Truth and Humanity - Dr Susan Blackmore

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Truth and Humanity - Dr Susan Blackmore

Postby Dan Rowden » Sun May 06, 2007 7:48 pm

Show 4 with Susan Blackmore is now available.

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Postby bert » Sun May 06, 2007 11:17 pm

on emotional attachment:
susan:not suppress natural human emotions
david:a clash between Truth and what we emotionally want life to be.

it seems that David's idea comes directly from the spiritists who say: "the inner being conquers the outer"(meaning body).such an absurd statement is typical of Eastern nominalism.there is no 'mind versus body' - no civil war.the disobedientness(resistance to guidance) of the Ids,our emotional instability, are permitted by the mind and essential to the life-force.they may be disciplined ,changed or transferred for a while,but never destroyed or conquered.control is a social ability,not a total practice of self-denial by depriving one's self of something,or creation would cease - Nature's suicide!
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Postby Kevin Solway » Sun May 06, 2007 11:34 pm

bert wrote:no civil war


What about the civil war between truth and falsity, or the civil war between wisdom and ignorance. You aren't going to deny the real existence of those are you?

control is a social ability,not a total practice of self-denial by depriving one's self of something


If the ignorant self wants to, say, kill everyone in the world other than oneself, for the reason that everyone else has a different religion, then self-denial is very important. The ignorant self must be deprived of its delusions.
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Anger

Postby Kevin Solway » Sun May 06, 2007 11:42 pm

I like the way Susan Blackmore justified her real anger with her children by rationalizing that it was "only passing" or suchlike.

A serial murderer could justify their own behaviour in the same manner. They simply kill others whenever the whim or feeling arises in them to do so, but they don't cling to it, or dwell on it, or feel guilty about it, but just move on to the next thing quite naturally. So no harm is done.

The truth is, a parent being angry with their child - even for just a second - can traumatize the child for life.

Serious traumatization probably doesn't happen all that often, but I'm sure it happens more than people think it does.
Last edited by Kevin Solway on Mon May 07, 2007 12:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Dan Rowden » Mon May 07, 2007 12:03 am

Yes, this was one of the weak areas of her position. She didn't seem to recognise that her belief that our emotional life sort of just happens naturally - as a consequence of our humanity or as part of what our body generates - also applies to the illusions/delusions of the self she's against. The false self is as naturally arising in people as emotions. She needs to examine her inconsistency on that issue. Overall I was quite impressed though...
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Postby Carl G » Mon May 07, 2007 12:54 am

As with the other three shows, a pleasant exchange of beliefs and opinions, skimming an interesting group of subjects, complete with cordial agreeing and disagreeing. Went down nicely with my Sunday morning coffee.
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Postby bert » Mon May 07, 2007 1:01 am

Kevin Solway wrote:
control is a social ability,not a total practice of self-denial by depriving one's self of something


If the ignorant self wants to, say, kill everyone in the world other than oneself, for the reason that everyone else has a different religion, then self-denial is very important. The ignorant self must be deprived of its delusions.


control is a social ability,not a total abstinence.
what is body?
a vast experience,veritable strata of wisdom from our many past forms made implicit and organic and formed by mind and all inner states.is it more than unrealistic that mind needs destroy its own processes and media?no,there is a vast co-operation with mind constantly rectifying the body for further expression.
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Postby Kevin Solway » Mon May 07, 2007 1:15 am

bert wrote:what is body?


It doesn't matter what the body is. We need to deny our ignorant mind of its delusions, do we not?
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Postby bert » Mon May 07, 2007 1:25 am

Dan Rowden wrote:Yes, this was one of the weak areas of her position. She didn't seem to recognise that her belief that our emotional life sort of just happens naturally - as a consequence of our humanity or as part of what our body generates - also applies to the illusions/delusions of the self she's against. The false self is as naturally arising in people as emotions. She needs to examine her inconsistency on that issue. Overall I was quite impressed though...


I think she knew it,but she was baffled by the whole body-mind thing(at that moment); so was trying to generate some deeper insights with ,as a consequence ,difficulties to express those.
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Postby bert » Mon May 07, 2007 2:59 am

Kevin Solway wrote:
bert wrote:what is body?


It doesn't matter what the body is. We need to deny our ignorant mind of its delusions, do we not?

it is farfetched to say that it doesn't matter what the body is..for the body is the house and means of the mind.
life is not a means to an end, but a transference to other means...transcending or regressing.

and we have the reality of illusion as one delusion falsefying another.
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Postby Unidian » Mon May 07, 2007 3:29 am

I think that in the person of insight, emotions do not disappear, but they do undergo a subtle but deep change in nature. To say that they are "just passing" or the like is misleading because it suggests that the passing emotions still have the same basic "quality" they do in the ignorant. But I don't think that is so. Rather, the emotions, while still having the potential to be intense on the surface, are no longer "rooted." They have no basis in the beliefs and delusions which cause people to become attached to them. Therefore, the person of insight can be angry for a few minutes and forget the whole thing immediately afterward, for example. There is no attachment to the emotional state because there is no belief that it has any firm basis.
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Postby Nick Treklis » Mon May 07, 2007 4:09 am

I think the reasoning she uses to justify her emotions actually should be applied more to the justification of how one must operate at times as if they have an inherent self, yet can still understand and realize it is only an illussion of an inherent self. In an empirical sense we really don't have the choice of operating in a dualistic manner, which is necessary to do in the case of conscious beings. This doesn't make one delusional or ill-equiped to see the truth of the matter, but one is simply working with the situation he is put in. But in the case of emotions we do have the ability to recognize and understand that to become emotional about anything it all is completely delusional. This basically goes back to her opening statement where she makes the claim about how she does not value reason and rationality above all else, so at least she isn't a hypocrit.
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Postby Kevin Solway » Mon May 07, 2007 10:36 am

Unidian wrote:the person of insight can be angry for a few minutes and forget the whole thing immediately afterward, for example. There is no attachment to the emotional state because there is no belief that it has any firm basis.


An individual might forget their own anger after a couple of minutes, but the victim of their anger most certainly will not. The victim might suffer because of it for a whole lifetime.

That's the problem with anger or emotion of any kind.
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Postby Unidian » Mon May 07, 2007 2:03 pm

I know, but no philosophy will help that. Recurring "non-rooted" anger that is not the result of any fundamental delusion is basically an issue of psychological habituation and is best addressed in a therapeutic situation, IMO. That's the way I've been approaching it, anyway, and it's been helpful.
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Postby Kelly Jones » Mon May 07, 2007 3:56 pm

Unidian wrote: Recurring "non-rooted" anger that is not the result of any fundamental delusion


Nat, are you talking about a chemical imbalance here?


is basically an issue of psychological habituation and is best addressed in a therapeutic situation, IMO.


What do you mean by "psychological habituation"?

And, by "therapeutic situation", do you mean psychotherapy? By psychotherapy, I mean exploring very strong attachments to irrational beliefs and weakening them by reasoning about them in light of rational beliefs.

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Postby Leyla Shen » Mon May 07, 2007 11:46 pm

Much to my dismay, the podcast keeps stopping just as Susan begins to describe her out-of-body experience.

Tips, recommendations, information, anyone?
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Postby Kevin Solway » Tue May 08, 2007 12:05 am

Leyla Shen wrote:Much to my dismay, the podcast keeps stopping just as Susan begins to describe her out-of-body experience.

Tips, recommendations, information, anyone?


If this happens when using the "play now" button, then try downloading it to your hard disk instead using the second button. If you have already downloaded it to your hard drive then check the size of the file. It should be more than 50Mb. If it's a lot smaller, then re-download the file.
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Postby Leyla Shen » Tue May 08, 2007 12:12 am

It seems to be something with the first link Dan posted, Kevin, because I am listening to the podcast now via the second "main show page" link and am not having the same problem, so far. Am also downloading it from the main page without problems (I never attempted to d/l from the first link, though); 51.3 mb.
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Postby Kevin Solway » Tue May 08, 2007 12:56 am

Unidian wrote:Recurring "non-rooted" anger that is not the result of any fundamental delusion


Please explain how you think anger might arise without depending on some kind of delusion (eg, boredom, frustration, anxiety, impatience, etc)

To say that emotions are not caused by delusion is just avoiding the real cause of the emotions.

A man who regularly beats-up his wife and children can simply dismiss it ias "non-rooted" anger that is not caused by any delusion.
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Postby ChochemV2 » Tue May 08, 2007 2:15 am

I don't think she believed anyone could actually get rid of emotions, that they are a physiological consequence of our evolutionary path and as physically tied to you as an arm or leg. In effect there is no "getting rid" of emotions simply suppressing them or consciously refusing to act on them but they don't completely disappear.

You can change the stimuli for yourself, deciding not to get angry at certain things, but you aren't really erasing emotions just changing the criteria in which they arise. As such her position seems perfectly fine to me since it recognizes that emotions exist, recognizes what causes them and then tries to minimize their effect on you.
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Postby bert » Tue May 08, 2007 2:26 am

Unidian wrote:I know, but no philosophy will help that. Recurring "non-rooted" anger that is not the result of any fundamental delusion is basically an issue of psychological habituation and is best addressed in a therapeutic situation, IMO. That's the way I've been approaching it, anyway, and it's been helpful.


one is almost tempted to assert that most madness,ignorance,evil,and general physical discomfort ,is due to a lack of early frustrations which are the best of later control.I can say of myself that all my wrongness and weakness comes from a lack of correct suppression and discipline at some early time; and it would not have interfered with the best self-expression.


________

A flash..I remember a passing of S Dali in the chapter "how to discover one's genius" that fits quite well on the topic:

I was an anarchist,a nd privately composed hymns to my own will to power.one morning coming to school I saw a group of students yelling as they burned a spanish flag in the name of Catalan separatism.I was just getting into their group of students yelling as they began to disperse.I proudly thought myarrival was what had turned them,but a troop of soldiers rushing up on the double surrounded me as I was picking up the charred remains of the flag.I was arrested ,despite my protests,and indicted.but the court acquitted me,because of my age.my legend ,however,grew as a result,and in my contemporaries eyes I was a hero.yet,if I increasingly impressed them,I did nothing to gain their affection.I took delight in taking on boys smaller and weaker than I.pretending to be with my nose in a book,I would choose my victim.I remember one boy,especially ugly,who was busy eating achocolate bar,alternating each mouthful with a bite of bread .his placidity and the bovine regularity of his mastication drove me crazy.when I got near him,I slappped him as hard as I could,sending his snack rolling in the dust,and then ran away,leaving him speechless.

sometimes things went less well for me.one day I went over to a sickly looking kid with a violin.I patiently waited for him to put the instrument down to tie his shoelace,then suddenly kicked his behind as hard as I could,and trampled on his fiddle.unfortunately,the boy had long legs,and his wild fury endowed him with a strenght I would never have suspected.he caught up with me.a picture of cowardice,I threw myself on his knees and begged him to spare me,offering him twenty-five pesetas not to hit me.in his fury he did not even hear me and beat me up proper and good,knocking me to the ground and tearing out a handful of my hair.I began scraem,out of pain - and design.My hysteria had the desired result.my adversary was taken aback,and stopped,as a teacher who heard it all came over to us.he asked what had strated the fight.
with complete assurance,I stated that in smashing the violin I wanted to establish the supremacy of painting over music.they broke out laughing.
"how did you think you'd do that?"the teacher asked.
"with my shoes"
more laughing from all concerned.
"that's perfectly senseless," the teacher replied.
"to you and the fellows it may be,"I encountered," but my shoes don't see it that way".
and I was right,as I have since proven in my paintings by showing the realistic virtues of the shoe - which I even immortalized by putting it on women's haeds when Elsa Schiaparelli executed my hat - while I reproduced musical instrumets limp,soft,or broken,thus making a monument out of every detail of my existence,even the worst of them.
the teacher,floored by my answers,did not punish me,and was the subject of even greater admiration.the efficacy of my eccentricities began to be intriguing and my alledged madness appeared as proof of my extraordinary temperament.I realized that my delirium could convince people and subjugate them.It was easy to fool everyone about the origin and meaning of my actions,and thus create a beneficient confusion all about me.
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Postby David Quinn » Tue May 08, 2007 8:31 am

ChochemV2 wrote:

I don't think she believed anyone could actually get rid of emotions, that they are a physiological consequence of our evolutionary path and as physically tied to you as an arm or leg. In effect there is no "getting rid" of emotions simply suppressing them or consciously refusing to act on them but they don't completely disappear.

You can change the stimuli for yourself, deciding not to get angry at certain things, but you aren't really erasing emotions just changing the criteria in which they arise. As such her position seems perfectly fine to me since it recognizes that emotions exist, recognizes what causes them and then tries to minimize their effect on you.

While it is true that we have evolved to experience emotions, they still need particular kinds of perceptions to trigger them off. For example, there needs to be a perception of threat before the emotion of fear can be triggered into existence.

That is the evolutionary purpose of emotion - to spur us into certain pre-programmed courses of actions in response to certain perceptions - but also its vulnerability. The emotions can be switched off altogether simply by removing the trigger.

That is why I talked on the show about the role of attachments in triggering emotions. If a person were to have no attachments at all, not even to his own happiness or his own life, then the trigger for emotion disappears.

This is a point that hardly anyone in the world wants to examine or deal with. It is a truth which cuts far too close to the bone. People want their attachments, they want an emotional life, but they don't want to think about the consequences of this.

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Postby David Quinn » Tue May 08, 2007 8:40 am

Leyla Shen wrote:Much to my dismay, the podcast keeps stopping just as Susan begins to describe her out-of-body experience.

Tips, recommendations, information, anyone?

That was due to troubles I initially had in uploading the show. For some reason, only the first few minutes were being uploaded before stopping. It might have been because the particular copy of the show I was uploading was residing in a dodgy section of my hard-drive.

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Postby ChochemV2 » Tue May 08, 2007 9:42 am

That is why I talked on the show about the role of attachments in triggering emotions. If a person were to have no attachments at all, not even to his own happiness or his own life, then the trigger for emotion disappears.


That's where I think the disconnect was. It seemed like she was assuming you claimed you had no emotions and that's why she kept calling it inhuman. When, as I see it, the point was you have reached a point where the things which would evoke a certain emotion in most people don't matter to you so they aren't the same trigger.

It's not that you are emotionless just that you have moved past certain stimuli.

I compare it to the kid who is teased in school. Parents always say something like "Teasing just means that person has low self esteem so you should feel sorry for them, not get angry". It's my experience that few people, even the parents saying the words, ever actually get to a point where teasing doesn't phase them and few even raise their tolerance threshold.
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Postby Dan Rowden » Tue May 08, 2007 11:28 am

That's probably true, but some do, which proves the possibility of it. As I said before the problem with Sue's argument about emotions (aside from the fact that we didn't really get to go too much into the causes of them with her) is that it can just as readily be applied to things she believes are transcendable, like the belief in a inherent self. If there is no possible immunity from certain memes it needs to be explained why this is so.
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