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OfflineBrainChemistry
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Energy of willpower
    #10242628 - 04/27/09 02:55 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Do you believe that you control your own thoughts?

If you do...where does that control come from?

When you focus on meditating...or on denying certain thoughts that enter your brain, where does that WILLPOWER come from?

Is it within your brain?

Conversely....if you believe that you truly don't control your thoughts, than surely you must believe you exist solely as a conditioned mind.

Every thought, every belief and opinion you have is based on cultural conditioning and predetermined thought patterns.

Personally...I can't believe that I am entirely conditioned. There is some other energy inside of me that gives rise to this feeling of "I", and that energy gives me WILL POWER.

But....perhaps its just an illusion after all.


--------------------
Word to your mom.


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Energy of willpower [Re: BrainChemistry]
    #10243059 - 04/27/09 04:11 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

the closest thing I can do like that is pause.
I consider it a huge act of individuality to just relax


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Invisibledeimya
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Re: Energy of willpower [Re: BrainChemistry]
    #10243330 - 04/27/09 05:01 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Neurosis is a hell of a thermodynamic disease. One needs several layers of relaxing to cure it.

I control my thoughts inasmuch as I cannot substitute "I" with the description of something like a brain, body, awareness or mind, taken apart or combined. Thoughts, feeling and conditioning controlling thoughts, feeling and conditioning, thus giving rise in their interplay to a sense of disembodied self.


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OfflineBrainChemistry
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Re: Energy of willpower [Re: deimya]
    #10243395 - 04/27/09 05:11 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Hmmm maybe it would help if I elaborated further.

When you experience creative thought....say, when you sit down to write a paper.

Or...when you pick a screen name for the Shroomery.

Where does that creativity come from?

How did you manage to organize the neurons in your brain to come up with screen name "redgreenvines" or "deimya"?

A thought is a process that takes place in the brain, correct? Therefore that thought correpsonds to a particular configuration of neurons and electrical impulses that manifest your creative thought.

But what is controlling it? We seem to have inifnite capacity to be able to change and reorganize our thoughts.

I can close my eyes and invision....a monkey eating a banana in a tree. I can hold it in my head for a as long as I want. If I wanted, I could change my image to a pink elephant walking on the moon. Or I could picture a ferris wheel at a carnaval.

Literally, I can imagine anything I want.

Therefore, am "I" controlling the neurons in my brain?

What is the "I" and where does its energy come from? Some other part of my brain? Is my brain just controlling itself....?

What tells the brain to do that?


--------------------
Word to your mom.


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InvisibleQuetzalcohuatl
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Re: Energy of willpower [Re: BrainChemistry]
    #10243414 - 04/27/09 05:15 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Sitting in the eye of the hurricane


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InvisibledeCypher
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Re: Energy of willpower [Re: BrainChemistry]
    #10243416 - 04/27/09 05:15 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

BrainChemistry said:
Therefore, am "I" controlling the neurons in my brain?




It's a feedback loop; the human biocomputer programming and metaprogramming itself.  You'll be chasing your tail all day if you're in search of some primal cause that doesn't bear all the weight of genetic determinism and nurture behind it... accept the material substrate to your existence but don't doom yourself with a superficially soul-less philosophy.  The 'I' is an illusion, but a sufficiently convincing one to be taken as real.


--------------------
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.


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OfflineBrainChemistry
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Re: Energy of willpower [Re: deCypher]
    #10243442 - 04/27/09 05:20 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

So, deCypher to requote my OP

Quote:

Conversely....if you believe that you truly don't control your thoughts, than surely you must believe you exist solely as a conditioned mind.

Every thought, every belief and opinion you have is based on cultural conditioning and predetermined thought patterns.





This is your stance then? That we are simply a preprogrammed computer, and any ideas we have that we are somehow controlling that which is within our computer, is wholey an illusion?


--------------------
Word to your mom.


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InvisibledeCypher
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Re: Energy of willpower [Re: BrainChemistry]
    #10243468 - 04/27/09 05:23 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

I think eventually we will be able to make very accurate predictions about humans to the point where we have complete behavioristic models of our social interactions, desires, motivations, and even thoughts.  This does not, however, negate the fact that I still feel free, if this makes any sense.

To me it's more paradoxical to assume the existence of a perfectly autonomous agent, bereft from any past history or inherent predictable nature, than it is to assume that we are merely sophisticated biocomputers.


--------------------
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.


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OfflineBrainChemistry
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Re: Energy of willpower [Re: deCypher]
    #10243666 - 04/27/09 05:55 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Social interactions, desires, and motivations are much more easily to predict because these things are highly influenced by outside forces. If you know someone's life history....or simply where they were born, you can make predictions as to what their desires and motivations might be.

I'm talking about on an even simpler level, when you express creative thoughts.

Unless you've met someone and asked them....you have no idea if they prefer the color blue, or red. No idea if they would rather name their child Steven, or Paul. And no matter how hard you try...if you were to ask someone to pick an image....any image they can think of, you would not be able to guess it with any reasonable accuracy. Not unless you have ESP, which I'm not going to say exists.

Do you think its possible that there is ONE brain wave pattern for the image of a tree? That there is just ONE configuration of neurons that holds the image of a tree, regardless of the person?

If this were the case then you could find it and note it, and if you had the proper equipment...you would know when the person is thinking of a tree.

The problem is, what I picture as a tree is never going to be the same tree you picture. So even if they could pin down the "tree brain wave pattern", you wouldn't know any of the true details of what that person is thinking. You would only get "tree".

But I'm digressing from the actual point.

There are certain functions of our brains in which we undoubtedly have no control over. I'm not a neuroscientist so forgive me for not naming the specific areas of the brain responsible for these functions. But basically I am refering to heart rate, hormone levels, immune response, digestion...all of the things that are brain regulates behind the scenes.

These functions are without a doubt "computerized". Our brains are programmed by our DNA at birth to carry out these very basic and essential functions.

But what about the non-essential functions of our brains. The ability to speak language, to learn new skills, to overcome instictual fear of pain and death, the ability to have a creative thought.

Are these things also programmed by DNA?

No, they are taught to us! Our brain recieves them and incorporates it into its programming.

What about feelings?? Are we taught not like something? Why is that when your parents and your teachers tell you smoking cigarettes is bad....why do we go out and smoke them anyway? Everything we know and have been told says not to do it, but we do it because we are curious! Because we want to learn for ourselves!

What I'm really asking is....where does that curiosity come from?


--------------------
Word to your mom.


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Energy of willpower [Re: BrainChemistry]
    #10243730 - 04/27/09 06:04 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

If you do...where does that control come from?

According to Don Juan will comes from the far reaches of the Universe. You can even call it to you.

Here will, come on boy.


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


Edited by Icelander (04/27/09 06:04 PM)


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InvisiblePoid
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Re: Energy of willpower [Re: deCypher]
    #10243998 - 04/27/09 06:43 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

deCypher said:
The 'I' is an illusion, but a sufficiently convincing one to be taken as real.



How is "I" any more of an illusion than "you"?


--------------------
Well I try my best to be just like I am, but everybody wants you to be just like them. --  Bob Dylan
fireworks_god said:
It's one thing to simply enjoy a style of life that one enjoys, but it's another thing altogether to refer to another person's choice as "wrong" or to rationalize their behavior as being pathological or resulting from some sort of inadequacy or failing so as to create a sense of superiority or separation as yet another projection of a personal fear or control issue.


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OfflineBrainChemistry
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Re: Energy of willpower [Re: Icelander]
    #10244161 - 04/27/09 07:05 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

Icelander said:
If you do...where does that control come from?

According to Don Juan will comes from the far reaches of the Universe. You can even call it to you.

Here will, come on boy.





Well Don Juan suggested it. Not me. :laugh:


--------------------
Word to your mom.


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InvisibledeCypher
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Re: Energy of willpower [Re: BrainChemistry]
    #10244245 - 04/27/09 07:19 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

BrainChemistry said:
Do you think its possible that there is ONE brain wave pattern for the image of a tree? That there is just ONE configuration of neurons that holds the image of a tree, regardless of the person?




http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn7567-why-your-brain-has-a-jennifer-aniston-cell.html

Quote:

BrainChemistry said:
The problem is, what I picture as a tree is never going to be the same tree you picture. So even if they could pin down the "tree brain wave pattern", you wouldn't know any of the true details of what that person is thinking. You would only get "tree".




I think you underestimate the potential of technological innovation as applied to neuroscience.

Quote:

BrainChemistry said:
But what about the non-essential functions of our brains. The ability to speak language, to learn new skills, to overcome instictual fear of pain and death, the ability to have a creative thought.

Are these things also programmed by DNA?




Language is taught to us, but the ability to use and form language is genetically inherent.  The same with willpower, creativity, and imagination; I'll admit that culture and nurture play significant and unalterable roles in this but you can't have the one without the other.


--------------------
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.


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InvisiblePoid
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Re: Energy of willpower [Re: deCypher]
    #10244266 - 04/27/09 07:23 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

deCypher said:
I think you underestimate the potential of technological innovation as applied to neuroscience.



I've overestimated it.



--------------------
Well I try my best to be just like I am, but everybody wants you to be just like them. --  Bob Dylan
fireworks_god said:
It's one thing to simply enjoy a style of life that one enjoys, but it's another thing altogether to refer to another person's choice as "wrong" or to rationalize their behavior as being pathological or resulting from some sort of inadequacy or failing so as to create a sense of superiority or separation as yet another projection of a personal fear or control issue.


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OfflineMJF
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Re: Energy of willpower [Re: Poid]
    #10244838 - 04/27/09 08:57 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

Poid said:
Quote:

deCypher said:
I think you underestimate the potential of technological innovation as applied to neuroscience.



I've overestimated it.





:confused:

what's the picture of?


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InvisiblePoid
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Re: Energy of willpower [Re: MJF]
    #10244867 - 04/27/09 09:02 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

A famous case of technological innovation as applied to neuroscience gone wrong.


From Howard Dully - Wikipedia
Quote:

Howard Dully (November 30, 1948) is one of the youngest recipients of the transorbital or "ice-pick" lobotomy, a procedure performed on him when he was 12 years old. Dully received international attention in 2005, following the broadcasting of his story on National Public Radio. Subsequently, in 2007, he published a critically well-received memoir, My Lobotomy, co-authored by Charles Fleming.



Quote:

Dully was born on November 30, 1948, in Oakland, California, the eldest son of Rodney and June Louise Pierce Dully. Following the death of his mother from cancer in 1954, Dully's father remarried single mother Shirley Lucille Hardin in 1955. In 1960, at 12 years of age, Dully was submitted by his stepmother and father for a transorbital lobotomy, performed by neurologist Walter Freeman, who had diagnosed Dully as suffering from childhood schizophrenia although numerous other medical and psychiatric professionals who had seen Dully did not detect a psychiatric disorder. During the procedure, a long, sharp instrument called a leucotome was inserted through each of Dully's eyes 7 cm into his brain. Dully has taken decades to recover from the surgery; he was institutionalized, incarcerated, and was eventually homeless and an alcoholic. After sobering up and getting a college degree in computer information systems, he became a California state certified behind-the-wheel instructor for a school bus company in San Jose, California. In his 50s, with the assistance of National Public Radio producer Dave Isay, Dully started to research what had happened to him as a child, speaking with his family, relatives of other lobotomy patients, relatives of Dr. Freeman, and gaining access to Freeman's archives. Dully first related his story on a National Public Radio broadcast in 2005, prior to co-authoring a memoir published in 2007.




--------------------
Well I try my best to be just like I am, but everybody wants you to be just like them. --  Bob Dylan
fireworks_god said:
It's one thing to simply enjoy a style of life that one enjoys, but it's another thing altogether to refer to another person's choice as "wrong" or to rationalize their behavior as being pathological or resulting from some sort of inadequacy or failing so as to create a sense of superiority or separation as yet another projection of a personal fear or control issue.


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OfflineBrainChemistry
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Re: Energy of willpower [Re: Poid]
    #10245098 - 04/27/09 09:37 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:


I think you underestimate the potential of technological innovation as applied to neuroscience.




Here is a quote from the article you linked.

Quote:

The team found similar results with another woman who had a neuron for pictures of Halle Berry, including a drawing of her face and an image of just the words of her name. "This neuron is responding to the concept, the abstract entity, of Halle Berry," says Quiroga. "If you show a line drawing or a profile, it's the same response. We also showed pictures of her as Catwoman, and you can hardly see her because of the mask. But if you know it is Halle Berry then the neurons still fire."




So they have found a single neuron that fires consistely when the person thinks about Jennifer Aniston or Halle Berry. But as the above quote suggests, that neuron doesn't care if its a drawing profile, or she's dressed as catwoman.

Like I said...they can tell if you are thinking "tree".

But they can't tell if you are thinking about an apple tree, a pine tree, a palm tree. They can't tell if it is raining on your tree, or if you are seeing squirrels climb it. They can't tell if you are simultaneously picturing yourself sleeping underneath that tree.

You see what I'm driving at?


--------------------
Word to your mom.


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Energy of willpower [Re: BrainChemistry]
    #10245190 - 04/27/09 09:48 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

i think we feel free when there isn't a big monkey in front of us telling us what we have to do.
the rest has to do with conditioning and letting go of impulses/ habits


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InvisiblePoid
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Re: Energy of willpower [Re: BrainChemistry]
    #10245201 - 04/27/09 09:49 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Finally, mind-reading technology is coming our way! :omgawesome:


--------------------
Well I try my best to be just like I am, but everybody wants you to be just like them. --  Bob Dylan
fireworks_god said:
It's one thing to simply enjoy a style of life that one enjoys, but it's another thing altogether to refer to another person's choice as "wrong" or to rationalize their behavior as being pathological or resulting from some sort of inadequacy or failing so as to create a sense of superiority or separation as yet another projection of a personal fear or control issue.


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InvisibledeCypher
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Re: Energy of willpower [Re: BrainChemistry]
    #10246484 - 04/28/09 12:56 AM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

BrainChemistry said:
But they can't tell if you are thinking about an apple tree, a pine tree, a palm tree. They can't tell if it is raining on your tree, or if you are seeing squirrels climb it. They can't tell if you are simultaneously picturing yourself sleeping underneath that tree.

You see what I'm driving at?




They can't right now, but that's no logical reason why it's impossible.  I claim it's inevitable.


--------------------
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.


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