Monday, November 9, 2015

My shared practice of Zazen and philosophy of Zen

Many will say 'Zen is not a philosophy' well.. Zen/Ch'an Buddhism is the most written about school of thought involving Buddhist traditions, so... That is nonsense to me, to say, and this is simply my journal and scattered view points.  
I recommend reading the early history and evolution of Zen (Ch'an) Buddhism, and how it became where it is today... The original Patriarchs hold the key to the rebellious movement of thought that is now a 'mainstream' practice...
 The following are 'streams of consciousness' involving my responses and understanding of Zen.  They will organized further in the future. I feel publishing them now can do no harm besides insight debates from others, which is what I would like to do. Enjoy.

I mainly do Zazen, with variations at times, and with the exception of group or guided.

The idea is simple, but has taken me 3 years to focus on just doing the basics:

*Sit with a straight relaxed back

*Legs crossed. Lotus or half lotus position. Pillow if necessary.

*Hands with fingers relaxed on top of other hand, palms up.

*Thumbs just-not-touching, always, maintain it.

*Eyes half shut. Staring at a space on the ground a foot or so away from you.

*Focus on maintaining this posture for the entire duration of meditation

*Count breaths to 10; either every inhale and exhale, or every other (which is harder)

(I do not like staring at walls, it seems... wrong, I do not have words for it. Watching others walk by will not matter while you are maintaining your body postures.)

 - I do Zazen when/if I can throughout the day; 20-30 min intervals or -when planned- hour sit sessions -to about- three hour yoga/meditation sessions.

If I am waiting for a friend, I shut my eyes half way and sit on a bench or stoop and keep my thumbs just a part with my back straight. I maintain good posture...

When I am not thinking straight... I been caught pretending to be in the bathroom, to otherwise Zazen on the toilet seat (obviously not in a lotus position).

Any normal sitting I would have lotus or half lotus leg positions for yoga purposes; it's a minor exercise and adds another posture to maintain.  The idea, or lack of thinking, I am mainly worried about is my posture and position.  I want to maintain, and concentrate on, the *above* basics. It's a lot harder than most people think! It has taken a great deal of time to realize, I want to multitask as a thinking thing, lol. Zazen let's me realize I am always doing, what I am not doing while I do both.

I imagine a true guru and/or yogi would find my basics none sense, lol, but I respect a person whom is able to focus on focusing or otherwise not-focusing, for days at a time.

I however, only need some drinking water from the well of consciousness, I do not need to swim in it!

Zazen is basic meditation which means it is some of the most difficult. But that can only be argued by the practice and the philosophy that follows; 'the shadow of our mind creeps in while we turn to look at it' 'we are making up our realities ourselves with these machine brains' 'the mind is a question, that should be answered' 'illusions are relative, subjective and objectively measured - just like reality' 'admitting to knowing less than known'

This^ stream of consciousness is what I have taken out of Zazen. Because, while I adjust and maintain and readjust... I am remembering how I am not designed to do this... I am naturally designed to be an animal, active human - but, this is why we sit, to not just be active, but to be responsive - not just reacting, but consciously aware of reaction.

We have no minds without others, yet my mind is independent of others..
We believe we can know the truth, but what we forget is we only know we think we know the truth...
We can only know what we see - should only trust half of it, but trust the halves of others.
We are our minds.


Zen thinking is not constant thinking.
.... Not static thinking.
... what is called 'No Mind' thinking...

It's a balance. A struggling middle way - neither type of thinking is valid nor invalid; neither physicalism nor holism.

And once found, the middle place, should then be forgotten. Yet if you're a student like me, and cannot forget what you find. Continue to read.

There are a-balances, anti-balances in conceptualization, not in reality... But, only in chaos do they exist. Crisis is where we find chaotic states of knowing. Yet there is no real chaos besides our ignorance of the order. Handling new crisis with the knowledge of the previous-past and the wisdom of the pending-future, is no different than handling the current moment with a soft grasp and softer mentality. Crisis is where words limit our ability to express nature, the struggles of those walking towards the way.

Our minds are that of nature. In constant crisis with static constructions.. Naturalizing the way we perceive our realities is how we paint them brighter and with more efficiencies of color choice. Wider and more vast with and when equating our mind to nature.

This allows us, conceptually, to be able to not need a different word for human and nature. That's zen.
We can know no category is natural, and maintain a natural attitude. We can know concepts are based on beliefs and experience, and keep that in perspective when we use said concepts. WE can even know what someone means by "reality" based on how they are using it in conversation, and still be able to think about questions relative to the word "reality" quietly in our heads.

Pragmatics is natural because it's how we think... But why we think is an existentially inductive topic...

Let's polarize the mind to say existentialism v pragmatism

The mind is actually the "v" - the synthesis

How we all are different is where our "v" polarizes towards during certain moments more naturally.

The natural has now been used in 3 tenses. How? Because that's how thoughts can supersede language, while still being victim to it... Like you said, but in a different perspective; language is dualistic, our mind is dualistic, nature can be made into dualisms (yin-yang), while dualism being the greatest lie ever told to our consciousness.

A balance, the middle way... is trying to synthesizing polarities into higher and higher polarities... as far as I have been able to understand anyways

And I do not submit to Zen's middle way conceptualizations, necessarily. I submit to do better.

What the Buddha meant was neither was substantial to explain reality in entirety. However he would teach lessons from both, when they applied more fully.
There is no perfect philosophy. I agree. But philosophy itself is how the spirit becomes free from the boundaries created by our ancestors. The ability to destroy passed down dogmas come from philosophical practice.

Chan Buddhist revived zen on premises, and the basics, that permeate all eastern traditions and not just Buddhism, thus why some scholars say zen is Buddhism and Taoism in perfect harmony.

This harmony prevents ego from being master... The question I always am concerned with is how to treat the ego. Because although it is not eternal, it is part of our ability to understand the eternal.

Ordinary mind... I come to it when I read the psychologies of brain, social and culture studies. I get there when I see myself in everyone else.

Non-ego state of mind is permanently impermanent, a paradox to believe is possible. Which is why intuition is our greatest ally and foe. Reality is an illusion we build up with more illusions until the collapse into revelations.

Rationalism is not the best, but better than empiricism. And rationalism should never neglect empiricism and vice versa. Empiricism could override rationality.

The middle way is not a way that rejects, but a way that finds the most acceptance.
A person may be a result of their actions and be able to be identified by their actions, but witnessing the action of others does not mean you know the entirety of their actions or reasons for them.

You may walk into a room with a man beating a woman... But did you know she killed his child from post-trama of being a new mother? You react by stopping him, but if you FULLY knew his emotions, you would join him? Probably not... but then feel empathy for him also..  And if you knew her emotions you would join her... Maybe not, but again the empathy.. Or perhaps yes to both... Because we would KNOW their exact motives (while externally wrong, internally justified..)  There are infinite things we cannot know and they begin with what will be the ripples of our actions later, from now.

that is why we live in the moment, to make sure our actions do not ripple further than we can see or control. Discipline of the Buddha, is discipline of our mind and body.


I always enjoyed the idea of a triality being superior to duality. What's to stop us then come considering quadalities as being then more superior?

A perspective of three or four does seem to fit our cognitive minds.

It's been proven we remember better in chunks of 3-4 better than longer chunks. Like our telephone numbers for example. Power points are better when they stick to 3-4 pieces of information per slide....

But Zen does little to talk of 3's. Taoism has more references as 3 and more are the children of one the father and two the mother.

Believing we can know one causes destruction in mind and world. Following two is where we will find peace. And using three and the rest to do better in knowing and following.

A problem with most existential arguments is the lack of reflection towards 'caregiving' - without our mothers we would not be here, able to communicate our thoughts - in the first place.

We desperately try to find meaning without understanding where there does not have to be meaning, but emphasis.

In order to be allowed to question anything, especially the self, we were cared for by other "selves" we were raised and taught by natural forces we had no control over. Forces that we do well not to reflect upon.

The point where you think nothing matters, is innately selfish and ego-filled. If your mother felt that way, you would not be reading this. This type of thinking is ordinary, it is not meant to be impermanent or permanent, empty or full...

The ordinary mind translates "chop wood, carry wood, fetch water, drink water" not as a simple, everyday mindset - but as a mindset which reflects what is necessary everyday no matter what you think.
Rhetorical; to understand we have more than one mind, involves at least one mind - so whether or not we make ourselves more minds, we have at least one.

*I began to write a lot and decided to just make it a blog entry, to not be overbearing here. Also, to give a more full personal and 'alternative' opinion about "what is mind?" "what is ordinary mind?" and to talk about the 2 minds that effect the 1 which is the conscious "self." I will post it later*

Paradigms considering an Embodied Cognition involve questions of how our body thinks, and it affects the way WE think -and/or- how much is it involved and not-involved during normal thinking?

We are born into a random 1. environment [with random skin, brain capacities, personality, influences of religion/culture/society), with a randomly 2. physiological imprint of a human being (with seemingly - constructed sex desires, goal-orientations, self actualization desires, metaphysical desires), while also having the [perhaps paradoxically] 3. natural desire for an ego; a self-identified Self; who you think you are as a "you." This 'egotist' mind is perhaps due to the irrational mechanism in our mind that tells us to "individualize to survive." Rejecting the ego is long understood as such* rejecting the individualization of the self and still survive paradoxical as a self.
Ordinary mind... no such thing, it's a myth of philosophy. The basic brain... the simple mind... the normal person... Zen does well to be and not to question it.

YET What the mind, psyche, brain and social sciences can do to answer Zen concerns, would be .. revolutionary for societies... Practical mechanics of philosophy and psychology would be an everyday practice of children lol.
No, we are all the exactly the same - what makes us different are facets of cultures, religions, communities, families, belief systems, personalities, intelligence, and much more

But once we realize 'diversity factors' - like the above and including sex, age, race, monetary class, sexual preferences... Can actually be summed up into neat categories...

We will realize we all have the 'differences' which makes us more alike than different. We all have the above diversity factors and social experiences - what divide us are them, not us.

Perhaps the "not" of Zen is the "seeing of how things actually are" of Zen - I personally suggest the idea of thesis, antithesis and synthesis - is that of a philosophy of Zen. Yet, it's NOT.

Zen is and is not - the* understanding the nature of paradox..

To simplify it, loses it value, but why?

If this picture shows anything, it shows all the practical uses of Zen. If Zen became a paradigm on science I would become a scientist.. But I am afraid of advanced math... So instead I imply the lessons Zen (Zazen and natural reflections) teaches and try to imply them to psychology (in both philosophy and science)!

What is limited... is perspective... If anything, Zen teaches us to understand the nature of perspective.. If we are to go beyond Zen, we must realize we also never achieve and go beyond Zen. But we can try. *Like when we try to sit for days, but cannot and should not sit for days.* *Is like what we can and cannot take away from Zen
"We are not internal beings having external experiences. We are external beings having internal experiences."

I feel like this statement settles a large dispute within epistemological circles.... externalism v internalism issues in mind of philosophy!

Also, it's a variation of "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience." - Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Species = Thoughts (for the fake Darwin Quote to be a little bit more Zen)
*The difference between the evolution of a culture, animal and mind is perspective.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Let's define rich

"The quantitative degeneration of all things is closely linked to that of money, as is shown by the fact that nowadays the ‘worth’ of an object is ordinarily ‘estimated’ only in terms of its price, considered simply as a ‘figure’, a ‘sum’, or a numerical quantity of money; in fact, with most of our contemporaries, every judgment brought to bear on an object is nearly always based exclusively on what it costs. The word ‘estimate’ has been emphasized because it has in itself a double meaning, qualitative and quantitative; today the first meaning has been lost to sight, or what amounts to the same thing, means have been found to equate it to the second, and thus it comes about that not only is the ‘worth’ of an object ‘estimated’ according to its price, but the ‘worth’ of a man is ‘estimated’ according to his wealth.”
The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times by René Guénon (1886 - 1951)
Let's define rich so anyone could agree that is what "rich" means..

Being "rich" usually infers a monetary-based sentiment in status. Unless in the context of "a rich life" or "this has a rich taste "

Now my job here is to tell you - 1. How you might already be rich 2. How you can be rich and 3. How much money you may need to be considered rich

This job is pretentious in nature, the idea is I will make you believe these values will guide you to success;

No better than a motivational speaker. Someone who uses positive psychology - wikipysch this - in the sense to motivate you to be rich (or successful), and charges you for it some how. This person is someone who understands standard grad-student psychology and manipulation tactics. They are making a profit from telling you what you want to hear.

It's pretty unethical in my opinion.

Business marking fused with psychology studies is a standard practice for motivational speakers.

If [evolutionary] psychology, chemistry and biology began to standardize an unified practice we would understand more about all three and have better common knowledge of how humans are motivated into thinking self proportionately; in a style which corresponds well with personal desires as well as making successful decisions, which do not necessarily harm others, but usually allows us (individuals and groups) to succeed. Seems simple right? The idea of how to live a way which has the qualities of non-harmful and successful and happy and luxurious and shareable and peaceful.

If you got these question, these ideas of "life and living" pact-down. Good for you! I encourage your life style all the way! Keep moving forward!

But people here want to be rich also!

Some of you are still on thinking how this will end up making you money.

It actually may, so keep the optimism going!

But wait, you wanted to know an amount of money to be considered rich?

"How much money do I need to make a year to be happy with money?"

Well, depends. On a lot. And it may not be a lot!

So lets define rich first.

Having 'a lot of money' is rich. That's the standard idea, around the world - even if they say "they are not 'rich' they just have a lot of money" - the negation still recognizes the other idea as a primary result of having a lot of money - they're still rich.

You're not a cupcake (not talking about taste), you're not rich with friends and family (well [maybe] you are but we are talking money-rich). Money-rich seems more understandable; monetary richness.

"He is life-rich"
"She is money-rich"
How else can we be rich?



****I have no real physical talent with gymnastics. But when I do a hand stand and have people impressed by my talent - feels like I'm rich.

I guess if we start getting specific within life about riches - family, job, health, education, beliefs, kids... Perhaps "love" can make one feel like a billionaire. Can you imagine living without love?
Anyways, besides dictating the obvious and my horrible tactics of convincing you to do anything different than continue reading - lets get down to it. 
What do you, and your immediate family, own? How do you own it? Did you purchase them? Where are they stored? Do you have a house? Trailer? Apartment? A shack? Hut? Do you share one of the above with more than your immediate family? How many?

Lets simplify - so you live with x people, you own y things collectively, you share living space within a[n] _______ (fill in blank).

This fill in the blank will be given to every individual on earth. Imagine the results.

Do you already feel more rich?

Then you need more positivity!

****Lets just say not everyone lives like most Americans and Western Europeans do (think not-first-world countries). What are you reading this on??? That should give you insight in how rich you may already be.
I doubt this will ever be printed. Even if I was someone important - the future is digital!

This is not a consult that tells you, you are rich because others are comparably poor in the world. That you have it better than people in a Third World Country. But I am still talking to my American (North/West Europe, S. Africa, Australia, Canada) generation of freethinkers and artist and scientist alike. So that is exactly true. We do have it better. 
And our over appreciation of all the great opportunities in this country (including the larger countries of Asia!) makes us poor in comparison to people with millions and billions of dollars....

Are you overweight? Obese?
Two centuries ago - middle class men wore fake bellies to suggest their degree of wealth. Being able to be fat was a sign of being rich. Today, we could say the same.

BUT, SERIOUSLY - Let's define rich:

Money will make you want to spend money. A large income and little free, meditative and/or recreational time means you need more advanced 'things' or materials around in order to enjoy your free time. ----- 

This is a monetary richness. This is a wealthy person able to "go big or go home" - in other words 'when they (a) have fun that (b) involves a large sum of money spent at one moment (x) in time. How monetarily rich someone is, is how much one can spend in a moment (xx) that one can make a comparative with any demographic of peoples in the world yearly income (yy). It's entirely opinion-based (as is all of this) to consider what is superrich or "rich." 

Example: An individual person can "go big or go home" (xx) at a resort in the Dominic Republic for 5,000 dollars for 2.5 weeks. This event for enjoyment was at the cost of what one person on average in Thailand makes in a year. The person is at least more rich than the average person working a normally in Thailand. Those people may consider that man monetarily rich. That one moment (xx) cost as much as another person's yearly income (yy).

*FYI - in a small city of Thailand a police officer starting salary will be 8000 baht a month; that's about 250 USD as of 2015 exchange rates.

How rich you currently are, can be compared (personal yy and how much one can have a xx moment) by a series of searches for global income estimates... You can do that you're smart! So, are you monetarily rich? Compared to whom? Myself: The year was 2013 and I made 11,000 dollars (university and working part time - don't judge me!). But I had saved enough money to spend enough money to spend 990 USD to get certified to teach ESL and another cert. to tutor professionally. 

That was my 'go big or go home'(xx) moment to get into the ESL circuit - but let's call it something else because it was not for fun but to establish a career (xy) - spending money to create ability to make more yearly income. I'll compare my xy to ... Let's see - Nigeria - So. What I needed to spend in a moment to get ahead in a career as tutor/private teacher - a Nigerian makes in about 2 month (about US$480 and $645 a month) in proportion to their yy I get to say I am rich enough to live in Niger for at least 2 months at the same cost of my xy, and not need to work. Again how rich are you? Most importantly, how does that make you feel? What do you feel when you think about how monetarily rich you can be considered by comparing xx's (or xy's) and yy's; if xx is more than the finite number of yy (whatever demography you consider) consider yourself at least more wealthy (or "richer") than those compared xx's to yy's. 

How does it make you feel that your small 500 dollars is not so small to another. If you feel 500 is in any way small, you could be potentially be richer than a large population of the world. Forget comparing: if you're able to read this on my blog (in recent years of published date - 5-10) on a bran new Ipad tablet. You're more wealthy than a large number of people. Not everyone; most third world countries have smartphones and tablets regularly now. The inequality in the world is insane at this point in time and it exist within neighborhoods - within neighboring states/province/territories. In New Jersey America driving 15 miles from any south/north to north/south direction - of the northern half of N.J. - will lead you past at least 3 neighborhoods where income inequality can range from 25-35,000 to 85-120,000 in the neighborhoods.. This is where I am from. Newark, Jersey City, Hoboken, Paterson - I am in the central hub.  On a daily basis I can be considered one of the more poor individuals in my state - if I was made a statistic.

So perhaps if there is ever a moment where you can spend what 50% of what the world will make in a year. You can safely say you are rich.

I didn't tell you how you can possibly make more money? Oh ops! Sorry not sorry! Unless you want a lucrative career teaching English aboard to really be able to reevaluate your monetary status!

Need more help?

I made 12,000 USD dollars teaching in Thailand one year. And if this little calculator is correct that makes me 867,377,967th richest person on earth by income. Where are you?

Resources and random articles about monetary status:

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Hubris of Batman

When we read or watch a book or movie about a hero or heroes we tend to think of their flaws and weaknesses. When we see a very powerful fictional superhero defeating normal humans (whom are criminals) with ease we expect there to be a force which can counter their strengths.  That is what makes such stories exciting - a hero whom overcomes trials in order to maintain their image of being a hero!

I am not the most sophisticated comic book reader, yet, any animated movies and series about superheroes (specifically Marvel and DC) I am a big of and make a habit of watching the latest creations.

A common element of the superhero and villain relationship involves the idea they are opposites (in one way or another).  Superman and Lex Luther - Superman has super strength and a sense of justice, while Lex Luther has normal strength and only desires to be as powerful as possible, no matter the cost.

But, in this blog post, which is obviously about Batman, but not his counterpart, the Joker, and in a wider perspective, Batman actually can be argued to have committed far more evil than the Joker! The Joker is Batman's counterpart because he has no sense of right and wrong and does everything based on 'what would be the most chaotic thing to do to get a reaction.' Yet, to say the actions of the Joker, whom has killed, stolen and terrorized people is still less harmful than Batman's, will take a great argument, no doubt.

First, we must recall Batman's origins and a certain organization; The League of Shadows (LoS); these ninjas and assassins are those whom choose to seek justice from the shadows (behind the scene) therefore the organization has realized that is where most of the evil in the world takes place.  So to defeat evil, at times, we must perform evil deeds.  Killing a corrupt senator for instance; while killing is wrong, the Senator could have exploited, stolen and/or kept money which effected development for the entire system.  Because of this one Senator, an entire group or people are effected and cannot develop, due to his/her greed.

But for the LoS it is not usually as small as one or two persons, no, they want to make a move that will ripple and create waves [of change] by their plots and actions. Mainly the organization wants to destroy the world that is most corrupt, all part of it.

Isn't this a good thing? Isn't defeating and destroying what is most corrupt and wrong with human nature, a benefit for the rest of humanity? If you could kill one man for a million to succeed, would you? If you wouldn't I fear you're either an idiot, or, you have never actually considered such a thought-experiment.

So while Batman defeats the LoS, over and over again, they are truly the counter-force to the political and/or corporate criminals taking over the world; through the means of silent-manipulative coercion and political control; the LoS literally doing evil for goodness sake.

Yes they used violence to defeat violence and corrupt politicians to defeat corrupt politicians, but they did so while the majority of the world doesn't care these shadow-organizations exist.  Most do not care that a hand full of families control the world. And until they commit a 'crime' Batman cannot do anything due to his code; he must abide by the law, even if he breaks it with his own activities.

The LoS tries to bring balance to the world by 'evil' deeds and acts, and, Batman merely defeats individuals and groups (only momentarily, because he doesn't kill and they break out of prison eventually) and kicks them off the scale, while never actually creating any sort of real balance.

Batman, in his attempt to be good and noble, stops the LoS from their efforts to destroy those who seek to corrupt the world, only because they are willing to do what he is not; kill.

Had Batman ever killed the Joker, there would of been no more deaths and violence upon the Jokers pending escape from prison; had he killed him, he would of removed a great evil from the world, by an act of evil (evil for goodness sakes).

Yes, we must be careful with such decisions to perform evil with the intent for goodness, and that is why it is a LEAGUE of shadows - it is a group, an organization - not just some group of criminals looking for a pay-day.  Their pay-day is knowing they are trying to tip the scale towards a balance.

While Batman stops the LoS, he stops them from stopping others whom do more harm than killing people.  You kill someone, it's down and over, they suffer no more. However, if a corporation and political groups are involved in cheating people - Batman doesn't bat an eye lash, because they are technically committing no 'crime'.  Yet, objectively, when a small body of people takes from a larger body of people (whether it's money, resources, land, or whatever) we can agree that that small body is in the wrong; 'the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few'. When Batman stops the LoS those whom they initially sought to stop, keep going instead. 

Batman gets to pact himself on the back for stopping assassins from killing people, but doesn't even care to notice how he helped those in power to become more powerful?

Batman, in the end, and especially noting how he is a billionaire himself, does no more good for the world than if he never existed.  Had he never existed the LoS would of only became stronger and equally as threatening as those whom seek to profit from corruption (via politics and big business). The balance of good and evil would be real on earth, rather than a constant struggle against evil with only a few impressive moments of goodness. 

Granted this is all fictional - I stand by this simple claim: in Batman's effort to not be evil, he allows evil to be perpetual.

Anthropic Delusion

There are religious dogmas that come from nurture, but primarily there are human dogmas that come from nature. 

Obviously a religious dogmas is taken from a religious source; an individual's spiritual and/or religious practice that creates a barrier (a taboo).

Not to eat meat on certain days of the year.  Not to eat pork or beef. Holy days (hours, day, months or years).
These are examples of religious dogmas^ - to be a good person, to do so otherwise would be a bad person. So you can believe humans are unique and special life forms, because we have these advanced relationships with organized religions and communities. That our actions hold more significance in the universe than an ants because we act uniformly with other humans; because we can agree on an answer. Or you can choose not to believe that. Either way you pick, it's a biased choice. You can't truly know either way - there is argument for both choices - there are practical opinions in both - but, we cannot truly know we are either special beings or not. By special I mean: of having an impact on the entirety of exist // upholding a divine significance of oneself and others. 

Anthropism vs Nonanthropism
If you are thinking in the perspective 'we are special and unique human beings', than that is your bias based on your choice of an opinion to think/agree with such a perspective. Also if you are not-thinking in that mindset - [to be observing one's own possibly biased choices] that we are special and unique, that 'that' is your bias based on your not-choice to think in 'that' mindset - had you had the choice prior to considering one's own [possible] bias.  Pretty much, no matter what, you are making a bias somehow - at any moment in time.
How come it matters they are biased positions in thought?
Well because either bias can prevent or allow you to understand reality (the objective existence of things), yourself and humanity... And which bias effects what type of interpretations at which time? Which is more likely the position taken by people, and what are the long term conditions (affects) of cognition? 
Forwardly, as a human writing this text, I believe we are naturally biased to believe humans are special - anthropocentrism is a constant conditional within our mind. 
And this narrates our subconscious desire to obey human dogmas. Because no matter what we are always going to have bias regardless of which position we choose - anthropist or nonanthropist. Ultimately the desire comes down to our rational, yet, relativistic viewpoints because we cannot and do not know the objective truth - if there is any. Yet, it is our subjective-relatistic ability to believe we are making objective truths that also allows us to make more rational and more advanced choices and to take higher positions of knowing and knowledge. It can never be the best, it can never involve 'it' all. Because 'all' can be a meal for one and a million dollars for another... The knowledge of how to invest into stocks or the wisdom of the sages... The pursuit of desire is objectively sound, however, we all want to obey these dogmas in order to know truths (objectively), Yet, the objectives we long for (in desire) can only be made of the relative factors, features and fractions (fractals) we have available to us, as a subjective being (a human). Tragically, where these human dogmas lead us is down a path; we are inclined towards the objective truths but are dissatisfied that we can never achieve them, so take we settle for a subjective viewpoint and call it objectively true... this is done by trying to have others believe the viewpoint is true, or by joining others whom have a 'true viewpoint' all while forgetting, any viewpoint in innately subjective. (I would argue, the greatest bias of a human is their natural tendency to follow 'the herd')
How to begin to work beyond our human dogmas is to remember: We are highly evolved animals.
Yet, like any animal, we have the need to reproduce and protect ourselves, and those who we identify with [either biologically or socially] and will do so quasi-rationally (over and over again) until there is only a reactionary choice; fight, flight, or freeze. 

As we exist now we still think this, but in a realm which is immaterial by measure of our superior ability to cognate information - our consciousness; ideas are not 'physical' but impact reality none the less (an example of immaterial). We are still trying to survive and that desire (rather an evolutionary requirement) needs to be satisfied, somehow, if not worried about eating, drinking and sleeping safely. 
This is then where we are not animals... We at times are able to not worry about the eating, drinking and sleeping safely - or know that we have to wait - or know where it is coming from. Animals, mammals for this instance, attempt to satisfy these needs and do so in means that is thought to be best for survival - it's a daily struggle for survival. Even house dogs whom are fed and sheltered - will still eat the steak that fell on the floor instinctually.

That steak to us, to the normal, everyday, is a piece of information that can get us ahead in life. It's not different. Our brain convinced us, we convinced ourselves, this information that can get us ahead in life is now - at least in the moment - more important than food, water and shelter. In this moment that information is life and every else. 
That is the steak to the dog.

A few steps to go past your own instincts of being human:

1. Realize there are those whom study and make empirical claims about human nature and it's existence as a whole. And read about them.

2. In an emotional significant moment take 3 deep breaths (1 in, fully, 1 out, fully and 1 in fully) then respond to either yourself or the other party.
3. Read philosophy and about various psychologies; all schools of philosophy attempt to figure out how we think in light of normality - existentialist say "we have no choice but to start with ourselves to know" or a rationalist would say "we question reason in order to know what is in fact rational or not." Find what schools interest you and even branch out from there to see how those thoughts effected psychological theories.
4. Make a stumbeupon account and make your interest related to psychology and sociology - and read an article a day.
5. Meditate; depending on the specific meditation will depend on the goal of said mediation. A personal favorite is Zazen; the goal is to claim the mind to the point in which it is most inactive (and scientifically proven to expand grey matter).
6. Question your beliefs; are they yours? Where did you adapt them? Who is your inspiration? Where do you gain your morals? When and why do you most often question ethical issues? (basically be a general philosophy and not an armchair philosopher.
7. People watch; observe others from a distance and note their reactions in particular moments and compare them to your own experiences and previous observations of others.
8. Judge by actions and not by thoughts; far too often we forget we are programed to seek out the positive-elements of reality, and, if you are aware of what 'false memory' means, seek to ignore and forget the negative. Thus, stop worrying about if others say 'nice things' but worry if they do 'good things'.
9. Remember you are an animal; we evolved, whether we were created or a result of random chance, and we evolved to think certain ways - perhaps a good exercise would be to compare yourself to the other species on this planet to see what we do in fact have in common or not. Such as 'hive minds' or 'pack instincts'

10. Whether you think humans are special or not, a 'special human' is not the result of innate specialness (usually) it takes effort and struggle to become 'special' but more so it takes others to declare you special. If this is true, you must seek out others like yourself to know what exactly makes you 'special' or 'unqiue' - and, if you are smart, you will work with them to somehow develop as an individual and a unit.
11. Ignore your gut once in a while; often people say "I just felt something was wrong" or "I got a bad vibe from that person" this is a delusion based on historic information impacting the current moment. Any information your body gives your mind take it with a grain of salt, make a note of it and continue to be open minded.
12. No two people are alike, but not one person is totally different than others; remember - without your family, there would be no you, without your environment, there would be no greater awareness of the world. WE are the result of our surroundings; "we are not internal beings having an external experience, we are external beings having an internal experience."
13. Personalities, like intelligence, change and evolve and develop - make sure you try to do so - reference #4 and add that to your stumbleupon list.

While there is more I can list, we will end on the unlucky 13 - because that number is only unlucky if you think it is - and what made that so? Religious or human dogma? Both?

What we perceive [in reality] is an accumulation of perspectives that make up an 'impression'. And where we accumulate such perspectives is from a multitude of locations ranging from 'chance' to 'purpose' and from 'ourselves' to 'everyone else' and that ultimately sets up a platform for near infinite impressions to be made about anything or anyone - but not at any time, yet, at the time in which we are in the mind set to make such impression. There is truth, we just can't know more than parts of it.

If there is anything I learned from Zen Philosophy it's this: Even if we miss the 'mark' we do so not in vain, because when we miss we seen how far or near we were to the target and others see it too. Watching others miss teaches us how to get closer and closer... even if we never expect to hit the mark entirely.

Ignore your instincts enough to know, you can never actually ignore them.

Monday, April 28, 2014

My Procedural Bias

I believe, and I cannot help but think, that everything exist in constant movements.  There is no static universe, there is only our static interpretations.  This bias prevents me from absorbing a lot of academic information[1] and provides me with the ability to be more than an academic, but an aware global citizen.  In academia the quest is to make a theory, a model, a methodology, a paradigm proposal, etc. etc. that explains an aspect of reality.  In everyday life the quest is to understand the aspects of reality that are most essential to our daily lives; monetary income,self actualization, success, charity.... respect, duty, love, honor... whatever they may involve, they involve things that actually exist, and how we maneuver and work with these aspects of our reality. We perceive a reality, and we interact with it.  The various aspects of reality that effect my ability to perceive and interact are not necessarily always in my perceptional-awareness (cognition), but can become more involved when double-backing on my memories of what was perceived.  This is popularly called metacognition, or the process of metacogitating - thinking about thinking.
[1]-academic information - from a scholarly, professional, journalistic and/or political source of general knowledge, data and/or library.
Connect the asterisks
*How I have come to observe this procedural bias, I only rationalize such as a higher order thinking due to an evolutionary advantage in our human species. 

**How I am able to connect this stream of consciousness from 'everything is in constant motion and never static' -to- 'thinking about thinking' is the exact type of lunacy my brain can conduct, with most of the blame; my existential excuse, being the inability to ignore said lunacy (- the narration of this thread of a stream of consciousness).

*But, we can better focus on what it then means to be able to think in a higher order, and how it might be advantageous.  **Or not.

Do we all have this bias? To some magnitude, to some degree?
Does it effect your ability to learn facts and memorize them like myself?
Do you perform poorly or average in an academic environment (school and university)? No matter the effort?
Do you believe my above stream of consciousness is valid to connect 'the belief of constant motion' with the ability and process of 'thinking about thinking'? Why?

No need to answer, just pointing out additional personal biases. The questions, for myself, are answered by a series of agreements!

Back to the point:

With this bias, among the many I presume I have (except the bias that there are no actual bias but 'how we generally think' in which would be the 'bias to believe we are naturally biased' - which is not genuine), I also have issues interrelating with others.  As I see the world, I see it as something that is but a shadow of it's former self, as soon as I look at it closer.  Once up close, it is no longer the same. Sometimes, we should not look too close at the issues of others - it's advantageous to not, for several reasons: usually a manner of respecting aspects of their individual 1. personal space, 2. boundaries, 3. privacy, and/or 4. information that would be felt more secure as keeping to oneself.  I rather enjoy when people look closer at me, I can also understand how if not welcomed or warranted, it can be offensive to another.  Which is why the Golden Rule fails me - to add to my already series of incoherent statements - because I want others to challenge me and my opinions and my motives, because I would like to always do that to others, but cannot. 

But then I ask myself, do I perform an additional bias for recognizing my own biases and then performing them anyways? **As a stream of consciousness is lunacy, imagine the entire conscious-agency...

I would say no to myself; the procedural bias is already in effect - I am already doubling back on my thoughts in light of them, and reality as always moving, changing and/or in a flux state.

An additional bias may be in effect when I am actively not able to interrelate with another, but perhaps we can just call that 'poor socializing skills'.  Poor socializing skills as a result of the procedural bias... which I should not make a new point:

Since I have this bias, and also believe others have it, I also recognize it might not be as 'heavily active' or 'momentarily influential' to others as myself.  So, the procedural bias, like all cognitive biases, have degrees and/or levels of activity.

For instance, no matter the bias being discussed, there is a 1-100 scale and no ability to be 1 or 100 but any number in between.  How intense one's bias strength may be, would effect their overall thinking - even personality. 

I cannot talk about a person with high or low degrees of procedural biases, because I do not even know if it is a real thing, it is only something I am calling by something else to discuss.

Again, this back-tracking and reanalyzing is a part of my bias.  It's necessary to not be biased about the discussion of my bias(es) - while still acknowledging I am always being biased.

It's quite maddening to edit this.

So personality was brought up and perhaps can shed more light on how this bias may also be effecting you, while showing how any biases (recognized or not) is effecting who we are and how we think. 

Now, introvert and extravert are usually misunderstood from what Carl Jung meant. He explained both as 'where one processes their knowledge' and that can either be 'through oneself' or 'involved with others'.  So an introvert is not necessarily someone shy or unspoken, they tend to be people who seek out answers which need to be processed by their inner-voice, or conscious. An extrovert is someone who is a crowd-pleaser, listens to the majority and responds.  So we are all both introvert and extravert, we are just more of or the other - sometimes a balance.
When bias may come into play (let's say for example the bias in which we are confirming information because we heard it from family as true no matter what) it effects certain people ann their behavior differently in the short and long term.  An introvert may be shy to confirm with their family at first, and be agreeable to that information.  An extravert may be quicker and more agreeable without hesitation to confirm that information.  We can also confirm introvertedly or extrovertedly towards [different] certain information; for instance we may confirm differently towards how to raise a child and what to do about paying the mortgage.  How we confirm, to [different] certain information, may exemplify who we are as a person, persona and/or personality.(A rough example)

I guess what I wanted to say is two things: 1. I suffer from a severe case of 'procedural psychosis' that while interesting to encourage in the arts, does not necessarily provide effective communication for an objective measure. And 2. That although I suffer from 'procedural biases' it does not mean others do not, in fact, I believe, everyone has this bias, but to different degrees and applications.

1.  I can now better put my bias aside to say "I choose to encourage this bias because it allows metaphysical contemplation to be more practical, while I understand it does not necessarily mean what I believe to be practical is actually practical, but my belief it is practical, which I have to defend." In other words: "I accept my bias, because I cannot see myself thinking in other terms."

2. This post can allow myself (and others) to witness my 'lunacy' or otherwise my opinions of how my normal thinking is that of normal thinking of others.  More specifically: "If I am biased to believe that everything is a constant-change, others must be, whether they (or I) can recognize such a bias." Ultimately that may be my own bias to believe, but, until proven wrong, it is one I will stand by as having substance for discussion and research!

The Procedural Bias

This is the original content of Nicholas Lukowiak

When I Think (Short and Brief Post)

2 + 2 does not just equal 4.  It equals 3 + 1, 5 - 1, 6 - 2, 1 + 1 + 1 + 1,  but indeed, the idea of '4' is there, it is the "best" answer for 2 + 2, but it does not make it the only answer nor the only answer we can learn from.

When I think, I think about how there may be one 'best' answer, but there are still many answers that can come from any question.  Even if it's just 2 + 2

Critiquing quotes #3

“Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.”  - Plato

Ancient, and I mean ANCIENT, wisdom for us to take from - ignored. 

Modern education systems do exactly what Plato is suggesting NOT to do; do not force or harshness but allow amusement and discovery. 

The difference?

A child (or any person) already has a 'personality' and 'intelligence' given to them [what seems to be] randomly by genetics (nature).  It is environments (nurture) that aids in molding a child.  Allowing a child to find their interest, their curiosity, and/or their 'amusements' can lead them to finding themselves and potentially 'what they will like to become an expert in' (if that is only one thing or many!).

We educate child to test-and-go, while in a system (designated by age-groups and not ability), which only teaches them they NEED formal/government education or else they cannot succeed, in order to 'continue' education in something they are not particular confident they are experts in or care to be involved in...

In short: Our education system poorly educates our youth everyday that they are not allowed to express themselves in what they would like to learn, and not what we force them to learn.