On the Nature of Free Will and the Validity of our Decisions.
The more attached you are to an Idea, the Less Free Will you have.
In this discusion we consider the nature of free will and how we make decisions.
The discussion will be based on empirical evidenced and will eschew opinion where possible.
To that end I offer these videos to begin.
Dr Iain McGilchrist.
Dr Jill Bolte Taylor
In this video Ramachandran explains religious ecstasy.
(I Was looking for his talk on mirror neurones because they play a big part in our belief systems. They conflate yourself with others and so you become like them. Hence the phenomenon of group think.)
Ramachandran is always worth listening to.
Of cause R. does not dissect the Nature of Reality, that is not his field.
Lately I have been on a course of anti-biotics and have observed changes in my energy level and in my apatite. I have lost the urge to eat when I am not hungry.
This post will discuss the role of parasites in setting our moods and possibly our minds.
But first let us meet Sacculina carcini, in order to reassure ourselves of the ability of a parasite to totally control its host.
Moving "up" from crabs we know of parasites that control the behavior of rodents so that they are eaten by cats and the parasite can enter the next phase of their biology. Toxoplasma also infects humans.
Here is a cute picture of just such an encounter.
Cute, but a very bad move on the part of the mouse.
John M. Greer tells us that we are walking swamps in his book Ecotechnic Future. The organisms in your intestines do things that would make Debbie blush.
Is it too long a bow to draw that if you carpet bomb the flora in your intestines that there will be a change in your behavior?
Are we so removed from our ecology that no parasite could possibly be controlling our decisions? Is our free-will truly free if most of the organisms in our bodies are not human?
Who is picking the Banjo here?
Are you more catlike or doglike? Are you a faithful friend who lives her life through her relationships with other people?
If so, be aware that you are domesticated- and domesticated people have shrinking brains.
Since the end of the Ice Age our brains have shrunk about the size of a tennis ball, 10 to 15%
The good news is that you will live longer.
Another interesting example: http://www.theguardian.com/science/neurophilosophy/2012/may/03/zombie-ant-parasitic-fungus
I think nature is often looked at in the wrong way. The solutions that organisms developed (often by chance) are ingenious, fascinating, deep, complex and for the limited human mind, we often assume there to be some 'design' involved. However, for every clever solution there are multitudes of 'trials' that flew like a brick. When I studied biology a prof once said that 99.5% of organisms that have existed went into extinction. While its solutions may be 'clever' or 'smart', nature itself is not, and it doesn't need to be, it needs to lay down the conditions that allow for the development of these solutions. There are just conditions that individuals/ species can either thrive or survive in, or vanish (often because of interactions with other individuals/ organisms). Blend in the possibility of adaptation and replication. The approach is bottom-up, not top-down. Ecosystems and life are the best examples of the success of the trial and error approach, and it presents some important lessons on what resilience is. Our genes are our parasites. Organisms are the conduit of the genes that use them to survive and improve through evolution.
I admire Japanese Kyudo and practice my own form at home. I use a recurve bow.
The object is to still the mind, to be in the moment. It is a slow contemplative process. When I achieve the state I am completely in my right hemisphere. It is quite amusing to listen to the continues patois of my Left brain. Getting it to stop is impossible, so I acknowledge it and let it pass. And remain in the Right. It is possible, and I recommend that you try it. It requires no drugs.
Here is a video of Kyudo.
And Here is one of my favourite videos. It is a completely Right Brain thing. Notice how "Otto" in the comments bursts out with Left Brain analysis. (Words and analysis are the hallmark of the left brain.)
I do not want any analysis. (Suffice to say I love Kali's dancing. Dance Kali, Oh destroyer of Illusions.)
Thanks Arthur, these posts are a lot more useful for cultivating the "Warrior Spirit" then Mr Steen's opinion on how best to cultivate a pile of poker chips.
I touched on drugs before. Now we can get down and dirty. Let me get this out there- I have never done drugs. I was born this way.
(OK I like one beer at night and need a bump start of caffeine in the morning)
Evolution is supposed to work on tiny differences over long periods of time. If that is the case, what is Sleep all about? It is a huge disadvantage. Every predator loves to catch its prey sleeping. Evolutionary theory mandates that sleep should have been eradicated early on in the piece. In fact we should all be on hyper-alert all the time. This is a hole big enough to drive a bus through in Evolutionary theory.
Or is it? It is safe to say that whatever Sleep is, it is indispensable. (Except for toddlers.) During sleep we dream. What is that all about?
Toddler- Ever changed a diaper? That pungent odour? That is the smell of Idoles.
Indole is a solid at room temperature. Indole can be produced by bacteria as a degradation product of the amino acid tryptophan. It occurs naturally in human feces and has an intense fecal odor. At very low concentrations, however, it has a flowery smell,
Here is a picture of one. It is a benzene ring.
Where is this going? I'm getting there.
All hallucinogens are Indoles. Where did I find that out? Some book on schizophrenia. (I have good cause to take an interest in that fascinating subject-but that is another story.)
The author of the book took adrenochrome and had a florid paranoid attack. (He accused his wife of planning to leave him. I don't know if she did after that.)
So now we know Sleep is indispensable, in our sleep we dream and we know that our bodies are riddled with Indoles And so the stage is set for a little comedy.
Being hyper-alert is very energy-intensive. In sleep we use less energy compared to when we are awake (see http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/benefits-of-sleep/why-do-we-sleep). When I was a student (some water has gone under the bridge since… So maybe my memory is … or this simple (I like simple things) explanation is not up-to-date anymore) I heard that sleeping was the natural state of organisms, and that they are only awake to eat and to reproduce (I assume taking care of offspring should be lobbed in there too, and avoiding becoming someone's lunch), after all, passing on genes is what organisms are about…
So sleep might just be about (the recurrent theme of) energy (yet again)…
MKUltra subproject 58. How CIA created the 60`s.
Dave Mc Gowan`s Laurel Canyon. The musicians connections to the military intelligence community.
Piecing together the CIA, Skull and Bones, the Esalin Institute, Gordon Wasson, Terence McKenna, Timothy Leary, Marshal McLuhan, MK-ULTRA and much more, this fascinating tale of the real roots of the 60s counterculture is backed up by primary source documents and original research.
Jim Morrison and his Admiral Father on the Bon Homme; his father ran the false flag op that began the Viet Nam War.