The Principles of the Language of Belief

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The Principles of the Language of Belief

Postby BadgerJelly on November 21st, 2013, 7:46 am 

The Principles of the Language of Belief

(That internal discourse of conscious<>unconscious recollecting) - Taking recollection as literally meaning the act of re collecting dispersed contents.

Historical representations : "The guardian angel", "the conscience", "animal familiars", "religious ritual" (Including the use of prayer, dance, hymns, chanting, etc., to promote trance states), "speaking in tongues" (ritual chant), "Intuition".

(The "mandala principle" of conscious<>unconscious interaction) - The repetition of "form" to create a bridge to unconscious collections. Unconscious is the fluid around the form of conscious repetitions ("mandala principle"). Mandalas are tools to create resonance. Complex mandalas are used to create a symphony within the unconscious.

All ascertains of conscious will are "mandala principles" that act upon unconscious contents. Consciousness is the very act of impressing will upon unconscious indiscriminate methods through acts of cognitive repetition that can be helped by sensory repetition.

There can be no direct conscious contact with the unconscious, obviously anything that becomes conscious is no longer in the realms of the unconscious. I cannot know what the unconscious is but I can observe its representations as they rise into conscious thought. The most obvious examples would be those that Jung refers to as "archetypes" within dreams. There are within dreams personified entities that are not under the control of our will (I am sure everyone has experienced this to some degree).

What I am proposing is that these representations of the unconscious can be manipulated and drawn out through "language" by using "mandala principles". This could be something recognised by anyone familiar with the confusing methods of alchemy or magick. The idea is to use belief as a method of interaction with the unconscious. To create a set of personified identities that the unconscious will eventually form around once the conscious will has impressed its intent through repetition.
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Re: The Principles of the Language of Belief

Postby owleye on November 21st, 2013, 10:34 am 

I take this opening post as typical of your way of thinking. I'm seeing it as sort of of a one thing leads to another thing -- a stream of thoughts, possibly anchored, but left unexpressed. Though the title contains the word 'belief" in it, the post doesn't address beliefs at all, until at the end with a proposal to make use of them as a method of interaction with the unconscious.

I suppose one may infer from the last sentence that a belief is a "set of personified identities" and if this is how you see it, I confess that I had no idea that that's what you had in mind. You will recall, in the ordinary use of the term, it can be regarded as a disposition to act or something held to be the case. Beliefs, then, exist prior to and affect conscious experience and for the most part act without our being aware of them, though they may have developed through the accumulation of conscious experience. So, yes, beliefs are a way of getting at some "unconscious" part of who we are, though, in my view, it is rather benign in that it would better fit in with a domain of the sub-conscious. For some reason, however, you want to delve into psychology along a different front.

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Re: The Principles of the Language of Belief

Postby BadgerJelly on November 21st, 2013, 2:24 pm 

So, yes, beliefs are a way of getting at some "unconscious" part of who we are, though, in my view, it is rather benign in that it would better fit in with a domain of the sub-conscious.


As I have said, and as should be obvious, we cannot experience unconscious contents consciously. What comes through without conscious action is something that has an agency of the unconscious. I trying to point out that subconscious contents can be viewed as the "Rosetta Stone" of the "language" between unconscious and conscious contents.

Manifestations of unconscious content are shown in dreams and various other states. It is viewed as a very benign thing by most people. It is only viewed this way because most people fail to have a handle on what they are experiencing or anything empirical to refer to.

What I am talking about, with what I have called the "mandala principle", is that you can consciously personify entities of your consciousness and dress them up emotionally. This is something that can been seen in all alchemy and in Buddhism. Buddhism is one of the most telling stories in the use of "mandala principles". They use a technique to meditate upon "deities" that they use purely as personifications of the human psyche NOT as literal omnipotent deities in the common sense most people perceive.

The power the unconscious can have on the conscious mind through this "mandala principle" is very strong. It is the obvious beginnings of what you and many others would call "religion" today. I do have the benefit of first hand experience in this matter. All I can ask is you take my word for it when I say that psychosis is a very convincing thing. Its potential long term influence on how a human being lives their life is significant.

In everyday life the same "mandala principle" is in action. Recognition of this is not necessary for it to exist.

Beliefs, then, exist prior to and affect conscious experience and for the most part act without our being aware of them, though they may have developed through the accumulation of conscious experience.


I cannot disagree with this, and I am not getting into the semantics for once. When I say Language and Belief I am using those terms loosely. I cannot find a better word to use instead of "language", and I cannot find one better that comes close to "belief" (Trust me when I say, at the moment to use the words "knowing", "consciousness", "subconscious", etc., would fall much shorter than "belief". "Intuition" may be another useful word, but that one is probably even more slippery than belief for my current purposes.

It may help to consider this with Husserl's phenomenological reduction and Jung's active imagination in mind.
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Re: The Principles of the Language of Belief

Postby psionic11 on November 21st, 2013, 8:14 pm 

What I "believe" is that this is metaphysical mumbo jumbo, and not science talk.

This sub-forum is entitled "behavior science". Guardian angels and animal spirits should not be here.

However, if we're going to play along, I suppose I would argue that it is possible to experience the unconscious directly. I've done it in lucid dreaming, you've done it when you've felt it when your hairs raise on end because of something not quite in your conscious awareness just yet.

Furthermore, I protest using the terms language and belief "loosely". Once again, it is a metaphysical tactic to blur premises and definitions, then go about inventing circular speculations and non-sequitur free associating. "Language" has a specific meaning: the conventional use of symbols and signs to convey thoughts and intentions regarding the concrete and abstract.

"Belief", in this context, does not refer to credibility or trust in validity. Rather, it refers to a set of tenets or principles one holds which altogether define what one interprets as true. Alternatively: faith. Opinion.

And my opinion tends to agree with Owleye's assessment. Once upon a time, owl, there used to be a Pesla in these forums. At first I tried to engage in his wandering "mandala principles", seeing moments of clarity within the jelly of metaphysical mumbo jumbo. But my objective side won out, and I learned not to feed the droll streams of consciousness. It does get wearisome sifting thru the pseudoscience, yes?
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Re: The Principles of the Language of Belief

Postby neuro on November 22nd, 2013, 10:49 am 

Sirs,
I am sorry but I'm moving this to "alternative theories etc."

I believe that, in general, it is not good practice to take a series of "delicate" words, to use them freely to mean whatever one wishes them to mean (without further defining them), to remain fascinated by possible novel associations and analogies, and then to propose that this makes up a hypothesis, a theory, or even worse an explanation...
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Re: The Principles of the Language of Belief

Postby BadgerJelly on November 22nd, 2013, 12:25 pm 

Psonic -

Thank you for your reply. You've given me many points to address.

Judging by your name I would have thought this might fall somewhat into your area of interest. People believing in strange things does not mean they exist in a materialistic sense.

What I "believe" is that this is metaphysical mumbo jumbo, and not science talk.

This sub-forum is entitled "behavior science". Guardian angels and animal spirits should not be here.


You are quite simply wrong. These are aspects of human experiences. They do not need representations in the material world only to be recognised as mental representations of a common theme.

The Helping Spirits

This appears even more clearly from an examination of the other categories of "spirits" that also play a role either in the shaman's initiation or in bringing on his ecstatic experiences. We said above that a relation of "familiarity" is established between the shaman and his "spirits." And in fact, in ethnological literature they are known as "familiars," "helping," "assistant," or "guardian" spirits. But we must distinguish carefully between familiar spirits proper and another and more powerful category of spirits known as tutelary spirits; so too, a distinction must be made between these last and divine or semidivine beings whom the shamans summon up during seances. A shaman is a man who has immediate, concrete experiences with gods and spirits; he sees them face to face, he talks with them, prays to them, implores them.
...
The shaman invokes them, and the gods, demigods, and spirits arrive - just as the Vedic divinities descend and attend the priest when he invokes then during the sacrifice.

- Mircea Eliade, Shamanism : Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy (P.88)


I'll try and shed some light on what I am getting at.

I suppose I would argue that it is possible to experience the unconscious directly. I've done it in lucid dreaming, you've done it when you've felt it when your hairs raise on end because of something not quite in your conscious awareness just yet.


I really didn't think I'd have to point this out again.

It is unprofitable to speculate about things we cannot know. I therefore refrain from making assertions that go beyond the bounds of science. It was never possible for me to discover in the unconscious anything like a personality comparable with the ego. But although a "second ego" cannot be discovered (except in the rare cases of dual personality), manifestations of the unconscious do at least show traces of personalities. A simple example is the dream, where a number of real or imaginary people represent the dream-thoughts. In nearly all the important types of dissociation, the manifestations of the unconscious assume strikingly personal form. Careful examination of the behaviour and mental content of these personifications, however, reveals their fragmentary character. They seem to represent complexes that have split off from a greater whole, and are the very reverse of a personal centre of the unconscious.

- Jung, Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious (P.283)


We can experience manifestations of the unconscious but we cannot directly experience the unconscious. Once unconscious contents rise into consciousness they are no longer unconscious they are conscious.

Furthermore, I protest using the terms language and belief "loosely". Once again, it is a metaphysical tactic to blur premises and definitions, then go about inventing circular speculations and non-sequitur free associating. "Language" has a specific meaning: the conventional use of symbols and signs to convey thoughts and intentions regarding the concrete and abstract.


I think it is quite clear that I am talking about the interaction between conscious and unconscious contents. It is reasonable to call this, in loose terms, "language" because it uses conscious symbolism in reference to something abstract.

If you prefer to use either the terms "communication" or "interaction" feel free. They are not as close in meaning to what I am saying, but they may make you feel a little more comfortable.

You might find this definition interesting in comparison :

"a system of symbols which acts to establish powerful, pervasive and long-lasting moods and motivations in men by formulating concepts of a general order of existence and clothing these concepts with such an aura of factuality that the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic."

anthropologist, Clifford Geertz


He is actually referring to religion here without using any such terms as "spirit", "soul", "ritual", etc.,. It is interesting to use this definition as a broad definition of human behavioural traits. Colin Renfrew points out that you could think he is talking about money. I am saying you could just as easily think he is talking about language.

So using this broad term I am saying that we can, and do, construct a language that has influence, and is influenced by, unconscious contents. And that it can be used to understand, to some degree, the form of unconscious contents.

You may find this helpful too. Talking about visuomotor perception and visuomotor action (Ventral and dorsal streams respectively):

The interaction between the ventral and dorsal streams is an excellent example of the principle of teleassistance, but in this case instantiated in biology. The perceptual-cognitive systems in the ventral stream, like the human operator in teleassistance, identify different objects in the scene, using a representational system that is rich and detailed but not metrically precise. When a particular goal object has been flagged, dedicated visuomotor networks in the dorsal stream (in conjunction with related circuits in premotor cortex, basal ganglia, and brain stem) are activated to perform the desired motor act. Thus, the networks of the dorsal stream, with their precise egocentric coding of the location, size, orientation, and shape of the goal object, are like the robotic component of teleassistance. Thus, both systems are required for purpose behavior - one stream to select the goal object from visual array, the other to carry out the required metrical computations for the goal-directed action. One of the most important questions yet to be addressed is how the two streams communicate with one another.

The Cognitive Neurosciences, Gazzaniga (P.1170-1)


This reference may seem a little abstract. I am trying to point out that there is a blatant interaction between conscious and unconscious contents. The interaction of these contents can be understood by using a symbolic language based on highly emotional contents. Mythology is a prominent source of information in this respect. Jung points out, quite clearly (as does Eliade), that there are common innate human features present throughout history and indoctrinated into many "religious" methodologies.

What is referred to as "religiosity" is a characteristic of humans. Some people are more prone to influence and others are not. Children are especially prone to hypnotic trances. A set system of personified ideas can guide conscious intent.

At first I tried to engage in his wandering "mandala principles", seeing moments of clarity within the jelly of metaphysical mumbo jumbo. But my objective side won out, and I learned not to feed the droll streams of consciousness.


I am not suggesting to "feed" the streams of consciousness. I am talking about investigating them by laying down a set cognitive system. I am not talking about introspection either. What I am saying is using techniques of active imagination combined with phenomenological reduction. If you do not have a firm grasp of what Jung means by the "archetypes" then you may not understand what I am trying to say.

I started thread called "what came first" in reference to language being visual or audio based in origin. As it turns out, from what I have read, many anthropologists seem to be thinking that language is neurally based in visual not in audio. The language we are using now is limited. I cannot possibly describe to you what I am feeling very accurately. Even if I did I would not know if I did. Needless to say the imagery produced due to active imagination or in dreams is very vivid and prominent in its representation. It is the symbolism present that I feel can be addressed if set personifications are put in place (representations of "spirits", "gods", "heros", etc,.). These representations of archetypes can open up new perspectives.

My aim is to try and understand how certain aspects of consciousness are only available to consciousness. How certain functions are not available to the unconscious. How the unconscious and conscious contents interact/communicate and whether or not we can increase our conscious thoughts more accurately to direct unconscious contents. Hypnosis, meditation and placebo are the obvious areas to look into. It has been scientifically proven that burns can heal more quickly and efficiently with hypnotic techniques, and that various physiological systems can be consciously attended to. How placebo functions is another aspect of consciousness that really needs to be addressed too. Meditation has been shown to increase attention (although this requires a hell of a lot of meditation).

I do believe that emotion has a lot to do with all of these phenomena. Damasio and others have given some evidence that emotion is very important in our ability to reason. referring to the "teleassistance" analogy for the biological function of the brain; it is almost as if the unconscious is the computer and the conscious is the operator, yet reason is the computer and emotion is the operator too.

I use the term "Mandala principle" because of this :

The Sanskrit word mandala means "circle". It is the Indian term for the circles drawn in religious rituals. In the great temple of Madura, in southern India, I saw how a picture of this kind was made. It was drawn by a woman on the floor of the mandapam (porch), in coloured chalks, and measured about ten feet across. A pandit who accompanied me said in reply to my questions that he could give me no information about it. Only the women who drew such pictures knew what they meant. The woman herself was non-committal; she evidently did not want to be disturbed in her work. Elaborate mandalas, executed in red chalk, can be found on the whitewashed walls of many huts. The best and most significant mandalas are found in the sphere of Tibetan Buddhism.

- Jung, Concerning Mandala Symbolism


I have only read 1/4 of The Tibetan Book of the Dead, but it is clearly infused with shamanic references to death and rebirth so prominent in all shamanic traditions of initiation. The "deities" of Buddhism are clearly symbolic of the psyche. They are representations of the archetypes. Buddhists don't believe in gods.

Hopefully this will give you a better idea about what "spirits", "guardians", "familiars" are. They are representations of the unconscious impressed on consciousness through mythological symbolism. Emotional content is always a prominent feature of these. The same pattern runs through Christianity too in the vices and virtues.

I would be very interested to hear about your experiences of lucid dreaming. I have never managed it myself. When I am dreaming I find it very hard to hold onto when I realise I am dreaming. I usually end up thinking I have woken up, but I have just gone into another dream scenario. Any tips?
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Re: The Principles of the Language of Belief

Postby BadgerJelly on November 22nd, 2013, 2:39 pm 

It may be helpful to read this (Before you go thinking that it was written by some magical pixie you should know that it is written by a neuroscientist. I have posted it elsewhere. It is relevant to the problem)

Abstract: This paper starts with one of Chalmers’ basic points: first-hand experience is an
irreducible field of phenomena. I claim there is no ‘theoretical fix’ or ‘extra ingredient’ in
nature that can possibly bridge this gap. Instead, the field of conscious phenomena requires a
rigorous method and an explicit pragmatics for its exploration and analysis. My proposed
approach, inspired by the style of inquiry of phenomenology, I have called neurophenomenology.
It seeks articulations by mutual constraints between phenomena present in experience
and the correlative field of phenomena established by the cognitive sciences. It needs to expand
into a widening research community in which the method is cultivated further.


http://maudsleyphilosophygroup.org/uploads/pdf/Varela_1996_JCS_Neurophenomenology.pdf
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Re: The Principles of the Language of Belief

Postby BadgerJelly on November 22nd, 2013, 3:15 pm 

That was meant to be a PM :S
Last edited by BadgerJelly on November 22nd, 2013, 3:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Principles of the Language of Belief

Postby Obvious Leo on November 22nd, 2013, 3:46 pm 

BadgerJelly wrote:What this boils down to is that no one here has read Jung and understood what he says.


Be careful what you assume, Badger. I had a Jung period many years ago and had a very careful look at what he was saying. It followed seamlessly from my Freud period and my Adler period and preceded my Skinner period. The rest of 20th psychology followed in due course. Trends and fashions seem to be the guiding principles in psychology as it is practised and Jung has had his day. When you started on your Jung bandwagon a month or two ago I started rereading Archetypes which is still collecting dust on my shelves. I managed to get about a quarter of the way through him before I tossed him back in frustration. What struck me in the past as deep and meaningful now looks like mystical psychobabble being disseminated by a charlatan. Seems I've grown out of it.

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Re: The Principles of the Language of Belief

Postby BadgerJelly on November 22nd, 2013, 4:35 pm 

What struck me in the past as deep and meaningful now looks like mystical psychobabble being disseminated by a charlatan. Seems I've grown out of it.


What struck you as deep and meaningful never struck me in that way. All he does is point out common qualities of humanity that represent themselves in society (be it through religion or otherwise).

Maybe I'll get something more out of James?

I take this opening post as typical of your way of thinking. I'm seeing it as sort of of a one thing leads to another thing -- a stream of thoughts, possibly anchored, but left unexpressed. Though the title contains the word 'belief" in it, the post doesn't address beliefs at all, until at the end with a proposal to make use of them as a method of interaction with the unconscious.


I do not use "belief" the same way you do. I do not use the philosophical definition. I would perhaps be more drawn towards this is anything:

Belief, for Kant, is a form of judging something to be true, intermediate between mere opinion and certain knowledge. To believe something in this sense is to judge that it is true by virtue of "a ground that is objectively insufficient but subjectively sufficient" in mere opinion neither are sufficient, in knowledge both conditions are met.


My personal view is this:

Belief: an acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof:
his belief in extraterrestrial life


From here I can then simply say that with further evidence I can alter my belief. With no or little evidence I go with my intuition (my gut feeling). In this respect belief is a pliable thing. It can easily consume reason just as reason can easily consume it.

Also worth noting:

Belief = Contemporary analytic philosophers of mind generally use the term “belief” to refer to the attitude we have, roughly, whenever we take something to be the case or regard it as true. To believe something, in this sense, needn't involve actively reflecting on it: Of the vast number of things ordinary adults believe, only a few can be at the fore of the mind at any single time. Nor does the term “belief”, in standard philosophical usage, imply any uncertainty or any extended reflection about the matter in question (as it sometimes does in ordinary English usage). - Brought to you from Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy


Turns out I have been using the "ordinary English usage" all along. The problem seems to be peoples intent to attached religious content to a simple word from a simple person with no religious background or upbringing (thank god!) :P
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Re: The Principles of the Language of Belief

Postby psionic11 on November 23rd, 2013, 11:19 am 

It is good to reach clarity by communicating using appropriate language.

Badger, you made a correct assumption judging by my handle that this topic is an area of interest of mine. You need not provide links to what animal spirits, shamanism, and archetypes are... as Obvious Leo has done, I have also "been there, done that" regarding studying and immersing oneself in these previous belief systems and their concomitant "agents"... Perhaps it is to be expected that lifelong seekers of truth pass by yesteryear's Hallowed Halls of The Metaphysical.

Only now, it is more like the Hollowed Halls.

Perhaps it is also a natural stage in reasoning and exploration when visiting and analyzing fundamental concepts like belief, perception, thought, meaning, and reality. After all, this is what the tradition of philosophers have followed for scores of centuries.

I believe language shapes thought. Flood your mind with terms like chakras and karma, and you find yourself delving deep into the essence of reincarnation and transcendental purpose. I think there is an appeal to the many alternate belief systems, as they stir the imagination by inciting so many possibilities. But after awhile the high wears off, and the novelty fades away. Further analysis leads to contradiction and null pointers. In the end, if left with huge gaping holes in your conceptual understanding of reality, cause/effect, and meaning, there comes a time to shine the dissipating light of objectivity on these ever so cloudy metaphysical mists.

And so, delving into belief systems and their self-referential words, one can find oneself swimming in circles. If you believe, it all holds together. If you disbelieve, then, well... you know.

To put it into plain words: given any particular metaphysical arena, once you recognize which speculative endeavors point north and which lead astray, you'll see how wonderfully explanatory science is, and how it owes much of its early spirit to the legacy of metaphysics. Then you discover that science is not only the North Star, but that the other metaphysical stars were fanciful tales to keep you entertained in your journey northward. But [(the body of knowledge) + (the acknowledged as-yet-unanswered domains)] that comprise science turns out to be the destination after all. All is clear.

Don't get too hung up on archetypes and unconsciousness. Remember, the terms for those processes underlying conscious thought are terms Freud and Jung coined several paradigm shifts ago.

Of course, if you currently prefer entertainment over enlightenment, then by all means disregard this post for the present. Stow it away, and hopefully one day after your many journeys of exploration, you'll eventually see the Northern Lights and recognize when you've arrived.
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Re: The Principles of the Language of Belief

Postby psionic11 on November 23rd, 2013, 12:05 pm 

Regarding lucid dreaming, I can share some of my personal experience, but there should be quite a bit of literature on it on the interwebs.

As a primer, first understand the nature of attention and consciousness. You brain is always active, and there are always neuronal processes going on while you're alive. The external world persists, with its endless multitude of stimuli of which a small percentage is "picked up" by your senses and relayed as neuronal processes. Some of this results in "perception", some of which "floats around" just outside that sphere which we shall call "awareness". In this context, let's more accurately call it "the objects of attention".

Have you ever sat around and willed your attention consciously? Normally, you go about your business with your numerous tasks guiding your behavior. Also, certain events draw your eyes and ears to them, and so your attention shifts in that direction. By "willing" your attention, I mean to say that one consciously decides to direct your attention on some random thing for a bit, just for the sake of an exercise in re-directing that attention. For example, let's say you are at a mall. Naturally, you look at shiny products or look around to people watch. If instead, you choose to direct your attention to the floor to notice some shoe skid mark, or a stain on the ground. Next, you focus on your hearing, and "suddenly" hear that constant loud humming of the mall's central air conditioning system. Perhaps you skirt your nose away from that obvious sweet bakery smell, and focus on a distant stink instead.

All those are examples of directing your attention. The world persists with its multitude of stimuli, and your brain has been carrying out all its neuronal processes all along. You simply have spent a bit redirecting what gets to go into that sphere of "awareness". You choose the "objects of attention"...

Okay, end of primer.

In lucid dreaming, your goal is to re-direct your attention on your command, as you will it. In normal dreaming, those neuronal processes are going about their business, and your brain does its nightly housekeeping. I like to think that that sphere that is normally small and tight during the waking day is much looser and wider in the sleeping brain. Passing processes that aren't too important are simply experienced, but never make it to long term memory. By contrast, more vivid dreaming does leave more memory marks.

Of course, it helps immensely if you are aware when you are in a lucid state. Have you ever had a lucid dream? Do you recall it? If you never have, then it is more difficult to achieve as you don't have a reference point. But if you do have one, and you're in the dream at the moment, then that is the ideal time to capitalize on your attention skills. If you don't fix your attention at that moment, the lucidity often quickly fades away back to normal dreaming.

But once in the lucid state, hold on to it. Don't hold too tightly, just flow with it but guide it. Let it feed itself. Focus on the fact that you're focusing. Take a mental note that, "hey, I'm aware that I'm dreaming, and I'm aware that I'm aware of being aware!" Feed that recursive attention. Don't try to do anything fancy yet (like flying or making things appear/disappear or morph into something else). Putting too much stock on expectations can lead to disappointment, which can lead to surrender, which will often end the lucid state.

Also, get excited and emotionally involved enough so that you can make an impression on the memory centers. As with all skills, it takes repetition and goal-oriented correction to improve.

For whatever reason, a common phenomenon in lucid dreaming is waking up inside your dream. You'll be experiencing some event, realize you're dreaming (you're lucid at this point), and then wake up. More often than not, you've simply exited the lucid state, because you don't wake in the real world. But sometimes, you wake up into another lucid state. At first you may think you're in the waking world, but then as you re-direct your attention and change things, you realize this magic you possess doesn't happen in the real world, and so you realize again you're still dreaming.

Sometimes you can wake up recursively, and kind of get stuck inside the dream world, when you really want to wake up. Don't panic, even though it is most unsettling not having that control and feeling like you're trapped. One way to exit the loop is to deny your awareness of the lucid state, and therefore "fall asleep", which is another way of saying you've dissipated that sphere of awareness.

I hope these tips help out. For me, I've found a practical use of this skill set. If I start to have an unpleasant dream, or even a nightmare, I found I can very quickly recursively wake up all the way to the waking world. That demon or impending disaster in the dream doesn't get the chance to wreak its havoc, because you're awake in the instant you start to feel the clear and present danger.
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Re: The Principles of the Language of Belief

Postby psionic11 on November 23rd, 2013, 12:17 pm 

One final thought:

I believe that several metaphysical schools that have a certain experiential element to them, are variations of this process of redirecting attention. Paired with our imagination's ability to create simulations and abstractions of "the real physical world", attention and mental creation combine to fabricate a seemingly surreal and self-contained "reality".

Which metaphysical schools?

lucid dreaming
astral projection
out of body experiences
tuning into your "higher self"
recalling your "past lives"

I prefer to use the skill set productively instead. And I believe that some of the accepted mainstream techniques are also variations of "attention + mental creation":

Anthony Robbins-type self-affirmations
self-hypnosis
athletes rehearsing in their heads
visualization techniques

Heck, even improvisation and composing music fall under this. Indeed, almost all creative endeavors do. Those creative endeavors comprise a large chunk of our daily activities. Some are more automatic and rehearsed, while some are more "consciously" directed. Ha. How about that. That's a major and nifty realization that points North, after all. Thanks.
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Re: The Principles of the Language of Belief

Postby BadgerJelly on November 23rd, 2013, 12:38 pm 

I believe language shapes thought. Flood your mind with terms like chakras and karma, and you find yourself delving deep into the essence of reincarnation and transcendental purpose. I think there is an appeal to the many alternate belief systems, as they stir the imagination by inciting so many possibilities. But after awhile the high wears off, and the novelty fades away. Further analysis leads to contradiction and null pointers. In the end, if left with huge gaping holes in your conceptual understanding of reality, cause/effect, and meaning, there comes a time to shine the dissipating light of objectivity on these ever so cloudy metaphysical mists.


Are you trying to tell me something? You are preaching to someone who didn't ever need converting mate.

Mircea Eliade is a renowned scholar. The book is not some spiritual manual it is an investigation into an aspect of human nature that is present globally.

I believe language shapes thought


Well of course it does. My point here is to delve past "spoken/written" language and explore base imagery and the semantic connections that influence emotive contents. Neuroscience has many pointers for this.

"Religiosity"/"hypnotizablity" is a trait of humans. I think this is a reasonable line to pursue in trying to distinguish between conscious and unconscious neural processes and how they communicate (this is what I am saying as "language"). I do not think it is appropriate to call it anything other than a language when there is conscious content involved. I am not suggesting it is a language of word concepts, but it is nevertheless, a language involving consciously perceptible concepts (emotions seems to be a route to take).

I use belief in the common usage of the word. It is not something that is taken as a given, more of a "guess". If you want you could look at what I am saying as being a communication of guesswork between conscious and unconscious contents, this is because our unconscious contents are blind to our conscious contents (by definition!). I am pointing towards address the problem of first person perspective in regards to consciousness.

I am not sure if you've read the paper by Varela I cited? Reading that should help you understand my pursuit here for this thread (It has absolutely everything to do without Human Behavior and especially neuroscience, regarding consciousness).

There is an indisputable interaction between conscious and unconscious neural contents. Many think it is impossible to bridge this gap. Maybe it is. There is no reason to think that this gap cannot be narrowed though.

I am not talking about spiritual "mumbo jumbo" I am talking about address our innate human nature and exploring what is going on from a scientific perspective. I never approach any subject from one direction, I think it is utterly stupid to do so.

Jung is not irrelevant today. He certainly took a bashing because a whole group of new age hippies decided to hijack his theories and attach their own thing to it. Jung did great work in addressing the problems of subjective experiences and collecting data to attempt to explain phenomena of the psyche. I by no means agree with everything Jung has to say. I respect his work for what it is and do not jump to rash conclusions about the meanings behind his words. I take everything I read as a given fact of reality and then dismiss it as quickly as I can ... from what I have been reading lately I think what I do is actually called phenomenological reduction (something I personally referred to over a year ago, in very loose terms, as "conceptual evolution"). I need to read more on Husserl to find out if it is the technique I use for reasoning or not.

Anyway I'll leave it there for now. Need to sleep. I am curious about neurological studies that have anything to say on this matter and any ideas or methods that have been suggested for approaching this common problem of subjective experience.
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Re: The Principles of the Language of Belief

Postby BadgerJelly on November 23rd, 2013, 12:46 pm 

I prefer to use the skill set productively instead. And I believe that some of the accepted mainstream techniques are also variations of "attention + mental creation":

Anthony Robbins-type self-affirmations
self-hypnosis
athletes rehearsing in their heads
visualization techniques


Jung's active imagination is another. It is directed for psychiatric use but there is no reason you cannot use it in other ways. It is the active meditation on mental images that rise from the unconscious and that you can impose the conscious will upon. Psychiatrically I believe it is used to help people deal with night traumas. Practical psychiatry is not a huge interest to me.
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Re: The Principles of the Language of Belief

Postby owleye on November 23rd, 2013, 1:14 pm 

BadgerJelly wrote:Well of course it does. My point here is to delve past "spoken/written" language and explore base imagery and the semantic connections that influence emotive contents. Neuroscience has many pointers for this.


Interesting that you do this by making use of long posts, all of which make use of language. Why not explore the topic by actually "explor[ing] base imagery and the semantic connections that influence emotive contents?" You seem to think neuroscience can allow you do to that. So, why spend your time here, when neuroscience awaits you?

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Re: The Principles of the Language of Belief

Postby Gregorygregg1 on November 23rd, 2013, 1:23 pm 

psionic11 wrote: Perhaps it is to be expected that lifelong seekers of truth pass by yesteryear's Hallowed Halls of The Metaphysical.

Only now, it is more like the Hollowed Halls.

Perhaps it is also a natural stage in reasoning and exploration when visiting and analyzing fundamental concepts like belief, perception, thought, meaning, and reality. After all, this is what the tradition of philosophers have followed for scores of centuries.

To put it into plain words: given any particular metaphysical arena, once you recognize which speculative endeavors point north and which lead astray, you'll see how wonderfully explanatory science is, and how it owes much of its early spirit to the legacy of metaphysics. Then you discover that science is not only the North Star, but that the other metaphysical stars were fanciful tales to keep you entertained in your journey northward. But [(the body of knowledge) + (the acknowledged as-yet-unanswered domains)] that comprise science turns out to be the destination after all. All is clear. .

Of course, if you currently prefer entertainment over enlightenment, then by all means disregard this post for the present. Stow it away, and hopefully one day after your many journeys of exploration, you'll eventually see the Northern Lights and recognize when you've arrived.



These are indeed plain words. What do you say to someone who has a grip on at least Biological science and yet sees metaphysics as about the only way to get at the nature and meaning of consciousness? As far as I can see, Science can only provide information about mechanics, it has not pinned down the energy that makes it work, nor what it is for.

When it comes to consciousness, Science is a curious visitor at a sale of ancient implements. It sees something that must have been made for a purpose but hasn't a clue what the purpose is, nor what power drives it. What you say is true. Metaphysics has wandered into a lot of blind alleys, but it has also looked into streets lined with vast treasures. Buddhist philosophy is one of these streets. It is a street who's existence is verified by science, but only when viewed from the perspective of the metaphysician.

You are probably correct, Badger's thread may be more at home in metaphysics.
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Re: The Principles of the Language of Belief

Postby BadgerJelly on November 24th, 2013, 3:07 pm 

Looks like I am going to have to pick what I can out of these replies and direct this towards an actually discussion.

James -

In reference to me "delving beyond written/spoken language".

Interesting that you do this by making use of long posts, all of which make use of language.


This is the problem that I am trying to reduce. To describe written/spoken language with language is the same as trying to explain consciousness with consciousness. I am suggesting methods that alter the symbols of language and the states of consciousness, respectively.

Have you read the paper written by Varela? I think it would be up your street if you want to understand what I am trying to discuss here.

As for language you should find this interesting, if you haven't come across it already? It relates well to the thread "What came first"

http://neuroanthropology.net/2010/07/21/life-without-language/

Psionic -

Thanks for the advice. I guess if I want to delve into practicing lucid dreaming I'll have to start recalling my dreams every night again. It has been sometime since I last seriously put effort into recalling my dreams every night.

Anyway to the more objective based sciences. I little something on synesthesia:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1088697/pdf/PB010979.pdf

I think this is relevant in helping me/us distinguish between what, if anything, is similar mneumonic devices in relation to neural networks for synesthesia. As I can see from what you've said you are aware of that emotional contents help instill memories. I have briefly read somewhere (Just really starting out on the memory aspect of neurology) that not all memories are related to emotional contents. I find this a little suspect but guess I need to read on and confirm this or not relating to the current data.

GG -

Metaphysics? I have stopped caring where this is posted. Put it in religion, science, philosophy, the lounge or the loony bin.

Are there metaphysical aspects here? Yes, certainly. I do not think I possess the ability to write anything in that area that would sound like convoluted trash, and it would certainly possess a multitude of errors due to my limited knowledge of philosophical concepts and general presentation. Not to mention I that in order to be as precise as I'd want to be I would no doubt find myself writing an essay for every word I put down! :P

Seriously, I will attempt something in that area properly. It was never my intent to write anything philosophical but I guess I'll have to try something to test myself and to better express myself for other purposes. I am more interested in reading philosophy than writing it at the moment.

The Sophists, some of them at least, seem to be a good area for this thread. Just a shame so little of their writings has survived. A lot of what has can be looked upon as propaganda for those that came after. The exploration of language is why I mention them here btw.
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