Questioning Consciousness

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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby brainpanhandler » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:11 am

"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." - Martin Luther King Jr.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby dada » Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:48 pm

Questioning consciousness, questioning consciousness. Consciousness that questions, questioning itself. Or are we questioning something else. Consciousness as some sort of 'thing' that can be interrogated. Waterboarding consciousness.

"All art is derivative." This sweeping generalization is the title of a youtube video on the culture, arts, beautiful things thread. What does questioning consciousness have to say about that. Begs the question, 'what is art,' doesn't it? By whose standards are we judging what is art and what is not, to be able to put the parenthesis around the 'all art' set. Certain assumptions must be made for the statement to mean anything at all. Making the assumptions are taking a meaningless statement and trying to make it sound logical, meaningful. So the assumptions lead to confusion, seeing a meaningless statement as a meaningful statement. Making the proverbial mountain out of a meaningless molehill.

Another one, from the socialist response thread. Seasoned socialist organizer says "spontaneity just means someone else did the organizing." Now, I understand he's coming from a subculture where the words 'spontaneity' and 'organizing' are loaded down with heavy bags of meaning to him. So we'll give him a pass, since he's confused. But I think it's simple enough to see that spontaneity means that no one else did the organizing.
Both his words and manner of speech seemed at first totally unfamiliar to me, and yet somehow they stirred memories - as an actor might be stirred by the forgotten lines of some role he had played far away and long ago.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby Cordelia » Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:27 pm

dada » Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:48 pm wrote:Questioning consciousness, questioning consciousness. Consciousness that questions, questioning itself. Or are we questioning something else. Consciousness as some sort of 'thing' that can be interrogated. Waterboarding consciousness.

"All art is derivative." This sweeping generalization is the title of a youtube video on the culture, arts, beautiful things thread. What does questioning consciousness have to say about that. Begs the question, 'what is art,' doesn't it? By whose standards are we judging what is art and what is not, to be able to put the parenthesis around the 'all art' set. Certain assumptions must be made for the statement to mean anything at all. Making the assumptions are taking a meaningless statement and trying to make it sound logical, meaningful. So the assumptions lead to confusion, seeing a meaningless statement as a meaningful statement. Making the proverbial mountain out of a meaningless molehill.

Another one, from the socialist response thread. Seasoned socialist organizer says "spontaneity just means someone else did the organizing." Now, I understand he's coming from a subculture where the words 'spontaneity' and 'organizing' are loaded down with heavy bags of meaning to him. So we'll give him a pass, since he's confused. But I think it's simple enough to see that spontaneity means that no one else did the organizing.


'Actually' it's "All Creative Work Is Derivative". Is all art creative work? is all creative work art?
Is there space for all? :shrug:

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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby dada » Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:18 pm

Cordelia wrote:'Actually' it's "All Creative Work Is Derivative". Is all art creative work? is all creative work art?
Is there space for all?


I think you hit the source of the confusion on the head: the "all."

All creative work, all art, either way it comes to the same thing. Confusion, resulting from assumptions. It's like saying "all of an undefined set is derivative" Which is unprovable, a meaningless statement. (Maybe it isn't meaningless, but no one can prove that, either.)

I might say that creative work, by definition, can't be derivative. There is no creativity without originality. But then I'd be saying many things that are normally considered creative work, aren't. That's confusion. A declarative statement about a purely conceptual thing.

Reminds me of Robert Anton Wilson's answer to CSICOP, the committee for the scientific investigation of claims of the paranormal. He started CSICON, the committee for the scientific investigation of claims of the normal. He offered ten thousand dollars to anyone who could show him an example of a 'normal' anything. He was making the point, in his clever Brooklyn Tech way, that there is no standard of normal, every individual thing is the normal version of itself.
Both his words and manner of speech seemed at first totally unfamiliar to me, and yet somehow they stirred memories - as an actor might be stirred by the forgotten lines of some role he had played far away and long ago.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby Sounder » Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:23 am

Thanks Elvis for that Dan Siegel vid.

One trouble with us humans is an unwillingness to admit to living with profound levels of ignorance. So much of what we do is done to assure ourselves that we are not ignorant.

I have found myself to be a bundle of reactive mind rote responses that seem to reflect unconscious programming. It's embarrassing, so long ago I derived a self improvement program that works through the aspiration to balance order and liberty in all activities.

It's a work in progress and the process is key.

Dan might want to look for non-pejorative terms to replace rigid and chaos so we may better see positive aspects of both.
All these things will continue as long as coercion remains a central element of our mentality.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby dada » Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:10 am

But if we know that we don't know, is that ignorance? Seems like a pretty intelligent leap. May be hope for humanity yet.

But I guess I see ignorance as distraction, more than anything. Ignoring what you want to be paying attention to, paying attention to something else.
Both his words and manner of speech seemed at first totally unfamiliar to me, and yet somehow they stirred memories - as an actor might be stirred by the forgotten lines of some role he had played far away and long ago.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby BenDhyan » Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:11 am

Sounder » Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:23 pm wrote:So much of what we do is done to assure ourselves that we are not ignorant.
-snip-
It's embarrassing, so long ago I derived a self improvement program that works through the aspiration to balance order and liberty in all activities.

So are you suggesting that an ignorant person is able to develop a self improvement program to help ignorant people escape their ignorance, or that since you personally are not ignorant, you are able to develop a self improvement program to help ignorant people escape their ignorance?

Hi Sounder, I am teasing, it is an interesting video, and I too aspire to transcend my ignorance. Still mind meditation works, not easy though if in family situation. Without deep aspiration and a real conviction that transcendence is realizable, perhaps better to pretend it is not possible and that those who suggest it is, are deluded, arrogant, or ignorant. :wink
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby Cordelia » Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:01 am

dada » Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:18 am wrote:
Cordelia wrote:'Actually' it's "All Creative Work Is Derivative". Is all art creative work? is all creative work art?
Is there space for all?


I think you hit the source of the confusion on the head: the "all."

All creative work, all art, either way it comes to the same thing. Confusion, resulting from assumptions. It's like saying "all of an undefined set is derivative" Which is unprovable, a meaningless statement. (Maybe it isn't meaningless, but no one can prove that, either.)

I might say that creative work, by definition, can't be derivative. There is no creativity without originality. But then I'd be saying many things that are normally considered creative work, aren't. That's confusion. A declarative statement about a purely conceptual thing.


Reminds me of Robert Anton Wilson's answer to CSICOP, the committee for the scientific investigation of claims of the paranormal. He started CSICON, the committee for the scientific investigation of claims of the normal. He offered ten thousand dollars to anyone who could show him an example of a 'normal' anything. He was making the point, in his clever Brooklyn Tech way, that there is no standard of normal, every individual thing is the normal version of itself.


:thumbsup
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby dada » Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:40 pm

Taking a quote from a post in the Vice thread, to add a selection from an interview with Tim Skelly.

Skelly created the game Reactor for Gottlieb, as well as many other games you may or may not have heard of, for various companies. He was a hired-gun, a freelance programmer. Among other things. Reactor was the jazz game in a rock n roll arcade world, requiring neat riffs and nice moves. Cerebral, cool, like Skelly, himself.

The selection from the Skelly interview that goes with the Vice thread quote is the part about 'theta waves' and 'light hypnotic trance.' But he makes an interesting point at the beginning about how the glow from a tv screen is hypnotic in a primal way, like looking in a fire.

So here's the quote from the thread, for all of you sitting in your light hypnotic trances in front of your glowing screens, or on your portable trance-induction fires:

From the thread: "McDonnell cited a metaphor penned by Monroe Institute employee Melissa Jager in order to illustrate the nature of hypnosis. The metaphor says that a normal state of consciousness is like a lamp, which emits light in a "chaotic, incoherent way." However, a hypnotized state of consciousness is said to be like a laser beam, whose thoughts and energy are focused like a "disciplined stream" of light."


My response: "I know I've read this quote in a different form before, though I haven't been able to track it down. But I think it's a borrowed and repurposed metaphor. The quote I remember - I think was either Targ, or F David Peat mentioning it - said that the beta waves of 'normal' consciousness are more incoherent, other waves more coherent, with no mention of the 'hypnotized state.'

The idea being that an 'altered state' just means 'changed,' not 'hypnotized.' I suppose your brain waves could change, become more coherent using the tech and hypnosis method, but it isn't necessary. And as I said, you're also putting yourself in a state where you're more open to suggestibility, and manipulation from outside, whether conscious or unconscious."


Here's Skelly:

SKELLY: Well, one of the things I learned when I was doing video art is that a light source, such as a video monitor, is inherently more fascinating than any source of reflected light. For instance, if you're in a bar, and there's a television on, most people will sit there and tend to glance up at the TV without even really watching what's going on. There's something primitive there; it's like looking in a fire.

Once you have the light source, your attention is already riveted. But most successful games, you'll notice, have a black background to them. Originally, this was for technical reasons. I have since realized that by having a black background and having only the featured figures in bright colors, you create a situation where the primary features on the screen are inherently more fascinating than anything else. Well, with that much concentration, you're already in a light hypnotic trance. Anybody who's watched television and hasn't been able to get up and turn the damned thing off has experienced this. It's meditative, calming. But at this point you're still thinking about the kid who stole your lunch money, or that business deal that didn't go through, or whatever drove you into the arcade in the first place.

VG: This all sounds fairly manipulative. What happens next?

SKELLY: When the game starts, you have what I think of as the little electronic Zen master, which is anxiety. If you're careless, if you don't concentrate on what you're doing, you're going to lose a ship - and that's the little Zen master slapping you upside the head saying, "Pay attention, Grasshopper!" So you pay attention - you pay lots of attention - so that by the time the game is over, as long as it wasn't a complete washout, you've already accomplished one thing, which is that your mind has been cleared. You feel that your problems are a little more distant than they were when you started playing.

Now, if you really played well - and you're already in this suggestible state - then you feel really good. It's almost imprinted on you, and it lasts longer than the time you spent playing that one game. And if you don't do well - even though you might get frustrated and angry - there's still a feeling of involvement. I think games are sort of like theta wave meditation. You're dealing not with a relaxed state of mind, but with an excited state, and that has its own pros and cons.

---

Pros and cons. If you're going to put yourself in a suggestible state, you could do worse than having Skelly doing the suggesting. At least he doesn't try to hide the fact that he 'makes drugs without the drugs.'

So. What does this say about the internet? Don't answer so fast. Let it work in you a bit. Here, Listen to some jazz game music, good for thinkings.



Thinkings all done? Wait, do some more before you answer. Here, these two jazz game musics you can even watch



Both his words and manner of speech seemed at first totally unfamiliar to me, and yet somehow they stirred memories - as an actor might be stirred by the forgotten lines of some role he had played far away and long ago.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby dada » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:08 pm

Jerky said: "Has there ever been a nation as conflicted when it comes to loving authoritarians but also having a nearly psychopathic "problem" with authority than the USA?"

I should probably pull back the curtain a little at this point, reveal a bit of my strategy. Or talk around it, at least. I don't want my ol' pal to totally misunderstand where I'm coming from.

You know when the Buddha says "life is suffering." I don't think he's being literal, I think he's trying to make a point. I'll let Alan Watts explain:

"[The "four truths of the noble ones" are...] a very skillful outline of the nature of Buddhism, and it's based on an old medical formula. In ancient India, as in almost all ancient cultures, every activity was ceremonialized. And when a physician came to pay his call he gave his diagnosis in a very ceremonial way. He made four pronouncements. The first pronouncement was the name of the disease. The second, the cause of the disease. The third, the curability of the disease. (Can it be cured? Yes or no.) And if it can be cured the fourth pronouncement is the giving of the prescription. And that's exactly the form of Gautama's summary of his doctrine.

He said, in other words, the first principle is that mankind - and indeed all forms of life - suffer from a disease which is called in Sanskrit "Duhkha." And the most general translation of that word is "suffering." Duhkha means suffering in all its forms: moral, physical, spiritual. But Western interpreters of Buddhism have sometimes represented him as saying that life is suffering, period. In other words of annunciating a highly pessimistic and world-hating doctrine. That to be alive is to suffer. And that in other words the amount of joy, of positive pleasure in life is after all so negligible that the game is not worth the candle.

Now if one studies the method of teaching of sages in ancient India, you have to realize that one of their fundamental pedagogical gambits is to arrive at the point of view they wish to inculcate by a zigzag method. When we walk, you know we put down maybe first the left foot, then we shift to the right foot, then the left foot, then the right foot. And in this way we go along, neither to the left nor to the right, but straight ahead. And you find too that in thought that the Human mind tends to go from position to position but it always, when it settles on any fixed position, we can always point out that that position is an extreme."

"So in other words, Buddhist doctrine that life is fundamentally Duhkha, or suffering, is an antithesis directed towards those people who believe that the object of life is to attain "Suhkha," or sweetness: pleasure."

I might say that the wholly illuminated ex-Prince is exaggerating, to get us back in balance. But you have to see Buddha as willing to talk tricky to see this. This really isn't so difficult to do, just take him off his pedestal.

So when I say "Fuck authority," ... See?

At the risk of being even more misunderstood, (or maybe that's the point now, trying to cover my tracks. Don't want to give away all my secrets) here's something I read last night, for the Feast of the Assumption of Mary. Celebration of the day when heaven assumed responsibility for the holy mother, or to put it differently, when the church was forced to accept Mary worship because of all the heretic feminine cultists cropping up everywhere. It was a political move. An "If you can't beat them, co-opt them" move.

From the Book of the Virgin Mary's Repose. Trans. by Stephen J. Shoemaker from the Syriac text published by William Wright in Contributions to the Apocryphal Literature of the New Testament (London: Williams and Norgate, 1865).

The episode below occurs as the Apostles are gathered together at the Virgin's tomb, where they await Christ's return to take his mother's body into heaven. The narrative reports a debate among the Apostles over the appropriate lifestyle for Christian believers, and the outcome is decided by Christ when he returns. Although the events are almost certainly fictional, they nevertheless are representative of the debates over the place of wealth and sexuality in the Christian life during the second and third centuries.

...............

Then the Apostles agreed with what Paul said, for they were asking him to speak with them again, so that he would not press them, and they would not reveal to him the glorious mysteries that our Savior taught. [difficult passage, bad translation. The meaning is something like, "the apostles were yessing Paul to death, and kept him talking about trifling matters, so they wouldn't have to deal with his difficult questions"]

And again all the Apostles answered and said to Paul, “Our brother Paul, speak with us in words, because we are listening to you with delight. For our Lord has sent you to us to gladden us for these three days.” And Paul answered and said to Peter, “Since you were not willing to reveal the great things of Jesus to me, tell me, when you go forth, what will you preach and teach, so that I too will know how to teach with your doctrine.”

Peter said to him, “My brother Paul, this word that you have spoken is good. Since you have asked to know and hear what we are going to teach and preach to people, listen, and I will tell you. When I go forth to preach, I will say that anyone who does not fast all of his days will not see God.” Paul said to Peter, “Our father Peter, what is this word that you have spoken? For they will not hear your word, and they will arise and kill you, because they are wicked and unacquainted with God or fasting.” And again Paul turned to John and said to him, “Tell us your doctrine too, our father John, so that I too may teach and preach thus.”

John said to him, “When I go forth to teach and preach, I will say that anyone who is not a virgin all of his days will not be able to see God.” And Paul answered and said to John, “Our father John, what are these words to people who do not know God? For if people who worship stones and trees hear these things from you, they will throw us in prison and lock us up.” And again Paul turned to Andrew and said to him, “Our father Andrew, tell us what your opinion is too, so that I too may teach and preach [thus], lest perhaps Peter should think that he is great and a bishop, and John also be proud that he is a virgin, and because of these things they have spoken grand things.” And Andrew said to Paul, “When I go forth to preach, I will say that everyone who does not leave father and mother, and brothers and sisters, and children and houses, and everything that he has, and go forth after our Lord, he will not be able to see God.” And Paul said to Andrew, “Our father Andrew, the words of Peter and John are light compared with yours, for you have separated everyone from the earth in one moment. For who will hear your words at this time and place a heavy burden on himself?” And Peter and Andrew answered and said to Paul, “Paul, friend of our soul, tell us how you want us to go forth and preach.”

Paul said to them, “If you will listen to me, do these things, and let us think of things that they will be able to do, because they are new, and do not know the truth. Let us say these things to them: ‘Let every man take his wife,’ so that they will not commit adultery; and ‘let a woman take her husband, that she may not commit adultery.’ And let us establish one or two days [of fasting] in the week for them, and let us not be too hard on them, lest they become negligent and turn away. But if they fast today and are a little weary, they will persevere for the time and say, ‘Tomorrow we will not fast.’ And if they come to the time when they eat, and they find a poor person and give to him, they will say, ‘Why do we fast, if we do not give to the poor,’ and they will know God in their hearts. And let us also say to them, ‘Let the one who is weary fast until the sixth hour, and the one who is able, until the ninth, and the one who is still able, until evening.’ And when we have given them to drink as with milk, and we have turned them to us, then we will tell them the great and glorious things, words that will be useful to them.” Then all of the Apostles murmured, and would not agree with Paul’s words.

And as all of the Apostles were sitting in front of the entrance to Mary’s tomb, disputing Paul’s words, behold, our Lord Jesus Christ came from heaven with the angel Michael. And he sat among the Apostles as they were debating over Paul’s word. And Jesus answered and said, “Greetings Peter, the bishop, and greetings John, the virgin, you who are my heirs. Greetings Paul, the advisor of good things. Truly I say to you, Peter, that your advice was always destructive: yours and Andrew’s and John’s. But I say to you that you should receive that of Paul. For I see that the whole world will be caught in Paul’s net, and it will precede them. And then, after these things, your words will become known at the end of time.” And the Lord turned to Paul and said to him, “My brother Paul, do not be sad that the Apostles, your fellows, will not reveal the glorious mysteries to you. For to them I have revealed the things that are on earth; but I will teach you the things that are in heaven.

---

Basically, "Go easy on the dopes, for they know not what dopeyness they are on about." Tricks again. Teaching by trickery. This time by a Jew hippie who I doubt was an actual, historical figure. Gotta take him off the pedestal too, to see what the hell I'm on about.

Or not.

So fuck authority.
Both his words and manner of speech seemed at first totally unfamiliar to me, and yet somehow they stirred memories - as an actor might be stirred by the forgotten lines of some role he had played far away and long ago.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby Sounder » Sat Aug 18, 2018 4:50 am

Thanks dada, great stuff.


The embarrassing thing is not being ignorant, the embarrassing thing is the time and effort spent covering up ones ignorance.



Sounder » Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:23 pm wrote:
So much of what we do is done to assure ourselves that we are not ignorant.
-snip-
It's embarrassing, so long ago I derived a self improvement program that works through the aspiration to balance order and liberty in all activities.


ben wrote...
So are you suggesting that an ignorant person is able to develop a self improvement program to help ignorant people escape their ignorance, or that since you personally are not ignorant, you are able to develop a self improvement program to help ignorant people escape their ignorance?


The first one, except that the self-improvement program only looks to cope with ignorance rather than to 'escape' it. Anyway, ignorance is not a bad thing, it's just a thing. As has been mentioned before, consciousness is a limiter and that is a good thing, otherwise our heads might esplode.


Hi Sounder, I am teasing, it is an interesting video, and I too aspire to transcend my ignorance. Still mind meditation works, not easy though if in family situation. Without deep aspiration and a real conviction that transcendence is realizable, perhaps better to pretend it is not possible and that those who suggest it is, are deluded, arrogant, or ignorant. :wink


I must have missed the part about aspiring to transcend ignorance, maybe I'll have another listen.

Yes well, I have no aspiration, conviction or care about realizing transcendence, and in point of fact, a major objective is to maintain love and respect within my family. I do what needs to be done so that I am able to relax when doing what I want to do. It's a pragmatic and practical attempt to improve the situation of both myself and those I love.

It's an attempt at cultivating better interaction and integration of different layers of consciousness.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby BenDhyan » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:16 am

^ It is my understanding that transcending ignorance occurs through the integration process, for the underlying unity of all that exists is not apparent to the human mind operating in the awake dualsitic state of awareness, which dualistic state is said to be maya or ignorance relative to the transcendent mind state of non-duality where unconditional love is omnipresent.

And as I noted, if in a family situation there is a real difficulty, and as Jesus the carpenter also noted, it's not possible to serve two masters without serving one second best, and you have chosen family number one. Good for you, there is no judgement by me about another as to where their priorities should lie wrt their goal in life, each to their own, I sincerely wish success and happiness for you and your loved ones.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby Sounder » Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:03 am

To my mind, ha, your opinion is that to serve God one must transcend his (limited) creation, while my opinion is that serving God involves making this temporal world into a suitable vessel for God's spirit.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby BenDhyan » Sat Aug 18, 2018 5:17 pm

^ No, not to transcend limited creation, but to transcend ignorance about what and who I really am in this creation. My opinion about others is that they ultimately each bear the responsibility for their own destiny, and hope that they take it seriously and wisely.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby Sounder » Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:31 am

Ben wrote...
It is my understanding that transcending ignorance occurs through the integration process,


These word and the ones following the comma strike me as being an imposition of your cookie cutter pretenses onto Dan's work, causing you to miss or evade his point.

For Dan and I the strategy of differentiation, finding linkages and then integration is a wellness model and therefor process oriented, rather than being ends based as 'transcending ignorance' seems to be.

In my case, because i noticed at an early age that 'smarts' were measured as if they were the repetition of parrots, I resolved to create my own idiosyncratic criteria for understanding. It took about twenty years and I have lived with it for about thirty years since. It works pretty good.
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