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April 21, 2009

Comments

"The consensus among contemporary philosophers and mind scientists is that the self is a forensic concept, not a scientific one, and therefore not a member of the ontological table of elements."


---I wonder what is meant by "forensic" concept? A concept for the sake of debate and arguement only?
---What kind of concept was Metzinger trying to develop with the Ego Tunnel?

Hi. I came over from Church of the Churchless, which another blog had linked to. The Ego Tunnel--I shouldn't judge a book by its title, but I'm intrigued.

Dear Brian,
I have just completed reading the book.It is the first book I have read which scientifically confirms much of what is discussed on your blog.
In brief this is what I have learnt from it.
a)There is an inner space(possibly equivalent to awareness)
called high-dimensional state-space produced by the
global neural correlate of consciousness(NCC).
b)Within this space is an appearance of a world.When this occurs there is consciousness.
c)A personal self model (PSM) is next and this has
as its contents our Ego(I am)
d)We can know catch ourselves in the act of knowing.We are self-aware.
e)The space becomes a tunnel because of our ability
to think back to memory or to try and predict the future and because of the selectivity of our senses.
f)Due to transparency the I cannot know who or what I am.
e)I see with my Ego but I do not see it.I do not see reality I see an image of reality.
Ultimately subjective appearance is a biological data format.Ego and the tunnel are an evolved representational phenomena and have no real existence.They have appearance.
This is my own personal understanding and of course I bring my own bias to this.
I would really like to know what you managed to derive from the book.
Thanks very much the for tip to read it.
All the best
Obed

Obed, my blog posts about the book reflect much of what I got out of "The Ego Tunnel." You summarized it pretty well. It helped me to realize what I already knew/suspected, but often forget in my everyday experience.

Namely, that each of us sees life through our own filters. It isn't possible to see reality as it is, but only as how it appears on the inside of our individual ego tunnel.

The notion that it is possible to scrape away all of the ego encrustations and look directly through a clear glass tunnel -- that's just a notion. No evidence of it.

In fact, the idea that this is possible ("pure consciousness") is also part of the ego tunnel. Like I said in a post, I kept getting intimations of Buddhism and Taoism as I read the book. I also liked how it is scientific while also being "spiritual" -- in the sense of inward.

Everything in our experience is inward, in fact, because we always are seeing life through our own ego tunnel. Keeping this in mind helps prevent an excessive certitude and dogmatism.

Obed and Brian,

"......, that each of us sees life through our own filters. It isn't possible to see reality as it is, but only as how it appears on the inside of our individual ego tunnel. The notion that it is possible to scrape away all of the ego encrustations and look directly through a clear glass tunnel -- that's just a notion. No evidence of it."

---This statement, I like too.

---Especially, the "It isn't possible to see reality as it is, but only as how it appears on the inside of our individual ego tunnel."

Brian and Obed,

"Due to transparency the "I" cannot know who or what "I" am."

---Did this mean to say, "due to the lack of transparency.........."

Roger

Dear Roger.
Thomas uses the word more like invisible.As hard as a you or an I look we are not able to be aware of what the brain is doing.That is why when I ask the question "Who am I? The I being a brain cant answer itself.Of course I would like to be more than just a brain and I get the impression from the book that this is indeed the case.But this may just be wishful thinking on my part.I know you love asking questions but this book is a great read and the effort of reading it is really worthwhile.
Best regards
Obed

Obed,

Thanks for the e-mail.

No particular love for asking questions. I'm not afraid to ask. I think, the joy, is in receiving replies in the form of raw information. What I do with this information is the next event, in the process. I'm not bothered, if I don't receive any replies. Thanks again, to you, for your many thoughtful replies.

I did like your,

"As hard as a you or an I look we are not able to be aware of what the brain is doing.That is why when I ask the question "Who am I? The I being a brain cant answer itself.Of course I would like to be more than just a brain and I get the impression from the book that this is indeed the case."

---the ego tunnel is a product of the brain, or mental activity. I'm guessing.

Roger

Dear Roger,
As usual I enjoy our conversations.One day I would like
to know what all this means to you.You actually project a very friendly nice persona on the internet.
What I really got from Thomas M's book is this.
The life process is working through the brain and the body to become consciousness.For me this meant that the life process is becoming a living mind.
Not only this but this living mind is a wholeness
We always see the world appearance as a completeness.The image within is not in pieces ,like a jigsaw puzzle.There are no lines.
For me that meant without searching for it or even making any effort the nature of this living mind is completeness and that is what is.
I hope I make some sense.
By the way I dont think very logically .I am an
intiutive thinker and often grasp ideas without
really going through the logic of it and consequently I have problems making my intuitions
understandable to others.
All the best
Obed

Obed,

I liked,

"For me this meant that the life process is becoming a living mind. Not only this but this living mind is a wholeness We always see the world appearance as a completeness. The image within is not in pieces ,like a jigsaw puzzle.There are no lines. For me that meant without searching for it or even making any effort the nature of this living mind is completeness and that is what is."
---This is very good.


"One day I would like to know what all this means to you."

--- Seems like everything and anything can take on multible meanings. Don't see myself, as One that is seeking a particular meaning, to a particular anything. I do enjoy, as a hobby, collecting a collection of meanings of particular somethings.
---There are moments of joy in this subjective-objective hobby. Nothing more.


"I am an intiutive thinker and often grasp ideas without really going through the logic of it and consequently I have problems making my intuitions understandable to others."
---You are understandable. What others think is no big deal.

Roger

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