The limits of minds

saor

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Edit: made a thread instead.
I'm curious whether you think there's such limits on us.

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mosquito - bat - chimp - human - ? - ?? - ???
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The way we relate to chimps, and then to animals further away, shows that from our perspective we perceive a limit on the minds of animals. They have limits in their ability to understand the world. A bat will presumably never understand youtube. If animals do have degrees of consciousness - something it's like to be a bat, then it seems that they can only relate to reality with the degrees of freedom afforded by the nature of their being.

And if we consider ourselves as also existing somewhere on the great spectrum of life, we can imagine beings who are further up the tree and how they might relate to us. They would see clearly the limits of our minds the way we see the limits of mosquitoes.

And it's strange that it might be true.

That as much as we might think we see clearly, we are in fact only privy to that region of reality that creatures like us can grok. That beyond this might be levels of understanding and seeing that are beyond our ability even to dream. Unless bats also dream of youtube.
 
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SauRoNZA

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Not quite the same as the implied topic but I do believe we have a “limiter” in place on our human psyche and therefore are potential is restricted.

I know this to be true as have many hypothesised about it for having experimented with some hard drugs back in the day and the sheer scope of those experiences tells me we are running in a much more restricted mode day to day.
 

Readsalot

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Isn't this what Taoism is all about? I'm still trying to understand Taoism properly, but in general it talks about The Way and how we should try to understand The Way better, until eventually you can become a Sage (with all that implies).

Thus, for me anyway, it implies there are indeed higher states of consciousness (The Sage) and that our goal should be to transcend ourselves, overcoming our limits through meditation and understanding.
 

maumau

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Yes but I don't know how to put it into words.

Something about the brain being a filter, the doors of perception etc. Kaballah talks about opening levels of consciousness by meditating using various colors and sounds (I think it's the Kaballah but might be what @Readsalot is referring to).

Our senses are not highly developed. Think of the bloodhound following a scent or the raptor spotting a field mouse.

Remember we thought a drop of clean water was clear until the microscope was invented.
 

Bobbin

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If I assume complete natural evolution and physical properties only...

Our capacity to calculate, predict and understand our environment is in theory likely the result of our social dynamics. The limits of this would likely center at the point of inefficiency. Our social/intellectual capacity costs energy, there's no natural need for it to go further? If we've reached that point that is.

So here's a thought. Maybe intelligent aliens haven't progressed as much further beyond us as we might imagine even if they're millions of years older.
 

saor

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Our social/intellectual capacity costs energy, there's no natural need for it to go further? If we've reached that point that is.
You might be correct - from the chimps perspective it doesn't need to go further: It engages with it's environment with it's cognitive faculties online and thus cannot yearn for degrees of freedom it knows nothing of.

If we are at the point of not needing to go further, then are the questions we ask about reality as locally constrained as the crude questions chimps might ask?

So here's a thought. Maybe intelligent aliens haven't progressed as much further beyond us as we might imagine even if they're millions of years older.
But we can imagine 10 000 years from now (assuming we haven't royally ****ed up) how those future minds might consider the simplicity of our minds now. Being unable to imagine such other minds looking back at us seems to imply you maybe think there's something unique about our minds and the way we process information etc. that no other mind can really surpass?

It seems strange that on the spectrum of possible minds in this universe, that we should be the crowning achievement with minds able to grok everything and anything, looking back at all those crude creatures unable to fully grasp the nature of reality. We must surely stand as crudely in relation to some other kind of being.
 

saor

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Thus, for me anyway, it implies there are indeed higher states of consciousness (The Sage) and that our goal should be to transcend ourselves, overcoming our limits through meditation and understanding.
Implied in that suggestion is that our minds are uniquely different. I don't think any amount of meditation, understanding or education could allow chimp minds to transcend the limits of their being - are humans different?
 
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