I heard an interesting lecture today. It had to do with the behaviors we practice and what happens neurologically in the brain.

The specific examples given were procrastination and lying.
So when you practice these things and your brain registers “a win”, you get a dopamine kick and that particular “neural machine” (and every other machine associated with it) grows stronger. Stronger than the neural machine for getting things done in a timely fashion, or telling the truth. Which means every future time the choice arises to procrastinate or lie, it is better situated to win and grow even stronger.

And something I found surprising, is that these repeatedly reinfoced “neural machines” never go away. The best you can hope for is to establish another neural machine to defeat the first one — and then it becomes a battle between the machine, and the “cost for fuel” charged to you!
That is why it is so easy to slip back into habitual behaviors and/or mindsets you thought you’d defeated. All that’s needed is for “the machine that controls the machine” to weaken or be distracted.

Personally I found it really interesting how careless, convenient or casual programming of our brains is something that cannot be undone. Only “defeated” on a case-by-case basis with the expenditure of energy/effort to keep it defeated. And that the original “machine” never goes away.

What are your thoughts/experiences with this?




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  1. Jear77 3 months ago

    Many people don’t actually lie per se; they tell *jedi truths* – a of the truth while not technically a lie, skews the truth so they look better.

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      griz 3 months ago

      @Jear77
      “This is not the lie you are looking for” [waves hand].
      “This could just be skewed truth” [waves hand again]

      The Gulag Archipelago is a burgeoning read that you may not ever justify picking up. But I’ll paraphrase one of Solzhenitsyn’s first-hand observations for you.

      I already started in the thread that talked about “the monsters” in society; and shared the quote about “the line between good and evil . . . ”
      These atrocities and “monstrousness” arise when we become more and more willing to falsify not just truth, but our experience. (ie, insisting that we can in no way be or become monstrous).

      And this ties in back through numerous famous classical psychological clinicians (Freud, Jung, Rogers, Piaget) all the way back to what the ancient Egyptians and Chaldeans attributed the destruction of society to: generally, not paying attention to the monster that is in the midst of all of us. And specifically, in the willingness to accept all sorts of little falsifications and thinking them normal, inevitable, or worse, harmless over time.

      I like how it’s worded in Jordan Peterson’s “12 Rules For Life”, rule 12.
      “Always tell the truth; or at least don’t lie”.

      Because even a shade of a lie, weakens you psychologically.

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      • Jear77 3 months ago

        @griz even god of the bible shades, skews the truth. A god who willingly and knowingly creates that which he knew to be evil… should in no sense of the word call himself good or holy. And yes he doesn’t even seem to blink at its creation. This truth is spelled out in Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning god created the heavens and the earth.”

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      • Author
        griz 3 months ago

        @Jear77
        Remember to avoid worshiping the book as if it is God.

        While the books in it were arguably “Divinely inspired”, that inspiration comes through willing human agency motivated to explore/participate more fully with “Divinity” (the Transcendent Ideal). Which means these are stories of PEOPLE reaching for the Transcendent (Divine) Ideal — allegedly “augmented” with input from that Transcendent Ideal.
        (Because otherwise, how would “the self in this moment” be transcended?)

        It should be perfectly obvious even to the intellectually-challenged that the Bible is a journey of Humanity’s evolving understanding of the God Concept/Entity — and not any kind of evolution of the base Concept/Entity.

        So if one takes a child’s understanding of what it means to work for a living for example, you may have part of the truth there, but probably more immature supposition. But with experience and growing adult competency, that image of the concept sharpens.

        Remember, almost ALL of your incongruities seem to come from the impression that the collection of books “is God” — rather than an inspired exposition into the much larger over-arching Concept/Entity.

        Or as variant of this, the “only way to God”, which is anti-Christ (whether one holds this to be the job of the writings, the job of the church, or the job of our manifest actions to “prove worthiness”). And what Christ allegedly offered to the understanding, was the common availability of the Holy Spirit for willing participants — the very Spirit that inspired and directed the exploration that resulted in the tome of the Bible in the first place! That is why the path you are following ALWAYS ends with nothing more “transcendent” than your pre-existing misconceptions mired in the self.

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      • Jear77 3 months ago

        @griz even divine inspiration excuse can cover so much. The key concept here is god created *everything* knowing all. The rest is needless.

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      • Author
        griz 3 months ago

        @Jear77
        It only can if one is incompetent and looking for an excuse to just exercise selfish ego.

        The primary premise of “Transcendent Ideal” . . . is to NOT just seek excuse to exercise selfish ego — and to develop competency beyond just puerile self-service . . . with “Divine excuse”.

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      • Jear77 3 months ago

        @griz but in saying that you stumbled into another flaw: this ideal transcendence (yes i realize i reversed the order here) of which you speak of and cling to acts so chaotically (sp?) that one would have to be foolish to trust its whims. This isn’t ego, just look around: the evil flourish, while people who try their damnedest get jack squat. One person dies by a random gunshot at 6 months old, another wicked lives to a ripe old age and dies quietly, maybe even praised, because their deeds are unknown. Self service is the only thing that can best the world at its own game(s).

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      • Author
        griz 3 months ago

        @Jear77
        Reversing the order changes the meaning.
        “Ideal transcendence” is not the same as “Transcendent Ideal”. The former is something one imagines they can achieve and sit down upon. The latter is the constantly moving goal that drives the Human organism forwards in a way that we seem uniquely (and perhaps intentionally) evolved/designed to do.

        You are desperately looking for reasons why you cannot “bargain with the future”, ie, get up and move ahead out of the situation you find so unsatisfactory. And then this leads naturally to the mindsets that make this situation all the more intolerable — leaving you with the need to blame it all on something “transcendent” enough to carry such a weight.

        There is certainly an element of self-service to risking becoming the best you can be. But there are also elements of serving everyone else (the society, the species) as well. To become more capable and competent at the latter, necessitates the former.

        But just doing the former doesn’t necessarily result in the latter. One can be selfish about the gains, isolating, bitter, angry, nihilistic, arrogant, corrupt — if one chooses to nurture those processes (link this to my thread on “Don’t do what you don’t wish to become”).

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      • Jear77 3 months ago

        @griz a constantly moving goal… you realize that’s a logical fallacy called “goalpost moving” – why would you want your thought processes to be associated with this?

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      • Author
        griz 2 months ago

        @Jear77
        Agreed “constantly moving goal” was not the best representation. The goal is unchanging, but is currently so beyond us by magnitude that even the most amazing leap towards it remains but a small step.

        It only seems to “move”, because the frame of reckoning it remains . . . Transcendent.
        (Which links to why “works of our hearts or hands” are insufficient in achieving it — which if you check is Scriptural).

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      • Jear77 2 months ago

        @griz meh, i have enough on my plate working w/ 4 hours of commuting and trying to apply for other jobs, it’s stupid and careless to try to pursue a goal i can never reach in a million years.

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      • Author
        griz 2 months ago

        @Jear77
        Is the 8 hrs of commute time just wasted, or could you read/study and otherwise improve yourself?

        Some days I have up to 13 hrs of “wasted time” just driving from one destination to another. In just the past 20 months I’ve put that into improving my education and meditation practices and many have told me the effects are noticeable.

        While I’m not excluding myself from the “million years” time-frame ( :tease: ), the motivation and drive is that I understand a larger number of things far better . . . than I did yesterday.

        (And there comes a point where even things that might not seem related, start to coalesce into a more integrated (vs ideological) view of most things in life. And an interpretive structure with fewer variables, does the same job with far less expenditure of energy).

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      • Jear77 2 months ago

        @griz improvement is one thing, but keep in mind it will likely be in some area… or even in a handful of areas the sum total are so miniscule that it can’t really affect anything no matter how much i try. And at some point i will get tired of trying and say “fuck it” and stop. At some point it’s not worth it. Remember my motto: all or nothing.

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      • Author
        griz 2 months ago

        @Jear77
        All of the misery or none of it? How’s that working out for you?

        Trying to make a change is scary.

        But not trying to make one is even scarier.

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      • Jear77 2 months ago

        @griz all is just that: everything! People say that others have too little faith. Having ALL god’s powers *should* indicate the exact opposite!

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      • Author
        griz 2 months ago

        @Jear77
        This keeps coming back to your cosmic whipping-boy.

        Something is seriously wrong when everything that plagues us . . . is “somebody else’s fault”.

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      • Jear77 2 months ago

        @griz doesn’t the bible say that “god is able to do ^exceedingly^ *above* #all# we ask or think…” Which means what i consider all, is the barest fraction!

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      • Author
        griz 2 months ago

        @Jear77
        You conveniently forget the qualifier to that promise.

        There is a process of fellowship, maturity and acceptance that there is a way to live life that is far superior to just ego-run-amok.

        We don’t get to have a neon unicorn or shit ice-cream just because we fancy it in this moment. Nor are the established laws of order in this reality prone to twist and bend at our selfish wish.

        The way to have power within Life, is to be in fellowship with Life. Not to sit outside it and demand it rain favors (and money) upon us.

        Freely choosing to be at odds with it is YOUR choice for things to become more hellish when with a bit more effort, they could be more heavenly.

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      • Jear77 2 months ago

        @griz a person trying *anything* should be granted said fellowship because the point is in trying. What’s the saying? “God helps those who help themselves.” If you don’t try is one thing, but if you truly try anything, it’s the thought that counts.

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      • Author
        griz 2 months ago

        @Jear77
        Anything???
        Murder, rape, theft etc?

        Are people who commit crimes and atrocities not in some way trying?

        And do many of them not think that what they are doing is a valid course of action moving forward??

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      • Jear77 2 months ago

        @griz no. The only thing they’re trying to do is get killed/ imprisoned, which doesn’t count.

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        griz 2 months ago

        @Jear77
        How can you judge that?!

        A lot of people who are not Psychopathic engage in criminal activity; seriously not expecting imprisonment or death. And they do it because they are not lacking in the conviction that it is the right thing to do, and will lead to a desirable end.

        Otherwise why do it? Intentions are good: but the moral compass is off.

        No, the premise of that argument is faulty. There are correct incompetent ways to do something — measured by success in said endeavor.

        And if the goal was not reached, the way one went about it is in some way incorrect. So tweak the variables that are under your control and keep trying!
        Which does not mean running into an infantilizing ideology that tries to deny the fullness of your being.

        The ideology that says that just trying should be rewarded with the same success as doing it properly, infantilizes its followers.

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      • Jear77 2 months ago

        @griz doesn’t the bible teach that god wants children? If we’re not given the full spectrum of God’s powers, it’s the same thing as infantilizing us.
        what if what god judges as sin are simply psychological problems, that people are less in need of a savior to wash tbeir sins away and more a need to see how/ and awareness of that their actions affected others? Unless someone is truly a psychopath, if presented with the ripples of what they did, and how they hurt others, they would be sorry.

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      • Author
        griz 2 months ago

        @Jear77
        It also asks why are you looking to be milk-fed rather than contend with the real meat of life? There comes a time to stop suckling milk. There comes a time when we have to start chewing on the meat of adult issues. Which means to stop complaining and looking for people or things to blame.

        Even without children of your own there are ways to understand how a loving parent raises a child. And that does not include coddling them and doing the things for them that they can do for themselves.

        Even now you look for something salvational to save your soul. But excuses complaining and convenient use of scientific skepticism are poor choices.

        As is nihilism. That’s just a recipe for seeing how miserable one can make themselves.

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      • Jear77 2 months ago

        @griz if i can’t get what i want, then it’s impossible for me to desire to change. i won’t put an iota of effort into doing so.

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      • Author
        griz 2 months ago

        @Jear77
        If you put as much energy into pursuing what it is you say you want, as you do trying to maintain the structure that lets you justify staying put . . . Your success might top that of Bill Gates

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      • Jear77 2 months ago

        @griz persuing the very power of god… or at minimum the powers of the Silver Surfer. How will i do that? Had i that power, i wouldn’t need a job; i could simply speak what i wanted into existence. “If you are the son of god, command these stones to be bread!” And that’d be incredibly stupid to do… I could simply reshape my body so that i wouldn’t experience hunger, thirst, or be concerned with exposure to the elements. I could reverse the health problems of my parents and eliminate my brother’s alcoholism.

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      • Author
        griz 2 months ago

        @Jear77
        Fantasy remains a poor substitute for reality.

        There’s no shortage of sci-fi flicks were some’s proof that they are unfit or unable to wield great power . . . is that they set about using it upon others (often in simplistic ways), with no regard for consequence.
        They’ll just “fix” that. And then the ones that arise from that. And so on an so on.

        And before you know it, everyone is just a plaything to a monster’s ego.

        I think I’ve figured something out.
        You rail at the God . . . that you would be.

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      • Jear77 2 months ago

        @griz actually no… you’re projecting your insecurities over a deity whose existence you believe in onto me. Keep in mind God’s full scope of power(s) include omniscience. Because I would know *all* possible outcomes, all such objections are utter nonsense. Furthermore, even if I only obtained silver surfer’s powers, you’re saying is that, like in the comics, even if i got said powers, like *literally* every comic book hero in existence, i would somehow attract super villians… which don’t really exist in real life… so even THAT objection falls completely flat!

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      • Author
        griz 2 months ago

        @Jear77
        I have no insecurities in what I believe because they are properly thought through and lived out. The evidence comes daily that this is an excellent path to be on; even back when I was living on far less than minimum wage.
        A significant clinical sampling of others report the same: meaning this is something real and not just personal opinion.

        I think you are trying to “arrange reality” as if it were a role playing game. And as you’ve noticed, one cannot just bend the reality of this existence to their whim.
        Would it be accurate to say that this is the sole source of your dissatisfaction?

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      • Jear77 2 months ago

        @griz properly thought out, lived out beliefs are meaningless as the one you believe in still demands your death… true redemption would eliminate the penalty of death.

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        griz 2 months ago

        @Jear77
        That you cannot control every aspect of the game, is no reason to stop playing the game.

        And then to start a game of trying to justify why you should stop playing the game?

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      • Jear77 2 months ago

        @griz this “end game” is (and should be) totally unacceptable, particularly since the GM neither reveals himself nor allows us to adjust the particulars of character design, setting, plot, etc, especially when the next game is unable to be seen. As i said before, reality is a broken game.

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      • Author
        griz 2 months ago

        @Jear77
        Only if you fancy yourself the “dungeonmaster”!

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      • Author
        griz 2 months ago

        @Jear77
        While of course, physical death is always on the horizon of every day, I find a lot of value in a set of enacted beliefs that render it as something that isn’t looming in every single day.

        It comes when it comes — and until then I can focus 100% on living AND “the living”. And the “proof” that this is a feasible (even logical) set of beliefs, is that it daily allows me to live this way without any manifest negative side-effects thus far.

        Whereas the set of beliefs “the world” tries to live out, do seem to manifest a lot of negative self-conflicting, life-robbing side-effects.

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      • Jear77 2 months ago

        @griz you’re right, but not in the way you think. Spending time typing responses on here is life robbing, when I could be sleeping, cooking, looking for work, networking to get new opportunities for employment, furthering my education by taking classes so I am worth more to employers, perfecting a hobby that will net me greater income are all much better uses of my time.

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      • Author
        griz 2 months ago

        @Jear77
        Should we be mixing up things that just enable us to survive, with things that will evolve us?

        As none of us in this forum, and fewer and fewer people in the world are starving to death outside of the few remaining collectivist social re-engineering experiments, perhaps we need a more evolutionary process?

        And this happens more through pursuits of philosophy and wisdom than through just keeping ourselves alive, perhaps mucking with the social machinery and making things worse.

        One of the dead-end courses for this species, is a kind of stagnating regression whereby the focus is so very short-term and convenience based, that we don’t get on with conscious evolution.

        So back to “not practicing what we don’t wish to become”: do we wish to become just dumb animals only worried with base survival?

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      • Jear77 2 months ago

        @griz you don’t get it. MUCH of life… every is based on survival. Yes, there may brief instances where we can rise above the humdrum, beyond the ordinary. But these are far and few between. By and large, 99.9% of life is about getting up, going to work (even if going to work means rolling out of bed to sit in the driver’s seat of your cab), workibg and doing the exact same thing the next day. The only way to escape it is to find a way of having multiple streams of income. .

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      • Author
        griz 2 months ago

        @Jear77
        I don’t think most modern people would recognize a true survival situation until it jumped up and roared at them and their smartphone battery petered out so they couldn’t google what to do!

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      • Jear77 2 months ago

        @griz i went camping before the age of cellphones. I’m sure i know enough how to bandage a wound. I’m also sure i can cook, boil water over a wood fed fire. No need to google any of those things

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      • Author
        griz 2 months ago

        @Jear77
        Unused skills atrophy.

        There’s also the inevitable march by which conveniences and even luxuries . . . become necessities. I’m reminded of the 1998 Quebec Ice Storm where people of sufficient age to allegedly remember how to survive without conveniences, froze to death in their own homes wondering why the thermostat on the wall wasn’t keeping them warm.

        It is very good to “know ourselves”; and not perpetuate lies about how well prepared for hardship we might fancy ourselves.
        Remember my friend, you are HIGHLY allergic to anything resembling hardship or trial. It causes fits of blaming the very fabric of reality! :wink:

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      • Jear77 1 month ago

        @griz i’m clumbsy enough i bandage myself regularly. I also cook outside during the summer.

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  2. Scarlett2 3 months ago

    Makes some sense. A very good book on this matter is Buddha’s Brain.
    My experience has been that when trying to change the unwanted behavior, I have to consciously make the decision not to do it and then choose a more desirable behavior, and do that over and over. People can change, but it takes a lot of work!

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    • Author
      griz 3 months ago

      @Scarlett2
      I’ll have to add that book to my already burgeoning reading-list!

      I find it profound that this “wisdom” has been captured in a rather spontaneous manner by wisdom/spiritual belief paradigms across the globe. Arguably in relative isolation from each other. Which would seem to indicate it is something “real” and “emergent” — even if ancients could not articulate it through the tool of modern science.

      One of the great thrills in the course of study I’m on, is in learning how the sciences are starting to produce “breakthroughs of understanding” that would seem to corroborate a lot of the things ancient wisdom traditions were trying to transmit through rules, prophetic assertion, ritual, instantiated behavior that “just worked” . . . without them really being able to say why it worked!
      (Beyond “It pleases God”).

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  3. five2one 2 months ago

    There is only death, or eternal life. One communicates one or the other.

    Almost everyone ages, gets sick, has disasters, dies. So, this is inherent in them, and what they give to each other. It is as a virus. The ones most strong with it, rise to the top, because this is what people want to believe.

    ‘Woe to you when all speak well of you, for this is what they said of the false prophets.” Jesus said this. And you would think, because of how often, loudly, and how long… this is Jesus, too. But, this is not the case. The world can not understand Jesus.

    The way the message was given to them, was in such a way so that they would widely accept it, though he was not a false prophet.

    You see, they see the sign of him be crucified as being one which they celebrate, as they did celebrate, unconsciously, the murders of the prophets before him. They see Jesus as dead, and not coming back. So, they give gifts for the death of the first witness. (And effectively, the second, who has already come.)

    Life, death. Sin is in between. Error, of which you speak.

    Error can be lost in the details. But, life or death, is the proof. Eternal life, or death.

    Error. We make many errors. We are flesh and blood. Error is foolishness, because error can entrap and enchain you. It can be used by the spirits of this world, to kill you. Yet, who is expert at all things, without trying? And is foolishness error, if it is by love?

    People grow older, die, get diseases, because of those spirits hitting error back at them.

    They are children who do not understand how the world really works.

    I survive by answering those accusations of error. Accusations are my worst weakness, because it is so deeply embedded in me. False accusations were my undoing, in two past lives.

    It is easy to say, ‘nothing is condemned, but not everything is beneficial’. But, it is hard to understand that nothing is condemned, if you have the Spirit of Life in you.

    The forces of this world, of the Destroyer, know the ways around these matters. They beat you down. Demand you have disaster, disease, old age, and death. You have to have the keys, to death and hell. Then, you can confidentally escape these things, and find eternal life.

    Sadly, the whole world says otherwise. The beast, as they say.

    The second witness – he did the work of two people – was killed by the beast. The world. The monstrosity of today.

    Satan created a thing which was more destructive then his own self, stronger, more virulent.

    But, Satan, as the smartest of the creatures, has an understanding with God.

    He knows that God will redeem him, despite the size of the inheritance he took off with.

    He always knew that.

    Still, he does not understand the price…

    But, human beings do not have to be concerned about such things. They have their own lives and their own selves, their own souls, to be concerned about. They can get lost in the details. But, Jesus exhorted them, ‘seek first the Kingdom of Heaven’. Something they tend to not do. Did not the Pope already find this.

    Is not the world so full of desires and cares…

    They think, ‘God has the afterlife already prepared for me’.

    But, we need workers now, and they refuse the call, saying, as Satan did, ‘let me have my inheritance now’.

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