Sunday, March 25, 2012

Martial arts block breaking analogy

In Martial arts, while breaking blocks, for most efficiency the rule is that you need to break the block/blocks in the first go. This way your deceleration is not as abrupt as when you fail to break it. If you fail to break it, by newtons third law, you would get a reverse reaction force and this can injure you. Many of the professional block breaking martial artists need to make sure this backfiring force does not kick in by ensuring that the blocks are going to break in the first go. They do this by conditioning their body part to progressively break more and more such blocks. Each time, they take a load that's just sufficient for them to break through.

It struck me that this analogy applies to many instances in our lives too. If you take up a challenge that's too hard and if you do not succeed as a result of that, there is a negative reinforcement. The opposite happens when you take up a challenge and succeed. Along with the success you get a positive reinforcement for future endeavors. So its almost like if you succeed you get 10(success)+10(positive reinforcement/motivation)=20 points. But if you fail, you lose 20(failure+negative reinforcement/de-motivation) points from your current position.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The magical 'Wonder'

'Wonder' is an interesting phenomenon. It usually happens when you encounter a powerful experience for the first time. Now, the power of this experience is proportional to how incomparable it is to whatever you have seen till date. It strikes 'Wonder'. The other side to it is that it gradually diminishes as it becomes familiar.

Familiarity and prior knowledge is the enemy of wonder. There are so many examples in our daily life. Sometimes I hear a song that totally appeals to me. The first time I hear it, I am overwhelmed by it slightly. Then in the 3rd or 4th time, the enjoyment reaches the peak. It is vaguely familiar and feels very good but once the song ends its difficult to recall the tune. This enjoyment continues until I totally memorize it. Once that happens the song becomes totally familiar and the feeling of wonder reduces a lot.

Another example from my early childhood is looking at a tiny ant like airplane flashing lights in the sky and flying into the clouds. I saw a real airplane for the first time once when I was 18 years old. So this thing was a great mystery. How would the world look from that height? Whats inside that plane? How big is it really? What are the clouds surrounding it? Can I sit on them? What is this vast blue sky?. Looking at all this without any prior reading or conceptualization was simply magical. At that time, even though I had seen wire-frame sketches of an airplane and a few vague ideas like it has seats etc. everything was still vague enough to create enormous wonder.

When I look at things from this perspective, children today are simply deprived of all this wonder or the wonder spell lasts for a very short time. They go to the internet and pull out every facet out - 100's of pictures of how an real airplane looks, its dimensions compared to a human, view from the airplane itself. There may be no need for the child to really use his/her imagination because everything is available on the internet ready-made.

I still remember a few story books I had read which stimulated this magic of imagination. The faraway free, basket of flowers, prince and the pauper etc. These books would just provide wire-frame pictures once every 10 pages just to give mild direction to the imagination. I can still mildly recall the worlds I created in mind for these stories.

Not knowing = mystery, and its a beautiful rapturous state open and full of possibilities. As adults the world becomes quite boring because novelty slowly dies down. When I think about travel, almost anything I project about the experience seems to be within what I already know. I cannot foresee something unusual, totally new and rapturous.

Say I am planning to go to typical tourist spots, say Hawaii. I have seen 1000's of pictures and videos of Hawaii. If I go there, I might go with 4-5 friends. I can easily recreate the beach experience in my mind because I have already visited at-least 50 beaches in my life. I have had a lot of alcohol in my life so even that is familiar. I cannot see how it could give me a thoroughly unusual/rapturous experience. Am I expecting too much? I just want back the wonder created from the totally unknown.

Another example is my trip to redwoods. When I first read about the biggest trees in the world, I was so fascinated. But when I actually visited it many many years later, the wonder was gone or very little.

If I look at it scientifically, each experience creates neuronal connections in the brain. I think this creation activity that happens with a novel stimulus is immensely pleasurable and we call this wonder. Once your brain has formed an enormous number of interconnections, everything seems to fit into some permutation or combination of these precluding the need to create anything new.

I guess this fits in with the time passing faster as we age concept too. A child growing from 5 to 6 years old has lived 20% of his life while an adult going from 30 to 31 has only added 3% in comparison. Another analogy is of water filling in an ocean. Assuming it is filling at the same rate, the % percentage keeps on progressively reducing.

Another misconception people have is that really visiting a place is very different from you reading facts and stories about it with pictures and videos. Its not very different because anyways that is the way we prime our perception through beliefs. In a way you are just validating your projections by visiting that place. Your mind would only pick up information and store based on this framework which you have primed by your prior reading. Even if you don't read you are already primed because of your conditioning.

Certain drugs like marijuana can temporarily make you relive this wonder. In our ordinary adult consciousness it is very difficult to be truly open and see things with the same wonder as a child. Is there a way to drop all beliefs, ideas and concepts and look at everything with this magical wonder?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Each real/drug experience shows what 'you are not' and 'can be'

While having unusual experiences (drugged or real), who is the experiencer?
The real you is like the ultimate observer. It is like the bed of the ocean. The entire ocean represents your experience but it is not you. And this water over the ocean is always moving and changing by many other forces but you are the bed is never touched. In daily life, we may be conscious of only a fraction of it like the upper 100ft of water and can actively manipulate only that much. Certain drugs can make alterations much deeper like 2000-3000ft showing you a new world temporarily. For a person at the 100ft functioning, he may think the bed of known is at 100ft. Its worth observing your most unusual, most far out, and crazy experiences because they reveal this very well.

No matter what the experience the REAL YOU is still watching unaffected detached. So the craziest experiences do the best job in bringing out what 'you are not' and 'can be'.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Focusing on my uniqueness in the enjoyment of music

Nobody can hear the same song as I do. This specific enjoyment that I derive is totally unique from the way I interpret the music, the way I feel it, the way I emote with it, the images I bring up, past experiences recalled, projections etc. Another person hearing the same song would have a very different mental landscape. Its very profound and exciting to think about "what exactly do 'I' enjoy in this song?"(the enjoyment is absolutely unique, special, intimate and personal). Its magical when you look at it from this perspective.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Thoughts - 15 Mar

Repeating a word makes it lose meaning. Staring at your face in a mirror for long makes it lose meaning. Doing the same thing again and again removes its meaning too. Meaning is a very fleeting feeling...if we grasp on to it, it quickly dissolves. So I would interpret moderation as just doing things while they are still meaningful.

Everything seems like a piece in a much larger puzzle. Everything is only partially known, I do not know the underlying connections. It’s like all the individual icebergs are connected underneath the water deep.

Happiness comes from being relieved of burdens more so than acquiring something.
I am just not able to extinguish all the to-dos. They are just overflowing and multiplying. When am I going to reach a day when there are no to-dos. It’s like a Tetris game and I do some hotch potch and make it ok but I am always in some kind of pressure. In fact getting a job is to primarily drop this pressure. How can I drop everything?

Living purely in the present moment requires trust which gets rid of all fear. The more change you witness, slower is the time passage.

Body image can be tested - It is a static unobserved unconscious entity, but when disturbed creates lot of turmoil...say I lose my front 2 teeth, or I lose my hand or would I feel about myself?...If I am unaffected then I am truly detached from the body both in function and in maintaining a certain image.

I guess there is lot of such unconscious rock like structures present in me now. For example this employment tension is one such. The happiness I get from getting a job is getting rid of that rock that I need to do this, which is conditioning. If I am truly free of conditioning, 'getting' and 'not getting' will feel the same: Bliss.

Acquiring bliss and deep understanding with everything is the highest that intelligence can offer.
When I am totally awake there are no dreams or day dreams.

Anything that touches time has an end. Fear is tied to time. If we have no interest in something, it does not need to be transcended, it does not even exist. The power to believe, identify and give attention fuel the thoughts.

If a thought creates a particular kind of reality then that is imaginary and not the absolute way things exist. Drop the thought or importance of it.

Maladaptation to society as a precursor to exploration and creativity - Mastery over the game

People who are Mal-adapted and maladjusted to conventional society find alternate ways to please themselves. There are holes that they attempt to fill up by adventure. This is especially true when they lack love, social attention, admiration and belonging and if their childhood had disturbing emotions.

Even in my case, only a few pieces of my identity really fit in with society. A vast portion is private to me. My identity is fragmented in a way. I have built it on ideals and concepts rather than actual empirical social acceptance. These troubled parts keep fueling me to seek the truth. Real solutions for them may lie in the discovery of reality at a more profound level. Maybe this reality is not even in the mind. There might be infinite concepts and a psychotic episode might reveal that everything is a representation and therefore equally unreal.

In my search for reconciliation, I discovered so many alarming things common man assumes but are actually conditioned. This further creates larger swathes of identity separate from the accepted ones. In other words there has always been a gap between how I see the world and how others do; examination of why it is go has further WIDENED the gap.

Even ordinary life can be extraordinarily interesting if we can get back a child's beginner eyes and cultivate trust and gratitude. I am like a nomad with multitude experiences and insights travelling myriad places in the conceptual and experiential plane. But there is something I am seeking which would satisfy me.

Maybe conventional society members are somehow fulfilled in the game and therefore not interested in seeking the unknown and exploring. If they decide to explore, they may challenge their status quo and this may removing their current sense of security. But what I have realized is that each life is a mystery and has the same potential to create meaning. All patterns exist everywhere. Maybe myriad forms appear from one source but it is this source that truly satisfies us.

The example that comes to mind is of: Is this wall light brown or light yellow? What difference does it make to you! What matters to you is the feeling of knowing it and if others agree with you and validate what you know, and the significance you give your knowledge sources. But why do you need validation for something you know! That’s because the very definition of knowledge is precisely that, a consensus reality. Now this consensus depends on who is around you, virtual and real. If everyone agrees with you on something, assuming you do not have internet, it’s unlikely you would bother questioning it, unless it esp. bothers you a lot in some way. There is the bliss of ignorance when everyone around you agrees on something that you even discount minor deviations.

All lives may be equivalent in their capacity for enjoyment, satisfaction and bliss. It’s relativity at its cream. Just like I am seeking new adventures and understanding, conventional people are seeking in the usual games they play. The relativity here is beliefs. Now the common man believes that this is the only legitimate way to live. He isn’t going to explore because he BELIEVES it’s not worth and not true. If he is forced into something unknown and is pleasantly surprised, then this may loosen up this belief a bit with a few special clauses added. But when the belief is functioning in full swing, then he would seek only the conventional ideals.

If he has had bad experiences with the unknown then he has developed fear of it. Even this fear adds meaning in the tapestry of emotions and motivations. If there was no fear, then that is a totally different snapshot. Each is an experience that’s equally true. Questioning and broadening beliefs is the greatest service you can do to your mind. It’s funny, we start off with a child’s outlook, get conditioned in adulthood, see the boredom and sterility of that, long to go back to childhood openness and then broaden our beliefs slowly to go back to our childhood openness. This too is an adventure and inherently rewarding.

The whole reward/punishment, courage-confidence/fear is the grand play of the yin yang. If this yin yang equation determines life where one implies the other, like sides of a coin, a man and his shadow etc., and if all of life’s experiences play by this equation, how are lives comparable? This level of complexity far exceeds my ability to think linearly about things.

A failure either reinforces stronger behavior or results in withdrawal. These work like spirals. A person in childhood who has been praised and well received will put extra efforts to obtain the same and will receive more and more attention. This goes like a spiral until there is drastic environmental or circumstantial change which the person would totally resist. A person, who is struggling to fit in, will struggle much harder to find what he is looking for and is likely to create strange things and have a lot of far out explorations and adventures. And this whole thing is a fractal again. The patterns keep repeating since everything disappears after a while, we need to renew by either doing the same thing again or coming up with something new.

Any life can be made ideal if it cuts through and masters this game of yin-yang. How can we go through this with maximum fulfillment and meaning? Our definition of ourselves as a personality is like a tortoise shell which only allows us to process a fraction of reality. You may have a grandiose, super broadened personality and outlook but this still does not compare with the pure experience of being nobody. The broad outlook person may have a much thinner shell but the real reality is ‘No shell’. This would make you the master in the yin yang game because you’re no longer in it.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

11 Mar thoughts - Perception filters and Judgement

Whats other think about you or tell you is more about them than you

This concept is related to the other persons' superego and self definition. This perfectly ties in to the way they interpret you. The diagram below shows the perception filter. It is still a big simplification, but it is a good aid for imagination.

Lets say this represents your own image of yourself.
Each slider could represent
  • How you see an aspect/concept of yourself
  • The importance you give to something. Now the scale for each one could be infinite
Now there could be infinite such sliders. Each one could have infinite scales. You may consider yourself a musician if you make a play and create a certain quality of tunes. But who defines quality? Its society.

If you meet a new person who says "You're no good. Its nowhere close to the level of Jimi Hendrix or Mozart" many different reactions can arise depending on how you perceive the other person.
  • If he is really extraordinary, then the question is can he help you achieve a higher level? If yes, then you would respond favorably because although he has increased the scale of the musician slider, he can take you higher.
  • If he is as good as you but has set astronomical standards for himself and has greatly increased the scale of your slider. His being hard on himself also imposes some hardness on you. 
  1. But you take on some level of discomfort if he is willing to include you in his striving (Assuming he wishes to strive)
  2. If his interests are in different areas, and he is personally not interested in advancing himself in this area then you just interpret him as being a bit harsh and develop a bit of repulsion.
  • Last case is when, he is no good in that area, is not interested in pursuing anything, but still has set astronomical standards and belittles everyone, then the guy is interpreted as a total kill joy, jerk and a high degree of repulsion ensues. He not only belittles your position by greatly increasing the scale of the slider but also has no interest in that area itself and does not consider that important. He is simply denying/depriving you the pleasure of feeling special. Its like he has hit your self image from being outside it like shooting an arrow into a person from a castle window vantage point. The usual reaction after this is to get preoccupied with some way of paying this person back his insult.

That's why finding like minded people who give importance to the same things provide a lot of security. The would try to improve in the same areas, would be eager to share a more mutually helping relationship, a win-win situation. Even here sometimes, the person is good at something that even you are but hates that side of himself and that can again take it into the opposite direction. So what matters, both of you give importance to the same things. Even here its complex. The importance you give changes with time which is based on your changing circumstances and influences. So is there really a bedrock? Generally the bedrock is early childhood experiences. Only mystics and explorers of that mind would look into such things consciously. If that is similar (which is difficult for you to gauge unless the person is very willing and articulate in expression), then you may be apparently different but that would be more of a veil. When you uncover that thin veil, you would discover that you can be great friends with that person.

    Now, lets take it to the next level. This thing happens in every interaction warping the sliders in scale and choice. The blue bars on sliders show that they have been selected. The gray ones are the inactive ones. Interacting with another person may open up a new set of sliders and scales. The overall patterns uncovered after interacting with varied people for a long period of time imprints itself as a self image in our subconscious memory.

    So interacting with each person is a different world. However, we give importance to certain worlds because they been tuned to synchronize with our self image integrated by early childhood experiences.
    Early childhood is like a blank slate where entire survival programs (physical, social, mental) are written which forms the bedrock of our personality. After which we get an identity established and our whole lives are spent in furthering this identity and finding synchronicity in others.

    The concept of a an ultimate friend or soul-mate would be if their bedrock perfectly synchronizes with ours. According to me, opposites attract is a myth. When I say synchronizes well it means their importance frameworks are a perfect match. She is everything you give the most importance to and you are everything she gives the most importance to.

    But even here, the bedrock can be transformed if you can see through it. Very few people would dare to really look at it head on. In-fact we are not scared of death of the physical body, we are REALLY scared about death of this bedrock. Without that bedrock, we do not exist as we know it. A child is born almost as a blank slate with certain genes that determine its predilections etc. But this has nothing to do with the child's self image. Everything that matters to YOU is independent of your genes etc. What the child feels once he/she is an adult depends on society's response to what the child is which is what creates the Ego. The Ego is a social phenomenon. For example: Say the child is good at music. If this is greatly encouraged by the society as a whole and rewarded, then the child will develop an excellent self opinion. But if music is given tertiary importance, and things like fitting into society like a cog in the job market is rewarded the most, then the artistic child would have a weaker ego.

    There is still a lot of room for further exploration. This is still a simplification of what happens in reality. Reality is a fractal firstly. Secondly we have not considered the impacts of memory fading or forgetting. Also, we haven't looked into the power of living with someone for a long time and how it may change us fundamentally into loving this person or including them in our self definition.

    A rigid person is someone who keeps his sliders and scale fixed. We say such a person cannot be influenced and his confidence about the sliders fools us into thinking he may hold the truth or right view because "We don't know ourselves".  We start believing and adopt their beliefs as truth. If you do not hold on to any filter or belief or keep changing them unconsciously then we would fall in the category of being 'easily influenced'. So either way is not ideal. The best is to see through this matrix.

    So back to the main point, since this whole thing is like a game, you have the power to drop it all and be unaffected. In that case, what each person tells you is about his perception filters, biases, how hard he is on himself, how open is he to see the good in others, how exploration friendly he is, how good is he self esteem, how harshly does he judge etc. He would be judging himself by the same standards usually. If he has double standards, then he is just purely fooling himself which is a childish attempt by the ego to protect itself. So how he interprets you is more about him than you in essence.

    Self proclaimed vs claimed by Others

    We inherently favor collective judgement over singular and assume that's more accurate. Wisdom of crowds? For example: 100 people tell you you are a great dancer, should we trust that more than 1 person telling us? Should we trust this feedback more than what we think we are? Well here is the catch. Your definition from self is totally intertwined with others. If you examine your self separately for the purpose of finding something true, you'll realize you have lost your frame of reference and you have nothing to catch. 

    You can hold on to concepts like a good dancer should have symmetry, balance and grace etc. and make your definition independent of others' opinions. We also call them principles at times. But this conceptual grouping "Good dancer - best balance, symmetry and grace" is nothing inherent. Now what is best? The limit of your imagination at the highest level? This imagination limit is also variable based on what you see in real life. Sometimes we see a performance that was beyond our imagination, so we tweak our imagination to this next level. It is a game because, it is thought dependent. If I don't think about it, it does not exist, therefore not inherently real.

    We create definitions and live up to them. If they have large social appeal, you get social praise too as a reward. But then if you get too much of this reward its balanced by people who will hate you too just for the fact that you have what they don't have. Another way this duality could act is that since you have got so much reward from your actions a lot of your energy will be directed towards this goal and you too are pursuing in the same way as a cocaine addict. You may say 'Oh, but I am doing something non-risky, which is good for society(moral crap)'. Excluding the moral crap, even the non-risky part removes the experience of the adrenaline rush of excitement for doing something forbidden. So it is not possible to have everything at the same time. Every experience is equal in the absolute sense. A scientist would say everything is just vibrations. So in a way duality acts on everyone equally no matter who you are. Its like a law of nature which applies to everyone.

    Underemphasis and Overemphasis play
    In Actual reality there are no filters, everything just is. We can balance our ego whenever we want by overemphasizing or giving special attention to what we under-emphasize.

    Friday, March 9, 2012

    List of Inspirational Speakers

    1. Eckhart Tolle
    2. Shinzen Young
    3. Sadhguru
    4. Adyashanti
    5. Terrence Mckenna
    6. Bashar
    7. Robert Alias
    8. Jeff Foster
    9. Dattatreya siva baba
    10. Swami Vivekanada
    11. Richard Feyman
    12. Alan Watts
    13. UG Krishamurti
    14. Jiddu Krishnamurti
    15. Mooji
    16. Abraham Hicks
    17. Deepak Chopra
    18. Conference Report Youtube Channel (certain parts)
    19. Osho
    20. Rajneesh
    21. Peter Marchand
    22. Peter Russell
    23. Wayne Dyer- Taoism
    24. Michael Webb - A culture towards awakening blog
    25. Sage Bodhisattva (YouTube)
    26. Ram Daas
    27. Yuttadhammo 
    28. Adi Da
    29. Benitho Massaro
    30. Scott Kiloby
    31. Charlie Hayes
    32. Vijai S Shankar 
    33. Tony Parsons 
    34.   (YouTube)
    35. Krishnananda (successor to Sivananda)
    36. Gurdjieff
    37. Ouspensky
    38. Nityananda
    39. ScientificMysticism (YouTube)
    40. Rupert Spira 
    41. Francis Lucille
    42. Robert Wolfe
    43. Jiddu Krishnamurti - Non duality cartoons
    44. Nisargadatta Maharaj 
    45. Jed Mckenna
    46. Ramana Maharishi
    47. Timothy Leary
    48. Bruce Lee
    49. Carl Jung
    Books highly recommended:
    1. In Search of the Miraculous - PD Ouspensky
    2. States of Consciousness - Charles Tart
    3. I am that - Nisargadatta Maharaj
    4. Open Secret - Wei Wu Wei
    5. The Attention revolution - Alan Wallace

    Wednesday, March 7, 2012

    Thoughts - 7 Mar

    If meaning is a choice we make...what is the best way to create this equation....would anyone voluntarily choose and follow society's constructs after discovering this knowledge?....Deriving one's sense of worth and meaning from society seems to be a huge postponement and a very circuitous way where you need to attain X at each stage

    The entire society is man's collective attempt to create order and is always constantly challenged by chaos...

    What is the thing we take for most granted? Probably the air we breathe?What if we were grateful for every breath? Wouldn't it give us the highest sensitivity for the sublime feeling of satisfaction?

    The whole sense of meaning/experience is completely unique to each individual and in a way all are equivalent.

    Each dominant emotion in humans is countered by its dual in others. The question is will black or white win? But nothing can win in a sense because they depend on each other. One implies the other so they are one.

    Pure concepts are imaginary and too simplistic to actually exist.

    If you want to maximize pleasure in a relationship, both the parties should have the same intensity of interest for the same. Not like one is interested in maximizing the relationship pleasure and the other is interested in his/her work life.

    Judging anything requires you to have a rubric in your mind at another level. These rubrics are known only to the individual judging can be deduced by observing his judgements.

    Playing with meaning is the greatest power. It changes the entire life of the person. Like the movie inception which implants an idea which changes that person completely in his time dimension.

    Knowledge or knowing something, understanding something happens the moment there is synchronicity of neurons. The more synchronicity, the more the feeling of understanding.

    Tuesday, March 6, 2012

    MIND EXPANDER: Higher Dimensions analogy

    To help with imagination, it is like an microbe thinking your college bag is the whole world. And each day you go to college, you step outside your house, so it becomed bright for the microbe, and then your back home after 3 hours and then you put back the bag in the room. So from the microbes view, its dark throughout the day except for 3 hours inbetween. So it thinks light is a gift of god for 3 hours everyday. Also when you wash the bag every 3 months, the microbe witnesses severe hurricanes and deluges and thinks god is wrathful. But in actuality, you are the god for the microbe and you are living under some other higher dimension just like the microbe. How many such levels exist?

    MIND EXPANDER: Defining objective reality using concepts?

    It is maybe like a child defining a Bird as we know it after seeing it fly in the sky for 1 minute as: "A creature in a shape of an aeroplane (sorry had to use another concept) that always has its wings outstretched and flies in the west direction. It does nothing else besides this." Now the child has defined a bird is by observing a fraction of its behavior, from a great distance, for just a period of 1 minute.

    There is a plethora of things not included in this definition. Lets compare this to an ecologist who studies the bird, its habitat, its food, hunting patterns, sleeping patterns, its skeletal structure, physical characteristics like color, weight, feather texture, its odor etc. How would you suppose the ecologist would define it? He would probably write 2-3 books about the bird.

    But even this definition albeit millions of times more detailed is still no match for what the bird 'Actually IS' across time. Firstly, it is impossible to know the subjective experience of the bird or what is feels like for the bird from moment to moment. Secondly, the ecologist can only study one thing at a time. While studying the food habits of the bird, he might have missed some biological changes the bird underwent because he cannot conduct biological experiments simultaneously. Now, you might say there are sophisticated computers that monitor 100s of aspects simultaneously 24x7. The information would be collected no doubt but who will make sense of this information.

    That is the same as our brain just processing 1 billionth on sensory input at a time. Now this same brain would attempt to understand this information serially going through one aspect at a time. By then the changes across the other 99 parameters have been missed. Now if he moves to the 2nd aspect, again he'll miss out on 99 parameters including the 1st one which might change again during that interval. Even if 1000 people are studying it and supercomputer gathers data about 1000 characteristics, its still no match.

    Firstly, are there only 1000 characteristics, characteristics may differ at different levels too. At one level, you may have order and have chaos at another level of magnification. For example a woven mat or human skin may appear to be great order in its cell arrangement or warp and woof. But on magnification of 100x, things look super messy, if we further magnify 10000X again everything may look beautifully ordered. How many such magnification levels are you going to monitor? what about each atom in this bird? What about smaller particles like quarks and the ultimate strings and ALLLLL of the levels inbetween?

    What about the format of this information received? (Human beings can process images faster than numbers or words) Should it be just a readout of numerical values? Some sort of abstractions like graphs which would again involve A LOT OF approximations because the graph needs to be quantized into a range that an average human can easily understand?

    What is the resolution of monitoring in time? Is it a billionth of a second, trillionth? Lastly, the BIGGEST BIGGEST bottleneck in this system, are 1000 people enough to make sense of this even if they are working 24x7 for 10 years? (Considering all human limitations, our working memory can hold only 9 objects on an average, we read left to right and average reading speed is 300wpm)

    Broader questions:

    Now what about the unknowable subjective experience? What if there is information in other planes that neither we nor our instruments can detect? What about how the bird relates to everything else in the ecology? How would we know if the bird has extra sensory perception since everything we are recording is within the scope of our 5 senses. Can there be parallel universes overlapped with ours and the bird interacts with both simultaneously? What about the time before the bird was born? What was its nature at that time? What was the bird a million years ago? (The supercomputers are only digging out patterns for 10 years). How would the most intelligent man in the world fit into this picture?

    FINALLY, we can study the patterns of things till our senses peel off, use any amount of technology etc, but no matter how many patterns we find, the unchanging essence of the thing is UNKNOWABLE and this is what is REAL REALITY. Our concepts are therefore just extreme simplifications and extreme tunnel vision when we think at this height.

    Now what do we mean by understanding something? What is knowledge in this picture? When faced with an infinity, how much ever we know, we still don't see any end? Its almost like we are always in the center no matter what we do. That is why generally adults after a certain age close up most of their perception into a small set of rigid beliefs which are assumptions simply set in stone and live their entire life from this perception goggles. This can get rid of the discomfort that comes with 'Not knowing'. within this perception goggles they see 'knowledge' and think its real. In an adult consciousness, each person is doing that, so each one considers different things as knowledge depending on the structure of these assumptions. So what we call as knowledge is just a subjective feeling we get in the absence of contrary evidence to our beliefs. A person may think he knows all that there is to life. Another person may think he knows nothing. There is nothing intrinsic about our conventional definition of knowledge. But when we extrapolate this to ultimate knowledge then we see that every single thing in this world is actually unknowable.

    Neuroticism in me

    Everything is thought in the same continuum. There is nothing to do or nothing to become. Concepts are generalizations and are possible because of order in the universe as opposed to chaos. But they are 2 sides of the same coin. However, we give undue importance to order (our rationalized view of ourselves) and neglect chaos and this is the reason why I overemphasize chaos in most of my articles to balance the 2 views.

    Maybe neuroticism is as much there in me as it is in other people. Maybe my neuroticism is against order, tunnel vision, low altitude pictures, ignorance and in favor of all inclusive views, holistic approaches and expansion. Most other people like the illusory order, would prefer to not even know about it and would like to think that life is just about that and follow specific paths for solving their problems or seeking what they THINK they need without questioning assumptions. Usually I convince myself of my intelligence and that I am at a much higher plane of understanding, integration and reasoning.

    But if I think more deeply, I am struck by more fundamental questions. Is my obsession with this just another form of neuroticism that is there in others? In other words, is the essence of it the same? Is it like the different between a child pursuing a particular toy and me pursuing ultimate knowledge and understanding? Are both seeking and therefore the same in essence but just a redirected primary force? More simply, I wonder if my neuroticism for seeking the highest pictures only puts me at a disadvantage in society while a person who plays by society's rules simply gets both recognition and the same personal satisfaction I get while receiving a truth. But then, I think this is again a simplification. The meaning I get from finding truths that are profound, far out from conventional society and a crack into the matrix is only possible because society exists in this manner. Similarly, a person who plays by all the rules in society and gets their recognition can do this only because there are people who don't get the same rewards and therefore that is the basis of his achievement. Secondly, pleasures cannot be compared in intensity. They need to be compared in subjective meaning. I can record a high dopamine level in my brain, but that is meaningful only if I have a recent memory of a low dopamine level. If it was always high then that is totally meaningless to me. I can read or see people who are less fortunate and feel good but how different is that from me looking at people with a very naive beliefs on life? The highs are quite equivalent. Suffering creates  meaning to seek comfort. Unrest creates meaning for seeking peace. Finding a job for my roommate is highly meaningful because of his financial constraint, but for me the same does not invoke this level of desire because my money situation is quite stable. So from his perspective, I may be very lucky but I do not enjoy his sense of meaning and purpose in this department.

    They are even open to only certain views that anyways take them forward in the same directions. But to think of it every single person in the world is unique, even from a scientific standpoint, every single cell and its arrangements are different with trillions of cell combinations. This is also visible in subtle daily experience. However, the catch is things are not totally randomized. There is order probably equal to chaos or they may work in functions of time which are not available to you this moment. Also, the definition of duality, being implies non being even if it is 100 years away. Presence implies non-presence, form implies void and void implies form. Our deep desire to be free is because we are stuck. In other words, all of us are operating in the same continuum, and it is maybe this realization that creates compassion. All experiences too in that case operate in the same continuum. To be truly free implies operating at a framework beyond these dualities.

    It is impossible to describe this using language. The dictionary too defines words by using words. In other words the whole world of words is a synthetic layer of reality pointing to the this notion of concepts which are again generalizations and abstractions of what we experience with our 5 senses. Each concept is defined by its dual existing, heat cold, dark bright etc. and one simply cannot exist without the other. Concepts are attempts to grasp the form and behavior of entities based on observing patterns over a period of time.

    Sunday, March 4, 2012

    Natural highs

    Fasting - kind of like opiates
    Sleep deprivation
    Intense exercise
    Sex (or Sex on Marijuana)
    Tantric sex exercises
    Prolonged sex without orgasm can lead to a state called eroto-comatose lucidity
    Dancing in club - Drunk type feeling
    Rhythmic breathing
    Lucid Dreaming
    Floatation tank
    Prolonged singing and chanting - A consensus high, a certainty high
    Buzz when writing something creative
    Make someone I care about feel good after being down
    Giving and Receiving pain from specific people of opp sex (for some people)
    Expressing emotions, laughing, crying anger
    Risking life - Adrenaline rush
    Continually staring at a point - Tratak - Opiates
    Reading and Exploring profound truth
    Sub-space - BDSM
    Qigong - 9 breath method

    Thursday, March 1, 2012

    Model for Perception

    The 1st block: Represents our entire mental activity in terms of its biochemical and electrical activity. It is a snapshot of the entire experience continuum of an individual. I have shown it symbolically using colors because there can be infinite combinations of various colors, saturation, contrast and opacity. This could be symbolically linked to everything we experience in a moment. Now not all of this is conscious, for example, if you do not think about your toe, you do not even know its there. There is this spotlight of conscious attention shown as the circle.

    Then 2nd block: The conscious attention captures the spotlight of raw conscious experience. The raw experience keeps changing with time. The spotlight moves around in whatever regions it can quickly scan and stores a slice in immediate memory. Now, this raw input stored in the immediate memory is too complex and dynamic in its raw form. In order to create a stable graspable entity it is therefore simplified and quantized with the aid of the long term conceptual memory bank. Now, this new entity is more stable and can be grasped onto. How well you accomplish these steps depends on your awareness and attention.

    In the 3rd block: Here we need to convert this raw feeling into words. The level of detail you put into this stage depends upon your vocabulary. Vocabulary in this analogy could be equated to a color palette. If your vocabulary is limited its like using a 1000 color palette. If it is extensive, it is maybe like using a 10000 color palette. Therefore another level of simplification happens here.The input that was grasped is approximated to its nearest colors and put into the language semantics framework. This stage also including serialization of the whole information. Its similar to trying to explain a picture in words. 

    The 4th block: Finally how we speak the words out depends on our speech abilities i.e. have we learned to manipulate the vocal cord and tongue in sync.

    Now, these blocks are connected by linkages which are bidirectional i.e. if you say the word dog in your mind, the corresponding conceptual feelings associated with the dog will show up and accordingly change your biochemistry. Also in the case of memory, its similar to wax. The memory impressions during a day also serve as filters during the extraction of meaning.

    Prelude to a Model for Perception

    Different people extract different slices of reality. Reality has infinite patterns within it. When we stay with the same slice for very long, the memory that other slices could exist become very distant and then we start longing for an adventure or some refreshing changes. A powerful and different experience revitalizes our whole mind almost like hitting reboot on our systems which clears the memory and cache.

    As we grow older, our memory accumulates more and more and therefore the initial thrill and wonder is lost. Memory seems to be the enemy of wonder. After a point, it becomes very difficult to find brand new experiences which are yet to be encoded into memory. As an explorer myself, I often see first hand  the cycles of my passions i.e how they rise and diminish or keep shifting. I have intensely explored philosophy to study the basis of knowledge or experience itself. The interesting conclusion I have reached is that, life is mystery and it is this mystery that gives us meaning or anything that we can ever care about. The Japanese too have identified a concept called Yugen: Subtle yet profound mysteries. In fact these cycles indicate that learning is as important as unlearning OR remembering is as important as forgetting for they both symbiotically give definition to each other.

    Our serial processing minds in language can process so little of what is going on since everything is dynamically changing. There is infinite breath and infinite depth. If you decide to direct your attention on a specific area, you would know its patterns from a certain depth, however a zillion other things have changed at the same time. If the move this concentrated attention to something else then again you former object would change without your awareness on it. This is the problem with our serial operation of the mind, as a result of which we can greatly distort reality.

    The trickiest part is how can we understand all the relationships and patterns when everything is happening at once, with a serial processing mind in terms of language. It seems exactly like the blind man exploring an elephant. That too, you are tied to the extent of your vocabulary. Each word too can mean different things for different people. Even if you understand something profoundly and put it across in the best possible way, will you reader understand what you exactly meant?. Say I use the word "clear headed". Now wont this mean totally different things to different people.

    While talking to people, very little of what they mean is in their words. Their meaning needs to be holistically understood. I wonder if all the complicated talk that we do in our daily life, is like endlessly modifying the finger which is pointing to the moon, with the moon being what we actually want. In other words, we are endlessly playing with representations and symbols but not directly looking at what we really want. Its like a synthetic layer obscuring us from seeing the truth. We take terribly circuitous routes and get only a fraction of what we expected or we simply totally miss it. All our motivations could be examined in this light.

    When we are thinking to ourselves, why do we words? Why can't we think at a more symbolic level say with images or feelings. Maybe, we do this for social convenience. Is it because if we store everything verbally, then retrieval is much faster in societal environments since it is stored in a directly usable form? It seems obvious that higher forms of thought would be in the form of feelings and images since they can convey a lot more than a series of words arranged using grammar rules. Have you ever tried to write down what you experienced in a dream? Its extremely difficult because everything is rewired. While noting dreams down, I often need to use a lot of simplifications and often this greatly reduces the meaning of the dream for other people reading it. It could however serve as a cue to remind you of the experience itself in its raw form.

    Another very intriguing aspect is how we literally talk to ourselves and tell ourselves what we should do or what decision to take. Why should we talk within ourselves like there is a separate entity inside us telling us in language what to do. Its almost like a big time trick played on us. People consider losing this verbal inner voice as a form of regression. I think its more like claiming back your original power which was totally lost by this trick which was played on us.

    This whole thing is like a very interesting puzzle. Even I have this inner verbal voice inside me and for practical purposes, I treat that as me. But whenever I think about it, it seems absurd.Where is the real me? How can I remove this obscuration? Funnily and tragically, society generally firmly believes that "You only know something if you can put it in words".

    Qualities of a diamond mapped to experience

    The ideal +ve experience is where the mind is like an infinitely large diamond that is clear, does not hold anything but yet, reflects/refr...