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    • A Question about Love (Last post by JamesSand)
    • It looks like Ob1Shinobi said it quite well Is it possible? - Sure Is it worth tearing yourself apart hoping for, grasping at straws to believe there's hope? Probably not. If you have to ask the forum and not her, then I'm going to suggest there's nothing there. Never chase women or buses, you always get left behind.
    • Monthly Council Reports Transparency (Last post by Adder)
    • Less confusing is easy, but less confusing and more informative is harder. We tried a few different formats in Council, including using explanatory sentences but it didn't really justify the effort required IMO. The things which could have explanations were few and far between, most usually self explanatory from the subjects anyway, or so minor they didn't bother mention (like a word changed on a page somewhere). So in a way, giving more information was making things more complex - just because of the privacy restrictions by virtue of it being Council. Which goes back to the original question, less confusing less info or more confusing more info? I can simplify it to numbers which will be clearer but less informative. Sure the odd thing would be clearer with sentences, it is true, but given the extra time to write up explanations for administrative adjustments it came up short in practise when I tried it. Most everything would still be lacking detail. So I'd wonder what is so important about the going on's in Council to warrant such interest? If there was a good argument for 'why' then coincidentally it might be more practical to provide, but given TOTJO is about the path not the church, and that its not some managerial school teaching how to run a business, and that the Council only exists insofar as it is required to, and every Councillor IMO would rather spend their time on path rather then administrators, we are just trying to do the best we can. There is no harm in asking. If your curious to any particular item then my PM box is open. But it's an active topic again in Council so maybe the format will change, or maybe not.
    • Waging Peace (Last post by Adder)
    • With International Peace Day coming up on Sept 21, it could be a good time to consider 'how to make peace'!? She talks about 'negative peace' being a condition of peace, perhaps a type of effort, defined by the absence of conflict. So then 'positive peace' effort gets divided into 8 distinct work areas, the 'Pillars of Peace'; [image] Seems pretty normal to us in the West, but perhaps they are actually quite vital!! I guess the theory is the Pillars of Peace reduce the chance of conflict developing, and while negative peace is the main metric of peace, its probably not the most useful focus to create and maintain peace. Sure the ability to control (read; stop) conflict is vital for restoring the condition of peace when violence starts, but perhaps there is more to peacekeeping then the promise of a strong armed response. I"m sure no-one wants to live in a Police or nanny state, but I've always considered Jedi to be peacekeepers... at least in belief if not conduct. For more discussion, here is a conference playlist titled the Future of Peace from earlier this year; www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzyGLFG67...BsjC28h9t95SiFyX0hke economicsandpeace.org/ www.visionofhumanity.org/ www.peacecorps.gov/ internationaldayofpeace.org/
    • Potential : Dr. Jordan B. Peterson (Last post by Adder)
    • Quote: On to the consciousness thing. I for one do not know that he is referring to the hard problem of consciousness when he says that we - and I quote "can't account for it at all" (emphasis present in original tone). To me, this sounds a lot like he is saying that we have no account at all for consciousness and the article you link to says otherwise. Speaking of that article, I'm not positive that "Why is it conscious?" is a question "we can still meaningfully ask" "even after we have explained the functional, dynamical, and structural properties of the conscious mind". It is not self-evident to me that there is anything more to it. But regardless, by saying that we have no account at all for consciousness, I am left to believe that Dr. Peterson means that we basically know almost nothing substantive about this and because of his credentials I think he probably knows better and could, nay, should have worded it in a less obviously false way. At best one could argue that it was not intentional, not scripted, but then that's not my responsibility. I am left to respond to what he said, not what he meant. It's a psychology lecture, not a neuroscience lecture! He likes to go into depth but this format doesn't allow it... so he is stacking abbreviated concepts to keep it short. His topic seems to be an alternate way to understand reality (by looking at looking at it), and he makes the point we don't have universal knowledge, and that the very experience of consciousness, awareness, sentience itself falls within that domain of ignorance. I really cannot see that his point is to indicate the degree of maturation in neuroscience, and so I think its unrelated to the video to blame him for not doing so. Same thing with his use of materialism. I think he is just talking about perception, how it can limit us if we don't actively improve it. Personally, I tend to view it as a tensor field initially, and then ascribe structure by defining 3 types of gauges. That is how I like to perceive feelings, and on top of that as thought becomes more abstract I populate it with a more complex structure which ends up at a decision making matrix modelled around virtue ethics of self, deontology of society with a final pass of higher order effort to consequentialism. I think his point is having a relationship with perception, we can redefine our experience of it. He compares that to the normal approach of being indoctrinated into using scientific knowledge to unnecessarily limit out potential in that field of perception.
    • From time to time a poem (Last post by Edan)
    • You do not need me You do not need me Though I know you cling on And hope I might lead the way For you; and even though I walk behind, Over your shoulder you look to see If I am still in your shadow. You do not need me Though I know you call me Whenever it gets tougher For you; and alone silently pray That I might be the solution To take all that suffering away. You do not need me And I know you give me credit For all the times you made it Yourself; I didn’t actually do It for you, only helped you find The strength to bear it.
    • Rants far and wide (Last post by SecondVariation)
    • When you can feel a cold coming on, but like, super slowly. So right now I'm not sick enough to be like "Bleh, I'm sick, I'll stay home and rest", but at the same time I can feel that light haze and the stuffy nose and slight cough. If I'm going to be sick... make me sick for real so I can get through it! Gah.
    • Science discovers God (Last post by Lykeios)
    • This same argument could be used to cite the existence of many different Gods. The forces of nature of which he speaks could very well be represented by my Gods. It doesn't have to refer to the Biblical God. This doesn't prove to me the existence of any one God but speaks to the existence of many. My Gods are forces of nature. They act upon the universe. They (in some cases) predate the universe. It's an interesting thought but I don't think he really succeeded in proving the existence of the Biblical God. I would need much more proof than this to get me to believe in that particular God.
    • Planet discovered orbiting Proxima Centauri (Last post by Loudzoo)
    • Although hundreds of exoplanet discoveries have been made in recent years this one is particularly interesting. Not only is it orbiting our nearest stella neighbour but it is slap bang in the habitable zone and potentially only slightly larger than Earth! Watch the vid for more details: The abstract for the paper can be found here: www.nature.com/nature/journal/v536/n7617/full/nature19106.html Aliens picking-up our signals will be looking forward to watching the London Olympics in a few weeks :P
    • FAQ and Article Updates (Last post by Akkarin)
    • The library is back up but the problem hasn't yet been sorted so be careful. The FaQ update has gone live. Please PM me if there's something which needs looking at.
    • 5 ways to build lasting self-esteem (Last post by Akkarin)
    • 5 ways to build lasting self-esteem Spoiler: Everyone is in favor of high self-esteem — but cultivating it can be surprisingly tough. Psychologist Guy Winch explains why — and describes smart ways we can help build ourselves up. Many of us recognize the value of improving our feelings of self-worth. When our self-esteem is higher, we not only feel better about ourselves, we are more resilient as well. Brain scan studies demonstrate that when our self-esteem is higher, we are likely to experience common emotional wounds such as rejection and failure as less painful, and bounce back from them more quickly. When our self-esteem is higher, we are also less vulnerable to anxiety; we release less cortisol into our bloodstream when under stress, and it is less likely to linger in our system. But as wonderful as it is to have higher self-esteem, it turns out that improving it is no easy task. Despite the endless array of articles, programs and products promising to enhance our self-esteem, the reality is that many of them do not work and some are even likely to make us feel worse. Part of the problem is that our self-esteem is rather unstable to begin with, as it can fluctuate daily, if not hourly. Further complicating matters, our self-esteem comprises both our global feelings about ourselves as well as how we feel about ourselves in the specific domains of our lives (e.g., as a father, a nurse, an athlete, etc.). The more meaningful a specific domain of self-esteem, the greater the impact it has on our global self-esteem. Having someone wince when they taste the not-so-delicious dinner you prepared will hurt a chef’s self-esteem much more than someone for whom cooking is not a significant aspect of their identity. Lastly, having high self-esteem is indeed a good thing, but only in moderation. Very high self-esteem — like that of narcissists — is often quite brittle. Such people might feel great about themselves much of the time but they also tend to be extremely vulnerable to criticism and negative feedback and respond to it in ways that stunts their psychological self-growth. That said, it is certainly possible to improve our self-esteem if we go about it the right way. Here are five ways to nourish your self-esteem when it is low: 1. Use positive affirmations correctly Positive affirmations such as “I am going to be a great success!” are extremely popular, but they have one critical problem — they tend to make people with low self-worth feel worse about themselves. Why? Because when our self-esteem is low, such declarations are simply too contrary to our existing beliefs. Ironically, positive affirmations do work for one subset of people — those whose self-esteem is already high. For affirmations to work when your self-esteem is lagging, tweak them to make them more believable. For example, change “I’m going to be a great success!” to “I’m going to persevere until I succeed!” 2. Identify your competencies and develop them Self-esteem is built by demonstrating real ability and achievement in areas of our lives that matter to us. If you pride yourself on being a good cook, throw more dinner parties. If you’re a good runner, sign up for races and train for them. In short, figure out your core competencies and find opportunities and careers that accentuate them. 3. Learn to accept compliments One of the trickiest aspects of improving self-esteem is that when we feel bad about ourselves we tend to be more resistant to compliments — even though that is when we most need them. So, set yourself the goal to tolerate compliments when you receive them, even if they make you uncomfortable (and they will). The best way to avoid the reflexive reactions of batting away compliments is to prepare simple set responses and train yourself to use them automatically whenever you get good feedback (e.g., “Thank you” or “How kind of you to say”). In time, the impulse to deny or rebuff compliments will fade — which will also be a nice indication your self-esteem is getting stronger. 4. Eliminate self-criticism and introduce self-compassion Unfortunately, when our self-esteem is low, we are likely to damage it even further by being self-critical. Since our goal is to enhance our self-esteem, we need to substitute self-criticism (which is almost always entirely useless, even if it feels compelling) with self-compassion. Specifically, whenever your self-critical inner monologue kicks in, ask yourself what you would say to a dear friend if they were in your situation (we tend to be much more compassionate to friends than we are to ourselves) and direct those comments to yourself. Doing so will avoid damaging your self-esteem further with critical thoughts, and help build it up instead. 5. Affirm your real worth The following exercise has been demonstrated to help revive your self-esteem after it sustained a blow: Make a list of qualities you have that are meaningful in the specific context. For example, if you got rejected by your date, list qualities that make you a good relationship prospect (for example, being loyal or emotionally available); if you failed to get a work promotion, list qualities that make you a valuable employee (you have a strong work ethic or are responsible). Then choose one of the items on your list and write a brief essay (one to two paragraphs) about why the quality is valuable and likely to be appreciated by other people in the future. Do the exercise every day for a week or whenever you need a self-esteem boost. The bottom line is improving self-esteem requires a bit of work, as it involves developing and maintaining healthier emotional habits but doing so, and especially doing so correctly, will provide a great emotional and psychological return on your investment.

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