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  1. #1
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    Default How is body and mind one?

    How is body and mind one?

    “It is our organic flesh and blood, our structural bones, the ancient rhythms of our internal organs, and the pulsating flow of our emotions that give us whatever meaning we can find and that shape our very thinking.”

    Our Western philosophical culture and our Christian religion deny this very obvious fact. We try desperately to think of our selves as gods with minds that float above our body with its nasty old anus.

    Descartes, one of the first philosophers that the young philosophy student learns about, informs us that “my essence consists solely in the fact that I am a thinking being…I have a clear and distinct idea of myself, in so far as I am simply a thinking, non-extended thing; and on the other hand I have a distinct idea of body, in so far as this is simply an extended, non-thinking thing.”

    Our Christian culture, our Western philosophical tradition, and our naďve common sense perceptions all seem to work in concert to instill this erroneous mind/body dichotomy upon our comprehension of reality. All of these factors lead us to place a positive evaluation upon freeing our self from our body. When we die and our mind/soul/spirit goes to heaven our body decays into dust where it came from. And we are forever free of its unpleasant burden.

    SGCS (Second Generation Cognitive Science) challenges this traditional and common sense inherited duality of mind/body. This new paradigm for cognitive science targets the disembodied view of meaning that results from our objectivist philosophy.

    Traditionally, meaning is associated with words and sentences. Meaning in this traditional sense is about propositions and words, but SGCS considers this a very limited view of meaning; this disembodied view is far too narrow. “Meaning traffics in patterns, images, qualities, feelings, and eventually concepts and propositions.”

    Objectivist philosophy recognizes two fundamentally different kinds of meaning: descriptive and emotive meaning. This is an illusory demarcation that led certain philosophers of language to retain focus upon the conceptual/propositional as the only meaning that mattered and that emotive meaning had no meaning in rigorous testable modes of knowing.

    This dream of “freeing oneself from the body” reinforces the erroneous idea that is buried deeply within our psyche by our Western Christian philosophical inheritance the dangerous idea that a person’s “true” self is not of this world but abides in some transcendent kingdom. These kinds of ideas lead us into ignoring our situation on this planet because it is of small consequence when we spend eternity in some heavenly bliss. Such thoughts make it possible for people to strap bombs upon their person and go strolling in the mall on the way to heaven.

    SGCS argues “for the central role of emotion in how we make sense of our world. There is no cognition without emotion, even though we are often unaware of the emotional aspects of our thinking.”

    Quotes from The Meaning of the Body by Mark Johnson

  2. #2
    Senior Member zago's Avatar
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    Emotions and thoughts often have a physical feeling to them. When you eliminate the thoughts behind anger or sadness for instance, you realize it is really nothing but a feeling in your head, chest, and gut.

  3. #3
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Can't we just give the brain the benefit of the doubt that it's complex enough to handle this shit?

  4. #4
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    I suppose it depends on what your beliefs are. :P

    For me, mind and body are indeed one and the same (The mind is a construct of the body. )

    Much like the nerves in your finger telling you, you are touching something when you push it to an object. So are for me, my thoughts. Thoughts are memories. We speak, we hear, we feel, we see. We remember all these sensations and store them in our head. As it is prudent for life to learn not to make the same mistake again. Evolution gifted us with the ability to recall our senses, our memories, in order to learn. From the memories of our senses, our experiences if you please. We are then able to construct our own thoughts, much like how our brain would remember something, we utilize that part of the brain to remember a newly constructed idea. When we think, when we hear ourselves think in our heads. That is simply using your memory recall part of your brain creatively. It is nothing more then fooling your own brain with memories, ideas, that did not happen. But as you are experienced with memories. It is not hard to fake a memory. And thus create independant thought.

    Oh, and I for one don't see the body as a burden.

    Would be silly to think that if you find my 'belief' most likely, since I basicly just said that our bodily senses enriches our 'mind'. Without the 'body' (senses), we would not develop our 'mind' (Brain memory recall construct whatever).

    But if you rather believe in the body/soul theory, then yes, your mind and body are not one. Just don't mind me saying "It's all in your hea-head.. In your hea-hea-hea-head..". (That's meant as a light-hearted joke by the way and should not be taken offensively.)
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  5. #5
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    Can't we just give the brain the benefit of the doubt that it's complex enough to handle this shit?
    Agreed. I mean there comparably extraordinary phenomena elsewhere in our body. Also, the computer analogy might be flawed, but it really helps to understand how such complexity can exist.

  6. #6
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    First, there is emotion, then comes feeling, then comes consciousness of feeling.

    What are the emotions? The primary emotions are happiness, sadness, fear, anger, surprise and disgust. The secondary or social emotions are such things as pride, jealousy, embarrassment, and guilt. Damasio considers the background emotions are well-being or malaise, and calm or tension. The label of emotion has also been attached to drives and motivations and to states of pain and pleasure.

    Antonio Damasio, Distinguished Professor and Head of the Department of Neurology at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, testifies in his book “The Feelings of What Happens” that the biological process of feelings begins with a ‘state of emotion’, which can be triggered unconsciously and is followed by ‘a state of feeling’, which can be presented nonconsciously; this nonconscious state can then become ‘a state of feeling made conscious’.

    ”Emotions are about the life of an organism, its body to be precise, and their role is to assist the organism in maintaining life…emotions are biologically determined processes, depending upon innately set brain devices, laid down by long evolutionary history…The devices that produce emotions…are part of a set of structures that both regulate and represent body states…All devices can be engaged automatically, without conscious deliberation…The variety of the emotional responses is responsible for profound changes in both the body landscape and the brain landscape. The collection of these changes constitutes the substrate for the neural patterns which eventually become feelings of emotion.”

    The biological function of emotions is to produce an automatic action in certain situations and to regulate the internal processes so that the creature is able to support the action dictated by the situation. The biological purpose of emotions are clear, they are not a luxury but a necessity for survival.

    “Emotions are inseparable from the idea of reward and punishment, pleasure or pain, of approach or withdrawal, of personal advantage or disadvantage. Inevitably, emotions are inseparable from the idea of good and evil.”

    Emotions result from stimulation of the senses from outside the body sources and also from stimulations from remembered situations. Evolution has provided us with emotional responses from certain types of inducers put these innate responses are often modified by our culture.

    “It is through feelings, which are inwardly directed and private, that emotions, which are outwardly directed and public, begin their impact on the mind; but the full and lasting impact of feelings requires consciousness, because only along with the advent of a sense of self do feelings become known to the individual having them.”

    First, there is emotion, then comes feeling, then comes consciousness of feeling. There is no evidence that we are conscious of all our feelings, in fact evidence indicates that we are not conscious of all feelings.

    Human emotion and feeling pivot on consciousness; this fact has not been generally recognized prior to Damasio’s research. Emotion has probably evolved long before consciousness and surfaces in many of us when caused by inducers we often do not recognize consciously.

    The powerful contrast between emotion and feeling is used by the author in his search for a comprehension of consciousness. It is a neurological fact, states the author, that when consciousness is suspended then emotion is likewise usually suspended. This observed human characteristic led Damasio to suspect that even though emotion and consciousness are different phenomenon that there must be an important connection between the two.

    Damasio proposes “that the term feeling should be reserve for the private, mental experience of an emotion, while the term emotion should be used to designate the collection of responses, many of which are publicly observable.” This means that while we can observe our own private feelings we cannot observe these same feelings in others.

    Empirical evidence indicates that we need not be conscious of emotional inducers nor can we control emotions willfully. We can, however, control the entertainment of an emotional inducer even though we cannot control the emotion induced.

    I was raised as a Catholic and taught by the nuns that “impure thoughts” were a sin only if we “entertained” bad thoughts after an inducer caused an emotion that we felt, i.e. God would not punish us for the first impure thought but He would punish us for dwelling upon the impure thought. If that is not sufficient verification of the theory derived from Damasio’s empirical evidence, what is?

    In a typical emotion, parts of the brain sends forth messages to other parts of the body, some of these messages travel via the blood stream and some via the body’s nerve system. These neural and chemical messages results in a global change in the organism. The brain itself is just as radically changed. But, before the brain becomes conscious of this matter, before the emotion becomes known, two additional steps must occur. The first is feeling, i.e. an imaging of the bodily changes, followed by a ‘core consciousness’ to the entire set of phenomena. “Knowing an emotion—feeling a feeling—only occurs at this point.

    Quotes from “The Feelings of What Happens” by Antonio Damasio

  7. #7
    it's a nuclear device antireconciler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zago View Post
    Emotions and thoughts often have a physical feeling to them. When you eliminate the thoughts behind anger or sadness for instance, you realize it is really nothing but a feeling in your head, chest, and gut.
    Excellent! That is a great point!

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    For me, mind and body are indeed one and the same (The mind is a construct of the body. )
    If they really ARE one, then the dependence could reasonably be mutual. How to manifest the mind without the body? But also, how to manifest the body without the mind?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    when we hear ourselves think in our heads. That is simply using your memory recall part of your brain creatively. It is nothing more then fooling your own brain with memories, ideas, that did not happen. But as you are experienced with memories. It is not hard to fake a memory. And thus create independant thought.
    Hence, then, the importance of recognizing that the provider and recipient of this content are one, that is, thinking thoughts consciously from your own will, rather than treating the self-provided content as though it were being received passively from the outside. This must be representative of a failure of communication in the brain. The self simply does not recognize its own activity as its own.

    Quote Originally Posted by coberst View Post
    Antonio Damasio ...
    No wonder the ideas in this post look so familiar. I've read one of this person's works: "Looking for Spinoza", which apparently has a lot of the same content. His theses are easy enough to agree to.
    ~ a n t i r e c o n c i l e r
    What is death, dies.
    What is life, lives.

  8. #8
    Junior Member Apsaras's Avatar
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    I see the mind and body as thoroughly connected.

    I'm actually interested in studying psychosomatic reactions, should I get the opportunity to. Most of us have experienced the mind-body connection at some point in our lives. Stress ulcers, headaches and stomachaches show that anxiety can cause physical pain, but there are subtler indications as well. Ever had an issue weighing on your mind at night and found yourself constantly waking up due to dwelling on it? Or had something that need to be done in the early morning and then waking up early, unprompted by an alarm or external stimulus?

    There are more extreme variations, of course. Phantom limb syndrome, broken heart syndrome, the placebo/nocebo effect.

    Conversely, people point to out-of-body experiences as 'evidence' for the mind-body dichotomy. I see it as a manifestation of the mind, though I don't have enough background in the subject to be able to say that conclusively.

    At any rate, fascinating stuff.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Kyrielle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apsaras View Post
    I see the mind and body as thoroughly connected.

    I'm actually interested in studying psychosomatic reactions, should I get the opportunity to. Most of us have experienced the mind-body connection at some point in our lives. Stress ulcers, headaches and stomachaches show that anxiety can cause physical pain, but there are subtler indications as well. Ever had an issue weighing on your mind at night and found yourself constantly waking up due to dwelling on it? Or had something that need to be done in the early morning and then waking up early, unprompted by an alarm or external stimulus?

    There are more extreme variations, of course. Phantom limb syndrome, broken heart syndrome, the placebo/nocebo effect.

    Conversely, people point to out-of-body experiences as 'evidence' for the mind-body dichotomy. I see it as a manifestation of the mind, though I don't have enough background in the subject to be able to say that conclusively.

    At any rate, fascinating stuff.

    There's something in medicine called "biofeedback".

    Biofeedback - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    While the wiki article suggests you need external instruments to do something like maintain your heartrate at a certain pace, you really do not. All it is is becoming more aware of the fact that the mind and body are a feedback loop. So, what happens in the mind, affects the body, which in turn affects the mind. If you become aware of this, you can gain some measure of control over it.

    It's like counting to ten when you're angry or taking deep breaths. You're not trying to get rid of the anger directly, exactly. What you're doing is regaining control over your escalating heart-rate and breathing. By consciously slowing both down, you begin to create physical conditions that correlate with being calm, which causes your mind to pick up on those conditions and make you feel calmer emotionally.

    I believe meditation can sometimes focus on using that mind-body connection to push you into different states of consciousness.
    "I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference."

    Robert Frost

  10. #10
    WTF is this dude saying? A Schnitzel's Avatar
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    They're both made of carbon.
    Quote Originally Posted by prplchknz View Post
    sheesh humans! for realz

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