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Showing posts from May, 2016

Quotes on the mind watching itself

We all have some level of self-awareness about our own thoughts. On a minimal level, this simply makes us conscious beings. "I posit two theorems: (1) The mind is all the information in the brain. (2) Consciousness is the brain's awareness of some of that information." - 
J. Allan Hobson. Beyond that, we face difficulties in maintaining the awareness in a deep way and on an ongoing basis. "It occurred to me: awareness no more permitted its own description than life allowed you a seat at your own funeral. Awareness trapped itself inside itself." - Richard Powers "In observing the operation of his own mind, incidentally, Galton was faced with the 'difficulty of keeping watch without embarrassing the freedom of its action'." - Douwe Draaisma If we persist, we may be called "intellectuals." "An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself." - Albert Camus "Tetlock found that the most important difference

Celibacy as service and as self-development

Some people worry about sexual abstinence as a matter of personal moral purity, but it is a different matter to cast it in the light of a form of service to others. James Hinton wrote: "The man who separated the thought of chastity from Service and made it revolve round Self betrayed the human race." Raquel Isabelle de Alderete wrote, "Instead of worrying about people's 'purity' and how it defines them as a person, worry instead about how you can protect other people's emotions." Relationships – particularly marriage and child-rearing – take a lot of time. Rabbi Ben-Asai, second century CE, explaining why he shouldn't have to marry and procreate, said: "What can I do? My soul clings to the Torah. The world can be maintained by other people." But the people who do that form of world-maintenance will develop knowledge and skills about relationships that can only be imagined by those who do not personally participate in their own instance

Quotes: Role of psychology in healing the body

Rollo May: "When I was ill with tuberculosis two and a half decades ago, I found that my inherited "will power" was strangely ineffective. In those days, the only cure was bed rest and carefully graduated exercise. We could not will ourselves to get well, and the "strong-willed," dominating type of person sick with TB generally got worse. But I found that listening to my body was of critical importance in my cure. ... This may seem like a poetic and "mystical" viewpoint for someone seriously ill to be indulged in, but actually it was a hard-rock, empirical issue of whether I would live or die. ... There is, therefore, a willing which is not merely against bodily desires but with the body, a willing from within; it is a willing of participation rather than opposition. 
" J. Allan Hobson: "The best doctor, then, is the self, the only agent who can engineer sound health practices. This view, and its application to our mental and physical

Nature or nurture?: Embracing choice

James Hormel wrote, "As a young boy growing up in Austin, Minnesota, teachers forced pens into my right hand in the futile hope of correcting my left-handedness. If they had known I was gay, they might have tried to fix that, too. They would have failed." And why do we try to change each other? Whether we can succeed at changing someone else's personality, character and drive seems a secondary question to why we would want to do so in the first place. Instead of trying to control each other, could we try to protect each other from injury? Simon LeVay wrote: ”The true moral issue in the area of sexuality is not to establish or refute 'naturalness' – a slippery concept if there ever was one – but to make difficult decisions that balance respect for individual freedom against protection from interpersonal or societal harm.” Meanwhile, in exercising our individual freedom, we can elevate our behavior from unconscious impulse to conscious choice. Nicholas Fearn