Wednesday, 27 July 2016

The Extraordinary Gift of the Mind:Part-10

Continued from Part-9

26. Ethics

There are certain actions that enhance structure and lower the entropy or help to maintain the structures intact. These actions (internal or external) gain favour over others and are marked by the Mind as Good or Right. Usually such actions are rewarded by the Mind with pleasure, and evoke pleasant feelings and positive emotions. The actions that are destructive and increase the entropy in the Mind are marked as Bad or Wrong. These are punished and evoke unpleasant feelings and negative emotions. We are again in the duality here as usual. The spectrum of actions is coloured entirely, ranging from extremely bad to extremely good.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

The Extraordinary Gift of the Mind:Part-9

Enso (

 Continued from Part-8

25.    Aesthetics

Being a creator of the structure, the Mind has an affinity for structure, organization, elegance and meaningfulness, all these being indicators of low entropy. Whenever it recognizes a highly organized formation, it is pleased, it effluxes pleasure and agreement. We perceive this reaction of the Mind as Beauty. Mind is instantly attracted towards beauty, which it attributes as a quality of the internal or external contents. The object invoking beauty is perceived as beautiful, a quality now externalized and projected onto the object itself. It seems that the appreciation of beauty is purely an internal act, unconnected to the contents, more to do with how the Mind recognizes the structure. There can be degrees of beauty, from a mildly attractive object to a mesmerizing one. Interestingly, and it should be no surprise, the degree of beauty goes into negative scale as well and something that is highly disorganized or lacking any harmony is perceived as Ugly, a feeling resulting in a repulsive action. Clearly we are dealing in duality here, like most other aspects of the Mind.

Friday, 8 July 2016

The Extraordinary Gift of the Mind:Part-8

Continued from Part-7

By Alex Grey

23.    Pleasure and Pain

We have seen in the previous articles that the Mind has an ability to perceive. It organizes the experiences gained via external and internal senses into knowledge. This is an evolutionary process, and is biased towards a certain goal, namely, the sustenance of the Mind. Anything that is unnecessary for the existence of the Mind is simply not organized or is organized very weakly. The goal of the Mind to remain in existence is auto-set, it is by necessity, because any other goals that may appear are destroyed sooner or later by the impermanence (continuous change, the Experiencing). This goal biases the perception process and almost all actions of the Mind and results in a reward/punishment system, that rewards (enhances) favourable perceptions/actions and punishes (diminishes) the non-favourable ones. Such a system is at the core of any evolutionary algorithm, as AI/AGI programmers/researchers know very well [1].

The rewards cause the behaviour/actions/perception helpful in sustenance and preservation of the Mind to repeat often and strengthen the structures, while the punishments cause the unhelpful or damaging behaviour/actions/perception to diminish and destroys the structures that cause these or creates new structures to prevent the damages. The reward and punishment are also perceived, they are the familiar perceptions of pleasure and pain. They appear as qualia, a distinct experience that cannot be shared with others (such as the experience of seeing colors), but can only be inferred. Why is there a need to perceive the rewards and punishments as “flavours” of pleasure and pain? This is same as asking why is there a need to perceive colors and why do they look like the way they look like, or in other words – why is red, red? These are just structures, non-physical ones, a result of unique experiences, created to help organize the experiences (As we have seen in the case of time and space). The pleasure and pain provide a useful tool for biasing the Mind towards continued existence. Their perception is a meta-process that aids in their recognition and memory formation. One tends to remember the experiences that cause extreme pain or pleasure. These cause very effective learning.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

The Extraordinary Gift of the Mind:Part-7

Stairway to the sky by Megatruh

Continued from Part-6.

20.    Planning

The Mind, being the creator of the time, can extrapolate the events in future. Mind can imagine events and can tag them as happening in the future. The Mind can estimate the likely sequence of events, it can predict them. Also, it can estimate the consequences of an action. Certain events, such as physical processes, follow neat mathematical laws and their outcome can be determined more accurately. Certain processes follow statistical laws and their outcome can be estimated as probabilities. Sometimes the Mind relies on intuition to get a guess-estimate of the outcome. Some events, like the behaviour of a stranger, are unpredictable, and the Mind uses some thumb rules to deal with such situations, the rules being a result of its experiences with such situations.

Given the above set of abilities, it is possible to organize one’s actions so that a certain outcome is achieved. This is the process of Planning. It is deliberate, intended and often a conscious process. As we know, intentions or desires are a result of mental activity, an outcome of experiences, they are the trigger for actions, and so are triggers for planning too. Planning is delayed action.