We have no more of an understanding of why we exist than the first thinkers of civilized consciousness. Where did it all come from? Why are we here? We’re like Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz,” who went on a long journey in search of the Wizard to get back home, only to find the answer was inside her all along. The farther we peer into space, the more we realize that the secret of life and existence can’t be found by inspecting spiral galaxies or watching distant supernovas. It lies deeper. It involves our very selves.
Ultimately, continued use of pornography by a man leads to a decreased response to dopamine. This results in declining natural desire and in a cyclical effect, increased need for even more visual stimulation. This insatiable hunger for pornography will increase as the reward for watching it decreases. This is the inevitable downside of addiction.
It has been said that the highest wisdom lies in detachment, or, in the words of Chuang-tzu: “The perfect man employs his mind as a mirror; it grasps nothing; it refuses nothing; it receives, but does not keep.”
Detachment means to have neither regrets for the past nor fears for the future…
“Isn’t it strange the way that we insist on proof of inherent qualities, such as the unconditional nature of love, demand a guarantee to universal truths that permeate every moment of creation, and still refuse to reconsider or discuss such obvious truths as happiness is a presumption, and time is an assumption.”—sync101
“For I do not exist: there exist but the thousands of mirrors that reflect me. With every acquaintance I make, the population of phantoms resembling me increases. Somewhere they live, somewhere they multiply. I alone do not exist.”
When people are incompetent in the strategies they adopt to achieve success and satisfaction, they suffer a dual burden: Not only do they reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it. Instead, they are left with the mistaken impression that they are doing just fine.
As Charles Darwin (1871) sagely noted over a century ago, “ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge”
Some people would have you believe that they wouldn’t be caught dead in the bedroom having sex, implying that such a vanilla experience is much too tame for something as adventurous, pleasurable and vesatile as sexual expression.
Then there are people who insist that love be part of it, and even those that believe that love is a prerequisite for having intercourse.
The truth of it, according to my understanding and scientific evidence is that sex and love are worlds apart. While sex depend on circumstance, mutual agreement, natural instinct and biological design, love is something that is based on an individual choice that is timeless, unconditional and universal.
The only connection between the two occur during orgasm, when the exstacy of our experience transcend the limitation of our biological design, and we become one with the wonder of life, and surrender ourselves to the bond that exist between us and the nature we share with all of life. And while our bodies have been designed for experiencing pleasure, scientific research has shown that our experience of pain is limited to a singular expression, with all kinds of hurt limited to activation of a single part in the brain.
In direct opposition to pain, pleasure is scientifically proven to cause a wide range of chemical and hormonal responses, with mutual pleasure, altruism, and charitable deeds even leading to built in biological highs through evolutionary neuroendocrine feedback mechanisms.
“My example concerns a young woman patient who, in spite of efforts made on both sides, proved to be psychologically inaccessible. The difficulty lay in the fact that she always knew better about everything. Her excellent education had provided her with a weapon ideally…
… it is probably a shocking statement to most but what’s in our mind is known to us and nothing new lives there… What’s in our unconsciousmind on the contrary is unknown to us and therefore new to us. The way to get to it consists in disengaging from our conscious mind by giving up the control of reason and logic over any situation.
By letting go of conscious control of reason and logic the article suggest the creative genius of our unconscious mind will manifest.
Since creative genius defies logic by definition it would seem as if reason should be absent too, but in view of recent proof that sanity and reason is sin qua non I’d like to think that genius lies in in something bigger than the then mind, conscious or not.
I’d like to think that just like creativity, genius abide in a collective ability. One that defies sense, but defines sensibility in terms of our shared consciousness.
Such a notion would support the thin veil we see in sanity, would give reason to the preponderance of possibility in genius throughout history, explain the presence and function of mirror neurons in our brain, imbue unconditional intention with meaning, make a sense of altruism and support recent scientific proof that instinct engender survival of the species above the individual.
“There are all kinds of pitfalls in social life, everywhere we look; not just errors but worst possible errors come to mind, and they come to mind easily,” said the paper’s author, Daniel M. Wegner, a psychologist at Harvard.
“And having the worst thing come to mind, in some circumstances, might increase the likelihood that it will happen.”
“Our emotions may instead be the driving force in subconscious decision-making. We now know that far from being the antithesis of rationality, emotions are actually evolution’s satnav, directing us towards choices that have survival benefits. Anger can motivate us to punish a transgressor, for instance, which might help us to maintain social order and group cohesion. So says Peter Hammerstein from Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany, who helped organise the workshop. Disgust, meanwhile, makes us fastidious and moralistic, which should prompt choices that help us avoid disease and shun people who don’t play by the rules. And while fear often seems to lead to overreactions, this makes sense when you consider the dangers facing prehistoric humans, says Daniel Nettle from Newcastle University, UK. On that one occasion where a rustle in the bushes really was made by a predator, the less neurotic peers of our ancestors would have paid the ultimate price, failing to pass their laid-back genes on to the next generation (Personality and Social Psychology Review, vol 10, p 47).”—Decision time: How subtle forces shape your choices - science-in-society - 14 November 2011 - New Scientist
“The 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index shows that nearly three quarters of the 178 countries in the index score below five, on a scale from 10 (highly clean) to 0 (highly corrupt). These results indicate a serious corruption problem. To address these challenges, governments need to integrate anti-corruption measures in all spheres, from their responses to the financial crisis and climate change to commitments by the international community to eradicate poverty.”—Transparency International - the global coalition against corruption
Most of us think of ourselves as pretty honest, seeing corruption as something that involves other people. But new research shows that anyone can be corrupted at the drop of a hat. Indeed, when looked at in evolutionary terms, clinging to the moral high ground could be seen as an irrational position. If everyone else is cheating, then playing by the rules will leave you with the smallest haul - where the haul, whatever it is, translates sooner or later into reproductive success. So it makes perfect sense to be as devious as you can while at the same time exhorting everyone to be honest. “I think of hypocrisy as the background state,” says psychologist Rob Kurzban, author of Why Everyone (Else) is a Hypocrite (Princeton University Press, 2010).
Could’t find the article, but I distinctly remember similar claims made for altruism that confirm that we (as a collective) have a tendency to follow suite…
“It happens about once a year in hip-hop production: someone invents or perfects a sound, someone figures out how to get a weird noise out of some piece of technology not designed to make that noise, someone figures out a way to make a drum machine say the same old thing with a different accent and the whole rap world tilts on its axis. If you manage to change the beat — if your sound drifts upstream from mix tapes to pop radio, if it becomes the only thing anybody wants to hear — you can change hip-hop. In the ’90s, Dr. Dre slowed gangsta rap down to a cruising-lowrider pace, creating music for which a cocky drawl is the ideal lead instrument, and Snoop Dogg became a star. Lex Luger’s sound helped elevate Rick Ross, who pounds haikulike syllables into the spaces in the music, and Waka Flocka Flame, a pure-energy rapper who just blows the house in.”—
Our “being” and rationality is more than just cognition or the firing of neurons. We seem to physically interpret our actions and interactions into thoughts and feelings. Our metaphors are more than speech … they are part of who we are. Observe (from the SciAm article linked above):
• Thinking about the future caused participants to lean slightly forward whilethinking about the past caused participants to lean slightly backwards. Future is Ahead
• Squeezing a soft ball influenced subjects to perceive gender neutral faces as female while squeezing a hard ball influenced subjects to perceive gender neutral faces as male. Female is Soft
• Those who held heavier clipboards judged currencies to be more valuable and their opinions and leaders to be more important. Important is Heavy.
• Subjects asked to think about a moral transgression like adultery or cheating on a test were more likely to request an antiseptic cloth after the experiment than those who had thought about good deeds. Morality is Purity
One day, when I was in second grade, I remember thinking to myself: “this could be a lot more fun, Bernard.” I mean, really. I remember thinking how even workbooks used to be more fun than having to sit here, at my desk, still, silent, with all these kids around me, listening, when we could be mucking about with some marvelously educational materials, inventing physics. And I’m pretty sure it was then that I began to devote myself to the pursuit of what I have decided to call “the Playful Path.” Because the very next thing I remember was me, Bernard, joking. toying. playing, talking a lot. Even sitting in the hall, waiting to see the principal, I was always on the alert, always looking to make it fun, for me, for anyone I could get to play with.
“ “Information, defined intuitively and informally, might be something like ‘uncertainty’s antidote.’ This turns out also to be the formal definition - the amount of information comes from the amount by which something reduces uncertainty. (…)
The higher the [information] entropy, the more information there is. It turns out to be a value capable of measuring a startling array of things - from the flip of a coin to a telephone call, to a Joyce novel, to a first date, to last words, to a Turing test. (…)
Entropy suggests that we gain the most insight on a question when we take it to the friend, colleague, or mentor of whose reaction and response we’re least certain. And it suggests, perhaps, reversing the equation, that if we want to gain the most insight into a person, we should ask the question of whose answer we’re least certain. (…)
Pleasantries are low entropy, biased so far that they stop being an earnest inquiry and become ritual. Ritual has its virtues, of course, and I don’t quibble with them in the slightest. But if we really want to start fathoming someone, we need to get them speaking in sentences we can’t finish.” ”—Brian Christian, American author and poet, he holds a degree from Brown University in computer science and philosophy, and an MFA in poetry from the University of Washington, The Most Human Human: What Talking with Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive, Doubleday, 2011 (via amiquote)
With research finding more and more clues about the power of our mood, and the recent development of fRMI turning our understanding of the mind on its head, I guess it should come as no surprise that the value of happiness be questioned.
I can understand why, but that does not detract from my amusement at the fact that a significant number of scientists seem to be involved in a campaign that question the value of happiness. With the discovery that happiness is a choice more often than not, that happy people are less interested in things like financial markets, news or advertisements I guess it’s no surprise.
"a wealth of data suggesting that being happy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In previous studies, Forgas has found that happy people are less able to develop a persuasive argument, more gullible and worse at remembering objects in a shop window than their unhappy fellows."
By the look of it these prophets of doom and gloom are fighting dirty as well, since the article goes on to mention that “in another study, happy non-Muslim Australians were more likely to make snap negative judgments about – and even to shoot – computer images of people in traditional Muslim dress.”
Being a South African I cannot claim to have any understanding of relationships between Muslim and non-Muslim Australians, but citing happy Australians taking pot-shots at people dressed like Muslims doesn’t sound like happy to me in the least.
With speculation rife about what’s it all about, what is want and what is meant, what is value and what worth, I’d suggest you give the chance a choice. The worst that could happen is you’re back where you are right now. Think about what you gain.
Word is out, and its happiness. Nothing more than a choice, nothing less than a life-changing event. You can try it any time you want. If you don’t like it you can always change your mind. Set a reminder if you want.
From personal experience it is something I highly recommend.
One of the primary functions of a brain is to extract biologically relevant information from sensory inputs. The human brain is provided with information about light, sound, the chemical composition of the atmosphere, temperature, head orientation, limb position, the chemical composition of the bloodstream, and more.
In other animals additional senses may be present, such as the infrared heat-sense of snakes, the magnetic field sense of some birds, or the electric field sense of some types of fish. Moreover, other animals may develop existing sensory systems in new ways, such as the adaptation by bats of the auditory sense into a form of sonar. One way or another, all of these sensory modalities are initially detected by specialized sensors that project signals into the brain.
Each sensory system begins with specialized receptor cells, such as light-receptive neurons in the retina of the eye, vibration-sensitive neurons in the cochlea of the ear, or pressure-sensitive neurons in the skin. The axons of sensory receptor cells travel into the spinal cord or brain, where they transmit their signals to a first-order sensory nucleus dedicated to one specific sensory modality.
This primary sensory nucleus sends information to higher-order sensory areas that are dedicated to the same modality. Eventually, via a way-station in the thalamus, the signals are sent to the cerebral cortex, where they are processed to extract biologically relevant features, and integrated with signals coming from other sensory systems.