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I, a construct of the mind?

Aerl

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Is "I" a construct of the mind? Surely we are not born already with it but generate
and cultivate it over a few years. So basically, a body can survive without it ever
forming, but it will lack capacity to indulge in intellectual debate, thought and use logic, philosophy to further it's ends.

The questions I have: Is "I" the driver, or a tool we use to create intellectual
property? Is it a mistake to believe that "I" is in control of life?
 

Cognisant

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Like every other organ the brain exists to serve the body and the concept of self is an emergent property of our capacity for abstraction, I think almost every animal has some basic equivilant but we're fairly unique in our degree of concern about our identities and psychological natures.

I also think we're only in control insofar as we consciously choose to be and since that choice requires I think the average person is in far less control of themselves than they may think, indeed even as I consider myself aware I don't really act upon that awareness unless I percieved some part of my behavioural psyche that requires changing.
 

Aerl

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Like every other organ the brain exists to serve the body and the concept of self is an emergent property of our capacity for abstraction, I think almost every animal has some basic equivilant but we're fairly unique in our degree of concern about our identities and psychological natures.

I also think we're only in control insofar as we consciously choose to be and since that choice requires I think the average person is in far less control of themselves than they may think, indeed even as I consider myself aware I don't really act upon that awareness unless I percieved some part of my behavioural psyche that requires changing.
Am I correct to assume that we're in so said control as long as we're aware
that we're making choices of our own accord. And the moment we stop making
choices based on thought, we leave our instincts to play the boring part - leave
it on autopilot?

Correct me if I'm wrong.
 

Cognisant

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Pretty much yeah.

Consciousness is a regulatory feedback loop, we're the error checking department and even that role can become "automated" to some degree, for example putting on a belt is a pretty dexterous procedure but it requires no effort because you've done it countless times before and your hands already know what feels right without you telling them.

Y'know animals a like machines, especially very simple ones like insects, and animals with more behavioural complexity have more sophisticated brains and of all the animals we probably have the most sophisticated brains but it's all still the same in principle. We're search engines for optimal behaviour and our abstract meta-behavioural thinking enables us to adapt and learn faster by making ourselves part of the equation, y'know if you're a hunter why chase the herd when you can fence it in?
 

Aerl

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If I am correct, am I to assume then: the only way the brain can evolve further, is
to indulge in as much as possible intellectual work untill breaking point, in hope to
reach out further.

Perhaps it is just me, but I feel like we are all at the front of evolution and it is the individuals
who drive us further in development of different areas, everyone makes a diference.
 

nanook

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Why narrow down cognitive effort to intellectual work?

And how to accuse the ego of being in control of effort? Which seems implied by 'indulging in work'. I don't know about you, but for me it's more organic, sometimes i have inspiration, energy and a subject at hand, other times my mind can't help but idle around in habitual routines. And if i am not in control of this factor, then my development is out of control, like puberty. I try to be thankful for what little development i have and i think an attitude of being accepting of what is (thankful) promotes cognitive creativity, but i know this isn't black and white, sometimes your mind just goes calm, when you are too happy, other times the mind just goes in circles, because you are too unhappy. There may be a middle zone. Perhaps the best we can do, to foster development is to create life circumstances, that allow you to be in that neurological zone of being stimulated without being overwhelmed. And those conditions look different for everyone.

to expand on the gratefulness argument. extroverts are afraid of making mistakes, which prevents them from reflecting in introverted manner. even introverts are often bullied into measuring their introverted sentiments against extroverted standards. for me, being grateful about my development means being self accepting in the sense that i have the guts to transport my subjective sentiments to the surface of my consciousness, even to public expression, at times, but mostly just online. and this way i build up momentum and eventually i grow, even if all of my output is a bit like a badly drawn caricature of something really great. The output doesn't matter to me, my process matters more.

of course extroverts have their own ballpark of development, they are all about adaption, which is something that i have neglected fully, while optimizing my conditions for introverted development.

I agree, evolution is everything, that biology does right now, even if it's just more experiments with advancing the blood line of the trolls. There may be elves around already, but the trolls still have to evolve on their own, because they are not to become copies of elves, they are to become evolved orks. If it makes a difference is a very abstract question.
 

Aerl

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Just to clarify:

I'm not boiling it down to intellectual work, I'm just implying it may requires some
cognitive effort. Also, what I mean by "I" is "errecting a thought loop to aid in getting
from point A to point B, in a more profound way".
 

Yellow

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I am probably not understanding your question, but I'll babble on the topic anyway.

I think "I" is a convenience more than an integral part of being human.

We are aware of ourselves as a distinct entity, as an object that can do things and can experience what has been done. We can't not. But we use the word "I/me" as a shortcut in expressing our identity as a subject/object. It's just a tool to quickly convey they concept.

I suppose this would be why many cultures exist with varying usage of "I/me". For example, I've been told by a few people that in Vietnamese those words aren't generally used unless speaking formally or with foreigners. You don't refer to yourself as "I/me" in conversation. You identify yourself by your relationship with the person you are speaking to.

So to me, the words seem more like a vehicle to explain the complex concept of our distinctness and our relationship with things and people. I think calling myself "I" is more efficient than calling myself "your internet acquaintance". So, I use "I". Also, because I have been raised in an individualist culture, I think in terms of "I/me".
 

Aerl

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Appreciate your input.
Perhaps it's just a more abstract sense of I. Not trying to connect
body to mind when we skip I. For example: This body needs water.
Instead of: I want water.

So to me, the words seem more like a vehicle to explain the complex
concept of our distinctness and our relationship with things and people.
I completely agree, each language has something to offer I must add, when
your thoughts are made of words, each language has a seperate, distinct
understanding of an item of interest.
 

J-man

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There is no such thing as control. Or God is in control of everything. If you haven't seen the relevance of those two statements, you haven't been rigorous enough.

Consciousness is a regulatory feedback loop, we're the error checking department and even that role can become "automated" to some degree, for example putting on a belt is a pretty dexterous procedure but it requires no effort because you've done it countless times before and your hands already know what feels right without you telling them.

Y'know animals a like machines, especially very simple ones like insects, and animals with more behavioural complexity have more sophisticated brains and of all the animals we probably have the most sophisticated brains but it's all still the same in principle. We're search engines for optimal behaviour and our abstract meta-behavioural thinking enables us to adapt and learn faster by making ourselves part of the equation, y'know if you're a hunter why chase the herd when you can fence it in?
You're implying that when there's no processing there is no consciousness, that in the space between check-ins you do not exist.

Do you define consciousness such that it exists in every "regulatory feedback loop"? If so, consciousness doesn't say anything about who or what we ARE. Then we can exist or be present without having consciousness. But I think most people aren't comfortable with that definition.

Perhaps it's just a more abstract sense of I. Not trying to connect
body to mind when we skip I. For example: This body needs water.
Instead of: I want water.
There was an "enlightened being" called J. Krishnamurti who spoke like that.
 

Aerl

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There is no such thing as control. Or God is in control of everything. If you haven't seen the relevance of those two statements, you haven't been rigorous enough.
I doubt as well that we will find the man who is in that position, making
everyone do what he desires.

The issue I'm consirned with is: Is consciousness, "the I", is just a more sophisticated tool of responses of modern times, unlike feelings in prehistory.
The questions I have: Is "I" the driver, or a tool we use to create intellectual property? Is it a mistake to believe that "I" is in control of
life?
We're not searching answers for big questions, not someone who's behind I, aka God, etc. Just here, current time, current space.


There was an "enlightened being" called J. Krishnamurti who spoke like that.
Think I listened to his talks a while back.
 

paradoxparadigm7

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In another thread ( don't know how to link a past thread), the question had to do with the concept of 'self': Infants, within the womb are one with their mother connected by the umbilical cord and inextricably dependent. The differentiation process starts as infants outside the womb with our body cues. The sense of where you physically end and other things begin. It comes from your brain's ability to distinguish self-generated movement versus motion and sensation induced by outside sources. Your mental self is anchored in your physical being and a reference point. Higher order consciousness are consciousness of being conscious (self-awareness) and mind-mapping other self aware beings. Our brain, our sense of self are fundamentally social entities. The self is not static but is in process, both stable and changeable. As we grow and experience our separateness we start to define a sense of self reflected by how we are treated by those who are in close relationship. A reflected sense of self is the most primitive way we define ourselves that sets the stage for a lifetime of self discovery hopefully moving beyond the primitive reflection to a more solid (coming from within us) “self”. So in essence, we have to have others to differentiate who is "me" and who is "not me".

Are we in control? You can't divorce "I" from "we" when it comes to social creatures. We are in control to the extent to which we are less susceptible to a reflected sense of self and have developed an internal stable but permeable sense of self.
 

Aerl

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In another thread ( don't know how to link a past thread), the question had to do with the concept of 'self': Infants, within the womb are one with their mother connected by the umbilical cord and inextricably dependent. The differentiation process starts as infants outside the womb with our body cues. The sense of where you physically end and other things begin. It comes from your brain's ability to distinguish self-generated movement versus motion and sensation induced by outside sources. Your mental self is anchored in your physical being and a reference point. Higher order consciousness are consciousness of being conscious (self-awareness) and mind-mapping other self aware beings. Our brain, our sense of self are fundamentally social entities. The self is not static but is in process, both stable and changeable. As we grow and experience our separateness we start to define a sense of self reflected by how we are treated by those who are in close relationship. A reflected sense of self is the most primitive way we define ourselves that sets the stage for a lifetime of self discovery hopefully moving beyond the primitive reflection to a more solid (coming from within us) “self”. So in essence, we have to have others to differentiate who is "me" and who is "not me".

Are we in control? You can't divorce "I" from "we" when it comes to social creatures. We are in control to the extent to which we are less susceptible to a reflected sense of self and have developed an internal stable but permeable sense of self.
Very interesting.

And sorry for being a necromancer.
 

Cherry Cola

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What is not a concept of the mind? The "I" just happens to be a popular item to deconstruct.
 

Tristitian

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This is mostly baseless and written on the brink of sleep. I could probably be of more help if I had studied the sensation and perception bit of psychology a bit more. Personally, I've never found that bit of the study to be very interesting. It's alot of mere memorization. Furthermore, most of the study I've done on cognition, etc. has not been directed at its origin. A few google searches bring little results.

I believe that the study of all things should begin with the study of its foundation. Humans are a form of life. The most basic form of life is that of a single cell organism.

The single cell organism is basically a bunch of "organic machines" coordinated by a control center. Humans are the same sort of thing on a much larger and grander scale.

I think part of the sensation of self is obtained through sense itself, mainly tactility. The boundaries of our body are proven to us by what we can feel. My jeans are not a part of my body because I cannot feel pain when I cut them, or crumple them up.

The sense of self is also brought about by the aforementioned control center. I know that this is "me" (not sure if using "me" in this sense helps my argument - it sets off some red flags. I assume that it's fine being that I'm explaining its origin) because I "control it", and/or it does what the body, as a system, needs it to do.

Then again, if we are a stickler for definitions, I have been explaining the origin of consciousness more than the origin of self. I see little distinction in this situation. Self-awareness starts with the unconscious mind (which, strangely, I am - for some reason - equating to the aforementioned consciousness) and spreads out into the conscious mind (again, strange reasons, etc. - the sense of self). And even on this scale, the conscious and the unconscious may be an unfair distinction. It was Freud who first (successfully) posed the idea of an unconscious, subconscious, and conscious mind, and his ideas on the subject have little substantial change since his prominence (even though I am quite a fan of Freud's theories, besides dream theory and the stages of psychosexual development).

I can elaborate more on this point (or rather, go on a large, pointless digression) if you want me to. I like talking about it, but I feel as though I am wasting time I'd rather be spending sleeping. I'd appreciate it if you asked me for clarification or pointed me in a specific direction if you want any more of my half-asleep ideas.
 

wadlez

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"In another thread ( don't know how to link a past thread), the question had to do with the concept of 'self': Infants, within the womb are one with their mother connected by the umbilical cord and inextricably dependent. The differentiation process starts as infants outside the womb with our body cues. The sense of where you physically end and other things begin. It comes from your brain's ability to distinguish self-generated movement versus motion and sensation induced by outside sources. Your mental self is anchored in your physical being and a reference point. Higher order consciousness are consciousness of being conscious (self-awareness) and mind-mapping other self aware beings. Our brain, our sense of self are fundamentally social entities. The self is not static but is in process, both stable and changeable. As we grow and experience our separateness we start to define a sense of self reflected by how we are treated by those who are in close relationship. A reflected sense of self is the most primitive way we define ourselves that sets the stage for a lifetime of self discovery hopefully moving beyond the primitive reflection to a more solid (coming from within us) “self”. So in essence, we have to have others to differentiate who is "me" and who is "not me".

Are we in control? You can't divorce "I" from "we" when it comes to social creatures. We are in control to the extent to which we are less susceptible to a reflected sense of self and have developed an internal stable but permeable sense of self."

The etiological explanation of the ego being developed from a new born leaving the womb, and for the first time having to distinguish its self from its surrounding environment, was founded in psychoanalytic theory. Although its very interesting, by this reasoning all animals and creatures should also develop equivalent ego's in the same manner, and does not take into account the developmental stages of the human brain.

I do however completely agree with the social model of self. Humans have evolved as social animals in which survival was dependent on their ability to live in groups. As such they had to develop great social capacity, the most important being our sense of emotions, which are socially derived (Eg feeling guilt when you do something bad to another person). A social basis of emotion is best demonstrated in the difference between cats and dogs.
Social psychology models our understanding of our selves as the key predictor of our behaviour, with the self being mostly defined by group affiliations and societal roles.

With this in mind, it is important to distinguish the human ego as an social adaptive strategy, rather than something inherent in all living things. It is a illusion of the mind to give us a consistent narrative for our experiences, a society based orientation to the world, and responsibility for our actions as one living in a group.
 
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