Inspiring the body-mind machine: who takes THE INITIATIVE to change ‘self’?
The reprogramming of the self starts when we follow a a desire to change. This desire had been awakened somewhere within the director/operator controlling the body-mind machine. The director/operator had earlier become aware of an unwanted habit. Let’s first have a look at some of those elements that create ‘me’:
Director/operator + the body-mind machine together give rise to consciousness. (Consciousness is not continuous. Every night my consciousness is switched off. Not by free will, but by the body and the brain)
“Anything that captures my attention creates consciousness. So I have my 5 senses that capture my attention, but a burp or a rumble from the tummy also captures my attention. Next to touch there is also something which could be called body consciousness. Most of the time my attention is captured by thoughts popping in and out. It is in that way — the way that mind captures consciousness – that buddhism calls the mind one of the senses, one of the elements generating consciousness.”
If you are only remotely interested in the functions of the 2 brain hemispheres explained as a personal experience, you should click and watch this youtube link>>Jill Bolte Taylor’s stroke of insight<< … (thank you Livas Periklis for bringing this to my attention)
When we self-reflect, the self that arises seems to be a conscious image created by the mind-machine: a concept residing in memory — the idea we have about ourselves. What and who we think we are is a residue of the former conscious ‘sensing and acting’. Looking back in time, we can only notice that this impression we had about ourselves is always changing. Most of the time slowly and unnoticeable, but in times of turmoil, things can go much faster.
director or operator
Last week I talked about the director in the post body-mind machine, but this ‘director’ also appeared in the post whoisbert3 disguised as the ‘operator’. The director/operator seems to be that highest level of control on the body-mind machine.
“There is an operator directing body and brain.” And there is identification at work “The director is the ‘I’ who identifies being me, or self.”
The director/operator identifies most of the time with the mental conscious mind., reducing itself to something a lot smaller than the consciousness it experiences.
Mental conscious Mind
The mental mind is mostly know for creating thoughts. An incessant production of internal talk.
Reasoning and logic are also part of this realm.
The mental mind has a storage called memory. It records events but not in an objective way. It filters what it understands to be going on. It seems to record what we think and feel when it is recording. When it is replaying it filters again by the actual state of being: thinking and feeling, again adding more layers of dust to objective reality.
Concepts are the building blocks of thought and reasoning. We conceptualize and categorize nearly everything. When conceptualizing, we are creating a class of objects out of many. We conceptualize a chair or a car out of all those cars and chairs we have seen in our lives. The conceptualizing process is not a conscious process.
Opinions are what remains after reasoning has operated on a series of thoughts, memories and concepts. If the reasoning process is not redone with new information, an opinion gets ‘outdated’. An opinion is a never up to date conclusion based upon incomplete information.
google in my head
There is an entire internet in my brain. Not just one computer. Millions of them. My brain acts as a network of neurons, not unlike singular computers connected by routers in a gigantic network.
Like Google, input generates thoughts, opinions, logic and reasoning, interpretation, and storage in memory. the google-in-my-head is a search bot that offers us the result of similar encountered situations. There is a choice, but most of the time the ‘feeling lucky’ option is on. The way that this mind-machine works is to forward what the solution that worked best in the past. When consciously doubting, it starts offering multiple possibilities, giving a choice to the director/operator.
I dare to say that most of the director/operator that I think I am, is nothing more but a higher layer of habits, identifying with those habits and with the google-in-my-head. The google-in-my-head is a machine created the same way as habits are created. Although we can be made aware of our habits, most of them reside in our unconscious mind-machine.
Bela Johnson brought Neural Pathway Restructuring to my attention. She commented: “it is repeated behavior that deepens the neural pathways. As we’ve continued ‘doing what we’ve done before’ – or more accurately, ‘thinking what we’ve thought before’ countless times, those pathways are deeply grooved. When we begin responding or thinking differently, new pathways are formed. It is we, and only we, who restructure them.”
Bela and I seem to be talking more or less about the same thing, but use a different vocabulary. What I call ‘reprogramming’, Bela calls ‘neural pathway restructuring’. Bela is closer to a physical reality of neurons while I talk about an internet in my head. Perhaps the term rerouting would be more appropriate if I would stick to the internet analogy, but then most people have no idea what a real router really does, however they might have seen programming at work when they use formulas in a spreadsheet.
Psychology likes to talk about the unconscious mind, finding the word subconscious blurry and undefined. The mind machine has more under the hood than the mental conscious mind. Whatever information we don’t want to accept, is stuffed under this hood. This is the realm of the shadow, repression, dreams, instincts and conscience. [wiki-quote:] “The unconscious refers to the mental processes of which individuals make themselves unaware”. Habits and google-in-my head are partly and sometimes completely residing in this mind under the hood.
Brings me back to the ‘INITIATIVE’:
Somebody (the director/operator who identifies as being me) got the desire to change a habit, and would invest energy into achieving this desire, focussing it to an act of will, a decision. This will take time, but if there is enough perseverance, the body-mind-machine can be reprogrammed and a bad habit unlearned.
So there is a director/operator, who [her/him]self is for the ‘largest part’ a neural pathway, or part of the internet-in-my-head getting self-aware, and who gets the desire, and later the will to change certain habits. Since the director/operator is itself a layered habit, this way the director/operator is able to change itself.
I wonder whether there is more than just that ‘largest part’.
self-relativism: I want to be more than just a bio-robot. I want to keep up my status and appearance and call it spirituality. My ‘self’ wants to inflate itself to more than just a machine. Don’t we call this pride?
I see that it is indeed ‘the largest part’ of the google-in-my-head that gives rise to self. This self follows desires because they make the body-mind-machine happy, and/or avoid painful situations. This self will try to change things and study, or look for a new home, etc.
But I also see that when inspiration comes, or when awe silences the director/operator, that entirely different seeds for transformation are downloaded.
Apparently what Ian Gardner calls the transformer in my head, and what I sometimes call the interrupt-line from the long-distance-connector seems to only work well when the largest part of the internet-in-my-brain keeps silent.
From this source all art is born, and perhaps life itself, as life is an art form in itself.