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Forum: Awareness in our world today

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Topic: Is it impossible to live with nonattachment in LIFE? Sat, 27 Jun 2009

what i mean is that crystallization into a static pattern (due to attachment to that pattern for whatever reason) is a lowering of intelligence. thus, maya-moha will reduce holistic intelligence (even though great cleverness may be present in obsessively attempting to adhere to the static pattern).

of course, there is bound to be a world of a difference between the silence of a crystallized order, and the silence of an order which has great plasticity, but is still silent because of the absence of agitation. so it is the latter which is real silence, not the former.

sorry if i was being vague on this aspect.

for some reason i do not feel that forming models in itself is incorrect, or that this formation of models is a process of becoming. as all order changes and the patterns in the brain are in sync with reality, then this order/model will change as the world changes. there is no petty cleverness or becoming in this - there is integration. if an order-type ends in reality, it's corresponding model will end in the brain as well, without any desire to keep it alive.

hope this clarifies. - pankaj sapkal

Topic: Is it impossible to live with nonattachment in LIFE? Sat, 27 Jun 2009

it is a fact that everything is attached to everything. why then is there any issue of non-attachment? a plant is attached to soil, and clings to it in heavy winds.

but what is the attachment of a mind and how is it different from the attachment of a tree to soil?

consider the mind as a simulation engine. from birth to death, it continually forms models of reality within itself - models of infinite variety, infinite interpretations. (it swaps models with other minds, too).

the importance of a neural network, of the brain, is that it is capable of instantaneous reorganization, while still retaining its essential nature. (this essential nature may be the ego or the self, the models/simulations that form cognition may be what maya is).

there is no (known) form of order which reorganizes itself so fluidly and instantaneously, without losing its own nature. consider the gestalt theory, where you can see a curve emerge from a certain layout of dots. This illusory curve is the mind - the dots are reality. what would happen if the mind became static? it would lose its capacity of reorganization, of modeling a more con-current reality.

it would stay locked in a pattern which is of the past. very naturally, the same is true of the projections of the future - as far as the mind is concerned, it can only extrapolate its own simulations on a time curve into an anticipated future. hence, as k often seems to imply, for most minds the future is merely the past redux, reprocessed and extrapolated. i see five dots in a straight line and i infer the position of the next dot. reality may be so, but then reality may also not be so. when reality is not so, the mind may object or try to understand why it is not as per its simulation. the mind that merely objects and refuses to understand is attached to its own model of reality - it insists that order behave as per its simulation, instead of instantly modeling itself as per the new view of reality, or allowing for the incompleteness of its model. sadly (or fortunately), reality is not beholden to the models that we make on the basis of limited information.

it is possible that we cannot avoid building models - it may be the very nature of cognition. it may also be that because it is so central to cognition that we are attached to our models of reality - when reality suddenly reveals itself to be divorced from our puny models, we might feel a powerlessness or worthlessness or a sense of insanity. if this sense becomes widespread within the neural network, where core models suffer an insult, the mind may simply go under, desperately trying to cling to what it knows, in fear of dissolution of what it imagines to be reality. perhaps it is at this point of widespread insult-to-the-model, that humans often turn to faith, archetyping the larger order as god - again on the basis of what they already know. alternately, the mind may also turn isolated at this insult-to-the-model, and attempt live within the crevices of its own prior, comforting models - which would be varying levels/types of insanity.

however, considering that no model can ever fully match realty (since we are all pathetically limited), then indeed, logically it is vital for this difference to emerge, so that our neural networks constantly modify our models, on the basis of continual feedback from reality.

the opposite of this real-time modiffication/growth/formation is probably attachment to one's simulations in preference over experiencing reality. which is a crystallization (the opposite of what is unique about the brain - fluid order).

in this light, there is an interesting saying in indian context - atithi devo bhava. commonly, this is taken to mean that the guest is a god, thus being a heuristic on hospitality. however, when we analyze the word for guest, we find that it actually means "that which comes/is without a pre-ordained appointment or time" (a = sans, tithi = preordained moment/time). thus, the larger meaning of atithi devo bhava is "that which comes unexpectedly is divine".

this is a direct pointer to the fact that while we may build our images and models and simulations, it is important to be respectful to anything unexpected, which our models and simulations have not predicted - simply because this unforeseen event is the glimpse of the larger order, hitherto unaccounted for by our limited models. what you do with this glimpse is your call.

considering that the mind is formed of these models (maya), and the desire to cling to models (without paying heed to reality) is "moha"/attachment, we get the combination of moha-maya, which has been heralded as the root of all suffering.

hence, attachment to these simulations is the cause of suffering (not the simulations on their own, perhaps).

coming back to the question - is it possible/impossible to live with non-attachment, it would appear that non-attachment is the basis of plasticity of the brain. without non-attachment/model-death, we would probably lose the intelligence of the brain to model reality anew, and thus become crystallized. in which case, what's the point of having a brain that can model reality and which is capable of being aware of its own modeling?

  • pankaj sapkal
Topic: Significance of Diversity Fri, 26 Jun 2009

everything is order.

not just what we perceive as order, but everything. (which is why we are so surprised when we find patterns in randomness, to find that order is present even in what we think is disorder) It only follows that the same thread of order runs through all existence - what system is truly isolated? (it is we who try to learn by considering any system as isolated. but something still connects every sub-system to extra-systemic worlds in a never-ending network of influences and relationships).

if so, then the order that forms our own consciousness is the same order that is somehow connected to the order on another planet, billions of light years away, or at the center of the sun, or within the dna of a lowly creature. perhaps, being an integral part of this order is what is called relationship, or being integral to the world. and if this is so, then every single thought that passes through one's mind is also part of this order.

yet, within this order, there are aspects of order. all aspects are, but, mere perspectives and cannot define the totality of this order. so, to say that "no description can fully define it" is to say that a candle doesn't fully describe all energy. (to even attempt to describe it is to describe a dance without being the dancer. you may describe it in very beautiful words, but you will not know the dance.)

(even so, it is a fact that the tree is contained in the seed and the seed is contained in the tree).

consider that time is the single thread which stitches all order into coherence. consider that all aspects of order has its own pace which ties into this common thread of time. consider that a rock has a greater response time to a stimulus than a tree, and a tree has greater response time than the nervous system of a mammal. yet, discounting time, a rock alters in response to changes in its environment as much as a mind. thus, the nervous system of a mammal is more real-time manifestation of all order. (there is no higher value to this real-time nature, of course, since all value is based on perspective)

perhaps, consciousness is the real-time glimpse of order - a tiny, limited spark of order perceiving its own self, with a growing suspicion that it is not really limited, but as unlimited as the same order which pervades distant galaxies. an order which is the same, whether one million years before or after. consciousness as a phenomenon in which order can manifest as a live experience. perhaps, order can experience itself at different levels in different ways. "you" are simply one such level.

consider that "tat tvam asi" is routinely translated as "you are that". However, if one relooks at the word "tat", it also means spread, stretched, expanded.

so what tat tvam asi also means is - you are infinite, unmeasurably spread.

all order is one. so there is no distinction between the mind and the genes and the patterns of order that rule the ecosystem or the solar system.

  • pankaj sapkal
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