Monday, November 20, 2006

Getting yourself to do things

This is something I read by Moshe Feldenkrais recently. Most people know that you
cannot get someone else to do something he doesn't want to do and he doesn't understand
what's the point of doing just by trying to force him and yelling at him. So why assume you
can force yourself to do things? But first, who is the you that is forcing and who is the you
that is being forced? In this context, I think the you that is forcing is basically the concious\high-level mind and the you that is forced is the more low-level mind that actually controls and moves the body. Goes back to understanding. If you don't reach a point where the deeper level of your mind understands why you want to do what you want to do it will not cooperate. If you try anyway, the result is action that is inconsistent. You start a diet and stop. I decide to be super-social and outgoing at a party but after 20 minutes I'm just sitting alone with a drink like a zombie. The part of the mind that actually controls the body enjoys\is addicted to the previous behaviour patterns. From it's point of view, by sitting alone with my drink, I generate the emotional state that I am addicted to. It understands the motivation for this action-generating the emotional state, and currently doesn't have data that implies what your trying to force
it to do has any point to it. You need to work through experience and not just abstract logic to
get this deeper level of the mind to understand things. For a great concrete demonstration of this- try the Feldenkrais method for improving your body awareness\movement.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Gap between reality and image

"The more that we acknowledge where we've deluded ourselves for the sole sake of preserving a FALSE self-image, the more we can IMPROVE ourselves in the REAL WORLD, and not just IN OUR HEADS."

-Tyler Durden

This , in my opinion, is an incredible quote. It is taken from the following article:
http://www.bristollair.com/outer-game/skills/state-control.html

This article is one of the most amazing things I have ever read. It's written in the specific
context of approacing women but I think it is relevant to any area you can think of.

People don't make progress because they do not want to admit, even to themselves, where they are now. Suppose you want to get to level 3. Currently you are at level 1, but you
think you are at level 2. You will never get to level 3 because you keep
trying to take the steps that will take you from level 2 to level 3.
The condition gets worse with time beacuse although the actions you take aren't
actually making you progress, they ARE making your self-image 'progress'. Specfically,
after a while of performing actions that are meant to take you from level 2 to level 3,
you begin to think of yourself as someone who is on level 3. Thus, the Gap between self-image
and self-reality deepens, making it harder to admit the truth. Ofcourse, at a deep level, you know EXACTLY who you are. Therefore, this gap builds a tension inside of yourself. A tension,
between the deep level of the mind and the rational\conscious mind with all of its abstarct, imaginary ideas. To keep this self-image you need to detach from yourself.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

All true improvement comes from understanding.

When you see a person that, in your perception, is "better than you", you may have an instinct to think "that person is braver\more dillegent than me", thereby judging yourself. But excibitng courage\dilligence as you probably precieve them in that context, is something that takes effort, and now matter how strong a muscle is, its use is temporary. One person may be able to hold a large weight over his head for 30 minutes, while you can only hold it for 5 minutes, or 5 seconds. But neither in your case, or his, is this state of holding the weight the "base state" of the person. Thus, if someone else seems CONSISTENTLY "better" than you in some sense, the difference beetween you is in something more basic, most importantly, something that does not require effort. I think people should always look for a way that 'fits' them better, rather than judging themselves for not working hard enough in the current way.

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Hi! I am a computer science postdoc. For some reason google is not finding my new homepage so I added a link from this profile