Consciousness is Play-Doh, not a camera.

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Consciousness is Play-Doh, not a camera.

Post by pinback » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:31 pm

Let's look at a scenario which some of you may find familiar, or at least relatable, and then see what we can learn from it.

The scenario is this: You find yourself wracked with anxiety, panic, regret, and ultimate suffering about your position in life and all of your problems. Every possible thought your mind alights on, while trying to escape the previous one, is even more horrible.

Palms sweaty, heart racing, wanting to, as Col. Kurtz said, tear your teeth out. Literally hell on Earth.

And then, after this storm runs its course for a while, something changes, and it eases. Let's say you see your problems from a new, fresh perspective, or think about baseball for a while, thus "forgetting" your problems.

In any case, you find yourself, maybe an hour or so later let's say, back in a good place. Calmer, more relaxed, not everything seems so bad anymore.

But alas, this lasts only so long, and before you know, your mind is on your problems again, and the fear reappears, and your world is once again aflame, and you almost feel silly for thinking about baseball or your new perspective, because obviously you were just kidding yourself or running away from your problems, because now they're back in full force.

If you have never experienced this, or can in no way relate, that is marvelous. Why are you still reading this post?

For the rest of you, and I'm not specifically singling out Retro here, let's see what this can teach us about how our interpretations of our experience may differ wildly from the actual truth of what's going on.

When I started this post I had a lot more energy, but I think I'll have to continue this tomorrow. The title is the big spoiler, though, if you want to speculate and start coming up with ways that this is wrong.
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Re: Consciousness is Play-Doh, not a camera.

Post by Tdarcos » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:05 am

pinback wrote:When I started this post I had a lot more energy, but I think I'll have to continue this tomorrow. The title is the big spoiler, though, if you want to speculate and start coming up with ways that this is wrong.
But alas, tomorrow, and before you know, your mind is on your tiredness again, and the fear reappears, and your world is once again aflame, and you almost feel silly for thinking about resting or your new perspective by waiting a day, because obviously you were just kidding yourself or running away from your problems, because now they're back in full force.

I feel like I got this idea from someone else.
"We don't try, to understand, the New York Times affect on man."
- The Bee Gees, Night Fever

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Post by pinback » Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:10 pm

So, let's get back to it, by examining our interpretation of the previously described string of events.

To recap, our problems were torturing us, so we thought about baseball, or tried to see our problems differently, and felt better, but then the nagging problems reasserted themselves in our thoughts, and we were back to the torture.

The normal interpretation of this generally looks like this:

There's me, and there's my consciousness, or awareness, or what have you. That consciousness is a window, or camera, which I can swivel and move around to various objects out there in the world. So there's me, the camera of my awareness, and then the things in the world that I have to deal with.

Given this setup, the string of events goes like this:

1. My awareness camera was focused on all of my problems. Me, pointing my camera, at all of my problems out there in the world (along with, of course, all the potential future disasters that could happen, and all the stuff you screwed up in the past), and it's a nightmare.

2. Being a nightmare, I want to escape it, so I do one of two things (or more, but let's stick with my story). I either swivel my camera of awareness to point to some other object out there in the world -- in this case, baseball -- or I move my camera to a different spot (perhaps for the ol' "30,000-foot view") from which to view my problems, where they don't seem so bad.

In the first case, we might say we've "forgotten about our problems" for the time being. In the second, we might say we've "gotten a new perspective on our problems". In either case, our efforts are rewarded. The distraction of baseball, or the newly-found perspective have eased the nightmare, and we're able to breathe again. Excellent.

3. Sadly, though, it seems the camera is not under your full control, because those nagging, devilish problems are so powerful that they cannot help but draw the camera -- your consciousness, your thoughts -- back to them, at the same time reminding you how silly you were to think you could escape them so easily. Now, in addition to the previous horror of your world of problems, failures, anxiety, and fear, you might now have the added realization that they are inescapable, so you are doomed.

That is the interpretation.

I'll pause again here, to see if this resonates with anyone, to see if anyone finds they agree with that interpretation, even if they have not experienced anything like the degree of suffering I've described here.

If not, again, marvelous.
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Post by Flack » Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:10 am

Fact #1: Yesterday morning, I received a cash bonus from work.

Fact #2: Yesterday evening, my home server physically blew up.

The view from Camera #1 is not good. I got a bonus from work, and less than 12 hours later, my computer died. My entire bonus will now go to replacing my server, instead of toward hard drives or some other things I had hoped to buy.

Camera #2's angle is a bit more positive. The server would have died either way, so how lucky am I that on the exact same day I would walk into a lump of cash! Great timing!

I believe some/most people have the ability to move their own camera around. To some people it comes natural, almost automatic, while others need to work at it. And then there are those who can't seem to move theirs at all. Depending on where it's mounted and which way it's pointed, those people are either annoyingly positive, or constantly depressed.
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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Post by pinback » Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:26 am

So there's a good example. Your camera -- thoughts and awareness -- were viewing the objects/events in the world as negative and troubling, and then the camera (either voluntarily or spontaneously) shifted to another perspective, from which the same objects/events were seen as being positive, and you felt better.

A similar scenario to the one I outlined, except in your case, I'm guessing it's pretty fine either way and you're not driven to suicide attempts and face creams. So, I really have nothing to offer you, I'm afraid.
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Post by pinback » Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:04 pm

Here, I made some AV aids to help us here.

Here's our interpretation of the initial scenario I described.

1. First, our mind (consciousness/thoughts/awareness) was focused on our problems, and we were unhappy:

Image

2. Then, we shifted our attention to baseball, and felt a little better:

Image

3. Finally, our attention was pulled back to our problems, and we were depressed again:

Image

Got it? Cute, right?
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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:11 pm

It's very good, although baseball usually gives me nothing but anger and frustration. So I'd go the other way. But otherwise, I agree.

I feel that normally, my camera is on the happy go lucky settings. And in fact, with the Blue Jays, even though they are 1-8, the picture quality from MLB At-Bat this year is AMAZING. I get to see them suck in hiiiiiiiiiIIIIiIIiIIIIigh definition!
the dark and gritty...Ice Cream Jonsey!

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Post by pinback » Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:02 am

Alright, well, maybe today is the day I write the punchline to this, although I kind of spoil it in the thread title.
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Post by AArdvark » Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:17 am

Image

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Post by AArdvark » Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:18 am

Man, would this be a great topic on a Don Rogers episode....

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Post by pinback » Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:12 am

AArdvark wrote:Man, would this be a great topic on a Don Rogers episode....
Absolutely incorrect sir.
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Post by AArdvark » Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:33 pm

Why do you hate America?

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Post by pinback » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:19 pm

I do need to finish this up, though. Note to self!
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Post by Tdarcos » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:06 am

pinback wrote:I do need to finish this up, though. Note to self!
I can do so, and give a fairly concise summary:

Blah, blah, pseudo-intellectual bullshit, blah, blah, new-age bullshit, blah, blah, ordinary bullshit, lather, rinse repeat.
"We don't try, to understand, the New York Times affect on man."
- The Bee Gees, Night Fever

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Post by pinback » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:18 am

I'm not sure you, in particular, need to be trying to prevent people from posting content here.

Anything anyone posts, including the Stan Smith sneaker spammers, is better than your average contribution.
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Post by pinback » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:30 am

Well, with Paul banned, maybe I can finally get back to this and finish it up.
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Post by pinback » Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:48 pm

Definitely gonna finish this up this week.
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Post by pinback » Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:36 pm

Why do I have to finish this? I literally said the answer in the title.

Christ. And this is all for a bunch of nudniks who think I'm just spewing bullshit over here.

Well, I'll still finish it, but just so you know, I'm not happy about it.
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Post by pinback » Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:40 pm

Ah, fuck it.
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Post by Tdarcos » Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:58 pm

pinback wrote:And this is all for a bunch of nudniks who think I'm just spewing bullshit over here.
We don't think it, we know it, and we know it "beyond a shadow of a doubt."
"We don't try, to understand, the New York Times affect on man."
- The Bee Gees, Night Fever

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