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The Workings of the Self

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posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 07:40 PM
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Here I will go into an aspect of The Workings of the Self, a paper I am currently producing. This portion of the paper largely deals with ways people can deal with experiences of self on an identification level, to help them overcome psychological disturbances or stresses that bother them. Its main premise is heavily influenced by my study of ancient eastern wisdom traditions. The definition of self I use, however, is drawn largely from neuroscientist Antonio Damasio's work.

His definition of self consists of three interrelated levels called the Proto, Core and Extended levels of self. Quickly, these are defined as:

The proto-self is an organism’s sense of physical being, based on neural patterns that map the physical structures of the organism, of which the organism is not conscious.

The core self is an organism’s emotional state (at the fundamental physiological level), of which the organism may be conscious, generated through encounters between the proto-self and objects in the environment.

The extended (also autobiographical) self is an organism’s conscious idea of self, or identity, that is dependent on personal traits and memories of past experiences.


We will be mostly talking about a mixture of the core and extended levels of self; generally speaking, conscious experiences, whether emotional or cognitive (thinking), that are identified as being a part of our self. We will look at two methods of dealing with experiences, the Additive Method and the Subtractive Method .

Here is a diagram I made to illustrate the relationship between experiences and our sense of self through the lens of both methods:



First we will start with the Additive Method:

An experience of despair arises within the mind and there is the tendency to identify with this experience, as in "I am feeling despair". Most people do not enjoy this feeling and so an end to despair is sought. A common method of attempting to end despair is by seeking out something that brings us joy, be that food, sex, drugs/alcohol, entertainment, knowledge... and so on. Once joy is achieved, we identify with this feeling by reflecting on it as such, "I am feeling joyous now". Unbeknownst to most of us, despair has not been removed, rather it has merely been temporarily covered up. Now joy and despair are identified with. If joy leaves us now, despair resumes its prominent position. And so the never ending search for more happiness, more joy and more pleasure is launched. This Additive Method of dealing with negative feelings is what fuels multiple industries, including a $15 Billion Porn Industry, a $75 Billion Illegal Drug Industry, a $11 Billion Self Help Industry, a $13 Billion Movie Industry, and so on. "Just add this feeling, this knowledge, this experience, and you will be okay.", is what they say.


Now let us look at the Subtractive Method:

Again, an experience of despair arises within the mind and there is the tendency to identify with this experience, as in "I am feeling despair". Again, most people do not enjoy this feeling and so an end to despair is sought. This time instead of seeking out joy, happiness or pleasure to counter act this negative feeling, there is instead the disidentification with the feeling. Now the experience is no longer seen as "happening to me", rather there is just conscious awareness that it is happening. Our sense of self remains in a pre-extended, even somewhat pre-core level of self. There is just conscious awareness of sensations and thoughts, but there is no identification with any of it. Thus the unconscious self remains in a proto state, while the conscious self remains in pre-extended and pre-core state. If another emotion arises, so too does the core self, yet through the Subtractive Method consciousness is returned to a pre-core state. Thus the extended self is never allowed to take hold within the mind, unless of course it is called for.

Conclusion:

It is of my delineation that most psychologically and socially caused (as opposed to bio-chemically/genetically caused) lasting forms of depression, despair, distress, dissatisfaction and just general unhappiness, are caused do to our tendency to remain within the realm of the extended sense of self, and somewhat the realm of the core sense of self. Thus we are constantly trying to use the Additive Method to "fix" or "heal" this sense of self. If, however, we were to see the extended, and somewhat the core, sense of self as mere temporary constructs with no real intrinsic reality in and of themselves then the Additive Method would not be a logical means of dealing with negative feelings. Then our conscious sense of self would be seen as intrinsically empty, except for when core feelings arises temporarily and when an extended sense of self is called for (ie. communication/relations), and we would be much more inclined to utilize the Subtractive Method when dealing with negative feelings. Thus we would remain in a generally more tranquil and peaceful state of mind throughout the day.

Let me know what you think. I am particularly interested in anyone who tries the Subtractive Method out for a few days/weeks. I would like to hear your experiences.

Thanks!
edit on 23-8-2012 by openlocks because: (no reason given)

edit on 23-8-2012 by openlocks because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 11:04 PM
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Everyone uses both. Our body is always trying to get rid of negative feelings, but over time, we end up accumulating more and more...because we don't realize how those feelings became trapped in the first place in our subconscious.

Fear, hate, anger, frustration, apathy, despair, love, shyness, jealousy, etc...

Hint: How do parents get babies to stop crying? What are young children taught to do with their feelings?

Nice graphic. Right now I am using the subtractive method. Though my method is VERY unorthodox. Never heard of anyone doing it...something I taught myself so to speak.

By the way -- did you know one of the meanings of MAYA, is ILLUSION of the SELF?

Ever studied Face Reading...that reveals feelings stuck on the inside. Ever seen the TV series that was on for 3 years - LIE TO ME?

Can recommend a book or two...too...if you like.
Dreams are our mind's way of getting rid of feelings at night. Singing and acting out - yes too. Talking too.
Have an article link I can send if interested about dreams - from earlier this year.



posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 11:19 PM
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Originally posted by dontneedaname
Everyone uses both. Our body is always trying to get rid of negative feelings, but over time, we end up accumulating more and more...because we don't realize how those feelings became trapped in the first place in our subconscious.

Fear, hate, anger, frustration, apathy, despair, love, shyness, jealousy, etc...

Hint: How do parents get babies to stop crying? What are young children taught to do with their feelings?

Nice graphic. Right now I am using the subtractive method. Though my method is VERY unorthodox. Never heard of anyone doing it...something I taught myself so to speak.

By the way -- did you know one of the meanings of MAYA, is ILLUSION of the SELF?

Ever studied Face Reading...that reveals feelings stuck on the inside. Ever seen the TV series that was on for 3 years - LIE TO ME?

Can recommend a book or two...too...if you like.
Dreams are our mind's way of getting rid of feelings at night. Singing and acting out - yes too. Talking too.
Have an article link I can send if interested about dreams - from earlier this year.


It seems most people do use both. The purpose of this paper is to bring about awareness to the subtractive method as a credible modality for therapy. Yes, I do know about the concept of Maya, it definitely influenced this paper. Never seen or heard about Face Reading before. Dreams are very interesting. From my understanding, it is a process where neurons fire up subconscious memories in patterns that the regular "waking state" brain would not. Would be cool to learn more about it though.



posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 11:19 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Aug, 24 2012 @ 02:11 PM
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I'll expound so to clarify in the most succinct means possible.

Your OP will cause despair because you're making it too complicated.

If you're hungry, get food. Not hungry, don't get food. Or do you examine why you're hungry like you did in your OP?



And yes, Mad TV...why didst thou leave us. Comedy and learning.



posted on Aug, 24 2012 @ 03:40 PM
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reply to post by dontneedaname
 


Do you find that funny?



posted on Aug, 24 2012 @ 06:12 PM
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Originally posted by openlocks


It seems most people do use both. The purpose of this paper is to bring about awareness to the subtractive method as a credible modality for therapy. Yes, I do know about the concept of Maya, it definitely influenced this paper. Never seen or heard about Face Reading before. Dreams are very interesting. From my understanding, it is a process where neurons fire up subconscious memories in patterns that the regular "waking state" brain would not. Would be cool to learn more about it though.


Key to easing a painful memory? Dream about it - Vitals -

vitals.nbcnews.com...


But scientists say they now know what dreams are for: they sooth the sting out of troubling memories. And when dreams don’t do their job, horrific memories can take over a person’s life, as they do with PTSD, a new study suggests. Matthew Walker and colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, found that the brain uses dreams to strip the emotional content from memories of painful events.


Here's another one
Dreams Can Heal Mental Wounds - Alice G. Walton - The Atlantic - www.theatlantic.com...

I don't need studies to tell me this now...I experience it everyday due to certain changes I've made in my life and the unorthodox thing I was mentioning.

Enjoy....maybe will post some things about Face Reading shortly. I started a thread on it in this forum earlier this year. Learning about SELF-DECEPTION might be insightful for your research.



posted on Aug, 24 2012 @ 06:13 PM
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Originally posted by PillarOfStrenght
reply to post by dontneedaname
 


Do you find that funny?


Don't understand your frame of reference. Do I find what funny?



posted on Aug, 24 2012 @ 06:19 PM
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Originally posted by Turq1
I'll expound so to clarify in the most succinct means possible.

Your OP will cause despair because you're making it too complicated.

If you're hungry, get food. Not hungry, don't get food. Or do you examine why you're hungry like you did in your OP?



OP is insightful, no despair. Not too complicated...maybe your analysis is too shallow.

Why are people attracted to certain foods? What is the function of food? Why can't some people stop eating certain foods, even thought they want to? Why won't we eat certain foods even though "logically" we're told they are healthier for us (Presuming you "want to be healthy")

Ever heard of a concept called -- Emotional Eating?

This video - Killer at Large offers some insights...but not the whole story...for the whole story...we would need to put DENY IGNORANCE into overdrive...more later.




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