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Metal => Interzone => Topic started by: aquarius on November 09, 2013, 06:03:58 PM

Title: If it really is me.
Post by: aquarius on November 09, 2013, 06:03:58 PM
Is my body like a shelter I am staying in? or a vehicle I am travelling in?

If my thoughts are composed of a lifeís worth of information Iíve been exposed to am I not then part of everyone else that shares or has come into contact with that same information.

Am I my even thoughts? Are my thoughts even me?


Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: crow on November 09, 2013, 07:01:38 PM
One thing of which you can be certain:
You are not what you think.
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: Vigilance on November 09, 2013, 07:03:32 PM
5 Khandas, these are not my soul.
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: crow on November 09, 2013, 07:16:29 PM
Considering all the things I might be, I find I am none of them.
Considering all those things I am not, I could be forgiven for considering myself to be nothing.


Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: dead last on November 10, 2013, 12:12:02 AM
You can make your self as confusing as you want to be, man. It is such a weird way to use up your time, though.

One way to find out who you are, is to give up trying. Don't analyze, don't compare, don't guess, try not to even observe yourself. When you're not thinking, only acting, you become what you really are. It's hard to know it, though, because as soon as you wonder about it, you stop just acting, and you start thinking again. You're a gear, full of gears, grinding against yourself, grinding against other selves, grinding against all other selves, and those selves grind against an entire planet, that grinds against the gravitational might of other gods of outer space, and we just whirl and grind against the whole continuum of time and possibility, and only have a bad time if we wonder about ways to stop the grind.
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: Annihilation on November 10, 2013, 12:47:22 PM

What I am
What I want
I'm only after death!
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: Dinaric Leather on November 11, 2013, 11:05:33 AM
Your body is part of your mind. Your brain doesn't stop at your neck, but goes down your spinal chord and shoots to your extremities via the central nervous system and sympathetic nervous systems.

This is a major reason why no man has a right to be an amateur in regards to physical training, to paraphrase Socrates. An unhealthy body will lead to an unhealthy mind and vice-versa.
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: crow on November 11, 2013, 01:29:12 PM
Is my body like a shelter I am staying in? or a vehicle I am travelling in?


Nobody addressed this question :)

I've often considered my physical body to be as you describe. A place for me to be, a way to get around. A means of getting physical things done, in a physical environment. While being - like a vehicle - not 'me'.
People often identify with what they own, and especially with their cars. It's hardly surprising, then, for people to mistake their life-support/transportation system for who they are.

In the incredible way of the young, years ago, I finally left my '66 Rambler American for dead, and bought a new AMC Eagle. I imagined, naively, that everyone would be really impressed with my new car, only to find that nobody gave a toss, if they even noticed it, at all. Probably, for most, this is the reaction people have to other peoples' bodies. Much to the dismay of anyone who imagines their body to be beautiful.

It's all very mysterious. And that - at this point - suits me fine.


Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: Wild on November 11, 2013, 01:33:49 PM
If your body isn't you, what are you?
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: crow on November 11, 2013, 01:42:38 PM
That, I am sure, is up to you to discover.
May your journey be a fruitful one.
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: Wild on November 11, 2013, 01:46:21 PM
I think my body is me, and "I" exist as the interaction between various impulses in my brain.
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: crow on November 11, 2013, 01:58:20 PM
I've heard it said that you are what you think you are.
So perhaps you are, indeed, what you think.
But I don't see it like that.
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: Wild on November 11, 2013, 02:05:30 PM
Quote
I've heard it said that you are what you think you are.

If you don't think, does that mean you are what you are?
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: Vigilance on November 11, 2013, 02:21:10 PM
If you don't think it means you are uncaring, since only uncaring individuals are unkind and not very thoughtful.
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: crow on November 11, 2013, 02:34:25 PM
None of this is very helpful, since unless you are able to not-think, the whole idea of not-thinking is unknowable.
Put as simply as possible: not-thinking enables one to respond seamlessly to whatever arrives, without the disaster-prone interpretation that the mind forces.
You can never really know yourself by thinking about it. If you think about it, you will interpret your own thoughts, and whatever you are will remain invisible to you.
Being, is knowing. Thinking, is not. Knowing, in this context, is something that does not result from thinking.
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: Wild on November 11, 2013, 02:38:11 PM
What you say seems plausible, but I can't do it yet. So here I am with my thoughts.
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: crow on November 11, 2013, 02:43:52 PM
Join nearly everybody else :)
If it was easy, everybody would be doing it.
But if, and when, you succeed, you'll laugh yourself silly with the realization of how absurdly easy it actually was.


Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: Imposition on November 11, 2013, 05:34:45 PM
Am I my even thoughts? Are my thoughts even me?

Have you ever seriously meditated?

I believe it teaches you that your thoughts have a life of their own.
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: trystero on November 11, 2013, 06:37:07 PM
My body is me as much as any other part of myself is me. I am not a spirit animating a robot, but flesh and blood through and through. Without my flesh I would be something else, if I was at all. I wondered about this for some time, but eventually reached the conclusion that there is no separation there. The physical process of thought and the metaphysical element are all one. Neurons fire, creativity is born, not one without the other.
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: crow on November 11, 2013, 06:40:14 PM
You don't imagine, then, that when your body is gone, some essence of you will live on?
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: trystero on November 11, 2013, 07:22:22 PM
I believe it will be reborn, body and all eventually. Yes, I do believe some essence will survive after my death, which shall be me diminished until it is made whole.
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: crow on November 11, 2013, 07:31:44 PM
Reincarnation then? Quite a popular belief, so I hear.
You might imagine someone like me would be very interested in such things, but strangely it holds no interest at all.
I often wonder about that lack of interest. Very odd.
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: Imposition on November 11, 2013, 09:01:59 PM
My body is me as much as any other part of myself is me. I am not a spirit animating a robot, but flesh and blood through and through. Without my flesh I would be something else, if I was at all. I wondered about this for some time, but eventually reached the conclusion that there is no separation there. The physical process of thought and the metaphysical element are all one. Neurons fire, creativity is born, not one without the other.

I definitely agree.

However, to my experience there are still sources of dualism, realised on the physical plane, no doubt.

As I said, mediation is great a posteriori evidence that 'you' are not a particular bundle of thoughts that arise on a particular occasion. You see that thoughts just pop up and float by, niggling and nagging your brain for 'your' attention!
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: Walt on November 12, 2013, 06:42:21 AM
The body is made from bits of borrowed carbon. The individual is a design, a specific structure, the constituents are interchangeable. The components are necessary for expression of that structure but they are not that structure.

You are a It, but you have an I. It doesn't make a lot of sense to claim ownership of some accreted atoms that spell out your shape. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to claim ownership of the thoughts peopling your skull. It's a problem that these things are so easy to do.

Well that's a brief recap of my thought process after ingesting a threshold dose of LSD* with too much noopept and taking my dog for a walk.

 *about a tenth of a tab but this is north Australian acid so I imagine it's brewed by some filthy pentagenarian Tableland dwelling hippy scumfuck PLUR bastard in suboptimal conditions and probably utilizing gonad sweat as a core ingredient: The tab was fairly weak.

Was the thread title referring to the Polygon Window song of the same name?
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: 03-04 on November 12, 2013, 07:33:28 AM
I've spent long wondering about stuff like this. What is this 'I'?

There's no satisfying answer except the no-answer:

I am not 'body'.
I am not 'soul'.
I am not a slave of anything.
But neither am I something independent of my experience.

I cannot say that I am something fixed or static. But neither am I in a constant state of flux. Something changes, and something remains the same. Always.

It is not impossible that all of this could go on in some shape, form or fashion after death. Who really knows?

In the end it's a mystery - and there is wonder and magic in that, even though it is really no answer at all.
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: dead last on November 12, 2013, 08:49:45 AM
I would recommend some reading to the OP that might offer some insightful perspectives on how the "I" arises from what seem like relatively (what a loose word) straightforward chemical and electrical processes. These books helped me to realize why people have and probably will continue to understand themselves as souls within a physical vessel. It is not so different from the way we look at our Windows desktop screen, but understand that the desktop is not physically present anywhere in the circuitry of the computer; rather, it is a projection manifested by many mechanical processes.

The first book is I Am a Strange Loop by Douglas Hofstadter, and is very "pop" in the sense that most everything is explained by lengthy analogies and personal anecdotes. It doesn't pander, though, and will give you a myriad of examples to understand the concept of the ethereal "I" that seems to dominate your sense of being. I am a kind of person that understands things through compariosn and contrast - a "synthesist" - so it was great reading for me, if a little less in-depth than I prefer.

The second book is Philosophy and Simulation: The Emergence of Synthetic Reason by Manuel Delanda. It provides an exhaustive and scientifically rigid description of the phenomenon we call "emergence" and, while not delving right into the concept of the "I", provides a robust framework onto which you can apply understanding about all kinds of complec emergent systems like social groups, individual consciousness, romance, and evolution of a species. The writing is dry, technical, and has many run-on sentences with sparse use of the comma, so it is not as relaxing a read as the Hofstadter book. Nevertheless the two books compliment one another very well.

And of course I always recommend Carl Jung's writing, as he masterfully synthesizes the scientific and religious aspects of perception of the self and "I" without getting too wrapped up in dull psychology. The book Man and His Symbols is a good starting point since it can be very useful without needing any background into Jung's work or even any understanding of psychology in general.
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: Dinaric Leather on November 12, 2013, 06:42:57 PM
I don't believe any of this shit. You are, at least in part, your body. Most of you nerds probably think you aren't cause you've barely used your body. If you aren't your body than why don't you just blow your brains out. It's not like you'll be killing yourself, just getting rid of the baggage.
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: dead last on November 12, 2013, 07:21:03 PM
I don't believe any of this shit. You are, at least in part, your body. Most of you nerds probably think you aren't cause you've barely used your body. If you aren't your body than why don't you just blow your brains out. It's not like you'll be killing yourself, just getting rid of the baggage.

Good observation, poor wording. Still backed. In my experience, belief in a super-physical (or nonphysical, but super-physical sounds cooler to me) self is a method of coping with fear of mortality. Everyone who has argued this point with me has either been full of shit or had no means of arguing the point and it came down to "I believe what I blieve because I believe it", which is a ballsy move but does nothing for their case.

I'm still looking for someone to trash that argument for me.
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: crow on November 12, 2013, 09:17:24 PM
Did it ever occur to you two supermen that you will not be young for long?
What of your super bodies then?
Bodies come and go.
Only the spark stays the course.
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: Wild on November 12, 2013, 09:22:55 PM
I've never seen a dead body live.
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: crow on November 12, 2013, 09:31:41 PM
I'd venture to say there are several things you've never seen.
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: Wild on November 12, 2013, 09:33:31 PM
I'll agree to that.
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: dead last on November 12, 2013, 09:44:48 PM
The thought has occurred to me, does often, in fact. I'm "only" in my mid-twenties and am not sure I will live much longer. I have developed cancerous nodes in my throat and as far as doctors and I know, I'll be dead in a year. They grow every year, but I didn't want surgery so I'm just playing by ear. So much for a super body. From what I understand, I probably don't have time to get old and so won't plan my life around the possibility. If I make it there, cool, we'll see how things go. I'm not crossing my fingers though. (I still stopped smoking, which is proof that I'm not a total fatalist.)

Maybe if someone convinced me I had a soul, I would change the way I did things. There would be something to look forward to, in a different way, but for now I prefer to have life by the throat. That's where the bastard got me.
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: Wild on November 12, 2013, 09:53:03 PM
Has having a date approximated to you changed how you approach life?
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: dead last on November 12, 2013, 10:01:10 PM
Certainly it has, but not at a conscious level, that could be explained to someone. I don't even know myself. I was told that I might have incurable cancer when I was 19 years old. That was 7 years back and I'm still alright as far as I can tell but I haven't been back to a hospital to get it checked out recently. Sometimes the nodes lodge in my throat when I turn my head at a certain angle, and I have to cough and fidget with them before the mess slides back out of the way of my windpipe. That's been happening for years, constantly reminding me of what is going to happen (or not).

Probably the way I've changed most is that I won't work toward anything for the long-term future and I don't value comfort and luxury at all. Maybe I was born with a reckless streak though, so I don't even know if that's a matter of fact. Rather pointless to weigh and measure the benefits of what has or hasn't or might or might not happen because I can only be in one place at a time.
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: crow on November 12, 2013, 10:33:00 PM
Maybe if someone convinced me I had a soul, I would change the way I did things.


There's the rub. Nobody can. It's your call, and that goes for anybody.
There's a modern trend that sees people demanding something be proved to them, by somebody else, and that is something I just can't fathom. It used to be that people would hear something, from someone, and if it interested them, they would assume it to be true, then set about exploring it for themselves. You want proof? You are the one to provide it.

Anyway, you are luckier than most, in a way: you get to live an uncertain, risky life, without having to go out and discover new and unusual ways of doing it. You have a head start.
On the other hand: there is no time for you to lose. Wake that soul up, before it's too late, because you are going to need it. Your body can't go anywhere but towards its grave. But your soul? It's all that really counts.



Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: Dinaric Leather on November 13, 2013, 03:24:04 AM
Did it ever occur to you two supermen that you will not be young for long?
What of your super bodies then?
Bodies come and go.
Only the spark stays the course.
Yeah of course I realize I'll grow old someday, someday relatively soon. That doesn't mean that my body doesn't form an integral necessary part of what constitutes "me". Without my body "I'm" not truly Dinaric Leather, I would be something derived from what was once Dinaric Leather. My body and consciousness form a dynamic duo. When my body is miserable my soul is miserable and vice versa.
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: crow on November 13, 2013, 08:49:03 AM
I can see, of course, why you say what you say.
All I can do is remind you that while what you say seems quite obvious to you, it is still not the case.
Identity is very important to people, because people do not know their true nature.
But you can never really know yourself until you are able to dispense with your identity.
You may wonder why you would even want to.
Wondering is where everything starts.
Wonder.
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: dead last on November 13, 2013, 10:18:04 AM
I'm still doing it the old-fashioned way.

People: You have a soul.

Me: How do you figure?

People: Because, I mean, duh, right?

(Alternate ending)

People: Because religious text X has told me so.

So I treat the suggestion with the same merit as I treat the claim that the US government authorities are detaining extraterrestrial visitors in a subterranean facility in a New Mexico desert.

I don't know how someone discovers their immortal soul for themselves. However, if it is there, I will find it.
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: crow on November 13, 2013, 10:29:36 AM
You won't find it by expecting it to conform to any expectations you have.
Because it isn't there at all.
Until you allow it space, to be what it is.
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: dead last on November 13, 2013, 01:21:18 PM
This discussion really is going nowhere and will continue to do so until some one has defined a soul beyond some ethereal, inexplicable notion (like happiness). If a soul is not something definable then there never was a point in discussing it, which I doubt because surely someone would not knowingly introduce a pointless discussion for the sake of going nowhere (right guys? Right?).

The only notion I have of a soul is what people have told me of it; that it is an immortal, immaterial, acausal, eternal essence that bestows Being upon a being. So when talk of souls occurs, I can hardly be at fault for expecting this soul to conform to these notions because that is all that a soul is so far; a notion.

If someone has defined the soul further then let's hear it. Until then, it is a very personal notion and a great way to trick oneself into keep on keepin' on in the shadow of impending doom that is our mortality. I don't need that, however. I'm not concerned about my temporal existence and no one else need be.

If nothing else, let's throw Occam's razor into the mix and declare souls unnecessary as a notion because they only serve to complicate the explanation of life.

Is existence without a soul really that dreary and pointless? I'd say not... Lots of the time, regular old physical, chemical life is on the verge of overwhelming my comprehension completely. Not as if I'd complain about that...
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: trystero on November 13, 2013, 01:52:37 PM
I dont think Occam`s razor applies. The fundamental nature of thought remains unexplained, it cannot simply be dispensed with. This also relates to ultimate ideas about the origin of existence. Why is there anything rather than not? This is not something you can apply Occam`s Razor to either, the application of simplicity requires some ground to stand on. There is none.

Another one of these questions is, what is life? As our knowledge about the physical processes involves increases, the mystery only deepens.
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: dead last on November 13, 2013, 02:08:33 PM
I see why the unexplained fundamental nature of thought cannot simply be dispensed with. That is exactly what the notion of a soul does, though.

The rest of your post is about silly things that are traps for human thought. "Why is there anything rather than nothing" is absurdity embodied. OR, could be I'm just too pragmatic to understand why one would wonder about such a thing. The answer is as obvious as the foolishness of the question; "Why not?"

Life is just a word to describe a threshhold of complexity. If more people paid attention to the wolrd beyond the end of their noses, it would become evident to all that each galaxy is alive in a more or less complex manner than the manner in which humans are alive. Everything is a machine, things happen because they do, and to torment oneself over solving the mystery is just the weirdest waste of time to me. Just like the insistence on positing the existence of souls. You can make things as confusing as you want or you can accept things for what they are, including the inadequacies and powers of your own perception. Maybe it takes a degree of faith to trust that things are going to work the way they should regardless of how much sense it makes to you, but I doubt it, because I'm generally a faithless person.
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: crow on November 13, 2013, 03:08:44 PM
Faithless is good. Faith never delivered anything to anybody. Soul is nothing to do with faith.
Imagine nobody knew what colour was, in a time where the sun did not shine, and fire was unknown.
Everything a dull medley of shades of grey.
Then somebody shows up and tries to describe the wonder of colour.
It does nobody any good, if they never get to see colour.
Only those who come alive at the very idea, and embark upon a search to discover it.
Perhaps, at length, some of them find it.
Then they know.
Meanwhile, the dull others ridicule them for 'believing' this crap.

Ignorance is the right of every man. Many prefer it to possible disappointment.

Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: Dinaric Leather on November 13, 2013, 03:44:11 PM
Hey crow, I have a question of curiosity. Did you have a view similar to mine when you were in your  8)early twenties 8)? The way you word your replies seems to suggest it.
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: trystero on November 13, 2013, 04:44:31 PM
The rest of your post is about silly things that are traps for human thought.

Dont buy it, seems like just ignoring the whole thing. Why is it a trap? So you can be focused on everything except this?
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: crow on November 13, 2013, 05:42:54 PM
Hey crow, I have a question of curiosity. Did you have a view similar to mine when you were in your  8)early twenties 8)? The way you word your replies seems to suggest it.


In my 20s I knew not very much about life. But no, I didn't hold your view, because the whole idea of spiritual mysticism enthralled and engaged me. I didn't know, and had no way of knowing, if any of it was true, but at no point did I ever consider it to be crap. Thus I embarked upon a lifetime of exploration, to discover the truth of it.

I hope to save a few potentials from the myriad blind alleys and dead ends I had to explore, before finding the truth.
Soul is real. God is real. Enlightenment is real. Heaven on earth is real. Heaven after death is real.
It's all real.

Take it, or leave it  :)
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: dead last on November 14, 2013, 03:49:06 AM
The rest of your post is about silly things that are traps for human thought.

Dont buy it, seems like just ignoring the whole thing. Why is it a trap? So you can be focused on everything except this?

I mean... yeah. The point is to focus on everything or anything that isn't a dead-end for thought. Isn't that usually the way we figure is the best? In any situation?

It's not throwing up your hands and giving up when you run into a logical spiral (or an infinite regress) like "what is life?" or "why do I exist?" or "who am I?"

Those might be amusing questions for some but they are only bothersome if you want them to be. You could just accept that your own actions and existence are the only kind of answers that will suffice.

The questions are traps because our human logic (the way we explain consistent cause and effect by observing phenomena) is not equipped to solve them. "When you have a hammer..." certainly applies here. It's like trying to use your eyesight to judge how many miles away the nearest mountaintop is, and arguing with the guy who says it's five miles when it looks more like three miles to you. JUST WALK THERE.

(And all this is coming from a guy who reads Heidegger and Sartre. I know how exciting it is to judge miles by eyesight, but I also have plenty of experience with futility.)
Title: Re: If it really is me.
Post by: crow on November 14, 2013, 01:52:39 PM
The idea is to resist the urge to shut yourself down, in regards to questions you are currently unable to answer.
Forget about the questions, as well as their answers, and get on with being alive.
By and by, answers come, and cancel out their questions.
Finally, if you get it right, you find you no longer need questions, and so no longer need answers.