« Dancing teaches me a life lesson | Main | Islam's war on women »

December 05, 2011


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

"Yes, we're the most highly evolved animals on Earth -- the most intelligent, with the best communication skills. We can tell stories to ourselves, and others, about how special we are. But really, we're not."

This is your story, but it needs work because if we have the best communication skills, we are special.

We tell stories because stories tell us what to do, and science tells us that if we're not scientists spinning out stories, we'd better keep up with the all the stories scientists keep spinning out.

I am amazed at how much time some people spend writing or reading books trying to convince themselves and others that humans aren't special. What is that all about?

Rain, it's called "reality." We humans are habitual truth-seekers. We want to know how things really are. This distinguishes us from less evolved animals. I'm fascinated with the findings of modern science, especially neuroscience, because they challenge the way I intuitively perceive reality, and myself.

It just seems so obvious that my sense of self is real, that something has remained constant in me through all of my 63 years -- a soul, a self, an ego, something. I enjoy learning about how this sense almost certainly is an illusion, like other things that I once believed and have come to realize are false. Learning feels good, even when it shakes up my worldview.


Just a little somethin' somethin' for yall's to THINK about.

Just sayin'.......

"Learning feels good, even when it shakes up my worldview."

I would say that UNLESS it shakes up, modifies, or demolishes my world view, there's no learning.

IF you can't know anything, you can't know that either ;)

You can know what knowledge is, if nothing else.

Peter Brown has been saying this for years in his 'satsangs'. To paraphrase: 'Thoughts are real, but the contents of them are not real. The energetic event is a real thing, but what it pertains to be about is fantasy.' Interesting article, seems to confirm this!

Our thoughts are indicative of what we believe, fear, desire, hope for and dread, and have an emotional effect. The way we feel at any given moment is largely determined by the thoughts entertained.

cc, yes. And the thoughts entertained...they come from where?

From brain depths beyond our awareness. So what we do and think and feel is what we do and think and feel. Pretty damn simple.

Wonderfully simple. Mysteriously simple.

"Whatever neural arrangements these conscious markers consist of, they are almost certainly not sufficient in number or organization by themselves to drive the behavior that is supposed to result from conscious thoughts about stuff."

---Brian, does Rosenberg suggest a mechanism that would drive a particular behavior? A supposed thought may play some sort of part in such mechanism. Maybe and maybe not. Or is it just mysteriously unknown.

Roger, there are 100 billion or so neurons in the brain. Each has thousands (I think) of connections with other neurons. The brain is the most complex entity is the known universe. So how brain activity results in a particular behavior is mostly unknown.

What is clear, though, is the vast discrepancy between the simplicity of a thought -- "I want a sip of coffee" -- and the hugely complex brain activity that has to transpire in order for this to happen. Hand reaches out. Eyes focus. Mouth opens. Swallowing happens. Taste buds fire. All that.

Which happens automatically, beyond our conscious awareness or control. This is why Rosenberg says that the voice inside our head which speaks thoughts is much more a bystander to what the brain does, than a controller of it.

Yes, that's correct. I'm guessing, the little we do know, is the general area of the brain that activates a particular action behavior.

Yesterday, I had a very clear thought of bashing the head of a babbler with my sledge hammer. The sledge hammer was nearby. However, my clear thought didn't activiate my arm and hand to begin the behavior. I didn't engage in any bashing.

So, is this good or bad brain activity?
Could I be in possesion of a few million or so bad neurons? Hmmmm....the mystery goes on.....

-but what then IS that "voice" (the internal dialog) inside the head??

-why does it exist??

-how does it arise??

-why is it happening??

-why is the (thought) voice carrying on a narrative and dialog with itself??

-and finally, WHO is listening to it??

"what we do and think and feel is what we do and think and feel. Pretty damn simple."

Quite complicated, actually. We're dealing with reflection; what surface tells us about depth, and since the brain is plastic, what passes for knowledge and verification can be gross distortion.

"Rosenberg says that the voice inside our head which speaks thoughts is much more a bystander to what the brain does, than a controller of it."

Yes, thought is after the fact, and often beside the point, but because it is the conditioned response of unquestioned beliefs, assumptions, values, and expectations, it can't be dismissed or discounted, and the extent of its influence and effect can only be measured by its absence, which, you may have noticed, is un-noticeable.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)


  • Welcome to the Church of the Churchless. If this is your first visit, click on "About this site--start here" in the Categories section below.
  • HinesSight
    Visit my other weblog, HinesSight, for a broader view of what's happening in the world of your Church unpastor, his wife, and dog.
  • BrianHines.com
    Take a look at my web site, which contains information about a subject of great interest to me: me.
  • Twitter with me
    Join Twitter and follow my tweets about whatever.
  • I Hate Church of the Churchless
    Can't stand this blog? Believe the guy behind it is an idiot? Rant away on our anti-site.