What are we?

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What are we?

Postby ChrisC » Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:10 am

What are we. What is it that feels? I have been thinking about this recently. How is that we are governed by the chemicals in our brains? I mean a few weeks ago I was a mess I broke down sobbing when I heard a sad song. I seriously believed I would never see my kids again. I even planned a trip to the local farmers field which has a train running through it. The C2C line. I was going to jump in front of it at the top running speed between Leigh on Sea and Benfleet.

Now after a few sessions of therapy and Cymbalta (Duloxetine) I'm outgoing. I know I will see my kids again. I have a very positive attitude. Which has made me think. The change over from despair that I was in, to how I feel now. It seems, well I don't know a little scary.

So who we all are is governed by what supply and storage of out neuro-transmitters.

Is a top salesman good at his job because he has more dopamine than most, meaning his more outgoing. What makes us who we are? Our memories? Or our supply and demand of neuro-transmitters?

Just a muse!
"We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts."

Buddha in The Dhammapada.

ChrisC

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Re: What are we?

Postby admin » Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:51 am

As best I can tell, we are a self that "hears" thoughts, feels emotions and sensations, and controls muscles. We can also control our thoughts to a limited extent -- that is, we can decide: I'm going to sit down and think about what I'm going to do next, instead of just rushing out and doing it. But that control is limited. We can NOT control our thoughts to the extent of NOT thinking about a hippopotamus. We seem to have more control over our actions. I can decide not to pet a hippopotamus. What we have the least control over is our emotions and sensations. I'm told that a zen master can control their emotions, through meditation, but I can't. I feel what I feel and I want what I want and, yes, hormones and enzymes have a lot to do with it. But I can control my actions, at least to the extent that if I feel like jumping in front of a train, I can force myself to sit down and think about it instead.
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Re: What are we?

Postby slaven41 » Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:04 pm

From a scientific standpoint, this is an issue that I think we're a long way away from. I mean, even if we reach an understanding of how the brain stores information, accesses that information, and uses all the sensory input and stored knowledge to make decisions, none of this gets at the issue of consciousness. What is the nature of the experience I'm having of sitting at my keyboard typing?

I tend to think that the issue of consciousness is tied up with the issue of time somehow. After all, I have a brain which extends along the time axis 48 years into the past, and who knows how long into the future. And yet I'm only conscious of events in one direction (the past) and my consciousness seems to be moving steadily and inexorably along that axis.

Until that's all solved, I guess we just get by as best we can.

--Dave
"It's only Neutron. We call him that because he's so positive." --from This Island Earth
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Re: What are we?

Postby HAL Jr » Sun Apr 25, 2010 3:08 pm

We are but the spark of a potential fire.
Would you like a stress pill Dave?
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Re: What are we?

Postby slaven41 » Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:09 pm

HAL Jr wrote:We are but the spark of a potential fire.

And I thought the question was difficult. I stand corrected. :-)
"It's only Neutron. We call him that because he's so positive." --from This Island Earth
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