Consciousness is that which chooses

Anything that can choose is conscious to that extent, to the extent that it can choose.

In this respect, “that which chooses” has cognition of its options and also tends to make anti-entropic choices, choices that go against the entropy of itself. (If it did not do this or stopped doing this, it would not survive long. Its anti-entropic choices take energy from the environment, of course.)

Choosing and going against entropy does not mean always doing this correctly or in the best way.

It can be argued that matter also chooses or participates in some overarching principle of choice or selection. Matter’s very common cause-and-effect relations with itself must be based on something besides matter itself.

Consciousness, thus, can be defined as that which:

  • chooses
  • has cognition of options
  • is anti-entropic for itself

We can also say that this same consciousness as just defined:

  • chooses though not always well
  • has cognition though often mistaken
  • is anti-entropic in limited ways that are often counter-productive

Matter itself conforms to principles—the laws of physics—though these do not appear to apply or apply well to chaos, radiation, quantum fluctuations, black holes. Nor to themselves in the sense that they do not reveal where they come from.

This suggests that matter itself persists under unknowable conditions much as we do.

What we do not know does not just include metaphysics but also anything we can imagine. At some point, we just won’t know anymore.

Socially, we rarely know the motives of others. Psychologically, we often cannot be rational about our own motives. And even if we are being rational we often base our decisions on bad data or incomplete or unknowable data. We often do not understand or even know what our own motives are.

When there are many factors, we become confused. Our minds feel chaotic. We become anxious, indecisive. emotional. This is a form of consciousness trying to make choices, struggling to choose, to select.

Psychological optimization through analysis of communication in real-time

The best way to analyze how you communicate in real time is:

Get an honest partner who cares about you.

Together and separately observe the small units of your thoughts and communication.

Use only units of communication small enough to be held in your short-term memory(s). This means the five to seven things you are able to hold in your short-term memory.

Discuss what you find in yourself with your partner.

Then discuss these units as they arise during communication with your partner.

If both partners understand what comprises a small unit (the 5-7 things in short-term memory), you are ready to share this information in real-time (that is, very close in time to when the small unit arose).

This small unit could be a gesture, a word, an expression, a tone of voice. Anything small enough that communicates to you and that seems to be coming from your partner.

The unit should be small and agreed upon by both partners.

Then analyze it as it functioned during the moment(s) it arose.

Example: the small unit might be a fleeting gesture—your partner drops their hand. You feel something and juust start to think maybe it is a dismissive gesture.

Stop the flow of communication immediately at that point (as you first perceive a reaction arising in yourself).

Then ask your partner what was in their mind when their hand dropped (or what was in their mind “just a moment before,” without identifying the hand drop).

(Your partner must previously have agreed to welcome this sort of intervention.)

Listen to what they say and compare that to what you were beginning to think.

If it was dismissive, find out why.

If it was not, examine yourself and how your psychology was actually functioning in real-time.

You can also do this with units based on positive emotions or unemotional states of mind.

It’s good to practice this technique on neutral states of mind.

What you will find.

You will find that a significant number of your real-time impressions of your partner are mistaken, either slightly or very much.

If both partners keep correcting these mistakes, you will come to have fewer and fewer of them (though they will always continue to arise due to inherent ambiguities in communication).

As both partners clear up communications between them, both will also clear up many cloudy parts of their own psychologies.

This is because our psychologies are based on communication. (Bad data in = bad conclusions both inside you and what you do with them outside you.)

I have used the above technique for many years and guarantee it works wonders.

The hardest parts of this are getting a good partner, getting them to agree to do it, then doing it your first few times.

It is hard at first because it goes against basic cultural instincts.

To overcome this, remember the units are very small and you agreed to do it.

This technique doesn’t hurt at all but will make you feel wonderful.

It doesn’t hurt because the units are so small.

It makes you feel wonderful because each mistaken unit you remove clears up mental space for something better.

When you observe and remove more and more small (micro) units of the same type, you will tend to eliminate the meso and macro (mistaken) psychological frames that support them.

Some frames can be eliminated after 1-5 micro units have been observed. Some take longer.

Buddhism and Stoicism

Buddhism and stoicism are highly compatible with each other.

Stoicism is fairly simple. Here is a (too) short summary:

Our normal impulse is to see misfortune, loss, death, and the choices of others as primary concerns, since they can significantly affect our lives. But this is where the Stoics deviate from our natural inclinations. They offer a bold new take: a thing doesn’t automatically become your concern just because it might affect you. (The Only Thing You Need to Get Good At)

Be sure to read the article linked above. It provides more information and links.

“Culture and demographics are our destiny”

What could be more obvious?

And yet, this obvious statement from a US Congressman is producing a minor firestorm among US media and political elites.

The full Tweet from Steve King of Iowa reads:

Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.

A cuck is basically someone who denies the obvious fundamental truth of King’s statement. A cuck supports policies that help them personally in their career (think neocons and “principled conservatives” in addition to leftists) but undermine their culture, society, or people.

Almost all cucks are white. You won’t find very many Chinese, Japanese, Jewish, Arab, or African cucks (in their own homelands). Unless, maybe they are Christian.

Christian so-called “universal morality” places little or no importance on ethnic, cultural, historical, or racial realities. That’s nice and may become so in future when robots, gene-splicing,  and brain-computer enhancements are the norm. But as of now, those are not the norm.

Basic human realities of violence, perfidy, hypocrisy, and deceit, unfortunately, still rule the world.

Fundamental truths are always very simple when stated outright and it is very easy to muddy the waters of basic truths. But they are still true and you are a fool to ignore them.

Arch leftist Howard Dean, Tweeted in response:

King is a total ignoramus and no one takes him seriously.

Dean’s response is the fundamental Christian/Western response approved by our elite masters of today. It says, “this person is bad, not one of us,” while conspicuously refraining from providing a counter-argument. Dean is a cuck, like it or not.

For Buddhists, here is what the Dalai Lama himself has to say on this issue:

BERLIN: The Dalai Lama said in an interview published Thursday that Europe has accepted “too many” refugees, and that they should eventually return to help rebuild their home countries.

“When we look into the face of every single refugee, especially the children and women, we can feel their suffering,” said the Tibetan spiritual leader, who has himself lived in exile for over half a century.

“A human being who is a bit more fortunate has the duty to help them. On the other hand, there are too many now,” he said. (Source)

The Dalai Lama knows from experience that too many immigrants destroy cultures. Tibet is all but lost due to massive immigration from China.

Buddhist morality is based on wisdom not compassion. Compassion must be tempered with wisdom. This is why the DL says in essence, “When we look in their faces, we feel compassion for them but culture and demographics are our destiny, so it’s is wrong to take in too many as Europe already has.”

The word cuck arose to combat the kinds of words Dean and the left use all the time. It’s unfortunate that public discourse needs a simple response like cuck but that’s reality too.

Cucks constantly swear at and demean opponents with strong words like “total ignoramus,” “rayciss,” and “deplorable” if you disagree with them.

So those of us who despise that simple-mindedness and the way it short-circuits wise discussion have been all but forced to respond with words like cuck.

Cucks like Dean are selling out American and Western civilization for their own selfish and temporary advantage. Their descendants will hate them for that.

_________________

Edit: The following point seems beyond obvious to me but probably needs to be stated:

Recognizing that your civilization will be destroyed if too many people from other civilizations come into it, does not mean you hate the other civilization(s).

I suppose the need to make this statement shows yet again how basic basic truths really are.

A subtle danger helping personalities face

Generally, helping personalities enjoy seeing others do well.

They have an active desire to help others.

A subtle problem with this desire is if the helper is dealing with a narcissist (or worse), fulfilling the desire to help will also involve fulfilling the narcissist’s dark need for people to attend to them.

This is an example of why we must be careful about positive moral feelings in ourselves.

Such feelings probably will not be filed in the mind as “positive moral feelings.” Rather, they might be filed simply as “good feelings” or “relationship satisfaction” or “the right thing to do.”

The narcissist (or worse) feeds off the helper’s good moral instincts to maintain a dead-end desire, a low desire.

You can see this in subcultures as well. Like malignant narcissists, some subcultures will destroy, even seek to destroy, the larger culture that hosts them. They do this for pleasure and/or because it seems to them to be to their advantage.

Buddhist morality is always based on wisdom, on conducting a wise analysis of yourself and any situation.

It is good to be a helping type. But you have to be careful who you help. You really need to analyze it.

If you help a malignant narcissist because it feels right and because you are blinded to their condition by your moral feelings, you are not doing any good. You are probably causing harm.

At the very least, your positive moral feelings are being wasted. Beyond that, a more deserving person is not receiving your help. And beyond that, the narcissist is being strengthened and confirmed in their ways while a ripple effect from all of this goes outward.

Very small decisions and what they show about us

A very small decision I make on many mornings is which coffee cup is going to be mine and which goes to my partner.

The two cups we normally use are the same and I cannot tell one from the other. If I thought one was better than the other, I would give it to her.

What happens is at some point while I take the cups from the cupboard and set them on the counter, I incline toward deciding that one of them will be for me and one for her. This “decision” is so small I describe it as “incline toward deciding.”

As I continue preparing morning coffee, my very small decision about which cup is mine spends more time in my mind. By the time I pour the coffee, I am generally always mildly set on which one is going to be mine for the morning and which hers.

My initial “inclining toward deciding” has changed into my being “mildly set on” which cup is mine. I might even feel a bit possessive toward “my” cup as I pour the coffee.

The main point is that once we make even a very weak decision or incline toward a weak decision it requires energy to change that.

Of course, I do not really care which cup I get and yet I have inclined toward one or decided on one of them. At some point in this process you have to do that.

If I try to change my decision once the coffee is poured and give “my” cup to my partner, I am aware of expending a bit of energy.

The energy required to change which cup is mine is greater than the energy required to decide which cup is mine. I only fell into my initial decision but must climb out of it if I want to change it.

I bet you do this or something like it, too. Just watch yourself and observe it happening. Once you see it, try changing to the other cup or whatever it is you have chosen.

It’s not hard to change your decision but it decidedly requires a little bit of energy. That may be some of the smallest mental energy you will ever exert, but you will have to exert it.

I find I feel a bit awkward when I change my initial decision. It seems my mind is already set at some lower level so the meta-level that  changes that does not have the right networking or connections for the transition to be completely smooth. This is the opposite of the initial decision which seems to have required little or no energy. And has managed to grow bigger all on its own, outside of my awareness.

Notice also, if you are like me, you will happily give your partner the better cup if one of them is better. That decision, too, will require energy to change, maybe even more energy than if the cups are the same. This probably happens because if you change your decision to the better cup (for yourself), you will also feel a bit selfish in addition to the above considerations. This will happen even if your partner wants you to change cups.

So either way—changing between two cups that are the same or changing from the worse cup to the better one—you will need to expend a bit of energy, even though your initial decision probably required none at all.

Panpsychism, pansignaling, and Buddhism

Panpsychism means “all mind” or mind in all things, with an emphasis on cognition being a fundamental aspect or part of nature.

Pansignaling means “all signaling” or signaling in all things, with an emphasis on signaling being a fundamental aspect or part of nature.

I like the term pansignaling because it gets us to look at the signals, without which there is nothing.

Another word that is close to these two is panexperientialism, which connotes that “the fundamental elements of the universe are ‘occasions of experience’ which can together create something as complex as a human being.”

These ideas or similar can be found in the Huayan and Tiantai schools of Buddhism.

Highly recommend giving these ideas some thought and reading the links provided above.

I  tend to favor thinking of this stuff from the signaling point of view. A signal can be found, defined, analyzed, and so on. A signal is a fairly objective thing. When we consider signals and consciousness, it is very natural to consider that signals are parts of networks and that networks can be parts of bigger networks.

As I understand it, panexperientialism holds the view that atoms have experience, and that molecules have experience as do the atoms that make them up… and so on till we get to cells, organs, brains, human consciousness. Human consciousness, which is fundamentally experiential, is what humans mainly think of as experience. At all levels, the “parts” of human consciousness also are conscious or cognizant and thus capable of experience. Thus, there is no mind-body problem. Cognition or awareness is part of nature from the very bottom up. For example, a single bacterium can know to move toward something or away from it.

Life is “anti-entropic signaling networks” that organize, self-organize, combine, cooperate, compete, eat, and change constantly. From this, we can see where impermanence and delusion as described in Buddhism come from.