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The self





tingkagol
After all these years, I'm still confused about how I ended up in this body. I have a mind of my own, however feeble it may be. It's a miracle.


Can anybody even logically break down the phenomenon of "the self"?

I, I, I... it's never a collective mind, but a SINGLE one... I, I, I...
k, I should stop now. I'm just amazed at the odds, and I feel lucky.
deanhills
tingkagol wrote:
After all these years, I'm still confused about how I ended up in this body. I have a mind of my own, however feeble it may be. It's a miracle.


Can anybody even logically break down the phenomenon of "the self"?

I, I, I... it's never a collective mind, but a SINGLE one... I, I, I...
k, I should stop now. I'm just amazed at the odds, and I feel lucky.
Great miracle when one pauses to think about it. At the same time one of these days it will go "phut" and "lights out" .... guess that will be pretty miraculous too, since we don't know where we will be travelling to. I hope they will be right and that my spirit will be floating somewhere nice, all the places I could not go to easily because of physical challenges and travel limitations, like the Antarctic, top of the Himalayas, all the rivers, Siberia, across all the oceans, the Namib Desert, all the Parks in Africa .... it's getting better and better ... Shocked Cool
liljp617
You were born with certain innate characteristics and acquired others by observation. That is your "self." Not that miraculous really.
deanhills
liljp617 wrote:
You were born with certain innate characteristics and acquired others by observation. That is your "self." Not that miraculous really.
Very true, on the other hand pretty darn miraculous ... Wink
liljp617
Miraculous implies unnatural or unexplainable. I don't think it's unnatural nor unexplainable. It's "mandated" and developed by some pretty widely studied, accepted natural forces.
deanhills
liljp617 wrote:
Miraculous implies unnatural or unexplainable.
I think it is quite obvious that we used "miraculous" more along the lines of "wonderful and fantastic" than unnatural.

I looked it up and found two meanings for the word "miraculous". The meaning I was using was the second meaning, which I think is also the more positive meaning:
http://education.yahoo.com/reference/thesaurus/entry/miraculous;_ylt=AowUWkVtGb1i6NqAHyeEjY.ugMMF
Meaning 1
Quote:
Of, coming from, or relating to forces or beings that exist outside the natural world: extramundane, extrasensory, metaphysical, preternatural, superhuman, supernatural, superphysical, supersensible, transcendental, unearthly.

Meaning 2
Quote:
So remarkable as to elicit disbelief: amazing, astonishing, astounding, fabulous, fantastic, fantastical, incredible, marvelous, phenomenal, prodigious, stupendous, unbelievable, wonderful, wondrous.
tingkagol
liljp wrote:
Miraculous implies unnatural or unexplainable. I don't think it's unnatural nor unexplainable. It's "mandated" and developed by some pretty widely studied, accepted natural forces.

I don't quite get you. Could you explain further? Thanks.

liljp617 wrote:
You were born with certain innate characteristics and acquired others by observation. That is your "self." Not that miraculous really.

Of course.

I'm just confused-amazed of our individual awareness. I can't quite accurately put it into words.

I'll post more later. I'm off to lunch.


EDIT:
I think what I was trying to say was this:
In this universe, it's amazing that "I" have acquired "awareness" at some point in the vastness of time. Which brings alot of questions... some of my questions would include:
  • Why now? Does timing equate to purpose? Probably not. It's a bit superstitious to think so (thereby giving birth to things like faith, and as much as possible, I want to avoid any religious discussion for this topic.).
  • Apart from "innate/acquired characteristics that enable us to observe the universe" what exactly is this "awareness"? If we use identical vessels (the human body, identical but not unique), why is this "awareness" STRICTLY singular?
  • ...

I don't know if any of you get me... please help me out. lol

liljp wrote:
Miraculous implies unnatural or unexplainable. I don't think it's unnatural nor unexplainable. It's "mandated" and developed by some pretty widely studied, accepted natural forces.

I don't quite get you. Could you explain further? Thanks.
miacps
tingkagol wrote:
In this universe, it's amazing that "I" have acquired "awareness" at some point in the vastness of time. Which brings alot of questions... some of my questions would include:
  • Why now? Does timing equate to purpose? Probably not. It's a bit superstitious to think so (thereby giving birth to things like faith, and as much as possible, I want to avoid any religious discussion for this topic.).


  • Apart from "innate/acquired characteristics that enable us to observe the universe" what exactly is this "awareness"? If we use identical vessels (the human body, identical but not unique), why is this "awareness" STRICTLY singular?
  • ...


The first question is easy. The answer: because it's happening now. Under other circumstances, the question could not be asked.

The last part of the second question is attributed to the brain being the singular point of sensory processing and memory storage, the combination of the two = awareness. If either was taken out of the equation, self awareness would not be possible. With no sensory there's nothing to remember. With no memory sensory is either impossible or useless.
tingkagol
miacps wrote:
tingkagol wrote:
In this universe, it's amazing that "I" have acquired "awareness" at some point in the vastness of time. Which brings alot of questions... some of my questions would include:
  • Why now? Does timing equate to purpose? Probably not. It's a bit superstitious to think so (thereby giving birth to things like faith, and as much as possible, I want to avoid any religious discussion for this topic.).


  • Apart from "innate/acquired characteristics that enable us to observe the universe" what exactly is this "awareness"? If we use identical vessels (the human body, identical but not unique), why is this "awareness" STRICTLY singular?
  • ...


The first question is easy. The answer: because it's happening now. Under other circumstances, the question could not be asked.

I think the question "why now?" was more a wondering question on my part.

The Universe' Timeline
a) w/out you
----------------------------------------------------------------

b) w/ you
---------------------------------------------------.------------

c) ...and if you believe in reincarnation (lol)
------.---------.------.--.------.---------.--.------.--.-.-------

Letter B just shows extreme luck. This is just... AMAZING... for anybody who's studied probability. I guess it just happened, against the greatest of odds. and it's a dead end to ask "why".

miacps wrote:
The last part of the second question is attributed to the brain being the singular point of sensory processing and memory storage, the combination of the two = awareness. If either was taken out of the equation, self awareness would not be possible. With no sensory there's nothing to remember. With no memory sensory is either impossible or useless.

I understand that the mind is unique and aware. But why is it unique to me? Why is my mind unique to me? My own? Myself? I'd like to think the first question and this one is intertwined.


I believe I'm not making any sense. Laughing I'll straighten up later.
Bikerman
Well, it isn't unique to you in the sense that everyone has the same feeling of 'self' (or nearly everyone, it is difficult to know in some cases of brain damage). You appear to be struggling for an answer to the age old question - what makes me self-aware? If you can answer that then your fame will be assured...
tingkagol
lol. I know.

Is there even a working theory for this (non-religious)? It just doesn't make any sense to me!
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
Well, it isn't unique to you in the sense that everyone has the same feeling of 'self' (or nearly everyone, it is difficult to know in some cases of brain damage). You appear to be struggling for an answer to the age old question - what makes me self-aware? If you can answer that then your fame will be assured...
lol mine is a struggle with what can I do not to be self-aware. Being self-aware is the gateway to complicating life and absence of self-awareness the gateway to simplicity. I was looking at some cute birds (of the feathery variety) yesterday operating exactly according to the rules of nature and just thinking how darn lucky they are! On the other hand, maybe they are missing out on posting in Frihost Smile
miacps
tingkagol wrote:
miacps wrote:
tingkagol wrote:
In this universe, it's amazing that "I" have acquired "awareness" at some point in the vastness of time. Which brings alot of questions... some of my questions would include:
  • Why now? Does timing equate to purpose? Probably not. It's a bit superstitious to think so (thereby giving birth to things like faith, and as much as possible, I want to avoid any religious discussion for this topic.).


  • Apart from "innate/acquired characteristics that enable us to observe the universe" what exactly is this "awareness"? If we use identical vessels (the human body, identical but not unique), why is this "awareness" STRICTLY singular?
  • ...


The first question is easy. The answer: because it's happening now. Under other circumstances, the question could not be asked.

I think the question "why now?" was more a wondering question on my part.

The Universe' Timeline
a) w/out you
----------------------------------------------------------------

b) w/ you
---------------------------------------------------.------------

c) ...and if you believe in reincarnation (lol)
------.---------.------.--.------.---------.--.------.--.-.-------

Letter B just shows extreme luck. This is just... AMAZING... for anybody who's studied probability. I guess it just happened, against the greatest of odds. and it's a dead end to ask "why".


That's hard to say without knowing exactly how the mechanism works. It could be anywhere from a very frequent occurrence to extremely improbable.

I think that the unique self must be directly linked to some physical part.


Here's a tough one; Imagine that teleportation exists. The teleporter works by breaking down the body's molecules and either transports them to the destination to be reassembled OR obliterates the original molecules and reconstructs the body to the exact cell count on the other end.

Has the localized self been lost in one, both or neither method?

What do you guys think?

I tend to think that using the first method would preserve local self awareness but the second method would actually create a unique copy with a brand new awareness to continue on. The original awareness would end at the moment of cellular obliteration and would not be tacked on to the copy.



I'll have to leave it at that since I can't tell if I'm making sense. Wink
deanhills
miacps wrote:
Here's a tough one; Imagine that teleportation exists. The teleporter works by breaking down the body's molecules and either transports them to the destination to be reassembled OR obliterates the original molecules and reconstructs the body to the exact cell count on the other end.

Has the localized self been lost in one, both or neither method?

What do you guys think?

I tend to think that using the first method would preserve local self awareness but the second method would actually create a unique copy with a brand new awareness to continue on. The original awareness would end at the moment of cellular obliteration and would not be tacked on to the copy.



I'll have to leave it at that since I can't tell if I'm making sense. Wink
You've now touched on very interesting stuff. I really like this idea of teleporting, and who knows, maybe this has been ongoing without us "remembering" anything about it? I don't think there will be something "brand-new" in place of what we had before, more along the lines of something "brand-new" continuing from where we were before, except that we won't be able to remember what had happened before.
socialoutcast
Quote:
I tend to think that using the first method would preserve local self awareness but the second method would actually create a unique copy with a brand new awareness to continue on


A "unique copy", eh. That's different. To me that sounds more like an oxymoron--a contradiction.

I would agree that this is an interesting subject of self-awareness. We have conscience to be aware of the things around us more so then animals not like us--humans beings. This is what makes us unique from all the other creatures. We have this ability to think for ourselves and do what we feel is right. One the other hand, animals (non-humans) only follow their instinct. This is how they where wired.

Also, another interesting idea was brought up was the ideal of timing and purpose. I think these two ideas tend to operate independently and maybe crossing points occasionally. Two of the most important and toughest questions to seeks answers to I believe are, "Why were we born" and "What are we here for?" Seeking out the answers to these questions will produce more questions than answers, but that is part of the journey of life until death. I think the answer to these is less universal and more personal. It is different for everyone. These question also lead onto a pathway to finding purpose in our lives. If we can satisfy ourselves with who we are, we then can explore more questions such as, "why am I here now?"

Two more questions to ponder. The two most important times in our lives are the moments when we find out "why we were born when we were," and "what we are here for?" At this point in our lives we then realize our meaning in life.
deanhills
socialoutcast wrote:
Two of the most important and toughest questions to seeks answers to I believe are, "Why were we born" and "What are we here for?" Seeking out the answers to these questions will produce more questions than answers, but that is part of the journey of life until death. I think the answer to these is less universal and more personal. It is different for everyone. These question also lead onto a pathway to finding purpose in our lives. If we can satisfy ourselves with who we are, we then can explore more questions such as, "why am I here now?"

Two more questions to ponder. The two most important times in our lives are the moments when we find out "why we were born when we were," and "what we are here for?" At this point in our lives we then realize our meaning in life.
Think this is why we have a "sense of humour", as at this point we may discover there is really no meaning to life other than life itself Smile Searching for the meaning is perhaps taking ourselves much too seriously and removing ourselves from the "power of now" in time. We are born because we are born and there is no other reason that we are here for other than we are alive.
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