Mod+ 266. RICK ARCHER, CAN CONSCIOUSNESS CHANGE CULTURE?

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by AlexT, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. Dmitch

    Dmitch New

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    It's really difficult to wrap the mind around this realization thing, intellectually speaking. Who is doing the realization?
     
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  2. Lester Levenson
    http://www.stillnessspeaks.com/sitehtml/llevenson/keystoultimate.pdf
     
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  3. This is not necessarily a mystical statement. For example, a lot of negative emotions are not really necessary but the mind produces them anyway and it makes us unhappy and can poison the quality of our existence. For example if something annoys you, there is no law of physics that requires that you get annoyed. You might even recognize that being annoyed is unwanted but you still get annoyed. The mind produces this annoyance, it has no basis in physical reality, it is totally unnecessary, and it is unwanted. It is illusion. You might say that there is a biological explanation, but that is just an explanation of how the projector works. A projection is not something real. And the mind does this to us constantly, it produces opinions, attachments, aversions, worries, fears, ... all are illusions, but most of the time we swallow the bait and think they are real. Because they appear in our mind, we assume that they are our ideas and we accept them as part of our reality, we rarely question them.

    Realization allows you to become free from these illusions.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2015
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  4. Dmitch

    Dmitch New

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2013
    Messages:
    152
    This is not necessarily a mystical statement. For example, a lot of negative emotions are not really necessary but the mind produces them anyway and it makes us unhappy and can poison the quality of our existence. For example if something annoys you, there is no law of physics that requires that you get annoyed. You might even recognize that being annoyed is unwanted but you still get annoyed. The mind produces this annoyance, it has no basis in physical reality, it is totally unnecessary, and it is unwanted. It is illusion. You might say that there is a biological explanation, but that is just an explanation of how the projector works. A projection is not something real. And the mind does this to us constantly, it produces opinions, attachments, aversions, worries, fears, ... all are illusions, but most of the time we swallow the bait and think they are real. Because they appear in our mind, we assume that they are our ideas and we accept them as part of our reality, we rarely question them.

    Realization allows you to become free from these illusions.[/quote]

    " A projection is not something real". What is not a projection? Why do we project ourselves and invest so heavily in these comments? Aren't they just so much fluff for puffing ourselves up?
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2015
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  5. John Adams:
    "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

    https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_Adams
     
  6. You don't need enlightenment, or realization, or any kind of mystical experience.


    Daily meditation is sufficient to shift consciousness:

    Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Professor of Medicine Emeritus and creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School explains that meditation quiets the "narrative network" in the brain that otherwise produces mental chatter about anxieties and depressed thoughts, and meditation also activates the "experiential network" that produces empathy and compassion. This says something interesting about the meditative state. In the meditative state there is an absence of analytical thinking and an absence of narrative thinking. (This reduction in narrative thinking, or mental chatter, seems like it might be what Jeffrey Martin calls "self thoughts" which his research shows become reduced in PNSE levels he describes.) There is also the implication that neuroplasticity will rewire these changes in thinking into the brain.

    "Jon Kabat-Zinn: ... 'it’s much more an effective, wise and emotionally intelligent way to make use of one’s thoughts and emotions, but hold them in a much, much greater and more empathic, and in some sense, more compassionate and wise container'"

    "So this one can actually attenuate and liberate you a little bit from the constant thinking ... a lot which is driven ... by anxiety and, "What’s wrong with me?" The story of me is often a depressing story. And a fear-based story. We’re like driving the car with the brake on ... And if we learn how to just kind of release it, everything will unfold with less strain, with less stress and with a greater sense of life unfolding rather than you’re driving through it to get to some great pot of gold at the end, which might just be your grave."


    https://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/meditation-1#meditation_var_how

    Jon Kabat-Zinn, Professor of Medicine Emeritus and creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School ... says the benefits of suppressing the narrative network and stimulating the experiential network [in the brain] with meditation leads to wiser, more empathic and more compassionate thinking in an interview at: psychcentral.com:

    One pathway is a mid-line pathway, very akin to what is called a default mode, that seems to be functioning when nothing else is supposed to be happening — like being or mind wandering, or something like that, which is what they call the narrative network for self. So like what you tell yourself about who you are, where you’re going, how things are going, how stressed you are, how great it’s going to be in the future, how horrible it was in the past, or vice-versa, how wonderful it was in the past, or how horrible it is in the present. So it is a narrative ongoing story of me. And that occupies a certain kind of brain territory.

    They showed that people who are taking the MBSR program showed activity in a whole other, more lateral ventral pathway in the cerebral cortex, again in the prefrontal cortex, which was involved with what they called experiential focus. It’s like no more story, just this. Just this moment. Just this breath. Just this unfolding. And I want to emphasize that it doesn’t mean that all of a sudden you are either disassociating or that you’re going to get really, really stupid practicing mindfulness because now you’re just in the present moment and you don’t know what’s really happening and you’ve now gone beyond thought. Not at all. I mean it’s much more an effective, wise and emotionally intelligent way to make use of one’s thoughts and emotions, but hold them in a much, much greater and more empathic, and in some sense, more compassionate and wise container, and that container embraces what I mean when I use the word mindful.
    Jon Kabat-Zinn ... describes how meditation can quiet negative mental chatter in the transcript of a podcast on bigthink.com:

    If you put people in a scanner and tell them to just do nothing; just rest in the scanner; don’t do anything at all, it turns out that there’s a region in the midline of the cerebral cortex that’s known as the default mode network that just lights up, that all of a sudden gets very, very active. I mean you’re told to do nothing and then your brain starts to use up energy a lot. ... And that’s called the default mode network because when you’re told to do nothing, you default to activity in this mode and when you inquire what’s going on there, a lot of it has to do with my wondering and just daydreaming. And a lot of that has to do with the self-referencing our favorite subject, which is me of course. So we generate narratives. ... it’s also called the narrative mode network or the narrative network. And it’s the story of me.

    When you train people in MBSR, you find that another area of their cortex lights up more lateral after eight weeks of training in mindfulness. And that that area is associated with a region called the insula and that doesn’t have a linear, time-based narrative. It’s just the experiencing of the present moment in the body — breathing in, breathing out, awake, no narrative, no agenda. And the interesting thing — and this is the study — when they put people through eight weeks of MBSR, this narrative network decreases in activity and this experiential network increases in activity and they become uncoupled. So they’re no longer caught together in such a way. So this one can actually attenuate and liberate you a little bit from the constant thinking, thinking, thinking — a lot which is driven, of course, by anxiety and, "What’s wrong with me?" The story of me is often a depressing story. And a fear-based story. We’re like driving the car with the brake on, with the emergency brake on. And if we learn how to just kind of release it, everything will unfold with less strain, with less stress and with a greater sense of life unfolding rather than you’re driving through it to get to some great pot of gold at the end, which might just be your grave.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016

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