machines.

Through dilligent and continual self-observation, we can develop an internal "watcher" who can notice when we have slipped into our mechanical routines.

When you notice yourself acting mechanically, that in itself is a type of freedom (or a sign post pointing towards it). When you observe the Robot, the part of you making the observation is not the Robot. If only we could remember that part of ourselves all the time...

There are practical things you can do, physically, which help you develop this watcher. The body and mind and emotions are tightly linked. Your postures and habits always seem to lead you back to your normal automatic way of being. You might try to be different from how you are today, but then you fall into a habit (smoking a cigarette, answering the phone, whatever) and suddenly the Robot is driving again. So maybe there are postures and movements which the robot cannot do. If we experiment with them, perhaps we can find a new way of thinking, feeling, being.

This got me thinking about the behavioral tendencies of those who always seem to counter the status quo and the natural order of things, and how they connect to the brain.

I'm sure we all remember that kid from grade-school that wouldn't keep still. He/she's always rocking back and forth in their chair, tapping their feet, tapping their pencil on the desk, tilting the desk back and forth, etc. They were often clumsy, and would occasionally tilt their chair back too far and eat shit in front of the whole class. And on the other end of the spectrum, we all remember that person who was almost pathologically consistent and precise with their movements. They didn't move unless they had to, and when they did, they tried to make sure it was quiet and unnoticeable. Each action was often completely calculated.

These behavioral tendencies represent the opposing sides of the awareness/consciousness scale from a neurological standpoint.

The kid who can't stop moving is often described as the kid with ADHD. More complex disorder symptom presentations exist, of course, but for the sake of simplicity and concision, this will suffice.

The kid who calculates all of their decisions and movements could potentially have some sort of OCD or anxiety disorder.

Each of these disorders is involved with the relationship between the Basal Ganglia, which is an important set of brain structures that are essential for the Reward Center of the brain, and the Prefrontal Cortex, which is responsible for establishment of memory, as well as conscious awareness and lucidity. It's theorized that focus and attention manifest as a result of a reverberating feedback loop between these two brain structures, and that dysfunction of this circuit results in disorders like those described above.

When the Basal Ganglia is active, but requires higher-order processing for executive function, it triggers activation of the Prefrontal Cortex. Here, information is processed and stored for later retrieval in the form of consequence cognition, and other information required for conscious decision-making. When the prefrontal cortex is finished, it sends a "cool, message received and handled, now fuck off" message back to the Basal Ganglia, reducing its overall activity to prepare it for the firing it will need to re-activate the prefrontal cortex in the future. For the kid with ADHD, this relationship is weak. The Basal Ganglia's signals aren't strong enough to trigger or maintain activation of the prefrontal cortex effectively, reducing the amount of information that is stored for executive functioning and memory, and reducing the person's overall awareness. The brain, which requires this relationship's success to function properly, craves dopaminergic release in the Basal Ganglia to strengthen the bond between the two structures, since they mainly communicate with Dopaminergic circuits. This is achieved with self-medication using stimulants, or with the excess physical activity we've been observing, since motor control in the brain is also regulated largely with Dopamine. This habitual, excessive physical activity acts as an anchor for consciousness and awareness, and demonstrates precisely what you were describing above. Without it, the ADHDer remains a slave to habitual monotony.

The person with calculated decisions has the exact opposite problem. Their Basal Ganglia is suppressed by excessive activation of the prefrontal cortex, and that "fuck off" message that gets sent as a response. They lack the ability to form the habits that allow them to go on autopilot, placing them in a state of constant awareness. Minor details, like their movements and physical actions, get hyper-analyzed and the person loses the ability to naturally focus on the important details in their current situation. The mind's reaction to this is the ability to multitask constantly, which overloads and exhausts the person, leaving them unwilling to go out of their comfort zone.

Most people who don't have pathologies are somewhere in between these two points on the awareness scale in terms of behavior and cognition. Developing a method for intentional, and productive (As opposed to habitual) awareness should likely be based on the neurological circuit behavior of the person who intends to change. For the person who is often too aware, the solution may be scheduling a simple set of actions to take regularly (Either every day, or every couple hours) that require little effort and attention, to allow for the prefrontal cortex to take a break from processing menial tasks once the scheduled task has become habitual. Otherwise, it may be applicable to take a GABA-A receptor agonist, like Valerian Root in order to calm the prefrontal cortex and allow for productive awareness when it's intended, and not at all times.

For the person who is often less aware, the solution could require stimulants to fix the imbalance, or similar actions to the ones you've described previously regarding leaving yourself triggers for momentary consciousness. It could also be assisted with the ADHDer's natural supplement: Excessive physical activity. Make it a point to tap your fingers or feet on something to anchor yourself to your surroundings and environment and trigger awareness. But be sure to avoid consistent timing and activity patterns, so as to prevent it from becoming a habit. As you mentioned before, the moment you perform something habitual, you put yourself at risk of losing your awareness.

I'm reading this James Moore biography of Gurdjieff. He keeps invoking this image of the Yazidi children who Gurdjieff played with when he was growing up. The Yazidi are thought of as devil worshippers. If you draw a circle of salt around a Yazidi, they won't be able to get out of it.

Gurdjieff's role as a teacher was to disturb the circle of salt that people draw around themselves.

For example, the Hartmanns came from an upper class background, approached Gurdjieff at the beginning of the Bolshevik Revolution. The Gurdjieff school was about to embark on a terrible and dangerous journey through the wilderness, ultimately passing through the front lines of the war five times before they found respite. A weak person would not survive. The Hartmanns wanted to join G, but he knew their status and propriety would be an enormous burden. So he began breaking them out of this circle of salt.

Gurdjieff, the sly man, lured the Hartmanns in by presenting himself as a wealthy prince, someone like them - but when they made the journey to meet him, he adopted the mannerisms of a pauper, made them stay in a hovel, and eat cheap food. (this, btw, was also an act)

When they were about to leave, Gurdjieff told Olga de Hartmann - "You won't be able to come with us. For money, we'll be getting jobs as rock breakers on the road. It's enormously hard work. At the end of the day, the women have to wash the men's feet, and Zaharoff's feet will be very smelly, so you won't be able to do it."

This puts Olga in the position of insisting that she can do it, this won't be an issue --  because this assertion comes from her, it is stronger and worth more than if somebody else told her she could do it. Gurdjieff had to shock her, tease out her strength, make her choose for herself to shed her status and ego. And then, she was ready to become.

that sly man

Very clever indeed. I'm building quite a bit of respect for Gurdjieff, even through indirect, interpreted understanding.
Apple Talk / Re: Open Bar: Free Russian Orphans with Every Purchase
« Last post by Nephew Twiddleton on February 19, 2018, 06:07:04 pm »

Apple Talk / Re: The most OM flim I have ever heard of
« Last post by Faust on February 19, 2018, 05:08:57 pm »
Sounds interesting, you didn't mention that it was from the sixties, the camera work looks quite pretty, even if the actors look like nervous wrecks.
Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« Last post by ReverendJesus on February 19, 2018, 01:02:04 pm »
A fake bead of sweat forms on the android's forehead

I like this. I've got the image in my head here of a cut to a closeup on a nozzle specifically designed to extrude fake beads of sweat.
As a matter of fact, Ouestionable Content's alternate universe has specifically addressed this issue. They have a little nozzle, and a "thick whitish fluid" comes out.
Apple Talk / The most OM flim I have ever heard of
« Last post by ReverendJesus on February 19, 2018, 12:18:08 pm »
So. Just found out about this one a little while ago; this is a gloriously bizarre story of mindfuckery. This is so OM, _we still don't know who was being pranked_ -- the crew of the Film, the crew of the Documentary, or the audience of the Feature Film. I absolutely love everything about this story; it's a short film being made in Central Park. There is a documentary crew shooting about the making of the film. The "actual" director -- the central mindfucker of the equation -- is playing, or possibly "playing," the director of the film, which is a fictional short film shot in Central Park. There's a crew shooting a "making of" documentary, who appear on screen, shot by the actual, or possibly "actual," documenters, who are shooting the footage for a feature film about the making of the documentary. The film is terrible, and it becomes clear that the crew suspect the director has no plan for the film, he's just doing busywork until he thinks of something...
I can barely get my head 'round the story. I shall follow up this thread once I've found a place to watch it...
Oh, it's called Symbiopsychotaxiplasm Take One.
Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« Last post by Prelate Diogenes Shandor on February 18, 2018, 05:04:43 pm »
Ok I just reread my last suggestion and it's kind of stupid as is. Here's how I decided it should go:

The protagonist's friend or dog or father figure almost dies and forces them to comr=e to grips with death. But though they don't die Death is now after them in a Final Destination-esque fashion


Someone poignantly dies but then they come back from the dead as a ghost or vampire or something and it turns into a supernatural teen romance


dog/friend/father figure dies and protagonist spends most of the story on a quest for for a magical artifact capable of restoring life, such as the elixir of life, the necronomicon, or the holy grail. The quest succeeds. Alternately they might spend their life developing a Re-Animator-esque serum

A fake bead of sweat forms on the android's forehead

I like this. I've got the image in my head here of a cut to a closeup on a nozzle specifically designed to extrude fake beads of sweat.
Bring and Brag / Re: P3nT's Shoops
« Last post by P3nT4gR4m on February 18, 2018, 12:01:43 pm »
Pretty Boy Zeke. When there's no room for boy bands left in hell. (Zoom in for extra juicy detail!)

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