What is the difference between the mind and the spirit?

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08 May 2019 20:39 #338231 by Manu

Eleven wrote: For example my brother at 3 or 4 years old used to tell my mom and I "when I was big" and her tell us of things he'd done when he was big. My mom used to tell him, "Zachary...your a little boy that's not possible." But, he would insist he was and give us discrete details bit as he aged he begun to forget...it was odd.


I used to think it was odd when my oldest daughter did this too. Then I got the weekly mail from baby center that explain how at that age, kids' perception of fantasy and reality is blurred, as is their perception of time. My daughter came up with the most fantastical stories. Fun times.

Axid wrote: So, I'm curious. Do you see the mind and spirit as being separate? Why? Why not? I'd like to know what you guys think.


If you are asking if I believe in a spirit that is somehow independent from the body and mind, then my answer is no. To me, "spirit" refers to Will, which I believe is an emotional manifestation of the mind (a part of the mind, rather that separate from it). So, you might have a fighting spirit, be a spirited worker, or spouse, or writer.

This does not mean that I completely reject the posibility of "paranormal" phenomena. I've experienced enough to consider such things as clairvoyance and clairaudience as possible, but it is my opinion that they do not prove a "soul" exists. They simply show that there may be uncharted ways of communication between different minds. In any case, I don't have enough experience to make hard assessments, and thus do not actively pursue such improbable things.

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09 May 2019 13:31 #338257 by ZealotX
speaking for myself, as usual, I typically say mind, body, and spirit and kind of the holy trinity of interworking components that make us what we are.

physical = hardware
mental = software
spirit = animating energy or "force"


In the sense of a computer it is energy (electricity) passing through hardware that operates the software. The hardware gives certain physical abilities. The software extends those abilities in the realm of thought, memory, etc. However hardware and software are only capacities or potentiality. You can make the hardware and software but without the animating energy it will not be alive.

As the energy passes through the body it takes on its physical characteristics. As the energy passes through the mind it takes on its mental characteristics. But that energy (which I would also consider consciousness) determines its own path which then brings about character, personality, etc. This is why I'm attracted to the idea of kundalini.
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09 May 2019 14:16 #338261 by Gisteron

ZealotX wrote: In the sense of a computer it is energy (electricity) passing through hardware that operates the software. The hardware gives certain physical abilities. The software extends those abilities in the realm of thought, memory, etc. However hardware and software are only capacities or potentiality. You can make the hardware and software but without the animating energy it will not be alive.

The same can be said in reverse, too, though. The hardware provides a medium for the energy to flow, a body, without which there wouldn't be any software running. And the software provides instructions for what the energy can do with the hardware body. Without it, the machine is but a conductor through which current flows like water passing through a corpse. The analogy is well and good, but it is easy to argue that any pair of the three is a pair of "capacities or potentiality" (what ever that means), incomplete without the third. The thing will not be alive, no matter which part is left out.


As the energy passes through the body it takes on its physical characteristics. As the energy passes through the mind it takes on its mental characteristics. But that energy (which I would also consider consciousness) determines its own path which then brings about character, personality, etc. This is why I'm attracted to the idea of kundalini.

And this is where I don't understand your analogy any longer. Surely, the electricity passing through wires and semiconductor components in the computer doesn't take on the characteristics of them. Nor does it take on any characteristics of the software as much as just serving the medium by which the program is executed. It does not determine its own path either. Rather, it is guided by the hardware and its own influence on various subsystems within it.
I agree that a fair comparison can be drawn between man and machine, but I'm not sure the correspondences are quite this simple...

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09 May 2019 14:59 #338268 by Eleven
I think that question when you present it in those terms Glis is a question that might veer off the original subject for this post. Either that, or i didnt understand.

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09 May 2019 19:25 #338277 by ZealotX

Gisteron wrote:

ZealotX wrote: In the sense of a computer it is energy (electricity) passing through hardware that operates the software. The hardware gives certain physical abilities. The software extends those abilities in the realm of thought, memory, etc. However hardware and software are only capacities or potentiality. You can make the hardware and software but without the animating energy it will not be alive.

The same can be said in reverse, too, though. The hardware provides a medium for the energy to flow, a body, without which there wouldn't be any software running. And the software provides instructions for what the energy can do with the hardware body. Without it, the machine is but a conductor through which current flows like water passing through a corpse. The analogy is well and good, but it is easy to argue that any pair of the three is a pair of "capacities or potentiality" (what ever that means), incomplete without the third. The thing will not be alive, no matter which part is left out.

This I agree with about 78.8% and I think what I'm going to say will make sense to you. I would say that if you add evolution into the equation, the energy branching through the physical system can then create new physical pathways which is how I imagine a tree growing. But this analogy is maybe more complicated than I was trying to go at this point. Otherwise, a single organism would be stuck as is and instead of explaining how one organism came to life we'd have to explain how every organism of a different species came into existence. So this is why I believe the energy is not confined simply to a physical architecture but can "reprogram" that structure according to its branching pathways or... "neural network". And then even the software can evolve to fit the hardware and the hardware's input/output connection with the external environment. Therefore no 2 trees are exactly alike, even though they can be the same species, because each one grows differently.

As the energy passes through the body it takes on its physical characteristics. As the energy passes through the mind it takes on its mental characteristics. But that energy (which I would also consider consciousness) determines its own path which then brings about character, personality, etc. This is why I'm attracted to the idea of kundalini.

And this is where I don't understand your analogy any longer. Surely, the electricity passing through wires and semiconductor components in the computer doesn't take on the characteristics of them. Nor does it take on any characteristics of the software as much as just serving the medium by which the program is executed. It does not determine its own path either. Rather, it is guided by the hardware and its own influence on various subsystems within it.
I agree that a fair comparison can be drawn between man and machine, but I'm not sure the correspondences are quite this simple...


what I mean by this is not the literal characteristics of the wires but rather the functional characteristics of these physical systems. I can't jump as high as Michael Jordan could. My body is a vehicle, like a car. It can be tuned and tweaked and given the right kind of fuel, etc. When I drive my car I move as fast as the car moves. When Jordan dunked, his spirit was dunking. Therefore, the spirit as an operator, takes on the abilities of the vehicle. I think of our bones like rocks, hair like grass, blood like water, oxygen etc. as corresponding to the natural elements of the world around us and our spirit inhabiting these elements in systematic fashion in order to interact with them. People don't think of electricity as making graphics on the screen because we associate the graphics on the screen as kind of their own thing and yet it is electricity taking on a "shape" that is a synthesis of the hardware and software. We have extremely complex ways of transforming it but at the end of the day it is the energy that "operates" your PC. And you direct the energy using software commands that are converted into machine code just like how your brain converts your intention to jump into a series of signals that have to operate muscle contractions and expansions that you don't have to think about independently.

Or... think about it this way...

The periodic table is basically the same lego blocks in different numbers and arrangements. These legos are somewhat naturally occurring but we can manipulate them further in order to build airplanes and rockets and cars. These things are still those same protons, neutrons, and electrons. We just create larger systems in which they can take on new forms and functions. That (imo) is how spirit works. It takes on the functionality of the body and we say "that's a person" rather than "that's a body with a mind that's also conscious". If you remove the gas from the car it's "dead". Battery? "dead". But with energy (in whatever form) by circulating through these systems designed for travel they're able to take on those functions/abilities. Energy can travel outside a car, obviously, but not in many ways that we can control which introduces the need for hardware and software.

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09 May 2019 20:19 - 09 May 2019 20:21 #338281 by Kyrin Wyldstar
By this analogy doesnt that make the "human" the spirit of the computer? The hardware, the software, the electricity are just parts of the body, the bones, the blood, the chemicals. But they do not create, they have no will, they do not strive. The human does this. The machine does not live, it just functions. So where is this equavalnt in a human being? I can show you the human that operates the computer, can you show me the spirit that operates the body?

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09 May 2019 20:30 #338283 by Cory
I'd say the mind is that dialogue of thoughts and ideas that we typically identify as the self but isn't, that you notice when meditating. The spirit is the essence of consciousness, that which is able to observe the separate mind in states like meditation. The watcher of thoughts that is the same essence in all of us. I.e. it is the Force.

I am not the body, I am not even the mind

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09 May 2019 20:33 - 09 May 2019 20:36 #338284 by ZealotX

Kyrin Wyldstar wrote: By this analogy doesnt that make the "human" the spirit of the computer? The hardware, the software, the electricity are just parts of the body, the bones, the blood, the chemicals. But they do not create, they have no will, they do not strive. They just function. So where is this equavalnt in a human being? I can show you the human that operates the computer, can you show me the spirit that operates the body?


www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-tn-amazon...-20190411-story.html

In other words, the "consciousness" of computers is null by default because the manipulation of that energy is of human creation and we didn't know how to create consciousness or intelligence. However, neural networks can be programmed to operate computers and drive cars. How long before they achieve consciousness if taught what consciousness is? Of course this opens a whole can of worms on AI (there's already a thread about this).

www.extremetech.com/extreme/262510-new-r...anks-tesla-dead-last

The human being is a machine driven by software driven by spirit. In a computer this was created as a tool. In humans this was created by millions of years of evolution. The answer to your question is "I think therefore I am". My consciousness is like the AI that has simply yet to be formed and yet to evolve. And when it does you will not be able to show us the human operating the computer anymore. Computers will operate themselves (and we'll be at their mercy).

The "potential" of AI has been around for a long time. The potential of human existence can also be said to have existed from the Genesis of the universe. But were humans initially as intelligent as we are now? Or perhaps initially we were dumber than a T1-80 calculator. Things evolve. Intelligence itself evolves. Life itself evolves. So where one form of electricity may not be anymore alive than a Gorilla is intelligent who is to say that another form of energy (even electricity) was involved in the animation of the first life form that we are descendants from? And who is to say? Maybe AI will be having conversations about this same topic with their great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great grandchildren processes born minutes after their "ancient" forefathers.
Last edit: 09 May 2019 20:36 by ZealotX.

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09 May 2019 20:35 #338285 by Carlos.Martinez3
Can u show where the wind begins? Can you show where and how in one hand, a pencil can create and destroy? It’s that Force or that spirit or the feeling or the what ever you call it that makes differences. Where does it dwell? These are questions humans have asked and will continue to ask for years to come. It’s nothing new or ingenious. Parts of our paths will come in real life where we wonder about these things. We can accept others answers and be - as Jiddu K says and just be spoon fed - or ... we can seek. It’s in the seek we find and it’s in the seek often we find other questions and others who have questions like us. I remember so many times during my IP time here at TOTJO that I read along side others with similar questions I had. I guess in the end or in the seek of some things we have to make up our mind on our own for our answers. Kinna neat the freedoms of being human / Jedi sometimes.

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09 May 2019 22:10 #338292 by Gisteron

ZealotX wrote: How long before [machines] achieve consciousness if taught what consciousness is?

How long before they are taught that? How long before any of us are? I have yet to hear a definition of "consciousness" that is both coherent and compatible with how we know things work. How long do you reckon until I achieve it, if ever taught what it is?


The human being is a machine driven by software driven by spirit.

Do you understand what that means?


The answer to your question is "I think therefore I am".

How? I mean, this argument is entirely circular. It defines thinking as something that includes being, and then concludes that indeed it does. It might as well say "I think, therefore I think" for all the meaning it carries. Why anyone takes it seriously still is a mystery to me.


The "potential" of AI has been around for a long time. The potential of human existence can also be said to have existed from the Genesis of the universe.

It seems by potential you just mean statistical or logical possibility. It is trivial to say in hindsight that there has been a non-zero probability for us to emerge in the universe as we know it. After all we are here, so there is at least one instance of it happening... in the one and only course of events we know transpired following what ever initial conditions. Wouldn't we say the universe yielded a potential to evolve in a completely different way, though? We don't know how probable another course of events would be, if a second one even is possible at all. Sure, something that is sure to happen is possible, technically, but does that recognition help us much if we don't know whether it is necessary or not? Or consider this another way: Surely we'd almost all agree that just because something didn't occur, we cannot deduce that therefore it couldn't have, nor that it could have. Conversely, if something did occur, nothing is gained from acknowledging that therefore it could have. Judging probabilities after the fact is easy, and those judgements are cheap for that reason. The non-trivial question, namely whether or not it had to occur, on the other hand, is impossible to address.


That kind of triviality was what I was criticizing in my last message as well. If an argument can be applied to everything, then it tells us nothing. If you present an argument to say that some "life energy" is what distinguishes life-from non-life and I can use that very same argument to pick any other ingredient and say the same of it, surely then the argument does not show anything special about that "life energy". It is - at best - one component out of many and the whole wouldn't be whole no matter which one we isolated. That is charitably assuming that the analogy holds and that all the components you list are conceptually separable , of course. I have a moderate grasp of how electrical power works, but what the animating energy is supposed to be for the biological machines is left entirely unspecified, possibly even deliberately vague. In fact, there is ultimately one resource a computer uses for absolutely all purposes, while our bodies use half a periodic table of elements, if we are being generous enough not to count all the compounds it cannot produce internally, and I reckon none of them would you recognize as one of or the part that corresponds to the spirit.

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