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Questioning Conditioning

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posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 07:02 PM
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reply to post by Dark Ghost
 


This is a timless and always relevant topic. Thank you.

I wouldn't say that we are 'victims' of our conditioning but 'products' of that conditioning.

The 'self' that we identify as 'me' or 'I' is the current accumulation of our personal conditioning from all sources in the past.

See the buddhist doctrine of "Dependant Origination" for a great non-religious explanation of this concept. (Buddists have been studying the 'self' for thousands of years.

As an earlier poster commented, conditioning itself is a tool, or shortcut, the brain uses for survival and it is active at all levels of existance.

Even the earliest forms of life are attracted or repelled by specific condition in their environment. Over time, these sympathies/antipathies build up into habits, etc. It is only highly evovled brains that can self-reflect (as another wise poster mentioned - meta-cognition) and overcome this very foundational nature of life.

Entrophy used in this domain would state that past conditioning will tend to prevail unless enough energy (in the way of will and effort) is put into the system hence making habits of thought and action difficult to acknowledge and change.

The ability/skill to self-reflect and detect our own 'prejudices' is the first action towards 'free thinking'.

Rudolf Steiner (of Waldorf Schools and Biodynamic Agriculture) says about free thinking/people:



Foreseeing that during our century the standards and traditions that formerly guided human behavior and activity would begin to crumble, Rudolf Steiner intended this education to be a source of inner strength for the upcoming generations. Since external culture will have less and less power to form and guide the individual's thoughts, feelings, and will in a healthy way, the aim of a true education must be "to develop free human beings, who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction in their lives." According to Steiner, "We shouldn't ask 'What does a person need to know or be able to do in order to fit into the existing social order?' Instead we should ask: 'What lives in each human being and what can be developed in him or her?' Only then will it be possible to direct the new qualities of each emerging generation into society. Then society will become what young people, as whole human beings, make out of the existing social conditions. The new generation should not just be made to be what present society wants it to become."



www.scwaldorf.org...

Daily review of the day is considered essential for developing the ability to acknowledge and grow beyond 'conditioned thinking'.

And my favorite passage regarding Conditioned Humans and Free Humans from Frank Herberts "Dune":


In Dune, Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam uses a gom jabbar to test Paul Atreides just prior to his departure to Arrakis. This "humanity test" is carried out with a box that produces pain by "nerve induction", causing intense and severe pain without inflicting any physical damage. Only a human is considered to be able to possess the self-discipline to withstand this pain and resist the urge to take their hand out of the box. A person who withdraws their hand is stung with the gom jabbar, causing instant death.


The first time I really got the concept.




posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 08:06 PM
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reply to post by Dark Ghost
 





I believe it makes us victims because it significantly narrows the chance we can form opinions that are free of some type of external influence. This can be both a positive and negative thing. Being conditioned to fear heat is a good thing otherwise we might put our lives in danger by getting too close to a flame. Being conditioned to hate people with opposing ideological views is less helpful as it narrows our thinking and limits understanding of the opposing position.

Usually it is those in positions of authority (government, police, media, parents etc.) whom condition those under their control to think and act in certain ways. Like I said before, this can be both positive and negative, but my issue in the opening post is with negative external conditioning. Of course, determining which type is which is in the eye of the beholder.


Well put—but now we've branched conditioning into positive and negative conditioning, which is a false dichotomy.

We could never find anyone who lacks conditioning or external influence. Therefor conditioning is a natural and maybe necessary part of life. The only way to do away with it is to do away with ourselves. So maybe conditioning as such isn't the enemy, or what makes us victims, but it is how we condition ourselves (by allowing others to influence us, making choices in life, to what environments we put ourselves in etc.) that places us in harms way. Maybe our victimhood is a misnomer, and we are instead our own greatest enemies.



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 09:16 PM
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reply to post by Cathcart
 



Yes, all men are currently mortal. But that doesn't mean they will forever be.

It is, nonetheless, an absolute truth that all men are mortal.



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 09:19 PM
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reply to post by Dark Ghost
 



we can form opinions that are free of some type of external influence.

This is absolutely impossible. Our opinions are always the product of our experience and influences. If they weren't, they'd be random, illogical and insane.

Those who approve of this kind of self-analysis and rumination are toying dangerously with their mental health.



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 09:32 PM
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Astyanax
It is, nonetheless, an absolute truth that all men are mortal.


Just as it is an absolute truth that we are now living in year 2013.

In two days, this absolute truth will become a lie.

Hence why I say nothing is universal.
edit on 29-12-2013 by Cathcart because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 09:33 PM
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Oops, double-post.
edit on 29-12-2013 by Cathcart because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 10:01 PM
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reply to post by Cathcart
 


So, for you, an absolute truth is also an eternal truth.

That does not necessarily follow, but at least it explains how you arrived at your point of view.



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 10:14 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


Yes, I think that in order for a reality to be considered genuinely "absolute", it must be eternal in its duration, and universal in its application. Otherwise, it is relative. Relative to time and space, that is. But maybe I'm mistaken.



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 10:19 PM
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reply to post by Cathcart
 


What about mathematical truths, such as Pythagoras' Theorem? Are they not eternal and absolute?



posted on Dec, 30 2013 @ 03:29 AM
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Aphorism
The only way to do away with it is to do away with ourselves.

Is it not possible to question the ideas and beliefs that are held?



posted on Dec, 30 2013 @ 06:19 AM
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Astyanax
It is, nonetheless, an absolute truth that all men are mortal.


Can you prove the "absolute truth" that all men are mortal?

* * * * * *


Astyanax
This is absolutely impossible. Our opinions are always the product of our experience and influences. If they weren't, they'd be random, illogical and insane.


You missed the point of the post. It's what happens when you only quote part of a passage of text instead of the whole thing, which tends to put it into context.


Those who approve of this kind of self-analysis and rumination are toying dangerously with their mental health.


Anything taken to the extreme is unhealthy, but some self-reflection in moderation is very healthy.
edit on 30/12/2013 by Dark Ghost because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 30 2013 @ 09:23 AM
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reply to post by Dark Ghost
 



Can you prove the "absolute truth" that all men are mortal?

Yes, very easily.


You missed the point of the post. It's what happens when you only quote part of a passage of text instead of the whole thing, which tends to put it into context.

Quoting part of the post does not mean I failed to read it in its entirety.



posted on Dec, 30 2013 @ 11:25 AM
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Excellent points. We are all conditioned. The social engineers have been using public schools and the media to push their brand of conditioning on us, along with our parents, etc. There is an agenda behind our conditioning - read Propaganda by Edward Bernays, circa 1928:


"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country."


If you're interested in dropping the conditioning, I have a couple of recommendations:

Prometheus Rising by Robert Anton Wilson. Excellent book.

The Teachings of Don Carlos: Practical Applications of the Works of Carlos Castaneda by Victor Sanchez. Another excellent book.

I created a thread recently about how to deconstruct oneself from your conditioning if you wish: Deconstruction of the Self ------ Step One

Dropping our conditioning is a powerful step to discovering who you really are, underneath it all.



posted on Dec, 30 2013 @ 11:31 AM
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reply to post by Dark Ghost
 





Can you prove the "absolute truth" that all men are mortal?


Any truth, whether absolute or not, exists purely within the sphere of human knowledge. Absolute truth doesn't necessarily mean we are speaking the absolute truth, only that we hold certain propositions absolutely true with conviction. There really is no such thing outside of language, propositional phrases and human judgement that we can label true or false. I can point at a starfish and say "that is true", but it's quite meaningless without a propositional assertion, which is merely a statement that expresses a judgement or opinion.

I can say with enough certainty and conviction that all men are mortal, and I can label that proposition as absolute truth if I so wish, but I am simply labelling my proposition and conviction as absolute. It is only when we find the limits of our certainty, which are put into doubt, do we begin to stay that conviction in the off-chance that one day, somewhere, we might come across an immortal man. Whether this is necessary or useful is up to the thinker.



posted on Dec, 30 2013 @ 12:53 PM
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Cathcart

Astyanax
It is, nonetheless, an absolute truth that all men are mortal.


Just as it is an absolute truth that we are now living in year 2013.

In two days, this absolute truth will become a lie.

Hence why I say nothing is universal.
edit on 29-12-2013 by Cathcart because: (no reason given)


Only if you use the Georgian Calendar.



posted on Dec, 30 2013 @ 07:59 PM
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reply to post by Aphorism
 


Thank you for expressing so eloquently the point I was alluding to. I could not have worded it nearly as well.



posted on Dec, 30 2013 @ 09:15 PM
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Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. In its exemplary form, it is based on universal intellectual values that transcend subject matter divisions: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth, and fairness.


Source

Generally speaking if one's vocation is in the science's or with respect to law. Masters level education, or its equivalent in other countries requires course work in relation to this subject.

Essentially the point is that in forming conclusions it is important to put aside one best held beliefs.

As an example while I do profess a belief in God, critical thinking presents I should put aside those beliefs in relation to research or addressing the matters of another individual as well as myself. It does not mean that I have to give up my beliefs but it does mean that it is not wrong to think what I believe is wrong.

History is replete with situation where bad decisions were made and mostly because of best held beliefs.

In so far as social manipulation, why are not people taught about the stock market and critical thinking in high school (or its equivalent in other countries)?

Any thoughts?




edit on 30-12-2013 by Kashai because: Added content



posted on Dec, 30 2013 @ 10:56 PM
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reply to post by Kashai
 



Why are not people taught about the stock market and critical thinking in high school (or its equivalent in other countries)?

Regarding the stock market, people — at least people who take economics as a subject — are taught about it in high school. And there is no shortage of information on the subject out of school, either. Exchanges, brokerages, merchant bankers and other market participants are only too eager to 'educate' the general public about the stock market in the hope of attracting more people to participate in it. Google just about any word related to finance and the stock market and you will get millions of hits.

As for critical thinking, education in that subject also begins in secondary school. The trouble is, most people find it too difficult to learn, and simply don't bother.


edit on 30/12/13 by Astyanax because: I didn't bother.



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 04:35 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


This should be entertaining.

Please prove that the statement "all men are mortal" is an absolute truth.



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 05:29 AM
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reply to post by Dark Ghost
 


No man has ever been known to live more than a thousand years.

Therefore all men are mortal.



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