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The Character of the Body

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posted on Aug, 30 2014 @ 11:35 AM
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The Character of the body



1.

Look at a loved one, but with a little honesty this time. Though your gaze can only bounce off her surface, the rest of the senses can help to realize the entirety—the warmth of a hug, the weight of the head as it leans on your shoulder, the movement of the pulse, the scent of a sweet breath, the sound of an ever-beating heart. Notice her grace and power as her form rises and pushes back against gravity. See the muscles tense beneath the skin, as she stands tall and statuesque on a scaffolding and frame of mere bone. In regards to that loved one, all that you need, all that you’ve known, and all that you’ve ever loved, is present and accounted for.

And then remember your self, your life, your relationships; remember all the strange and awkward feelings, the pains, the pleasures, the illnesses, the health, the growth. Remember changing as you age. Remember your first and last time trying something new. Remember when you played, danced, and fought. Remember being bored when you should have been attentive. Remember approaching famine one time, and feasting in another. Remember all you have faced. You have made it, sometimes dragging yourself across the ground. Never hide your scars. In regards to your self, your life and your relationships, all that you need, all that you’ve known, and all that you’ve ever loved, is present and accounted for.

But that’s not good enough is it? None of what is present and accounted for gives us anything more than itself. None of this gives us the answer to Why. None of this leads to God, the afterlife, and divinity. None of this can satiate the insatiable.

2.

If human history was a book, we would find on the cover beneath a grandiose title the subtle and nondescript text “based a true story”. We the people, of course, would be its authors. Besides being populated by a host of well-known truisms, platitudes, maxims and the popular metaphysics and spirituality of the time, the book would undoubtedly be overflowing with metaphor, half-truths and cloudy obfuscation, where we were most ignorant.

The strangest character in this fable—the most cloudy, half-truthed, and infested with metaphor—and thus what we are most ignorant about (besides the setting we find ourselves in), would be the human body, which, throughout its entire character development, assumes a variety of forms, i.e. fallen angel, dumb matter, a ghost-piloted machine, a pile of atoms, a hairless ape, a featherless biped, a vehicle for souls, an antenna for consciousness, an effigy to mortify, an aggregate of parts, the source of all sin, folly and evil, and so on. In this sense, the character of the body in this story has so much character that it is impossible to discern one characteristic from the next, but there are nonetheless a garden-variety of attributes from which we can piecemeal together a preferred idea for our hopes and desires. Sadly, when these fictional characteristics do not correspond to anything in reality, it isn’t the fiction of the body we abandon, but the reality of it we lose faith in, and we opt to keep reading.

3.

We can observe the human body very easily. We can open it up to see its parts; we can analyze its functions; we can experiment with it. We can watch it be born, we can watch it age and we can watch it die. We can watch it be sick and watch it be healthy, and even better, it can speak and tell us how it is feeling. We can watch it perform relatively amazing feats of endurance, strength, love, compassion, violence, hatred, stupidity etc. But, for some reason this isn’t good enough.

It seems that in every branch of human lore and mythology—those being the institutions that put together this great fiction—the body as it reveals itself biologically is never a sufficient enough answer in regards to what a human being is. In fact, many think it is downright counter-intuitive to suppose that we are “just bodies”, that there must be more too it, and for some strange reason, it is somehow easier to suppose something non-physical leaves and enters the body on its own accord, despite how paradoxical and untenable such an idea is. It is in this vein, and with a curious absence of scientific method, Occam’s razor, logic and a whole host of philosophical tools, that we invent convenient fictions in order to placate our intuition, the faculty we seem to hold in higher regard than our sense and reason wherever knowledge is concerned, and fleeting hallucinations and ideological biases mistakenly take precedence to our heart of hearts. The same is with the opposite, when sense and rationality take precedence over intuition and emotion, and we can only rest our reason on our reason. The assertion of imaginary lines between faculties shows not any truth, but displays a being unwilling to operate at full functioning ability; and when he negates one aspect of himself in favour of another, in so doing, he can only ever negate the whole.

4.

I notice two extreme ideas being held about the body in philosophy: that being the idealistic urge to exaggerate it, and the materialistic urge to understate it. To the idealist, the body is like a homeless man in need of a makeover, and it is dressed up beyond all rational recognition so that it no longer offends us with the very sight of it. To the materialist, the body is reduced to a brain, or an aggregate of atoms as in an attempt to use the mathematical models of physics to explain biological phenomena, or perhaps the body is something akin to a machine, with so much disregarded as it is mentally eviscerated, pulverized and liquified to a mere substance.

Despite the differences, both these views surprisingly come to terms somewhere in the middle, or at least, somewhere in the head, as both postulate the concept of Mind as what is most important in our areas of interest in regards to the body. Why? Any guess will do in this instance, for there is no logical answer.

Whether the idea of mind has simply become a custom with its overuse, or whether the mind is the same idea of soul, anima, nous, and psych slightly refined, exaggerated with every epoch, and passed down through the ages, it has become an assumptive mainstay among our research and languages, without it ever once being empirically or logically validated as having any reality in the entire history of mankind. This assumption has led to many curious ideas such as “thoughts”, “consciousness”, “awareness”, “intention”, “perception” and “representation”, which have been un-bodily ideas postulated into places where there exists only body. This is no different than postulating that Thor is the cause of thunder, and our use of “mind” as an explanatory tool shows we are still in the infant stage of understanding the most complex of complexities—ourselves—and we resort to a sort of polytheism in regards to the nature of the body, endowing ourselves with numerous gods (perception, awareness, consciousness, intellect, emotion, intuition, ego, etc. etc. etc.) in order to explain one thing.

5.

The character of the body in our lore has been both protagonist and antagonist, a supporting character and a cameo with only a walk on role. What it does not mention is that it is the author.




posted on Aug, 30 2014 @ 12:19 PM
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a reply to: Aphorism

You have always been a very interesting read Aphorism, and this post is no exception. That was very good.

We can work on our bodies in whatever way we see fit, but it all comes down to this: It is going to go through the changes that a persons body from 4,000 years ago went through and there is nothing anyone can do to stop this process.

We can slow it down, prolong the life, with medical advancements, but those ultimately just prolong the inevitable.

We can keep it healthy, fit, looking good and feeling good, but that is simply an ego boost. There's nothing wrong with looking and feeling good, that's what I wanted and accomplished when I was younger, but understand that that is not where a person's priority should be later in life. In most cases it is though because working on the body is an easy job compared to the alternative: Working on the mind. It is also the job that will get you more compliments and dates because it is more easily recognized and identifiable than the alternative: Improving your mind. Which coincidentally is the one thing in charge of everything we do, think, see and feel.

When we're young the physical aspect is the most important to us. I know it was for me and I think I did a good job at being one of most fit people of those in my circle, age group and social class. My physical attributes may not be the same as 20 years ago (whose is?), but my stamina is definitely alive and well. When we get older gravity starts to have it's way with us. Things start to sag and go south. Literally. When this happens people either try to fight nature to make the unsightly things go away and spend a lot of time, money and other resources to do so, or they are strong enough to admit that they will never win that fight and concentrate on improving their minds.

Humans are a paradox, that's for sure. Speaking as an adult male who was in peak physical condition when I was younger and am now in peak intellectual condition, I can attest to one fact only and I don't pretend to know much more than this: There is nothing more relaxing, centering, and GOOD than the touch and feel of a good woman at the end of a long day in a world as confused and screwed up as the one we live in. They make everything good.
edit on 30-8-2014 by Taupin Desciple because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 30 2014 @ 04:43 PM
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The body is ultimately a construct of consciousness, comprised of ultimately the primordial consciousness. Thats who YOU are, the primordial consciousness who kind a created this game to experience itself through its own creation at infinite data points, simultaneously.



posted on Aug, 30 2014 @ 05:35 PM
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a reply to: Aphorism

All senses are made sense of in the brain. The act of the impulses being sent to the brain, registered by the brain, organized, and utilized, is then the act of the so called mind. If you chopped off your feet and hands, we would rightfully assumed your mind would still be able to speak and think as it does. I agree, the entire system, more or less, is necessary for the entire system to function. Where as, a body can still exist and function without its hands and feet, we rightfully doubt it can function without a heart, but we also rightfully doubt it can function without a mind, which is obviously evidenced if you have ever witnessed a sleeping person, or someone 'knocked unconscious'. I appreciate your sentiments and fervor, but am scared you are so convinced that 'those types of people' and their reasoning is so self evidently wrong, this means any sort of idea they clump too must also be absolutely wrong, is a dangerous one, for you, if you seek nothing more or less than the truth. Dont throw the baby out with the bath water, there obviously is something to this mind thing. You are selling your self short, it takes effort to think about why consciousness and its existence is so difficult to understand how it developed, what it is, how it works, and to artificially create. Information comes from outside of the body, quality and quantities of material, and its vibrations, interact with the body via different bodily apparatusi, taste, feel, smell, sight, sound and all these different detections of external information (yes we receive internal information too) are sent to the 'central intelligence agency', the brain. What cannot be explained, do not think I am speaking woo woo voodoo, this is a fact, to any seeker of truth, there is a 'thing', a mechanism, a process, that occurs constantly, that allows, 'you', the 'you' which is registering this information you are know reading, and cross checking it with your database of what these words mean, to 'visually' in the truest sense of the term, 'see' in the truest, and most mysterious sense of the term, information in side yourself. Do you understand, that that is the mystery of the mind. Do you deny that you see information that exists outside of yourself, within yourself? This is the mystery, how can that happen, how does that work. Do you deny that the you that sees the information inside of yourself, then utilizes that information, to make your way amongst the external reality? And move your body, and make decisions? Do you deny that humans as of know, scientifically, philosophically, understand how that 'you' that sees information in its head, does what it does? What it is? Do you deny that that is the source of your bodies action? That that you, has the freedom to sit in a corner and die? Or wake up and go to work, meaning the body itself, as though it may plead with pains, is not controlling itself completely? But there is a 'you' that controls it. And that you, is as much related to the body as a whole, as it is related, to this mechanism which steers the body, the mechanism which chooses for the body, the mechanism which sees the information outside and inside the body, the mechanism that feels the repercussions of those choices? Is this mechanism located in your heart? In your pinky? Or does it, scientifically, logically, rationally, obviously, have something to do with the nature of your head?



posted on Aug, 31 2014 @ 06:10 PM
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a reply to: ImaFungi


Yes the body can function without the feet. However, just like the body can no longer feel where there were once feet, it can no longer think there as well. The “mind” cannot develop new feet memories. It can no longer learn through where the feet once were. The mind cannot believe it still has feet, and will not believe that it can wear a shoe where the feet once were. This isn’t because the mind is no longer with feet. Only the body knows it is without feet.

How do you know the body cannot function without a mind? How can you rightfully doubt that a body cannot function without a mind? What evidence are you comparing this claim to? What empirical examples do we have of bodies no longer functioning once a mind leaves? There is no one in the history of the world whose body stopped functioning once the mind has gone. The idea that it is necessary for a body to have a mind in order to function is completely without merit, as there is nothing to support this claim. In other words, you can only wrongfully doubt that a body cannot function without a mind, as there is nothing at all that shows it is right.

It isn’t at all difficult to understand the nature of consciousness when it is considered that “consciousness”, “mind” and “body” are one and the same. There is no rational, empirical and logical way to assume anything besides the body, nor is it at all necessary. We know that manipulating the body manipulates consciousness. In other words, manipulating the body is only ever manipulating the body and how it functions. How something functions is entirely dependent on what it is that functions. That which functions in this case is not something called consciousness or mind, but the body, the only thing we can manipulate as such.

The only “thing”, mechanism, process that occurs constantly, that allows you to be you is your body. As for your woo woo voodoo idea that something other than the body senses, makes decisions, remembers and is aware, there is no empirical, rational nor logical reason to believe it, and I would have to ask you to provide some convincing information before appealing to authority or cultural dogma. Try to find me something other than the body that controls the body. What will you find? Only the body controls the body. There is no other mechanism or process capable of performing such a task.

When we look at the body in our binary fashion, we risk not seeing it as an entire process, an organism of infinite complexity. Everything learned, every memory, every expression and every thought is performed and expressed through this entire processes. Every concept and idea we express is embodied, being that every bodily process is happening concurrently and in tandem with thinking, and cognition and reason and consciousness occur only when the entire process of the body is operating.

Separating the body into various mechanisms for intellectual understanding and documentation is necessary, but happens only in abstraco. There is no separation otherwise possible without the whole collapsing. Though some of it can be lost, ie. losing limbs etc., the entire process of the body is able to continue. Though it is obvious some areas of the body feature more complex makeup and functions, and thus are easily disrupted, they are not one without the other.

Realize that anything inside of the body is also the body. None of these mechanisms or processes are possible without every other process working concurrently; and each system, ie. digestion, circulation, metabolism etc. – all of which rely on each other to function and operate – do not start nor end anywhere but at the surface of the skin, the boundary, where the body meets the rest of the universe.

Metabolism, circulation, digestion, the skeleton, tendons, muscles, skin etc. – all of it allows us the ability to learn and think and recollect, and the entire process of thinking is dependent on the far too complex relationship between body and rest of the universe, with no mind ever making an appearance or affecting this relationship.

A psychologist does not analyze anything called a mind, nor do they examine the brain when they wish to understand what someone is thinking. They only analyze the vocabulary of the body, what it speaks, its gestures, its movements.

Imagine a mind being born without a body. Though the idea is absurd, it might serve as a thought experiment. What would be the contents of that mind? What could it learn? What would its thoughts be? What would it imagine? What would it express? Absolutely nothing.

Ideas are embodied. They require a body to learn, form and express them. Only bodies think, and are thus the elements of thought and expression, and thus, the “mind”.

Unless of course you can find something else that thinks?

edit on 31-8-2014 by Aphorism because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 31 2014 @ 06:16 PM
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a reply to: Taupin Desciple




When we're young the physical aspect is the most important to us. I know it was for me and I think I did a good job at being one of most fit people of those in my circle, age group and social class. My physical attributes may not be the same as 20 years ago (whose is?), but my stamina is definitely alive and well. When we get older gravity starts to have it's way with us. Things start to sag and go south. Literally. When this happens people either try to fight nature to make the unsightly things go away and spend a lot of time, money and other resources to do so, or they are strong enough to admit that they will never win that fight and concentrate on improving their minds.



The old adage “use it or lose it” rings true. Or is it “once we stop moving, we start dying”? Either way, developing the mind is no different than developing any other physical attribute, as I think you rightly express. Thinking requires caloric intake. I can break into a sweat by strenuous thought. Perhaps its not such a great idea after-all, knowing that athletes sustain lifelong injuries in the muscles they abused most.



posted on Aug, 31 2014 @ 06:19 PM
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a reply to: HUMBLEONE



The body is ultimately a construct of consciousness, comprised of ultimately the primordial consciousness. Thats who YOU are, the primordial consciousness who kind a created this game to experience itself through its own creation at infinite data points, simultaneously.


According to what?

I mean it sounds cool and all, but so does the idea of 72 virgins.



posted on Aug, 31 2014 @ 06:28 PM
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Close your eyes and picture a cat. Now, tell me what's looking at the cat?

Sure, the mind generated the cat, but what's viewing it?



Ps. Great op, it's like a breath of fresh air reading such intelligence. Albeit intelligence I disagree with.
edit on 31-8-2014 by XxRagingxPandaxX because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 31 2014 @ 06:48 PM
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a reply to: XxRagingxPandaxX




Close your eyes and picture a cat. Now, tell me what's looking at the cat?

Sure, the mind generated the cat, but what's viewing it?


Viewing and seeing involve the eyes. They are embodied metaphors, another fine example of thinking in the vocabulary of the body, without which it wouldn't be possible to make such statements.

We don't actually see anything. I see the back of my eyelids. Nothing views it.

Thank you for the compliment.



posted on Aug, 31 2014 @ 06:57 PM
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a reply to: Aphorism
Nonsense. Yes, it is an embodied statement, we are embodied. However something is looking at the cat. Body generates mind and mind generates cat. But what is viewing the mentally generated cat? What is the observer?



posted on Aug, 31 2014 @ 08:01 PM
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originally posted by: Aphorism


Yes the body can function without the feet. However, just like the body can no longer feel where there were once feet, it can no longer think there as well. The “mind” cannot develop new feet memories. It can no longer learn through where the feet once were. The mind cannot believe it still has feet, and will not believe that it can wear a shoe where the feet once were. This isn’t because the mind is no longer with feet. Only the body knows it is without feet.


You are really stretching your self, and it is only hurting you (not in a score keeping argumentative manner, though that too, in a, if all you want to do is know truth, by fighting the essence of what my words have stated, you are doing your knowledge a disservice. I gave and conceded such examples.



How do you know the body cannot function without a mind? How can you rightfully doubt that a body cannot function without a mind? What evidence are you comparing this claim to? What empirical examples do we have of bodies no longer functioning once a mind leaves? There is no one in the history of the world whose body stopped functioning once the mind has gone. The idea that it is necessary for a body to have a mind in order to function is completely without merit, as there is nothing to support this claim. In other words, you can only wrongfully doubt that a body cannot function without a mind, as there is nothing at all that shows it is right.


Well evidence would be, watching a sleeping person, the rule of the sleeping person, not the exception to the rule, which would be a sleep walker. Observing a person in a coma. Observing a person who is brain dead. Observing a person with their head chopped off. The body functions without a mind, that is to say, the cells multiply and divide and live and die and carry out their assigned tasks, but without the mind to fetch the body food and water, these tasks the body can perform 'without the exact and detail oriented individual urging of each duty consciously by the you I am speaking to', in short time, will no longer be able to function.




It isn’t at all difficult to understand the nature of consciousness when it is considered that “consciousness”, “mind” and “body” are one and the same. There is no rational, empirical and logical way to assume anything besides the body, nor is it at all necessary. We know that manipulating the body manipulates consciousness. In other words, manipulating the body is only ever manipulating the body and how it functions. How something functions is entirely dependent on what it is that functions. That which functions in this case is not something called consciousness or mind, but the body, the only thing we can manipulate as such.


Yes, I would agree. I believe anything that ever occurs in any possible reality, will occur do to 'real' things existing and occurring. That said, in the most general sense, is the creedo of the materialist reductionist, which your argument is an ultimate form of, and I would agree, stated generally, that which exists must exist. Though also there may be pesky immaterial qualitative and quantitative 'activity' that is just as important as the stuff itself, I speak of the nature of 'movement', and the weirdness there of. An object exists, an object moves slower or faster, the faster an object moves the more of an effect it can have on another object, an object is a material thing, movement is not a material thing, movement is a quality, but you need a thing, in order for the concept of movement to mean anything or 'exist'.

So yes, if we want to be general we can say 'there is a body, look at what the body does', or 'there is a forrest, look at what the forrest does', or 'there is an apple, an apple is all an apple is', but these things do have objective distinctions. That is to say, you wouldnt call the fruit of an apple a seed, or suggest that it is the white fruit, or the red skin, of an apple which is a small black thing that you plant in the ground to grow another apple. Exact things exist which cause exact things to occur due to exactly what exists and exactly what has occurred.

Saying a body exists, is not sufficient enough to describe everything about a body. Saying, a body exists, says nothing of the nervous system, bones, blood, thousands of different types of cells, DNA, food relationship, a tongue, digestive system, the heart, tendons, muscles, and the brain. You generally are correct, by stating, 'a body is a body', but I am generally correct, by stating everything I have said in the post you are responding to, to summarize; there is an aspect, a detail, of the body, that is inherently different from other aspects and details of the body, and that is the system, which 'you' the listener and understander of these words, functions as. Yes, 'you are the body, the whole body and nothing but the body'. I dont know why this is so hard to explain to you... information of the outside world comes through the eyes, and it is not sent to the fingers, and the fingers then do not compute this information, and the fingers do not tell the feet to start walking towards a ball, because the fingers really want to hold the ball. I know this, because a person can chop off all their fingers, and still compute vast amounts of information about balls. The information goes into your eyes, and is registered in your brain. There is something about the inside of your brain, that allows something about the inside of your brain, to 'see', to experience, to visualize, to play with information, to recall stored memories, to invent things, to dream, to fantasy, to imagine, to create, to make sentences like these... there is something about the inside of your brain, where this activity is taking place. This activity is not taking place in the whole body, thought the a large amount of the body is needed, just as the computations of a computer exist in certain places, and there is a minimum amount of body, you can remove from a computer, before its ability to process information is ruined. Close your eyes, and gently, take 1 minute or so, to gently, really focus, and touch your eye lids while they are closed, and really focus on where you feel and sense the feeling from. I can 'feel' right behind my eyes, sensation. If I slowly move my fingers up to my temple and forehead I can feel them so immediately. Do you think the main part of your brain, do you admit you make decisions!? You open a refrigerator and choose what you may want to eat, there are lots of choices, and you compare them and such? Do you think the main aspect, of this process, is computed and located in your feet? That your eyes are a periscope for the main cpu in your feet? This is the last time I will argue with you, and please do not think this is a sign of me surrendering in defeat, though you may claim and parade as if it is, because this will go nowhere with you. I understand exactly what you are saying in every way. But I also understand exactly what I am saying, and from the highest position over looking both perspectives, what I am saying is more correct, and congruent with what exists in reality.



posted on Aug, 31 2014 @ 08:19 PM
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originally posted by: Aphorism


The only “thing”, mechanism, process that occurs constantly, that allows you to be you is your body. As for your woo woo voodoo idea that something other than the body senses, makes decisions, remembers and is aware, there is no empirical, rational nor logical reason to believe it, and I would have to ask you to provide some convincing information before appealing to authority or cultural dogma. Try to find me something other than the body that controls the body. What will you find? Only the body controls the body. There is no other mechanism or process capable of performing such a task.


Yes, in my other post I have already proved the falsity of your semantics game. There is no body, there is only the earth! All things are of the earth, actually there is no earth, there is on the universe, actually no, there is only a reality, all is one! The one thinks! the one is the body! There is only one ultimate body! And there is no part that thinks! It is just, the body thinks! Reality is a body that thinks! Do you see how you have dug yourself into the trap you hate others for claiming?

you are using a general word, to designate a highly complex and mysterious 'thing' or 'culmination of many things'. Body. Yes but there is a heart, which utilizes blood that does this and this, and it pumps and beats, "aha! not so fast, what is this heart you speak of? Surely, you dont mean to say, the heart, a part of the body, does this or that, that is nonsense and woo, I tell you! Surely, the body is what pumps the blood and beats". The mouth doesnt chew, the body chews, you dont exist, you dont make choices, there is no free will, because there is no will, there is only a body that is a force of nature, deterministically responding to the fate of its environment.

You see, you are arguing determinism vs. free will, is what you are really doing. You are saying, the 'you' I am speaking to, with my information, to see what 'you', when you resort to your compiled internal information, will 'inform' me about, you are saying there is no 'you' I am speaking too, that 'looks at information you have compiled', to then 'take this information I give you', so that you may use it with your compiled information, to then give me new information, that you think is truth... you are saying, that is not what occurs, you are saying, there is no 'me' or 'you', there are only 2 bodies, and there is 'no one' responsible for what the bodies are doing, 'no one is in control', of the body. The body is just doing what the body MUST do. Are you happy with your argument and reasoning?





Separating the body into various mechanisms for intellectual understanding and documentation is necessary, but happens only in abstraco. There is no separation otherwise possible without the whole collapsing. Though some of it can be lost, ie. losing limbs etc., the entire process of the body is able to continue. Though it is obvious some areas of the body feature more complex makeup and functions, and thus are easily disrupted, they are not one without the other.


Um, yes, ok... well you say there is no separation otherwise possible without the whole collapsing, and then admit this statement is immediately false. You cant just over look these finer points and details, they are literally, everything.




Realize that anything inside of the body is also the body. None of these mechanisms or processes are possible without every other process working concurrently; and each system, ie. digestion, circulation, metabolism etc. – all of which rely on each other to function and operate – do not start nor end anywhere but at the surface of the skin, the boundary, where the body meets the rest of the universe.

Metabolism, circulation, digestion, the skeleton, tendons, muscles, skin etc. – all of it allows us the ability to learn and think and recollect, and the entire process of thinking is dependent on the far too complex relationship between body and rest of the universe, with no mind ever making an appearance or affecting this relationship.


I would never have suggested otherwise. What I do suggest, is that without the mind, all of those things disappear, unless the family members of this mindless body are 'nice?' enough to hook it up to machines to keep it fed, in its 'vegetative state' (vegetables, no minds, probably not a coincidence).



A psychologist does not analyze anything called a mind, nor do they examine the brain when they wish to understand what someone is thinking. They only analyze the vocabulary of the body, what it speaks, its gestures, its movements.


No, I am sorry, we fundamentally disagree, and I know I am right, maybe someday you will understand why I am right and 'YOUR THINKING' is wrong
. Or sorry, your bodies thinking is wrong. Or sorry. The body that is you, is speaking wrong statements.




Imagine a mind being born without a body. Though the idea is absurd, it might serve as a thought experiment. What would be the contents of that mind? What could it learn? What would its thoughts be? What would it imagine? What would it express? Absolutely nothing.


I agree, that software depends on the existence of hardware, and software itself must in some sense be hard, just by nature, and essence, less 'solid and stable' by design and need and function, then the infrastructure of hardware, body. Look at Stephen Hawking for example. He can do very little with his body, but because he has the mechanism, to retrieve information from the external world, and store it in memory, and then use a program called the mind, which allows a cursor to access memories and information, and play with it in a photoshop like realm called imagination, he can put dots and lines and symbols together to create sense, that can then be verified against the external reality. We have a mechanism in our head, that lets us model the external reality on a much smaller scale. This is how you have maps of your neighborhood in your head. You have images of friends and family. These are symbolic, maybe digital of sorts, constructs. Somehow, you 'see' these. Somehow you interact with these and can control these. You can imagine a dog walking, and then shaking its tail, and then jumping into a car, then the car turns into a dragon, and flies to the moon, and the moon turns to a whale, and flys to the earth, and elvis is hanging out with obama and they are square dancing on the white house and empire state building and corvette and baseball... You cannot deny there exists a mechanism, in the body, or of the body, that is responsible for this particular activity to take place. Yes, the whole body is a system, needed, a preliminary foundation, needed to cultivate such a more subtle system and potential, but there is a more specific mechanism and area of the body, in which this activity is taking place. That last sentence, is the crux of my argument, and is all I am trying to say.



posted on Aug, 31 2014 @ 09:24 PM
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a reply to: ImaFungi

In my experience, I would have to agree with you here. There is a body (that consists of a brain) that allows for the creation of internal programs in the brain (called the mind). This becomes obvious when looking at phantom limbs or blind people with visual dreams - those who became blind before they developed the visual part of their brains dream with no vision whereas those who became blind later in life continued to dream with vision (here and here). You can easily make this a computer analogy:

'You can have computer hardware that turns on, but it will just sit there without software to operate it (the computer can turn on with no software because it has firmware) - the other part of this is that the hardware can only run software that is within it's performance range due to hardware limitations.'

The difference between a computer and a living body is that the body organically creates the software as it interacts with things and it's firmware is comparable to basic body functions and instincts hardwired from birth.

There is also a lot of talk of self and such here, so I'll just to put my thoughts out there on this. I have found that there is a basic part of one's person that seems to always be there as long as we're conscious of experience - I call this 'The Observer'. This would be the part of your experiences that is watching whatever is happening at all times in the same way no matter what is happening to the body (as long as you're conscious). My experience tells me that there is something complex going on with this, but it sure seems like this is just another emergent program in the brain that is more basic than all the others (possibly located here). I say this because it should be impossible to go unconscious if there is a basic part of ourselves outside of ourselves.

Some thoughts on this thread seem incomplete. It might be very helpful for some to read up on Buddhist Psychology in order to get some (possibly) new ideas flowing. This teaching in Buddhism explains what I was saying above by using the concept of Internal and External Sense Bases. Each physical part of the body capable of sensing has a 'consciousness' part that is created in the brain (so the physical eye creates the 'eye consciousness', etc...) - really helpful. When reading this though, remember that in order to have a philosophy, you must have a problem to solve. Buddhist Middle Way Philosophy - Madhyamaka - is relative only to the problem of suffering:

"Thus even Madhyamika itself can not be put forward as an absolute truth, exclusive of others. As the teaching of non-clinging, the Middle Way is itself relative to the ignorance of clinging. Sunyata makes sense only in contrast with the error of misplaced absoluteness. The undeniable, ultimate truth is the unspeakable dharma."
-here
edit on 8/31/2014 by philosopheroftruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 31 2014 @ 11:01 PM
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How would you explain phantom pain? I see where you said the mind can no longer believe feet are there if they were cut off, yet there are stories of people losing limbs and still feeling the sensation of the limb being there.

If we are only a body (as you seem to believe based on previous threads), then how can a non-existent body part still give the brain sensations of pain?
edit on 8/31/2014 by 3NL1GHT3N3D1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 31 2014 @ 11:09 PM
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I know y'all are going to cringe at this post, but has anyone addressed what actually happens when you die? What do you experience at that moment? Imho it would help with your analysis, but forgive me if it isn't in the proper terminology that y'all are throwing around, well you know what I mean. It just is. And here it is,

It gets quiet, strangely quiet. You've never heard such a silence. You can still hear the radio and the birds outside your window but something is missing. The thrum of your heart is gone. (We don't realize how much noise our blood pumping through our veins makes until it's gone).

No breathing then, even more silent.

You are scared at that point and you look around and your vision dims and then is gone. All is black.

Next you can't hear much, and then none.

But you are still there.

You search for any kind of connection at this point and you realize you can hear the radio but what is strange is that it is sound through your skin and not through your ears.

How is that? You realize then that you are a ball of light within the body, actually just at the navel, maybe slightly above it.

You look around within the place (your body) you find yourself in and see the structure of a amazing space (ribcage, but it actually looks like the structural interior of a cathedral) and beyond it little lights that are going out one by one.

Panic sets in, will you disappear when all the lights are out, that's the brain area, what will happen when they all go out?

Suddenly you are pulled out of your body just as the lights are few in number,

And you are facing glowing people, shining white,

and you are there. Intact.

STM






No responses, don't want to be a thread killer. Sorry, am I bugging you, I didn't mean to bug you.
edit on 1-9-2014 by seentoomuch because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 1 2014 @ 12:47 AM
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a reply to: XxRagingxPandaxX


Nonsense. Yes, it is an embodied statement, we are embodied. However something is looking at the cat. Body generates mind and mind generates cat. But what is viewing the mentally generated cat? What is the observer?


What is viewing the mentally generated cat for the observer? How is the observer able to observe? Then what is viewing for the observer? Are you saying consciousness has a consciousness? There is no grounding here in these absurdities.



posted on Sep, 1 2014 @ 12:53 AM
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a reply to: ImaFungi


Well evidence would be, watching a sleeping person, the rule of the sleeping person, not the exception to the rule, which would be a sleep walker. Observing a person in a coma. Observing a person who is brain dead. Observing a person with their head chopped off.


Though these people are indeed lacking what we would call cognitive abilities, it is not because a mind is lacking, but a bodily function is in some way disrupted. What we lack is bodily function. Though the body is not presently thinking, the only element that does think and has feelings and displays emotion is still nonetheless there. It is only that the body is not performing certain functions. I see no reason to believe anything we can call a mind is in someway missing, or otherwise affecting the whole with its absence, unless we are willing to state that we have abstracted a set of specific bodily functions into an umbrella term called “mind”, for the purposes of language and convenience of thought. That sort of “mind”, that abstract set of specific bodily functions, is indeed missing in your examples. But that “the mind is missing”, is the exact same as saying the body has been affected in such and such a way that it isn’t working properly. It is up to the rational person to decide which is the more honest and clear way to express what is actually occurring, and which terms carry more explanatory power.


Saying a body exists, is not sufficient enough to describe everything about a body. Saying, a body exists, says nothing of the nervous system, bones, blood, thousands of different types of cells, DNA, food relationship, a tongue, digestive system, the heart, tendons, muscles, and the brain.


I’m not saying a body exists; I am saying a mind doesn’t. I am not trying to explain anything about the body, I am trying to explain away what isn’t there so that we can focus on what is.


You generally are correct, by stating, 'a body is a body', but I am generally correct, by stating everything I have said in the post you are responding to, to summarize; there is an aspect, a detail, of the body, that is inherently different from other aspects and details of the body, and that is the system, which 'you' the listener and understander of these words, functions as. Yes, 'you are the body, the whole body and nothing but the body'. I dont know why this is so hard to explain to you...


You’ve explained it very well. Though your arguments are very challenging to these ideas, I still await a reason why I should insert an idea called “mind” into any equation of the body.

Yes I am being difficult, and I understand your frustration, but allow me to stand up for what I wrote for the sake of the reader who comes across our arguments. I am presenting a point of view and defending it. You are offering challenging arguments in return.

All I am asking here is what is this aspect and detail? Where does mind end and body meet? My argument is simply that mind is a linguistic construct and a cultural metaphor for what we still do not understand about the body. And finally, that the mind is the body.



information of the outside world comes through the eyes, and it is not sent to the fingers, and the fingers then do not compute this information, and the fingers do not tell the feet to start walking towards a ball, because the fingers really want to hold the ball. I know this, because a person can chop off all their fingers, and still compute vast amounts of information about balls.

...what I am saying is more correct, and congruent with what exists in reality.


I'm not so sure about that.

If you look at the history of artificial intelligence, the symbolic and logical and statistical approaches to AI ended with nothing of any sort of intelligence. If mind was a simple process of computation we’d have AI by now. Even Turing himself pointed out that a thinking machine would have to be a body.

I understand all your arguments and you don’t need to give examples, for they all rest on the the computational theory of mind. I understand that you are presenting the whole input/output idea of cognition with something analogous to a computer processing information. But it is riddled with fallacy and paradox. The Chinese room thought experiment. The “homunculus argument” for instance.

By presenting the idea that there is some “you” in the body, a little man, an “homunculus”, you present an infinite regress. It is a fallacy. If there is a “you” inside your head viewing the world through information, or sensation, or whatever terms we might use, there must necessarily be a “you” inside the head of the “you” viewing for it. If there is a “you” inside of you controlling your actions, then there is a “you” inside of the “you” controlling its actions. And so on to infinity. It is illogical.


You see, you are arguing determinism vs. free will, is what you are really doing. You are saying, the 'you' I am speaking to, with my information, to see what 'you', when you resort to your compiled internal information, will 'inform' me about, you are saying there is no 'you' I am speaking too, that 'looks at information you have compiled', to then 'take this information I give you', so that you may use it with your compiled information, to then give me new information, that you think is truth... you are saying, that is not what occurs, you are saying, there is no 'me' or 'you', there are only 2 bodies, and there is 'no one' responsible for what the bodies are doing, 'no one is in control', of the body. The body is just doing what the body MUST do. Are you happy with your argument and reasoning?


I am not arguing determinism vs. freewill. I am saying the will is the body.

You are assuming a mind even now, and assume further that without it, we cannot control ourselves, or decide, or think. You conjecture a homunculus living inside your head, viewing the world through the eyes of a body, making choices and having feelings, but perhaps vanishing when the body is asleep. I am saying that the you is the entire body, and that you, as a body, are capable of controlling yourself, thinking, learning, recalling etc. and is the only thing capable of thinking.

Why is it so difficult to believe that “you” can feel what occurs at the surface of the skin because “you” are the surface of your skin? Why is it so difficult to entertain the thought that you can see what is outside the eyes not because some little man lives in your head viewing through them, but because you are your eyes?

If your eyes and ears and nose were on your stomach, would you still think that “you” lived inside your head?

I understand that this sort of gestalt switch in thinking is difficult, counterintuitive and perhaps frustrating, and I can understand if you do not accept my arguments as I am without authority. But if you are willing to at least consider the the empirical evidence within the growing science of embodied cognition in philosophy, artificial intelligence and the cognitive sciences, I would suggest you take a look before denying it outright.

Embodied Cognition



posted on Sep, 1 2014 @ 12:56 AM
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a reply to: 3NL1GHT3N3D1




If we are only a body (as you seem to believe based on previous threads), then how can a non-existent body part still give the brain sensations of pain?


Because it isn't the missing body part giving the sensations.



posted on Sep, 1 2014 @ 02:17 AM
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a reply to: Aphorism

I agree, that you are your body. I will define the mind as; willful brain activity.



posted on Sep, 1 2014 @ 08:49 AM
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a reply to: Aphorism

So what gives them that sensation? If it isn't the "body" part then what is it?

I remember seeing a tv special about phantom pains a while ago. A guy lost his arm but still felt the sensation of his fist being balled up.

After a few years he felt his phantom finger nails starting to cut into his phantom hand because his mind still thought his fingernails were growing.

He was in constant pain from a limb or body party that no longer existed, so they tried something. They got a box with a mirror in it and told the guy to stick his hand into it. When the guy looked at the mirror it looked as though he had two hands because of the reflection. The people who set the experiment told the man to ball his fist up and stick it into the box then look at his phantom hand (in the mirror) and to unclinch his real fist. As soon as he unclinched his real fist his mind saw his phantom fist unclinch and the pain immediately went away.

I don't see how your view that we are only a body could adequately describe this phenomenon. You say that the mind can't believe a missing limb is still there, phantom pains prove that to be false.
edit on 9/1/2014 by 3NL1GHT3N3D1 because: (no reason given)






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