Saturday, May 8, 2021

It’s Not A “Body-Mind Problem” - It’s An “Ego-God Problem.”


As I’ve followed the philosophical roots of “dualism” back to Descartes (1600s) and Anselm (1000s), one thing is clear.  The entire philosophical edifice of this Mind-Body “Problem” was formed from within a Christian God-fearing mindset and it continues to reflect their dubious metaphysical assumptions and unreal confabulations. 


The Christian worldview is one that perceives people as isolated objects, not only from each other, but also from ourselves and the landscapes we exist within. 



Regarding the “Mind-Body Problem.”  


It’s a confabulation


Dr. Solms makes a wonderful analogy that highlights the error being made:


Question:  Was it lightning or thunder that killed the man?

It’s a meaningless question.

Lightning and thunder are simply different aspects of the same phenomena.


The “Mind” is the interior reflection of the living “Body” (both its interior happenings and its external interaction with the environment).  You simply cannot have one without the other.


We are embedded within an interconnected web of life and are the direct products of Earth’s Pageant of Evolution.


Why isn’t that reflected in modern philosophical discourse? 


Learning to appreciate the deep-time pageant of Evolution puts an entirely different richer light upon our interior existence.  An awareness that encompasses the whole of time and this planet that created us.


It also gives us a deep appreciation for the continuity of life.  Life is good, life is precious, but death is no enemy, painful though it may be.  Death is part of the cycle that brings forth new life.  Revel in the pageant you are blessed enough to be witnessing.  While you can. 



As for God?  


Who is “God,” but a creation of our unique complex human minds?  


Where did God come from?  

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Diary, "INDIVISIBLE" webinar & networking. All hands on deck, they say. What do I have to offer?




A few days ago I attended a “Indivisible Colorado Action Network & Rural Colorado United” webinar about effectively organizing and messaging in rural communities!  It was a call to civic duty and a networking opportunity because networking is key to success.



In that spirit of reaching out, I want share what I have to offer to other activists.  

Friday, April 16, 2021

Being an Element in Earth’s Pageant of Evolution


Although I’m a family man, with my share of friends, along with being community-minded, there’s a part of me that rarely fully connects with people, leaving me with an impression of being on the outside looking in and trying to make sense of all the distracting, and frankly, illusional thinking people indulge in.


Over the decades I’ve spent a fair amount of time trying to understand what makes my fundamental outlook and instincts so foreign to the general mindset.  It’s only recently, with the hindsight of sixty-five years, and coming off of this “Hoffman Playing Basketball in Zero-gravity Project” that I’ve finally nailed it,


I possess a visceral awareness of, and appreciation for, being an element in Earth’s Pageant of Evolution.  


Such a fundamental understanding bestows a host of cascading spiritual and intellectual benefits.


Here's another example of words having power.  By finally distilling those feelings into a sentence, I'm becoming aware of and comfortable with a new level of understanding and have created a fresh platform for taking it to the next level.  I mean, the adventure simply keeps on getting better.



This sense of self and spiritual solidity emerged out of a lifetime of curiosity and learning about (myself, but that's another story) Earth, deep-time, and her amazing evolutionary story.  


Especially realizing how the components of my own physical body had their origins eons ago.  Even before that, if you consider how Earth herself had to go through intense processing before promising molecular tricks and biological solutions to life’s challenges would have the material resources at hand to allow them to be put to the test and prosper.


It’s a long, amazingly complex story that keeps evolving as more evidence gets collected and processed into shared scientific knowledge.  Folds within folds of cumulative harmonic complexity flowing down the cascade of time.  Considering I’ve been paying attention to it since my grade school days, it’s inevitable that I’ve achieved some insights along the way.



In the end, the thought of being an intelligent self-aware element of creation, one who is capable of savoring the pageant of Earth’s amazing Evolution is more than comforting.  It provides me with a spiritual foundation and solidity in the face of challenges, inevitable failings, and my coming death, that possess a depth of peace and security that no Holy Book or fast-talking pick-pocket preachers can get close to offering.  It's good news worth passing around to the few who are honestly curious.   ✌️


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Regarding Deep-time

Friday, April 9, 2021

Appreciating the Physical Reality ~ Human Mindscape divide


I believe, consciousness, “mind,” can’t be understood by studying modern people in these modern times.  

From an evolutionary perspective the mind is an inevitable (of course, with a lot of time and good luck) result of natural, biological forces at work in concert with geologic processes.  It seems rather self-evident our current masterpiece body/mind is the result of hundreds of millions of experiments, untold iterations unfolding over an unimaginable expanse of seasons and generations.

A couple years ago I realized that for all the talk about body-mind, consciousness, perception, reality, or no reality, there’s a most fundamental divide that I believe needs to be explicitly enunciated and thought about.  Like a necessary first step before anything else can really start to make sense. 


Physical Reality is the physical world of atoms, molecules, universal laws of physics and Earth’s laws of nature.  It is Earth’s dance between geology and biology and time and evolving creatures, (and one in particular that learned to contemplate the universe and its short life), along with everything else around us.

Human Mindscape is all that goes on inside of our minds.  The landscape of your thoughts and desires and impulses and those various different voices and personalities who inhabit our thoughts.  The ineffable ideas that our hands can turn into physical creations, that changed our planet.  

Me, myself and I, and all that unfolds just beyond the sparks and chemical cascades unfolding within our physical bodies and brains.


The following is from 2018 and offers a bit more background.

Monday, April 5, 2021

What is “Earth Centrism”?


The Earth Centrist’s perspective acknowledges that Earth; her material constituents and physical processes, unfolding one day at a time, are our fundamental touchstones of reality.  

We acknowledge Earth and glory in understanding her pageant of Evolution and appreciating how that pageant is reflected within our own bodies. 



The justification begins with the physical fact that humans were created out of Earth's processes.  


Science shows us that we belong to the mammalian branch of one of Earth’s amazing animal kingdoms.  Yet, it’s undeniable that something quite unique happened around six million years ago when certain apes took a wild improbable evolutionary turn.


By and by, besides the marvel of our two hands, we developed two feet and legs that could stand tall or run for hours and a growing brain that learned rapidly and remembered. 


During this period our brain physically morphed in some significant ways that enabled it to host a profound leap in cognitive information processing, storage and retrieval ability. 


On the outside hominids learned to make tools, hunt, fish, and select plants, plus they mastered fire for cooking and better living.


On the inside our brains were growing and benefiting from the new super nourishment while human curiosity and adventures started filling and stretching our Mindscapes with experiences and knowledge beyond anything the "natural" physical Earth ever knew.


By Mindscape, I mean the product of all that our body/brain perceives and processes, which of course, evolutionarily speaking, was dependent on our brain’s hardware keeping pace with and driving the ever increasing volume of information and thoughts.


While the human mind and spirit seem ineffable mysteries, they are also of tremendous consequence and real-world physical power.  They drove our growing ability to study and manipulate our world; to communicate and record our experiences; and to formulate explanations for a world full of mysteries, threats and wonders.


People learned to think and gossip and paint pictures upon the canvas of cave walls, and even better, upon the canvas of each other’s imaginations.  We’ve been adding to our mind’s awareness and complexity ever since.


Sunday, March 28, 2021

Students’ Resource: A representative cross-section of Dr. Mark Solms' scientific publications.

We're now into section five of a larger project that’s intended to be a ‘Student’s Resource for Defending Physical Reality.’  In this third chapter of my introduction to Dr. Mark Solms, Ph.D.( #1, #2 ), I provide a bibliography of his insightful publications (books & scientific papers) which explain the basis for bringing the study of our human consciousness, and the so-called Mind-Body Problem, into the realm of sober, physical reality respecting, evolution appreciating, science.  (Incidentally, thereby putting the lie to the claim that meta-physical outside agents are needed to explain and understand human consciousness.)

This list is not complete by any stretch, but it is an impressive introductory sampling, and it’s intended to serve as a reference that’s guaranteed to inform, perhaps inspire, the serious student, along with serious enthusiasts of science.  People interested in better understanding how Earth’s evolution made us who we are. 

 …  (Continued at the end of this bibliography)



Dr. Mark Solms, PhD.

Professor of Neuropsychology


CURRICULUM VITAE Mark Leonard Solms

Born district of Lüderitz, Namibia, July 17, 1961


The International Neuropsychoanalysis Society

Co-chairs, Mark Solms with Cristina Alberini


Google Scholar list of Dr. Solms' scientific papers


Solms-Delta Wine Estate

Franschhoek Valley, South Africa


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Dr Mark Solms, Ph.D. (WITS)

University of Cape Town, Department of Psychology

Background and research interests

  • Brain mechanisms of dreaming, emotion, motivation.
  • Psychological mechanisms of confabulation and anosognosia syndromes.

Teaching responsibilities - Neuropsychology – Research and Clinical.

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Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute  Mark Solms PhD

Psychoanalyst and neuropsychologist.

Affiliations:

Dr. Solms holds the position of Chair of Neuropsychology at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital (Departments of Psychology and Neurology) and is the President of the South African Psychoanalytical Association. He is also Research Chair of the International Psychoanalytical Association.

Dr. Solms founded the International Neuropsychoanalysis Society in 2000 and was a Founding Editor (with Ed Nersessian) of the journal Neuropsychoanalysis. He is Director of the Arnold Pfeffer Center for Neuropsychoanalysis at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute, a Trustee of the Neuropsychoanalysis Fund in London, and Director of the Neuropsychoanalysis Trust in Cape Town.

Dr. Solms’ Introductory Lectures in Psychoanalysis can be viewed here.

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Regarding Mark Solms South African Farm and dealing with a history social injustice

Jill Choder-Goldman interviews Mark Solms, August 2019.

“I started to realise that the first thing is not to impulsively, concretely enact something, but rather just sitting with it and letting it be the ugly thing that it is, until you start to see what the nature of the thing is,” says Mark Solms.

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What is Neuropsychoanalysis?

Turnbull Lab, Prifysgol Bangor University, Wales, U.K.

The term 'neuropsychoanalysis' was first used in the late 1990s by Mark Solms, as the title of the journal Neuropsychoanalysis

Friday, March 19, 2021

The Other Side of Dr. Mark Solms, farmer, vintner, humanitarian.

Recently, I virtually met an amazing man, Dr. Mark Solms, who’s many YouTube lectures do a superb job of walking students of human consciousness and the “mind-body problem” back onto the solid ground of physical reality based science, with a roadmap for constructive learning, through the new disciple of neuropsychoanalysis.  

You can watch a dozen of Mark Solms' lectures and find that each was worth it, for each offers unrepeated gems.


What’s he walking people back from?  The cliff edge of meta-physical philosophizing pretending to be serious science.  



I mean, proclaiming “spacetime is doomed”?  Advocating that the search for our consciousness must look to out-of-body agents, because every puzzle hasn’t been solved yet?  Rather than continuing current fruitful “physicalists” research, such as that being explicated in Dr. Solms' talks.


Get serious, that’s evolved religion.  Hidden under all the pretentious words and inscrutable math, it’s all about protecting our ever so fragile human egos.  What about focusing on learning about this amazing fantastical planet, that created this amazing fantastical body, that created our amazing fantastical consciousness, to have and to hold for the duration of our short lives!  By the Grace of Earth!


Speaking of human ego.


All of us make first impressions of people we meet, in life or virtually.  Some we like, some we feel indifferent to, some we’re leery of, and so on.  Mark Solms impressed me from the start.  I saw solidity and a superb mastery of his topic.  As I watched succeeding videos red flags never showed up.  The fascinating talks captured me and though the topic overlaps, each talk is unique and refreshing. 


Then I started researching and learning about the man.  His list of accomplishments helped make sense of that inner solidity he radiates.   After a few days of absorbing nothing but Professor Mark Solms I had to take a break for a while, allowing it to percolate and settle some.


Recently to get warmed up and into the project again, I clicked on a short TEDTalk by Mark Solms that I hadn’t listened to yet.  I was waylaid.