Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Introducing the Craftmatic Egocentric “Slice and Dice Machine"

I have no idea what might happen next.

Do you?

So why care?

The “journey” you think you’re on is NOT the one you’re on and the path you’re following is not the one that will take you “there.” But don’t sweat the small stuff. Just keep doing whatever it is you’re doing.

Most of your “life” has happened to you, with little involvement from “you.” Life unfolds and you adjust accordingly, based on thought patterns that were provided to you by a “world.” Yet, it does seem these thoughts are conjured up entirely by your “self” and that “you” have something to do with it. Can a “self” that has no unique attributes, be considered a separate “self”? If you were molded and shaped exclusively by an outside world (which includes your body), can you still proclaim some sense of “individuality” separate from that which made you?

The egocentric “I-Me” adores all attempts by itself at dismantling itself to reach some “true” center of itself. It relishes the constant pursuit of elevating the “self” above itself by cutting away parts of itself in the belief that this will eventually result in freedom from itself. It eagerly lives in anticipation of each new egocentric experience of “selflessness.” Ego longs for the day it will no longer be egocentric through its serial conceptual lobotomizing.

Something must be “done” in order to get “there.”

But what???

Ego-self cannot comprehend doing nothing. There aren’t any neuro-circuits that allow for NOTHING and all circuits lead to SOMETHING. The defining factor of egocentricity is “doing” something about itself, as a means of knowing itself. To laughingly inform an egocentric self that everything it does has one purpose and that is to maintain self-awareness, is absurd to a brain packed full of neuro-circuits that require meaning to maintain the currents and current to maintain the meanings.

So egocentrics must keep ‘doing.’ You can’t NOT do. It is impossible NOT to have a goal. Try NOT having any goal at all. 

There must be some place to get to and some journey to get you “there.” There are many “theres” to get to, whether you choose to engage or disengage your “world,” there is a “path” toward attaining that goal. You just have to pick the one that fits well with your circuitry (and you always will. You have no choice). There must be some meditation, some mantra, some religion or spirituality, some ideological premise, some skill or some practice worth doing. There must be some guru, some master, some guy somewhere, who knows what to “do.” Go to any so-called “spiritual” forum and watch how it’s all regurgitated ad infinitum ( nauseam). A thousand years from now the same platitudes will be mouthed until death terminates the brain waves that produce linguistic drivel. Each year some new spiritual celebrity gives you the same sugar coated diarrhea, to soothe your tired soul.

Your life has been a series of choices, each an antecedent of the next and each time you think you’re just a tad bit closer, there's always…the next choice to be made. You’ve had no choice in your choices, just as you will have no choice in the moment of your death. Hence,choices will be made regardless, and each choice is an embryo of the next.

The paradox is that the more you do, the more you must do. The more you cut away from egocentricity, the more there is to cut away. The more you believe you have deflated your ego (as if “you” and ego were separate) the more inflated it becomes (take out one drug dealer and ten more pop up to take his place).

But go ahead keep slicing away at the “self, because with each cut comes an experience and each experience adds to “you.” Not like the old “you,” mind ya, but a better, more improved version (less is always more) each and every time. One that you can take pride in because it proves you are not like ‘them,” and isn’t that what “awakening” is all about? They repulse you and that repulsion is the premise from which you seek alternatives. But, alas, “you” are like them and everything you do demonstrates that to “you,” up to, and including your end.

What you give “attention” to in any moment is based on developmentally imprinted neuro-circuitry. You were taught how, and what, to “think” and everything you aspire to is based on a socio-culturally conditioned brain circuits.

Ego-transcendence, in all its “spiritual” forms, is nothing more than your attempt to escape your brain. You don’t like what it shows you? You find the thoughts, generated through socially conditioned neuro-circuits, that you had no choice in the making, often negative and disparaging and you want out?

Hence, you look to the world you seek to escape for aid in generating additional circuits that you hope will eventually lead to an exit door. You seek out those whose words ignite positive limbic system emotional experiences in the pleasure centers of the brain. You want the guru that gives the whiz-bang, yo!

But eventually all circuits lead back to you. In other words, the circuits generated through the words of your beloved spiritual teacher must eventually be overwhelmed by the reality that you must negotiate, regardless of what the master tells you.

In other words, if you’re getting all jiggy with the new practice or technique the “master” taught you, it won’t make a spit of difference when that virus or bacteria knocks you on your butt. If you lose you job and can’t pay the mortgage, you can do your spiritual “autolysis” till the cows come home, but you’re still gonna lose your house and that sucks cause you haven’t finished your spiritual “autolysis” yet! Damn, if you’d only be finished, life wouldn’t suck so bad, right?

Reality is in your brain and manifests through a billion neurons branching out through miles and miles of neuro-networks. Other than brain damage or suicide, there is no shutting this stuff off and it will take you wherever it will (even to brain damage or suicide!).

But there is pretending that you have overcome your circuitry and are no longer affected by the “thoughts” it generates.

And there is a circuit for that too…

Friday, October 5, 2012

In a dream, "choices" must be made...

We are conscious of only a tiny fraction of the information that our brains process in each moment. Although we continually notice changes in our experience— in thought, mood, perception, behavior, etc.— we are utterly unaware of the neurophysiological events that produce them. In fact, we can be very poor witnesses to experience itself.  By merely glancing at your face or listening to your tone of voice, others are often more aware of your state of mind and motivations than you are.

 I generally start each day with a cup of coffee or tea— sometimes two. This morning, it was coffee (two). Why not tea? I am in no position to know. I wanted coffee more than I wanted tea today, and I was free to have what I wanted. Did I consciously choose coffee over tea? No. The choice was made for me by events in my brain that I, as the conscious witness of my thoughts and actions, could not inspect or influence. Could I have “changed my mind” and switched to tea before the coffee drinker in me could get his bearings? Yes, but this impulse would also have been the product of unconscious causes. Why didn’t it arise this morning? Why might it arise in the future? I cannot know. The intention to do one thing and not another does not originate in consciousness— rather, it appears in consciousness, as does any thought or impulse that might oppose it.   
Harris, Sam (2012-03-06). Free Will (pp. 7-8). Simon & Schuster, Inc.. Kindle Edition. 

If there is no free-will, and all thoughts, feelings and behaviors are entirely influenced by influences that were themselves influenced by previous influences, which have therefore been influenced, how can we stake claim to a unique self-hood?

If every intention you claim as yours, is merely the product of previously developed neuro-circuitry, why intend anything at all except what you’re supposed to intend, which you cannot know until that intention circuit fires up in your brain? What choices need to be made that won’t be made and, if they’re not made, then they were not to be made anyway?

You intend nothing that is not already intended and your intention was intended long before you became aware of it and acted on it.

Why has it been so hard to just "enjoy the ride"? 

You have no choice but to go wherever it takes you, why suffer through where you are (unless of course, this is what must be experienced).

I have written much that does not get posted here, but everything I have posted must be posted, else it simply would not be here. I have had no choice in the direction I have been influenced to follow, based on the circuits that direct "me." I have intended nothing.

If all thought is generated through predetermined neuro-circuits that have been influenced from birth by billions of internal and external experiences, generating ‘memory’ circuits of their own that will influence other circuits, is there still a self? If everything “you” are and everything identified with as “you,” had absolutely nothing to do with “you” or any sense of a free-willed ‘choice,’ can there even be a “you”?

The Egocentric self is defined, and experienced, on the belief in a will to make free and autonomous choices from its desires. But if those desires have been determined and subsequently influenced by other influenced desires, then so has each and every choice made up to now and ALL choices that will be made in the future...  

....have already been made.

Hence, the obvious fact is that there is no “you” making choices. There is only a “you” experiencing choices made from previous determinations all the way back to the womb.

How can an ego-self, that is not free to make choices, be an ego-self when egocentricity demands the capacity to choose and has spent a lifetime developing and honing judgment circuits in the brain to enhance and emphasize that capacity?

You had no choice in your birth, just as you will have no choice in your death. But the "Good News" is that you have had, and will have, no choice in between either. If you have never had free-will to choose, do you even exist, other than as a lump of mobile flesh acting out pretensions that are not in any way based on the capacity to choose?

In a dream, choices need be made. When you awaken, no such illusion remains.

I have had numerous correspondence from many who have sought ways to spiritually transcend their individual egocentricity. But they experience anger in my attempts to show that an independent ego-self cannot be transcended, because it exists but with no capacity to make choices.

Clearly, egocentricity enjoys attempting to transcend itself and has built up centuries of theoretical texts to show the way. But this has always been a fools errand (but a necessary one).

You have shaped and molded NOTHING. All your self-actualizing, self-development techniques, to become an improved and happier “I-Me,” was nothing more than doing what you were genetically and socio-culturally conditioned to do. “You” had no choice, nor will you ever. Your intention to "transcend" you egocentricity has been influenced by past influences that have also been influenced, completely outside your control, with as about as much meaning and purpose as the intention to take out the trash. Everything you are now you have had to be. It was not under your control. “You” are out of the loop, simply because you have never been IN the loop.

Why suffer through right or wrong, good or bad choices, when each choice made…had to be made? You are on a "path" but in no way a product of your choosing or in any way influenced by any thoughts you think "you" conjure up "in the moment." Every moment you experience has been influenced by the moment before it, and so on, back to conception.

So now that you have read this and consider it (not just my words but the words of a reputable neuroscientist) what circuits are forming up that will influence other circuits? Will your belief circuits demand you ignore this post or maybe seek out a memory-based linguistic circuit to refute the obvious? Or will you suddenly experience less intensity of “mind,” with less of a need to invest in any particular ideology or "path," because if there is no free and autonomous “you,” what good is any choice "you" make? What about your constant daily struggle to maintain a fixed self based on past and future choices? Does it matter?

It really makes no difference what you choose, simply because you will choose what you MUST.

But...if you're following your guru then...

..."And now you do what they told ya.
 Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me"
(Rage Against the Machine)

Artwork - "Time Guardian"