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…

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…

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…

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…

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 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…

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…