Author Topic: The pattern behind self-deception  (Read 8459 times)

Matthew

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The pattern behind self-deception
« on: June 15, 2010, 07:00:27 PM »

AKA "Monkeying around" :D
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Lokuttara

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Re: The pattern behind self-deception
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2010, 09:39:55 PM »
Cool video! Interesting that he mentioned dopamine. I'm just about to read these articles which talk about dopamine and meditation:

http://www.openbuddha.com/2002/09/06/the-dangers-of-mediation/

http://www.reuniting.info/node/2750
« Last Edit: June 15, 2010, 10:02:36 PM by Lokuttara »
"One may be surrounded by great beauty, by mountains and fields and rivers, but unless one is alive to it all one might just as well be dead." Krishnamurti

Matthew

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Re: The pattern behind self-deception
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2010, 08:58:01 AM »
There is much in the video for meditators to reflect upon.

This same pattern recognition process can impinge on meditation. For example, oxygen starvation can lead to a sense of of out of body experiences. If your breathing is shallow and your concentration not disciplined you may well induce seeming "OOBE" that are not more than hallucinations - and the pattern recognition aspect may then convince you that you are really on to something, when you aren't.

In addition, doing meditation right does increase dopamine levels significantly:

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This is the first in vivo demonstration of an association between endogenous neurotransmitter release and conscious experience. Using 11C-raclopride PET we demonstrated increased endogenous dopamine release in the ventral striatum during Yoga Nidra meditation. Yoga Nidra is characterized by a depressed level of desire for action, associated with decreased blood flow in prefrontal, cerebellar and subcortical regions, structures thought to be organized in open loops subserving executive control. In the striatum, dopamine modulates excitatory glutamatergic synapses of the projections from the frontal cortex to striatal neurons, which in turn project back to the frontal cortex via the pallidum and ventral thalamus. The present study was designed to investigate whether endogenous dopamine release increases during loss of executive control in meditation. Participants underwent two 11C-raclopride PET scans: one while attending to speech with eyes closed, and one during active meditation. The tracer competes with endogenous dopamine for access to dopamine D2 receptors predominantly found in the basal ganglia. During meditation, 11C-raclopride binding in ventral striatum decreased by 7.9%. This corresponds to a 65% increase in endogenous dopamine release. The reduced raclopride binding correlated significantly with a concomitant increase in EEG theta activity, a characteristic feature of meditation.
All participants reported a decreased desire for action during meditation, along with heightened sensory imagery. The level of gratification and the depth of relaxation did not differ between the attention and meditation conditions. Here we show increased striatal dopamine release during meditation associated with the experience of reduced readiness for action. It is suggested that being in the conscious state of meditation causes a suppression of cortico-striatal glutamatergic transmission. To our knowledge this is the first time in vivo evidence has been provided for regulation of conscious states at a synaptic level.

(From "Increased dopamine tone during meditation-induced change of consciousness." by Kjaer, Troels W, et al,   Brain Res Cogn Brain Res Volume: 13, Issue: 2, Date: 2002 Apr , Pages: 255-9)

"The meditator enters a rapture not born of the body". Tripping on dopamine .. bliss, ecstasy ...

Warmly,

Matthew
« Last Edit: June 16, 2010, 09:39:33 AM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
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mik1e

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Re: The pattern behind self-deception
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2010, 03:20:42 PM »
Matthew,

Drugs hallucinations, self-induced hallucinations, visual imagination and true inner vision are based on the same physiological mechanisms. These mechanisms include release of dopamine, serotonin, enkephalin  and other neurotransmitters. Actually, these chemicals bring the processes in the nervous system almost to the level of "self-excitation", at which it becomes extremely sensitive to very weak signals.

If in this state you have some residual thoughts or "noise sources", you will "see" them as "external" visions or signals. This is hallucination. But if you have erased all such "inner noise sources", you will see the real signals, coming from the independent sources. This is vipassana. So the difference between these two is in the level of control of your inner world. All shamatha techniques are devoted to achieving the proper level of this control.

Michael.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2010, 03:33:22 PM by mik1e »

Lokuttara

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Re: The pattern behind self-deception
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2010, 03:51:43 PM »
That's an interesting point Mike. I would like to read more information on such "real" signals, do you have any good references?

The problem of course is the temptation for modern science advocates to put everything down to excess dopamine and stimulation of the "red" point in the brain (as seen in that Ted video, I forget the correct name for it). So all spiritual experiences, all enlightened people and even the Buddha himself was experiencing nothing but an excess of dopamine which led to transcendent experiences of other lives and other realities - all as a result of over-meditation. This is what they would have us believe, but as Mike mentions we perhaps need to draw a clear distinction between excess dopamine and actual "real" spiritual experiences.
"One may be surrounded by great beauty, by mountains and fields and rivers, but unless one is alive to it all one might just as well be dead." Krishnamurti

mik1e

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Re: The pattern behind self-deception
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2010, 04:21:42 PM »
I would like to read more information on such "real" signals, do you have any good references?

Unfortunately, I have not, and I think that they do not exist and will not appear in nearest 50-200 years (if you mean the reference to peer-reviewed journals).

The problem is that these "real" signals (or vibrations of "subtle" fields) is out of scope of modern science -- both physics (because now they can be sensed by biological objects only, not by physical equipment), and biology (because these fields have unknown yet physical nature and have to be studied by physicists, not by biologists). These phenomena can be studied only by physicists-seers, but such kind of scientists has not appeared yet.

But you need not any "good reference" to see these phenomena. The best way is to get true knowledge and check statements of others by your own practice.

Speaking about scientific researches which in some way are related to investigation of subtle fields, I can mention the publications of Podkletnov. His discovery has nothing to do with inner vision, but I think that it will lead to understanding of mechanisms of telekinesis and, indirectly, will unveil the nature of some subtle fields. And this may lead to understanding of true nature of life and, hence, to understanding of the nature of spiritual phenomena.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2010, 04:32:16 PM by mik1e »

mik1e

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Re: The pattern behind self-deception
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2010, 05:40:44 PM »
The final part of the video is an excellent illustration of what we get when we have too much expectation -- does not matter in what sphere -- spiritual or interpersonal :):).

By the way, I could not understand what the "product" they were "testing". I heard the "bomb", but I am sure that it is another word.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2010, 05:53:52 PM by mik1e »

Matthew

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Re: The pattern behind self-deception
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2010, 06:42:31 PM »
not "bomb" - "balm" - as in "lip balm" to smooth your sun wrinkled kisses  :-*
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elliberto

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Re: The pattern behind self-deception
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2010, 09:50:04 AM »
This discrimination between real and (I guess) non-real signals strikes me as a bit artificial.
Since in meditation you're investigating yourself what use is it to make this distinction?
And how can you even begin to sharply make this distinction??

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If your breathing is shallow and your concentration not disciplined you may well induce seeming "OOBE" that are not more than hallucinations - and the pattern recognition aspect may then convince you that you are really on to something, when you aren't.

Convincing yourself that you are really on to something sounds like clinging to me.
IMO that is more of a problem than whether or not your experiences happen to be real or non-real (whatever that means).



mik1e

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Re: The pattern behind self-deception
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2010, 11:44:04 AM »
This discrimination between real and (I guess) non-real signals strikes me as a bit artificial.
Since in meditation you're investigating yourself what use is it to make this distinction?

When you meditate, ALL signals which come to your mind are real. That means that  they have some objective source, and independent observer can figure out this source.

But the main question -- where these signals come from? If they come from your own consciousness or from inside your own energy system, they are subjective, and should be reduced and, finally, totally eliminated. Everything what remains after that can be named an "objective" signal, because it was not generated by you and is not controlled by you.

You need this distinction not to get into the trap of self-fooling, when you perceive your own thoughts, fairs and emotions as "objective confirmation" of your "achievements". Otherwise your ego will quickly find tons of "great insights" which, actually, are nothing more than reflection of your own problems.

So, the distinction here is not between "real" and "not real" signals, but between signals, which come from your own ego and sources of dirtiness, and signals, coming from sources, which are independent from you. Finally it turns into distinction between any signal which contains "ego-vibrations" and "ego-free" signals.

And how can you even begin to sharply make this distinction??

By shutting down (destroying) all sources of distortion which you find inside yourself. When you eliminate all of them, what remains is whole other world, i.e. totally objective (with respect to you) set of signal sources. Some of these sources are ego-free, and some are not. But you can distinguish between them only if you have destroyed your own ego.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2010, 11:48:30 AM by mik1e »

elliberto

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Re: The pattern behind self-deception
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2010, 01:00:49 PM »
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When you meditate, ALL signals which come to your mind are real. That means that  they have some objective source, and independent observer can figure out this source

There is no such thing as an independent observer.

Quote
So, the distinction here is not between "real" and "not real" signals, but between signals, which come from your own ego and sources of dirtiness, and signals, coming from sources, which are independent from you.

So, to make sure I understand you:
When you're meditating what for instance would be signals coming from sources, which are independent from you and what would be the signals coming from sources dependent on you?


Still isn't very clear to me what the USE is of distinguisghing between signals.
i.e. what does it add to just observing whatever arises in meditation and not cling to it (whatever the nature of the signals may be).

« Last Edit: June 17, 2010, 01:22:16 PM by elliberto »

Matthew

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Re: The pattern behind self-deception
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2010, 02:20:03 PM »
The point I was making is to be sure you are breathing properly in a relaxed abdominal fashion. This ensures awakeness, blood oxygen levels and no false experiences that resemble the transcendent.

To breathe properly requires a strong back which is where doing some swimming or other aerobic exercise such as pilates or yoga which both strengthens your back and core stability muscles is helpful to meditation.

In distinguishing between what is real or hallucinatory elliberto is right. Non clinging to phenomena, states, views and practices but letting everything progressively fall away is more useful than quantifying your meditation experience.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
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mik1e

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Re: The pattern behind self-deception
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2010, 08:32:33 PM »
There is no such thing as an independent observer.

You are absolutist,  indeed ;)

In science, independent observer = person who has no essential dependencies from observed object and other observers. E.g., people who don't know you and each other and who observe you by video in isolated rooms, can be named "independent observers".

So, to make sure I understand you:
When you're meditating what for instance would be signals coming from sources, which are independent from you and what would be the signals coming from sources dependent on you?

"Dependent from me" -- all signals generated by my energy system (the set of subtle bodies + physical body)
"Independent from me" -- signals, coming from natural phenomena (e.g., light of stars, wind, ocean waves) and beings who act according to their own will, but not forced by my energy.

what does it add to just observing whatever arises in meditation and not cling to it (whatever the nature of the signals may be).

It essentially depends on what you intend to do in your life (or with your life). If you want to observe "whatever arises in meditation and not cling to it" whole your life, you will have to sit in meditation and meditate for 2-3 weeks, until your body die.

But, if you don't want to finish your life so quickly (:)), you will have to interrupt meditation and start acting, i.e. to interact with the environment.  In this state you cannot just "observe whatever arises and not cling to it" -- you HAVE to act and to make decisions  And each action/decision either leaves you where you were before, or pulls you back to more egoistic states, or pushes you forward, to emptiness.

Still isn't very clear to me what the USE is of distinguishing between signals.

So, if you can distinguish between ego-oriented and ego-averse signals, you can select such actions and decisions, each of which will lead you to higher state. This makes your progress very fast. If you cannot make such the distinction, you will either be running on the spot or make one step forward and two steps back. Or constantly chat with yourself and others about your "great achievements".

elliberto

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Re: The pattern behind self-deception
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2010, 02:42:29 PM »
Quote
You are absolutist,  indeed

Not really, just trained as a physicist (molecular spectroscopy).
And besides if I was absolutely not absolute about anything wouldn't I still be an absolutist? :D

Actually physics and buddhism are in agreement about there not being an independent observeren so that's why it suprises me a bit that you would talk about independent observers especially in the context of meditation where it's quite obvious that there is always interaction between observer and what is being observed. Isn't that the whole problem?  

Quote
"Dependent from me" -- all signals generated by my energy system (the set of subtle bodies + physical body)
"Independent from me" -- signals, coming from natural phenomena (e.g., light of stars, wind, ocean waves) and beings who act according to their own will, but not forced by my energy.

OK, understand what you mean with dependance now I think, but again in the context of meditation this distinction doesn't seem very usefull to me, because dependant or not all signals when being observed come under the influence of observer and thus become dependant.

Quote
But, if you don't want to finish your life so quickly (), you will have to interrupt meditation and start acting, i.e. to interact with the environment.  In this state you cannot just "observe whatever arises and not cling to it" -- you HAVE to act and to make decisions  And each action/decision either leaves you where you were before, or pulls you back to more egoistic states, or pushes you forward, to emptiness.

Even when you act you can IMO observe whatever arises and train yourself not to cling to it. From the point of view of suffering I don't see big difference between meditation and 'real life'. The suffering is created in the clinging not in the manner of acting itself. So fact that you have to act in real life isn't a relevant difference when viewed in terms of suffering IMO.

Quote
So, if you can distinguish between ego-oriented and ego-averse signals, you can select such actions and decisions, each of which will lead you to higher state. This makes your progress very fast. If you cannot make such the distinction, you will either be running on the spot or make one step forward and two steps back. Or constantly chat with yourself and others about your "great achievements".

Again: IMO the actions themselves don't lead to a higher state. Not clinging leads to higher state.
So why the distinction in ego-oriented or ego-averse signals? The way you treat them is the same: not clinging to them.


 

 


mik1e

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Re: The pattern behind self-deception
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2010, 06:37:28 PM »
Quote
Not really, just trained as a physicist (molecular spectroscopy).

It's nice to see a colleague-scientist in such a forum :)

Quote
Actually physics and buddhism are in agreement about there not being an independent observer

Let us not mix high philosophy with rough practice. I am an experimenter, and I am sure that direct experience/observation explains things much better than tons of speculations. Especially if we take into account that  the "agreement" between Buddhist philosophy and quantum physics is very surface, on the level of very general concepts, while we are talking about specific practical results.

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... especially in the context of meditation where it's quite obvious that there is always interaction between observer and what is being observed. Isn't that the whole problem?

Yes, this is the problem. I was talking about an observer (not necessary in meditating state) who observes the meditator, you are talking about the meditator as an observer. These are different objects. Not surprising that you see the problem where it does not exists.

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because dependant or not all signals when being observed come under the influence of observer and thus become dependant.

This is an interesting moment. Yes, you are right, everything what you perceive is the result of interpretation of your energy body. So, formally, we deal only with these interpretations, not with real signals. But, as we often do in physics, we can agree that signals are "real" if their "measurement" has an "error" less than given value. Say, if measurement of weight gives you the value 1g and the error of measurement is less than 1 milligram (or 1 microgram), we can say, that the weight weights exactly 1g, though we know that this is not absolutely true. But, if we would like to know more or less exact number of atoms in this weight, we will have to measure its mass with much greater accuracy (say, to 1 picogram or even better).

The same situation is in meditation.

When you start to work with your consciousness, your "scales" are very rough (i.e. you deal with the coarsest subtle bodies, most close to the physical body). In this case "not clinging" is equivalent to tuning the scales and making them more sensitive. But they still have some error and you know that you cannot distinguish weights in borders of this error. So, how do we check our "scales"?  We take more precise scales and, using them, check our "rougher" scales. The same is true with respect to subtle body system.

When you are in the coarse subtle body, you have no means to validate the information obtained using it. To be able to check this information, you have to go to higher body, which deals with energies of higher frequencies. And then , if you get the same (or similar) information using this higher body, you can say that the information, obtained in the state of being in the coarser body is "more or less" true. But this higher body has its own level of errors, and to validate its results you have to go to even higher body, and so on.

You can say that this process of successive validation will never finish, because each body has its own level of errors, and you will be correct. But if fix the level (body) whose signals are checked, then we can say that, if these signals are validated from the point of view of 3-4 higher bodies, we can consider the signals of given body being "correct".

So, as you can see, there is not no such thing as "absolute truth", but, speaking practically, we can talk about "correct" or "incorrect" interpretation and "dependent" and "independent" observers and signals.

Couple of words about "non-clinging".

1) Yes, this is one of the primary "spiritual habits" which one develops on the early stages of his development. But this habit is definitely not the "universal key" which allows you to open all doors.

2) "Not clinging" does not make you free from ego. It does help to destroy some part of ego, but only just coarse enough part. There are many higher parts of ego, which you will never know about if you stay on the level of "not clinging".

"Not clinging" is like playing gammas for musicians. If you cannot play gammas, you will not become a good musician, but if you only can play gammas, you are not a musician at all :).

elliberto

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Re: The pattern behind self-deception
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2010, 10:05:56 PM »
Quote
Let us not mix high philosophy with rough practice. I am an experimenter, and I am sure that direct experience/observation explains things much better than tons of speculations. Especially if we take into account that  the "agreement" between Buddhist philosophy and quantum physics is very surface, on the level of very general concepts, while we are talking about specific practical results.

Was not trying to unify buddhism with quantum physics, just pointed out that science and buddhism agree on there being no independent observer.
For 2 reasons:
One, you suggested your view on what is independant/dependent observer is THE scientific view, which on the most fundamental level it's certainly not.
Two, this is also quite well in agreement with simple direct experience (which implies to me that there is no need to make a distinction)

I see no attempt to philosophical speculations here. And was only talking about this for practical reasons: IMO you should worry about clinging to the signals, not in catagorising those signals.

Quote
So, as you can see, there is not no such thing as "absolute truth", but, speaking practically, we can talk about "correct" or "incorrect" interpretation and "dependent" and "independent" observers and signals.

You can do anything you like, I just don't think it's very useful both in meditation and in real life for the reasons I explained :)

Quote
Couple of words about "non-clinging".

1) Yes, this is one of the primary "spiritual habits" which one develops on the early stages of his development. But this habit is definitely not the "universal key" which allows you to open all doors.

2) "Not clinging" does not make you free from ego. It does help to destroy some part of ego, but only just coarse enough part. There are many higher parts of ego, which you will never know about if you stay on the level of "not clinging".

"Not clinging" is like playing gammas for musicians. If you cannot play gammas, you will not become a good musician, but if you only can play gammas, you are not a musician at all

Lot of philosophical speculation on how far non-clinging will take you if you ask me.
Won't argue with you, but instead just find out for myself :)

But be that as it may.....making the distinction between different signals you observe in meditation is IMO like inventing names for different gammas, not very useful at all from the point of view of just playing music :)

mik1e

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Re: The pattern behind self-deception
« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2010, 12:00:47 AM »
It does not matter whether you clinging to what you see in meditation or not.

In your actions you either follow these signals/forces or do not follow. This is what is really important. You can follow something even if you are not clinging to it. If you don't understand how it is possible -- practice more, and then even more.

The problem is that you can be free from clinging to anything what you see in meditation -- and still have ego and follow its path. That is the only thing I wanted to explain.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2010, 12:06:39 AM by mik1e »

elliberto

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Re: The pattern behind self-deception
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2010, 10:10:22 AM »
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In your actions you either follow these signals/forces or do not follow. This is what is really important. You can follow something even if you are not clinging to it. If you don't understand how it is possible -- practice more, and then even more.

well actually i've said few times now that in 'real life' even when you act you can observe without clinging, so no idea why you would suggest i don't understand this is possible.
You keep making this IMO strange distinction between meditation and real life. There is no real difference the challanges are exactly the same. It's just that meditation is a more controlled environment. That's why it's called 'practice'. So of course it's possible that you excel in meditation and suck in life off cushion. Everybody who's seriously involved in sports (to use my own metaphore :)) knows that being great in practice doesn't guarantee being great in competition. But this doesn't mean different rules somehow apply. Just that you should keep practicing until competition and practice become the same.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2010, 10:37:57 AM by elliberto »

mik1e

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Re: The pattern behind self-deception
« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2010, 01:59:55 PM »
in 'real life' even when you act you can observe without clinging

Dear elberto,

I am trying to explain you one specific thing: non-clinging is only one of skills which you need on the path. It is important skill and creates foundation for other skills, but it is not the "absolute universal skill'. There are skills which deal with other qualities and properties of the world.

To illustrate my point, I can describe the next situation.

You are walking in the woods and see the piece of gold. You are absolutely free from clinging to anything and this piece of gold means for you the same as piece of old wood nearby. But then two thoughts come to your mind:

Thought 1: "Take this piece of gold"
Thought 2: "Do not take this piece of gold"

Which thought will you choose? Does not matter what you say me, you will choose one of these advises by your action.

The problem here that there is absolutely no a priori criteria for choosing this or that thought. Both of them may come either from Infinity or from yours or somebody's else ego. Infinity may aware you not to take the gold which is not meant to you, and it may advice you to take the resource which was prepared specially for you. And your ego may force you to follow your greed and take the gold, or your arrogance ("I am higher than this") and pass by the gold.

How will you distinguish between the thoughts coming from your ego (even from very high parts of it) and true Infinity? I hope that you can see that non-clinging cannot help in this case: even if you are absolutely not clinging to the gold and to both coming thoughts, you can make wrong choice anyway. And you will make the choice -- you either pass by the gold or take it.

I hope that now you can understand the problem: we make the choices many times a day, and if we cannot distinguish between "proper" and "improper" choices, our progress will be very slow.

« Last Edit: June 19, 2010, 02:19:32 PM by mik1e »

elliberto

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Re: The pattern behind self-deception
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2010, 02:56:28 PM »
If you follow greed there is clinging, if you follow arrogance there is clinging (just not clinging towards gold)...and when there's clinging the action whatever it is, is an improper one.
So the way I see it just another case of: observe what is arising in you and avoid clinging.

mik1e

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Re: The pattern behind self-deception
« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2010, 04:11:58 PM »
Your problem now that you are just manipulate words, because you can name "clinging" your reaction to Infinity, too.

To make things easier, I can say that there are two persons, and one says you "Take the gold", and another  -- "Don't take the gold". You reception is pure, i.e. you are not clinging to words of any of these guys and to gold itself.

What will you do? How will you decide, who's words to follow?

« Last Edit: June 19, 2010, 04:21:29 PM by mik1e »

Morning Dew

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Re: The pattern behind self-deception
« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2010, 05:00:20 PM »
Originaly this thread was realy educating but now you two are just cloaking it ;D

So what is the story with dopamine and seretonin? Which one is Good and which one bad? If i got it rigt one is to control breathing so not to breath shallow, am i right? Which means such controling is not necesserely fabricating.
If i get it right jahnanda is tripping on dopamine or?
Dopamine deficiency (shallow breathing) is as bad as dopamine over dose (too long meditation hours). Moderation is the key, the middle way. Right?

mik1e

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Re: The pattern behind self-deception
« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2010, 05:23:52 PM »
In healthy body all regulatory paths are balanced. I.e. dopamin, serotonin and other neuropeptides are released in such a way that the whole sum of processes is in harmony. Meditation deepens this harmony and brings it to subtler levels. During this process you breath may become both deep and shallow -- this is just the reaction of the body to changes of energy flow and changes of activity of energy centers.

elliberto

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Re: The pattern behind self-deception
« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2010, 07:32:54 PM »
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Your problem now that you are just manipulate words, because you can name "clinging" your reaction to Infinity, too.

My problem? Manipulate?

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To make things easier, I can say that there are two persons, and one says you "Take the gold", and another  -- "Don't take the gold". You reception is pure, i.e. you are not clinging to words of any of these guys and to gold itself.

What will you do? How will you decide, who's words to follow?

Like I said before: IMO from the point of view of suffering it doens't really matter what I do, as long as in my intentions there is no clinging to anything (not to self, not to greed, not to aversion or whatever).
So how will I decide? I will think about it observe this thinking process and try to avoid any clinging in making up my mind.

I'm done with this discussion btw. I keep repeating myself and we both don't seem to be able to convince eachother, so let's agree to disagree and make it easier for Morning Dew to find the really interesting stuff in this discussion :D

psychicexplorer

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Re: The pattern behind self-deception
« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2010, 02:12:53 AM »
If it is just the brain and chemicals that make us see what we see then why practice a religion at all?  I think most people practice a religion in order to gain some benefit after death or beyond the body.  If there is something that continues on beyond the body/brain then it would not be influenced by any brain chemicals.  I was under the impression that a practitioner of Buddhism or meditation is thought to gain benefits in subsequent incarnations.