Beware of Positive Thinking

This is part of my book Your Mind as Cure – Autosuggestion for Everyone. The movement of positive thinking (if one may call it that) was popularized by Vincent Norman Peale (1898-1993). Peale was a Christian minister and a prolific writer. The Power of Positive Thinking is his most widely read book. It was first Read the full article…

What is ‘Depth’?

An AURELIS coach always reaches for depth in his coaching. There is an ongoing commitment to depth. Superficial – deep We talk about ‘superficial’ versus ‘deep’ attention, or ‘superficial’ versus ‘deep’ meaning, or ‘superficial’ versus ‘deep’ emotions. And of course: in the syllabus, you continually encounter the term ‘the deeper self.’ So what is depth? That Read the full article…

Revenge = Dissociation

The feeling of revenge needs to be taken seriously in order to transcend it. What has been lost should be restored ― in a different way. Revenge results from the feeling of having lost something. Something has been taken at the meaning level. Revenge is not about the thing itself but the meaning. What one Read the full article…

Concretely

This may not be the most accessible text for some. It’s a short invitation to think abstractly about concreteness ― its importance and possible pitfall in matters of the mind. The general idea of this text in five bullet point We have a natural propensity towards concreteness. “Animals don’t philosophize.’ On the positive side, this Read the full article…

Conceptual Landscapes

A conceptual landscape is a diagram containing a set of concepts ― principally unrelated to terms. This diminishes terminological bickering and heightens clear thinking at the conceptual level. A few examples on blog: [see: “Landscape of Empathy“] [see: “Triangle of Therapy“] [see: “Triangle of Religion“] Terms Of course, terms are used to denote the concepts. Read the full article…

Rational versus Conceptual

The difference is crucial yet frequently neglected. Any rationally minded person should find this of utmost importance. Western enlightenment tends to find rationality in exclusively conceptual thinking. Of course, in nothing does reality give the guarantee that it can be caught in mere concepts. This is only about human beings thinking so. [see: “About Concepts”] Read the full article…

Speak to Ego and You Form Ego

Ego is locked in itself, in the ‘prison’ that it is itself. It seems like you need to free something from itself, but you can’t. Address total self, and you’ll form total self. It can be very annoying if you want to speak/act/be from your total self and people talk to you repeatedly as if Read the full article…

Lightbulbs and Human Energy

Please read first [see: “Dimming the Lightbulbs“] You can also view the image of the lightbulbs from a different angle. That is: the underlying glow of the lights is ‘human energy,’ or motivation, deeper and deeper as you enter a more meaningful and vague domain Where does the ‘glow’ ultimately come from? You may say: Read the full article…

Dimming the Lightbulbs

Imagine a large number of tiny lights as a kind of lightbulbs scattered in a room. These lights represent the purely conceptual thoughts in a person’s mental landscape. This is conceptual thinking that also thinks about itself in a similarly conceptual way. In other words, this is ego-minded consciousness. Also, imagine gleams behind the bulbs (or Read the full article…

Banned from the ‘Garden of Eden’

EVERY feeling of ‘being sinful’ is the translation of a feeling of not opening. See the flower bud metaphor in e-booklet 2. Inner Dissociation The Biblical original sin lies in ‘eating the apple,’ this is: reaching a state of self-consciousness and therefore also seeing oneself, one’s nakedness. But at the same time, it also lies Read the full article…

Emotions and Consciousness

An emotion is, of course, always important. Yet, there is a whole gradation between ‘superficial’ and ‘deep.’ Deep as being what has more to do with more of you. But what this actually means is quite subtle. [see: “What is ‘Depth’?”] You can be aware of an emotion, but you cannot evoke an emotion with your consciousness alone. Read the full article…

Detachment

A major misunderstanding that must be put to bed in the (Western) world: ‘detachment’ is NOT the having of control over one’s feelings and emotions, nor is it the loss or not having of feelings and emotions. “The detachment of a stone is not that of a human.” Having the ability to show some detachment Read the full article…

Not the Winning, but the Striving

In full-hearted striving lies the true valiance. Never-ending, no frustration, just going for it. Not the winning, not the contending One can strive and fail. Then strive again and fail again. Is this a failure? In my view, not necessarily so. It becomes a failure when the striving is done half-heartedly. The striving ― to Read the full article…

The Real Enemy is Inner Dissociation

Looking at the present, one may be very optimistic or pessimistic. Many see ‘the other side’ as a source for pessimism. However, to what degree may the other side be related to one’s own inner side? [Matthew 7:3] “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention Read the full article…

Principles of Being an Intelligent Being

Strange times. We are living at the borders of old and new intelligences. We’ll need some agreement in seeing what it’s about. Intelligence is in the eye of the beholder. Definitions of intelligence abound. Therefore, it is better to start from the really basic, where it can be hardly even more basic. There, it’s the Read the full article…

The Poetic Brain

This view hasn’t been pretty widespread in the past. It may be so in the future. Our brains are made for poetry. The deeper one delves into neuro-brain-stuff – maps, neurons, dendrites, synapses – the more it’s at risk of becoming viewed purely materialistically. Indeed, in the end, even a painting of Goya is nothing Read the full article…

The Zen Master and the Samurai

A story from ancient Japan. A samurai approaches a Zen master with the question: “Your honor, people say that you are amongst the most enlightened masters currently alive. I came to you, especially from the other side of the country. Could you, please, give me some clarification about a question that has kept nagging me Read the full article…

Freedom + Direction = Invitation

A perfect equation in both directions. This lets one better understand ‘invitation’ and put it into practice. Direction without Freedom This is coercion, one way or another. Literally without any freedom, this would amount to mental incarceration ― the end of life to any mind-ful organism. The lack of freedom may be hidden to the Read the full article…

Predestination – Karma – …?

Different cultures, different takes on basically the same. Small glossary Predestination: Christian (mainly Protestant) belief that God has predestined the salvation of some and not others, or even all that will happen. Karma: Hindu belief that all of one’s actions together in this and previous lives predestine one’s future fate. Non-conscious processing From an AURELIS Read the full article…

Inner vs. Outer Change of Patterns

This is about mental-neuronal patterns. Although this term speaks of recent scientific insights, the known relevance is age-old and ubiquitous. It is also a basic choice for the future. All in the mind? ‘Inner vs. outer change’ is not about what happens inside or outside of one’s mind, but inside or outside of individual mental-neuronal Read the full article…

The Meaning Crisis

This is probably the most meaningful of all crises. Yes, surely. Please read about ‘deep meaning,’ which is meant here. [see: “The Meaning of Meaning“] People hold on to meaningfulness. Understandably, why would someone do anything? Because there is a ‘why,’ therefore, a meaning ― agency ― life. So much more concerning deep meaning. Without Read the full article…

Depth of Belief

Eventually, deep belief is always stronger than the superficial kind. Unfortunately, it is not always validated. This situation leads to many huge tensions that can only be resolved through its validation. What is ‘to believe’? It’s one of those concepts that seem straightforward until you start to think about what they actually mean. “I’m not Read the full article…

The Responsibility of Mind-Science

Call it psychology, including psychotherapy. The responsibility is huge. Making the world go ’round? In many fields related to the human mind, the world is going increasingly square. Superficial roundness in such a circumstance is hurtful to many people. Therefore, outward solutions – basically making people feel comfortable – are not enough. The answers to Read the full article…

Are You Your Thoughts?

This may be the question on which the answer depends most upon the question itself. Who is asking? Conceptual / subconceptual Time and again, what reaches consciousness is pretty crystallized (conceptualized). Therefore, we have the continual illusion that the concepts start as such where they come from. In reality, it’s a very different world. So, Read the full article…

Words don’t Matter

Words are things. If not imbued with life, they are like water that flows to the sea on an eternally lifeless planet. Concepts matter. Emotions matter. Depth matters. Beauty matters. Culture matters. People matter. Life matters. Words don’t matter. They’re just letters, one after the other. All the above matters within words ― not the Read the full article…

From Mirror Neurons to Mirror Brain

Seeing the brain as a ‘mirror brain,’ we can see how empathy plays a crucial role in many things mind-related. Empathy is not an add-on. The human thinking is basically empathic. This is an excerpt from [see: “The Journey Towards Compassionate AI.”]. (This blog text is no easy reading.) Some researchers see mirror neurons as Read the full article…

What about Conscience?

At first, I see conscience as part of the ‘natural you.’ Then it can become occupied by cultural rules and regulations. The way one handles this can be either Compassionate or precisely not. This is an excerpt from [see: “The Journey Towards Compassionate AI.”]. Conscience as a concept is – don’t be surprised – hard Read the full article…

Insight is a Path

The way one reaches an insight is at least as important as the insight itself, viewed as an accomplished piece of knowledge. This is highly important in many situations. Please read [see: “Insight is Not a Supermarket“] Close to wisdom As I use the term, insight is more than just an intellectual idea. It always Read the full article…

Always Avoidance, Always Attraction

From bacteria onwards, life has been about avoidance and attraction. This is still the case within the human being, including the mind. Depending on this, we heal or become sick. The mental-neuronal level As neurocognitive science increasingly shows, our ‘universe inside’ contains a myriad of mental-neuronal patterns. [see: “Patterns in Neurophysiology“] These are activated and Read the full article…

I Want to Do in Group

This may be the most fundamental motivational sentence. David McClelland’s motivation theory This is arguably the most prominent motivation theory. It suggests three basic needs for anyone: the need for power, achievement, and affiliation. Many see in this distinction three different personalities, promptly dividing people into three classes: a) those mainly bent on power and control; Read the full article…

The Post-Postmodernist Brain

“because your experiences are unique, so are the vast, detailed patterns in your neural networks. Because they continue to change your whole life, your identity is a moving target; it never reaches an endpoint.” [1] This is a quote from a recent book on neurocognitive science. The book (and author) is top-notch in this domain. Read the full article…

Competence vs. Comprehension

We don’t usually make the difference between competence and comprehension in anything that we regard as under conscious control. That may be wrong in many cases and, at present, increasingly dangerous. Competence, comprehension Competence is about what an agent can do. Comprehension is about the understanding of this agent concerning his own doing. To what Read the full article…

Apollonian – Dionysian – Odyssean

In therapy/coaching and in everyday life, one may be more Apollonian oriented or more Dionysian, or see it all as an adventurous journey. Nietzschean dichotomy Nietzsche used ancient Greek mythology to characterize two different mindsets in culture, art, and individual: Apollonian: more orderly, yet illusory and socially constructed Dionysian: more passionate, at the same time Read the full article…

Problem- vs. Growth-Oriented in Mental Issues

This may lead to diametrically opposed ways of being and many misunderstandings. As a mindset. All of us continually encounter issues, from minor to life-size. This way, there is ample occasion to practice in seeing them either as problems or as invitations to grow. Problems may lead more generally to stress; invitations to positive challenges Read the full article…

The Brain as a Predictor

Contrary to the impression that the brain runs behind its environment, passively capturing, then trying to influence it, the brain works much more as a predictor, using input from the environment mainly as feedback to its predictions. Please read: [see: “Patterns in Neurophysiology“] Brain Patterns ― Recognition and Completion (PRC) A neuronal/mental pattern is a Read the full article…

About ‘Intelligence’ (in A.I.)

At the brink of a new intelligence, it’s crucial to know what we’re heading towards. Seriously trying to clarify the concept may help. Many intelligences Whether knowledgeable or not, many people try to answer the question of what exactly is ‘intelligence.’ Needless to say, popping up are many different answers. This should not deter anyone Read the full article…

The Basic Denial

Not seeing though an obvious illusion is one thing. Not wanting to see despite immense mayhem for countless people is different. Basic cognitive illusion This is: not consciously reckoning with non-conscious, subconceptual mental-neuronal processing. [see: “The Basic Cognitive Illusion”] This illusion is debunked by a lot of scientific data. For instance, [see: “The Post-Postmodernist Brain”] Read the full article…

Being Critical is Not Being Closed

I’m rarely on it like this, but I think this piece is really of the utmost importance for an AURELIS coach. With this, it stands or falls. It is therefore advisable to read this text very carefully several times. It is not devoid of subtlety. Try your best not to misunderstand. Talk about it openly. Read the full article…

Everything Flows

Soon available

Empty Boxes

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Explosion of the Heart

Nothing changes, and nothing is the same anymore after such individual experience. An open landscape may emerge for all to be one. Peak experience Maslow called it a peak experience, but, indeed, it is an explosion of the heart. It can happen in very diverse circumstances. We’ll see three examples. An explosion of the heart Read the full article…

Two Extinctions

A recurrent maladaptive behavior, thought, or feeling can gradually diminish in two ways. Either it entirely disappears, or it dissolves. There are differences in path and endpoint. About extinction A mental ‘problem’ is usually recurrent. That’s the reason why people search for help, including professional help. In one word: therapy (or mental coaching). ‘Extinction’ is Read the full article…

Inner Friend or Foe?

One can treat one’s inner being as a friend or enemy. It’s good to make this an explicit choice. It’s too important to let it be a choice imposed upon you. People are not conscious of their non-conscious mental processing Yet, the science in this is unequivocal. The inner, non-conscious mental life of a person Read the full article…

Change is a process

Especially meaningful change, which is the change that is, well, most meaningful, thus most important. Insight into the brain/mind is essential to understand why. We are not some software in some hardware. I hope this is obvious to you. The reason is that we are complex organisms. [see: “You Are an Organism, Not a Mechanism.“] Read the full article…

Can Mind Change Matter?

Let’s take it philosophically today. That brings us to what is called ‘philosophy of mind.’ Please read this first: [see: “‘Mind = Body’ Breakthrough“] Philosophy is like playing in the mind. Philosophers are like children ― no denigration meant to either, quite the contrary. In their intellectual playfield, philosophers have been thinking about the mind Read the full article…

The Water and the Jug

Constructionism in a poem. Please read [see: “Constructionism“] But let’s start with the poem. Form of water The form of water in a jug is the form of the jug without jug. But without jug the water flows away immediately spontaneously. ▪▪▪ The form of content in form is the form of form without form. Read the full article…

Mental Patterns Change through Autosuggestion

This may even be the only way in which they can ethically and adequately change. There is a clear responsibility involved to do this as well as possible. Autosuggestion is the language that directly touches mental patterns. [see: “Patterns in Neurophysiology“] It is related to poetry in its metaphorical means, a meditative mental setting, and Read the full article…

Is Change Difficult?

Especially deep change. It’s a cultural thing to find it difficult. And so it is. Is it? Coaching is about change, one way or another. [see: “Coaching is everywhere“] Being a coach Your opinion as a coach matters in this. If you think change is difficult, then you risk conveying this to the coachee. In Read the full article…

Searching Stability

People want stability in meaningful depth, not therefore in things of meaning. Evolutionary Life itself can be seen as a search for stability amid entropy and chaos. With some complexity, along the evolutionary process, this search becomes a search for meaning as a natural quest. Life searches stability at the level of meaning. Animals are Read the full article…

The Non-Conscious is No Automaton

This insight is central to anything human-related. Two ways to ignore the non-conscious in human mental life These are by ignoring there is anything at all functionally, seeing it as something inactive by itself. In the latter option, the non-conscious is something like a meaningless automaton, an entity of levers, buttons to be pushed, and Read the full article…

Turtle Vagaries

If you think this is about you, you might be right. Even more, it is about you as total-person. Any ocean turtle sticks out its neck most of the time. Each time it does, it’s vulnerable. The wise turtle knows when to do so and when not. That is how it lives ― sometimes to Read the full article…

The Stream of Non-Consciousness

The conscious train of thought may appear like a self-propelling stream of consciousness. The reality is different, carrying immense consequences. The image before the thousand words Please read on. The image and a few consequences will become clear by the end of the words. Constructed vs. fundamental reality The horizontal line in the middle schematically Read the full article…

There is Soul in Suffering

With due respect, one should not try to eliminate all suffering most quickly and easily. Unfortunately, this indiscriminate stance seems to be precisely the promise of many products and services for sale. Please be careful with this. It can be easily misunderstood. This is not a glorification of pain. One should not seek it out Read the full article…

Importance of Spontaneity

Spontaneity is the stuff of autosuggestion and of nature. as in AURELIS. A suggestion comes with freedom and direction. [see: “Suggestion: Communication to the Subconscious“] I suggest you read further. You are free to do so if you like. In autosuggestion, the emphasis lies on ‘doing yourself.’ It is, in a way, even more spontaneous. Read the full article…

Causation in Humans and A.I.

Causal reasoning is needed to be human. Will it also transcend us into A.I.? Many researchers are on this path. We should try to understand it as well as possible. Some philosophy Causality is a human construct. In reality, there are only correlations. If interested in such philosophical issues, [see: “Infinite Causality”]. In the present Read the full article…

Is All Learning Associational?

Most probably. This is a domain where animal/human learning and A.I. learning can learn much from each other. Three forms of learning in A.I. Generally, learning in A.I. is divided into two distinct kinds, with a third one dangling in the appendix, referring to another book (*). supervised learning: training with specific input and labeled Read the full article…

Who We Are. What A.I. Can become.

In the near future, we will learn many exciting things in both domains. They will turn out to be very inspiring in both directions. “I think one of the big breakthroughs that’s going to come is we’re going to understand the brain… so that suddenly it all begins to click” Quoting Geoffrey Hinton, ‘godfather of Read the full article…

Into the Not-Knowing

It is good to know many things. It is also good – indeed necessary – to not-know. Without not-knowing, we are not going to have a bright future, as we have not made a bright present. Where the hyphen makes all the difference. Not-knowing is not about a lack of knowing. It is certainly not Read the full article…

Patterns in Neurophysiology

Mind-related concepts are not held by single neurons but by patterns of neurons. This is increasingly being visualized, carrying immense consequences. Neuronal ensembles (‘neuronal patterns’) The human brain is no clockwork. There is no database nor a collection of crisp, Platonian concepts. [see: “About Concepts”] There is no one concept present in one brain cell Read the full article…

Compassion and Constructionism

Constructionism shows the importance of not getting stuck in a constructed reality. Compassion ethically realizes this for the good of many. I write Compassion with a Capital because of its relation to the subconceptual. Depth involved Compassion encompasses a profound way of looking at people (and all sentient beings). ‘Deep’ in this means that the Read the full article…

‘Mind = Body’ Breakthrough

It’s time we learn to know who we are. Already for a long time, we know that mind and body are one. Yet modern Western medicine practically carries on like this is not the truth or this truth doesn’t matter. It amazes me every day. Most medical colleagues look at it from afar, thinking it Read the full article…

Being Gentle, Not Nice

About becoming someone worthy in social context while staying completely yourself in a most humane way. Words, words, words. Forget for this text the meanings you usually give to the key words used in it. Let’s skip over them. What I mean will be much clearer if you let it be vague. Well, this way, Read the full article…

Constructionism

Is reality itself a construction? Not as far as I know. Within reality, however, life carves its specific domain. Within this domain, human beings especially develop their many constructions ― as diverse as incompatible. Some neurophysiology Neurophysiologically, more information goes from the brain to the eyes than vice versa. Multiply honored prof. Semir Zeki introduced Read the full article…

The Autonomy and the Meaning

To be autonomous. To be an individual. To be alive. Indeed, autonomy is needed to be meaningful, to be anything at all. Then, there is more. Let’s start with the beginning. To be meaningful, one needs individuality, autonomy. Any living being strives towards autonomy. A thing has no autonomy. Chaos has no autonomy. Within its Read the full article…

Fluid Minds, Brains, Bodies

Minds change continually. Brains change continually. Bodies change continually. According to the chosen viewpoint: with many overlaps or influences. We like to think of ourselves as solid. Daily life gives that impression. We don’t change a lot day after day. We can think of ourselves as we were yesterday or last week, last year, and Read the full article…

40. The Tough Concept of ‘Acceptance’

‘Acceptance’ has two different meanings. One leads to helplessness. The other leads to self-sufficiency. Once it was commonplace: People had to learn to accept chronic pain (and suffering in general) by the will of God, willingly or unwillingly. People had to ‘learn to live with it.’ In an era where there were no painkillers, people Read the full article…

Fear of Dying

Many people are irrationally afraid of dying, even while they know they will not suffer when being dead. Many know they are irrational in this, yet they don’t know why, and keep being afraid. Every living being wants to live. Straightforwardly. Well, depending on what you call ‘wanting.’ Does a bacterium want to live? It Read the full article…

Why Do People Polarize?

Increasing polarization is going on in many parts of the world. We are seemingly not at the end of this trend. Needed is a growing awakening to who we are: total human beings. Different opinions Different opinions may see each other more clearly in the differences as well as in the similarities. They can inspire, Read the full article…

Faking Truths – Meaning over Facts

Why do people want to believe what they want to believe as if ‘truth’ is something that can be wanted into reality? 2020, the year of the truth? Hmm. We are rather in an era of untruth. Fake news, alternative truths, etc. The phenomenon is mounting. It will mount more with new technological possibilities. “Images Read the full article…

Complexity of Complexity – About Being an Organism

Is this important? Indeed, it has the direst consequences. For instance, in a Western democracy, comes COVID, the difference in outcome is hardly fathomable. Complexity We are complex creatures, being (almost) infinitely more than the sum of our parts. [see: “Complex is not Complicated“] That way, intractable things happen within us, and we don’t see Read the full article…

Projection – Why We See Mainly Ourselves

The way our brain processes information makes us interesting as well as robust. It also makes us vulnerable to projections and its consequences to health and society. Human vision Human vision is not a one-way affair. It’s a two-way affair. In seeing, more information goes from the brain towards the eye than vice versa. If Read the full article…

The Basic Cognitive Illusion

‘Basic cognitive illusion’: the fact that we are non-consciously motivated, but are not consciously aware of this (since it’s non-conscious). We also don’t consciously notice our brain in this. So, there are two levels between consciousness and the physical brain, which gives us the strong illusion of mind-brain divide. [This text is a part of Read the full article…

About Human Depth

Everybody knows it, and nobody knows it. It is nowhere and everywhere ►►► WHY read this? Insight in depth is the start of a game-changer.◄◄◄ As a youth, I used to read a lot of ‘elite literature’ that costs almost nothing for what it’s worth, has nothing to do with how-to-earn-money, and everything with depth. Read the full article…

Gentle Strength

This world needs it more than ever. What? Strong gentleness. It is strong because it is gentle. It is gentle because it is strong. It doesn’t avoid gentleness. It doesn’t avoid strength. It’s not vulnerable. It doesn’t avoid vulnerability. It is sensitive. It feels what many issues are about. It listens and helps by being Read the full article…

Dawn of Opening Up

The times, they are a-changing into an era with many unforeseen challenges and possibilities. A.I. makes it even more so. One of the essential changes is a gradual Opening up of who we are as a human species, especially regarding the mind in its non-conscious presence. Openness in several domains As in AURELIS subprojects: Open Read the full article…

28. Motivating Crowds in Corona Times

September 26, 2020   Daily Total Cases worldwide 318,804 32,753,099 Deaths worldwide 5,818 992,978 A crowd is like an organism composed of organisms. If treated as a mechanism, it will not behave optimally, especially over time, especially concerning much-needed motivation. ►►►This is already crucial and will become even more important over the next six months.◄◄◄ Read the full article…

No Time to Waste on Subconceptual Processing

This is, for me, and in my view, for everybody, an immense problem. ►►►WHY read this? In many issues, with ‘no time to waste,’ we end up with no time at all.◄◄◄ Wildfires One can be busy extinguishing wildfires and have no time to think about climate change causing these wildfires. Of course, the wildfires Read the full article…

Non-Conscious Processing is Meaningful

What science shows is not always easy to cope with. Especially if it’s about ourselves. Especially about the deeper parts of ourselves. You cannot consciously decide what is meaningful to you. Dear reader, if this is new to you, then please don’t get too disconcerted. This is a small step – not even a step Read the full article…

Anxiety

People who apparently feel little anxiety, quite often turn out to harbor a lot, arguably more so in Western cultures. The latter may seem so because it strikes me more. Anxiety, not fear Fear is conceptual. The object of fear is mostly well delineated. One can say: It is mechanical, directly efficient. Anxiety is subconceptual. Read the full article…

Respecting Bad Memories

Bad memories are meaningful to you. That is why something touched you and is still present in you. Respecting your memories is respecting you, also in your imagination. About Posttraumatic Stress, [see: “PTSD: a groovy kind of stress“]. You can go to your memory with a Compassionate stance. That is, you don’t want to hurt Read the full article…

You as a Symbol

The symbolic, as used in this text, is entirely the domain of the subconceptual. This is always present. Also, humans may always be symbolic to others. Please read first: [see: “Symbolism: How-To“] Many symbols. Each in-depth symbol is a symbol of you. You find yourself in anything that acts as a profound symbol to you, Read the full article…

If You Fake, Do It for Real

‘For real’ is like a very good mime, for instance. It’s fake and at the same time, it may be more real than reality itself. ‘Reality inside’ is more important than ‘reality outside.’ Then who is the faker? While faking, you may get closer and closer to full reality. Faking is in such case a Read the full article…

True Wisdom = Conceptual + Subconceptual

Western culture has lost a bit the sense of wisdom. Elderly people are foremost ‘passé’ in the sense of not getting the latest technological fad. Hm. Let’s appreciate true wisdom! Knowledge versus wisdom The difference is fuzzy, gradual. In ‘knowledge,’ the emphasis still lies in conceptual processing. From there, more and more subconceptuality may be Read the full article…

Strength as a Virtue

“Show your weakness.” OK? Virtue is not always related to plain strength. More than ‘showing weakness,’ isn’t ‘avoiding weakness’ not more virtuous? The etymology of virtue or virtuous: ‘characterized by moral excellence, valor, strength’ and also: ‘manliness, courage, bravery.’ In ancient Rome, virtus was mainly important as a male adornment. Vir is Latin for ‘man,’ Read the full article…

Consciousness & Communication

Why and how has consciousness emerged? One take on this: intra- as well as extracranial communication. Why = how Organic life is not the product of an engineer who starts with the question of why he should build something, then proceeds with how he can achieve his goals. Organic life evolves from instance to instance, Read the full article…

The Temporal Eye

In memory of a personal experience. Sitting at a bench looking over a field of grass and a pond. Trees in the distance. Sunshine. Late afternoon. Very relaxed. Becoming the trees. You may see this as a mystical experience. I do, if ever there is one. Being the trees. No difference between them there and Read the full article…

Looking for Meaning

Many bright people live in a world devoid of meaning. By avoiding the devoid, they even get more and more in a strut. How to get out? This is an important text to me… and to you, dear reader, for one plain reason: without meaning, there is no meaning… of anything. Meaning is related to Read the full article…

Feeling without Feelings

I am feeling. I am ‘without feelings.’ The science It may not seem so but this is actually the most scientifically sound way to look at feelings/emotions, backed by many studies, contradicted by none. One good book about this is “How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain” by Lisa Feldman Barrett (2017). Read the full article…

Human Brain: Giant Pattern Recognizer

The human brain does not process information in purely linear ways, like a serial digital computer. Instead of this, many things in the brain happen in parallel and coordinated ways simultaneously at many levels. No serial look-up Leaving any soul-stuff aside, people use(d) to think of the human brain as a kind of giant serial Read the full article…

The Modern Subconscious

“Consciousness is a much smaller part of our mental life than we are conscious of, because we cannot be conscious of what we are not conscious of. How simple is that to say; how difficult to appreciate!” (J. Jaynes 1976) From light waves to consciousness When looking at the world, we are consciously aware of Read the full article…

The Subconscious in Action

Subconscious processing is everywhere. It is the basis of any thought, feeling, action etc.  [see: “The Modern Subconscious”] Still, we don’t ‘see’ it in action because it is transparent, in the way that our eyes are transparent when we are looking through them… all the time. The below listing is an enumeration of just a Read the full article…

Inner Dissociation is NEVER OK

According to me, one can appropriately say that dissociation – that is: the absence of integration – is THE cause of human-concocted ‘evil’. [see: ‘Cause of All Suffering: Dissociation’] So, it’s never OK to say ‘OK’ to this. There is a responsibility of any well-thinking human being to oppose dissociation. Mind: not opposing ‘dissociated people’ Read the full article…

No Rationality without Poetry

Rationality without poetry (‘depth’) is meaningless. Moreover: it’s not even rational. Thus, better call it ‘rationality’ (between brackets). [see: ‘AURELIS USP: ‘100% Rationality, 100% Depth’] Rationality is not only about concepts Of course, conceptual thinking is of huge importance. No doubt. However, through correct conceptual thinking, one can arrive at its own limits: 100% conceptual Read the full article…

The Brainy Trinity

The ‘triune brain’ is a popular concept: reptilian – mammalian – human. Yet the brain functions as a whole. This has huge implications. Evolution, no engineering Evidently, a mechanically engineered brain would be very different from the organically evolved one that we may call ‘home’ in the most literal sense. We are organic. Any naturally Read the full article…

Being Kind

You are kind. You make people feel good. OK. This way they may have more opportunity to be kind to themselves. Why not? Pay attention though. And of course, pay attention to the attention itself because too much attention may stop all kinds of things that can only be themselves when allowed to flow freely. Read the full article…

From Placebo to Insight

… there should be a gentle slope. Not a downfall. (This text is not about what concretely is or is not a placebo.) Gentle slope – principle Many people do depend on their placebo, like a kind of crutch. To abruptly take this crutch away can have negative results: people fall and break another leg. Read the full article…

Depth is Formless Meaning

Forms are meaningless. Meaning is formless. You may like money or status But what really motivates you, is the liking. Money doesn’t mean anything by itself. Status doesn’t mean anything without your liking it. And eventually, you cannot consciously decide to be motivated. You cannot consciously decide to ‘like’. Try it if you, well… like Read the full article…

14. Is This Me, or Is It My Brain?

I use my brain, but who is ‘I’ without a brain? Is a brain an instrument of ‘I’? If this is the case, then is ‘I’ a kind of homunculus that is present somewhere in a separate box in the brain? In the Middle Ages it was thought that this was indeed the case. For Read the full article…

12. What Did Pavlov’s Dogs Know?

Who was being conditioned: the dogs or Pavlov? The premise of conditioning Conditioning counts on a simple perspective upon the unconscious, as a collection of mental reflex-arcs. A kind of black box between Stimulus and Response which is hardly worth the effort to be opened. So, in the world of conditioning, one does not bother. Read the full article…

Having ‘Control’ and Letting Go of It

I think of Jonathan Livingston Seagull (in case you don’t know him, long live the Internet). I think of wings. I think of a huge sense of freedom. Therein too lies control, be it of a very different dimension than in the phrase ‘I have everything under control’. It’s less evident. People do sometimes mind Read the full article…

Difference between Fear and Anxiety

Very briefly: fear is concrete – anxiety is symbolic. One can have fear of a lion just escaped from the zoo, or of the sound of approaching footsteps along a dark and lonely street in a strange city. The object of fear is always readily nameable. The fear itself is always readily relatable to by Read the full article…

Daydreaming: Time Well Spent!

We – almost – all daydream at least once a day, shifting our attention from the external world to internal mentation. This wouldn’t be so if not very important. Why? Using brain scans such as fMRI, scientist discovered the neural basis of daydreaming, being a set of brain structures which turn on in between cognitive Read the full article…

Group Thinking

The French term ‘pensée unique’ is frequently used for what is actually ‘pensée de groupe’ (group thinking). This is a human inclination with dire consequences but which can be overcome through proper support and personal effort. This is related to a quite natural human inclination. In many cases, your brain (thus: you) doesn’t readily like Read the full article…

A Symbol for the Deeper Self

Religions often find the use of symbols very important, not only in stories but also physically: one uses statues of wood or stone, special ‘sacred spaces’ with an altar, incense and the like. There is also a community of people, who come together at certain times: these are ‘symbols’ too, if they are meaningful for Read the full article…

Autosuggestion Changes Your Brain

Something that may hold someone back from really being able to put faith in  the influence of autosuggestion on the body, is the idea: psyche is abstract – how can this have an impact on the physical, concrete body? This is a question that’s on many people’s minds since long and probably many people will Read the full article…

Expansion of Consciousness

Curious how so many different worlds can live in one word People talk often about expansion of consciousness as something that is quite the opposite from what is my understanding of it. At the very least, I think, it is interesting to clarify this distinction. Because AURELIS is about expansion of consciousness from a to Read the full article…

Subconceptual Processing in Health and Healing (From My PhD Thesis)

People worldwide face enormous healthcare problems for which the more resources we focus on solving them, the worse they become. Many solutions give temporary relief, followed by further deterioration. [see About ‘Subconceptual’] Some examples are depression, obesity, psycho-somatic disorders and drug addiction. Looking at pharmaceutical drugs. In spite of the general view that these cure Read the full article…

The Distinction Between ‘Ego’ and ‘Total Self’ is Difficult to Grasp

… and it’s infinitely interesting (trying) to grasp it It can also fluctuate greatly. One moment ‘you have it’ and the other you lost it again Like the sun that is sometimes shining through the clouds. Knowing that the sun always keeps shining behind the clouds may give confidence. Sometimes one sees clearly the mote Read the full article…

The Story of Ego

The evolution from ‘I’ into ‘ego’ has been very gradual, as has been the appearance of consciousness. In a way, the latter is central to the former. [see: The Story of ‘I’. The present text is its continuation.] Consciousness has not been developed for the sake of ‘ego’. Nevertheless, it was indispensable for the appearance Read the full article…

The Story of ‘I’

Animals have an ‘I’ from the moment they know the difference between moving and sensing that something else is moving. In terms of evolution, this ‘I’ came way before ‘ego’. Say: some 700 million years before which is according to very subjective criteria of course. One could argue for much longer. Weirdness of ‘I’ Many Read the full article…

What is Not Coming from You, Flattens You

‘Flattens you’ in the sense of being apathic, without depth. E.g. suppose a mother gives kisses on a sore place and she continues to ‘mother’ the pain with superficial attention for a long time -> she sensitizes her child for pain by not learning it how to deal with pain from itself. The mother thinks Read the full article…

You Are an Organism, Not a Mechanism.

The difference is relevant to every aspect of life. You are an organism, not a mechanism. Though this seems the most obvious insight, still we mostly act as if the reverse is true. Even the working of the brain used to be understood as some kind of hydraulic system with pressure valves and the like, Read the full article…

70. A vision on mind

I think ‘vision’ has been interesting to me since I opened my eyes. Human vision of course. But later on ‘artificial vision’ too: how can a computer learn to really see the world? What does this mean : to see the world? Can one say that a camera sees the world? No, of course not. Read the full article…

You Are Free Even while Freedom Is an Illusion

Freedom has multiple aspects. In a previous post, I described how you can feel free [see: ‘In Defense of Free Will’]. While this is a nice feeling, are you indeed really free? A determinist says: no. Does determinism annihilate free will? Let’s define determinism for now as the idea that everything in the universe is Read the full article…

In Defense of Free Will

Free will as generally conceived, appears to be an illusion. This doesn’t mean that we ‘have no free will’. [see also: ‘You Are Free Even while Freedom Is an Illusion’] The notion of personal ‘free will’ is probably as old as humanity. Only God or some devil – or a witch – might interfere and Read the full article…

67. Why the subconscious is not a sub-consciousness

Since Freud, and actually quite some time before, much has been said and written about ‘the subconscious’, in one form or another. Even so, many people still deny its existence. But if it doesn’t exist, then… ◊◊◊ who is processing millions of pieces of visual information? who is continuously coordinating all muscles? where does inspiration Read the full article…

63 Why people laugh

… for one thing only. But please, read this Sticky from beginning to end. Don’t go peeping now. We will reach the goal just in time … ◊◊◊ As you know, people laugh for many things. Most people also laugh many times each day. No other animal does this. We are the best laughers of Read the full article…

58. Has anything meaning but meaning itself?

People are in search of ‘meaning’. It’s an age-old story. Males use to be more in search of the ‘meaning of life’. Females use to be more in search of the ‘meaning of living’. The latter being: the meaningfulness of everyday circumstances. ◊◊◊ Is one more real than the other? No. ◊◊◊ No, because actually Read the full article…

Are You Your Brain?

There is no simple answer to this question – but there is a very interesting one. Take the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci. Let’s agree this is art. Now set it on fire. What remains are ashes. Yet nothing materially has vanished. The same atoms are present as there were in the Mona Lisa. Read the full article…

46. Is there life beyond conceptual thinking?

Here’s the picture. On the one hand, we think with or by way of concepts. A concept can be anything like <tree>, <grandmother>, <character>. It is not ‘this tree’ but <tree>. The concept of <tree> can be filled in by any specific tree (called then an ‘instance’ of the concept). The concept of ‘tree’ has Read the full article…

36. Mind is a whirlpool

In 1977, a compatriot of mine, named Ilya Prigogine, received the Nobel prize for his theories about ‘dissipative structures’. Aren’t we all proud of him! ◊◊◊ The core of ‘dissipative structures’ is easily explained with an example. Mainly, when one puts enough ‘energy’ into a system, then in certain circumstances a new structure may arise Read the full article…

20. The subconscious: dustbin or city of angels?

There are two very opposing views on matters of the subconscious. As the title of this text suggests, one is rather negative and the other, well, altogether more positive. ◊◊◊ Freud is exemplar for looking at the subconscious as mainly a kind of dustbin for repressed emotions and things that in one way or another Read the full article…

About ‘Subconceptual’ (From My PhD Thesis)

The brain is continuously undergoing plastic remodeling through dynamically changing neural networks. This is about processing at the subconceptual level. [Please read first: ‘About Concepts’] Subconceptual processing (SP) deals with the way that we perform any mental action as seen in fine detail. Small elements (neurons, dendrites, synapses…)  in our brain act together to form Read the full article…

What Is Your True Self?

‘True self’ is the idea of an essence that resides in a person and that is ‘more true’ than other, more changeable parts. But is this truly real? People change with age, in body and mind. Especially at the surface, these changes can be quite visible. Then the question is logical: am I still the Read the full article…

1 Psyche and Soma, Two Sides of One Coin

‘Body-mind unity’: necessary vision for further scientific development of medicine. Psyche and soma and a lot of questions Psyche and soma: mind and body. They are both important, so we learn during our student years and also after that in and through practice. But how do we give to the psyche a proper place in Read the full article…

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