Thoughts on Thinking

Truth is reality laden with accurate misinterpretation and faulty perceptions.

Why is this so hard to understand? Our perceptions are flawed, don’t impress that upon reality. Sheesh!”—Steve Ruiz

The illusion is simply that reality is not what it seems to be at first glance—even after inspection. That same flawed perception leads us to believe we can correct it by saying the world is divisible into feet and inches, seconds and degrees—dividing things by regular measurement and the dividing power of thought—The same nature of thought that implies we don’t understand, but somehow can trust the measuring devices we’ve thought up—while every thing requires continued re-examination after interfering by looking—weird

Think is a unit of thought, the same way an inch is a measurement of accepted distance, or a clock can track intervals. We categorize things into boxes so we can manage “the think” about them, pretending then that the world is a collection of bits and catagories, yet is as connected and inter-related as much as a human body. Every single bit is as unexplainable as any other—and to explain one fully we must explain everything fully.

Every perception is real (normal) from a particular point of view, though some truth is a little nastier at heart than others. Imagine how distasteful the world would really be, if believers still knew with a surety that the gospel of saving souls from hell should know no limits to persuasion.

For giggles we have to ask—if reality is so illusory (not what it appears to be) how could humans evolve with our perceptive reality apart from “real” reality? If our perceptions of reality are flawed, how could natural selection point evolution the way things seem to be, versus the true nature of nature? How could brains evolve to a non natural interpretation of things? It’s almost like it is some type of game…

Author: jim-

One minute info blogs breaking the faith trap.

42 thoughts on “Thoughts on Thinking”

  1. “For giggles we have to ask—if reality is so illusory (not what it appears to be) how could humans evolve with our perceptive reality apart from “real” reality? If our perceptions of reality are flawed, how could natural selection point evolution the way things seem to be, versus the true nature of nature? How could brains evolve to a non natural interpretation of things? It’s almost like it is some type of game…”

    So getting way out there consider this:

    Imagine there is this type of worm that lives underground and interacts and breeds with other worms. But this worm has no eyes or ears but it does have some sort of nervous systems that allows it to have detailed dreams. Lets just say it is dreaming it is living our life and it never wakes up.

    Its actual body doesn’t move in the same way the worm dreams it is moving. Maybe there is some loose correspondence but there need not be. As long as the nerves that move the actual material worm body twitch in certain ways it will survive/reproduce.

    The contents of the dreams have no impact on this material interaction. Would they need to? It seems to me that the content of the dreamworld the worm thinks it is living in could be entirely irrelevant to natural selection. Natural selection is about material moving in certain ways. Of course, in the dream the worm may think the content of its thoughts are important for all sorts of things. But there is no necessary connection.

    “If our perceptions of reality are flawed, how could natural selection point evolution the way things seem to be, versus the true nature of nature? ”

    I think it is at least possible natural selection is unconcerned with the content of our thoughts. Just like when we are dreaming. NS is concerned that our physical body gets oxygen by breathing. It is concerned that our heart keeps pumping etc. And perhaps we perform reproductive acts while effectively “sleep walking.” But as we know from dreams the content of the dreams could just be a sort of by-product that has no impact survival/reproduction.

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    1. Or maybe the dream world is essential to survival? More likely though, consciousness and the physical are one process of oscillations that arise mutually, and undulate the same way.

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      1. “Or maybe the dream world is essential to survival?”

        That is possible to. I mean there could be some sort of correspondence between the dream world and the actual material worm. But that correspondence would not require any of the contents of the dream world to be true.

        “More likely though, consciousness and the physical are one process of oscillations that arise mutually, and undulate the same way.”

        I think it is impossible for us to give probabilities. Any sort of “evidence” of a correlation would *assume* a correlation.

        It is like saying “the bible is the word of God, it says so right here in Timothy, and God wouldn’t lie.”

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          1. “Of course we find plenty of evidence that life requires consciousness.”

            All of your evidence will assume what you think you see is really what you are seeing. But that assumption is what we are trying to assign a probability to.

            It is the same sort of question begging as saying I know the bible is the word of God because it says it is the word of God and God wouldn’t lie.

            The thing we are trying to prove is that “the bible is the word of God.” So any reasons that just *assume* it is the word of God shouldn’t count as valid evidence.

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  2. but… I measured my yardstick and it is still 36″ 😉

    An old saying I picked up somewhere along the way “Never believe anything you hear, and only half of what you see.”

    I believe we measure, categorize, and sort things, in an effort to understand them on our human level. And it works for us, I assume you do your darndest to square up a house frame when you build it? And that works. For humans.

    Nothing else on the planet really gives a shit.

    We use science to explain much of what used to be unexplainable. Again in an effort to better understand what is around us. Through science we continue to learn new information and discard the no longer adequate, due to new observations/understandings.

    But in the end we can be decieved, we can be biased, we can be fools. We are after all human. No matter how much we learn, we will never get away from that.

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    1. This is not a criticism, but what is “science” in this context? A community of knowledge whose primary tool is to hypothesize, measure, and magnify to satisfy an immediate need? Science” is knowledge, but science also flippantly bandies the term around like it has some actual knowledge beyond the guesswork on how it all happens.

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      1. Well, then someone is doing it rong! (here’s the w 🙂

        I think the immediate need you are postulating is a basic desire to satisfy a curiosity. The more we learn the more we know. The more we know, the more questions we have about what we know. So now we are off to find the answers… Hell I’m no scientist, nor do I play one on TV, but I really like having a pretty good understanding of many things because of the hard work scientists have done.

        Flippantly bandying things about is the antithesis to science. And guesswork might be ok for a possible avenue of exploration, but not at all for a paper up for peer review.

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  3. I had just read a piece on impressionistic art before reading this. My brain did some juxtaposing. 🙂
    Anyway, one can clearly see things without being mistaken. For example, the Sun, stars, and planets clearly move around the Earth which is by simple observation, pancake flat. Light waves we cannot see and sounds we do hear, therefore, do not exist in our reality.
    All this (for me) creates my problem with explaining what ‘proof’ I’d require to acknowledge that something (god?) exists. I don’t know the answer, but perception must a part of it. Okay, except for the minor problem that I know of no human who believes a god exists because of measurable, repeatable perception.

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  4. I don’t see reality as an illusion, although our perceptions on it can certainly be flawed. Me and you may have different perceptions on things, but science allows us to develop ‘common perspectives’ on things. Coming up with measurements for things doesn’t change reality in of itself, but it does give us confidence in what we have perceived. Is it perfect? nope. But it is darn good.

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    1. But any attempt to fully explain anything obvious, is quite the challenge. What magnification is best to describe something? What happens to it when you heat it, etc, and how much? Its really quite fascinating to try. Thats why there are theory’s on stuff—it gets extremely complicated very quickly if you ever try it.
      If you’re referring to our ability to manipulate raw materials and make stuff, i agree. But explain anything as to what it is and it cant be done. Maybe quantum computing will help that along at some point.

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  5. Where to start? Where to go? Where to end? Thoughts all (not thinks, thinks is a verb, not a noun, according to the label.) The beingness of thinking is the noun thought. The plural of the noun is thoughts. No one thoughts. Thought is also the past tense of the verb think. I think I thought a thought. A present action about a past action that gelled into a bit of condensed matter? Is a thought a bit of condensed matter, like a tree is condensed living carbon. S’T, suggested civilization is alien to our reality. Many think human civilization is alien, that’s a thought. Except all kinds of civilizations are completely natural. Coral is a civilization. Who says humans are the only builders? Ants, termites, bees, all kinds of insects build permanent homes. Birds build homes, over territories so large we don’t see the dots that connect tlhem. Think about the Arctic Tern. Its home extends from the Arctic Ocean to the Antarctic Ocean. THAT is a real civilization.
    And then there is the civilization contained within the body of every living being.

    These are things human minds think about, often called thoughts, sometimes called ideas, or even hallucinations. But never a think. Tell me, what does a thought look like? How is a thought experienced? Solid? Liquid? Gas? Is a thought even matter? No. But can a thought matter? Yes, of course.

    Let me ask, what language do you think you think in? Most people think theythink in the language of their birth culture. But change cultures early enough, and a child can learn to think in different cultures. But that tells us nothing of what language we think in. I think I think in English. My thoughts seems to potentiate the sounds I hear when I speak. But that does not mean I think in any language but telepathy. Telepathy, especially within one’s mind, is the mind talking to itself, silently hearing itself, then turning those thoughts into symbols classified by us as words so that we can remember the words, easier than remembering the thoughts themselves. Thoughts are very elusive, immaterial.
    In my mind, I think, but I do not think thoughts. What do you think of that?

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    1. Jim! If you think a thought, do you wink a wought? Most people wink a wink, so I guess most people should think a think. But they think a thought. So what is a wought? A past wink? Just an old thought… Or a past what?

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  6. The problem, assuming there is one, is man. Man, the unnatural. Man the alien mind on a natural world he can never understand until he realizes his “condition” and works at changing it. I know this will not make sense but with decades (and on-going) observation and introspection, that is what I’ve concluded. Nature’s reality is no problem for natural creatures and events. We can observe that. But when we observe our own thoughts and performance within this nature, we see chaos or we begin to think illusion because nothing makes sense. It will never make sense until we remake ourselves, or re-think ourselves. Either we chose our alien nature and pursue what it calls for, or we become natural beings in which case we must say goodbye to all our efforts at creating a civilization that, to this day, stands as the enemy of nature. Perhaps if we develop our intelligence beyond knee-jerk reactions to everything we can actually “evolve” ourselves into a new nature that no longer creates conflict /enmity between its mechanical (alien) mind and natural mind. Just some thoughts in passing.

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    1. Wouldn’t natural reactions surpass the effectiveness of human planning? Instinctive living is the age at which our brains still reside. Most living decisions are snap judgments and hunches. Planning involves unintended consequences and the human can’t handle more than two or three variables without a pencil. However, our subconscious can handle vast amounts of information without us even realizing it. Its when we focus our attention to things that we wreck them.

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      1. Quote: “Its when we focus our attention to things that we wreck them.” When I focus attention on a full moon, on a honeysuckle flower, or the hummingbird flitting around a feeder, are any of these wrecked by my observation? I have to plead ignorance here, I don’t understand what you mean, Jim.

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        1. Maybe the full moon will inspire us to colonize it? That would end well.
          Im not talking about looking at things, but interfering. We can improve the honeysuckle with genetic modifications and have bigger and better honeysuckles, without the sense of what that may affect.
          It was Oppenheimer that said, “the only chance we have to save the world is if we don’t attempt to try and save it” He also said, as he witnessed the first detonation of a nuclear weapon on July 16, 1945, “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds”

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  7. there is nothing wrong with the brain. it’s how we use it that’s causing problems. we have become totally dependent on thinking, analyzing, categorizing, etc. we basically live in our mind, and identify with our thoughts. we jump from thought to thought to thought, all day long. that is a disease.
    the more we think, the more we are separated from being. someone said “only thought stands between you and god”. what else?
    the most fulfilling state is that of quietude and peace. only in that state can unity with all be felt. thinking mind is the enemy of consciousness.

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    1. The development of writing over oral history and tradition may be the current troublemaker? We think that that would solve a problem but only added new ones—like most human invention.

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      1. there is nothing inherently wrong with anything in the world. everything is right in the correct circumstance and place.but a tool is only as good as the consciousness that uses it- the mind is a tool that we let control us, instead of consciousness directing mind.

        and words can only apply to the visible world. existence is far beyond the power of words to describe. terms may be used, but like George said above, they only point to the moon, they are not the moon. how can the totality of the immeasurable, immutable, eternal, imperishable be known through words?
        we only know it by becoming it. otherwise, it’s a subject/object knowing, which is hardly ‘knowing’.
        you see why the heart is superior?

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      2. Boss! here’s an interesting read about how we perceive things:

        “The frequency-level of our consciousness alters our perception of the external in every moment of time. Our consciousness changes the data transmitted thought the five-senses as electrical impulses to our brain. The way we observe/see anything is filtered though our consciousness and therefore affects what we experience as our holographic reality. On a deeper level, we are what we believe.

        The quantum reality that ‘consciousness creates reality’ is implied in the ancient teachings of the SAMKHYA: “The universe is made up of two fundamental elements, consciousness and energy… Matter is simply organized energy… “

        One writer expressed is so “We do not see the world with our eyes nor hear sound with our ears. What we take as external five-sense information is modified by the proclivities we have in our brain. Cells in the retina and complex mechanisms of the ear receive electrical signals as images and sound and transmit them to the brain. All sensory data from the five senses is essentially transformed into electrical pulsation.”

        i have actually felt there is a spot in the middle of brain where all info comes in, and is transformed into the world i experience. if you stop this input… what world??

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  8. We really do obsess over naming and measuring things. Doesn’t make those things any less real, just because our descriptions are inadequate. “I think, therefore I am” – Rene Descartes

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    1. Isnt cartesian philosophy backwards? Thinking would divide from pure existence. Maybe seeing is not believing, but labeling what you see is a belief that the measurement is equal to the thing.

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      1. I wouldn’t go along with that train. You seem to have dreamed up some notion of “pure existence” without any basis. I expect most people understand that labels have limitations and everything is more than what it is called for convenience’s sake.

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        1. I guess that did sound a little esoteric. Instead I would try “undefiled” as in, unspoiled by culture and the indoctrinated ways of thinking that this is the way things are. Is there anything that is uniquely yours, that was not planted by influence. Did you get to decide how you perceive the world when we were trained up early to see it the accepted way, which I dispute as being the “correct” one at all.
          Children know what life is about til we drill it out of them.

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            1. Please don’t play at being obtuse, Jim. Once the adult feeds the infant, your “indoctrination” has begun. Evidence suggests it begins in utero. Once the fetus develops an auditory sense it has an inkling of the world beyond its mother. Thus the undefiled pure existence you are enamored with is a physical improbability. So why go on about it?

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            2. No soy Enamorado. Just because I have thoughts doesn’t mean I have beliefs. Nobody’s really figured this out, so why not take a stab at it?

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        1. That things arise mutually is a very eastern philosophy. You cant have one without the other or vice-versa. Until you get to the “is that has no isn’t”, which is the whole organism. The universe.

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    1. Your knowledge of nothing obviously qualifies you for president. Virtually nothing is knowable for certain except you’re qualified by self assertion.

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  9. “…while every thing requires continued re-examination after interfering by looking—weird.”

    Again, you don’t understand the Observer Effect. But this lack of understanding doesn’t stop you from making the same mistake over and over and over and…

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    1. I understand it just fine. If you need a refresher, here ya go—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observer_effect_(physics)
      We can observe and measure all you want, while every thing is in a constant state of flux and changing. I think its interesting that we can’t really shine a light on much and all and completely understand anything.
      I would be more interested in learning how we evolved inside of nature to habitually misunderstand that same nature?
      You know all senses are senses of touch, with the eyes being the most sensitive. Maybe were touching and just don’t realize it.

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  10. Reminds me of a well known Zen saying: You can point your finger at the moon, but your finger is not the moon. You can call a bird a “bird’, but the word “bird” is not the bird. Something like that. The essence of the Zen saying is you can name it, but that’s not it.

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    1. This naming of things, although essential for communication purposes has captivated humanity in a trance.
      When a baby sees a bird it is just an extension of the nature of the baby, before becoming separated from nature by language and labels.

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