by Terry 49 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Terry

    POST:. Can we by thought do as little as heal a small cut, or even digest the food we put into our bodies? So my question is does thought insure survival of much more than the thought based mind itself? .


    My mind is stuck in my brain which is connected to my physical body. If I insure the survival of my mind I automatically have to accomodate the house it lives in.

    Getting physically ill and knowing what to do to treat the illness is AN ADVANTAGE, is it not?

    If you bleed and you have the good sense to STOP the bleeding; that is an advantage, is it not?

    Animals survive on instinct. The are slaves of the physical limitations they are born with. Humans are different because of the rational mind and its creative ability. Man can improve his lot in life. Man is born without wings and yet he can fly faster than any bird.

    Man is born on earth looking up at the distant stars; yet, he sends thousands of tons of metal into space to extend his knowledge of things beyond his vision.

    Man has cured diseases, created anesthetics to soften the pain of his advanced surgery which can even replace the human heart with manmade valves.

    Man adapts, creates, improves and extends all the physical limitations by MEANS OF HIS RATIONAL MIND.

    Libraries man has, to leave the legacy of his knowledge and science and mathematics to the next generation so that they do not start from zero the way animals do.

    But, man has to CHOOSE to think.

    Man has to CHOOSE to learn or improve.

    He can evade all this if he so chooses. Just look around you and ask yourself how many people choose to evade the improvement of their own mind which would lead to the improvement in their lives.

    When we use our rational mind; we have an enormous advantage. If we ignore the capacity of our intellect and coast along on physical processes we stand tall with the woodchuck and the goonybird and the majesty of the ground squirrel.

  • Terry

    Annanias: Terry, your discussion of emotions and realities is well taken. However, we seem to be dealing in the abstract here as there is an apparent unstated assumption that all things remain equal, which is not true. One of the concepts that physics is just beginning to explore both philosophically as well as experimentally is that of parallel universes. <snip>


    Annanias, we have an actual: THE UNIVERSE WE LIVE IN and we have a potential: hypothetical PARALLEL universes.

    If we elevate a POTENTIAL to the level of an ACTUAL and impute absolute equality to both we invalidate the evidence of reality while simultaneously inflating the non-evidence of the potential.

    Example: Remember that scene in the back of the Taxicab in ON THE WATERFRONT where the nobody boxer Terry Malloy is talking to his brother Charley? He says: "I could have been a contender; I could have been SOMEBODY.." He, in his own mind, was a potential never realized. He had not actualized his potential. Thus, he was nobody: a failure.

    That is the difference between the Heavyweight Champion and nobody: actuality.

    We commit a terrible rational error by elevating any potential to the level of an actual. We cannot commit such an error with impunity.

    Our minds are fed by sensory data from the ACTUAL universe and not by the POTENTIAL universe. Our data is useful as a result. Why? Because we do not live in the Potential universe and our survival is in no way affected by it. It is our surivival in this actual universe we must learn to deal with. The hypothetical potential is just a kind of parlor game. It impacts us not except as a means of constructing evasions. Evasions are deadly.

    The ivory tower academic is cut off from the real world by his time spent entertaining the potentials of his own concoctions.

    When a theory becomes practical it can be practiced for human benefit. Until it is actualized it has no equal merit with reality.

    I hope that does not sound like an invalidation of the point you raised. It is not intended that way. I'm just diffusing the cause and effect comparison inherent in the hypothetical.

  • StinkyPantz
    Effects (emotions) have definite causes. How we deal with the reality of the causes and the effects determines our coping mechanism.

    Maybe.. but anyone that thinks that they always deal with their negative emotions 'properly' is fooling themselves. Sometimes emotions are overwhelming and that's not always the ideal time for rational, deductive thinking. When a person gets extremely depressed, it is very hard to sit back and think about WHY you are depressed and what do to about it.

    I believe, although I fare badly in this area, that we owe it to ourselves to find the source of these negative emotions, whether they are due to a chemical imbalance or the manifestations of psychological trauma. I don't think anyone other than a trained professional is equipped to give aid to someone that is trying to understand themselves and their emotions. We can spout off theories all day and tell others how they should react, or why their reactions are counter-productive, but the average person doesn't care much for unsolicited advice or 'therapy'.

    I am mostly discussing, emotional extremes. Some emotional responses like self-esteem issues or jealousy are not necessarily damaging enough to require psychological counselling, but should be addressed. But I can't help wondering how some expect others to be able to be introspective enough to root out the cause or always come up with a realistic solution. You can honestly want to help yourself but not be able to. Should other respond to this with ridicule because they happen to handle things better?

    I'm rambling and most likely incoherent and for that I apologize. This issue is close to me because I am an emotional person and I hate people telling me how I should feel or that I should 'fix' myself (not that anyone is doing that here.. just a general statement ).

  • Terry

    Prolems remain problems when they are not solved.

    An unsolved problem indicates:

    1.It has been evaded


    2.The tools and understanding to solve it aren't yet present


    3. A erroneous solution has been applied

    Do we need somebody to tell us to eat if we are starving?

    Do we need to be fed? Who has responsibility for feeding us?

    You can lead a horse to water; but, you can't make him drink.

    If it takes a trained professional to solve a problem we approach a trained professional.

    If we go to another person to solve our problem; we have, in effect, solved our problem by taking the action to go in the first place.

    If we recognize a problem is a problem and take no action it is evasion. If we take a wrong action it is an error. If we search for a cause we can address and then address the cause we solve the problem. But, nothing happens until action is taken.

    All the rest is just words anyway.

  • StinkyPantz
    nothing happens until action is taken.

    All the rest is just words anyway.

    Agreed.. and acknowledging that everyone has their own pace and being patient is one of the best ways to assist them imvho.

  • ballistic

    Being someone who grew up late because of being wrapped up in the cotton wool of a cult for my upbringing,

    I sometimes wonder, does the building of a strong mind through experience always mean the loss of innocence?

    Sometimes I long for the wonderment, the falling in love, the first kiss all over again. Now I'm prepared to be let down.

    Perhaps this needs a thread of it's own one day.

  • Terry

    The wonder of innocence might need definition.

    We can be very well informed and feel awe at what we understand alongside what we know nothing of.

    There is always an "X", an unknown, an element unseen in every mind that adds titillation to the equation.

    Do we love deeper and more meaningfully a stranger or someone whose character, ways and history are most familiar?

    Might we not confuse Novelty with the wonder of innocence?

    The challenge is a matter of definition. I've played chess tens of thousands of times but I have not mastered the game. The more I know; the more I enjoy playing. But, this does not guarantee I win.

    Do we attach more value to our emotions when they puzzle and mystify us? Perhaps we are addicted to the sensation of feeling and not the experience of learning.

    Being alive and feeling alive trumps "knowing" anything only because our body is physical and our brain has no "feeling" per se.

    You raise an interesting side issue worthy of exploration.

  • Pole


    We are all created equal only in terms of our human nature; what makes us human. We are not equal in terms of our capacity.

    I'm not sure what you mean by human nature here, and what you mean by "our capacity".

    Pathology is not binary. And human nature is subject to pathology - sometimes it's genetic pathology, somtimes it's just variation. So you can't say that you;re born as either a human being or a mad animal. Saying we're all created equal in terms of our human nature is very idealistic.

    And emotional intelligence is very dependant on our brains (genetics), not only our experiences or will. Just like any other form of intelligence.

  • Markfromcali

    Like I said, it's not that I am dismissing the role of thought, but it has it's place like anything else. We can ask a simple and direct question: You can think it, but can you do it? Clearly lots of intelligent people who understand the dynamics of their mental disease still suffer from it, so something other than a conceptual understanding is necessary. We can try to describe that by using words like 'integration', but I think it is good just not to separate and compartmentalize the intellect in the first place. Making good choices is one thing, but being aware of the choices you have is another. Awareness in itself is not a thought, but I will agree with you in that it involves not evading some aspect of life, whether it is your interior mental landscape or the external environment. What I tend to like to point out is to just simplify the internal and allow it to be coherent with the external, (just in terms of amount of content, good choices and such still apply) otherwise you still have this disintegrated state between the two and tend to go to one extreme or the other. I simply think it is a mistake to just work on one when it clearly involves both simultaneously.

  • Terry

    POLE says: I'm not sure what you mean by human nature here, and what you mean by "our capacity".

    Pathology is not binary. And human nature is subject to pathology - sometimes it's genetic pathology, somtimes it's just variation. So you can't say that you;re born as either a human being or a mad animal. Saying we're all created equal in terms of our human nature is very idealistic.

    And emotional intelligence is very dependant on our brains (genetics), not only our experiences or will. Just like any other form of intelligence.


    My reference was to an American document perhaps unfamiliar to Europeans (I doubt it). The phrase "All men are created equal" comes from that document. The document is our DECLARATION OF INDEPENDANCE and the passage says:

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

    I chose that particular phrase because it is self-refutingly ironic. The only possible way that "all" men are created equal is in the peculiar nature of being human beings who must depend on their rational minds to enable them to survive (so few are their instincts).

    As you rightly point out, there is a grey scale not only to human intelligence; but, to the capacity for human intelligence as well as to any pathology that might afflict man physically or emotionally.

    Taking that as a "given" we cannot be hold this truth to be self-evident: without a semblance of a self-supporting intelligence man is the most vulnerable of all animals.

    I use to see an orange cat in the neighborhood that would always jump up on our fence and sit in the evening. He vanished for awhile and I thought little of it. Then, one evening, the cat was back on the fence. There was one amazing difference in the cat from previous evenings. The cat's right front leg WAS COMPLETELY MISSING! Yet, the cat evidenced no indication of self-pity, depression, complacency or outrage. By all outward indications of behavior it was the same cat as before. The complete and total acceptance of the loss of limb struck me as singularly remarkable. I could not help but wonder if I could have displayed such an accepting attitude myself in an identical situation. The beast was unencumbered by troubling emotions which may have been more crippling to a person.

    People have an array of choices in how to deal with blows struck by unimaginably punishing fates. To the extent those choices enable them to transcend, it is a triumph of the mind over the fate itself. To the extent they fall into self-pity, depression and a downward spiral; their mind fails to uplift and ennoble them.

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