Reason?

 

Reason is the highest faculty of the soul—

what we mean often by the soul itself;

it never reasons, never proves,

it simply perceives; it is vision.


The Understanding toils all the time,

compares, contrives, adds, argues,

near sighed but strong-sighted,

dwelling in the present

the expedient the customary.”

-RW Emerson

 

 

 

 

This universal soul, man calls Reason:

it is not mine, or thine, or his, but we are its;

we are its property and men.


And the blue sky in which the private earth is buried,

the sky with its eternal calm, and full of

everlasting orbs, is the type of Reason.


That which, intellectually considered, we call Reason,

considered in relation to nature, we call Spirit.

Spirit is the Creator. Spirit hath life in itself.

And man in all ages and countries, embodies it in his language.”

-RW Emerson

Some Great Quotes

“It’s not that I’m so smart, I just stay with problems longer.”
-Einstein 

“I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious.”

-Einstein

“We know accurately only when we know little, with knowledge doubt increases.’

-Goethe

“To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering”

-Nietzsche

“Thoughts are shadows of your feelings, always darker, emptier and simpler.”

-Nietzsche

Love Life!

“We’ve been blessed with an exquisite body and brain that can channel the fundamental consciousness that is all that is.

If we mistake the particular for the whole, we squander the most important reason we exist in the first place.”
-Gump

Studying a Person on Autopilot with No Resistance

Excerpt from the book ” Moonwalking with Einstein”, Joeseph Forer

Here the writer describing a man, EP, who lost both of his Hippocampus’ from a viral brain infection. He has zero short-term memory and only some very old long term memories remain. He is kind and affable but remembers nothing the minute he turns away.  

He doesn’t learn anything new as he literally cannot assimilate new experiences or revelations into his view of reality.  Because he cannot remember he does not employ his fight of flight mechanism or feel intense fear or emotions, making him an ideal and open candidate to study.

He has lost his ability to consciously remember (declarative memory) but can still function with his unconscious Non-declarative memories that are habitual, automatic and hard-wired.  These memories do not pass through the Limbic System buffer, like conscious memory does.  

Our world view, or set of fundamental beliefs, filters experinces through our emotional center first, and depending on our ability to properly emotionally sort out the experience (Discernment and Awareness), we file the memory accurately or not.  

What parallels might we draw from a person who anatomically cannot process memory properly and those of us who choose not to?  He never knows “why”.



“I’m curious to see EP’s unconscious, non-declarative memory at work, so I ask him if he’s interested in taking me on a walk around his neighborhood. 



He says, “Not really,” so I wait and ask him again a couple minutes later. 



This time he agrees. We walk out the front door into the high afternoon sun and turn right—his decision, not mine. 



I ask EP why we’re not turning to the left instead.



I’d just rather not go that way. 



“This is just the way I go. I don’t know why,” he says.



If I asked him to draw a map of the route he takes at least three times a day, he’d never be able to do it. 



He doesn’t even know his own address, or (almost as improbably for someone from San Diego) which way the ocean is. 



But after so many years of taking the same walk, the journey has etched itself on his unconscious. 



His wife, Beverly, now lets him go out alone, even though a single wrong turn would leave him completely lost. 



Sometimes he comes back from his walks with objects he’s picked up along the way: a stack of round stones, a puppy, somebody’s wallet. 



He can never explain how they came into his possession.



“Our neighbors love him because he’ll come up to them and just start talking to them,” Beverly tells me. 



Even though he thinks he’s meeting them for the first time, he’s learned through force of habit that these are people he should feel comfortable with, and he interprets those unconscious feelings of comfort as a good reason to stop and say hello.



That EP has learned to like his neighbors without ever learning who they are points to how many of our basic day-to-day actions are guided by implicit values and judgments, independent of declarative memory. 



I wonder what other things EP has learned through force of habit. 



What other non-declarative memories have continued to shape him over the decade and a half since he lost his declarative memory? 



Surely, he must still have desires and fears, emotions, and cravings—even if his conscious recollection of those feelings is so fleeting that he cannot recognize them for long enough to verbalize them.



I thought of my own self fifteen years ago, and how much I’ve changed in the same period. 



The me who exists today and the me who existed then, if put side by side, would look more than vaguely similar. 



But we are a completely different collection of molecules, with different hairlines and waistlines, and, it sometimes seems, little in common besides our names. 



What binds that me to this me, and allows me to maintain the illusion that there is continuity from moment to moment and year to year, is some relatively stable but gradually evolving thing at the nucleus of my being. 



Call it a soul, or a self, or an emergent by-product of a neural network, but whatever you want to call it, that element of continuity is entirely dependent on memory.



But even if we are at the mercy of our memories in establishing our identities, it is clear that EP is much more than just a soulless golem. 



In spite of everything he’s lost, there is still a person there, and a personality—a charming personality, in fact—with a unique perspective on the world. 



Even if a virus wiped clean his memories, it didn’t completely wipe clean his personhood. 



It just left a hollow, static self that can never grow and can never change.”


Our Perception of Time

“In youth we may have an absolutely new experience, subjective or objective, every hour of the day. Apprehension is vivid, retentiveness strong, and our recollections of that time, like those of a time spent in rapid and interesting travel, are of something intricate, multitudinous and long-drawn-out,” 

“But as each passing year converts some of this experience into automatic routine which we hardly note at all, the days and the weeks smooth themselves out in recollection to contentless units, and the years grow hollow and collapse.” 

-William James, Principles of Psychology (1890)

Who Me?

“There are two ways to slide easily through life: 

to believe everything or to doubt everything; 

both ways save us from thinking.”

-Alfred Korzybski

What’s the difference between these sayings?

I was told…

I was raised like..

In school we were taught…

I just work here

I never signed on for this….

Who am I to say?

They say…

Why should I care?

I have a right to make him……

I’m not good at…….

I would, but you do it so much better…..

She has more school than I do so….

That’s not my job, problem, concern…

You’re the Dr, leader, smartest, most responsible…..that’s your problem

Nothing!

These cowardly strategies transfer mature responsibilities off of the self and onto another!

The net effect of allowing the self-protective ego to run ones life is that accountability and responsibility are shifted away from the self, thereby blocking growth and increasing levels of awareness and enhanced perspective.

The egoist, by playing small, is telling others that they are not capable of thinking, leading, risking, or of possessing the courage for whatever reasons they think sounds convincing.

This means somebody else must assume the responsibility for the egoist who has shirked theirs. They sacrifice opportunities for growth, through challenges and struggle, for a fantasy. They stay children but are not aware of it. 

Perfunctory tasks replace the true challenges of life as they continue to shirk the difficulties of life, they keep an eye out for those who don’t perform perfunctory tasks as well as they do. 

An unkempt car is deemed unacceptable to them, while they absolve themselves of all truly adult responsibilities.   

Somebody else will “take care” of them, perpetual children don’t wanna grow up.

What is the Ego?

Carl Jung saw the ego as the center of ones conscious awareness.  

Based upon our socialization influences and our natural tendency to psychically self-protect ourselves against threats and fears, both real or imagined, Jung saw that the norm possesses an ego that is externally and materially focused. The authentic-self is walled off behind the denied parts of ourselves somewhere in our unconscious, or our “Shadow”.  

We unconsciously agree to show the world those parts of ourselves that we find acceptable and Jung termed this part of our ego, the “Persona”.

The ego can become whole, Jung stated, when an experience is of such a psychic magnitude that it cracks our Persona and we choose to “Individuate” instead of continuing to employ the strategies of our False-Self, or Persona. 

“Individuation” is a self motivated internal unearthing of our Shadow and then a re-assimilation of our denied parts into our center of conscious. This opens our awareness and increases our ability to accept ourselves and others thereby leaving us true to ourselves and a healthy honest ego. Our fears dissipate and we live more in the moment, not pulled hither and yonder like we once did.

Within the dark recesses of our Shadow, lies our authentic self and along with it our full measure of creativity and confidence. To accept these parts of ourselves back into our conscious awareness, requires much effort, courage and perseverance. The reward is heightened experiences, feelings and ultimately more love. 

So the ego is a contrivance unconsciously created by us in our response to our fears and denied parts of ourselves. This would mean that we judged part of ourselves as unworthy and literally sacrificed those parts of ourselves to garner acceptance from others. So, that means the more we attach our happiness and well-being on things outside of ourselves the less happiness and well-being we will experience. 

Huh! Who woulda thunk?