PSYCH: Ego loss/Self-reprogramming

Guru George (
Sun, 6 Apr 1997 19:48:20 GMT

On Sun, 6 Apr 1997 14:02:32 -0400 (EDT) wrote:


>This is a good point. I also think that the difficulty is more complicated
>than 'erasing old tapes' - although that's a great psychological advantage.
>The real dilemma is we do not fully understand the programming instructions
>already there, (although encouraging leaps have been made recently, in neuro
>bio. & cog. sci. ) so we do not fully understand how to program new ones.
>This is one reason why AI is so facinating.

Couldn't we talk more about *habits* - bad habits, good habits,
micro-habits, macro-habits? It seems to me that re-programming oneself
is simply (!) a matter of changing one's habits, that's the way of
talking and thinking that gives one 'access' to that level of programming.
In my experience, a new habit, good or bad, can be learnt more easily
than an old habit can be got rid of: a figure I have heard is that it
takes on average 3 months to make a proper dent in destroying an old
habit. *Very* difficult, but not impossible.

>Regarding ego ( Ego) and bliss... the so called 'spiritual ( which I beleive
>is just another part of our brain's inner working) bliss' of letting go of
>the ego ( awareness of the separation between self and reality) is well
>known. An interesting topic. It seems to be hardwired into many humans. Some
>religions claim that this is letting in "god".
>I think it is important in an evolutionary sense, regarding consciousness.

I agree. This is a subject that has fascinated me enormously since I
had 'mystical experiences' as a child. Several times I remember thinking
"Who am I?" so intensely and concentratedly, that my sense of 'self'
suddenly disappeared, and in its place was ... (what? I could say
something like 'God' consciousness, because that's what it felt like in
a sense, but really I suppose it was just 'pure' consciousness without a
reflexive component). You could say that 'I' didn't experience it at
all, or you could say 'I' wasn't even there; yet the experience was
perfectly lucid and normal, nothing *looked* any different, but the *
meaning* of it all had undergone a revolution.

Looking back at that paragraph, I should note that my sense of self
didn't disappear exactly, but was, so to speak, *seen through*. I still
knew who was who, and what was what in relative terms, but I wasn't*identified
* with anything less than existence, the universe itself.

I've never had it since then (last time about 12 years old, I think),
although I've tried, and through study I know it's exactly what
Buddhists have spoken of as 'emptiness' of self. I think the reason why
it's been so hard to get as an adult is because when you are a child it's
relatively easy to see the transparency of the 'self'- after all, there
hasn't been that much of it! As you get older, the sense of self has more
history, becomes tougher, more encrusted and more complex, and it becomes
extremely difficult to hold it all together in one thought that could be
'seen through'.

I reckon there's a lot of room for a modern, scientific, rational form of
mysticism that gets the experiences without the hypno-hype and extra
cosmological baggage.

Dennett's work makes a great foundation for this, IMHO. Seeing the
self as a 'virtual captain of the crew' is almost half way there!

(Why bother? Believe me, there is *nothing* like that experience; even
psychedelics give merely a weedy little echo of the 'cosmicness' of it.
And I think that sentient beings who *lived* from that perspective could
be immensely powerful and joyful creatures. Easily able to re-program
themselves, to morph, etc. - in fact, Transhuman!)


Guru George