Why we have an internal dialogue

It is always such fun to think about my internal dialogue. Who is talking and who is listening? We take this for granted, but it really makes little sense. Here are some reasons why we may have to think in this way.

  1. To optimize we need to evaluate choices and predict outcomes. To do this perhaps we need to engage our conscious mind. And the conscious mind is chatty.
  2. If our instincts come from our right brain, and language and logic from our left, internal dialogue is needed to put anything from our right brain into words so the left brain can access it and store memories.
  3. There has to be a way to differentiate conscious thought from unconscious thought. We use conscious thought when we have to make a decision, when we are learning, and when we have a new experience. How do we know we are having conscious thoughts? Perhaps by internal dialogue. When the internal dialogue appears maybe that is a sign that focus is needed to learn and remember.

A message to my friends

Nearly all of my dearest friends are very progressive politically. I feel that in the vast majority of cases, I am completely in agreement with them on the problems that need to be addressed in our country But I am almost always in disagreement with them on the best way to address said problems. That is the message I so desperately want to convey. There are many people on the conservative side of the political spectrum that share your ends, but do not agree with your means. Yet, progressives have managed to marginalize these people by accusing them of being evil, greedy, racists. Aren’t you a little suspicious when these descriptions are associated with anyone who disagrees with the Obama administration’s methods and actions? Is 50% of our country really evil, greedy, racists? If you think so, then of course you do not want to be associated with those people or give their ideas any consideration. But does this prejudice make sense? Because if you can let go of it, we might have a fruitful conversation. We can get together and define our problems. And then have a true debate on the best way to address them.  If we still come up with our usual polarized positions, fine, but at least we will honestly evaluate and compare them. What I can’t handle is the vilification of competing ideas because you choose to associate the idea with some person who you find unacceptable. Yet you don’t care what kind of hateful person spouts the ideas you agree with.

Progressives seem to give more credence to intentions than to results.

Ben Shapiro:

“So what is the moral case for capitalism? It lies in recognition that socialism isn’t a great idea gone wrong — it’s an evil philosophy in action. It isn’t driven by altruism; it’s driven by greed and jealousy. Socialism states that you owe me something simply because I exist. Capitalism, by contrast, results in a sort of reality-forced altruism: I may not want to help you, I may dislike you, but if I don’t give you a product or service you want, I will starve. Voluntary exchange is more moral than forced redistribution.” And as Naseem Talib noted in “Antifragile” there is nothing that brings out the best in people like small-scale  commerce. It makes them forgiving, honest, trusting and open-mind (and tolerant).

What Group am I in? or Groups are stupid.

Youngest children, child of immigrants, both kinds of jew, psychedelic zen nature worshipers, hippie back-to-the-landers, free-loving feminists, women loving heteros…..single moms, waitresses, empty refrigerator poor, shippers, drug dealers, bookkeeping students, worker bees, happily marrieds, 2 income households, college students, published researchers, biological consultants, retirees, financially comfortable grandparents, cannabis users, environmental advocates, conservatarians, individualists, Agnostics, 1980’s ska band guitarists, home recording studio musicians, bicycle enthusiasts, campers, hikers, river seekers,  Optimistic existentialists…………….And a unique individual who has way, way, way more in common with you than differences.

Another problem with identity politics

The more we concentrate on our differences, the less empathy we can generate. If you tell people they have privilege, that they can’t understand another person’s situation, they may be able to feel sympathy, but they won’t be able to feel empathy. This does not make for good human interactions. No matter how different our situation is, there are many, many points where we can find ways to imagine what the other person is feeling. That process creates empathy and helps us to feel connected. As Brene Brown explains in her books, sympathy separates us, with one person standing outside and judging the other. That does not feel as good as empathy, where the other person connects in some way. Check it out for yourself. Do you enjoy sympathy? Do you want people to feel sorry for you? Or do you want them to truly see and hear you, without judgement?

All humans on earth are much more alike than different from each other. We concentrate on our differences because that is the only way to distinguish ourselves. That is fine, but not a good place to live 24/7. Identity politics strongly feeds into this feeling and is damaging to human relationships.

The Basics mind matter energy time space

Everything that exists is a configuration of energy and matter. Configurations could not form without time and space. So those 3 things are given. Why 3? Because energy and matter can be turned into one another.

I don’t think space and time can be turned into one another, but that is an interesting concept & question.

Is consciousness a configuration of matter & energy, or something different? For consciousness to exist you must have memory and self-awareness. Just 2 ingredients. So, are memory and self-awareness configurations of matter & energy? Memory seems to have structure in the brain, but self-awareness, that is some meta level  (like that’s some meta-level, man!)

But, consciousness is so different, we experience it, its huge, but we can’t see it. Why can’t we see it? All those nerve impulses, they make a shape, we could see that.

What is consciousness like without language? Amorphous thoughts and feelings, maybe colors & sounds tied in a memory. Self-awareness is the same with or without language –  the system-wide entity processing the inputs. So, language not necessary for consciousness. But with language, you can distill huge amounts of information into a small symbol (the word Egypt has gigabytes of associations). That enables the mind to juggle large, rich concepts with small handles. Wow. No wonder we can conceptualize such complex ideas and scenarios.

Energy & Matter can turn into each other, so they are basically the same thing. If consciousness is a manifestation of energy/matter it sure is different from the multitude of other manifestations of it.

We have neurons in our guts because that is where they first developed…must be. The gut evolved way before the brain.

The brain is the playground of the mind. So is the body….what is it with the mind, so busy.

You are most in your conscious mind when making decisions and learning or experiencing something new. Otherwise basically on auto-pilot.

 

 

The observer and the photon

Every time your eye grabs a photon, you are interacting with the world at the quantum level. You are destroying photons, using their energy to see. So, that is how an observer can collapse the wave function as well as a measurement can. The seer doesn’t have to be conscious in any way. Adding consciousness to the observation isn’t required, is it? I know some say yes. But destroying that photon is enough, isn’t it? If consciousness is required, that opens up a lot of other questions.

Consciousness has a quantum component as does all body processes, but we can’t disprove the possibility that the universe, in whole and in part, is conscious.

Experiencing Time

The places where our senses meet the world, our interface, builds an experience of Now. The smell, sound, feel, picture experienced in every moment.

What we experience as a moment, is our attention attending to the sensory input.

Our memory gives us a map of the past. Our senses give us an experience of the present. The mind and the senses build a conception of the future.

This is how we know that time is real, we wouldn’t be able to create it unless it existed. We have to endure. All developmental entities and processes need time to develop. So, why do we keep wondering if time is real? Maybe it doesn’t exist beyond the known universe. Is it created by all the damn cycles? No, the cycles couldn’t develop without it. 

Scientists, philosophers, shamans and trippers keep wondering if the flow of time is real. Scientists because time can go forward and backward in equations. Shamans, trippers, near-deathers, Buddhists, etc have experienced an out-of-time reality of an eternal now. But just because we can experience a reality with no flow of time doesn’t mean there isn’t one.  

One can experience the now so strongly that if something from the past or future comes in to your mind, you experience it just as if it were happening now.  Your mind is not distinguishing a difference between past present future. Things seem iconic, because the mind is seeing a path, a connection through time, all within the present. Somehow, its all there.