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Without desire, we couldn't make choices... However, we are forced to make choices .: we are forced to desire.

Our choices rely on our imagination:

How could we even move a body part without first imagining we could do so?

Once we have these imagined options, what makes us more drawn to one situation over another?

Edited by Dglgmut
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How do we know what we want, especially if we can't define wanting?

How can we choose what we want? Is not desire the fuel for choices?

We experience desire, but do we create it?

Edited by Dglgmut
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How do we know what we want, especially if we can't define wanting?

How can we choose what we want? Is not desire the fuel for choices?

We experience desire, but do we create it?

Would you say a hungry dog "creates" desire for food?

Edited by Xray
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I so want to tear into this but I'm going to use some restraint. Adam?

I'm struggling over substitute ingredients for avocado dip.

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How do we know what we want, especially if we can't define wanting?

How can we choose what we want? Is not desire the fuel for choices?

We experience desire, but do we create it?

Would you say a hungry dog "creates" desire for food?

No, but I thought the census here was that we have free-will.

Does a starving man create desire to resist taking food from a table at a restaurant patio?

The ego is our most dominant source of desire, but we don't create the ego.

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That video was interesting... It shows how we use relativity to determine what we "want". It also shows how our brains can be tricked in decision making, the same way as our eyes when we look at an optical illusion.

It seems choices are our way of guessing at what we are.

Xray: This sort of explains that Rand quote you didn't like so much. Hunger is hungry... If you identify with hunger, you will choose food. We use logic: I am hungry, therefor I want food.

For the starving man who resists the impulse to take food from a customer at a restaurant, he identifies with hunger, but he more strongly identifies with himself as a decent person, or something along those lines. (Or he could identify himself with a vulnerable thing that needs to be looked after, and resists the temptation in order to avoid future consequences.)

That's actually a psychological trick, isn't it? When you tell someone what they are in order for them to make the decision you want.

Edited by Dglgmut
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When you tell someone what they are in order for them to make the decision you want.

It depends on the ethos of the "you" that is telling the "someone" what "they" are.

Additionally, it depends on the internal integrity of the "you" and how process directed the "you" is.

Essentially, one of the superior aspects of Dan's teaching is that the "they" that controls the information flow to the "you" controls the decision that the "you" makes.

Which brings in the Skinnerian hypothesis which is that "if," [yes...the big IF], the scientist, or the observer, could "know" all of the factors that preceded the "event," or "choice," they would have total predictability as to the outcome.

Put another way, as an inscription on a Buddhist temple translated stated..."coincidence, when traced back far enough, becomes inevitable."

I learned early on that in any organization, if you could control the information flow to the decision maker, you controlled the decision.

Adam

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When you tell someone what they are in order for them to make the decision you want.

It depends on the ethos of the "you" that is telling the "someone" what "they" are.

Additionally, it depends on the internal integrity of the "you" and how process directed the "you" is.

Essentially, one of the superior aspects of Dan's teaching is that the "they" that controls the information flow to the "you" controls the decision that the "you" makes.

Which brings in the Skinnerian hypothesis which is that "if," [yes...the big IF], the scientist, or the observer, could "know" all of the factors that preceded the "event," or "choice," they would have total predictability as to the outcome.

Put another way, as an inscription on a Buddhist temple translated stated..."coincidence, when traced back far enough, becomes inevitable."

I learned early on that in any organization, if you could control the information flow to the decision maker, you controlled the decision.

Adam

The information flow that we receive comes from many different places, though, and is incredibly complex.

Here's an example of what I was talking about: "You want to put the gun down, because you're a good and reasonable person."

It's just an attempt to change the person's self-identity. With consciousness, I think we HAVE to identify with something, or else we couldn't possibly have a point of view. Whatever we identify with determines how we react to any given situation.

But what determines what we identify with? Our environment plays a great deal, for sure... We see the sameness between us and other humans and emulate them... But if we have to do it deliberately, it can't be us. It's impossible to choose what you are, because in order to choose you have to be something.

Edited by Dglgmut
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Here's an example of what I was talking about: "You want to put the gun down, because you're a good and reasonable person."

Out of curiosity, why did you selectively use a "gun" in your example as a negative?

Why not, "Keep the gun trained on that sex predator while I call the police because you're a good and reasonable person." ?

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That video was interesting... It shows how we use relativity to determine what we "want". It also shows how our brains can be tricked in decision making, the same way as our eyes when we look at an optical illusion.

It seems choices are our way of guessing at what we are.

Xray: This sort of explains that Rand quote you didn't like so much. Hunger is hungry... If you identify with hunger, you will choose food. We use logic: I am hungry, therefor I want food.

But a dog's mind for example doesn't operate that way. And the physiological impulse that drives the dog to ingest food is exactly the same that drives us. Therefore, when we grab a sandwich because we're hungry, we don't use this kind of reasoning either.

The explanation is perfectly rational: these survival processes operate by instinct.

Edited by Xray
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That video was interesting... It shows how we use relativity to determine what we "want". It also shows how our brains can be tricked in decision making, the same way as our eyes when we look at an optical illusion.

It seems choices are our way of guessing at what we are.

Xray: This sort of explains that Rand quote you didn't like so much. Hunger is hungry... If you identify with hunger, you will choose food. We use logic: I am hungry, therefor I want food.

But a dog's mind for example doesn't operate that way. And the physiological impulse that drives the dog to ingest food is exactly the same that drives us. Therefore, when we grab a sandwich because we're hungry, we don't use this kind of reasoning either.

The explanation is perfectly rational: these survival processes operate by instinct.

The action could happen purely by instinct, however, the emotional reaction, for example, if we didn't get the food we wanted, would come from the identification.

Instinctual craving is not the same as desire, I don't think. When we identify with the source of the craving, then we have emotion.

The only thing we can rightfully identify with are our experiences. (Socrates said the only thing he knew was that he knew nothing? He knew what it was like to be Socrates.)

To Selene: I just used a situation in which I thought a psychological technique like that might be used. I'm not saying that I know anything about it, I'm just saying it makes sense if that's what it is about.

And I agree with the Bhuddist proverb, or whatever. That's only to say that everything has a cause. Except cause itself...

Edited by Dglgmut
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The action could happen purely by instinct, however, the emotional reaction, for example, if we didn't get the food we wanted, would come from the identification.

I can't help using the dog as an example again here. Ours for example 'protests' if not served her preferred treats. So, going by your premise, the dog is also capable of "identifying"?

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The action could happen purely by instinct, however, the emotional reaction, for example, if we didn't get the food we wanted, would come from the identification.

I can't help using the dog as an example again here. Ours for example 'protests' if not served her preferred treats. So, going by your premise, the dog is also capable of "identifying"?

Absolutely. Our brains are not that different from animals'. When you break it down, there are only three types of information you need from your brain: sensory information, memory, imagination (or conceptualization or whatever else you'd choose to call it).

Imagination is obviously the most recent development in mental ability.

As someone on this forum told me, Rand claimed the most fundamental part of consciousness was awareness of ones own existence, which is evident in anything we label as conscious. To be aware of your existence, you have to be aware of something you'd call "me".

An animal would identify with its physical form, and for an animal to think, "I am hungry," will lead to emotion if it doesn't get food. And animals clearly get emotional from time to time...

However, we take this further than animals in that we identify with the emotion. We are hungry, we don't get food... We become angry. We identify with the anger, and not only do we feel it, but now we protect it as it were ourselves. This prolongs the emotional experience, and explains why animals display emotion far less often than humans.

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Actually, I'd say all of our desires come from the ego.

Our instincts don't really fall under the category of desire as far as I'm concerned... They produce no emotion if they aren't fulfilled. All life has instincts, not all life has the capacity for emotion.

Even our super ego is based in self-preservation. We identify with others and develop a sense of justice.

We get this idea of fairness logically: Identical things should have identical rights.

When we identify with something, and we perceive it as worse off than us, we feel bad, because we feel it may as well be ourselves. It's from the same place as any selfish desire.

Right and wrong is just a sense of logic: If there's no reason for things to be this way, they shouldn't!

But... Why do we care about ourselves?

Edited by Dglgmut
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