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Metaphysics 101

Not to go off on a tangent or anything, but hey... whadaya gonna do? Eh?
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Have you ever had that dream where you're suddenly naked in front of the whole class?

Well, it’s kind of been one of those lives so far for me.

So many quirks... so little time.
Every time I turn around the sound of crickets announces some new line which I've crossed without even knowing that a line was there until the tumbleweed blows past, (that's the way it happens y'know, first the crickets, then the tumbleweeds). As such this idea may get a bit rambling and off kilter before I get to the actual point, and I apologize for that, but to change it would take away from the thought process that led to it in the first place so I really can't present it any other way and, well... that's the rub now in'it?
Here's the thing.

I see things in my head.

I'm far enough into the visual end of the learning spectrum that other forms of learning just... well they just didn't really stick for me as a kid.
I also see visual snow, after-images, halos around lights, tracers and a smattering of other visual crap.
As it happens these things are fairly rare, yet no un-heard of... at least that is, if you are very well educated.
So rare in fact, that even most doctors have no clue as to what you are describing until you mention the other people you've found on the internet with similar quirks, at which point you are shuffled 'gently' yet firmly, into a hypochondriac or hallucinogen-use folder to figure it out for yourself.
There 'is' research being done on this condition but to me it seems like the absolute minimum research that could possibly be gotten away with while still keeping those who suffer from it semi-complacent.

There's very little money in it you see...
or is there?

So I start looking for other people, you know, historically, that share my traits.

Pretty slim pickins let me tell ya, especially if you're searching in English.
It's very, very rare, but also 'not' unheard of.
In fact there seems to be an entire history of individuals, seeing the things that I can see, also being capable of extraordinary mental feats, and yet... what effort is made to find people fitting this criteria at an age when knowledge of the condition would actually benefit the individuals themselves?
If my own experience alone were any indication then that answer would be, why, none at all...
...but how can that be right?
People experience the mental and sometimes visual aspects of this condition relatively early in life, so how is it that knowledge of this mental/visual gauntlet that people may themselves have to run is kept from them until well past the age that it would make a difference to the outcome of the running of said mental gauntlet?
Are not disease sufferers usually shown others like themselves who have been able to overcome their affliction once science has become aware of the pathology? Are these patients not told as much as they can absorb about any given illness they may have.
Is this an illness? If not, why then is it touted as one?

I just...???

{This may be the single most pretentious thing I have ever read, let alone written, but...}

It turns out that I have far more in common with someone like Tesla than I do with any single person I've ever met in my entire life.
The same visual abnormalities, the same running of an emotional/mental type gauntlet, same ability to build, tweak, simulate and let run-on-its-own physics demos in my head while consciously thinking of other things as a result of this perception and inward looking, yet I lack an eidetic memory and the education to make the things I see in my head a reality.
Unlike Tesla my own visualization abilities are nowhere near his par.
Although I can play this way in my mind, my own quirks are also not incapacitating to me in any way and I don't see a nervous breakdown anywhere in my near or distant future, so maybe, just maybe, the time I spent figuring out my own head rather than book learning may have been well spent rather than wasted.
Who knows?
Not anyone I've ever met that's for sure.
I just know that I'm not really diggin finding out this late in life that I'm not the only one and that, in Tesla's own words;

"Our first endeavors are purely instinctive, promptings of an imagination vivid and undisciplined. As we grow older reason asserts itself and we become more and more systematic and designing. But those early impulses, though not immediately productive, are of the greatest moment and may shape our very destinies. Indeed, I feel now that had I understood and cultivated instead of suppressing them, I would have added substantial value to my bequest to the world. But not until I had attained manhood did I realize that I was an inventor."

I couldn't have said it better myself.

The point is, you'd think that 'they' would be looking for kids who begin exhibiting the physical traits also shared by great thinkers from the past.
I mean, people seem to exalt these individuals, at least posthumously, and it strikes me as more than a little weird that, although I displayed all these abilities as a child, even scoring in the high ninetieth percentiles on mechanical reasoning/spatial relation tests in grade school while barely squeaking-by didn't register with the people who were supposed to be 'educating' me.
How is it that these smart people had never heard of such things? Could it be that they themselves were not taught about them?

This makes me wonder... if they were not taught, then why not?

Is this so rare a condition that the few individuals enduring it are not worth the effort it would take to find them?
This would appear to be the case, except that knowledge of persons with this type of condition has existed for centuries, many centuries, and the benefits reaped from teaching these people what it is they are going through would seem to outweigh the costs involved, at least from a rational perspective, when you look at some of the contributions to society made by those afflicted/gifted.

Therefore... there 'must' be children born as I was who 'were' taught about what they are capable of.
They must just not be from the walk-of-life, or race, or whatever that I happened to come from.

So... I find myself exactly where society has placed me.
Smart enough to build your house for you without screwing it up, yet effectively hamstrung if I want to make any of my ideas a reality without half-killing myself to get back the education which should have been mine in the first place.

See, 'they' still look for the next Tesla, but a controllable Tesla, and if not controllable then at least one not educated enough to be able to keep their intellectual property from being stolen.
In case you hadn't noticed, people displaying these traits tend to be somewhat naive in certain respects which makes them fairly ripe targets for the ass-wipes of the world. (makes me wonder how their wind-up-tesla program is working out for them...)

Can't be having any loose cannons on deck now can we? 'They' don't like wild cards in their little poker games.
Unfortunately that's all I got dealt.
A whole mitt-full of'em in fact, in a game that doesn't allow them to be played because, as we all know, they don't even exist, right?

It's sad.
We have unenlightened cowardly faceless hypocritical little men in power.
It makes me angry, and I don't like being angry. I spent the better part of my life acquiring some semblance of Zen through dealing with all of this shit alone and I'm not really appreciating finding out that my education was derailed not because I wasn't bright as a child, (as they would have had me believe), but because I was too bright. As in maybe off their charts bright.
Fucking bastards.
See, I've got this soft spot for kids. I just can't stand to see them hurt. I can deal just fine with about any shit you can fling my way, but finding out that I'm not alone in this and knowing that there are kids out there that are going to have to run that same gauntlet I did without so much as a heads-up from those who know exactly what I'm talking about really REALLY pisses me off.
It's distracting, frustrating, it won't let me stop thinking about it, and I won't be able to move on until there is some kind of resolution.

So, what's a quirky conflicted feller like me to do?

I can work even harder, drag my ass back to school, graduate high school in my forties and maybe get a degree or two under my belt sometime before I'm fifty. Perhaps even squeeze out an invention or three before having them ripped-off and ending my life sobbing in my cornflakes.


Another option would be to just say fuck it.
Enjoy the rest of my days in stress free ignorance. Still eating the same cornflakes mind you but without the added sodium provided by my own tears.


There was supposed to be an idea somewhere in this mess wasn’t there?
Now, what was it again?
Oh yes I remember.
It's not much of an idea, and yet...

I see it having gone down a little something like this.
<scene fades, sepia tone renaissance flashback fills screen>

The religions of the world wrested a substantial amount power from their regional monarchies where large groups of people were concerned before real science began. Someone had to provide answers. Any answers.
In order to maintain this power the masses had to be kept ignorant so the keeping of secrets began.
Men started noticing that they were being fed shite in the form of doctrine and began forming splinter groups to share any new knowledge and keep the religious faction du jour or local monarchy from publicly slaughtering them in order to be kept from power, and so more keeping of secrets.
Suddenly there exists this massive chasm between the two clashing factions which, while seeming to be diametrically opposed on the surface, are both seeking the same answers from two different directions but both working to squeeze the monarchy of power for some foothold which will let them eradicate the other.
So now science begins to take over.
Their doctrine is provable and reproducible and the ballance of power begins to shift.
The problem is, they find themselves in the same damned boat as the previous power-mongers.
In other words having to keep the masses suppressed enough to retain this new-found power.

It's like some un-breakable rule chain:
Groups take on a life of their own.
Self preservation of this new entity becomes paramount.
Original mission of group changes to accomodate new directives.
Ends begin to justify any means.
Group becomes corrupt.

So the church wants its saints... but not living ones. Heavens no. Living saints might speak up or something silly like that and accidentally shine a little light up their seemingly holy asses. Can't have the riff-raff knowing that anyone can attain such a status.
No, no, dead saints are much better, much easier to deal with, and then their words can then be twisted to mean just about anything at all once they are no longer around to protest.

Seems the same with early science.
They still want their geniuses sure, but science isn't just about the learning and sharing of knowledge anymore. Can't have the riff-raff knowing that it is possible to develop their own genius.
That you don't have to be born with it.
He who holds the latest tech holds the power right?, and how do you keep power?
Why by suppressing the masses of course and so science becomes in essence the very thing it was created to fight in the first place; the bringer of ignorance for those who might actually be able to attain that same enlightenment upon which these groups were founded in the first place, and a relegation of enlightenment itself to the status of myth or legend.
It doesn't even exist in our 'modern' society, now does it?

I'm daresay that if Mr. Galilei were alive today, and could interact with those entrusted with the continuation of his vision, he would likely bitch-slap the lot of them.

These concepts are easily teachable, a three year old can learn them:

-You have two minds in your head. An awake mind and a sleeping mind.
-Learning to interface them and to dream lucidly while still awake is an actual ability.
-If enough of us learn this ability we just might be able to pull ourselves out of the shit we're in as a species.

So that's the idea.
Teach it to them already!

...and I'll see if I can develop a taste for salty cornflakes.


Hey look!
A tumbleweed.

The Trouble with Physics http://en.wikipedia...rouble_with_Physics
Deals with the issue of conformity vs non-conformity in academia. [wagster, Jul 07 2012]


       What makes graduating high school and college so hard for you? Do you think it can be fixed? Do you find it easier to self-teach things you're interested it?   

       As for the idea, what do you mean by "to dream lucidly while still awake is an actual ability"? The way I've understood it, dreaming lucidly is being conscious while sleeping, not dreaming while being conscious. If it is a skill that _exists_ can a "normal" person really accomplish it without modifying their brain chemistry?   

       EDIT: //Sounds normal to me.// +1
DIYMatt, Jul 01 2012

FlyingToaster, Jul 01 2012

       Hmmm, I think you overestimate the power of vested interest groups to oppress and control you while underestimating the effect of general apathy, indifference and (especially) inertia. The teachers, education system and people in power probably weren't out to deliberately leave you out or screw you over - even if that was the outcome.   

       Not fitting into the convenient mold has always been, and will always be, difficult. Any system which strives to achieve a level of 'good enough' is going to target the big fat middle section of the bell curve and woe betide those left stranded at either end. From my reading of your posts and annotations, it is apparent that you, at least, are on the r/h side of the bell curve which, as tough as it may be for you, is still better than being at the l/h side.   

       I wouldn't worry about the high school stuff unless you have a very specific and targetted reason to get that diploma and degrees. If you have a great job waiting which requires that specific bit of paper or it is a personal goal/challenge that you set yourself - then fine. If it is just to conform with nebulous societal expectations then forget it.   

       Find what interests you and which you might be good at, then do that. If it is inventing, then interview a few patent lawyers who have already done all that degree-getting slog and pick one that will help you keep from getting ripped off. You may or may not make a living from your inventing but at least you will be more satisfied than if you don't try. Still time for the more mundane tasks of bringing in cash through house-building or whatever.   

       You, my friend, aren't destined to follow the well-beaten path so, unfortunately, that means lots of trailblazing, bushbashing, dead ends and scratches with the possibility of no reward at the end. Accept that fact and press on. Or not. The important thing is to decide one way or the other.
AusCan531, Jul 01 2012

       You left out option c, the Troy Hurtibise option: Spend all your money on increasingly dubious inventions, don't let anybody else see them, drive away your family, and get a PBS special out of it!
DIYMatt, Jul 01 2012

       I skipped a lot of this, looking for the Idea part, because I've posted some metaphysical stuff here before, that got the MFD for being too theoretical.   

       So, it seems to me that you are talking about the conscious mind and the subconscious mind (and neglecting the superconscious mind). There are plenty of self-hypnosis books about the first two, and some are about the third as well (they say you, the conscious mind, has to go through the subconscious to contact the superconscious).   

       Anyway, if that assessment is right, then this isn't particularly original.
Vernon, Jul 01 2012

       //cornflakes mind you but without the added sodium provided by my own tears.//   

       This is a halfbakery idea. A food product with no salt, but on the packaging it has things written that once read cause the reader to cry into the food product adding salt but not increasing the amount in the body.
rcarty, Jul 01 2012

       Society is to blame for what's wrong with your life? Those people unable to discern your brilliance have ruined your life? Say that were so, it's only true to a point; after that, what you are is what you made of yourself. I didn't feel any of the things you describe but I realised a few years ago that I had more potential and I jumped off a few diving boards to realise it; no fuss, no frills, no blame - just decided to turn things around. Today, I'm a very different person with some things in my history I can be pretty proud of; some tough times too. I hate all that coffee-table self-help life therapy crap but in the quiet times between awake and asleep, a little self-analysis and some determination to grow a serious pair worked for me. Pick your own diving boards and go to it.
Phrontistery, Jul 01 2012

       I wouldn't call this metaphysics and in fact probably the word "metaphysics" has been tortured so much by New Age types that it probably should be put out of its misery humanely and finally given a decent burial. This probably comes down to the marketable madness principle. We've all been given our seven scrabble letters and we have to make the most of them. Whereas everyone else might have an English set and you might have a Russian one, some of your letters probably bear at least a passing resemblance to what's already on the board. Someone has just made the word "WIND". One of your letters is a Cyrillic "sh" sound which looks a bit like a W and another is their O. Besides that you have a number of other tiles which are less useful, like that "bi" thing and the "shch", so don't put those down. However just because everyone else is using the wrong scrabble set needn't mean you can't participate in the game.
nineteenthly, Jul 01 2012

       ooh, so many metaphors, so little understanding!
dentworth, Jul 01 2012

       //what do you mean by "to dream lucidly while still awake is an actual ability"? The way I've understood it, dreaming lucidly is being conscious while sleeping, not dreaming while being conscious. If it is a skill that _exists_ can a "normal" person really accomplish it without modifying their brain chemistry?//   

       Lucid dreaming 'is' consciousness while sleeping. This is the opposite of that. I can build detailed gizmos in my head, run them through scenarios with physics that mimc our own almost exactly, let those scenarios play out on their own while I think other thoughts, and when I think on them again later they are still running and none of the original detail is lost... even years later.
I don't know what else to call that.

       Yes I believe that a normal person can learn to do this without altering their brain chemistry.
I wasn't born being able to visualise the interplay of shockwaves or how a gyroscope within a gyroscope within a gyroscope will react to various stimulus or any of the other experiments I've got running in the back of my head while I wait for the answers to pop out.
I don't think I am autistic it's just something I learned to do because I went way, way too far into my own head as a kid. Now that I'm out again I do things that 'apparently' don't exist.

       //Hmmm, I think you overestimate the power of vested interest groups to oppress and control you while underestimating the effect of general apathy, indifference and (especially) inertia.//   

       Perhaps. I don't think that I personally have been oppressed. I think that vested interest groups have oppressed and shaped an ignorance of what is possible in society as a whole.
If a thing is thought of by a society as nonexistent, that thing will then not be taught to its children.

       //Accept that fact and press on. Or not. The important thing is to decide one way or the other.//   

       Made my decision a long time ago. That's the only way I've made it even this far.
Thank you for your input.
Pressing on.

       //(they say you, the conscious mind, has to go through the subconscious to contact the superconscious).   

       Anyway, if that assessment is right, then this isn't particularly original.//   

       I've never heard the term superconscious, (some light reading, thanks) I think the original part is in the teaching of these states of mind to young children so that they will have a firm handle on it if they ever need to come to terms with a blending of their conscious and subconscious minds. You see the end results of children who lose their grip on that handle; bi-polar, schizophrenia, aspergers, tourettes, ocd, etc, etc, etc.
They lose their grip because they are not even taught that there is a handle in the first place until so late in life that any damage is irreversable.
(Yay, bring on the pills!)

       // A food product with no salt, but on the packaging it has things written that once read cause the reader to cry into the food product adding salt but not increasing the amount in the body.//   

       BLAURGH! <kidding>   

       Love you too [21Q]... <kisses> Don't bogart all the condescension now.   

       //Society is to blame for what's wrong with your life? Those people unable to discern your brilliance have ruined your life? Say that were so, it's only true to a point; after that, what you are is what you made of yourself.//   

       That's not at all what I mean. I'm good with my lot in life, I'll just never know what I might have been able to contribute and neither will you.
No, what I am saying is that that there are learnable abilities of the mind which are being kept dormant within us on a society-wide scale because we've all been convinced that they don't exist.
It's not me that they are screwing in the ear... it's your kids and your grandkids.

       [nineteenthly] I don't have a better word for it.
If a thing is true it should be taught.

       Hi [dentworth] You're right, my understanding is little and my metaphors are mixed... but my heart's in the right place. : ]   

       Wouldn't lucid dreaming be something which should be avoided at all costs while awake though?
nineteenthly, Jul 01 2012

       //Wouldn't lucid dreaming be something which should be avoided at all costs while awake though?//   

       I don't see why?
They are seperate. Since I've learned to keep them seperate it just lets me think with two distinct minds simultaneously... and one of these minds is visually eidetic. (is that even a thing?)

       If I am able to enter a state of dreaming while still awake then I have access to the ability of the subconscious mind to create a near real dreamscape.
Since this dreamscape is based entirely on my perception of the physics and reality I've been witness to, then the experiments I run which are successful in that dreamscape are very very likely to be succeessful out here in meat-space.

       Once I've accessed that part of my mind and run an experiment I can then forget about it. It runs on its own from then on and I can check back in on it any time I want.   

       This is something I taught myself to do.
How can it not be an ability?

       [bigsleep] visual snow has nothing whatsoever to do with the eyes. I don't seem to have a problem with low light but only because I have no previous frame of reference to compare my sight to. I don't remember seeing any other way. Low light makes the static much more apparent. People seeing the static later in life can't make themselves see past it. I have always done this.   

       //And on further education (or regaining the things you've forgotten), maybe consulting a tutor once a week to keep steering you in the right direction is a better option for learning at your own rate.//   

       I was thinking that as well. First I had to work on freeing up time and money enough to be able.
Almost there.

       I keep anno-ing between your annos.   

       I might very well be be over-glamourising it.

       Lucid dreaming may not be the same as dreaming, since it has been claimed that dreams are not experiences but false memories. The tests used for lucid dreaming are intended to avoid doing something dangerous if one turns out to be awake and mobile. Dreaming and wakefulness seem to be two different relationships with or possibly forms of reality, depending on how much you believe in the possibility of objectivity, so it's not like you're projecting something onto a visual field or creating sounds or tactile sensations, whatever, on a blank canvas if it turns out that lucid dreaming really is a form of dreaming. If it isn't, there are situations where eidetic projection could be harmful - you might not see something you need to. An extreme example would be projecting a non-existent empty road while driving along a motorway.   

       Schizophrenics dream while awake. As such, that's merely a label and open to argument, and such considerations as the wisdom of madness and sane reactions to an insane world are important, but the chances are that it will alter your relationship with society, because you will then be on the other side of the enclosure which we use to protect ourselves from fear of the unknown. However, once you're there, you might find it useful and a refreshing perspective. There are also presumably people who dream while awake who are not schizophrenic, but they probably protect themselves by keeping quiet about it or by adopting a relaxed approach to the content of the voices they hear and the like.   

       Incidentally, your experience sounds very personally familiar.
nineteenthly, Jul 01 2012

       I don't think any two people see the world in exactly the same way. Our brains are more interpretative tools than they are mere processors.   

       I like the fact, for instance, that I see colours differently to the way my wife does. No, I'm not colour-blind but I perceive red and purple in a different way to her. It doesn't particularly affect her ability as an artist. In fact, she's one of the few artists I know who makes a very good living from being one.   

       Your attempts to get this message through to the medical establishment is doomed, my friend. They're too busy just coping with the minutiae of mainstream issues such as addiction and mental disorders (both of which are far more common than we believe) to deal with someone who sees more than the average person, in everything they look at or do.   

       Regard yourself as particularly blessed or gifted and use your ability to generate art, as you will, or to sit in a corner and blow bubbles. The world really isn't thinking about you, regardless of your suspicions.   

       I'm not particularly hopeful we'll ever resolve our problems, as a species, [2fries]. There are just too many of them and too few critical thinkers.   

       There's a proverb, whose origins I don't know:   

       "Be kind, for everyone is fighting a great battle."
UnaBubba, Jul 02 2012

       //They are actually more logical models.//   

       Fascinating. Is this like a logic tree? I always thought of that as the 'if this, then this' game.   

       //Incidentally, your experience sounds very personally familiar.//   

       I am honestly very sorry to hear that.
Nobody should have to go that far into their own heads in order to get back out again. That is what it takes though isn't it?
Looking back, what do you think your odds were of getting out of your own head again on your own?
Did you get out alone?
Did you even get all the way out again?
I know that I didn't.

       I agree with your assessment about schizophrenics dreaming while still awake. They seem unable to shut off the flow of subconscious chatter, and whatever emotion is evoked by their daydream-of-the-moment carries over into their dealings with the reality around them.
Whatever this thing I do is, it lets me dip into that dream-state consciously, set a dream and get back out again without meditation, medication, or even a whole lot of effort anymore.
Evolutionarily speaking, what possible purpose could spontaneous mental illness serve unless an organism was attempting and failing at a synthesis of the two states of consciousness? It just makes sense to me.
I don't just run a single scenario and let it play out before the next one. I run new ones all the time. The subconscious does not seem to have a cap on the number of simultaneous dreams it is able to crunch. I've never counted but I may have thousands of them, (hundreds anyway), on the go while I try to fill in enough gaps in my knowlge for them to play themselves out.
I just get them running, drop them in the 'ol consciousness stream, and wait for them to float back. Sometimes it's years later, and sometimes they have taken on aspects which I could never anticipate and need to research in order to understand.
The subconscious mind is powerful beyond our imagination and I had no clue that these games I play in my head were anything more than delusion before stumbling into this place and learning enough to see if they held water or not.
There are no voices, smells, or textures for me.
The visualizations do not overlap my waking vision unless I concentrate on them purposely. When they surface on their own it is more like remembering that song title you were searching your memory for a week earlier and having it randomly pop into your head while talking with your mother-in-law or something totally unrelated.
It does not disrupt my daily life one whit.
It's just this thing that I taught myself to do.

       Which means theoretically this skill could be taught to others... except that it doesn't exist.
That no one ever has a freakin clue what I'm on about doesn't mean I'm not right.

       I've only had a couple of lucid dreams that I remember and those weren't memories. In one I was freefalling in my underwear (something I've never done). I look up, see that there's no plane, realize that I'm dreaming and get to control the dream from that point on.   

       Whatever this thing is that I do just sort of cuts out the middle-man and lets me do that same thing while I'm awake and... (I realize the jury is still out this one), rational.   

       At least I hope so anyway.   

       //Your attempts to get this message through to the medical establishment is doomed, my friend. They're too busy just coping with the minutiae of mainstream issues such as addiction and mental disorders (both of which are far more common than we believe) to deal with someone who sees more than the average person, in everything they look at or do.//   

       I think that teaching the various mental states to children while they are still able to shape their own minds will alleviate much of the medical burden of both mental illness and addiction.
Forewarned 'is' forearmed.

       Um, so... that happened.
You think that I'm looking for pity with this posting?


       Just teach the kids about their own minds already and this shit our grandads caused will fix itself.   

       Give them that. Keep your pity.   

       I'm not asking for help with my own mind. I'll work through it on my own.
I'm asking for help with your kids and their kids' minds.

       Our grandads and great grandads owe them that much, they're just no longer around to pay up. So... what, we stick our grandkids with the tab?
Seems to be the current trend.

       Steady as she goes then is it?   

       Hey! Where'd your last anno go [bigsleep]?   

       Not really cricket to yank a rug out from under a fellow like that.   

Apt though.

       I see. Did you not just delete an anno I respoded to?   

       So why is it something not taught?
Why is it something not encouraged in our young?

       If it's so friggin common, why did I have to learn it on my own?   

       Good answer.   

       //Just because you (or I), in your head, can realize some stuff doesn't mean it has any bearing on reality, the actual reality where people neglect anything thats not paying their own way.//   

       Maybe one affects the other.   

       //Because some things are just best discovered on your own. Do you suppose we should also teach our children how to masturbate (another useful, pleasurable skill) at an early age?//   

       I really can't believe you just compared comprehension with wanking.
Is that one of those reducto ad absurdum arguments.
It certainly nails the absurdum part.
You take abilities of the single most important organ, the one which defines us as a species, and compare the learning of it with playing with your willie.
I don't even...
We 'do' have our work cut out for us don't we?

       [simpleton] that is amazing.
//When a correct answer is determined, then a voice-like solution is presented to cement the conclusion. And there are several of these processes going on at once, and several presumably correct solutions are generally presented.//
Absolutely fascinating. I've only ever experienced auditory hallucination right on the cusp of sleep, and even then hardly ever.
Your experience sounds very close to what I am talking about but you hear answers where I see them.
The conscious mind is only able to think in individual trains of thought, while the subconscious has no such limitation. It can be any number of minds as it requires.
That alone is mind boggling enough but what gets me is how it is somehow able to bubble up answers beyond the limits of my own knowledge. You would think it would have to be bound by the confines of the conscious minds' experience. This does not seem to be the case.

       I find it very hard to believe that the harnessing of this potential is not desirable enough to be taught in schools.
And that teaching it to kids might also stand a decent chance of stemming the tide of mental illnesses 'before' they happen, is just... I don't know what, but I kind of feel a little bit like puking right now.

       Listen, [2 fries]. Yes, you had an ill-fitting up-bringing. I'm guessing many of us here did one way or another... but, no, it wasn't because of some sinister conspiracy of grandfathers, bishops and sell-out scientists. Many bad things happen essentially by mistake, and even the most powerful vested interests often struggle to sustain interest in their vests.   

       I can't offer better than [nineteenthly]'s advice based on cyrillic scrabble.
pertinax, Jul 02 2012

       [pertinax ]That may be true but it also may not be.
I am not looking to place blame for my childhood. I know it sounds that way.

       When words for a condition can be found in foreign cultures dating back many centuries yet remain unabsorbed by a society known for it's absorbtion of the knowledge other cultures... it makes me wonder if you might not be mistaken.
That's all.

       Children are not taught about their own minds at an age when their brains are still plastic enough to change.
It's not because they are incapable of understanding the rudiments.

       The downside is negligible and the potential gain is massive.
So... why are they not then?

       Do you have kids?
Phrontistery, Jul 03 2012

       But then where would the world get its Halfbakers?
Alterother, Jul 03 2012

       //Do you have kids?//   

       Yes [Phronistery] I have a thirteen year old daughter and a twenty two year old son I that I didn't get to meet until he was five.   

       //What we need to teach our children is not how to dream effectively while awake, but to not BE dreaming while awake, keep their heads out of the clouds, and pay attention to the here and now.//
//If everyone is special, then nobody is, and it's not fair to take that away from them. There aren't that many Halfbakers. I kinda like it that way.//

       These statements me sad [21Quest].
If the entirety of our species were populated by halfbakers, then there would be no more problems, only solutions waiting to be solved. We would eventually reach a state where we are looking for the most obscure and esoteric problems imaginable to solve because we'd have run out of the easy ones very quickly.

       //They're sheep with simple minds.//
Don't Ewe (Forget About Me).

       The thing is, that people at the halfbakery are only special insofar as (a) they tend to favour well-spelled written communication and (b) they have either a surfiet of free time or lax employers. We are no more beautiful and unique snowflakes than any one else. However, that does not mean that halfbakers are not unique amongst themselves and the wider teeming masses. The position that we are the same decaying organic matter as everything else is not incompatible with the position that everyone is (a) different and (b) special and worth cherishing, indeed, the compatability of the two is what makes life succeed.   

       As to the idea, I am taking it as another recognition of the inherent and, to my mind, inescapable, incompatability of the human diversity and a state-mandated education system. The requirement to try your best applies at both receiver and provider ends of the education colon.   

       As to [2 fries]'s mind: well done (a) for making it this far and (b) for making it this far with your humour and composure intact.
calum, Jul 03 2012

       // If the entirety of our species were populated with Halfbakers //   

       - There would be no war, because everybody would be standing around on the battlefield comparing weapons and discussing ways to improve them   

       - There would be no such thing as accountancy   

       - The #1 cause of death worldwide would be accidental explosion   

       - Freight and passenger-service trebuchet would have made the need for national borders obsolete long ago.   

       - Societal classes would be structured by individual obsession (i.e. "I thought he was a Gearhead? I never would have thought he'd marry a Stargazer.")   

       - There would be fewer of us, because we'd better understand the perils of overpopulation, but we'd still be going hungry, because we'd spend more time trying to improve agriculture than actually engaging in it.   

       And, finally:   

       - The Halfbakery itself wouldn't actually exist.
Alterother, Jul 03 2012

       I think it would; things pass unnoticed for two reasons - either because they're very small or because they're very big. My money's on the latter.
Phrontistery, Jul 03 2012

       Shirley someone would then create a website called halfbreakery.   

       I'd change the title to Saltier Low Sodium, the first word being a pun on salt tear, then in the Summary line I would write "A low sodium food product you salt with your own tears". And then the rest is just writing on the box.   

       I think another important thing is to avoid the human initiative raybeam at all costs. My knowledge of this object is only speculative but I think constantly being bombarded by messages like the Edison Twins, and that crazy hair guy from Back to the Future, makes us want to aspire to some of these images, and pursue some of those revealed possibilities. Nobody really has to do a damn thing except takener easy.
rcarty, Jul 05 2012

       What on Earth was I thinking when I posted this?
<smacks forehead>
CERN flakes... crying in my CERN flakes, yes that would have been ever so smashing.

       _Were_ you on Earth when you posted this?
Alterother, Jul 06 2012

       As much as I ever am.   

       From behind my own monocle I see this as a very human expression in a sort of very artificial, sterile, minimalist social environment. That's also why it may seem jarring, like seeing a naked person just about anywhere where you havent paid them to be. The best part is you can't be thought any less of because you were already reduced down to your very minimal social essence for usership. The problem, if any, is that you will now be thought more of, the picture is now more complete, and I for one can no longer live in my deluded ethereal world of imaginings where you were actually a couple deep fryed spuds standing somewhat distant to the shadow of a takeout container.
rcarty, Jul 06 2012

       I see.
Since sticking myself with this ridiculously unweildy username I've pictured myself as the happy-meal itself... just waiting on a couple of missing pommes frites to be complete.

       Potato... potahto.   

       A meal's capability to elicit happiness is not determined by the number of fries. Even if it were, the margin for error is surely greater than a couple.
tatterdemalion, Jul 06 2012

       Your username is one of The Good Fairy Jenny's favorites, [2 fries]. I hope that helps.
Alterother, Jul 07 2012

       The margin for error is HUGE, always has been.   

       TGFJ is pretty cool with me too. She sounds schnazzy.   

       Whoa, my bad. Edited... for her pleasure.   

       She is pleased.   

       Which is a good thing.   

       For everyone in the tri-state area.
Alterother, Jul 07 2012

       The function of education is 50% to teach kids to conform and 50% to teach some useful stuff to them - I'm not saying this is good or bad, just that it's true. As a society we don't actually need a load of geniuses, and in fact a lot of people are more interested in happy than in clever.   

       This generally works quite well, except in reserach and academia where we actually need a fair amount of geniuses (non-conforming thinkers) but are supplied by the education system with a lot of well-educated academics (conforming thinkers).   

       Lee Smolin looks at this issue and some others in his analysis of how physics lost its way [link].
wagster, Jul 07 2012

       Smart-stupid people and stupid-smart people. Reality augmented glasses really needs a prisoners dillemma overlay. And possibly a spellcheker.
rcarty, Jul 07 2012

       Hey [wags].
//As a society we don't actually need a load of geniuses, and in fact a lot of people are more interested in happy than in clever.//
How do we know that? Not to be flippant but do we really 'know' that?

       I believe the opposite to be true.
Almost anything I wanted to learn about normal social human interactions I had to learn by extrapolation. (I am not lying when I say that I did not begin puberty until the tail end of my nineteenth year of life, and I'm not bitching about it. It's just the way it was.)
My mind wasn't formed yet by the time I was out of school and busting my ass. The only way I had to understand people was to pretend to be them for short periods of time in my head... to attempt to think like them so I could figure out why they did the things that they did.
If you practice this for long enough you'll start to dial it in eerily close to the mark. Just ask any good poker player. The side effect of this is that I can no longer 'not' put myself in others' shoes.

       I can't harm a friggin fly.
I've already wondered what it's like to be in the flys head before I can get to the swatter.

       I have a hard time picturing a society of people unable to use one another being a bad thing.
Maybe it's just me.

       Alls I know is that if you keep a thing in the dark and feed it bullshit, then you already know what crop you're going to get.   

       //teach kids to conform//
That's not a bad idea, per se, depending on what they're "conforming" to: History, English (in respect as both a cultural background and a vehicle for clear communication), Law, and a smattering of other Subjects hopefully churn out individuals that can function effectively in a society.

       //As a society we don't actually need a load of geniuses//
sp. "genii" and what you mean to say is "current societies don't know what to do with a load of geniuses". Load of crap of course: put them to work diverting societies' penchant of trashing the planet into other channels, exploring the universes, etc.
FlyingToaster, Jul 07 2012

       Yes, but somebody still has to do the heavy lifting.
Alterother, Jul 07 2012

       So we multi-task, what else is new?
Many hands, small work right?

       Here's my math.   

       Smart people have fewer babies.
We're all dead this generation.
Next generation can be small, and smart, without a mass slaughter and a slow painful in-bred devolution of those left over.
Whodafuk else is gonna do it?
You tell me.

       You guys are the smart ones.
I'm just the naked jay-walkin dude remember.

Don't try using the tumbleweeds to wipe your ass with. I tried it once and, I just... I don't recomend it.
No fun.

       //words for a condition can be found in foreign cultures//   

       OK, I'll bite. Name some.   

       I don't mean "Name some, and then I'll rubbish them gratuitously". I'm genuinely curious.
pertinax, Jul 08 2012

       Well, let's see, I haven't found many since I am limited to using only English in my search but...
From the Greek there's Aeropsia for one (seeing the air). Ideasthesia fits as well, though only for the cognitive, not the visual aspects of... whatever this is.

       I don't know the words used in India but supposedly Krishna saw this way so they've written about these visuals since at least that time. Something to do with Kundalini, (a subconscious awakening or subconscious crisis), which sorta sounds familiar to my gut for some reason.   

       This also, from Tesla's own writings;
//In my boyhood I suffered from a peculiar affliction due to the appearance of images, often accompanied by strong flashes of light, which marred the sight of real objects and interfered with my thought and action. They were pictures of things and scenes which I had really seen, never of those I imagined. When a word was spoken to me the image of the object it designated would present itself vividly to my vision and sometimes I was quite unable to distinguish whether what I saw was tangible or not. This caused me great discomfort and anxiety… Then I instinctively commenced to make excursions beyond the limits of the small world of which I had knowledge, and I saw new scenes. These were at first very blurred and indistinct, and would flit away when I tried to concentrate my attention upon them, but by and by I succeeded in fixing them; they gained in strength and distinctness and finally assumed the concreteness of real things. I soon discovered that my best comfort was attained if I simply went on in my vision farther and farther, getting new impressions all the time, and so I began to travel—of course, in my mind. Every night (and sometimes during the day), when alone, I would start on my journeys—see new places, cities and countries—live there, meet people and make friendships and acquaintances and, however unbelievable, it is a fact that they were just as clear to me as those in actual life and not a bit less intense in their manifestations//


       Try to tell me nobody's heard of this shit before.
Try to tell 'me' that it's not real. I just finished tightrope walking it. I know better.

       Meanwhile you've got citizens spontaneously seeing as though they're on acid, unable to think clearly because their brains are fixed and they have no pathways for the extra input, descending into hypochondria because none of their doctors have a clue.   

       A heads up gentlemen. Is it really so much to ask?   

       There's a whole crop like me on the horizon boys, some of you already know that, and we ain't so bad, but you'd best pull your heads outta the sand and make some room... or your kids and grandkids are going to resent this generation more than you can possibly imagine.   

       Heh, even more than "I" can possibly imagine.   

       //Not to be flippant but do we really 'know' that?//   

       No, you can't ever "know" something that subjective. I'll stand by my opinion about not needing a lot of genii for a functioning society. As far as many people regarding happy as a more important goal than clever, I'm not sure about that. But they probably should!
wagster, Jul 08 2012

       You really don't get it do you?   

       Here's how it goes down.
You awake one morning and never, ever-again, for the rest of your fucking life, see as though you are not on an hallucinogenic drug.
Oh trust me, your co-workers will Love hearing 'all' about it.
It'll be great, you have, like, no idea how great it is. It's, it's like.... oh, jeez, if I had to pick a single word, I suppose that word would be, OVERWHELMING!.
It'll just like, whelm the living shit outta you.
Oh the fun!

       Never had to deal with that visual transition myself because, as I said previously, I was born this way, it does however make it a little easier for me to put myself into the mind-set of those recently gifted/afflicted with whateverthefuckthisis.
Please, allow me to give you a preview.
No, no,
I insist.

       You awake seeing in tv satic/ tracers/ halos/ auras...
y'know...those old chestnuts,
there 'are' no answers for you...
Then your subconscious mind, (y'know... the one in control of all the shit you just don't ever seem to need to think about but so arrogantly claim as your own), decides to flex its muscles a little bit, just shortly after 'it' decides, (without your consent btw), to wake the fuck up.

       'You' now make peace with 'it'.   

       You make peace... or it eats you whole and you, Yes Even You, could end up pushing a shopping cart at the end of your days...
y'know, if you can find one by then that is.

       You think you're immune?
any of you?
You think your genetic line doesn't have the seeds for whateverthefuckthisis buried somewhere in its code?
Guess again.

       Hey! I know what to do.   

       Why... lets just shoot the messenger of course.
It's 'SO' simple.
That'll make it all better. After all it 'alway's has in the past...

       Any of us can handle lookin under the bed [bigsleep]?
You gonna be able to handle being dragged under it?

Directed by M. Night Shayamalan...

       Been there, done that, bought the t'shirt m'self.   

       'I' think it's pretty cool... but for some strange reason it makes me look naked when I wear it.
What the fuck's with that then eh?

       Jay-walkers new clothes?..   


       Oh the fun!   

       Sometimes you just have to dismiss the dismissive [2 fries].
AusCan531, Jul 09 2012

       //spontaneously seeing as though they're on acid//   

       Have you read Huxley's essays "The Doors of Perception" and "Heaven and Hell"? You might find that some of the material there rings a bell.
pertinax, Jul 09 2012

       There are people with terminal illnesses who don't whine as much as this. Get over yourself.
Phrontistery, Jul 09 2012

       // Get over yourself. //   

       There are entire schools of philosophy that can be effectively summarized in those three words.
Alterother, Jul 09 2012

       Whining is it now?   

       Oh you (obviously) don't know me very well.   

If a child of yours comes to you one day saying things oddly familiar to the things I have described, then will you say that to them too?

       I've been over myself for a very, very long time.
If I cared what you thought of me I wouldn't have posted this.
'You'... can go piss up a roap for all I care.

       I'm trying to give your kids the heads-up I never had through any of you 'normal people' receptive enough to listen.   

If a kid of yours comes to you and says, "I see in dots." or "I see molecules and atoms." please don't piss on them the way you just pissed on me [phrontistery].
It makes you part of the problem.

       You don't want to be part of the problem.   

       This is really coming across as raving now, possibly influenced by alcohol. I'm not sure that is your intention [2 fries] but it's what it has come to.   

       Perhap it's time to shut it down and delete. Nothing of use is coming from it, and I can't be the only one wondering what you expect us to do with this information.   

       I wrote before (and deleted) about whether you've consulted about a mental illness diagnosis. As it seems even more evident now, I'll mention again. Your "preview" above smacks of schizophrenia, and you'd be making a mistake not to consider that possibility.
tatterdemalion, Jul 10 2012

       I am sorry you think that.   

       Mental illness has always been a possibility. I've seen many people descend into madness and I don't believe schizophrenia to be my own condition. (though I wouldn't would I?) Studying insanity in others was the only way I learned enough about the mind to stay on my own tightroap.
I'm the same happy-go-lucky guy I was when I waltzed in here, I just no longer think that I'm alone in having whatever condition this is.

       So rather than delete, I restate.   

       Our minds are trying to evolve something... new.
I shouldn't have to be the one to inform any of you about it.

       Think anything you want of me.   

       I do think anything I want of you, and I sort of agree with you. For some time I've had the vague feeling that I'm mentally/intellectually right on the cusp of... Something. Knowing that I have an actual clearly defined mental illness makes this harder to reconcile, but I still keep getting this sense that I'm about to obtain some greater understanding of the way things work, or an ability to intuit the mechanations of the world (and our place in it) to a greater degree than previously recorded.   

       But it's just a feeling, and if it means anything at all, it has yet to manifest or become clear, and I'm not holding my breath waiting for that.
Alterother, Jul 10 2012

       Thales of Miletus may help you. People thought he was an idiot staring into the sky all the time, until he used his accumulated knowledge of meteorology to take a speculative position on a forthcoming olive harvest. He made thereby a pile of Milesian gold staters, not because he wanted the money but just to show that he *could*. Then he went back to more interesting stuff, like wondering whether magnets had souls.   

       Also, take Gandhi's advice to "be the change you want to see in the world".
pertinax, Jul 10 2012

       I, for one, eagerly await pictures of your X-Men leotards.
RayfordSteele, Jul 10 2012

       I think whatever this feeling is has its roots in A) my inherited (my family is full of engineers and medical practioners) and proven ability to look at something and intuitively discern its function, and B) my ongoing self- education, because the more I learn, the more I seem to be able to just make these connections between different fragments of knowledge and instantly figure out why something happened or how it works, or at least come up with a good working theory. I couldn't do that a few years ago. I keep getting this sense that if I keeping learning and experiencing new things, eventually it will lead to some sort of revelation. The first intangible hints of it are tickling my brain.   

       So, yeah, [2 fries], I kind of get it. We as a species, or at least those of us who have the intellectual and imaginative capacity (posessed by all Halfbakers, though certainly not exclusively) to understand it, may be at the crest of the next wave of evolution, albeit one that will take a wierd and unprecedented form. Things like psychosis and schizophrenia may be the early failed examples of it.   

       I will not be wearing any yellow spandex, however.
Alterother, Jul 10 2012

       Can I get away with just wearing icon badges on my leather biker jacket, a la Wolverine? I'd happily embroider a large croissant and a smaller 'troubleshooter' (troublemaker?) badge on each shoulder. I'm not against the insignia at all, just the spandex.   

       Note: I say 'troubleshooter' because I frequently find myself in the situation of "I have no idea what this thing is, but I know exactly what's wrong with it and I can probably fix it." That would probably be my H-power.
Alterother, Jul 10 2012

       I believe the sense of impending revelation several of you describe is just the side effect of a well-exercised mind focused back on itself, like a video camera pointed to its own monitor. It's very interesting and difficult to comprehend and can appear very deep - but it never resolves into anything greater.   

       I also think this state of mind is much more common than it's being given credit for here. I don't think it's particularly rare at all. Perhaps the rarity lies in how many people become sentient of it.
tatterdemalion, Jul 10 2012

       My apologise to anyone offended with my... overexhuberant musings.   

       I am, frustrated more than you can know.
It is very difficult to explain things that I learned to do in my head as a kid, since I learned them in relative isolation and didn't have words for those things when I learned to do them.

       Teach the words describing preception and conscious/sub-conscious interaction to a large multicultural group of three-to-five year olds... and then just listen to them when they explain themselves. They already have the answers to the working of their own minds and what their own particular genius may be.
Don't squash it on them and it will grow on its own.
The teaching of anything mind related happens far too late in life to be of any help to those most likely to need the knowledge.

       As a thought experiment, (please indulge me, I know I've no right to ask it but...)
Imagine yourself in the mind of someone at the instant of having the psychotic break that heralds the start of their life with schizophrenia. This condition happens relatively early in life, sixteen, seventeen-ish, long before most people have an understanding of mental process.
How terrified would you be? and how much of a chance would you have of seeing it coming or being able to cope when it did.
I have personally witnessed that transition and manic episode a few times now in people with both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
In all of the cases the people I know with these conditions had no idea that this could happen to them. How could they? No one had taught it to them. They couldn't express what was going on inside them before hand because they were not given the words to be able to do so.
They are not taught until well past the age these things are likely to occur. They were all completely and utterly blindsided and they all say that had they known what was happening to them at the time that they may have been able to get a handle on it without a trip to the rubber room.

       I was lucky in that I got to study all kinds of crazy before I had to grapple with my own sub-conscious. I was able to keep 'my' sanity, (I think). How many are that lucky?
When I spouted that, 'you make peace or it eats you alive' spiel I meant it. That is exactly what it was like. Without foreknowledge I would not have stood a chance.

       Teach kids the basic words for perception and the mind.
Then "Listen" to them.
Then watch mental illness and the costs ascociated with it decrease by as much as eighty percent in a single generation.

       Ok, I may be overestimating that eighty percent part up, but it'll be massive.   

       When my step-son went through his manic episodes before his bi-polar diagnosis, his little sister was... crushed.
You have to understand, she's a very shy girl and speaking in front of groups is not something she is at all comfortable doing.
She took the initiative to research his condition and present a report on it to her class-mates because of how angry she was that she didn't know that this could happen to her big brother. That it could happen to any of them at all.

       I agree with her.
Make learning of the mind part of the early education curriculum.
Until this happens every teen and youth contracting a mental illness will have to face it alone and unarmed.
'Every' one of them and that is preventable.

       Kids shouldn't have to be taking the initiative of teaching themselves about the dangers they face.
That's supposed to be the job of the benevolent adults shaping their young minds.

       Isn't it?   


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