little lies, big lies

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Re: little lies, big lies

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Aug 16, 2011 4:53 am

alan wrote:In this case, it would be the sensation of taste, and all the emotions that arise due to that feeling.
To be a little more clear: What is the emotion ( or set of emotions) underlying the choices that led to: 'I've changed my "likes" to better correspond with what is best for my body.'
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: little lies, big lies

Postby alan » Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:10 am

I'm sorry, but you seem to have misunderstood my point. I've changed my likes by determining what would be best for me, acting on it, seeing the results, and confirming the usefulness of those actions. My former emotional responses, when subject to reason, no longer have an emotional impact.
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Re: little lies, big lies

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:17 am

alan wrote:I'm sorry, but you seem to have misunderstood my point. I've changed my likes by determining what would be best for me, acting on it, seeing the results, and confirming the usefulness of those actions. My former emotional responses, when subject to reason, no longer have an emotional impact.
Okay, but what was the emotion behind the "reason" for the change?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: little lies, big lies

Postby alan » Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:34 am

You are presupposing the answer you want to hear. As long as you do that there will be no end to your line of argument.
For those interested in getting into the philosophy behind this question, the real debate should be centered on these questions: How can I know my emotions are real? Why do I accept them without scrutiny? Is it really in my best interest to supplicate my rational mind to these forces not properly understood?
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Re: little lies, big lies

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:58 am

alan wrote:You are presupposing the answer you want to hear. As long as you do that there will be no end to your line of argument.
Not at all. That is your assumption.

Again, to ask my question is a different way: are you saying there is no emotional component behind your choices as you outlined them?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: little lies, big lies

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Aug 16, 2011 6:21 am

alan wrote:I'm going to respectfully disagree [with Kim saying: Reason without emotion to direct it will not do anything, any more than a hammer will do anything without a hand, arm and brain to guide it - or a computer without a person to direct it to perform a task.
If you track any of your actions or choices back - from effect to its cause to its cause to its cause - you will always end up with 'because I wanted to' and that 'want' is a choice powered by emotion, not by reason
], and try to show why reason is a neglected aspect of our outlook, and why placing reason above our emotions can be a useful strategy in many aspects of life.
The foundation of my argument is based upon the realization that we don't really know why we like what we like. We just like it, so we do it. But is that anyway to live? I say no. I'd rather have an understanding of my motivations. Maybe I used to like french fries, so I'd eat them. Or, I can read about health and understand it is much better to eat wholesome foods. Using reason, I construct a new, better diet. I do research, I find out which foods create energy and are most healthful. Eating those foods, I feel better, I get up earlier and try that Yoga stuff I've read about but wasn't emotionally interested in before. Recognizing the usefulness of that, I decide to start treating exercise as a fundamental good. Several years later I'm healthier and happier, and no longer held captive to what I used to consider my likes or wants. I've created a new way of understanding what should be considered good. I now like eating broccoli and doing yoga. I've changed my "likes" to better correspond with what is best for my body, and I've done it through a process that was based on rational decisions.

That's all right, Alan, but (since Tilt's line of questions seems to have stalled), why did you bother in the first place?


:namaste:
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Re: little lies, big lies

Postby alan » Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:21 am

Because learning is always good, and I can't learn much by withholding my viewpoints. By putting my honest opinions on a forum like this, I get to hear responses from intelligent people like you and tilt.
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Re: little lies, big lies

Postby Dan74 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:05 am

I might be wrong but I guess tilt was hinting (or trying to get you to explore) the emotional biases that underlie your choices.

I mean it's not just alan, Dan or tilt - we'd all be naive to think that we are completely rational and objective in how we do things. Not even close, I'd say.

What I try to do is to deepen my commitment to truth - to facing what's happening with clarity and without judgment or preconception, so I can (hope to) see how it really is. Including all the emotional baggage, conditioning, genetics and the biases that result from it.

But every now and then I get a glimpse of a smidgeon of the delusion I labour under and it's still scary! But what else can I expect?
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Re: little lies, big lies

Postby alan » Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:15 am

Of course, we always "like" what we choose. But to extrapolate from this and assume that all choices are based upon "Emotion" is a tautology.
http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Tautology.html
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Re: little lies, big lies

Postby alan » Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:41 am

When people talk about the primacy of "emotion" what do they mean?
Can anyone define emotion? Is it love, is it hate, is it "feelings"?
Why would anyone think that an emotional approach is better suited to the needs of the moment than a clear-minded, sensible, rational understanding of the situation?
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Re: little lies, big lies

Postby Dan74 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:53 am

Not sure who you are addressing, alan. I don't recall anyone advocating emotional approach over a rational one here.

By emotion, I mean all feelings, ie what is not purely memories, sensations, logical considerations or processes. Not really a proper definition, I know, but I think we sort of know what is being talked about here.

alan wrote:Of course, we always "like" what we choose. But to extrapolate from this and assume that all choices are based upon "Emotion" is a tautology.
http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Tautology.html


Not all choices, some choices are very rational, of course. I guess in order to see the extent to which emotions are in charge, we first have to make peace with them, accept them, respect them, "bring them back into the fold."

Some of the vehemently rational characters whom I've know refuse to do that and continue behaving in deeply irrational ways while being totally oblivious to this fact.
_/|\_
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Re: little lies, big lies

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:03 am

Geez, Alan, you keep missing the point. As long as you are unawakened, much of what you do is going to be colored to degree by non-rational motivation.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: little lies, big lies

Postby alan » Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:43 am

That makes sense. I wonder what is the best way to understand non-rational motivation.
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Re: little lies, big lies

Postby Prasadachitta » Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:37 am

alan wrote:That makes sense. I wonder what is the best way to understand non-rational motivation.


Aware of feeling I breath in

Aware or feeling I breath out

Aware of feeling as mind conditioning I breath in

Aware of feeling as mind conditioning I breath out

:smile:
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Re: little lies, big lies

Postby alan » Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:40 am

Nice, but not really an answer to my question.
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Re: little lies, big lies

Postby Prasadachitta » Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:01 am

alan wrote:Nice, but not really an answer to my question.


The way I see it understanding comes from observation. Kind of like a case study.

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Re: little lies, big lies

Postby alan » Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:26 am

A case study is more than just observation. There has to be a hypothesis, an experiment, and a scientific survey of the results. Observing the breath, valuable that it may be, does not tell me anything about how to understand my non-rational motivations.
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Re: little lies, big lies

Postby Prasadachitta » Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:54 am

alan wrote:A case study is more than just observation. There has to be a hypothesis, an experiment, and a scientific survey of the results. Observing the breath, valuable that it may be, does not tell me anything about how to understand my non-rational motivations.


I was using case study as an analogy. Im not really that familiar with case studies but I don't think there has to be a hypothesis only the desire to understand more fully. Also I dont think there is necessarily an experiment per se in a case study. Also I did not say merely observe the breath. I made specific mention of feelings and how they condition ones attitude. This is how I understand the last half of the second tetrad of Anapanasati or Mindfulness with breathing.
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Re: little lies, big lies

Postby chownah » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:13 am

The term "case study" is used in two different ways...the way alan is refering to it is sometimes called a "case study research" which involve the hyposthesis etc...all the things that alan mentioned....the way that Prasadachitta is using it has the meaning of one study of one unit of an occurance of a phenomenon; its sort of like a report of observations or description of what happened. The two ideas sometimes are used together like this: Case study research about poverty and its associated health problems in Orange County California might involve interviewing 10 poverty stricken residents of the county every year for 10 years and then doing all the data and analysis etc......there would be 10 case studies; one for each of the residents.....and then there would be the anlaysis and etc.....wikipedia has an article on "case study".
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Re: little lies, big lies

Postby alan » Sat Aug 20, 2011 4:40 am

How best to understand non-rational motivations? I don't know. Does anyone have an idea about this issue-- besides generic answers such as watching the breath?
What makes us like what we like? Can we change what we like?
If we can't change what we like, how is the Dhamma path attained?
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