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November 26, 2022


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Good one. Food for thought. I'll need to read this a few times more to fully digest it.

While agreeing overall, absolutely, but here's one counter-take that occurs to me: One mustn't imagine that all of our assessments are affect-driven. Sure, I may perceive that that guy, or dame or beast, is malevolent, merely because yesterday's dinner disagreed with me and the day's muggy and wet --- to put it facetously --- but, while keeping this in mind, one mustn't imagine that's necessarily how it is. It could well be that said man or woman or beast appears malevolent to us because that's exactly what they are. All that all of this amounts to is a call for more and better introspection and self-awareness.

Not saying that the book's claiming otherwise. But that takeaway is implied in the passage, or at least in how I read it, so I thought it right to flag this. Hear hoofbeats conclude horses, that isn't completely overturned, but only tempered by the (very right) thought that it might simply be indigestion on a cloudy day when your favorite football team has lost to some joke of a non-team. Maybe those, and not horses after all, with marauding bandits atop them; but only maybe.

I have just finished reading Barretts shorter book 'Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain'. A slimmed down but relevant series of essays on the predicting brain. The over-riding message I get from these essays is that the brain did not evolve for thinking but to predict how to respond to sense data and equally important to internal (interoceptor) sensations.

The brain's network of neurons and their clusters (hubs), continually carry information of how to deal with external and internal data. This information has been wired into the brain from birth – and interestingly it is not 'stored' as a static memory bank but is reconstructed on demand from concepts existing within its network. It seems incredible that there are no controlling 'centres' in the brain but only neural networks predicting the bodies responses – but current studies show this is so. Barretts' theories carry some weight.

Incidentally, I have long understood the mind as being a repository of information, of past experiences that arise or are drawn upon where conditions demand. But I can accept that 'information loaded neurons' arrive in awareness creating a predictive response to deal with a given situation.

This means that the term mind does not denote a ready source of knowledge and experience to be drawn upon, but the end product of the brains' prediction (or predictions) as they arise in awareness. The mind then has no existence whatsoever but is merely the name we give to an end-product of the brains' predictive networking. And yes, that leaves the question of awareness still open.

Just re-read your comment, Ron. Your final conclusion, about no self no mind? Nothing new there, it's Buddhism 101 after all, and now borne out by hard science.

But it is one thing to intellectually apprehend it, or even to momentarily, so to say, grok it, before flowing on with the next distraction.

Once you've fully internalized it, though? Completely digested it, internalized it through and through? As you appear to have done? Where do you go from there? How in the world would you then be able to bother with the hundred pointless inanities that occupy us all day long? The Buddha's detached removal from the world then makes sense. Or the Zen sage's very basic drawing water chopping wood thing. But the full on headlong immersion in the complexities and convolution of the world, how would one, how would YOU, reconcile yourself to continued engagement with that, not just as a one-off child's game played with other children, but as a prolonged, immersive, day in day out thing? Without which immersion and total engagement our complex modern jobs and indeed our lives overall, are a complete impossibility?

I'm curious what your take might be on that, both as a generalization and abstraction ; as well as a personal thing, in terms of how YOU deal with it.

Feelings manipulated by emotions are a bad guide to making choices. Look at how RSSB and gurinder singh dhillon use every dirty trick in the book to manipulate the minds of innocent people. They use imagery, of a baba , white turban, gown, sitting high on a white stage to stir up feelings of being unworthy in people, amongst a so called self proclaimed god. They use influencers, disguised as key sevadar , to stir a flock mentality. Then they use manipulated spells , they call them shabads, to stir up feelings of love for a living guru. The guru uses a kind of hypnosis, his eyes, like a snake, to seduce the innocent sangat, the prey, and they call this dreshti. Finally they hide behind an image of a charity, which means they get the innocent sacrificing there free time for the RSSB empire for absolutely no return and a false promise of god realization - a totally wasted life. All this sacrifice for a low life fake guru, who in reality as committed multiple murders; a greedy little man, that cares only about himself, his sons, and his billions he stole from his nephews. He's a thief, and even sacrificed his own wife to save his own pathetic image and the image of the RSSB empire. It's also came to light that he, and his relations, majithia, ordered the murder of his bank manager. Gurinder Singh Dhilllon your days are numbered, and you are being exposed. You will face your karma very soon, and revenge will be sweet

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