What do you percieve when you look at yourself? How do you get an answer when you ask yourself a question? Is it you asking questions or is it your brain? Is your brain your mind? Is your mind everywhere or in your head?
I would until recently have described the brain and mind as being one and the same. However, I have discovered, much to my surprise, that many scientists, including neuroscientists do not believe this is the case.
Interesting question. One has to first decide what is "yourself" is it brain mind or whole of you or some thing different. Let me answer what an Indian school of philosophy Adviata Vedanta school analysis says.
Self is an observer of each event. Both brain and mind can be observed. Even though one can not observe mind itself but one can observe changes in its modes. Like happiness, sadness etc. a different states of mind and those changes can be observed. Observer and observant can not be the same. So self has to be different from both mind and brain.
For example when we sleep- during deep sleep (with no dreams or also called memory-less sleep) both mind and brain are practically not working. But our self continues to be quite shining even that time. When we wake up every thing in which our sense organs brain or mind generally take part may change from the time we went to sleep (like if we board a plane in NY and go into deep sleep while still in NY and we may wake up in say London- whole atmosphere around us may change), but we wake up and start acting just as we are continuing from the time we went into deep sleep. Our self which is aware all this time of our existence, continues the action. That is one example this school takes to understand self (our consciousness, our basic existence) as different from both mind and brain etc.
It was meant to be a hard question to answer, but it requires thinking simply.
Yes indeed. An important question. It leads directly to questions like what exactly self is. What are your views on these?
The brain tells us what we are supposed to be seeing. The mind is blind to reality because of the brain, which is it's fuction. It is a matter of over riding said function and programming the brain to suit the needs of the mind.
If one assumes existence of mind then generally one assumes that it is the mind which directs sense organs etc, including brain. So the brain deceiving mind looks a bit strange? Brian is essentially a physical organ it does activity what ever it is asked to do by initiation from mind, that is the general feeling. If one assumes only mind and not self then generally consciousness is assumed to part of mind or at least intermingled with it.
If one assumes mind and also self (consciousness) separate from mind still one generally assumes even in that set up that self operates via mind.
In either case brain trying to deceive mind does it seem reasonable (of course if one assumes brain operates only under the instruction of mind)?
Perhaps you are not assuming that?
In that case still how does this explanation you offer explains you asked initially.How do you get an answer when you ask yourself a question? Is it you asking questions or is it your brain? Is your brain your mind? Is your mind everywhere or in your head?
what do you feel are answers to these questions? Can you please elaborate a little more?
It was a set of question meant to confound. Keep thinking about it for a while and when you can understand what the questions mean, you'll have your answer. The answer is yours though. You can feel free to share it, or keep it to yourself. But truly, it's not a question I can answer for you.
Ok! Now I understand what you are trying. I agree a lot of these things are difficult to convey also. Even after all the talk each person develops his own understanding.
Way I see is, you are ready to share a little of your understanding but only if it is more like a dialogue where we try to understand by sharing. I also like that.
I have tried to understand these aspects but perhaps no big experience as you may have had (impressions I get from your style). But let me talk a little what I feel.
Two aspects which I feel important in trying to understand this phenomena are - it does not matter so much as is it brain or mind or self which is the ruler what one can see is that by and large we have very little control over what can be the next thought which may occur to one. This thought occurring continues every moment in an uncontrolled manner.
Where do these thoughts occur or how or how we can control it we can understand only if we can get away at least a little (I am not so sure about a little, may be much more) from this process of uncontrolled thoughts occurring.
In a natural state it seems to be only when we are in deep sleep. Only in deep sleep we have our existence while this uncontrolled thought occurring process seems to stop.
I do not know how artificially one can stop that- people advise mediation is the way. are there other ways too?
What looks clear is to feel confident that we can understand properly and make sure our conclusion about answers to these question is not a deception one has to come out of this state a little which makes us continuously in flow of this uncontrolled thought?
Is there some other way (without getting away from this uncontrolled state) - what do you feel?
That was one reason, I was referring to try to see how continuation of getting in this uncontrolled thought process when we wake up from deep sleep occurs. That perhaps can be studied a little.
It's near impossible to quiet the brain, it's always analysing it's experiences. We basically only experience what our brains want us to. The mind, not realy being aware of it's self, recieves imformation only after the ego (another facet of the brain) has had it for a while. I would go so far as to say that people rarely use their minds anymore. In todays society, everything one does and see's is the product of what they want us to see and it only realy keeps us from seeing ourselve's.
This world that has been so maipulated and changed by media and ego, that we don't have time to shut the brain off long enough to realy see things as they are. I can buy all sorts of things and do all sorts of things. How do I know I'm even thinking with my own brain when I'm doing these things?
If one can shut the brain off for just a moment, everything becomes clear. It will not make one any smarter or educated, it just returns that connection to nature back on. Think of the brain as a light switch to the mind, when we rely on the brain for thought, the mind is in the dark.
I quite agree with what you have said. Indeed
"This world that has been so maipulated and changed by media and ego, that we don't have time to shut the brain off long enough to realy see things as they are."
"If one can shut the brain off for just a moment, everything becomes clear. It will not make one any smarter or educated, it just returns that connection to nature back on."
Question is how does one do that shut the brain for just moment at least?
Cutting the brain off is the truly hard part, Looking at things as they are is easy. You can't truly Turn the brain off, just keep it from interfering with the mind. It takes many hours of concentrating on nothingness, Thinking nothing and seeing nothing. As soon as you start to think, stop and start over. Eventualy, your brain will not have that grasp on the mind and you'll be in full charge. The truth is, you've been in charge the whole time, you just don't know because the brain is always going.
Almost becoming indifferent to what brain or mind does? Though I do not know why you think it is only brain- even mind also does it not play the game?
Oh! But for you, may be mind is self itself, Ok.- I consider self as different from both mind and brain.
But any way what you are suggesting is it not essentially what one understands generally as meditation.
Yes. Meditation... You do it all the time and don't even realize it. When you do something all of the time, eventualy you don't have to think about it, you just do it. When we can do things without being in our heads, then we are meditating, though it is not conscious meditation.
Both brain and mind are our illusions. Once we are connected with Reality, we realize the futility of these questions. The Upanishads are really good books, they save much time.
The upanashads are beautiful writings, but even then it was pointing out an individual path. All of the demons and gods are but reflections of the mind and are to be a task of the individual venture.
I love your new profile-picture. You are becoming like a saint. When you are finished, take me in to your school. I can say that I learn fast.
I cannot take you into a school that exists only within your self. I can show it to you, but you have to learn on your own.
To each is a path of many miles, one only need put the foot in the right place.
I see my physical being in terms of mind as a categorization in the memory, that operates by selecting specific memories automatically and by direction, that it remembers will accomplish specific things in mind and reality.
I looked at this post earlier, however, I was unable to articulate my response that eloquently KYS. I was thinking my mind is me and my decisions are based on my past experiences, that's how I reason things through. I can't see how me and my brain and mind are separate.
Somewhat a little more complicated than that, but not space here to illustrate. Tried to write an encapsulation. For me if I can't write an encapsulation I don't understand. Since the above
was not that good, guessing I don't quite got the gist yet.
It was that good? You certainly get the gist of it more than I do. With the exception of the other functions of the brain, I don't get the separation of mind and brain. Unless we include our soul, but that's a bit elusive.
I can't answer the above questions for you, I'd be cheating you if I did.
"I don't get the separation of mind and brain"
Neither does anyone else. Could call the brain the mechanics of it all like oft used computer analogy.
Then there is right and left brain as more analytical and more symbolic. I call the memory as the brain,
or the self that is created through experience in reality and which begins an empty space. Interesting 60 minutes show Sunday a ten year math genius gradating college soon. Super photographic memory and
a bit of autistic. The interesting thing was he remembers by images of colored triangles each corner having a number that he stacks one on top of the other making piles of them. He can recite pi 3.14 and on and on forwards and backwards.
ok, mind perhaps? like a computer monitor, displays information retrieved from memory. While the mother board, perhaps? is the brain- processed information? the questioner? Maybe? Interesting though, that a child who is purported to be different in some way, has unique abilities. Square pegs and round holes.
How about the universe itself? we are a natural function of the universe. So how do we know we aren't just doing as it is having us do? It is the cycle of nature that we live and die. So why are we afraid of death? When I need questions answered, I answer them myself. Wether it be by questions, just being as I am or letting the universe come to me. Why do planets explode and stars burn out? Why is water wet?
What if they are? Does it matter? I found this enlightenment on my path, so your enlightenment will be slightly different.
Why does how I feel about the universe matter? This life is your path and you are here, on your path to where ever you're going. I cannot determine your path for you, only you can do that. I am walking in the footsteps I laid out for myself and so I am my own master and student. Sometimes we may need a little jumpstart to see the whole picture.
I meant "what if your answers are wrong" in a general sense, not you in particular. I was meaning MY answers mean something to me. Now that I've thouroughly confused the issue, I'll just shut up.
Again. What if they are wrong? Does it hurt anyone but me? I have a path of my own and on my path, I have found a truth, that for me is the right answer. I did not need religion or science to find it, it was just there and it was every moment of my entire life.
If you're somehow asking the question "Where do we think from?" then I'll say that the mind is the part of us that holds the controls - and thought originates there. The brain, as the physical mechanism that allows us to have the thought completes the circuit between all the cells of the body and the mind and is where the chemical reactions occur that regulate the body systems. There is a concept of mind as having no actual physical being and yet being what organizes and controls our bodily systems - our spirit and our intellect come together in our mind. If you study the Aryurvedic (ancient East Indian) systems of thought it is all described very well - long before modern science identified specifically the various bodily systems that our minds hold together. I sure hope I'm right, because this all sounds so good to me! I think I'm right. But somebody will probably want to argue or call me a fool! that's ok. You do what you have to do.
If your path has an answer at the end of it, then that is your answer. My life ends every second, so I have my answer. I am the alpha and omega of my own perception and I believe I am being percieved by that which gave me life, the universe.
The art from that period was visionary and accurate as well. It can reach deeper than words sometimes.
Have you ever done this exercise? First, consciously pick something, anything, and freeze it in your mind. Think it again without letting the first thought dissipate. Continue layering the thoughts. You will notice that you get quite a pile of that same thought on many different levels of thought, like a juggler spinning plates. You will notice that you are having unrelated thoughts on every level as well.
In the exercise, you will feel as if you go deeper into your mind. We can project our thoughts as well, but not with as much power. There is a center from which it all emanates, and it is within. That is all I know about the subject.
Janesix, I hope that by saying you will "shut up" you are not feeling in any way guilty of having said something here. Even if you feel that what you have said has confused the issues, that does not matter at all.
By "shutting up" in a practical sense, that can bring into your self a moment of silence. A wonderfully positive thing to do. You mind may be going at a million miles a second, filling you with all manner of doubts, confusion, not knowing which way to go next. Suddenly, when you stop the world spinning, and settle into that "still small voice of calm," a minute sparkle of awareness might arise. Just at the moment you need new inspiration. That is specially for you. No one else.
Please remain with us in this Thread of discovery which mischeviousme has instigated.
I just want to share my view of the universe with you and everyone else. I was using these questions to better explain what I yammer on about.
Dang dude, that is cool. Translation,"Sir, you have made a fine, poetic, prophetic statement that indicates an intuitive mind and a kind, gracious soul."
I want to have an experience like you describe. I think I'll shut up, too!
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