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#30381 - 04/17/09 08:01 PM Can we learn to be critically self-conscious?
coberst Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/04/07
Posts: 369
Can we learn to be critically self-conscious?

In his book “The Assault on Reason” Al Gore informs me that he concluded after talking to many candidates of both parties in the 2006 election cycle that they had spent two thirds of their campaign funds on thirty second TV ads.

If that is not an indication of a shallow minded irresponsible citizenry I do not know what is. The political candidates recognize that the way to get votes is to follow the Madison Avenue advertising approach of bombarding the citizens with sound bite.

Al goes on to explain that part of the problem rests in an early childhood syndrome called “attachment theory”. Attachment theory is a relatively new theory of development psychology, which states that infants develop very early in their lives an attitude toward their relationship to the world resulting from their relationship in the first year of life with their parents.

Children take on three general attitudes:
The child learns that s/he has significant control of the world because the parents responded consistently and quickly to the child’s needs.
The child develops “anxious resistant attachment” when the parents respond inconsistently to the child’s pleas.
In the worst case the child receives no emotional response to its pleas.

The point I wish to make is that we were all raised in various manners and as a result of that raising we develop deep seated attitudes toward the world that significantly affect the rest of our lives is not recognized by us and then dealt with.

Must we journey through life handicapped by these early attachments developed in the first few years of life? It seems reasonable to me that if we learned to be self-critical we can, probably with difficulty, make significant changes in our life. I think that this process might be what Maslow was talking about when he developed the hierarchy of need.

Abraham Maslow defined a hierarchy of needs to be:
1) Biological and Physiological (water, food, shelter, air, sex, etc.)
2) Safety (security, law and order, stability,
3) Belonging and love (family, affection, community, etc.)
4) Esteem (self-esteem, independence, prestige, achievement, etc.)
5) Self-Actualization (self-fulfillment, personal growth, realizing personal potential, etc.)

This hierarchy made us conscious of the obvious fact that we did not fret about the absence of self-esteem if we did not already have security nor did we worry about security if we did not have water to drink or air to breath.

The pinnacle of needs Maslow labeled S-A (Self-Actualization). In “The Farther Reaches of Human Nature” 1971, Maslow speaks of these needs and he apparently (as far as I know) introduced this new concept S-A as in “mid-stream rather than ready for formulation into a final version”.

Maslow said “The people I selected for my investigation were older people…When you select out for careful study very fine and healthy people…you are asking how tall can people grow, what can a human being become?”

What do you think about self-actualization?

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#30385 - 04/18/09 07:30 AM Re: Can we learn to be critically self-conscious? [Re: coberst]
Tutor Turtle Offline
Megastar

Registered: 06/19/08
Posts: 1249
Loc: Everywhere and nowhere
Originally Posted By: coberst
Can we learn to be critically self-conscious?
What do you think about self-actualization?

The term "self conscious" psychologically implies looking over ones shoulder, fear, paranoia, second guessing ones self and continuously comparing ones self to another, and some standard of behavior set by personal belief in a collective ideal.
"Self" Conscious, in terms of Self Realization, Eastern Theosphy and Psychology, is having the awareness of ones true potential or nature. The Truth if you will, of the underlying nature, or the extent of human being.

The surface appearances of belief and egoic identification is plagued with the shortcomings of "self consciousness," where self esteem is measured by ones constant comparison to a standard, with the need for a support system of recognition and love from the outside. The lack of self esteem or self love leaves a hole which has to be filled by a support system dependent on what others think and feel.

Self Actualization follows "Self" realization, as does a healthy self esteem, love, loss of fear and the ability to master the elements. It is not uncommon to reach a breathless state where the body is perfectly maintained without the need for food and water, where the body is maintained by the absolute potential.

Maslow studied what he termed as the "peak experience", which is similar to Samadhi. A state of mind and experience that is reached in a meditative state, as well as when the mind and body have progressed beyond the limitations of separation from the ability to self actualize, in Self realization. This "Peak Experience" Maslow coined, is similar to what Eastern masters describe as a natural state of mind in the experience of full human consciousness or enlightenment. Jesus spoke of it as the resurrection. It follows the death of the belief in the identity of the flesh, and the corresponding aspects of self consciousness.

The peak experience Mazlow described, is an experience where all thought leaves the mind. The body settles into a deep state of rest and one feels tuned in, to Truth Absolute/God/The All/Universal principle/Potential. There is nothing left to experience but Consciousness as it witnesses itself. This is what underlies all relative thought and self consciousness when the mind turns itself outward in the attention to internal dialogue sparked by fear and the belief in death of the body as the end of life. It is when the mind is fully in the present moment free of any influence of the past and thoughts of the future. Also called the "NOW" and described in scripture as the mind returning to the "innocence" of a child.
_________________________
I was addicted to the Hokey Pokey, but then I turned myself around!!





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#30386 - 04/18/09 01:02 PM Re: Can we learn to be critically self-conscious? [Re: Tutor Turtle]
coberst Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/04/07
Posts: 369
Turtle

I think that self-learning is the most useful means for reaching self-actualization.

I have often wondered what the world would be like if adults had the energy level I see constantly displayed by children at play. Perhaps we see a bit of this energy when we see the old tycoon still struggling for more money and grasping for more power even as death appears eminent.

It appears to me that energy is generated in humans when we are in action and when that action meets certain needs. If we extrapolate from the children and adults at play we might very well conclude that when action is play, energy will continue to be generated.

How do we adults make our actions seem to be play rather than work? Action becomes play when we are creating. Also action becomes energy generating when it fulfills our needs for immortality.

I would claim that play, power, survival, and the need for immortality are the four sources of human energy.

In the beginning of civilization thought and knowledge was regarded as valuable things. However, we have discovered that thought and knowledge can also be dangerous and destructive. Today technology, one of our most touted accomplishments, is often presenting us with daunting dangers. “Therefore, with the growth of technology the human race is faced with tremendous crisis.”—David Bohm

“So the kind of thought that’s going on all around us begins to take over in every one of us, without our even knowing it. It’s spreading like a virus and each one of us is nourishing that virus…I’m trying to say that most of our thought in its general form is not individual. It originates in the whole culture and it pervades us.”--David Bohm

A fundamental need of our being is self-activation. The self-activation demanded of me may prove to be without inner friction, i.e. with inner pleasure or it may, contrarily, create inner discord and un-pleasure. The feeling of pleasure with self-activation “is always a feeling of free self-activation”.

Economics is a good example of how some sciences handle human relationships. Economics treats humans like objects and ignores there subjective aspects. Humans are treated as two dimensional rather than like a diamond with multiple facets. Economics is a good example of a science that ignores nonlinear problems, i.e. problems not under the lamp-post.

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#30387 - 04/18/09 05:43 PM Re: Can we learn to be critically self-conscious? [Re: coberst]
eccles Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/17/09
Posts: 149
coberst,

In his book “The Assault on Reason” Al Gore informs me that he concluded after talking to many candidates of both parties in the 2006 election cycle that they had spent two thirds of their campaign funds on thirty second TV ads.

If that is not an indication of a shallow minded irresponsible citizenry I do not know what is. The political candidates recognize that the way to get votes is to follow the Madison Avenue advertising approach of bombarding the citizens with sound bite.

Why then did you subsequently donate over $2000.00 to Democratic Party funds ?

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#30388 - 04/18/09 05:44 PM Re: Can we learn to be critically self-conscious? [Re: coberst]
eccles Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/17/09
Posts: 149
coberst,

In his book “The Assault on Reason” Al Gore informs me that he concluded after talking to many candidates of both parties in the 2006 election cycle that they had spent two thirds of their campaign funds on thirty second TV ads.

If that is not an indication of a shallow minded irresponsible citizenry I do not know what is. The political candidates recognize that the way to get votes is to follow the Madison Avenue advertising approach of bombarding the citizens with sound bite.


Why then did you subsequently donate over $2000.00 to Democratic Party funds ?

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#30389 - 04/18/09 06:13 PM Re: Can we learn to be critically self-conscious? [Re: coberst]
Tutor Turtle Offline
Megastar

Registered: 06/19/08
Posts: 1249
Loc: Everywhere and nowhere
Originally Posted By: coberst
Turtle

I think that self-learning is the most useful means for reaching self-actualization.

I have often wondered what the world would be like if adults had the energy level I see constantly displayed by children at play. Perhaps we see a bit of this energy when we see the old tycoon still struggling for more money and grasping for more power even as death appears eminent.

It appears to me that energy is generated in humans when we are in action and when that action meets certain needs. If we extrapolate from the children and adults at play we might very well conclude that when action is play, energy will continue to be generated.

How do we adults make our actions seem to be play rather than work? Action becomes play when we are creating. Also action becomes energy generating when it fulfills our needs for immortality.

I would claim that play, power, survival, and the need for immortality are the four sources of human energy.


Immortality exists regardless of the delusion that it doesn't and the need to find it from the ignorance that it does not exist.
The innocence of a child and that abundant energy exists in all humans. Once the adult or person burdened by the beliefs imposed upon innocence is returned to innocence that abundant energy is realized again.

In Mazlows experiments with the brain wave activity of the Peak Experience, he would measure the wave patterns of the left and right hemisphere of the brain, by attaching electrodes to the parietal and occipital lobes connected to an EEG.
When the mind is thinking normally such as in waking state activity, both halves were working against each other and the brain waves were chaotic.
When the mind achieved a deeper state such as in the Peak experience both halves came into coherence rather than the previously measured chaotic state when the mind is active in thought after thought.
Stanford University did a study back in the 70's concluding that an average adult thinks some 50-60,000 thoughts per day. These thoughts are repetitive and often contradictory.

When the mind settles down into the childlike state of innocence or the peak experience, One experiences more energy and a greater capacity to think greater thoughts than those of repetitive stress related beliefs that are the past impressions of belief and experience laced with fear and delusion.

The peak experience can be reached thru Self reflection or meditation.
It is possible to gain a superior thought but to try and think the superior thought while all of the inferior thoughts still exist and are active in the mind is stressful and it tires the mind and the body.
So Self actualization may begin thru the knowledge of reality, but it is the experience of that knowledge that takes one beyond the duality of opposing thoughts. Simply thinking a greater thought in and amongst the lesser thought is like pitting one half of the brain against another.
Put a person in a dark room full of shadows and the mind begins to think and think and think about what is lurking in the shadows.
Turn on the light and all notions of thought concerning the shadows are vanquished forever.

Returning the mind to the peaceful awareness of the peak experience is such an experience that will act like a washing machine to remove the dirt of opposing thought and reverse the habit of mindless and endless repetitive thinking that takes the energy from the human, leaving him unable to create from innocence and possibility.
When the mind is burdened with the thoughts of practicality derived from the limited beliefs that are passed on from generation to generation, dictating what is possible and what is not, it is removed from the abundant energy of Self actualization that is natural for the innocent child.

The child learns from the parent and the social mores, what makes the child good or bad. Self Love is reduced to self measure and it is a system of comparison based on levels of purpose, pride, acceptance, and value. The Innocent self love is diffused by social programming as we are taught to compete for worth thru success.
We don't need to struggle to find something we never had, we only need to give up what we learned in how to measure up.

Take the mind inward to the peace which passeth all understanding to create the peak experience, and do it daily and you begin to wash away the habitual psychological idealization of being limited by what you have been told to believe in who you are and what you are capable of. It is like turning the light on to remove the shadows.

Experience is superior to thought.
_________________________
I was addicted to the Hokey Pokey, but then I turned myself around!!





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#30801 - 05/28/09 12:03 AM Re: Can we learn to be critically self-conscious? [Re: Tutor Turtle]
tyler bell
Unregistered


Actually I happen to use a 'critically self-conscious' method of being. Being twenty I started to realize how much anxiety controlled my being and started using a meditative approach instead of relying on medication. I use my awareness as a tool to analyze my approach towards life. Anxiety being mainly just over thinking little things, I realized by taking control over 'over thinking' I have a general relief to my overall state of being, which in turn puts more thought into how I would generally conceive actions and how it connects to my beliefs, thoughts, and/or ideals.

I believe we can learn to be critically self-conscious, the general attitude we follow as a child affects us no matter what, but that doesn't have to be the end of the matter. Its about embracing an attitude, not giving up on it just because scientifically you fit in a category.

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#30859 - 06/08/09 05:35 AM Re: Can we learn to be critically self-conscious? [Re: coberst]
Revlgking Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Coberst, you ask
Quote:
1. Can we learn to be critically self-conscious? 2. What do you think about self-actualization?
1. Not only do I believe we can, I believe that we must--unless we want to condemn ourselves to being less than human.

2. ABOUT SELF-ACTUALIZATION
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self_actualization
In my opinion, unless we are content to see ourselves to be nothing more that grasping animal-like creatures dominated by base instincts (the Freudian view), or as machine-like beings responding mechanistically to the physical environment (the view of behaviourism), we had better develop a new image of who we really are--spiritual beings who take great joy in finding meaning and purpose in life by the practice of faith, hope and love (agape)--of self, family and community (James, Jung, Rogers, Maslow, Victor Frankl, M. Scott Peck.)

The scientific study of what it means for human beings, from the cradle to the grave, to be spiritual--if we are to save ourselves and our globe from destruction--needs to me, and must be, made a priority.

I make no claim that I am the first to propose that we do a scientific study of what it means to be a conscious, self-actualized, or fully spiritual, and humane being.

In my library, I have a book published in 1900: The Spiritual Life--studies in the science of religion, by George Albert Coe, PhD.

At the time, Dr. Coe was a well-known and respected professor of what was called Moral and Intellectual Philosophy at Northwestern University, in Evanston, Ill., near Chicago. I found the book in a used-book store in Boston. At the time, I was doing some post-graduate studies at Boston University on the "History of beliefs and ideas".

In his preface, Dr. Coe writes: "The studies here presented have been undertaken in response to a conviction that, in the interest of both science and religion, a new intellectual attitude is necessary with respect to the facts of the spiritual life."

He goes on to say: "The religious processes taking place within us and around us must be observed with all the precision that modern psychological methods and tools render possible."

To this he adds this interesting observation: "For, whatever else religion may or may not be, it is at least a mass of ascertainable states of consciousness; ... in the absence of information to the contrary we must presume that such states can be analysed and described ..."

Acknowledging what was then known about the mind (often confused witrh the brain) and the body (biology) he adds: "Until this work is done there will remain an important gap in the scientific knowledge of man." With this in mind he went on to call for the development of a, "satisfactory science of religion".

Without some understanding as to what makes us tick, spiritually as well as mentally and physically, we will never make sense as to why some people are motivated to behave as saints--willing, at great personal cost, to do great good in the service of others--while others, such as terrorists, are willing even to kill themselves in the act of killing others. How come religion is so toxic for some people and a tonic for others?

PNEUMATOLOGY AS A SCIENCE

By the way, after Dr. Coe, the late great Dr. Carl Jung--despite what his mentor, Dr. Sigmund Freud, said about religion being the "universal neurosis"--also called for the development of a "psychology of the spirit". And this leads me to point out that before psychology was called psychology, it was called pneumatology--the study of the spirit. For details, do a google search.

It is time pneumatology became a serious science--see World Book Dictionary--no less than its child, psychology.
_________________________
G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org

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