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I don't see the connection of the soul to the homunculus, not do I see the need to postulate a homunculus if there is a soul.  

I see it more like a computer, there is hard- and the software and a programmer - but who is the programmer?

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 11:58:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The soul is a homunculus, I think. It is something unitary, external and conscious that animates the body.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 11:59:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Guess the computer analogy was not that great, but to me the soul is nothing external.

This is a topic refered to in Jyana Yoga, the intellectual yoga which has one of the main questions - WHO AM I? WHO or WHAT IS THINKING THIS? etc.  

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 12:04:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Does the soul transcend the body, and if so how can it then not be "external"?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 12:08:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can't it be both - internal and external (which are left-brain restrictions)- you know like energy being a wave and particle.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 12:11:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, well, now we're getting into the issue of what makes an entity coherent and separate. Maybe I should write another QM diary on "what is a particle"? It could blow people's socks off.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 12:14:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And I will read it on bare feet, too.
by Nomad on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 12:18:31 PM EST
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I don't think there is an agreed definition of the soul.  But I do have experience of something "I" could associate with that wasn't what I normally call "I".  It was a more encompassing concept.  This ties in, I think with the religious idea that we are absorbed into God--union with the Godhead.

I certainly agree with sven that the self (the conscious "I" that controls and makes constant decisions) ceases to be at death--and this makes it very unhappy.  I think aspects of our current civilisation promote and seek to expand the "I" (the selfish ego?), and I don't think this is a healthy road as this "I", of all things, is the one that is doomed to die.

It thinks of itself as a homunculus, but it isn't that, it is a rapidly connecting something something bicyle cycle home home...

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 12:09:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the self ... ceases to be at death--and this makes it very unhappy

How can something that has ceased to be, be unhappy?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 12:10:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
that's what I like about this place ;-)

It's PNing of the highest order...

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 12:25:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not PNing, it's an important issue when discussing death.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 12:27:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well I would have accused Socrates of PNing, so you're in good company

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 12:31:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and every philosopher thereafter...

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 12:31:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Socrates was sentenced to death for corrupting young commas.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 12:35:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
lol

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 12:38:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What makes the selfish-ego unhappy:

Through complexity it comes to see connections in a past-present-future tense system (Fran's left brain model), and so it realises that it will, necessarily cease to exist: die.  After death, it won't be there to worry, of course.  The dead are calm.  Those left behind are the bereaved.  But as it lives, this selfish-ego is at times overwhelmed with the idea of not existing anymore at some time in the future.  The more society promotes this selfish-ego, the more this unhappiness is spread about.

(Connections here to the potential extinction of humans--the horror!)


Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 04:25:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The solution is, then, to believe in life after death or the transcendence of the soul. Or else to come to terms with the finitude of experience. However, conscious life may actually have no end as we are not there to be aware of the end of awareness in the first place...

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 06:15:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I think the most important thing is for the alienated "I" to reattach to groups beyond itself, whether they be other humans (community), nature, or 'beyond human experience' (transcendence--or 'ever more encompassing'.  I don't think the selfish-I ever comes to terms with the finitude of existence.  I don't think it was designed--Yipes!  No, there is no external desginer, there is sven's complexity creating designs against the left wall of viability etc.--anyway, the I is one of our survival mechanisms, I think.

However, conscious life may actually have no end as we are not there to be aware of the end of awareness in the first place...

Like going to sleep but without the dream--or the waking up?

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 04:09:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
However, conscious life may actually have no end as we are not there to be aware of the end of awareness in the first place...

Like going to sleep but without the dream--or the waking up?

Exactly.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 04:22:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or like something being engulfed in flame...or incinerated...  It depends on the process of death.  Sudden. Whack!  Or slow s l o w  s   l  o   w

I don't think consciousness ends at death, but I think "self" consciousness ends at death...

The question then is: what is this consciousness that isn't the self, and who cares about it?  Which I would take as a comment by the self about its own extinction.  Yet there is a long historical cataloge of humans experiencing states which are, it seems, real but impossible to vocalise in prose.

I died from minerality and became vegetable;

And From vegetativeness I died and became animal.

I died from animality and became man.

Then why fear disappearance through death?

Next time I shall die

Bringing forth wings and feathers like angels;

After that, soaring higher than angels -

What you cannot imagine,

I shall be that.



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 06:03:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A programmer is not needed, unless you believe that some other force was in action at the time the amazing foraminifera came into being. For me, and I think for current scientific understanding, it is a natural unfolding of complexity over billions of years. And only that.

The brain has always been interpreted by the prevailing technology of the day, whether a telephone exchange earlier or a computer today. (or indeed the 'magic' that was the 'technology', before technology)

Look at anything that grows (including the brain) - it certainly unfolds in a predictable manner, but is there a little man guiding it? Look at a flock of birds whirling round and ask who is the leader? There is none, just as there is no little man.

I'm not against the use of the word soul to describe a particular conjoining of neurons, or any of the other words like chakras. But they are only inadequate words to describe complexity.

And of course one can change this complexity in the brain by manipulating your neural networks - by meditating, studying, experience, exercises etc etc.

Perhaps the most extreme example of this is the Skene monks of the Russian Orthodox church. They choose this incredible discipline in order to completely cleanse their minds of everything before. They live alone, far away from the monastery. for many years. They have a shelter and a well. That is all. They 'chain themsleves' to the forest to survive. It is the simplest life of all and filled with constant prayer - and I am mean constant.

At the end of this process - which is slowly disconnecting old neural connections (literally), and reconnecting simplicity - the monk is incredibly pure. These are often the monks (so I've been told) that go out into the world to minister to prostitutes, criminals and murderers. They are so pure that they are untouched by anything they see.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 12:21:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Did you read At Home In The Universe?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 12:28:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I did, thank you. I found some of the maths a bit difficult, but there were many very interesting concepts there which relate to others things I've been looking at. If it was far better illustrated, I think it would be fantastic. For some of us it is easier to grab onto a visual.

Part of my work is translating complex ideas into visuals, and I find that rewarding because you cannot create the visual without understanding the concept. It motivates you to do the work of understanding, instead of being lazy.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 12:37:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And here I thought I was giving you a book with no maths...

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 01:00:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
who is the programmer

Now, now, you don't take Intelligent Design seriously, do you?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 12:30:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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