My Sources Of Understanding Myself

VEM

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#1
[You must be your own light. This is what J Krishnamurti taught. People who are life coaches, people who call themselves spiritual teachers are no different than anyone else you encounter that shows you something that has made a positive impression in your life.]

Taking the time to understand yourself is something we aren't taught as children, nor are we required to do so in our adult lives. To me self understanding is a process of being mindful and also studying other people and the world around you so that you can diminish and cancel out ways of thinking that are hindering or hurting you in some way. Self understanding can teach you be in control most of the time instead of being out of control due to the fact that you're being strongly influenced by negative thought structures and because of a lack of insight into your own behavior.

Learn to take a little bit of this and a little bit of that (but be selective) and never conform yourself to the teachings or beliefs of one person. In this post I want to delve into the subjects that came together to give me a better understanding of myself and others.

My late teens and early 20's was a time in my life when I became drawn towards Zen buddhism and Taoism. The practice of Zen buddhism led me to seek another viewpoint on understanding what's going on behind human consciousness. What's underneath my behaviors, my viewpoints. So Zen led to a scientific viewpoint. Dedicated scientists who seek to create an accurate explanation of a given phenomenon can be very useful in helping us to understand the human experience. So I fell off into neurology, psychology, philosophy, and psychocybernetics, In parallel I studied the works of Freud, Carl Yung, Fredrich Nietzsche and subjects like history (ancient, medieval, military, science), politics, current world affairs, crime, deviant/antisocial behavior, big business, human biology, robotics, manufacturing technology, computer science, artificial intelligence, physics (gravitation, quantum field theory), entomology, astronomy, cosmology, social studies, marine biology, architecture and geology. This is not a complete list.

On one side of the fence I have placed neuroscience (neurology, psychology, molecular biology), human biology and quantum field theory and computer science as being subjects that have given me a very thorough description of what a human being is and how the interactions between the human mind/body and the world culminates in projecting ourselves(consciousness). All the other subjects are on the other side of the fence and lead me to understand the extraordinary complexity of the human brain and body. This complexity is what causes problems when we don't understand the mechanics of our being and we exhibit behavior and viewpoints that are counterproductive in our lives. Some of us with the use of understanding/enlightenment can without drugs or therapy dissipate negative behaviors. Some of us cannot. Each of us is unique.

The tragic thing is, even after you understand the underpinnings of human behavior and the interplay between the mind/body, genetics and environment that doesn't mean you can now easily control your behavior and make all the right moves because each of us has a different brain structure based on genetics, chance and environmental interactions. All of these factors have shaped who you are at this moment.

Once you understand what's behind the curtain that influences and sometimes totally controls what you do and say you have created a launch point into the effort of attempting to program your brain to produce positive behaviors and viewpoints.

Look around you if you are blessed to be in a developed country and behold the staggering achievements of the human brain and possibly you can come to realize why you can many times have a difficult time trying to reach your goals. It is a mighty computer interacting with a complex environment that you must deal with.

That's it. Science coupled with the beliefs of human beings like Gautama Buddha,Jiddhu Krishnamurti and many others help us to form a mental representation of the structures and interactions behind our consciousness and all the other subjects I've studied come together to reflect how powerful the human brain can be, how complex it is and why this complexity is many times a good and a bad thing. All of us at times simply the projection that is caught in a storm of thoughts, a raging river and we have little or no control over our destinations.
 

MoreSuccess

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#2
Excellent post. I dove into Zen for awhile as well, as part of my exploration of Buddhism and the foundations of meditation and mindfulness. I prefer it over the other forms of Buddhism, although ultimately my beliefs and practices have been assembled from many different sources over time. I also like to explore the connections between science and what some might call mystical, keeping an open mind. I too have loved exploring some of the topics you cite including neurology and philosophy. Lately I've been reading some books on on stoicism, I like some of the precepts from it.

I especially like what you said about not aligning your beliefs with one person; I think that is the downfall of so many. They focus too much on the messenger as their source of truth rather than finding their own inner source of truth based upon practice and experience.

I think one of the hardest struggles is overcoming things that are programmed deep within our mind, often without us even realizing it's there. And even when we do realize we're acting from programming, it's really hard to change ones that are deeply embedded. And like you cite, the storm of thoughts (often driving by emotions running wild) is the other challenge to overcome with meditation and mindfulness.
 

Mick IOM

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#3
@VEM,

Thank you for sharing those lessons with us :)

Just like @MoreSuccess, I resonate with what you said here:
and never conform yourself to the teachings or beliefs of one person.
Every person has something great within, but also a darker side. If you can observe many different people from many different backgrounds and are able to find the golden nuggets, this is greatly going to help you in your own life.

I love how you combine science with the other lifestyles, such as Buddhism and many others. This certainly is my goal as I find that leaning to one extreme or another, makes you miss out on the great spectrum of what the synergy with both (and more) aspects can bring to your life.

I'm currently looking for a job in a new area, and will become obsessed with learning everything about this, but I've become increasingly more interested in the philosophical thinking in the past (and future I suppose, but I'm referring to the ages of Socrates and Aristotle, which names I know most).

So really my question @VEM, what's the number 1 book you recommend for me to read that's a great introduction to Philosophy and lays down the foundation?

I would love to hear your recommendation :)

All the best,
Mick
 

VEM

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#4
@VEM,

Thank you for sharing those lessons with us :)

Just like @MoreSuccess, I resonate with what you said here:


Every person has something great within, but also a darker side. If you can observe many different people from many different backgrounds and are able to find the golden nuggets, this is greatly going to help you in your own life.

I love how you combine science with the other lifestyles, such as Buddhism and many others. This certainly is my goal as I find that leaning to one extreme or another, makes you miss out on the great spectrum of what the synergy with both (and more) aspects can bring to your life.

I'm currently looking for a job in a new area, and will become obsessed with learning everything about this, but I've become increasingly more interested in the philosophical thinking in the past (and future I suppose, but I'm referring to the ages of Socrates and Aristotle, which names I know most).

So really my question @VEM, what's the number 1 book you recommend for me to read that's a great introduction to Philosophy and lays down the foundation?

I would love to hear your recommendation :)

All the best,
Mick
Every person has something great within, but also a darker side. If you can observe many different people from many different backgrounds and are able to find the golden nuggets, this is greatly going to help you in your own life.
I agree.

Mick hope you're well. I too am in the process of finding work. I know the feeling.

Concerning your question. I thought Friedrich Nietzsche's Beyond Good And Evil was a good philosophical book. It's been a long time since I read it but I remember it being a very deep book going into human values, morals, society....the human experience. Nietzsche wrote in a complex way, he had a lot to say and at the time some of it was hard for me to understand. I don't buy books the way I used to when I was in my 20's and 30's. I slowly became sucked into working more and more and if I wasn't working I was pursuing pleasure and definitely hanging out too much.

In the process of answering your question I googled philosophy and in the process opened a door way to all the types of philosophy man has put together. The net is great for enabling us to do that. It's a good way to focus on one particular kind of philosophy and from there you can hit the used bookstore or get luck enough to find a particular work in a e-book format.

I never got heavy into the Greek philosophers, or the European cats like Emmanuel Kant, Spinoza, Leibniz. I was into Eastern philosophies and somewhere along the way I got into Nietzsche.
 

Mick IOM

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#5
Thanks for your response @VEM :)

Yes the internet has a lot of good to offer ;)

I might buy the book you mentioned (after finding work) and I'll do some research to find another one as well.

Thank you for your effort!
Mick