• Janus
    6.1k
    So, again the issue seems to be about control. From the above, control is facilitated by directing or managing thoughts by isolating attention. By isolating attention, I wonder though, what is then the focus of the subject directed at? What thoughts are being entertained instead of the negative ones through attentive control? From what I read, detached mindfulness is one of the tools used to direct attention to another more useful outlet. But, isn't that just disidentification, also in some form?Posty McPostface

    According to Wiki the CAS ( Cognitive Attenetional Syndrome) consists in three processes:

    " In the metacognitive model,[1] symptoms are caused by a set of psychological processes called the cognitive attentional syndrome (CAS). The CAS includes three main processes, each of which constitutes extended thinking in response to negative thoughts. These three processes are:

    1.Worry/rumination
    2.Threat monitoring
    3.Coping behaviours that backfire

    All three are controlled by patients' metacognitive beliefs, such as the belief that these processes will help to solve their problems (although the processes all ultimately have the unintentional consequence of prolonging distress).[3]
    "

    As I understand from the little reading I've done of Adrian Well's Metacognitive Therapy for Anxiety and Depression the central idea is that the prolonged suffering of anxiety and depression is caused by the patient's metacognitive beliefs which, as guiding (really misguiding) thoughts about the the nature and significance of thoughts, beliefs and symptoms, lead to recurrent or continuous fixations on the three processes, the very fixations that prolong the suffering. So, perhaps it could be said that coming to see and disconnect from these attentional fixations might be called (to return to the OP) "disidentification".
  • Wallows
    6.2k
    So, perhaps it could be said that coming to see and disconnect from these attentional fixations might be called (to return to the OP) "disidentification".Janus

    Yes, but what about the underlayer of the process of disidentification? How do you not think about the white polar bear?
  • 0 thru 9
    694
    Doubling down, eh? :cool: Interesting move. We’ll see where this goes. I may not have much more to add, but I’ll be watching... and thinking. :victory:
  • Janus
    6.1k


    If you become convinced that thinking about it is useless, even counterproductive, then you may be inclined to stop.
  • Wallows
    6.2k
    If you become convinced that thinking about it is useless, even counterproductive, then you may be inclined to stop.Janus

    But, on a meta-cognitive level, how does one stop?
  • Janus
    6.1k


    One changes one's metacognitive beliefs, I suppose, by gaining insight into, and becoming convinced of, the fact that the dysfunctional set has been previously unexamined; and merely taken for granted, and is now recognized as the source of unnecessary suffering.
  • Wallows
    6.2k
    One changes one's metacognitive beliefs, I suppose, by gaining insight into, and becoming convinced of, the fact that the dysfunctional set has been previously unexamined; and merely taken for granted, and is now recognized as the source of unnecessary suffering.Janus

    But, isn't there an issue here. Beliefs are altered by meta-cognitive beliefs, and meta-cognitive beliefs are altered by meta-meta-cognitive beliefs?
  • Janus
    6.1k


    Everything we do and experience, both negative and positive, involves thinking, so it seems that what you are advocating is somewhat over-simplistic.
  • Janus
    6.1k


    I don't see that. It seems to me that metacognitive beliefs can be replaced by other metacognitive beliefs. Just as beliefs can be replaced by other beliefs. Why not? "Metacognitive beliefs" just means 'beliefs about thinking' as opposed to merely thinking without any thought about that thinking, both of which we do all the time.
  • Wallows
    6.2k
    It seems to me that metacognitive beliefs can be replaced by other metacognitive beliefs.Janus

    I think, by disidentifying with those beliefs that are inconsistent with achieving happiness through suffering? After all, one has to suffer to know how not to suffer.

    How does one determine such a thing; by trial and error or conventional wisdom?
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.8k
    Yes, in that post which was being referenced I was describing self-identities. One of which (let’s call it the non-dual identity) is still technically a self-identity. But since in this example one is reaching beyond oneself on a radical level (what am I? who am I?) it could conceivably satisfy the conditions of being “disidentification” , which is our made-up term.0 thru 9

    I think that to dissolve identification, to "disidentificate", it is necessary to acknowledge the dual nature of identity, one way or another. When you see that it is impossible to deny the duality of identity, then the idea that you have "an identity" seems very doubtful.

    I find the division to be quite readily drawn along the division between past and future. There is a "myself" of the past, and a "myself" of the future. These two cannot be the same because the one is defined by what I have done, and the other by what I will do, and these are distinct. Consider what unenlightended says:

    Now suppose I were to tell the story of Posty-depressed becoming Posty-elevated, by means of enlightenment philosophy. Alas, that story would make the connection, identify them as the same, and thus drag depression back into the world of Posty-elevated. The two identities are mutually dependent on their independence, the way my identity as not going to parties is dependent on the parties I don't go to, and my continuing no to go to them.unenlightened

    Notice that unenlightened makes the same point. The "me" of the past is distinct from the "me" of the future, and having this attitude, knowing this, allows us to change as human individuals, and improve ourselves.

    Now let me tell you the difficult, counter-intuitive part. The "me" of the past, and this is what I called the identity assigned to you by others, according to the acts you have carried out in the past, is actually produced, or created by the "me" of the future. I can identify with what I want to be, in the future, and act accordingly, such that as time passes these activities become the new "me" of the past, and the new identity of me in the past. So Posty wants to become elevated, and unenlightened wants to not go to parties. As "what you want", this is the half of your identity which is in the future, it is the future "you", your future identity, the part of your identity which is not evident to others. Posty begins to act in ways to become elevated and unenlightened ceases going to parties. Then this becomes your past identity, Posty is elevated and unenlightened does not go to parties.

    It is counter-intuitive because we think of causation in the sense of activities of the past causing the future situation, in the determinist way. But in the case of self-identity, the past part of my identity has always been caused by the future part of my identity. When I want something, this is the future part of my identity, inspiring me to act. After the act occurs, it becomes a part of my past identity. Now when I was young, I wanted to play guitar. I couldn't even hold the instrument at that time, so playing guitar wasn't a part of my "identity", in the sense of past identity. But that "want" was still a part of my identity at that time, so I give it reality as the part of my identity which was in the future at that time. So I was inspired and I practised, and now playing guitar is a part of my identity in the sense of past identity. I can analyze aspects of my "past identity", which by inductive reasoning make me "what I am" today, and try to determine the future part of my identity which was active at that time creating this identity.

    I’m not sure what you mean by this. Are you saying that one’s “true identity” IS one given by others?
    Or just asking if Posty thinks it is?
    0 thru 9

    Yes, just asking. it's a rhetorical question, it can't really be properly answered, but it was devised to make Posty think about the question, and ultimately to consider the dual nature of identity.

    1. As far as the individual is concerned, there are two sides (or poles) of reality: Self and Other.0 thru 9

    Let me ask you to try on something new 0 thru 9. Forget this Self/Other distinction which the mode of thinking that you have been trained in, has conditioned you into believing are the two sides, or poles, of reality. Consider that perhaps the real fundamental two sides, or poles of reality, which the individual is concerned with are past and future. The individual is concerned with distinguishing memories from anticipations, and establishing relations between these. This is basic, and the self/other distinction is secondary.

    3. The distinction between Self and Other is often relatively distinct, but it is not completely black-and-white. It is not an absolute yes or no question.
    4. The distinction between Self and Other is a fluid, moving boundary. Like the heap of sand Sorites paradox.
    0 thru 9

    That is the problem with the self/other distinction, it is far too vague. The past/future distinction offers a much more clear-cut division. Further, there is nothing inherent within the self/other distinction which makes it an essential aspect of human nature, it has just been chosen as an analytical principle, and many have addressed its flaws. It is based in the spatial assumption that objects are separate from each other. But we know that objects really overlap by gravity and other fields, and that's why the self/other division doesn't make a good boundary, there is no such boundary in reality.

    When a person is a child, one is probably very fuzzy about the difference between themself and their surroundings or mother, for instance. But put in a positive way, children seem in general to be very aware of the “connectedness” of things. They are in the moment, in the flow of life. Thus they often seem to have wisdom beyond their years. Adults gain the critical knowledge of individuality, but often lose the sense of immersion or connection with anything beyond oneself. The goal (as some have said) is to have the ability to recognize both, in whatever proportion is necessary at the moment. To be deficient as a part, or as a whole is to be an incomplete human. For an individual is a whole, which is a part of a another whole. Not unlike viewing energy as both a wave and as a particule.0 thru 9

    See, this very passage demonstrates that you really believe that the self/other distinction is not the fundamental division of the individual's reality. The child doesn't recognize this division, but is taught it, and learns it through social training, so much so that the adult often forgets that it is an artificial, manufactured division. But this social convention doesn't approach the real fundamental boundary, which is the division between past and future, a division which is recognized by children, naturally, without requiring social conditioning.

    I would agree that one’s self identity is in relation and in context to others and the surroundings. That actually what I was getting at, obviously it is not really a radical idea. But why I think it is a crucial point is because it is possible to believe that one is almost completely separated from the rest of the world. At least as separate as possible while still interacting with the world. Here I’m speaking from personal
    mental or psychological experience. There have been times when I viewed people and objects like a bunch of marbles bouncing off each other, but having absolutely no commonality, no intersection. Now, I view things and people as deeply intertwined and interrelating in some shape or form. Even strangers who will never meet, or even exist at the same time. Even if I can’t imagine or dare to speculate HOW and WHY they interrelate. But let me add that the marble metaphor above was not totally inaccurate. It reflects a certain reality, the reality of separation which is real. Relatively real, only partially real, but nonetheless real.
    0 thru 9

    This is the inevitable (bad) result of upholding this social convention of the self/other division, isolation. Propagating this ideal cannot lead anywhere else but to isolation because once the separation is produced, it cannot be bridged except by a further manufactured, or artificial principle, and this would leas us a further step into the unreal..

    I think what I am most interested in and focusing on (for therapeutic value, personally at least) is the BOUNDARIES of what one considers “self” and “not self”. Like I mentioned before, our bodies are made of water, minerals, gases, plant, and animal materials that were somewhere else, were something else before they were part of us. So there is a connection physically, and I would imagine in other ways as well.0 thru 9

    You ought to consider the possibility that these boundaries aren't real. Our bodies are made up of water, minerals, gases, etc., but there aren't boundaries separating these things. We are made up of atoms, and molecules, but they are not separated by boundaries. Neither is there a boundary between self and not self. If you want to analyze a real boundary which is fundamental to human identity, you ought to check into the boundary between past and future. When this becomes your fundamental boundary in analysis, then there is no need to create the artificial (and divisive) distinction between self and other.

    If someone says “everyone is a liar, so don’t believe a word anyone says”, then one naturally wonders if that statement includes the speaker, or somehow the speaker is exceptional.0 thru 9

    Rename this the Trump paradox.
  • Janus
    6.1k


    By gaining insight into the unexamined beliefs that are, and the ways in which they are, causing you to fall into recurrent patterns of worry, self-hatred, feelings of inadequacy and so on. You don't believe people can be capable of such insights? If not, then right there is a good example of a meta-cognitive belief that may be holding you back.
  • Wallows
    6.2k
    By gaining insight into the unexamined beliefs that are, and the ways in which they are, causing you to fall into recurrent patterns of worry, self-hatred, feelings of inadequacy and so on. You don't believe people can be capable of such insights?Janus

    So, do these metacognitive beliefs change into other metacognitive beliefs? Therefore metacognitive beliefs disidentify and become new or altered ones? What happens to the content of the metacognitive beliefs that were replaced? And, how do unexamined beliefs form, through cognitive distortions?
  • Janus
    6.1k
    So, do these metacognitive beliefs change into other metacognitive beliefs? What happens to the content of the metacognitive beliefs that were replaced? And, how do unexamined beliefs form, through cognitive distortions?Posty McPostface

    I can't see any reason to think that meta-cognitive beliefs are any different than ordinary beliefs, other than that they are about thought and belief, rather than about the world, people, things etc. So, how do you think our ordinary beliefs change? Do they "become other beliefs" or do they merely replace them?

    What happens to the content of ordinary beliefs when you replace them? I'm not clear what this question could even mean, to be honest. I'm not sure what your question as to how unexamined beliefs form means either. It seems to be obvious by definition that they do not form consciously. So, I guess they are unconscious, unanalyzed assumptions that we make about our thinking, and what it might do for us, how it might protect us or whatever. Also, what exactly do you mean by "cognitive distortion"?
  • creativesoul
    3.7k
    Accept the way things are. Change what can be changed for the better. Accept what cannot. Learn the difference between the two.

    Habits of thought play a crucial role... Habits of thought.
    — creativesoul

    But, I've already accepted my depression. So, now what?
    Posty McPostface

    Let me try this again...

    What I meant to point out was that your depression, I would venture to say, is the result of certain things being certain ways. Notably, these things and ways are not the way you'd like them to be, or supposed that they were. Expectation didn't match up to reality.

    Change the reality.
  • Wallows
    6.2k
    So, how do you think our ordinary beliefs change? Do they "become other beliefs" or do they merely replace them?Janus

    I don't know I'm asking you or others.

    What happens to the content of ordinary beliefs when you replace them? I'm not clear what this question could even mean, to be honest.Janus

    Yes, how is it altered? Think of a hard drive being the brain and software being the belief, how is the software changed to fit a new perception or altered belief of reality or oneself?

    It seems to be obvious by definition that they do not form consciously. So, I guess they are unconscious, unanalyzed assumptions that we make about our thinking, and what it might do for us, how it might protect us or whatever. Also, what exactly do you mean by "cognitive distortion"?Janus

    I mean that how does the maladaptive thought become maladaptive? Through an incorrect identification of a situation or belief about the world through a conscious cognitive distortion?
  • Wallows
    6.2k
    Change the reality.creativesoul

    Reality is hard to change. Besides suffering is an endemic feature of depression in many cases that persists in different environments, hence it's dysphoric.
  • creativesoul
    3.7k
    Or...

    You could just as easily talk yourself into the idea that you are depressed. You could know all there is to know about being depressed. You could confirm that you've met all of the criterion.

    You could always come to better understand what part of reality is so bothersome... and why.
  • creativesoul
    3.7k
    You can do this solely by virtue of trying to remember how you felt at the worst times. That would be during the times when things were either horrible in your mind, horrible in the world, or horrible in both. Talking about your own thoughts during the horrible times, is expressing your memories. Memories are malleable. How did those events make a lasting impression?

    Do you want to change it?

    Come to more acceptable terms about the same events.
  • creativesoul
    3.7k
    What is it that is so importantly wrong such that it requires you to be continually and/or repeatedly depressed and/or sad about it?
  • Janus
    6.1k
    Yes, how is it altered? Think of a hard drive being the brain and software being the belief, how is the software changed to fit a new perception or altered belief of reality or oneself?Posty McPostface

    I think the orthodox neuroscience story is that new neuronal complexes form. The brain is certainly understood to be plastic these days; which means it can physically alter...which you could say is analogous to a computer being re-programmed, I guess.

    I mean that how does the maladaptive thought become maladaptive?Posty McPostface

    It's maladaptive thought according to MCT because instead of protecting you from, or enabling you to come to some resolution of, your anxieties, depression, OCD or whatever, it reinforces them as recurrent or continuous phenomena that obviously cause suffering.

    So, on the definition of 'cognitive distortion' you provided; I would say that unhelpful meta-cognitive beliefs could be the result of cognitive distortions or at least rational distortions (since we are talking about the meta-cognitive here). The distortion consists in the notion that the beliefs are helpful, when they are not.
  • unenlightened
    2.9k
    As I understand from the little reading I've done of Adrian Well's Metacognitive Therapy for Anxiety and Depression the central idea is that the prolonged suffering of anxiety and depression is caused by the patient's metacognitive beliefs which, as guiding (really misguiding) thoughts about the the nature and significance of thoughts, beliefs and symptoms, lead to recurrent or continuous fixations on the three processes, the very fixations that prolong the suffering.Janus

    What is a metacognitive belief? On the face of it, it looks as though it is a belief about the nature of cognition, which is a psychological theory. Such as the one being described. Which makes this about as close to a religion as you can get without mentioning God. 'Believe, and you will be saved.'
  • Jake
    879
    Everything we do and experience, both negative and positive, involves thinking,Janus

    I'm sorry, that simply isn't true. We take in data from the environment (experience) and then we process that data (thinking). You can see this for yourself if you look closely enough.

    You're sitting at your desk reading this post. Someone enters the room behind you. You turn to see who it is and in that moment of looking, of observation, you're just taking in data, you're experiencing. And then your mind shifts to processing the data that's just been received. The person is identified and judged to be welcomed or not etc.

    Our minds routinely shift back and forth between these two modes, data intake and data processing, experience and thinking, all day long everyday.

    Many or most of the activities that we find engaging involve shifting our focus out of thinking and in to experience. Surfing was offered as an example above. There are a million others.

    so it seems that what you are advocating is somewhat over-simplistic.Janus

    It's over simplistic in comparison to determined efforts to make this as complicated as possible so that we can do more thinking, and position ourselves as experts, gurus, philosophers, insightful people etc.

    Imagine the person who is physically hungry. They can read an endless number of books about food and digestion. They can develop a thousand theories on those subjects. They can debate their theories with other theorists. All these books and theories may indeed be quite complicated and sophisticated etc.

    But in the end the hungry person is only going to be fulfilled by one thing. Eating. Is this a simplistic fact? I suppose it is. It's also the reality of the situation.

    Imagine the mind as a machine, for that is what it is. If a person isn't interested in finding the on/off button for this machine, they have no business presenting themselves as sophisticated users of this device.
  • Jake
    879
    The source of suffering is desire.Posty McPostface

    And the source of desire is the experience of "me", of being divided from everything else. And the source of that experience of division is thought.

    Psychology is a surface level examination of symptoms. Underneath the surface lies a mechanical process of the body, thought, which operates by a process of conceptual division. That process creates the "me" an experience of being divided from everything else, which gives rise to fear, which gives rise to desire, conflict and suffering.

    No amount of fancy talk however clever can change the underlying mechanical process which is the source of suffering, just as no amount of knowledge about food can end our need to eat.
  • unenlightened
    2.9k
    I agree with most of what you say, but I wish you would drop the machine analogy, it isn't very helpful or illuminating. how about a flower analogy instead?
  • Jake
    879
    I agree with most of what you say, but I wish you would drop the machine analogy...unenlightened

    Would it offend you to call the digestive system a machine? Is "machine" not new agey enough?

    Anyway, I think you get the point, however imperfectly I've made it. The mind is another organ of the body which can be managed with simple, direct, mechanical methods, just as we manage other processes of the body. This is good news.

    Diet, exercise, yoga, massage all influence the mind in positive ways and are readily available to pretty much anyone who wishes to exert such influence. Certain drugs in certain circumstances can also assist those suffering from depression. These types of mechanical assistance are available to almost anyone, without the need of any sophisticated psychological understandings. This is good news.

    This is good news because unlike sophisticated psychological understandings, such mechanical techniques are very widely accessible, and either free or (usually) affordable.

    This is also good news because the ready availability of such techniques can help us understand how serious we are about addressing suffering. I'm not making a moral argument about how serious someone should be, I'm just suggesting that clarity is usually a good place to start.

    This is a philosophy forum after all, so a focus on clarity seems appropriate.
  • 0 thru 9
    694
    I think that to dissolve identification, to "disidentificate", it is necessary to acknowledge the dual nature of identity, one way or another. When you see that it is impossible to deny the duality of identity, then the idea that you have "an identity" seems very doubtful.

    I find the division to be quite readily drawn along the division between past and future. There is a "myself" of the past, and a "myself" of the future. These two cannot be the same because the one is defined by what I have done, and the other by what I will do, and these are distinct. Consider what unenlightended says:

    Now suppose I were to tell the story of Posty-depressed becoming Posty-elevated, by means of enlightenment philosophy. Alas, that story would make the connection, identify them as the same, and thus drag depression back into the world of Posty-elevated. The two identities are mutually dependent on their independence, the way my identity as not going to parties is dependent on the parties I don't go to, and my continuing no to go to them.
    — unenlightened

    Notice that unenlightened makes the same point. The "me" of the past is distinct from the "me" of the future, and having this attitude, knowing this, allows us to change as human individuals, and improve ourselves.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    :up: Thanks for your response and further elaboration. Most appreciated, for it is clearer now. (But correct me if I happen to misinterpret your position.)

    Yes, I would definitely agree that identity has a dual nature. Thanks for your relating it in terms of time. That makes supreme sense, as does @unenlightened’s post. The relation of time to itself (past, present, future) and to us (past me, future me) is one of the main philosophical topics for sure. It touches on physics and metaphysics, mortality and morality. I’ve wondered about the nature of time, as everyone probably has. Like for instance, the direction of time. Does time move from past -> present-> future ? This is the time-line view. Or does it move from future -> present -> past ? This is like being in a car and seeing up ahead a mile or so. Then that space ahead is soon where one is at, becoming the present. Then it is in the rear view mirror, representing the past. I tend towards the latter view, though I don’t dismiss the former. It seems to be relative to the point of view. Also... do we move through time like a boat on a river, or does time flow through us like water through a hose? I would agree that the “future me” is distinct from “past me”. So it seems the “future me” causes “past me” (like the car-time analogy) and not the other way around. I would agree, if I’m understanding your ideas accurately.

    1. As far as the individual is concerned, there are two sides (or poles) of reality: Self and Other.
    — 0 thru 9

    Let me ask you to try on something new 0 thru 9. Forget this Self/Other distinction which the mode of thinking that you have been trained in, has conditioned you into believing are the two sides, or poles, of reality.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    Yes. That is what I was getting at: moving beyond the duality; which is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there! :smile:

    3. The distinction between Self and Other is often relatively distinct, but it is not completely black-and-white. It is not an absolute yes or no question.
    4. The distinction between Self and Other is a fluid, moving boundary. Like the heap of sand Sorites paradox.
    — 0 thru 9

    That is the problem with the self/other distinction, it is far too vague. The past/future distinction offers a much more clear-cut division. Further, there is nothing inherent within the self/other distinction which makes it an essential aspect of human nature, it has just been chosen as an analytical principle, and many have addressed its flaws. It is based in the spatial assumption that objects are separate from each other. But we know that objects really overlap by gravity and other fields, and that's why the self/other division doesn't make a good boundary, there is no such boundary in reality.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    Oh yes. The self/other distinction (which at first appears so clear, certain, and definite) upon further inspection at any point DOES become fuzzy and vague. That actually was my point, though awkwardly crammed into a list for the sake of brevity. I was not contradicting the first point about self/other being polar opposites. It was furthering the idea by introducing the more metaphysical concept of radical oneness. I usually try not to jump too quickly into claiming “all is one” lest I be dismissed for magical thinking, or for putting the cart before the horse (or heart before the course?) The goal in my view is to completely accept and contemplate the mundane (separateness) AND the almost unimaginable (unity and oneness). To accept (what could be called) “both sides of reality”. Or duality and non-duality. Separateness and unity. Even matter and energy/mind.

    When a person is a child, one is probably very fuzzy about the difference between themself and their surroundings or mother, for instance. But put in a positive way, children seem in general to be very aware of the “connectedness” of things. They are in the moment, in the flow of life. Thus they often seem to have wisdom beyond their years. Adults gain the critical knowledge of individuality, but often lose the sense of immersion or connection with anything beyond oneself. The goal (as some have said) is to have the ability to recognize both, in whatever proportion is necessary at the moment. To be deficient as a part, or as a whole is to be an incomplete human. For an individual is a whole, which is a part of a another whole. Not unlike viewing energy as both a wave and as a particule.
    — 0 thru 9

    See, this very passage demonstrates that you really believe that the self/other distinction is not the fundamental division of the individual's reality. The child doesn't recognize this division, but is taught it, and learns it through social training, so much so that the adult often forgets that it is an artificial, manufactured division. But this social convention doesn't approach the real fundamental boundary, which is the division between past and future, a division which is recognized by children, naturally, without requiring social conditioning.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    Well, I think you may be anticipating my idea’s conclusion rather than contradicting it. Which is fine. One can’t say everything at once! I think “the undivided” happens to be the source of the “divided world” which we see around us. (Maybe that is a belief about what might indeed be a fact, but as a belief falls into the general category of religion.) I would agree that the child doesn’t at first recognize the artificial, manufactured boundaries that prevail. And that a child’s perception of time is much different than an adult’s. They seem much more “sensitive” to time. Waiting for Christmas to arrive is an eternity.

    It reminds me of being a child, and playing in the backyard. When all the neighborhood kids wanted to play a game, it would invariably expand out onto many different properties. We didn’t necessarily care if we played on other people’s backyards. We just wanted a big open space. Now, sometimes the owners of the property understandably had something to say about it, especially if we were trampling their garden while trying to retrieve the baseball! :lol: Now days, of course I’m painfully aware of property lines, boundary lines, and road lines. Because I may wish to merge with the flow of traffic while entering a freeway, but I don’t wish to merge into another vehicle!

    You ought to consider the possibility that these boundaries aren't real. Our bodies are made up of water, minerals, gases, etc., but there aren't boundaries separating these things. We are made up of atoms, and molecules, but they are not separated by boundaries. Neither is there a boundary between self and not self. If you want to analyze a real boundary which is fundamental to human identity, you ought to check into the boundary between past and future. When this becomes your fundamental boundary in analysis, then there is no need to create the artificial (and divisive) distinction between self and other.Metaphysician Undercover

    Good points for sure, which I have considered and thanks to your ideas, am considering even further. But I would repeat that on some level, separateness has a certain reality. A relative and impermanent and maybe ultimately illusionary nature, but still having a certain superficial factual nature. Like the difference and physical boundary between the United States and Canada. Sure, it is totally artificial, except for lakes and such. But one disregards that boundary at their own risk. But anyone who completely and absolutely denies the distinction between self and other... please contact me! I am accepting monetary donations, and will give you my Paypal address! :yum:
  • Jake
    879
    Yes. That is what I was getting at: moving beyond the duality; which is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there!0 thru 9

    I heard a story on NPR about a lady who had an accident that put her in a coma. When she emerged from the coma she couldn't form even short term memories. Thus, she was forced in to "be here now" on a 24/7 basis. This of course created many practical problems for her. Eventually they were resolved as her memory ability gradually returned.

    She was glad to have her regular life back, but also deeply missed the "be here now" immersion, calling it the most profound and beautiful experience of her life.

    I found it a very interesting story, and regret I can not link you to it.
  • unenlightened
    2.9k
    Would it offend you to call the digestive system a machine? Is "machine" not new agey enough?

    Anyway, I think you get the point, however imperfectly I've made it. The mind is another organ of the body which can be managed with simple, direct, mechanical methods,
    Jake

    I'm not offended, though there you go again with your mechanical analogy. But let me try you with spinach. Given a moist soil, spinach will grow plenty of leaves, which is what tiggers like. But if the soil starts to dry out, it gets anxious and rushes to make flowers and set seed. From my point of view, this is a malfunction on its part, because leaves are what I want. But from the plant's point of view, it's a sensible reaction to the danger of drought. So, by analogy, one might wonder what depression is a sensible response to. Because why would it be part of the repertoire of normal behaviour if it were never of any value to the organism?
  • Jake
    879
    I'm not offended, though there you go again with your mechanical analogy.unenlightened

    It seems your concern here is primarily aesthetic. Ok, each of us is entitled to our own taste in words, no problem.

    So, by analogy, one might wonder what depression is a sensible response to.unenlightened

    Hmm, good question...

    Physical pain is a signal the body sends us to alert us to a problem area that may require our attention. Mental pain may perform the same function.
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