Re: Ego and Programming

Mark Grant (
Tue, 8 Apr 1997 20:59:41 +0000

On Tue, 8 Apr 1997, ard wrote:

> "Most" ? Is this somewhere between 51 % and 99 %?

Yes, that's the generally accepted definition of 'most'. In this case it
may be >99% though.

> Can you be more exact?

No. Never done any real research. But I've noticed such experiences with
most of the people I know well and I know I have a few unexpurgated
buttons myself.

> What are those people who do not have "buttons" like?
> Are they emotionless, comatose, non-productive entities?

I don't know; I've never met one but I can imagine that they exist
somewhere. However I'd suspect your conception of them is 180 degrees out
of sync.

> 4. egoitsm, or self-importance.
> 5. self-esteem or self-image; feelings.

Yes, so two of the definitions here basically match mine. The point I was
trying to make was not that the dictionary gave some particular definition
but that often in the past I'd spoken to people who would talk and talk
about 'ego', but when I asked them what they meant by the word they umm-ed
and ahh-ed and failed to define it. They talk about this thing, they claim
to have one, but don't actually know what it is.

> This was taken out of a know, the book which gives
> directions on the use of words?

Uh yes, I know what a dictionary is.

> Would you suggest that Socrates' admonition to "Know thyself."
> applies in this modern age?

Yes. Why shouldn't it?

> What do you consider "ego nonsense"?

The fact that we all like to regard ourselves as somehow better than we
really are. Even the most deranged killers think that they have a good
reason for what they do.

> How would someone "know" they were seeing themselves as they "truly are?

Because their internal model of themselves would match their actions. If,
say, I was to go around telling everyone that I was going to be a famous
writer yet I never wrote anything, then I would clearly have an ego
problem and would never attain my goal until I solved it.

> How does seeing oneself as one truly is, help to see your life the same
> way any other individual sees their own life?

Uh, can you start that question again?

> How were they programmed?

Input data => neural net => output data. Reinforcement of input leads to
reinforcement of pathways leads to reinforcement of output. Go and read
about Skinner Boxes sometime. Or take a martial arts or dance class; both
program your body and brain by repeating the movements until they stick,
and both are useful and fun.

> Were other entities involved?

Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps deliberately, or perhaps not.

> Do you think you are 'just' a computer?

There's no neurophysiological evidence to think otherwise, unless the
quantum mechanical effects in the brain are truly significant. You cannot
conclusively prove that we don't have 'souls', but there seems little
point when the vast majority of human behaviour can be explained without

> Is this just another way of simplifying humans?

I don't really understand the question, but if anything I'd say it's
another way of complexifying humans. Claiming that we're 'souls' in
physical bodies is a much greater simplification. If we accept that we are
computers then exploring the precise details of our operation will be
extremely complex. Frankly I find the idea of humans as computers far more
bizzare and puzzling than the idea of humans as immortal souls incarnated
in flesh.

> Have you worked out how to activate it yet?


> If you have, could you share the programming, or do you sell it?

Nope. It's not something you can tell to anyone; they have to go out and
find it for themselves, though you could point them in the right direction
as the Buddhists try to do. You'll just have to trust that the switch
exists and go hunting for yours by yourself. Anyone who claims that they
can tell you how to do it is trying to sell a religion.

> Also, if you have, do you prefer to turn your own "joy button" on or do
> you prefer having interactions with other people ('love', etc.) ?

I prefer interactions with other people, I just know that it's a natural
brain-state which I turn on by my own actions so I don't make such a fuss
about it as they do. I don't meet someone and think that I could never be
happy without them because I know that I can switch on that circuitry
pretty much at will.

> Does not "utter" mean complete, total, absolute?


> Do you know what 69% bliss is like?


> How do you arrive at the percentage of bliss less than 100%?

Because 100% bliss would require that I shut down all processing in my
brain except for the bliss-circuits. I've never been there, but I've been

> Can you have a 46% orgasm?

Yes, but I much prefer 100%.

> "claim that this is letting in "god".....What do the people who
> have these
> experiences claim it is?

Been there, done that. I sort of agree if you use 'letting in god' in the
sense of Crowley's 'true will'. A lot of mystics have talked about moving
out of the way and letting 'god' work thru them. This seems to be what
they're talking about; the idea that 'god' created us with our 'true
wills/true natures' and that the way to follow the 'will of god' is to
find your 'true will' and follow that.

> How is it important in an evolutionary sense, regarding consciousness?

Because erecting a barrier between yourself and reality and calling it
'ego' is a sure way to get into lots and lots of trouble. Of course,
eliminating it and sitting in cave going 'Aum' and blissing out is just as


"There is a Secret Stone, hidden in a deep well, worthless and rejected,
concealed in dung or filth."
- Unknown alchemist

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