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How is body and mind one?

User Thread
 85yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that coberst is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
How is body and mind one?
How is body and mind one?

'It is our organic flesh and blood, our structural bones, the ancient rhythms of our internal organs, and the pulsating flow of our emotions that give us whatever meaning we can find and that shape our very thinking.'

Our Western philosophical culture and our Christian religion deny this very obvious fact. We try desperately to think of our selves as gods with minds that float above our body with its nasty old anus.

Descartes, one of the first philosophers that the young philosophy student learns about, informs us that 'my essence consists solely in the fact that I am a thinking being...I have a clear and distinct idea of myself, in so far as I am simply a thinking, non-extended thing; and on the other hand I have a distinct idea of body, in so far as this is simply an extended, non-thinking thing.'

Our Christian culture, our Western philosophical tradition, and our naļve common sense perceptions all seem to work in concert to instill this erroneous mind/body dichotomy upon our comprehension of reality. All of these factors lead us to place a positive evaluation upon freeing our self from our body. When we die and our mind/soul/spirit goes to heaven our body decays into dust where it came from. And we are forever free of its unpleasant burden.

SGCS (Second Generation Cognitive Science) challenges this traditional and common sense inherited duality of mind/body. This new paradigm for cognitive science targets the disembodied view of meaning that results from our objectivist philosophy.

Traditionally, meaning is associated with words and sentences. Meaning in this traditional sense is about propositions and words, but SGCS considers this a very limited view of meaning; this disembodied view is far too narrow. 'Meaning traffics in patterns, images, qualities, feelings, and eventually concepts and propositions.'

Objectivist philosophy recognizes two fundamentally different kinds of meaning: descriptive and emotive meaning. This is an illusory demarcation that led certain philosophers of language to retain focus upon the conceptual/propositional as the only meaning that mattered and that emotive meaning had no meaning in rigorous testable modes of knowing.

This dream of 'freeing oneself from the body' reinforces the erroneous idea that is buried deeply within our psyche by our Western Christian philosophical inheritance the dangerous idea that a person's 'true' self is not of this world but abides in some transcendent kingdom. These kinds of ideas lead us into ignoring our situation on this planet because it is of small consequence when we spend eternity in some heavenly bliss. Such thoughts make it possible for people to strap bombs upon their person and go strolling in the mall on the way to heaven.

SGCS argues 'for the central role of emotion in how we make sense of our world. There is no cognition without emotion, even though we are often unaware of the emotional aspects of our thinking.'

Quotes from The Meaning of the Body by Mark Johnson

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 37yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that pupa ria is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
i don't think that body and mind are one at all times. They are so in revelatory inspirational moments.
this sums it up: "The writer's joy is the thought that can become emotion, the emotion that can wholly become a thought." Thomas Mann. And this isn't the own of only writing.

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"I'm the mirror that will make you invisible"
 85yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that coberst is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
First, there is emotion, then comes feeling, then comes consciousness of feeling.

What are the emotions? The primary emotions are happiness, sadness, fear, anger, surprise and disgust. The secondary or social emotions are such things as pride, jealousy, embarrassment, and guilt. Damasio considers the background emotions are well-being or malaise, and calm or tension. The label of emotion has also been attached to drives and motivations and to states of pain and pleasure.

Antonio Damasio, Distinguished Professor and Head of the Department of Neurology at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, testifies in his book 'The Feelings of What Happens' that the biological process of feelings begins with a 'state of emotion', which can be triggered unconsciously and is followed by 'a state of feeling', which can be presented nonconsciously; this nonconscious state can then become 'a state of feeling made conscious'.

'Emotions are about the life of an organism, its body to be precise, and their role is to assist the organism in maintaining life...emotions are biologically determined processes, depending upon innately set brain devices, laid down by long evolutionary history...The devices that produce emotions...are part of a set of structures that both regulate and represent body states...All devices can be engaged automatically, without conscious deliberation...The variety of the emotional responses is responsible for profound changes in both the body landscape and the brain landscape. The collection of these changes constitutes the substrate for the neural patterns which eventually become feelings of emotion.'

The biological function of emotions is to produce an automatic action in certain situations and to regulate the internal processes so that the creature is able to support the action dictated by the situation. The biological purpose of emotions are clear, they are not a luxury but a necessity for survival.

'Emotions are inseparable from the idea of reward and punishment, pleasure or pain, of approach or withdrawal, of personal advantage or disadvantage. Inevitably, emotions are inseparable from the idea of good and evil.'

Emotions result from stimulation of the senses from outside the body sources and also from stimulations from remembered situations. Evolution has provided us with emotional responses from certain types of inducers put these innate responses are often modified by our culture.

'It is through feelings, which are inwardly directed and private, that emotions, which are outwardly directed and public, begin their impact on the mind; but the full and lasting impact of feelings requires consciousness, because only along with the advent of a sense of self do feelings become known to the individual having them.'

First, there is emotion, then comes feeling, then comes consciousness of feeling. There is no evidence that we are conscious of all our feelings, in fact evidence indicates that we are not conscious of all feelings.

Human emotion and feeling pivot on consciousness; this fact has not been generally recognized prior to Damasio's research. Emotion has probably evolved long before consciousness and surfaces in many of us when caused by inducers we often do not recognize consciously.

The powerful contrast between emotion and feeling is used by the author in his search for a comprehension of consciousness. It is a neurological fact, states the author, that when consciousness is suspended then emotion is likewise usually suspended. This observed human characteristic led Damasio to suspect that even though emotion and consciousness are different phenomenon that there must be an important connection between the two.

Damasio proposes 'that the term feeling should be reserve for the private, mental experience of an emotion, while the term emotion should be used to designate the collection of responses, many of which are publicly observable.' This means that while we can observe our own private feelings we cannot observe these same feelings in others.

Empirical evidence indicates that we need not be conscious of emotional inducers nor can we control emotions willfully. We can, however, control the entertainment of an emotional inducer even though we cannot control the emotion induced.

I was raised as a Catholic and taught by the nuns that 'impure thoughts' were a sin only if we 'entertained' bad thoughts after an inducer caused an emotion that we felt, i.e. God would not punish us for the first impure thought but He would punish us for dwelling upon the impure thought. If that is not sufficient verification of the theory derived from Damasio's empirical evidence, what is?

In a typical emotion, parts of the brain sends forth messages to other parts of the body, some of these messages travel via the blood stream and some via the body's nerve system. These neural and chemical messages results in a global change in the organism. The brain itself is just as radically changed. But, before the brain becomes conscious of this matter, before the emotion becomes known, two additional steps must occur. The first is feeling, i.e. an imaging of the bodily changes, followed by a 'core consciousness' to the entire set of phenomena. 'Knowing an emotion-feeling a feeling-only occurs at this point.'

Quotes from 'The Feelings of What Happens' by Antonio Damasio


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 42yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that wizardslogic is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Duality is illusion. Due to limitations of our experience of Time, and, subsequently, our perception of Space, we experience only one minute cross-section of reality at any given moment, one slit, and, therefore, never see the "whole" human being that exists simultaneously in the past, present, and future. This "transcendent existence" is what people regard as the soul or, rather, mind. The physical body, then, is merely one small piece, the only piece visible to us at any given moment, of the whole "body" that is essentially "mind." Duality is illusion.

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"Each conscious mind is alone in the universe!"
How is body and mind one?
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