Author Topic: You're not conscious  (Read 1930 times)

PoFP

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Re: You're not conscious
« Reply #45 on: April 20, 2017, 11:01:18 pm »
A concept that helped me out a little bit:

If we're talking about "increasing" consciousness, we will also need a way to measure it.

Let's focus on that moment of reflection and awareness ("Self remembering"). Recognize that in that moment, our level consciousness is higher than normal: We're able to see our own thought processes and incorporate them into our decision making. We're able to self analyze. (some would say: that's the nascent Real Self)

But it doesn't last! It quickly gets forgotten as the habitual mind grabs the reigns again.

  • We can measure Consciousness in terms of frequency - how frequently do you have these moments?
  • We can measure consciousness in terms of length - how long did you manage to stay conscious and hold off the habitual mind?
  • We can measure consciousness in terms of depth - while self remembering, how much more were we aware of? What were you able to do while in that space?

Once you have the language to measure consciousness, you can start thinking about how to increase it.

Yesterday, I talked about increasing frequency of consciousness by giving yourself "shocks", little surprises which remind you to focus. This is very familiar to we zen-absurdists who like knocking people out of their routine through humor and absurdity. Little did you know, this is 'the way of the sly man'.

Next, let's talk about length. If you want to increase length of consciousness, you have to fix a goal in your mind. Aim the bow. Next time you are in the 'conscious space', just try to stay there just a moment longer.

You will fail... you will inevitably be distracted & fall back into the mechanical self. But with concentration, you can preserve it, insulate it against the habitual mind. Try it out.

Do the split attention exercise. Take a moment to recognize the feelings in your body, your intellect, your emotions. The moment of distraction is coming. See if you can anticipate it. Focus on what that moment is like, what happens to you. Develop a conscious experience of that moment.


It gets easier with practice.

In general, I would recommend that the level of complexity of and time-span set aside for the goals you have at the time should be inversely proportional to the frequency and length of consciousness (Using this term in the context used in the above selection).

Let me expand by first pointing out that the brain has different complex structures and neural networks that excel in very different areas. And some of these areas are very deeply inhibited during certain levels of concentration and consciousness.

Social goals, for example, tend to be complicated and very hard to complete with long periods of deep consciousness. Social skills fall apart in moments of extreme self awareness because self-awareness stresses the ego. It's best to have yourself consciously reminded of your social goals some time before relevant personal interactions so that you still have the intent sitting in the back of your head, but so that you don't get so deep into it that you psych yourself out and lose confidence. In fact, if you require confidence, consciousness is rarely acceptable.

Edit: Making a bit of a correction here, as I've deeply oversimplified conscious socialization. One can be confident and conscious in social interactions, especially if the topic of the interaction, or the environment of the interaction is familiar. Hence, the increase in confidence and mental flexibility of those increasingly involved in public speaking.

If your goal is physical, and involving motor skill building, one should limit direct awareness of the action if it's within your direct field of vision. For example, when I was learning Lennart Green's Top-shot card trick, I found that I was much more accurate at catching the card when paying direct attention to something else. Conscious awareness of the trick itself was frustrating and stressful, and didn't increase my chances of success at all. But my chances of catching the card were increased by 300% if I watched a TV show while doing the trick.

Edit: Adding to this as I was in a rush. This increase in accuracy is due to the specialization of the subconscious on peripheral perception and motor calculation. You only start including deeper levels of consciousness when you want to expand on the trick. But only do so for short periods of time to remind yourself of the goal of the expansion of the trick. The goal to quick learning is always keeping the current conscious goal just on the edge of your reach, and allowing the subconscious to figure out the details of getting there (Mainly only applying this to motor-skil based goals).

If the goal is work related, complicated, and over a long period of time (Maybe months long), one should attempt only short periods of deep consciousness in between each major interaction or action that is relevant to confirm that the direction of your environment/life variables falls in line, and to confirm whether or not the actions you've taken have put you closer to your goal. The depth should vary based on complexity of the work, as some people require more complexity for their jobs. In this case, I would say the depth is relative.

Edit: As was said before by others, keep the depth of consciousness limited if the actions in between each major event are boring. Maybe, before big work related projects/goals, spend some time planning fun activities to go in between the events during which you can be conscious and appreciate unrelated things and not lose sight or interest of your goals.

Depth of consciousness will likely vary from person to person as some people feel more pain and are generally more sensitive during periods of deep consciousness. If you are one of these, then I might recommend that you smoke weed, as it seems to allow for longer periods of deep consciousness/awareness while also numbing the ailments of the body. The problem with this is, it limits your thoughts and ideas to a certain range of complexity. That complexity tends to be centered higher than usual, but it's hard to have the simple thoughts that actually function/apply in the real world. Therefore, that's mostly only useful when you have no goals  :lulz:
« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 12:14:32 am by PoFP »
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Cramulus

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Re: You're not conscious
« Reply #46 on: April 21, 2017, 04:13:05 pm »
I thinks it may be helpful not to assign a strict hierarchy that elevates self-reflection over the mundane routines of everyday habit. Some have argued that it is actually in the transparency of everyday activity that we are most ourselves. 

I don't think I agree. Do you really the You which is in the middle of some automatic process (making coffee.. driving to the bank.. checking your FB feed) is more real, is better equipped, than the You who reflects and makes decisions? If you are dealing with something difficult, which space would you rather make decisions from?

Gurdjieff calls us "three brained beings" - he says our three brains are the intellect, the emotions, and the body. Most of the time, one of these brains is driving the meat machine and excludes the others.

Like when you're hungry, your body wants dinner, and it puts pressure into the system. You get cranky... often you will vent shit at the people around you. This seems to happen automatically. If you are AWARE that you are being a dickhead because you're hungry, you can take steps to not act that way.

The idea here is that you're able to work better - in life - when your "three brains" are balanced, when you're not ignoring one of them. To this end, you can develop a "watcher" in your own mind which observes your thoughts and emotions and impulses. If you can observe this stuff happening without identifying with it, you can make better choices about how to act.


To draw another example from personal experience...

I went through a big romantic breakup recently. I'm still trying to get my feet on the ground. Self-observation has helped me recognize the fears and insecurities in my emotional center and how they creep into my actions.

I started dating again before I was ready. Through reflection, I came to understand why - because I was afraid of being alone with myself. When I was able to recognize that fear was fueling my behavior, I could see that I was making bad decisions.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 04:15:03 pm by Cramulus »

PoFP

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Re: You're not conscious
« Reply #47 on: April 21, 2017, 08:34:13 pm »
Oh yeah definitely! You can't escape that, and shouldn't. You can't just go about your entire life with awareness cranked all the way up. You self-remember, then you get distracted by something, and you're back into the habitual mind. And do you really want to be fully conscious while doing boring repetitive work?


I <3 Huckabees: The Ball Thing



But on the other side, there are entire weeks that go by where I'm just running mental routines--awareness is just a flickering pilot light. While you're in the habitual, you never ask yourself "Why am I doing this?"

It seems like we only ask ourselves the BIG QUESTIONS after a tragedy. Why is that?


in part, it's because the everyday has been BREACHED
I thinks it may be helpful not to assign a strict hierarchy that elevates self-reflection over the mundane routines of everyday habit. Some have argued that it is actually in the transparency of everyday activity that we are most ourselves.  When that is breached, the act upon which we reflect, with BIG questions, will not necessarily be making present to us a more informed view of ourselves as opposed to who we are not. The "privilege" of the break-down is then more to provide a differential for self-understanding, instead of being an end in itself.  The thing about when I am most myself is actually that it usually consists of an absence of self-reflection. So, that's tricky.  :lulz:

I propose an alternative perspective:

I think people say that we are most "who we are" when we're not self-aware because of the fact that "who we are" tends to be associated with our actions. In other words "You are what you do." And I would argue that Cramulus is correct about us being unaware most of the time, which would imply that most of our actions are done while unaware and unreflecting. So in a sense, I would say you're right, but only because Cramulus is right. The more reflective and aware we are of our actions, the more likely we are to make frequent conscious decisions to take conscious actions. Which would eventually shift what we do (And by direct association, what we are) to be the more reflective and aware self.

TL;DR: I think you've got cause and effect switched in this case.




Cramulus:

I like your idea of triggering consciousness throughout the day like an alarm clock. I also think that it can be expanded to trigger, not only consciousness, but also trigger specific thoughts and other more complex aspects of the mind.

First, let me explain (And Nigel, feel free to get pedantic here. This is your field of study. Don't hold back.) that everything you look at that is even somewhat familiar causes specific neurons to fire. They've done studies and found the exact neurons/groups of neurons that fire at the mention of, say Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston as a couple. Everyone who paid attention to that relationship in Magazines during the time that it was relevant has a neuron in their brain that fires when they see pictures of them together, or sees their names together. More complex ideas and references can cause entire networks of neurons to fire, and those ideas and references become associated with those specific neurons for long periods of time (Or forever?).

The cool part is, these neural networks can be connected if you cause these neural networks to fire one after the other multiple times in a row (Long Term Potentiation, if I understand it correctly), thus causing the neural networks to be associated with each other. It won't necessarily cause the networks to fire simultaneously (Or close together) every time, but you can increase the chances of that happening. Essentially, you can get your consciousness alarms to trigger specific, unrelated neural networks to fire if you linguistically or semantically connect the two. If you constantly reflect and force awareness of a specific area of your mind (Trigger a specific neural network) when exposed to a specific consciousness alarm (Or unusual stimulus), you can cause that reflection to happen automatically, almost in the background. In other words, you can automate that reflection/analysis so that you don't necessarily have to be conscious for it. The subconscious can take over that particular mental activity in the future.
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Re: You're not conscious
« Reply #48 on: April 21, 2017, 09:11:54 pm »

I like your idea of triggering consciousness throughout the day like an alarm clock. I also think that it can be expanded to trigger, not only consciousness, but also trigger specific thoughts and other more complex aspects of the mind.

First, let me explain (And Nigel, feel free to get pedantic here. This is your field of study. Don't hold back.) that everything you look at that is even somewhat familiar causes specific neurons to fire. They've done studies and found the exact neurons/groups of neurons that fire at the mention of, say Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston as a couple. Everyone who paid attention to that relationship in Magazines during the time that it was relevant has a neuron in their brain that fires when they see pictures of them together, or sees their names together. More complex ideas and references can cause entire networks of neurons to fire, and those ideas and references become associated with those specific neurons for long periods of time (Or forever?).

The cool part is, these neural networks can be connected if you cause these neural networks to fire one after the other multiple times in a row (Long Term Potentiation, if I understand it correctly), thus causing the neural networks to be associated with each other. It won't necessarily cause the networks to fire simultaneously (Or close together) every time, but you can increase the chances of that happening. Essentially, you can get your consciousness alarms to trigger specific, unrelated neural networks to fire if you linguistically or semantically connect the two. If you constantly reflect and force awareness of a specific area of your mind (Trigger a specific neural network) when exposed to a specific consciousness alarm (Or unusual stimulus), you can cause that reflection to happen automatically, almost in the background. In other words, you can automate that reflection/analysis so that you don't necessarily have to be conscious for it. The subconscious can take over that particular mental activity in the future.

Sounds like doing reality checks throughout the day to trigger lucid dreams while asleep.
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Re: You're not conscious
« Reply #49 on: April 21, 2017, 10:26:17 pm »

I like your idea of triggering consciousness throughout the day like an alarm clock. I also think that it can be expanded to trigger, not only consciousness, but also trigger specific thoughts and other more complex aspects of the mind.

First, let me explain (And Nigel, feel free to get pedantic here. This is your field of study. Don't hold back.) that everything you look at that is even somewhat familiar causes specific neurons to fire. They've done studies and found the exact neurons/groups of neurons that fire at the mention of, say Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston as a couple. Everyone who paid attention to that relationship in Magazines during the time that it was relevant has a neuron in their brain that fires when they see pictures of them together, or sees their names together. More complex ideas and references can cause entire networks of neurons to fire, and those ideas and references become associated with those specific neurons for long periods of time (Or forever?).

The cool part is, these neural networks can be connected if you cause these neural networks to fire one after the other multiple times in a row (Long Term Potentiation, if I understand it correctly), thus causing the neural networks to be associated with each other. It won't necessarily cause the networks to fire simultaneously (Or close together) every time, but you can increase the chances of that happening. Essentially, you can get your consciousness alarms to trigger specific, unrelated neural networks to fire if you linguistically or semantically connect the two. If you constantly reflect and force awareness of a specific area of your mind (Trigger a specific neural network) when exposed to a specific consciousness alarm (Or unusual stimulus), you can cause that reflection to happen automatically, almost in the background. In other words, you can automate that reflection/analysis so that you don't necessarily have to be conscious for it. The subconscious can take over that particular mental activity in the future.

Sounds like doing reality checks throughout the day to trigger lucid dreams while asleep.

If I understand lucid dreaming properly, you would need that consciousness alarm or stimulus to happen while asleep. Based on the documentation that I read (And this is awhile ago), lucid dreaming happens when the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is active during sleep. Ordinarily, however, the DLPFC is off, or mostly inactive while asleep, and is generally only turned on during sleep due to outside stimuli. Things like having quiet audio playing during sleep, audio quiet enough to not wake you, but loud enough to trigger the auditory cortex, which somehow (And I can't find information on how at the moment, nor do I remember how it does this) activates the DLPFC. Ideally, you should be able to trigger that automated reflection and analysis I mentioned earlier during this time. But again, the stimulus would have to be simple and clear enough to trigger the target neural network, but quiet enough not to wake you completely.
Listen carefully. I don't have much time, and I only have 462 characters left. I'm a scientist from Area 52 (Area 51 was used to draw attention from Area 52, where the aliens were ACTUALLY stored) who was working on neural interfacing with networked devices. In an experiment gone wrong, I accidentally uploaded my mind to the internet. In the 2 seconds I had before my mind scrambled itself with the world's network traffic, I was able to store this snippet in this random internet signature. If you're reading this, let the world know tha

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: You're not conscious
« Reply #50 on: April 21, 2017, 11:58:08 pm »

Cramulus:

I like your idea of triggering consciousness throughout the day like an alarm clock. I also think that it can be expanded to trigger, not only consciousness, but also trigger specific thoughts and other more complex aspects of the mind.

First, let me explain (And Nigel, feel free to get pedantic here. This is your field of study. Don't hold back.) that everything you look at that is even somewhat familiar causes specific neurons to fire. They've done studies and found the exact neurons/groups of neurons that fire at the mention of, say Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston as a couple. Everyone who paid attention to that relationship in Magazines during the time that it was relevant has a neuron in their brain that fires when they see pictures of them together, or sees their names together. More complex ideas and references can cause entire networks of neurons to fire, and those ideas and references become associated with those specific neurons for long periods of time (Or forever?).

The cool part is, these neural networks can be connected if you cause these neural networks to fire one after the other multiple times in a row (Long Term Potentiation, if I understand it correctly), thus causing the neural networks to be associated with each other. It won't necessarily cause the networks to fire simultaneously (Or close together) every time, but you can increase the chances of that happening. Essentially, you can get your consciousness alarms to trigger specific, unrelated neural networks to fire if you linguistically or semantically connect the two. If you constantly reflect and force awareness of a specific area of your mind (Trigger a specific neural network) when exposed to a specific consciousness alarm (Or unusual stimulus), you can cause that reflection to happen automatically, almost in the background. In other words, you can automate that reflection/analysis so that you don't necessarily have to be conscious for it. The subconscious can take over that particular mental activity in the future.

Truth. We even have a silly little saying; "Neurons that fire together wire together".

I wish I had a little more time to engage with this thread. I'm literally in my A&P lab stealing a free moment for internetting.  :lulz: Maybe I can get at it this weekend.
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Re: You're not conscious
« Reply #51 on: April 22, 2017, 01:41:37 am »
I thinks it may be helpful not to assign a strict hierarchy that elevates self-reflection over the mundane routines of everyday habit. Some have argued that it is actually in the transparency of everyday activity that we are most ourselves. 

I don't think I agree. Do you really the You which is in the middle of some automatic process (making coffee.. driving to the bank.. checking your FB feed) is more real, is better equipped, than the You who reflects and makes decisions? If you are dealing with something difficult, which space would you rather make decisions from?

IMO, these are all, collectively, "you", and if any one of your competing networks is damaged or disabled, the result is dysfunction.
Quote
Gurdjieff calls us "three brained beings" - he says our three brains are the intellect, the emotions, and the body. Most of the time, one of these brains is driving the meat machine and excludes the others.

This may not be very far off the truth. In my opinion (and this is something I haven't written extensively about because it's an idea still in development, so I don't want it stolen), consciousness probably arises from multiple major rich-club networks which all have different priorities communicating, and probably competing, with one another simultaneously. In other words, consciousness arises from the need for these networks to reconcile their efforts to control output in the form of behavior.


Quote
Like when you're hungry, your body wants dinner, and it puts pressure into the system. You get cranky... often you will vent shit at the people around you. This seems to happen automatically. If you are AWARE that you are being a dickhead because you're hungry, you can take steps to not act that way.

Totally, and this is where executive function comes in; that very important prefrontal-cortical impulse-checking network that Freud called the superego, also the most recently evolved, is extremely important to keep the impulse-driven, urge-satisfying, more primitive amygdala-and-parietal-dominated network from just doin' stuff. That forebrain network is suppressed by alcohol consumption, FWIW.

Quote
The idea here is that you're able to work better - in life - when your "three brains" are balanced, when you're not ignoring one of them. To this end, you can develop a "watcher" in your own mind which observes your thoughts and emotions and impulses. If you can observe this stuff happening without identifying with it, you can make better choices about how to act.

The guy seems to have extended the Freudian concepts of id, ego, and superego considerably, and I think he is on the right track in many ways. The "watcher" is likely a simple self-check circuit that can be developed through habit reinforcement.

“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: You're not conscious
« Reply #52 on: April 22, 2017, 01:44:30 am »
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


LuciferX

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Re: You're not conscious
« Reply #53 on: April 23, 2017, 01:06:07 am »
I thinks it may be helpful not to assign a strict hierarchy that elevates self-reflection over the mundane routines of everyday habit. Some have argued that it is actually in the transparency of everyday activity that we are most ourselves. 

I don't think I agree. Do you really the You which is in the middle of some automatic process (making coffee.. driving to the bank.. checking your FB feed) is more real, is better equipped, than the You who reflects and makes decisions? If you are dealing with something difficult, which space would you rather make decisions from?

[... abridged to compensate for reduced mental buffer capacity due to presence of guest + baby in current peripheral environment]


I don't disagree with the whole thinking fast & slow paradigm, however I find it's application more suited to the control and manipulation of human behaviour.  I don't really equate consciousness with behavioral agency, defined as the possibility to do otherwise.  Before I am free to do this or that, there is a primordial "I can" that discloses a horizon of possibility. This allows me to engage the world in a way that makes a difference to me. It is not that particular choices are irrelevant, it's just that they may as well be without the condition of being "free" to care about the difference between them. Put another way, not why, but how does my freedom concern me, in the first place? For me, the miracle of it is that somehow I am provided with giving a fuck about it, at all.

I think that slow, deliberate thinking can also be engaged transparently, however I use common, everyday activities to provide more relatable examples; also, to help prevent myself identifying with a tradition that has long neglected the echo of such admonitions against falling in love with one's own reflection, etc.

As far a consciousness, self-understanding, and remembering go, it is not that I am "better equipped" in the absence of analytical reflection, rather, the self to which I am relating in reflection is mostly an image or empty trace of that which I think myself directed to intentionally.  Like the finger that can't point to itself, the angle of approach must be sideways.  When your not analytically tearing it to pieces, it is already there, and any approach based on reflection is a breakdown, with at best an asymptotic trajectory. That's why it's so deliciously tricky.

PoFP & Nigel: I'm really digging the neuroscience, moar please!

[generally, I will be spending more time in this thread, and so should everyone. And, because I'm renting a fire-proof skin-suit for the weekend, I think we should also all focus on how superior MoE (mixture of expert) neural networks are to any previous research done with rich-club layers.  :wink:]
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Re: You're not conscious
« Reply #54 on: April 24, 2017, 09:36:23 pm »
If you constantly reflect and force awareness of a specific area of your mind (Trigger a specific neural network) when exposed to a specific consciousness alarm (Or unusual stimulus), you can cause that reflection to happen automatically, almost in the background. In other words, you can automate that reflection/analysis so that you don't necessarily have to be conscious for it. The subconscious can take over that particular mental activity in the future.


This is something they deal with later in the gurdjieff work. There's this idea of an "instinctive center", our habit engine. I think Gurdjieff and Ouspensky describe ways to hack it... the goal is to build shocks, mindfulness, into your habits.

The exercise I'm doing this week is to be mindful every time I open a door.

I haven't succeeded even once so far lol





the comparison between lucid dreaming "reality checks" and developing a habit of consciousness is apt

« Last Edit: April 24, 2017, 09:39:04 pm by Cramulus »

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Re: You're not conscious
« Reply #55 on: April 25, 2017, 02:17:33 am »
If you constantly reflect and force awareness of a specific area of your mind (Trigger a specific neural network) when exposed to a specific consciousness alarm (Or unusual stimulus), you can cause that reflection to happen automatically, almost in the background. In other words, you can automate that reflection/analysis so that you don't necessarily have to be conscious for it. The subconscious can take over that particular mental activity in the future.


This is something they deal with later in the gurdjieff work. There's this idea of an "instinctive center", our habit engine. I think Gurdjieff and Ouspensky describe ways to hack it... the goal is to build shocks, mindfulness, into your habits.


I dunno if you saw it, but that's exactly what the article I posted is about... let me know if you can't access it, I can't tell whether it's behind a paywall or not when I'm logged in at work.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3325518/

Here's the abstract:
Quote
It is now widely accepted that instrumental actions can be either goal-directed or habitual; whereas the former are rapidly acquire and regulated by their outcome, the latter are reflexive, elicited by antecedent stimuli rather than their consequences. Model-based reinforcement learning (RL) provides an elegant description of goal-directed action. Through exposure to states, actions and rewards, the agent rapidly constructs a model of the world and can choose an appropriate action based on quite abstract changes in environmental and evaluative demands. This model is powerful but has a problem explaining the development of habitual actions. To account for habits, theorists have argued that another action controller is required, called model-free RL, that does not form a model of the world but rather caches action values within states allowing a state to select an action based on its reward history rather than its consequences. Nevertheless, there are persistent problems with important predictions from the model; most notably the failure of model-free RL correctly to predict the insensitivity of habitual actions to changes in the action-reward contingency. Here, we suggest that introducing model-free RL in instrumental conditioning is unnecessary and demonstrate that reconceptualizing habits as action sequences allows model-based RL to be applied to both goal-directed and habitual actions in a manner consistent with what real animals do. This approach has significant implications for the way habits are currently investigated and generates new experimental predictions.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: You're not conscious
« Reply #56 on: April 25, 2017, 02:56:56 am »
If you constantly reflect and force awareness of a specific area of your mind (Trigger a specific neural network) when exposed to a specific consciousness alarm (Or unusual stimulus), you can cause that reflection to happen automatically, almost in the background. In other words, you can automate that reflection/analysis so that you don't necessarily have to be conscious for it. The subconscious can take over that particular mental activity in the future.


This is something they deal with later in the gurdjieff work. There's this idea of an "instinctive center", our habit engine. I think Gurdjieff and Ouspensky describe ways to hack it... the goal is to build shocks, mindfulness, into your habits.

The exercise I'm doing this week is to be mindful every time I open a door.

I haven't succeeded even once so far lol





the comparison between lucid dreaming "reality checks" and developing a habit of consciousness is apt



Okay, so I just don't get the lucid dreaming thing.  Maybe I'm a light sleeper, running on some kind of deficit, I don't know. When I think about analysis, as taking-apart, the discursive process requires discerning separate determinations. How is it logically possible to perform this operation subconsciously, without a ground of recognition that is nescesary for reason to operate?
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Re: You're not conscious
« Reply #57 on: April 25, 2017, 05:24:33 am »
If you constantly reflect and force awareness of a specific area of your mind (Trigger a specific neural network) when exposed to a specific consciousness alarm (Or unusual stimulus), you can cause that reflection to happen automatically, almost in the background. In other words, you can automate that reflection/analysis so that you don't necessarily have to be conscious for it. The subconscious can take over that particular mental activity in the future.


This is something they deal with later in the gurdjieff work. There's this idea of an "instinctive center", our habit engine. I think Gurdjieff and Ouspensky describe ways to hack it... the goal is to build shocks, mindfulness, into your habits.

The exercise I'm doing this week is to be mindful every time I open a door.

I haven't succeeded even once so far lol





the comparison between lucid dreaming "reality checks" and developing a habit of consciousness is apt



Okay, so I just don't get the lucid dreaming thing.  Maybe I'm a light sleeper, running on some kind of deficit, I don't know. When I think about analysis, as taking-apart, the discursive process requires discerning separate determinations. How is it logically possible to perform this operation subconsciously, without a ground of recognition that is nescesary for reason to operate?

I don't know enough to answer this in detail, but I know enough to say that this is true:

The "seat of reasoning", the executive function bit of the brain, is not a soul. It is not magical, special or even particularly different from the rest of your cranial meatloaf, and can be activated by stimuli the same way that anything else (memories, phantom sensations, you name it) can be. It's ~3 pounds of meat and chemicals and electricity, not a tiny man in a control center.

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Re: You're not conscious
« Reply #58 on: April 25, 2017, 06:18:02 am »
I'm intrigued by all kinds of consciousness, and I'm not convinced that "mindfulness" is an appropriate measuring stick for it. It isn't particularly useful to define "levels" (or gradiations, or whatever) of consciousness as becoming more true or real or appropriate as they approach greater proximity to the "here and now". A lollygagging daydream that steals whole minutes or hours from one's memory or perception of the immediate moment or environment isn't evidence that consciousness itself is waning to anyone except maybe an outside observer. It seems better to approach the fitness of one's state of mind in terms of how useful that state is to one's chosen objective: Mindfulness is probably a good idea when interacting with other people or studying psychology or the environment. It may be less useful or even wholly inappropriate for other pursuits, as in artistic or creative work.

I'm also going to say I find reductive materialism so incredibly, mercilessly dull that it is its own excuse for intentionally believing preposterous woo just to escape it.
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Re: You're not conscious
« Reply #59 on: April 25, 2017, 07:20:44 am »
I'm intrigued by all kinds of consciousness, and I'm not convinced that "mindfulness" is an appropriate measuring stick for it. It isn't particularly useful to define "levels" (or gradiations, or whatever) of consciousness as becoming more true or real or appropriate as they approach greater proximity to the "here and now". A lollygagging daydream that steals whole minutes or hours from one's memory or perception of the immediate moment or environment isn't evidence that consciousness itself is waning to anyone except maybe an outside observer. It seems better to approach the fitness of one's state of mind in terms of how useful that state is to one's chosen objective: Mindfulness is probably a good idea when interacting with other people or studying psychology or the environment. It may be less useful or even wholly inappropriate for other pursuits, as in artistic or creative work.

I'm also going to say I find reductive materialism so incredibly, mercilessly dull that it is its own excuse for intentionally believing preposterous woo just to escape it.

RE: the bolded, I get that. But this isn't particularly boring materialism to me -- it's actually super useful.

When I was thinking on his question and what the answer was, somehow I hadn't fully gotten that there's no magical wall separating the decision-making apparatus from the stimulus-response rule. When I got that: boom. I had the key to the solutions of multiple parts of my broad-scope mental health issues sitting right in front of me. I won't be neurotypical, but I can at least, over time, adapt myself to be able to interact with the modern world in a broadly "normal" way. That's extremely liberating.

I guess it's kind of like woo that's real and actually works -- instead of the power of positive thinking, it's the power of psychological conditioning.