Who's the speck of dust that wanted to be more?

This rambles on, but honesty I wrote it more for myself, to collect my thoughts, than anyone else.

I wasn’t the speck of dust, God was.

It’s a shame the irony is lost on you.

You get mad that I speak of too much Abrahamic/Western one-dimensional superficial thinking in current public-facing philosophy discourse, as you reduce me with one-dimensional superficiality?

Besides “one experience”, come on, you can do better.

It was a key experience, right there at the beginning of my life, its ripple effects lead me to future explorations, sans the shackles so, so many others seem to suffer under.

Besides, I was more toddler than child. Don’t dismiss the importance of having society’s God delusion emasculated at such an early stage in my life. I look around and it’s overwhelming how many people are still struggling with the god question from both sides. For what?

Furthermore, “the speck of dust that wanted to be more” was shortly followed by my second little epiphany, (cosmic insight, mind altering lesson), having granny clipping our nails in her arbor. She explaining that our fingernails would help nourish the flowers growing around there. While my two sisters were right there with me, they don’t remember it. Me, it was rush as I processed the recycling of life. Then connecting it to grandpa’s magical compost heap - in goes garbage - out comes soil.
It mattered to me. It seemed important. I learned to hug trees before hugging trees was hip. :wink:

That had more important rippling impacts later on, and so on.

After high school, leaving home on my motorcycle, Yosemite bound, mind full of the weight of a weeping girl friend, family, friends, past connects, even a nice job I was leaving, it was all getting heavier and heavier, as I was crawling through a monster traffic jam, exasperated by an accident somewhere on the Hayward side of the Bridge. Finally through city and ready to get on the highway Yosemite bound, I had to pull over, I guess to make sure I wanted to do this.

I turned off my bike, walking around little, calming my mind, letting the cacophony of memories unwind, attentive to breathing and all that. Then within my mind, there was a “pop.” Quite literally. My emotional clinging to the past snapped shut. When I got back on my bike all there was, was chasing my future and Yosemite. That was crazy, that was fun!

I mean literally this little pop. I got back on my bike and continued my ride, with ‘Get Your Motor Running’ echoing in my mind. It was beautiful, never looked back. Another thing that experience did, was let me know, deep down, hidden away inside, it taught me that the universe was on my side. But that knowledge was deep inside, my conscious me and the body I’d grow into, that was full of the typical insecure teenage testosterone driven American lad. I’m glad I allowed that deeper something to call the shots when crossroad were met. But I’m getting ahead of this story.

Then came Yosemite. I think I need to start writing about it, considering it was 50 years ago this past July that I arrive up there to work and live and play. And 50 years ago, I was working at the Ahwahnee Hotel restaurant in the Valley and this is 50 years since I celebrated Christmas with friends at the incomparable Bracebridge Diner. (Sorry, couldn’t resist a little name dropping.)

Don’t get mad at me for complaining about the self-absorption and even superficiality in much of philosophical public facing realm, with its undercurrent of unresolved God questions/feeling, even if unspoken and in echos. The FLC professor still hasn’t explained: How an Assumption of God becomes a Being of God?"
Ran away from the challenge. But I should be impressed?

I suggest that most still haven’t absorbed the Human Mind ~ Physical Reality divide. Heck think of the stuff inthedark seems to believe. That’s scary. Don Hoffman, …
Therefore it’s worth yodeling about.

I know from personal experience what a splendid job it does of resolving the God & meta-physics questions by clarifying categories and sources.

God is a product of our mind, your mind is a product of your living body.

Learn to live with it.

Learn to better understand it.

We should spend more time absorbing what science has already learned, rather than obsessing over the next best thing and the answer to everything. That includes moving beyond the pre-evolutionary understanding mind.

Ever wonder why the left side of brain controls right side and visa versa. Because only that arrangement enables nerves signals from each side to constantly monitor and communicate about what’s happening on their respective sides.

Understanding evolution is the key to understanding such wonders of the body you’re walking around within. It’s nice to know who we are and what a biological wonder, and what a singular privilege it is to inhabit the human body. In all its gushy biological wonder.

Who are you?

Who else?

You are your body through which you live your life,

through which you create your mindscape and sense of self.

What more or better are people expecting?

Consciousness is our body communicating with itself, all animals need to be capable of doing as much in order to survive, with varying levels of self awareness, Our human body and brain took an unexpected turn and here we are. Modern science makes that abundantly clear, but many philosophers aren’t happy, they expect nature to prove itself to us. So they build careers on contrived gotcha questions, provocative taking precedence over simple constructive learning and pragmatism.

Another wonderful insight of this Earth Centrist, (ground up evolutionary paradigm), is the recognition that debating “Free Will” pretty much misses the point. We are mammals, meaning deep inside we people are still instinctive reactive creatures. It’s what keeps our jails full and society increasingly angry - it also helps keep us alive.

As our homo brain developed its abilities to observe, remember, communicate, learn, it also developed something on top of our instinctive behavioral patterns.

Dr. Solms describes it as “Free Won’t”.

Namely, when things happen to humans, we have developed the ability to stop our reaction for a few beats. This moment allows us to consider future scenarios and potential outcomes before kicking into action mode. It’s the game changer, and it is human.

Explicitly acknowledging and learning to appreciating ourselves as evolved animals helps one better understand and sort our own internal issues, our foibles, habits good and bad. Recognizing how our “Free Won’t” functions provides a tool for handling and channeling our own behaviors.

This biological perspective also makes it easier to recognize how your good and bad qualities are often intimately linked and without the one, the other might disappear, so perhaps management works better than denial.
Actually no perhaps about it :wink:

his Mindscape thing has some potential, but he’s stuck on the framing of it.

That’s why I keep striving to get constructive feedback. Unfortunately, people really have thin skins and I don’t know what else I can do. So I’ll simply keep keeping on, . . .

and remain ready to engage in any good faith constructive dialogue.
Or simply to offer critiques,

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Many things mixed in

As far as I understand :

  • Your experience of awakening to your conscience and you relationship with the world.

Congratulations as not only most people don’t access to this level of consciousness, but in fact, ignore it

-God is a product of our mind, your mind is a product of your living body.

I agree. but to wake up, we must learn and feel that our conscience is not our body, even if it comes from it.

  • Consciousness is our body communicating with itself,

Not so sure, as our consciousness is not our body. Anyway, it observes our body and the world around us.

  • Humanity is the ability to stop our instinctive reactions, i fully agree.

The scorpion and the frog

One day a scorpion addresses a frog:
“Please help me cross the river.”
“But are you going to sting me?”
“I’m not stupid, if I sting you, I die.”
"Okay. "
The scorpion climbs on the back of the frog that begins to cross the river. Arrived in the middle of the crossing, the scorpion stings the frog.
This one, in a last breath, asks him why.
He answers before drowning: “I could not help it, it’s my nature!”

We are not scorpions, we are human beings, or should be !!!

  • We must learn to manage ourselves: I fully agree, but too many people don’t even try.

I didn’t say our body is consciousness, the science indicates our body produces our consciousness. (see Solms and Damasio for substantive explanation)
Besides, where else could it come from with the body of the creature?
After all it is there.

Kind of a kin to iron and a magnet aren’t electricity - they produce electricity when moved in opposition to each other.

Also please don’t neglect the importance of realizing and delving into the connect between your body and entire pageant of Earth’s evolution is also key. There’s so much within those lessons. The enlightenment moments can be recalled, but they can’t be shared, we have to enable those on an individually for our selves, through our own efforts.

Agreed, but then most don’t have a clue about themselves, to busy chasing advertisements. That’s the tragedy, and too much of philosophy, especially the popular philosophy doesn’t get beyond bellybutton gazing.

That’s why I’m so passionate about sharing trying to refine my words, I believe it’s worth the effort, so gotta do it.

What is “one-dimensional superficial,” pray tell?

To put it crudely, our utter intellectual self-absorption & self-serving material habits, to the point that we aren’t even aware of it, like fish in their liquid ocean.

The evidence for this is clearly visible throughout world history over the past 500 years, or 100 years, or 50 years, depending on how detailed we want to get.

Dress it up in all the philosophical terms and mind numbing disputation you want, our inability to see anything beyond our utility and profit potential - along with the utter disregard for Earth systems and landscapes and biospheres and creatures - is appalling, and utterly self-destructive in the end!

Okay finally a lecture about consciousness that provides some bona fides to my refrain that Consciousness is the body/brain communicating with itself.

Unfortunately the folks who posted this talk on YouTube didn’t bother to give any information about the professor, which is a shame.

I did find this: Pedro Mediano, Information theory tools for cognitive neuroscience video from two years ago. He’s lead author of a paper featured during the middle of the talk.

Integrated Information as a common signature of dynamical and information-processing complexity
Pedro A.M. Meduno, Fernando E. Rosas, Juan Carlos Farah, Murry Shanahan, Daniel Bor, Adam B. Bartett

A deep dive into
Neural Correlates of Consciousness Meets the Theory of Identity:

Really quite fascinating.
Write, during the beginning (2:45ish) there’s also talk about unpredictable side of anesthesia.
There’s a lot in here about the importance of math in elevating conjecture to science.

9:10 Professor: “That neural activity is you”

At 18:00 ish it gets very interesting

Professor 19:00: … about correlation problem, is that we’re assuming that there’s causality here, and that I believe has been misleading.
I do not believe that brain activity causes Consciousness I believe that brain activity is consciousness, so by calling it a correlate we’ve cut ourselves a little short and we started …

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[quote=“citizenschallengev4, post:5, topic:10593”]
I do not believe that brain activity causes Consciousness I believe that brain activity is consciousness, so by calling it a correlate we’ve cut ourselves a little short and we started …

This does sound similar to Tegmark’s “conscious patterns”

Interesting. I get that he starts with:

At 6:00, he was talking about the current state, that STEM separates itself from the humanities and liberal arts. It SEEMS (he says) that our conscious experience just sees red, or you experience being in love, they don’t seem to be mathematically describable. We put the subjective experience outside of the math.

He’s covering a lot of ground in one hour, so I’ll cut him some slack, but there is a lot of discussion about this separation. Besides the people who come here and tell us that “red” isn’t real, there is the concept of qualia, and meditation on the self, and other ways to look at this. But, got it, objective vs subjective, and be rigorous, I’m all for that.

When he gets to his conclusion, 38 or 39:00

When we think about STEM, we think of it as objective, it’s observable reality, no room for subjective private personal experience, AND we do that using the rigorous language of mathematics. Maybe that’s not true, maybe our conscious subjective experience fits squarely into mathematics, into science as a whole.

No argument from me. I wouldn’t use the language “fits in math”, I would say, objective reality that we can demonstrate rigorously maps onto our subjective experience. We are limited, so our experience is a subset of all the knowledge of the universe.

And, let’s not skip over 23:40 where he mentions the originator of the theory:

When asked how and why, he goes to Descartes, who lived in a time of crisis, rapid intellectual development, questioning ancient Greek philosophy. He questioned everything, but you can’t question that you are there. That’s the starting point of the theory. Then he (the IIT theory person) builds on that first premise, that “things exist”, with the second premise, that things are informative, things are composed with a sense of time. He goes over 5 areas quickly.

He calls these axioms and defines that term. That’s important.

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Seeing “red” is an emotional response. But mentally processing “red wavelengths” is mathematically describable.

I believe that most axioms are mathematical in essence. This is why and how we can represent Universal Constants with mathematics.

I never said we shouldn’t learn about Descartes, (otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered reading some of his own writing), the point I make is that he is a historical-benchmark.
Descarte is relevant to people’s thinking processes, but still, pretty-much irrelevant when it comes to the actual science of consciousness.

Also respecting Descartes as a medieval thinker, does nothing to change the fact that, “I Think Therefore I Am,” is a fundamentally flawed and intellectual damaging conception. If understanding human-beings is the goal.

“I Am, Therefore I Think” is the scientifically realistic way to formulate those words. Or will you correct me?

Regarding Tegmark, sure why not, all roads lead to Rome. Still, I prefer actual neurobiologists leading my education in this realm.

Also I shared the video not so much to argue about the past,
I shared because this stuff needs to be learned and absorbed.
Rather than getting all defense about ancient philosophizing, which isn’t too defensible to begin with, (considering the state of the world & future we’ve created for ourselves, on this ravaged overpopulated and under-cared-for planet) - we should be absorbing these new revelations and evolving our hitherto way too self-absorbed and self-serving philosophical attitudes toward life and others and Earth.

Does “being” necessitate “thinking”?

Key word, “describable”

That is exactly right, your belief. Axiomatic is defined in other disciplines too.

Yes, symbolically describable is not trivial

It means all of this also:


See all Synonyms & Antonyms in Thesaurus

I think you have stuck your foot in the bucket this time. You put up the video, saying “finally” the thing you are looking for, and in it, the person who is the source of the theory, the theory with rigor, starts with Descartes’s axiomatic truth.

It’s not that big of deal. There is no need to keep attempting to draw lines where there are no distinctions. It’s as simple as the scientific method. It begins with the premise, that we exist. Descartes did that thought experiment, and we have continued to build upon it. As noted, there was an intellectual explosion at the time, and someone else would have done it if he didn’t. It might have been better if he wasn’t a religious dude, but that’s how history works, religious men were the ones getting published back then, so that’s what we get. We get the imperfect realization and we put a date stamp on it and reference it to a person.

Then, continuing with the scientific method, the talk lists five other areas, like things exist in time and space, and we can do experiments that query nature and collect data. i really have no idea what you arguing against any more.

Talking about “speck of dust”.
Since I learned about “brain in a vat”, I see myself now as a 3lb biological manifold controlling a human physical host body.

It’s really interesting to experience the world from that perspective…

I have spoken to the Cartesian error many times. I wonder if you are actually reading my posts. We can point to the time in history when we as a species shifted from the Greek Nous view to each of us having a mind of our own, with which we can reason. We can do that without treating Decartes’ thesis like a complete and perfect thesis. I have never done that.

Leave your strawmen out of this.

Define “being”
Define “thinking”
Is this about discussing biological entities?

You never did to begin with.

What I’m driving at is about our relationship with the knowledge we possess, today and moving forward.

It’s about absorbing the significance and implications that come with an appreciation for the Physical Reality ~ Human Mindscape divide

Such as,
your body is the cumulative product of hundreds of millions to billions of years of Earth geological and biological evolution.
Your consciousness is the cumulative product of all the days you’ve lived and experienced. And that it matters.

Your consciousness is the inside reflection of your body getting on with business, internal and external. No cosmic or metaphysical skyhooks needed! (Biology is enough, when given proper resources, conditions and time.)

Your consciousness isn’t a thing, or receiver, consciousness is an interaction.

From there, it becomes obvious that all your thoughts and emotions come from inside of you, a result of processing your life’s experiences, through your body.
That includes all the gods and religions, and science, and math, and political convictions, and music, and art, and love, etc.

Furthermore, that your biological body possesses levels of awareness and communication that your consciousness introspective mind remains unaware of, yet depends upon.

I think that pretty much summarizes the main points. Though with cascading consequences and what not, the conversation does continue and embraces ever more aspects of our human experience.

I don’t care about the history shifting from Nous this to Nous that. I’m worry about today and the a$$ backwards thinking that only gets amplified.

Guess we each have our straw men.
Although from my side it feels more like gaslighting than straw man.

I feel like you are constantly misrepresenting and misunderstanding my words - and are offended. The scholars distain for the uppity bum. Fine it is what it is.

I know what I’ve been seeing and hearing and reading and I’ve been striving to refine the “there” I’m trying to bend this discussion toward. And modern science constantly resonates with me. But when the philosophers step up, it’s like they’re still stuck in another era, busy defending and feeling offended, rather than absorbing the new understanding biological science is providing.

Again. I’m wondering what posts you are reading. I have reflected all of this, agreed with much of it. Disagreement arises when I post a pre-Darwinian philosopher and you rant about how you don’t like them. I’m starting to hear a little about you didn’t really mean all that, so maybe I did get that wrong. All this stuff in this post here, how could it be argued?

Of course we are the product of evolution, and we are the sum of our days. No skyhooks needed, as if I’ve never said that! My thoughts come from inside me, where else would they come from?

Not offended. it’s you who responds to my comments and links with bolded words about what you don’t care about. But when I point out that your talk has Descartes in it, you say, “I never said we shouldn’t learn about Descartes,”

Which is it? Do we learn about him, or do we not care about him?

NO! I rant about modern philosophers not absorbing and reflecting on today’s modern biological lessons!

It seems fairly consistent to me:

You could start with the words I put into my sentences.

Professor Hoffman: “But I’m proposing one, and it’s a very simple yet profound idea. If we can’t start with neurons and boot up consciousness, let’s start with consciousness and boot up neurons. And that’s what I’m working on now – a mathematical model of consciousness.”

" I assume behind all the symbols is the infinite network of conscious agents."

God; subatomic “Conscious Agents”; the demanded metaphysical resolution to the Hard Problem, since Chalmers clearly assumes science can never get there, etc.

I never said you used the term “skyhook” - did you see any quote, or attribution?
I’m simply striving to make my point crystal clear, besides you’re not the only one I’m trying to explain this to.

Hmmm, guess you don’t notice your cute little insults woven into your sentences, that project your irritation for you.

And how many times are you going to force me to explain that?

Descartes as a historical figure, an intellectual benchmark is awesome - but you have to view that awesomeness within the context of his time - which was profoundly ignorant of actually scientific data and understanding about the biological human creature born of the dust of Earth - instead it was saturated in the conviction that we are the wish of a God.

Instead of reverently repeating “I Think Therefore I Am” and then moving on to the next item, Modern philosophers ought to feel obliged to share the fallacy of that conceptual framing and how modern science as revealed, that our consciousness is produced from within our bodies. (Heck you’ve even told me that was baloney at some point, but I guess we’re walking that back a bit?)

But they don’t do that.
It’s not Descartes I have the problem with, it’s modern philosophers that refuse to move forward! How many times to you want me to repeat that before it soaks in?