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  1. #1
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    Are we playing a fictional role in life?

    Are we playing a fictional role in life?

    Sapiens are a species that has lost many of their animal instincts and our “soul” replaces these instincts. I use the word ‘soul’ to signify what many might call consciousness, spirit, conscience, mind, reason, etc. We are thus thrust out of the arms of Mother Nature and onto our own ability to adapt and survive. We are forced into replacing the natural selection process, which has led to our evolution, and we are thrown upon our own abilities to adapt or to be extinguished. It is our “soul” that creates the games we play. These games replace natural selection; and determine our survival as a species.

    Socrates was an intuitive genius, who may have been the first to understand that man needs to function in a shared social fiction before he can earn his own social honor, and social approval. But even Socrates could not intuit the degree to which this need was rooted. He could not see how deep ‘social performance’ goes and the degree that it is rooted in the anxiety of all sapiens. Humans cannot recognize their own self-worth without the word from their own social group.

    We have successfully struggled against Mother Nature to gain great material wealth only to discover that, as Pogo might say, “we have met the enemy and it is us”. The enemy is our great material play-form itself; it is our own profit-and-loss economy, our money-over-the-counter game that is defeating us. We have lost all relationship with our nature. Our created fiction has crippled our ability to rationally adapt to our world we have created. We run as fast as we can from school to shopping center to the bank and back home in our new SUV only to discover that the gods have already made us mad. Our own fictions are killing us.

    War itself is a fiction, it is a game, and it is a play-form. Roman civilization itself was a great “potlatch spirit” (a ceremonial feast of the American Indian of the northwest coast marked by the host’s lavish distribution of gifts or sometimes destruction of property to demonstrate wealth and generosity with the expectation of eventual reciprocation). What begins as simple contests, develop into complex play-forms. “Poetry, art, law, philosophy, war—all are contests or play-forms.”

    To call them play-forms is not to say that they are not serious. In our great game of society we create meaning; fictional meaning but nevertheless these fictions are life-meaning fictions. Me and Earnest agree, our problem is that we must create better fictions to live by, because our present fictions are killing us.

    What is the difference between playing a fictional role in life versus a non-fictional role?

    Ideas and quotes from Beyond Alienation by Ernest Becker

  2. #2
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    Re: Are we playing a fictional role in life?

    "War itself is a fiction, it is a game, and it is a play-form.

    a non-fictional role is realizing war is deadly and people die;
    Fictional role is make belief ...:freak3:
    I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck. ~Emma Goldman

  3. #3
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    Re: Are we playing a fictional role in life?

    how can 1 discover if their "role" in life is fictional!?is this one of the aspects of real conscience!?that it originates from a non fictional mind!?and oddly enough it might be that the non fictional mind is capable of what we often refer to as fictional!?:freak3: :smurf: :spidey: : heeh!!...just askn...
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  4. #4
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    Re: Are we playing a fictional role in life?

    Quote Originally Posted by lexx View Post
    how can 1 discover if their "role" in life is fictional!?is this one of the aspects of real conscience!?that it originates from a non fictional mind!?and oddly enough it might be that the non fictional mind is capable of what we often refer to as fictional!?:freak3: :smurf: :spidey: : heeh!!...just askn...
    I would say the difference between a virtual world and the real world is that the real world is grounded in literal experience whereas the virtual world is not grounded.

    SGCS (Second Generation Cognitive Science) informs me that we have literal experiences that become sources for abstract ideas or part of other literal experiences.

    The conceptual structure of a literal experience is mapped into another mental space to become part of another concept. For example: the experience of warmth resulting from being held by the mother is a literal experience that can be later mapped onto a subjective concept of affection. This means that the subjective concept then contains some or all of the conceptual structure of the literal experience of warmth. That is why almost everyone senses a feeling of warmth when feeling affection for someone.

    Humans are artifact adoring artisans

    Humans are meme (idea) adoring creators.

    Humans create symbols (abstract ideas) upon which they place value sufficient for killing and dying.

    Americans create a flag (an artifact of cloth) which symbolizes the value they place in a nation (artifact, idea, meme) for which they will really kill and die (nothing artificial here).

    Humans require meaningful symbols upon which to give life sufficient purpose for living, dying, and killing.

    Because humans can create their own meaningful artifacts why does our species place meaning into such dangerous artifacts (memes, ideologies) as religion, nation, capitalism, communism, etc?

    The freedom we have to create that which is meaningful to us is poorly used, why?

    Why do we waste such a precious freedom on such dangerous toys?

    We do so because we lack the courage (self-reliance) to go against the flow.

    Our adaptation to society as infants and children has left us without the courage and confidence required to go against the flow of society. We have the freedom but not the energy and courage to overcome the blind habit of conformity.

    We are not determined atoms; we do have the potential to do much better. How can we overcome what we have become and thus become something better?

    We can overcome our present predicament by creating a new reality, a new set of meaningful symbols that we choose to give value.

    Imagination is the instrument by which we can overcome.

  5. #5
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    Re: Are we playing a fictional role in life?

    Quote Originally Posted by coberst View Post
    Are we playing a fictional role in life?
    The answer to the above is "yes".... The previous sentence is false.

  6. #6
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    Re: Are we playing a fictional role in life?

    so in essence you are saying if imagination got us into trouble it can also get us out?and what is the difference between a conscious and unconsciuos fictional role?:
    Last edited by lexx; 03-25-2009 at 07:18 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Are we playing a fictional role in life?

    Quote Originally Posted by lexx View Post
    so in essence you are saying if imagination got us into trouble it can also get us out?and what is the difference between a conscious and unconsciuos fictional role?:
    The ego is our command center; it is the “internal gyroscope” and creator of time for the human. It controls the individual; especially it controls individual’s response to the external environment. It keeps the individual independent from the environment by giving the individual time to think before acting. It is the device that other animal do not have and thus they instinctively respond immediately to the world.

    The id is our animal self. It is the human without the ego control center. The id is reactive life and the ego changes that reactive life into delayed thoughtful life. The ego is also the timer that provides us with a sense of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. By doing so it makes us into philosophical beings conscious of our self as being separate from the ‘other’ and placed in a river of time with a terminal point—death. This time creation allows us to become creatures responding to symbolic reality that we alone create.

    As a result of the id there is a “me” to which everything has a focus of being. The most important job the ego has is to control anxiety that paradoxically the ego has created. With a sense of time there comes a sense of termination and with this sense of death comes anxiety that the ego embraces and gives the “me” time to consider how not to have to encounter anxiety.

    Evidence indicates that there is an “intrinsic symbolic process” is some primates. Such animals may be able to create in memory other events that are not presently going on. “But intrinsic symbolization is not enough. In order to become a social act, the symbol must be joined to some extrinsic mode; there must exist an external graphic mode to convey what the individual has to express…but it also shows how separate are the worlds we live in, unless we join our inner apprehensions to those of others by means of socially agreed symbols.”

    “What they needed for a true ego was a symbolic rallying point, a personal and social symbol—an “I”, in order to thoroughly unjumble himself from his world the animal must have a precise designation of himself. The “I”, in a word, has to take shape linguistically…the self (or ego) is largely a verbal edifice…The ego thus builds up a world in which it can act with equanimity, largely by naming names.” The primate may have a brain large enough for “me” but it must go a step further that requires linguistic ability that permits an “I” that can develop controlled symbols with “which to put some distance between him and immediate internal and external experience.”

    I conclude from this that many primates have the brain that is large enough to be human but in the process of evolution the biological apparatus that makes speech possible was the catalyst that led to the modern human species. The ability to emit more sophisticated sounds was the stepping stone to the evolution of wo/man. This ability to control the vocal sounds promoted the development of the human brain.

    Ideas and quotes from “Birth and Death of Meaning”—Ernest Becker

  8. #8
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    Re: Are we playing a fictional role in life?

    are we describing the realms of intellect/emotion?the body being pure emotion while the intellect is pure abstracted thought?but the 2 are interwined as it were?each influences the other with emotion being the stronger part of the mix?the reality part?

    arn't some people aware of their fictional roles while others are not?and even many are aware sometimes while not aware other times?we see those that are never/rarely aware of their particular role and this we consider/label excentricity/lunacy/insanity/mental illness?

    is there a human choosable channel of awareness that is free from fictional influences?and this is the true/original emotional function in man?that which allows the proper use/expression of intellect?:
    Last edited by lexx; 03-26-2009 at 12:26 AM.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Are we playing a fictional role in life?

    Quote Originally Posted by lexx View Post
    are we describing the realms of intellect/emotion?the body being pure emotion while the intellect is pure abstracted thought?but the 2 are interwined as it were?each influences the other with emotion being the stronger part of the mix?the reality part?

    arn't some people aware of their fictional roles while others are not?and even many are aware sometimes while not aware other times?we see those that are never/rarely aware of their particular role and this we consider/label excentricity/lunacy/insanity/mental illness?

    is there a human choosable channel of awareness that is free from fictional influences?and this is the true/original emotional function in man?that which allows the proper use/expression of intellect?:

    Physicists began in the early twentieth century to study the inner world of the atom. This world, they quickly discovered, is nothing like our world. Mechanics is the study of effect of force on bodies; this new physics is called Quantum Mechanics. It deals with the effect of forces on the bodies within the world of the atom.

    Newtonian Mechanics deals with force acting on bodies. In our world bodies follow a continuous course when acted on by force whereas in the atom world bodies change position in increments rather than continuously. Bodies in the world of the atom move in quantum leaps and do not occupy positions in an analog manner.

    Physicists are unable to see directly the forces and the bodies within the atom but they have nevertheless developed the knowledge about these matters to the extent that they can very accurately predict the ongoing actions within this atomic world.

    The study of consciousness might be compared with QM. The world of consciousness is directly ‘seen’ only to a very small extent by the subject itself and only very indirectly by the scientists studying consciousness. Nevertheless this subjective world can be studied scientifically just as the world of the atom.

    Antonio Damasio is a scientist who has set out to organize a scientific study of human consciousness. Damasio utilizes a rather unique method that involves careful observation of individuals who have been deprived of some aspects of consciousness because of brain lesions caused by accidents. He studies brain dysfunction caused by such things as strokes and accidents.

    Damasio wrote “Descartes’ Error” in which he focused on brain-injured patients in an effort to comprehend human consciousness. These partially dysfunctional patients help him to locate the area of the brain in which certain elements of consciousness are centered and to observe the patients performance without that particular function. One primary patient observed was Phinaes Gage, a Vermont railway foreman, who suffered sever brain damage in an accident.

    Damasio uses the performance of an orchestra piece whose score is being created during its performance to give us an idea of his theory of the human as a living organism. He speaks of several parallel lines of performance unfolding in time. “Wakefulness, background emotion, and low-level attention will be there continuously; they are present from the moment of awakening to the moment when you fall asleep.”

  10. #10
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    Re: Are we playing a fictional role in life?

    it is amazing to me how in the past there are great minds who have considered all the problems and complexities of the human existence and made serious yet simple attemps to document their observations/ findings? what a tragdedy the loss of the library at constantinople must be/have been/IS?
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