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Tuan Jie 03-26-2018 01:21 AM

Psychedelic Medicine, Therapy and Science
 
Continuing this thread, which you can't respond to anymore (This Thread is more than 121 days old, you can't reply to it. )

Brilliant writer Michael Pollan just released his new book, How to Change Your Mind, subtitled What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence.

ABOUT HOW TO CHANGE YOUR MIND
A brilliant and brave investigation by Michael Pollan, author of five New York Times best sellers, into the medical and scientific revolution taking place around psychedelic drugs–and the spellbinding story of his own life-changing psychedelic experiences

When Michael Pollan set out to research how LSD and psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) are being used to provide relief to people suffering from difficult-to-treat conditions such as depression, addiction and anxiety, he did not intend to write what is undoubtedly his most personal book. But upon discovering how these remarkable substances are improving the lives not only of the mentally ill but also of healthy people coming to grips with the challenges of everyday life, he decided to explore the landscape of the mind in the first person as well as the third. Thus began a singular adventure into the experience of various altered states of consciousness, along with a dive deep into both the latest brain science and the thriving underground community of psychedelic therapists. Pollan sifts the historical record to separate the truth about these mysterious drugs from the myths that have surrounded them since the 1960s, when a handful of psychedelic evangelists catalyzed a powerful backlash against what was then a promising field of research.

A unique and elegant blend of science, memoir, travel writing, history, and medicine, How to Change Your Mind is a triumph of participatory journalism. By turns dazzling and edifying, it is the gripping account of a journey to an exciting and unexpected new frontier in our understanding of the mind, the self, and our place in the world. The true subject of Pollan’s “mental travelogue” is not just psychedelic drugs but also the eternal puzzle of human consciousness and how, in a world that offers us both struggle and beauty, we can do our best to be fully present and find meaning in our lives. [https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/b...9781594204227]



Nick Attwell 03-26-2018 09:16 AM

Really?

sad1231234 03-27-2018 04:03 AM

Psychedelics? Mental expansion/exploration? Cosmic transcendance of consciousness? God forbid! Lol.


Why havent they legalized this stuff already! Heck a little bit of weed helped me to get a good understanding of derealization, helping me to have a far better knowledge when it comes to coping with/curing my depersonalization-derealization disorder. I can barely imagine a glimpse of what psychedelics can do. Probably would cure all the mental crap i have in my head lol.

Erroll 03-27-2018 10:01 AM

Welcome back @Tuan Jie !


Thanks for the info on the book. Have you tried any of this stuff yet? It seems to me that you wouldn't want to do it alone, but under the guidance of someone very familiar with it; like a therapist of something.

I am fascinated by the literature that talks of psychedelics stripping away one's sense of self. I can't really understand what that would be like and so it sounds scary. Here's something I read on "shroomery" regarding what they call ego-death. It makes it sound like it involves looking behind the public mask that we wear, and seeing what we really are. I can't quite grasp that. I think I can already see behind my public mask. What do you think about the subject?

"3. Ego Death: What exactly is ego death? This could be debated until the end of time, and usually the confusion will come when people who have truly not experienced it argue with those who have. And in many ways, each individual experiences things differently, hence although we both experience loss of ego, that person who we lost was different. But.. lets explain what ego-death is at the least:

Ego death is the absence of who you have built yourself to be. It is the splitting of the mind when it first begins to happen, and the ability to truly LOOK at who you normally are, without rationalizing your flaws which you might normally do. It can be one of the most beautiful experiences in your life, but even more, if understood and dealt with properly, it can be more then just a single experience, but a way of life. But furthermore, it will draw out extreme hurt and pain because you will have uncovered a mask that the "real you" normally wears, and is so comfortable in wearing. It strips away your security of who you are, and it will be very clear to you that there are some serious issues with who you are that need to be dealt with. It is the feeling that you are speaking with your own mind, or watching the person you usually are on a movie screen, and a person with the opinion of only wanting the best in this world sits watching. But.. Let me make this very clear: There are very REAL positive and negative effects of ego death. These effects are the reason I am writing this report.

5. Negative effects of Ego Death
It can be very confusing. It can cause a person who lacks balance in their life, or someone who is already very emotionally unstable to see the pain too quickly, and experience feelings which they are not yet ready to deal with in such volume.

It will unmask your securities, and unlock doors in your mind that hold back your fears from surfacing.

It will show you a different person, because you will be truly stepping out of your usual shoes and looking at the person who usually stands in them. This can be scary and for some who are so-tied to their ego for protection, insanely mind-shattering (overload).

It can make you disgusted or sick with the way you act. It can make you feel so awkward about who you are, that you don't feel as if you can continue living the way you are.

It can do many things psychologically, and change your thought patterns towards a very negative and volatile state.

Positive Effects of Ego Death:

You can feel extreme feelings in volume, and if prepared for this, it can be a euphoria of beauty, and a feeling that every moment in time can be wonderful.

It will unlock doors deep within, and allow you to get constructive criticizm that is of the most real honesty. You will see parts of you that you will want to change, and can be extremely happy to realize these things, knowing that you can make yourself a better person.

It will open up emotions that you usually are unable to feel, and allow you to touch yourself towards ideas and wants that usually the ego holds you back from. It can make you want to be a better person, and give you ideas of how you can accomplish that.

It will change the way you look at the world, maybe only temporarily, and it will undeniably break away a small part of the ego from who you will be when you return from this state. This will happen because people who have an ego which they have made COMPLETELY who they are, in the way that they are unchanging will not be able to experience ego-death in its wholeness. Their ego is attached to strongly, and they will need to experience much change in their life, before that can be achieved (to my knowledge and observations.)

It will remind you of feelings you once forgot, and show you feelings you have never felt before. This can be anything though, as each of us forgets different things, although all equally important. Some of us forget how to love, or begin beliving that such a thing is not possible because of the pain/hurt we have pushed within.. Ego death is one of those mind openers, and reminders.

----- All of these explanations are important, but most importantly is not what you experience while you sit in the seat of ego-death, but HOW you change yourself with what you see. "

Tuan Jie 03-28-2018 06:28 AM

Thank you @Erroll ! Nice to see you again. How are you?

Phone book alert....

I'm a fan of Michael Pollan. It was a surprise to me his latest book is about this subject. If I had to pick anyone who I'd wanted to research and make sense of this, I'd have picked him. So I'm looking forward to his findings.

This is the third day I'm out of the abyss. I've been there for five months straight. I've been hanging on by my fingertips. I turned to books in an attempt to maintain my sanity and to find a spark of hope. Until a month ago, this was the only source of information available to me. I did and I didn't find what I'm looking for. It's a long story...

I've been reading a couple of books about psychedelics and I've been watching a lot of videos about it lately. I am very scared of psychedelics (me), but I also see their enormous therapeutic potential. As I've stated before, this possibility is a last resort for me. It may come to the point where the choice is between this or die. With each major depression I'm getting closer to the point of ending my life. I think it's fair to say it's only a matter of time if the way I experience remains as it is. And that's what will happen with any intervention which doesn't impact my wiring. The vast majority of "experts" is just as handbound as I am when it comes to treatment resistant depression. Nobody truly knows the ins and outs of this condition. My impression is you're at the mercy of your therapists particular conviction. Which one that is, is quite arbitrary. Due to my long history as a "patient" and my character, I rather take my own educated guess. I'm not looking for a magic bullet, just one honest chance to start a sustainable upward cycle. Many seem to have found exactly that in psychedelics. It's worth looking into.

Science is finally starting to happen again in this field and this time we have much better tools, like fMRI, to gather data with. The outcomes of the studies done so far are stunning. It gives me hope, which is in itself counteracting the hopeless void pulling my ankles. These results are only preliminary though. It's going to take years before a consequent treatment will be available to the public, if at all. I've signed up to be a guineapig in a study, but I didn't match the criteria to be included. I've also asked my psychiatrist to ask around, so far without result. Chances are, this is a dead end. I catch myself thinking: "Am I capable of hanging in here for, let's say, ten years?". I don't think I am. When push comes to shove, I don't think I want to anymore. When I fall through, I'm simply in another reality. It doesn't even matter if I'm aware of it or not.

So what's the alternative? These are murky waters. It's a terrain I'd rather avoid, but I feel I can't afford that. It all changes if you're "already dead" and out of options. I'm not wreckless though. I'll be doing my homework first and then make up my mind. I'll take as long as I need. This is the part where many folks seem to be irresponsible. Not all, but many cases where the outcome was dramatic, have this in common. Psychedelics are tools, and if you don't know how to use them, you can be in for a traumatic surprise if you're unlucky. There are crucial do's and don'ts to follow, but there are no guarantees. A big mistake is to think it's only about the substance. It is not.

One of the questions I have is how one best "harvests" the expereinces of a trip. It seems to be difficult to integrate these. Some experienced users say this and preparation is actually 95% of the whole thing. That makes sense to me, since what ultimately matters is how it affects your life. But there is also micro-dosing, which doesn't involve any of the above and is also promising. James Fadiman and Sophia Korb are currently mapping this territory. There's also a chapter on this in Fadiman's book The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide, which is on my list of books to read.

Ego-death fascinates me as well. I understand this can be a truly scary experience. Something like all solid ground starting to disappear underneath you. Everything you have learned to manage in life and you think you are dissolves. It must be utterly vulnerable and disorienting and it sounds a bit like what I've been through recently. It can be freeing and connecting on the flipside. A recurring theme is holding on/resisting makes it worse. But that's exactly what the ego wants to do. Letting go is completely counterintuitive. My hunch is that experienced meditators will have less problems here, because they are more familiar with noticing, rather than identifying with the ego. I'm pretty sure when curiosity prevails over anxiety, you're good. But I don't speak from experience. There are trip reports on youtube describing ego-death. It will always remain ineffable, but these people do speak from experience. There are tons of trip reports on erowid.org as well. This is also generally regarded as one of the best sources of information about anything drug related.

Erroll 03-28-2018 03:48 PM

@Tuan Jie

I haven't pre-ordered Pollan's book yet, but I do intend to read it. I guess it doesn't ship until May. "Self" is a very interesting to me. Buddhism says that "self" is the source of all dukka or suffering. And when you stop and think about "self", it's really just a collective noun indicating that a person is a unique bundle of integrated experience. That is to say that each new thing that we learn, is learned in terms of our previous bundle of experiences. Each instant, a new experience happens, so each instant we become a new self. Mostly this is by slight changes that aren't individually noticeable. But sometimes an instant can change our whole worldview; like with the Florida School Survivor Students here in USA. And Tuan, in the hopes of shedding a little brightness on your tortured bundle of experience, in each instant there is hope . There is hope because each lived instant is an instance of change. It is hard to believe if one has not yet experienced it, but any new stick in the Jenga pile (any new experience) can result in a huge change in the nature of the jenga stack (one's experience of life) as a whole.

Each experience brings change and each change brings new possibilities into sight; it's a cause for hope. Don't let hopelessness negate possibility. Each day that you hold out by exercising your hope based courage, is a small victory, and a little step towards a better life.

Thanks for the references on psychedelics. What do you see as the major impediments to your trying them? Lack of anyone with professional credentials? Money? Anxiety? I wish you some comfort from depression. Have you noticed that things we think of cause depression? Invariably, there are either things we anticipate with trepidation or things in the past which we regret or feel guilty about. Do you seek solace in just observing the present, much? At any instant, do you sense anything with your 5 senses that makes you feel bad? Not thoughts, they are always involved in the past and future and can make you feel bad, so not thoughts, just feeling seeing smelling etc, what you experience happening in the instant you are living , as you pass through these instants.

I would enjoy discussing Pollan's book with you on here, once it comes out and we have had time to read it.

Tuan Jie 03-29-2018 11:55 AM

@Erroll
I've been reading about “self” a lot lately. Particularly about how it and it's neurological reality is shaped by our interactions with our primary caregiver. It has dramatically altered my view of “mental illness” in general and my own depression/SA in particular. Subjective experiences, the nature of consciousness and self, the recurring nature of depression, SA, neuroscience, trauma, the fear of rejection, etc. Many pieces of the puzzle are falling into place since I discovered attachment theory and related studies. There's tons to say about this, but that would mean me dumping an entire off-topic phone book here.

It is very much connected to this topic though, because a fruitfull intervention has to involve rewiring of the brain. Neuroplasticity; the possibility to make new connections between neurons, which ultimately make up your reality and your self. Talking and psychopharmaceuticals are mainly palliative in this regard. It's also way more complex than a “chemical imbalance” or “unhelpful convictions or behaviour”. This is where psychedelic therapy seems to occupy a unique niche. It makes parts of the brain temporarily more plastic, which allows for alternative connections to form. The brake which is on in daily life, the default-mode network, is lifted, allowing for brain regions to communicate with eachother much more freely. It's, off course, much more complicated in reality and there are still lots of unknowns. Mendel Kaelen, on the psilocybine reserach team of Carhart-Harris, uses an analogy which might help (see video below). I have no idea how microdosing psychedelics relates to neuroplasticity.

https://youtu.be/f22c78CzBfg?t=415

There are several reasons why I haven't tried psychedelics (accept from a failed attempt with iboga about 11 years ago). The main one is the possibility of having a PTSD-type trip on top of my “mental illness”. Everything else boils down to common-sense homework which I'm not done with yet. There are several questions I'd like to have answered before I can make a proper assessment and decide if it's worth the risk in another than a clinical environment. If I get the chance to be a guineapig in a medical trial, I'll take it right away. A white coat is an amazing placebo and in this case the subject trusting the expertiese of the doc can make the difference. Psychedelic means mind-manifesting. What you are is what you get.

I'm starting to comprehend the essense of what's torturing me. I'm simply overwhelmed by extreme emotions, during which my body seems to have a mind of it's own. I just let it do what it needs to do. I trust it's wisdom. It is as physical as it is emotional. When I'm taken over by this, there hardly is any room for cognition, it just goes offline. Such is the language of trauma. The Body Keeps the Score, as Bessel van der Kolk puts it. There is a boy inside who's falling apart from all the hurt he carries. A baby on a bed of nails. His brokenness is beyond words, beyond tears. It's sub-rational. Although I have been through a lot in my life, the sheer intensity of these experiences has remained a mystery to me. Untill I discovered attachement theory (see off-topic video below). I have tools to alleviate, but actually addressing the issue is far from straight forward. Comprehending does helpt to determine which steps to take next. I'm not in this state of consciousness at the moment though. I've been feeling relatively well for four days already!

We'll get to discussing Michael Pollan eventually. Looking forward to it :-)


Erroll 03-31-2018 05:17 AM

@Tuan Jie

"I've been reading about “self” a lot lately. Particularly about how it and it's neurological reality is shaped by our interactions with our primary caregiver."


I think that the way that this works is that the edifice of personality is built upon the foundation laid by the primary caregiver(s) early in life. If we understand a novel experience in terms of our remembered past experiences, then you could say our experiences with the primary caregiver is at the core of how we comprehend everything in life. Douglas Hofstadter talks about this in "I am a Stranger Loop". He compares Kurt Godel's mathematical self referential systems to the self referential system of consciousness (each new experience being thrown into the pile of all previous experience). The entire path that a pendulum takes until it stops is affected from the point of bumping it. If you consider the pendulum life, and each experience a bump to the pendulum of life, you can see how each experience has the potential to change the entire future. And the earlier that you bump the pendulum, the more it affects the future path until it stops. That's why the effects of early caregiver's lies so deep within each personality.




"It has dramatically altered my view of “mental illness” in general and my own depression/SA in particular. "


My opinion; there is no such thing as mental illness. By that I mean that everything that we call mental is, at the base of it, really physical. Experience causes neurons to fire, and sends calcium messengers into the cellular nucleus. A RNA recipe is clipped off and sent to a ribosome in the neuron, where the recipe is followed to build a chemical. And chemicals make feelings, just like a few beers promotes a feeling of wellbeing, L'haim. So feelings are in reaction to experience, but the process is mediated by the production of chemicals like Serotonin and Dopamine and what not. If you don't have the right mix experience to unlock the release of dopamine in the Ventral Tegmental Area of your brain, it makes sense to me that the situation can be re-mediated either chemically (drugs) or experientially.

I would include electrical stimulation of the Ventral Tegmental Area to effect release of dopamine, as a chemical type intervention, just so it won't be confused with experience based interventions. I recently read this article about direct brain stimulation of this "feel good" circuit. And of course, people couldn't ever get enough of that kind of stim and developed tolerances, constantly requiring more stim to achieve the desired effect. Too great a concentration of neurotransmitter can kill cells, so direct stim is not a good intervention

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/a...piness/556043/



"Subjective experiences, the nature of consciousness and self, the recurring nature of depression, SA, neuroscience, trauma, the fear of rejection, etc. Many pieces of the puzzle are falling into place since I discovered attachment theory and related studies. There's tons to say about this, but that would mean me dumping an entire off-topic phone book here. "

Subjective experience is the experience of a current set of environmental stimulation interpreted in light of a subjects remembered life experiences. So the same thing happening in the environment can have different meanings for different subjects. I just saw an example of this on the news. Jeb Bush said that he was glad to be off of the campaign trail ,and at home with his wonderful children. He said it just as a compliment to his children. But Eric and Donald Trump Jr, trump's kids, took the same comment as an affront to their father, that Jeb Bush was implying that Trump enjoyed being away from HIS kids. Each interpreted the same words in accord with what was on their minds. It could be that you have an learned a self defeating interpretation of something in an innocuous set of environmental stimulus, that blows the thing up in importance and makes it seem like a problem which must be solved right now, and this causes you to continuously cycle through the same bad scenario, leading to an exhausted depressive state.

.

"It is very much connected to this topic though, because a fruitfull intervention has to involve rewiring of the brain. Neuroplasticity; the possibility to make new connections between neurons, which ultimately make up your reality and your self. Talking and psychopharmaceuticals are mainly palliative in this regard. It's also way more complex than a “chemical imbalance” or “unhelpful convictions or behaviour”. This is where psychedelic therapy seems to occupy a unique niche. It makes parts of the brain temporarily more plastic, which allows for alternative connections to form. The brake which is on in daily life, the default-mode network, is lifted, allowing for brain regions to communicate with eachother much more freely. It's, off course, much more complicated in reality and there are still lots of unknowns. Mendel Kaelen, on the psilocybine reserach team of Carhart-Harris, uses an analogy which might help (see video below). I have no idea how microdosing psychedelics relates to neuroplasticity."


And the way that you intervene to change the wiring is to curb your thinking. You have to exit the default, mind wondering state, and to pay attention to a new path of thinking which ameliorates your old perception of the problem. As you practice the new logical path in your mind, neurons which fire together begin to wire together. This makes the new way of perceiving the problem second nature and automatic. Meanwhile, the old connections which led to depression will be stripped away due to lack of use. It's called Hebbian Plasticity, after the guy who discovered it. Now the trick in all of this is to try to identify the path that your thinking takes when you find yourself in a given circumstance. So you have to take note of what circumstances lead you to your depressive state and the chain of concepts activated by those environmental circumstances. Once you've identified circumstance, reinterpret it more favorably, and practice the reinterpretation over and over; the more you do, the better you will be able to follow the new perceptual path to an outcome that avoids the depressive looping around the same thought.




This article claims that depression is caused by dwelling on self. It's a kind of OCD where the brain is constantly cycling through self-referential areas of the brain. That has to be due to either connectivity issues or chemical production/reception issues. Connectivity can be enhanced by mental exercises using these areas (The Hebbian Doctrine that cells which fire together, wire togeter.) And chemical production and use should be able to be addressed with chemicals that either inhibit production or inhibit reception of these chemicals.


https://www.sott.net/article/381014-...-sense-of-self


"I'm starting to comprehend the essense of what's torturing me. I'm simply overwhelmed by extreme emotions, during which my body seems to have a mind of it's own. I just let it do what it needs to do. I trust it's wisdom. It is as physical as it is emotional. When I'm taken over by this, there hardly is any room for cognition, it just goes offline. Such is the language of trauma. The Body Keeps the Score, as Bessel van der Kolk puts it. There is a boy inside who's falling apart from all the hurt he carries. A baby on a bed of nails. His brokenness is beyond words, beyond tears. It's sub-rational. Although I have been through a lot in my life, the sheer intensity of these experiences has remained a mystery to me. Untill I discovered attachement theory (see off-topic video below). I have tools to alleviate, but actually addressing the issue is far from straight forward. Comprehending does helpt to determine which steps to take next. I'm not in this state of consciousness at the moment though. I've been feeling relatively well for four days already! "

It sounds like a horrible thing to have to go through. I am happy to hear that you are experiencing a respite for a while. Analyze how you came to have this respite from the usual torture that your mind seems to gravitate to. You might uncover a clue to what gets you out of the bad state into a more manageable one.

And what I write here and suggest is just based my beliefs and understandings of things I've been reading over the last 10 or so years. Read; A little knowledge is a dangerous thing ;) Good luck to you, buddy.

RelinquishedHell 03-31-2018 10:06 AM

I've heard it's very effective. Mushrooms and DMT especially. Something about expanding your perspective and understanding, so you don't get sucked into one particular thought pattern.

I'm curious about trying it, but Idk where do get mushrooms and I hear bad trips from DMT are horrifying.

sad1231234 04-01-2018 04:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RelinquishedHell (Post 1092604234)
I've heard it's very effective. Mushrooms and DMT especially. Something about expanding your perspective and understanding, so you don't get sucked into one particular thought pattern.

I'm curious about trying it, but Idk where do get mushrooms and I hear bad trips from DMT are horrifying.

Craigslist. also on leafedin you can find people. And in certain seasons they'll be growing everywhere, just make sure you fully know how to identify them 100% cause if you pick the wrong ones cause they can cause a long agonizing death

Tuan Jie 04-05-2018 01:46 AM

@Erroll
Thanks Erroll. I'm going to try to stay on topic now :-) If I have gathered enough courage, I'll make a thread about how I think things got this way. Do you suffer from depression and has your method helped you to metigate it? Are you thinking about psychedelic therapy as well?

Rewiring the brain at the level of the default-mode network (DMN) has been proven to be a massive challenge. I haven't been able to hack it in all these years, not sustainably at least. Perhaps that's because it is the generator of “I” and there's no other “I” outside of the self-referential loop who can “interpret” differently. There's nobody home who buys into other truths, so to speak. It does feel like a prison or a hostage situation. I can't do this on my own. Not even a year in a therapeutic community where questioning your convictions and perceptions was the norm has resulted in significant changes, nor have a slew of meds, tons of self-help books and various other attempts. Some have helped for a while, but it always goes back to the default. Another approach is needed, hence this thread. Perhaps what's needed is to temporarily take down the DMN itself to experience outside the realm of these fixed settings. What's interesting is that the experiencer remains regardless. Any thoughts on that?

The 5-HT2 receptor has come up often. Pretty cool study narrowing down it's role in dissovling the self. It may lead to a more precise intervention in the future (although I'm weary of simple solutions in this case). I'm not going to wait for that though, it'll take ages, if ever. Since I've physically removed myself from a triggering enviroment leading to my distress, my nervous system has calmed down a bit. My amygdala is less marinating everything with danger. That includes my fear of a “bad trip”. I find myself looking for alternatives to volunteering in a trial. However, the largest trial in psilocybin therapy for treatment resistant depression ever is pending. It's planned to be conducted in the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and the UK. I'm trying to get myself onboard. Otherwise, other legal options are available in the Netherlands. I'll also be looking more into neuroplasticity, which can hardly be a depressive thing to do :-)

Tuan Jie 04-05-2018 02:02 AM

@RelinquishedHell
If you're open to DMT, you may want to look into ayahuasca (which's active component is DMT). Are there any legal ceremonies held in the US? Maps.org will keep you posted on any developments with regard to psychedelic therapy within the law. It's founder, Rick Doblin is working with the FDA to make MDMA assisted psychotherapy available to the public. This could be as soon as 2021 and even sooner in some cases.

@sad1231234
How've you been? How has weed helped you? It's about the last thing I'd think off being helpfull if you have depersonalization issues. But the same goes for psychedelics for mental health issues. I've stayed away from it because of it. It would be ironic if it's the thing which is very helpfull to treat it.

sad1231234 04-05-2018 03:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tuan Jie (Post 1092644042)
@RelinquishedHell
If you're open to DMT, you may want to look into ayahuasca (which's active component is DMT). Are there any legal ceremonies held in the US? Maps.org will keep you posted on any developments with regard to psychedelic therapy within the law. It's founder, Rick Doblin is working with the FDA to make MDMA assisted psychotherapy available to the public. This could be as soon as 2021 and even sooner in some cases.

@sad1231234
How've you been? How has weed helped you? It's about the last thing I'd think off being helpfull if you have depersonalization issues. But the same goes for psychedelics for mental health issues. I've stayed away from it because of it. It would be ironic if it's the thing which is very helpfull to treat it.

weed gave me a good understanding of the mind, thoughts, and the connection between reality and the mind. Before i used weed i didnt really know what to do about my derealization but when i used it a while back i gained an understanding of how to live in the real world more instead of living inside my own mind lol. Derealization is very elusive but getting a bit of a grip on how the mind works helped.

Erroll 04-07-2018 08:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tuan Jie (Post 1092643986)
Thanks Erroll. I'm going to try to stay on topic now :-) If I have gathered enough courage, I'll make a thread about how I think things got this way. Do you suffer from depression and has your method helped you to metigate it? Are you thinking about psychedelic therapy as well?

I have suffered from depression just enough to understand what a deep well it is to fall down. I feel better than at any time in my life now. maybe at my age, there's just less of a future to to worry about. Also, a lot of my past happened quite a while ago, and one has to remember the past to regret it :) Depression is half worrying about the future and half regretting the past. We live in the present. I meditate regularly and take a bit of Prozac to help keep depression in check. I feel a bit down occasionally, but I find that I can usually snap out of it on the smae day that I notice it. Psychadelic therapy is interesting to me from the standpoint of understanding the 'self'. How on earth can a chemical cause the 'self' to weaken and a person to encompass the environment in his sense of self. I'm looking forward to Pollen's book on that.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tuan Jie (Post 1092643986)
Rewiring the brain at the level of the default-mode network (DMN) has been proven to be a massive challenge. I haven't been able to hack it in all these years, not sustainably at least. Perhaps that's because it is the generator of “I” and there's no other “I” outside of the self-referential loop who can “interpret” differently. There's nobody home who buys into other truths, so to speak. It does feel like a prison or a hostage situation. I can't do this on my own. Not even a year in a therapeutic community where questioning your convictions and perceptions was the norm has resulted in significant changes, nor have a slew of meds, tons of self-help books and various other attempts. Some have helped for a while, but it always goes back to the default. Another approach is needed, hence this thread. Perhaps what's needed is to temporarily take down the DMN itself to experience outside the realm of these fixed settings. What's interesting is that the experiencer remains regardless. Any thoughts on that?



The "self" that we act with, now, is a product of our past. The only way to address any problem with our current 'self' is to address it in the present. Analogically, we can't remove the old shingles totally and put on a new roof. But we have to patch up the roof that we've got. All the past is incorporated in us; in the 'selves' that we currently are. We have to take that 'self' that the past gave us, and do something now to change the way our modified self addresses the future. We can worry about the future until we shrivel up and die. Or we can take actions regarding how we conduct ourselves in the present to change the course of our future. Anything can happen in the future and it is all based in what we do right now. So we can worry about the future, or we can choose to have faith in ourselves and in the present actions we undertake, to reach a future free of the burdens of the past. Mindfulness exercises can help us live in the present. These exercises help us to pay attention, and become aware of when the default network (DMN) of the brain is taking us for a dangerous ride into regrets of the past or worries regarding the future. That is the methodology of, as you say, rewiring the default mode network. I wouldn't say that the DMN is the generator of the 'I or self'. The 'self' exists in the present as a product of the past. If anything, the DMN draws us away from our true selves and causes us to reflect on either past 'selves' which we used to be, or on future 'selves', which we might never become. Living in the present is the key.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Tuan Jie (Post 1092643986)

The 5-HT2 receptor has come up often. Pretty cool study narrowing down it's role in dissovling the self. It may lead to a more precise intervention in the future (although I'm weary of simple solutions in this case). I'm not going to wait for that though, it'll take ages, if ever. Since I've physically removed myself from a triggering enviroment leading to my distress, my nervous system has calmed down a bit. My amygdala is less marinating everything with danger. That includes my fear of a “bad trip”. I find myself looking for alternatives to volunteering in a trial. However, the largest trial in psilocybin therapy for treatment resistant depression ever is pending. It's planned to be conducted in the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and the UK. I'm trying to get myself onboard. Otherwise, other legal options are available in the Netherlands. I'll also be looking more into neuroplasticity, which can hardly be a depressive thing to do :-)


The chemistry of the neuron is everything. To say that it is massively complex is an understatement. DNA codes for every aspect of the body, which I like to call an "Environmental Detection and Response Machine" (EDRM) . The soul develops over a lifetime and is totally dependent on what the EDRM detects, and how it responds. Chemicals work on the body directly. Meditation works on the body via the intermediary of the soul. In both cases electro-chemicals are propagated from the huge network of body sensors and flow up the nerves and spinal cord to neurons in the brain's sensory cortices. The electric potential thus generated in these neurons causes a chemical signal to enter the neuron's nucleus and clip off a recipe for a molecule (like a 5-HT2 receptor or a molecule of seritonin). In a perfect world, the 5-HT2 receptor allows molecules of seritonin to enter a neuron and cause it to fire stronger and faster, yielding a normal state of consciousness instead of a depressed state of consciousness. But neural DNA is not always perfect. The new science of Epigenetics shows us many ways in which DNA gets modified; sometimes for the better, and sometimes for the worse. So, if a genetic mutation causes a slightly different 5-HT2 receptor to be generated, and that receptor's shape does not allow seritonin molecules to enter the neuron, consciousness remains depressed.

So, for instance, to address depression chemically, you have to determine if seritonin or another body chemical is the problem, if your gut microbes are making enough serotonin, if receptors in the neuron are allowing seritonin to enter the neuron, if you have too few receptors for the seritonin you make, etc etc etc. And knowledge of how this massively complex dance of chemicals works to produce mood is incomplete and sketchy at best. I have a textbook on the chemistry of the neuron and it's almost impossible to read, because it is not a cohesive story, but an endless procession of what this or that chemical does under this or that circumstance. It is short on integration of this information, so that you can follow it from beginning to end. That's why I prefer to talk about addressing depression via mindfulness and talk. But I find myself using both chemical and mindful interventions. It's just that it is almost impossible to know exactly how chemicals work. Thus our fear of psycho-active mushrooms etc. It really is sort of 'trial end error'.

Erroll 04-09-2018 06:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sad1231234 (Post 1092644314)
weed gave me a good understanding of the mind, thoughts, and the connection between reality and the mind. Before i used weed i didnt really know what to do about my derealization but when i used it a while back i gained an understanding of how to live in the real world more instead of living inside my own mind lol. Derealization is very elusive but getting a bit of a grip on how the mind works helped.

My experience has been that weed increases the acuity of all 5 human senses. Food tastes better, music sounds better, sex is more intense, odors are more pronounced, and visually things are more focused and crisp and colors are more saturated. This more intense sensory stimulation seems to facilitate mindfulness meditation because the sensory stimulation of the present moment becomes more vivid and interesting. Sometimes the richer sensual experiences can make it seem like time passes more slowly, because you experience more sensual information across the same time span. And its a matter of dosage too. Too much and you start to see things that really aren't there ...hallucinations, obsessive thoughts, paranoia. (So perhaps this is one area where Jagger's maxim, below, does not hold true :smile2: )

sad1231234 04-09-2018 06:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Erroll (Post 1092678394)
My experience has been that weed increases the acuity of all 5 human senses. Food tastes better, music sounds better, sex is more intense, odors are more pronounced, and visually things are more focused and crisp and colors are more saturated. This more intense sensory stimulation seems to facilitate mindfulness meditation because the sensory stimulation of the present moment becomes more vivid and interesting. Sometimes the richer sensual experiences can make it seem like time passes more slowly, because you experience more sensual information across the same time span. And its a matter of dosage too. Too much and you start to see things that really aren't there ...hallucinations, obsessive thoughts, paranoia. (So perhaps this is one area where Jagger's maxim, below, does not hold true :smile2: )

Yeah it does, i havent tried actual psychedelics or anything but from my experience with marijuana it increases the effectiveness of the senses. Not to mention it also helps the brain to sort of "multitask" more, like in picking out different instruments in music and stuff. Yeah you're right, i mean i havent done weed much but i would imagine it would be good for meditating and stuff. Yeah everything in moderation haha unless you're some hardcore psychonaut or something. But thats whats cool about weed, because it is pretty much a psychedelic that is intense enough to be an other-worldly experience yet soft/mild enough so that you are still in the real world and able to think fairly normally.

Chevy396 04-09-2018 07:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Erroll (Post 1092603010)
@Tuan Jie

"I've been reading about “self” a lot lately. Particularly about how it and it's neurological reality is shaped by our interactions with our primary caregiver."


I think that the way that this works is that the edifice of personality is built upon the foundation laid by the primary caregiver(s) early in life. If we understand a novel experience in terms of our remembered past experiences, then you could say our experiences with the primary caregiver is at the core of how we comprehend everything in life. Douglas Hofstadter talks about this in "I am a Stranger Loop". He compares Kurt Godel's mathematical self referential systems to the self referential system of consciousness (each new experience being thrown into the pile of all previous experience). The entire path that a pendulum takes until it stops is affected from the point of bumping it. If you consider the pendulum life, and each experience a bump to the pendulum of life, you can see how each experience has the potential to change the entire future. And the earlier that you bump the pendulum, the more it affects the future path until it stops. That's why the effects of early caregiver's lies so deep within each personality.




"It has dramatically altered my view of “mental illness” in general and my own depression/SA in particular. "


My opinion; there is no such thing as mental illness. By that I mean that everything that we call mental is, at the base of it, really physical. Experience causes neurons to fire, and sends calcium messengers into the cellular nucleus. A RNA recipe is clipped off and sent to a ribosome in the neuron, where the recipe is followed to build a chemical. And chemicals make feelings, just like a few beers promotes a feeling of wellbeing, L'haim. So feelings are in reaction to experience, but the process is mediated by the production of chemicals like Serotonin and Dopamine and what not. If you don't have the right mix experience to unlock the release of dopamine in the Ventral Tegmental Area of your brain, it makes sense to me that the situation can be re-mediated either chemically (drugs) or experientially.

I would include electrical stimulation of the Ventral Tegmental Area to effect release of dopamine, as a chemical type intervention, just so it won't be confused with experience based interventions. I recently read this article about direct brain stimulation of this "feel good" circuit. And of course, people couldn't ever get enough of that kind of stim and developed tolerances, constantly requiring more stim to achieve the desired effect. Too great a concentration of neurotransmitter can kill cells, so direct stim is not a good intervention

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/a...piness/556043/



"Subjective experiences, the nature of consciousness and self, the recurring nature of depression, SA, neuroscience, trauma, the fear of rejection, etc. Many pieces of the puzzle are falling into place since I discovered attachment theory and related studies. There's tons to say about this, but that would mean me dumping an entire off-topic phone book here. "

Subjective experience is the experience of a current set of environmental stimulation interpreted in light of a subjects remembered life experiences. So the same thing happening in the environment can have different meanings for different subjects. I just saw an example of this on the news. Jeb Bush said that he was glad to be off of the campaign trail ,and at home with his wonderful children. He said it just as a compliment to his children. But Eric and Donald Trump Jr, trump's kids, took the same comment as an affront to their father, that Jeb Bush was implying that Trump enjoyed being away from HIS kids. Each interpreted the same words in accord with what was on their minds. It could be that you have an learned a self defeating interpretation of something in an innocuous set of environmental stimulus, that blows the thing up in importance and makes it seem like a problem which must be solved right now, and this causes you to continuously cycle through the same bad scenario, leading to an exhausted depressive state.

.

"It is very much connected to this topic though, because a fruitfull intervention has to involve rewiring of the brain. Neuroplasticity; the possibility to make new connections between neurons, which ultimately make up your reality and your self. Talking and psychopharmaceuticals are mainly palliative in this regard. It's also way more complex than a “chemical imbalance” or “unhelpful convictions or behaviour”. This is where psychedelic therapy seems to occupy a unique niche. It makes parts of the brain temporarily more plastic, which allows for alternative connections to form. The brake which is on in daily life, the default-mode network, is lifted, allowing for brain regions to communicate with eachother much more freely. It's, off course, much more complicated in reality and there are still lots of unknowns. Mendel Kaelen, on the psilocybine reserach team of Carhart-Harris, uses an analogy which might help (see video below). I have no idea how microdosing psychedelics relates to neuroplasticity."


And the way that you intervene to change the wiring is to curb your thinking. You have to exit the default, mind wondering state, and to pay attention to a new path of thinking which ameliorates your old perception of the problem. As you practice the new logical path in your mind, neurons which fire together begin to wire together. This makes the new way of perceiving the problem second nature and automatic. Meanwhile, the old connections which led to depression will be stripped away due to lack of use. It's called Hebbian Plasticity, after the guy who discovered it. Now the trick in all of this is to try to identify the path that your thinking takes when you find yourself in a given circumstance. So you have to take note of what circumstances lead you to your depressive state and the chain of concepts activated by those environmental circumstances. Once you've identified circumstance, reinterpret it more favorably, and practice the reinterpretation over and over; the more you do, the better you will be able to follow the new perceptual path to an outcome that avoids the depressive looping around the same thought.




This article claims that depression is caused by dwelling on self. It's a kind of OCD where the brain is constantly cycling through self-referential areas of the brain. That has to be due to either connectivity issues or chemical production/reception issues. Connectivity can be enhanced by mental exercises using these areas (The Hebbian Doctrine that cells which fire together, wire togeter.) And chemical production and use should be able to be addressed with chemicals that either inhibit production or inhibit reception of these chemicals.


https://www.sott.net/article/381014-...-sense-of-self


"I'm starting to comprehend the essense of what's torturing me. I'm simply overwhelmed by extreme emotions, during which my body seems to have a mind of it's own. I just let it do what it needs to do. I trust it's wisdom. It is as physical as it is emotional. When I'm taken over by this, there hardly is any room for cognition, it just goes offline. Such is the language of trauma. The Body Keeps the Score, as Bessel van der Kolk puts it. There is a boy inside who's falling apart from all the hurt he carries. A baby on a bed of nails. His brokenness is beyond words, beyond tears. It's sub-rational. Although I have been through a lot in my life, the sheer intensity of these experiences has remained a mystery to me. Untill I discovered attachement theory (see off-topic video below). I have tools to alleviate, but actually addressing the issue is far from straight forward. Comprehending does helpt to determine which steps to take next. I'm not in this state of consciousness at the moment though. I've been feeling relatively well for four days already! "

It sounds like a horrible thing to have to go through. I am happy to hear that you are experiencing a respite for a while. Analyze how you came to have this respite from the usual torture that your mind seems to gravitate to. You might uncover a clue to what gets you out of the bad state into a more manageable one.

And what I write here and suggest is just based my beliefs and understandings of things I've been reading over the last 10 or so years. Read; A little knowledge is a dangerous thing ;) Good luck to you, buddy.

You are on to something here. If you feel like talking g about your thoughts I would be interested in monotizing them. Maybe you re opposed to monotizing on these things, but in the modern world, that's the only way to get the word out.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

Chevy396 04-09-2018 07:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RelinquishedHell (Post 1092604234)
I've heard it's very effective. Mushrooms and DMT especially. Something about expanding your perspective and understanding, so you don't get sucked into one particular thought pattern.

I'm curious about trying it, but Idk where do get mushrooms and I hear bad trips from DMT are horrifying.

Mushrooms are easy to grow and legal to buy the spores (in most places). I highly recommend as I've had a bad trip on acid, but not on shrooms.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

Erroll 04-10-2018 06:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SolutionX (Post 1092684850)
You are on to something here. If you feel like talking g about your thoughts I would be interested in monotizing them. Maybe you re opposed to monotizing on these things, but in the modern world, that's the only way to get the word out.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

Thanks for reading, Solution. The theory of consciousness upon which I base what I write was developed by Douglas Hoffstadter of Indiana University, and discussed in detail in his "I am a strange loop". It makes more sense to me than any other consciousness theory that I have ever encountered. I think that he's dead on.

The neurological substrate upon which consciousness runs, in the brain and body, is as as complex as life itself. What I say about that comes from my readings on anatomy, neurology, and connectome.
It's functions are coded in the 3 billion base pairs in human DNA. But, I believe that that substrate could be replaced with computer-like hardware. I believe that if you had a deep-enough Markov Neural Network, running on a fast-enough machine, and if you exposed this neural net to a training set consisting of every single sensory experience that a 3 year old has had and in the same order, that you would end up with something very much like the consciousness of that 3 year old. That, of course, would entail that the machine had a body to house all the various sensors...vision, feel audio smell taste, etc, and it might even need a gut to house the microbes which send messages to the brain via the Enteric Nervous System and the Vagus nerve.

The human nervous system does everything with electrical potentials, mediated by electro-chemical transmitter molecules. A consciousness running on a hardware substrate would skip the chemical intermediaries and message directly with electricity, and that should reduce the complexity of the 3 billion base pairs of DNA, acting individually or in unison to produce bio-molecules based on electro-chemically mediated environmental messaging. I believe that feelings or quales, like pleasant/unpleasant are based in learned experience. The internal feeling of 'pleasantness' is created in analogy to outcomes of previous remembered pleasant experiences. I think that that is where all of the confusion used to occur in questioning whether infants could feel the pain of circumcision. I think that pain is not felt until it can be associated with previous causes and outcomes of similar circumstances which caused pain. So pain, like everything else, is not felt until it is learned. For example; the first few times that I used Marijuana, I did not notice the high, and the stuff seemed useless. But after repeated usage, I LEARNED to feel the high. You simply do not pay attention to meaningless feelings until you learn to associate and compare them with remembered previous experiential outcomes. (And Eric Kandel's work with Aplysia is a good place to read about how memory works.)

I love theorizing about this stuff and would enjoy discussing it in messages/posts, but my social anxiety prevents me from organizing my thoughts in real time, so I write. I discuss my personal ideas about consciousness in my blog on here, if you are interested.

Chevy396 04-10-2018 05:20 PM

I don't think I agree with the idea that pain only happens if you have a memory of it. If that were true then it wouldn't have hurt when I broke my leg because I had never experienced it before.

There is a first for everything, and often times the first experience is the most painful because you haven't developed a tolerance for the pain.

I like the rest though.

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sad1231234 04-10-2018 05:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SolutionX (Post 1092684882)
Mushrooms are easy to grow and legal to buy the spores (in most places). I highly recommend as I've had a bad trip on acid, but not on shrooms.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

generally from what i have researched, i think the majority of people will say that mushrooms are more likely to cause a bad trip than acid and that mushrooms are more harsh on the consciousness than acid. Not to say that mushrooms are more intense, a lot of people say acid is more intense, but acid is often recommended for a first trip for someone who has never tried psychedelics before. Because acid is one of those things that is harder to go wrong with than mushrooms, in low doses it often creates rather positive experiences more likely than not and it stimulates the dopamine in the brain which makes you directly feel good, rather than with shrooms where you indirectly derive the feeling of rewardance from the experience that you are having. But that doesnt mean that acid is better than shrooms, it just means that a lot of people seem to say that it is a more soft experience for a beginner when done in the right doses. Mushrooms are often said to be more confusing than acid trips. If you've seen psychedsubstance on youtube, he will recommend trying acid rather than shrooms on your first psychedelic trip. But just make sure you test it, because you dont want to get some fake stuff like 25i-NBOM or whatever it is called, that stuff has been known to kill people who took only 2 hits of it.

GeomTech 04-10-2018 09:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Erroll (Post 1092603010)


[B]Subjective experience is the experience of a current set of environmental stimulation interpreted in light of a subjects remembered life experiences. So the same thing happening in the environment can have different meanings for different subjects. I just saw an example of this on the news. Jeb Bush said that he was glad to be off of the campaign trail ,and at home with his wonderful children. He said it just as a compliment to his children. But Eric and Donald Trump Jr, trump's kids, took the same comment as an affront to their father, that Jeb Bush was implying that Trump enjoyed being away from HIS kids. Each interpreted the same words in accord with what was on their minds. It could be that you have an learned a self defeating interpretation of something in an innocuous set of environmental stimulus, that blows the thing up in importance and makes it seem like a problem which must be solved right now, and this causes you to continuously cycle through the same bad scenario, leading to an exhausted depressive state.

Hmm. Very intriguing. Sorry to de-rail the thread, but I wonder what this will entail for hypothetical endeavors such as mind-uploading or consciousness transfer operations, or rather, subjective experience transfer / upload. Apparently, it might not be possible, as there are objections such as the likes of the transfer being just a mere copy, and not the actual subjective experience field. But, couldn't there be a kind of tethered dual entity; like it's split, but connected in some way? Perhaps not. Or perhaps, a kind of mini-fractal seed, but you feed it the pattern of experience (alterations in brain structure, neural patternings), or something along those lines? Hmm.... Or maybe a kind of mechanism; where you have the brain connected to a virtual copy mechanism, but embue it with a virtual realm, where one can experience a world akin to that of current reality, and trick the brain into thinking that it's actually within the virtual realm, and somehow have the virtual copy mechanism loop a virtual copy within the virtual realm. Not sure if that'd work, as the "in-between" steps would depend upon the initial consciousness being copied, and when that's gone, it's lights out, I suppose?

I was also thinking of a mechanism akin to entanglement transfer or something along those lines. However, Quantum consciousness theory or ORCH OR; the idea that consciousness is "quantum", and the origins of consciousness stem from the microtubules in neurons as opposed to connections between them, has been puportedly written off; as it is seemingly inconsistent, and is apparently at odds with "established" science; though, there could be something to it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orches...tive_reduction

Synaps3 04-11-2018 12:45 AM

Without having read the OP, I can tell you that mushrooms have been a GREAT help to me. Beautiful stuff!!! Do not trust it too much though because it can lead you astray. You may start believing in things that don't have any logical basis in reality.

It's always good if you are a very logical thinker. If you are a INFP or INFJ personality type, then forget it. You'll probably end up convincing yourself something ridiculous. I've seen this before. You have to have a strong mind to benefit from this stuff or else you'll just end up a hippy who believes everything that "FEELS" right.

It is a great tool. I've even used the stuff to have conversations with a god-like consciousness in my head. It told me what was right and wrong about my life and what I should do. It was amazing. Take it with caution and go into it with some questions you intend to ask yourself.

WillYouStopDave 04-11-2018 01:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tuan Jie (Post 1092586898)
@Erroll

We'll get to discussing Michael Pollan eventually. Looking forward to it :-)

Can we please discuss bee pollen first?

GeomTech 04-11-2018 08:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Synaps3 (Post 1092695906)
Without having read the OP, I can tell you that mushrooms have been a GREAT help to me. Beautiful stuff!!! Do not trust it too much though because it can lead you astray. You may start believing in things that don't have any logical basis in reality.

It's always good if you are a very logical thinker. If you are a INFP or INFJ personality type, then forget it. You'll probably end up convincing yourself something ridiculous. I've seen this before. You have to have a strong mind to benefit from this stuff or else you'll just end up a hippy who believes everything that "FEELS" right.

It is a great tool. I've even used the stuff to have conversations with a god-like consciousness in my head. It told me what was right and wrong about my life and what I should do. It was amazing. Take it with caution and go into it with some questions you intend to ask yourself.

Hmm... On the border for T/F; but probably heavily leaning towards F; so an INFP (at least I think). In a way, I do lack "grounding" or whatever, and have a kind of disdain for it as well that is not inherently logical.

I'd probably start out with lower dosages or whatever, and use it sparingly. And then, I suppose incorporate a guided inquiry session to wrap the experience inside of as well.

Btw, are you an INTP / ISTP or INTJ?

Erroll 04-12-2018 06:16 AM

Interesting ideas, @GeomTech

But I think that copying a consciousness is a much greater undertaking than creating a conscious AI. I believe that connectivity is different in each individual, because each person has a different set of experience, occurring in different sequences. For example, person A, being an ancient Viking, might attribute thunder to Thor pounding with his hammer, while person B, being a modern scientist, might attribute thunder to friction in the atmosphere and electrostatic discharge.

Can you see how the organization of the information would be different in the two brains? For the Viking, thunder is understood in terms of a previously learned concept we might call God. For the scientist, thunder is understood in terms of the previously learned concepts of atmosphere, static, electricity, electrostatic discharge and such. Any copy machine would have to replicate a differently organized mass of connected neurons. There are a hundred billion neurons in a human brain, each with thousands of connections. Each pathway leading to an understanding of thunder would take a different path through each brain, because each person's understanding would have been achieved by a different route.

Also, the copy would have to emulate features down to the molecular level, because the number of receptors in cell walls determines the strength of the connection. And I don't think that copying brains would be enough. I believe that body sensors are necessary to feel emotions. Also, gut microbes communicate with the human brain via electro-chemicals. It seems to me that you'd have to replicate a whole body.

I haven't heard that Orch-Or has been discarded to the trash heap, but the idea just doesn't do anything for me. I think that the whole idea came from Roger Penrose's musings about the double slit experiment and the idea that consciousness collapses the wave function. When Hameroff told him about the segregated environment inside cellular microtubules, he theorized that it could support a wave function which would be collapsed by quantum gravity (at least one experiment I know of confirmed that the micro tubular environment could allow for a wave function to be maintained) . But I never thought that the idea held much explanatory power. For instance, Penrose even ends up appealing to Plato's world of perfect forms in Shadows of the Mind. If you are going to appeal to something as ethereal as that, you might as well opt for pan-psychism. Penrose's idea might tickle a Physicist's innards with a theoretical explanation of wave collapse, but there is no cohesive story of how consciousness takes in sensory signals and generates thoughts, memories, and emotions.

Hofstadter, on the other hand, addresses the whole taco in a simple process. At the bottom of consciousness, per Hofstadter, lies sensory stimulation. We perceive differences in the sensory simulation. We group together similar sensory stimulation patterns via analogy to come up with categories. We slice, dice, and compare previously learned categories to current environmental stimulus, to get meaning out of the current environmental stimulus. Meaning comes by way of analogy to remembered categories. For example, you might say that making the leap from the sensory perceived Golden Retriever, Boston Bull, and Beagle, to the non-physical, mind-internal category of 'DOG' is the most rudimentary function of consciousness. Dog would become subsumed into category 'ANIMALS' and animals into category 'living things'.

Erroll 04-12-2018 06:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Synaps3 (Post 1092695906)
It is a great tool. I've even used the stuff to have conversations with a god-like consciousness in my head. It told me what was right and wrong about my life and what I should do. It was amazing. Take it with caution and go into it with some questions you intend to ask yourself.

Can you discern any noticeable effects of psychedelics on the sensitivity of your vision, hearing, feel, taste, and smell? I am wondering if what has been called a 'breakdown of the self', is associated with turning attention away from personal thoughts and memories, towards raw current sensory stimulus, with minimal consideration of past personal experience. I think that 'self' is composed of integrated past personal experience, and if you just pay attention to the 'now', without reference to past experience, that you might lose your sense of 'self'. If you are just synthesizing meaning based on current sensory experience, I can almost see how visual and audible hallucinations might be realized, in being attentive to current sensory input, without comparing it to similar past sensory experience.

SwtSurrender 04-22-2018 01:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Erroll (Post 1092570914)
Welcome back @Tuan Jie !


Thanks for the info on the book. Have you tried any of this stuff yet? It seems to me that you wouldn't want to do it alone, but under the guidance of someone very familiar with it; like a therapist of something.

I am fascinated by the literature that talks of psychedelics stripping away one's sense of self. I can't really understand what that would be like and so it sounds scary. Here's something I read on "shroomery" regarding what they call ego-death. It makes it sound like it involves looking behind the public mask that we wear, and seeing what we really are. I can't quite grasp that. I think I can already see behind my public mask. What do you think about the subject?

"3. Ego Death: What exactly is ego death? This could be debated until the end of time, and usually the confusion will come when people who have truly not experienced it argue with those who have. And in many ways, each individual experiences things differently, hence although we both experience loss of ego, that person who we lost was different. But.. lets explain what ego-death is at the least:

Ego death is the absence of who you have built yourself to be. It is the splitting of the mind when it first begins to happen, and the ability to truly LOOK at who you normally are, without rationalizing your flaws which you might normally do. It can be one of the most beautiful experiences in your life, but even more, if understood and dealt with properly, it can be more then just a single experience, but a way of life. But furthermore, it will draw out extreme hurt and pain because you will have uncovered a mask that the "real you" normally wears, and is so comfortable in wearing. It strips away your security of who you are, and it will be very clear to you that there are some serious issues with who you are that need to be dealt with. It is the feeling that you are speaking with your own mind, or watching the person you usually are on a movie screen, and a person with the opinion of only wanting the best in this world sits watching. But.. Let me make this very clear: There are very REAL positive and negative effects of ego death. These effects are the reason I am writing this report.

5. Negative effects of Ego Death
It can be very confusing. It can cause a person who lacks balance in their life, or someone who is already very emotionally unstable to see the pain too quickly, and experience feelings which they are not yet ready to deal with in such volume.

It will unmask your securities, and unlock doors in your mind that hold back your fears from surfacing.

It will show you a different person, because you will be truly stepping out of your usual shoes and looking at the person who usually stands in them. This can be scary and for some who are so-tied to their ego for protection, insanely mind-shattering (overload).

It can make you disgusted or sick with the way you act. It can make you feel so awkward about who you are, that you don't feel as if you can continue living the way you are.

It can do many things psychologically, and change your thought patterns towards a very negative and volatile state.

Positive Effects of Ego Death:

You can feel extreme feelings in volume, and if prepared for this, it can be a euphoria of beauty, and a feeling that every moment in time can be wonderful.

It will unlock doors deep within, and allow you to get constructive criticizm that is of the most real honesty. You will see parts of you that you will want to change, and can be extremely happy to realize these things, knowing that you can make yourself a better person.

It will open up emotions that you usually are unable to feel, and allow you to touch yourself towards ideas and wants that usually the ego holds you back from. It can make you want to be a better person, and give you ideas of how you can accomplish that.

It will change the way you look at the world, maybe only temporarily, and it will undeniably break away a small part of the ego from who you will be when you return from this state. This will happen because people who have an ego which they have made COMPLETELY who they are, in the way that they are unchanging will not be able to experience ego-death in its wholeness. Their ego is attached to strongly, and they will need to experience much change in their life, before that can be achieved (to my knowledge and observations.)

It will remind you of feelings you once forgot, and show you feelings you have never felt before. This can be anything though, as each of us forgets different things, although all equally important. Some of us forget how to love, or begin beliving that such a thing is not possible because of the pain/hurt we have pushed within.. Ego death is one of those mind openers, and reminders.

----- All of these explanations are important, but most importantly is not what you experience while you sit in the seat of ego-death, but HOW you change yourself with what you see. "

Yep this is exactly how I started feeling after my treatment with Prozac and even Zoloft! For me it seems that reaching a sense of mania really breaks through the ego entirely than any other high. Don't all psychoactive drugs induce a sense of mania or something stronger, well yes, it does. I wonder if other select few who got manic from Antidepressants experienced this similar ego death as I have. Amen brother! Did you see the episode S1:E1 around 52:00 of Sense8 on Netflix where that one hot girl goes with those 2 guys go over to visit a druggie friend and he coaxes her into trying this sexy psychoactive drug? The way he explains the freedom and otherworldly release of all pain is so beautiful, it reminds me so much of my treatment with Prozac than anything else, maybe weed a little. Ahh just really sexy like giving in to sex or pouring out all your feelings and thoughts to a psychiatrist.

sad1231234 04-22-2018 04:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Erroll (Post 1092706882)
I am wondering if what has been called a 'breakdown of the self', is associated with turning attention away from personal thoughts and memories, towards raw current sensory stimulus, with minimal consideration of past personal experience. I think that 'self' is composed of integrated past personal experience, and if you just pay attention to the 'now', without reference to past experience, that you might lose your sense of 'self'. If you are just synthesizing meaning based on current sensory experience, I can almost see how visual and audible hallucinations might be realized, in being attentive to current sensory input, without comparing it to similar past sensory experience.

Not really related to the hallucination part and not sure if you're talking about in general or if you mean an extreme case as in an ego death or something, but i believe that, just like you said, the "self is composed of integrated past personal experience". I have severe depersonalization/derealization disorder, probably almost bordering on psychosis or something, and i can definately attest to your theory. Whenever i focus my attention on current sensory stimuli/thoughts, it's like i am slowly slipping deeper and deeper into depersonalization/derealization. Because my mind is distracted from my conscious sense of self and my attention is turned away from my past, so therefore i lose my sense of who i am; almost as if my sense of who i am is sort of cognitively concluded from the moment in which my attention is turned to.

And vice versa: focusing my attention on personal thoughts/memories sort of tends to regain/maintain my sense of self. It is as if the sense of self is an entirely or predominantly conscious, rather than subconscious, construct. I notice that when i live in the moment too much and forget my past/problems etc, i slip deeper into a sort of semi-psychotic state in which i have a harder time trying to remember my past and in trying to maintain my sense of self.

Erroll 04-22-2018 07:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SwtSurrender (Post 1092793482)
Yep this is exactly how I started feeling after my treatment with Prozac and even Zoloft! For me it seems that reaching a sense of mania really breaks through the ego entirely than any other high. Don't all psychoactive drugs induce a sense of mania or something stronger, well yes, it does. I wonder if other select few who got manic from Antidepressants experienced this similar ego death as I have. Amen brother!

Interesting. I never heard of Prozac causing mania, but it is listed as a possible side effect, as is hypo-mania. It makes me wonder how the same drug can have opposite effects on different people.
I have been on a small dose of Prozac for 15 years. I feel that, for me anyway, its effect is to take the edge off of those worries which keep repeating in my head against my will. Prozac helps me to get out of the repeating loop and make progress. Like the "did I lock the door?" worry, which persists even after I've checked it 3 times. It doesn't happen with Prozac. Rollercoasters even became fun because I could get my mind off of the scenario of the train jumping the track and plummeting to earth. I think that those types of anxieties are born of an Obsessive Compulsive sort of thing. So I think that's where Prozac helped me; not so much directly with depression, but to escape the Obsessive Compulsions which tend to dwell on unpleasant things which lead to depression.

SwtSurrender 04-22-2018 07:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Erroll (Post 1092794578)
Interesting. I never heard of Prozac causing mania, but it is listed as a possible side effect, as is hypo-mania. It makes me wonder how the same drug can have opposite effects on different people.
I have been on a small dose of Prozac for 15 years. I feel that, for me anyway, its effect is to take the edge off of those worries which keep repeating in my head against my will. Prozac helps me to get out of the repeating loop and make progress. Like the "did I lock the door?" worry, which persists even after I've checked it 3 times. It doesn't happen with Prozac. Rollercoasters even became fun because I could get my mind off of the scenario of the train jumping the track and plummeting to earth. I think that those types of anxieties are born of an Obsessive Compulsive sort of thing. So I think that's where Prozac helped me; not so much directly with depression, but to escape the Obsessive Compulsions which tend to dwell on unpleasant things which lead to depression.

Yeah, Prozac acts in different ways on different chemicals people have in their heads. The Prozac did also help me with OCD and also agoraphobia. You're right about that one on the OCD, I wasn't able to dwell or get stuck in this OCD which led to isolation and depression, I was free for once in my life, I stepped out of that continuous OCD loop and began to make progress. I experienced the same thing with airplanes that you experienced with rollercoasters. No anticipation or excessive worrying whatsoever. Maybe I attributed that freedom to feeling high but hypomania is a side effect of Prozac since it is the most stimulating SSRI-that is one major part of it to look at when people ask if you have bipolar. Like is it really bipolar mania if the Prozac is already stimulating in itself and has a side effect of hypomania?

Erroll 04-22-2018 07:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sad1231234 (Post 1092794146)
Not really related to the hallucination part and not sure if you're talking about in general or if you mean an extreme case as in an ego death or something, but i believe that, just like you said, the "self is composed of integrated past personal experience". I have severe depersonalization/derealization disorder, probably almost bordering on psychosis or something, and i can definately attest to your theory. Whenever i focus my attention on current sensory stimuli/thoughts, it's like i am slowly slipping deeper and deeper into depersonalization/derealization. Because my mind is distracted from my conscious sense of self and my attention is turned away from my past, so therefore i lose my sense of who i am; almost as if my sense of who i am is sort of cognitively concluded from the moment in which my attention is turned to.

And vice versa: focusing my attention on personal thoughts/memories sort of tends to regain/maintain my sense of self. It is as if the sense of self is an entirely or predominantly conscious, rather than subconscious, construct. I notice that when i live in the moment too much and forget my past/problems etc, i slip deeper into a sort of semi-psychotic state in which i have a harder time trying to remember my past and in trying to maintain my sense of self.

Well put, @sad1231234 . What you say supports the idea that what we call 'self' involves a current sensory stimulus, which awakens a group of remembered similar past experiences, which give meaning to the present sensory experience. I believe that these brain structures are formed analogically. To remember something, we have to associate it with something which we already know. That is analogy. As the decades pass, analogy is stacked upon analogy, building ever higher levels of abstraction.

For example, if we see 3 animals, a Poodle, a Beagle, and a Collie, we will notice certain similarities in them, via the sensory neurons which fire when we see, hear, or smell them. Noticing that similarity leads to a higher level of abstraction, and we invent an abstract symbol 'DOG', to denote all the similarities we see in these 3 animals. We might also notice cats and hamsters, and lump them in with the concept 'DOG' to create a higher level abstraction 'DOMESTIC ANIMALS'. Then we might notice that not all animals live in our homes, to further abstract up to ANIMAL KINGDOM. Noticing that all living things are not animals, we might make an even higher level of abstraction and call it "LIFE ON EARTH". Can you see how, as we head up to higher levels of abstraction that more and more information is evoked by bringing the higher level abstract concepts (DOG.. DOMESTIC... etc) into consciousness. I think that the basic analogies at the bottom of the hierarchy remain buried in the subs-conscious, but that the chain of ever more abstract analogies extends into consciousness. That's what gives thinking the spiritual feel. The magical quality of thinking seems to come from some unknows 'soul' construct, but it is really just meaning bubbling up from the subconscious bottom of an analogy stack.

So, of course, if you willfully refuse to let a current sensory event evoke any memories, but just concentrate on feeling the present sensory stimuli, you will lose your sense of self. Because your self is a figment of your past. And we know that the past is not currently real, but only an abstract concept in the mind. "Now" is the only thing real that we ever experience.

So if we take that to be the case, is it good to lose our sense of the 'self'? Buddhists say that the 'self' is the source of all suffering.

Or is it bad to lose the self, because relating the future to the past is how joyful experiences like anticipation come about?

I think, maybe modulating the sense of self to some middle ground might be optimal. But how do you know what level of self-realization optimal? Use meditation to train your mind to focus on the present, but not to totally block out past experience or desire evoked by consciously recalling past experience? It's fun stuff to think about.

Erroll 04-22-2018 12:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SwtSurrender (Post 1092794690)
Like is it really bipolar mania if the Prozac is already stimulating in itself and has a side effect of hypomania?

I have read that they are unsure about prozac causing hypermania in bipolar people, since bipolar itself has its own hypermania, interspersed with depression.

sad1231234 04-24-2018 11:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Erroll (Post 1092794810)
Well put, @sad1231234 . What you say supports the idea that what we call 'self' involves a current sensory stimulus, which awakens a group of remembered similar past experiences, which give meaning to the present sensory experience. I believe that these brain structures are formed analogically. To remember something, we have to associate it with something which we already know. That is analogy. As the decades pass, analogy is stacked upon analogy, building ever higher levels of abstraction.

For example, if we see 3 animals, a Poodle, a Beagle, and a Collie, we will notice certain similarities in them, via the sensory neurons which fire when we see, hear, or smell them. Noticing that similarity leads to a higher level of abstraction, and we invent an abstract symbol 'DOG', to denote all the similarities we see in these 3 animals. We might also notice cats and hamsters, and lump them in with the concept 'DOG' to create a higher level abstraction 'DOMESTIC ANIMALS'. Then we might notice that not all animals live in our homes, to further abstract up to ANIMAL KINGDOM. Noticing that all living things are not animals, we might make an even higher level of abstraction and call it "LIFE ON EARTH". Can you see how, as we head up to higher levels of abstraction that more and more information is evoked by bringing the higher level abstract concepts (DOG.. DOMESTIC... etc) into consciousness. I think that the basic analogies at the bottom of the hierarchy remain buried in the subs-conscious, but that the chain of ever more abstract analogies extends into consciousness. That's what gives thinking the spiritual feel. The magical quality of thinking seems to come from some unknows 'soul' construct, but it is really just meaning bubbling up from the subconscious bottom of an analogy stack.

So, of course, if you willfully refuse to let a current sensory event evoke any memories, but just concentrate on feeling the present sensory stimuli, you will lose your sense of self. Because your self is a figment of your past. And we know that the past is not currently real, but only an abstract concept in the mind. "Now" is the only thing real that we ever experience.

So if we take that to be the case, is it good to lose our sense of the 'self'? Buddhists say that the 'self' is the source of all suffering.

Or is it bad to lose the self, because relating the future to the past is how joyful experiences like anticipation come about?

I think, maybe modulating the sense of self to some middle ground might be optimal. But how do you know what level of self-realization optimal? Use meditation to train your mind to focus on the present, but not to totally block out past experience or desire evoked by consciously recalling past experience? It's fun stuff to think about.

Yeah it is a really interesting point you have, that we could just be composed so to speak of a bunch of analogies and abstract concepts. When i first read this post of yours it pretty much blew my mind lol. Because when we analyze the psychological constructs that compose our entire conscious being, we can see how fake it all is and how our minds love to trick us into living this illusion in which our consciousness is some kind of magical, immortal thing. When really consciousness is extremely subjective. But i guess the mind sort of tricks us into this illusion in which we are the centre of the universe, for the sake of our mental wellbeing. But what i wonder about these different analogies that our psyche may be composed of is, what part of the brain is the "soul", by that i mean i wonder what part of the psyche is the one that is flicking through these different subconscious analogies. Obviously our subconscious is like a non-conscious machine or computer, but i wonder what part of us activates that computer. Like a person flicking through tv channels, the tv is like the subconscious and the channels are like the conscious mind but who is the person with the remote. Unless perhaps we are all just computers living in a deterministic universe.

Thats a very good point you have there and i have been using it to overcome my derealization ever since i read this post of yours a few days ago lol. But unfortunately for me, i dont really have a substantial amount of memories to evoke whenever i go outside due to the fact that i've been stuck at home all my life. So when i go outside, it is like everything is completely new for me and rather than evoking old memories, it creates new ones that are blurry and confusing. When i'm at home though i do get memories that do reinforce my sense of self, but in a way that i dont like. I'm not a big fan of remembering my past lol. Yeah that is one thing that i cant wrap my head around, the fact that as real as any moment is, it will some say be an abstract concept that we will never be able to prove have happened. Like how can we prove our past memories happened and prove that we werent abducted by aliens or something lol. And yet at a point in time before those moments transitioned into memories, those memories were the "now". Unless of course consciousness is much more subjective and malleable than we think and we could just be some brains floating in jars in an experiment, experiencing one big mind-eff in which we in our limited conscious states percieve as reality. Who knows lol.

I think by the way our brains are wired, it is best to keep our sense of self. We are mortal conscious beings who are mentally made up of psychological constructs, and we cant change that or fight that, not currently anyway. We were wired by evolution or whatnot to be this way and to derive the maximum positive experience from our natural state of mind(in the aspect of sense of self at least). Thats what i am recently struggling to do if i understood your last few sentences correctly. I am having a dilemma where i am struggling to find that middle ground between my sense of self and between the likely reality that i am just giving in to the possible illusion of "consciousness".

Chevy396 04-25-2018 02:03 AM

Some very interesting posts in this thread. I'm still trying to work through them.

Erroll 04-25-2018 09:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SolutionX (Post 1092691906)
I don't think I agree with the idea that pain only happens if you have a memory of it. If that were true then it wouldn't have hurt when I broke my leg because I had never experienced it before.

There is a first for everything, and often times the first experience is the most painful because you haven't developed a tolerance for the pain.

I like the rest though.

I still think that pain is based in memory, for a number of reasons.

Look at the way that we describe different types of pain. It is always in analogy to some previous experience that we have had.

1. sharp pain - describes a very localized pain, which is like the point of a needle or knife or other sharp thing, which affects a very localized set of receptors

2. aching/dull pain - usually describes a pain which is not very localized, like "my back aches". Aches are usually felt in areas of the body where sensors are not very numerous, so it is hard to localize the exact spot in which the pain occurs. Sharp pain would be felt in the finger tips where sensors are very numerous. An ache would be felt in the back, where you might have a single sensor in a skin area the size of a playing card.

3. shocking pain - describes short duration and fierce intensity. It is like the sudden and quick pain you experience when you get electrical shock.

4. burning/searing - describes a pain that is of medium intensity and which feels like a thermal burn. Perhaps it feels analogical to a burn because the sensors that recognize thermal heat or cold are connected to the same neuron in the somatosensory cortex, which recognizes pain. Also, burning pain seems to be shallow or close to the surface of the skin.

5. throbbing pain - describes a type of pain in which the heartbeat is felt because of a tight stretching of the skin, like the tight covering of a drum. Like sound waves emanate from striking the surface of a drum, the pain emanates from the extra pressure of the blood, in the course of a heartbeat.

6. phantom pain - when a person loses a limb, they'll often still experience an ache in the non-existent limb . The reason for this is that the neurons in the cortex that used to be connected to the limb have been repurposed, but memory has not caught up with where these neurons now receive their input. So a neuron which used to be connected to a sensor in the big toe is now connected to a sensor in the knee. So an ache in the knee, being connected to a sensor that used to receive information from the big toe, now receives information from the knee, which our memories erroneously pair with the big toe.

So, if we have never experienced a broken leg, but we now have a fracture, we will feel the pain by analogy in accordance with 1 - 6, above. If we are a neonate with no previous experience, we will not react to pain because we have no analogical information to compare it to. I would think that in such a situation, pain would be experienced akin to seeing something or hearing something in the environment. It would be something out there in the environment, but the neonate would not connect the pain to itself. It would just be a sensation received from the environment. It would not be experienced by a 'self', because the sense of 'self' has not developed in a neonate, because it has had too few experiences.

Pain can also be willfully modulated by directing one's attention elsewhere. The video below talks about the importance of the attention of a 'self' as being necessary to experience pain (and what is 'self' but integrated memory?). If we can willfully direct our attention elsewhere (meditation helps learn this), we do not feel the pain. The video also mentions the joy of new love as an analgesic and talks about experiments where new lovers were shown to have less sensitivity to pain.

That's why I say that we LEARN to feel pain and that feeling pain depends on our memory and the connections between different areas of the brain (buckets of memory). Pain is sensory meaning wrought of analogy to remembered feelings.


Erroll 04-25-2018 10:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sad1231234 (Post 1092817602)
Yeah it is a really interesting point you have, that we could just be composed so to speak of a bunch of analogies and abstract concepts. When i first read this post of yours it pretty much blew my mind lol. Because when we analyze the psychological constructs that compose our entire conscious being, we can see how fake it all is and how our minds love to trick us into living this illusion in which our consciousness is some kind of magical, immortal thing. When really consciousness is extremely subjective. But i guess the mind sort of tricks us into this illusion in which we are the centre of the universe, for the sake of our mental wellbeing. But what i wonder about these different analogies that our psyche may be composed of is, what part of the brain is the "soul", by that i mean i wonder what part of the psyche is the one that is flicking through these different subconscious analogies. Obviously our subconscious is like a non-conscious machine or computer, but i wonder what part of us activates that computer. Like a person flicking through tv channels, the tv is like the subconscious and the channels are like the conscious mind but who is the person with the remote. Unless perhaps we are all just computers living in a deterministic universe.

Imagine that the environment is a confusing tangle of string and that the 'self' is a winch sort of device which gathers the string into a roll. The 'self' is like the roll of string, in that it is a roll of remembered environmental experience where each minute section of the string is intimately connected with all previous minute sections of string, so the part of the string just going onto the roll, which equates to present experience, has access to all previous minute sections of string already on the roll(memories).

"What part of the psyche is the one flicking through these different subconscious analogies?" Neurons in the brain's sensory cortices are connected to sensors throughout the body. Some subset of these cortical neurons is activated with each sensory experience. Memories are activated (flicked through) as a result of the similarity of the cortical neuron activation pattern of present experience, to that of past experiences.



Quote:

Originally Posted by sad1231234 (Post 1092817602)
Thats a very good point you have there and i have been using it to overcome my derealization ever since i read this post of yours a few days ago lol. But unfortunately for me, i dont really have a
substantial amount of memories to evoke whenever i go outside due to the fact that i've been stuck at home all my life. So when i go outside, it is like everything is completely new for me and rather than evoking old memories, it creates new ones that are blurry and confusing. When i'm at home though i do get memories that do reinforce my sense of self, but in a way that i dont like. I'm not a big fan of remembering my past lol. Yeah that is one thing that i cant wrap my head around, the fact that as real as any moment is, it will some say be an abstract concept that we will never be able to prove have happened. Like how can we prove our past memories happened and prove that we werent abducted by aliens or something lol. And yet at a point in time before those moments transitioned into memories, those memories were the "now". Unless of course consciousness is much more subjective and malleable than we think and we could just be some brains floating in jars in an experiment, experiencing one big mind-eff in which we in our limited conscious states percieve as reality. Who knows lol.

I think that we become more conscious of present experience, the more that we can relate it to past experience. If a current experience can not be analogized to anything that we experienced in the past, it has no meaning to us. We are not conscious of it. I think that our consciousness grows with experience, throughout our lifetimes. Life becomes more meaningful in direct proportion to the number of environmental experiences which we have had.

As to brains in vats; we can't know. What we call 'ourselves' is locked up in a dark box of bone; our skulls. No light sound smell taste or anything can get inside the box. All that can penetrate our skulls are electrical potentials emanating from sense organs throughout our bodies. Our experience and what we know as reality is based on these integrated electrical readings from our body sensors. We can not directly know anything about the outside world. We can only know what our brains imagine, based on the electrical impulses which reach it. Everything is subjective.


Quote:

Originally Posted by sad1231234 (Post 1092817602)
I think by the way our brains are wired, it is best to keep our sense of self. We are mortal conscious beings who are mentally made up of psychological constructs, and we cant change that or fight that, not currently anyway. We were wired by evolution or whatnot to be this way and to derive the maximum positive experience from our natural state of mind(in the aspect of sense of self at least). Thats what i am recently struggling to do if i understood your last few sentences correctly. I am having a dilemma where i am struggling to find that middle ground between my sense of self and between the likely reality that i am just giving in to the possible illusion of "consciousness".

But 'self' is the cause of everything evil; hate, jealousy, lying...in short everything bad is connected with self (everything we see as good as well). Self impedes cooperation. What might humanity achieve as a whole, were it not burdened down by all of these 'selves' each out to seek their own welfare instead of the welfare of humanity as a whole. Our brains are made up of 100 billion individual neurons. Our species is made up of 7 or 8 billion individual 'selves'. What could a human organism of 8 billion people/neurons achieve by all trying to achieve the good of the community via perfect cooperation? Does the future of evolution involve a 'humanity being' where all 8 billion brains work together for the good of the 'humanity-being?'

Chevy396 04-25-2018 10:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Erroll (Post 1092820610)
I still think that pain is based in memory, for a number of reasons.

Look at the way that we describe different types of pain. It is always in analogy to some previous experience that we have had.

1. sharp pain - describes a very localized pain, which is like the point of a needle or knife or other sharp thing, which affects a very localized set of receptors

2. aching/dull pain - usually describes a pain which is not very localized, like "my back aches". Aches are usually felt in areas of the body where sensors are not very numerous, so it is hard to localize the exact spot in which the pain occurs. Sharp pain would be felt in the finger tips where sensors are very numerous. An ache would be felt in the back, where you might have a single sensor in a skin area the size of a playing card.

3. shocking pain - describes short duration and fierce intensity. It is like the sudden and quick pain you experience when you get electrical shock.

4. burning/searing - describes a pain that is of medium intensity and which feels like a thermal burn. Perhaps it feels analogical to a burn because the sensors that recognize thermal heat or cold are connected to the same neuron in the somatosensory cortex, which recognizes pain. Also, burning pain seems to be shallow or close to the surface of the skin.

5. throbbing pain - describes a type of pain in which the heartbeat is felt because of a tight stretching of the skin, like the tight covering of a drum. Like sound waves emanate from striking the surface of a drum, the pain emanates from the extra pressure of the blood, in the course of a heartbeat.

6. phantom pain - when a person loses a limb, they'll often still experience an ache in the non-existent limb . The reason for this is that the neurons in the cortex that used to be connected to the limb have been repurposed, but memory has not caught up with where these neurons now receive their input. So a neuron which used to be connected to a sensor in the big toe is now connected to a sensor in the knee. So an ache in the knee, being connected to a sensor that used to receive information from the big toe, now receives information from the knee, which our memories erroneously pair with the big toe.

So, if we have never experienced a broken leg, but we now have a fracture, we will feel the pain by analogy in accordance with 1 - 6, above. If we are a neonate with no previous experience, we will not react to pain because we have no analogical information to compare it to. I would think that in such a situation, pain would be experienced akin to seeing something or hearing something in the environment. It would be something out there in the environment, but the neonate would not connect the pain to itself. It would just be a sensation received from the environment. It would not be experienced by a 'self', because the sense of 'self' has not developed in a neonate, because it has had too few experiences.

Pain can also be willfully modulated by directing one's attention elsewhere. The video below talks about the importance of the attention of a 'self' as being necessary to experience pain (and what is 'self' but integrated memory?). If we can willfully direct our attention elsewhere (meditation helps learn this), we do not feel the pain. The video also mentions the joy of new love as an analgesic and talks about experiments where new lovers were shown to have less sensitivity to pain.

That's why I say that we LEARN to feel pain and that feeling pain depends on our memory and the connections between different areas of the brain (buckets of memory). Pain is sensory meaning wrought of analogy to remembered feelings.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otUVzK4hToM

I guess I still don't understand why you assume that memory has anything to do with whether or not you feel pain when you break a bone.

The feeling of pain is the result of neurons firing and chemicals being released in the brain. The same with pleasure. After it happens you remember it, but that has no effect on how it feels at the time. Morphine does, but memory is past tense.

SwtSurrender 04-27-2018 06:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Erroll (Post 1092794578)
Interesting. I never heard of Prozac causing mania, but it is listed as a possible side effect, as is hypo-mania. It makes me wonder how the same drug can have opposite effects on different people.
I have been on a small dose of Prozac for 15 years. I feel that, for me anyway, its effect is to take the edge off of those worries which keep repeating in my head against my will. Prozac helps me to get out of the repeating loop and make progress. Like the "did I lock the door?" worry, which persists even after I've checked it 3 times. It doesn't happen with Prozac. Rollercoasters even became fun because I could get my mind off of the scenario of the train jumping the track and plummeting to earth. I think that those types of anxieties are born of an Obsessive Compulsive sort of thing. So I think that's where Prozac helped me; not so much directly with depression, but to escape the Obsessive Compulsions which tend to dwell on unpleasant things which lead to depression.

So you're saying there is a difference between the term side effect and the way I paraphrased it as blaming Prozac for causing mania? Well that's something, now I need to look into the term side effect to see that it might mean that it can awaken mania in someone who is already susceptible not literally that it would cause mania in someone who isn't. Well **** **** ****!

SwtSurrender 05-01-2018 05:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Erroll (Post 1092794578)
Interesting. I never heard of Prozac causing mania, but it is listed as a possible side effect, as is hypo-mania. It makes me wonder how the same drug can have opposite effects on different people.
I have been on a small dose of Prozac for 15 years. I feel that, for me anyway, its effect is to take the edge off of those worries which keep repeating in my head against my will. Prozac helps me to get out of the repeating loop and make progress. Like the "did I lock the door?" worry, which persists even after I've checked it 3 times. It doesn't happen with Prozac. Rollercoasters even became fun because I could get my mind off of the scenario of the train jumping the track and plummeting to earth. I think that those types of anxieties are born of an Obsessive Compulsive sort of thing. So I think that's where Prozac helped me; not so much directly with depression, but to escape the Obsessive Compulsions which tend to dwell on unpleasant things which lead to depression.

Yes there's articles talking about antidepressant induced mania which is exactly what happened in my situation. So you're depressed and they give you an antidepressant, from there you can go manic and then you'll have to take anti-psychotics. It happens. I didn't know I was susceptible for it and I didn't know I was bipolar because I was just depressed in the past. I went crazy with Prozac just because of the mania it induced. And an anti-psychotic is just that, to prevent symptoms of psychosis that you can get from antidepressants if you're susceptible. I don't believe that crap, what I believe is that I became bipolar/manic because of this antidepressant-induced mania.

http://behaviorismandmentalhealth.co...induced-mania/
https://ssristories.org/9-out-of-10-...doctor-speaks/


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