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What are thoughts?

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by emmanuel_pil, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. emmanuel_pil

    emmanuel_pil Member

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    OK.
    According to quantum mechanics, nothing at the subatomic scale can really be said to exist until it is observed. Until then, particles occupy uncertain "superposition" states, in which they can have simultaneous "up" and "down" spins, or appear to be in different places at the same time. The mere act of observing somehow appears to "nail down" a particular state of reality.

    It’s of topic but I would like to mention an experiment, just to show how bizarre is our “ego reality”.

    Researchers led by Valery Nesvizhevsky of the Laue Langevin Institute in Grenoble, have recently found a way that makes small effects in gravitational energies visible. In their experiments the scientists used ultra-cold neutrons horizontally fired as smooth as possible. Under the influence of gravity the neutrons fell down on a mirror and then bounce back up. Above the mirror is a device that captures the neutrons. This device can be moved up and down and can thus record at what height the bouncing neutrons are located.

    [​IMG]

    The slow neutrons come from the left and follow a trajectory towards the detector at the right side. When the particles hit the mirror, they bounce up. If the device that hangs above the mirror captures the neutrons,than they will not reach the detector. Counting the number of neutrons reaching the detector at different heights of the absorbent device will indicate what the height is that the particles may reach.
    The cleverness of the method of French scientists is mainly the kind of particles they use. Neutrons are uncharged nuclear particles, which do not suffer from electromagnetic interactions. To extend the measurement time, the neutron has to spend time in the measurement setup as much as possible This is achieved by shooting neutrons with only a very small horizontal speed.


    What happened in the experiment?

    The neutrons don´t bounce up and down in one fluid motion, but jump from one level to another. Actually, their movement can be compared with walking down a staircase. A neutron can not be found between two successive heights, in this case called energy levels. How high is such a stair?
    The experiment of Nesvizhevsky shows that in the first fifteen micrometers (about the width of a human hair) above the mirror no neutrons can be found. Things really are not how we think they are.
    More details you can find in the following link http://www.fi.infn.it/GGI-grav-space/EGS_w/pdf/nesvizhevsky.ppt
     
  2. Dionysus4791

    Dionysus4791 Member

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    Excellent post Emmanuel!
     
  3. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    I've not heard of that experiment before Emmanuel, but I like it. :)

    It demonstrates well how quantum particles can move from one position in space to another without passing through the space in-between. I little along the lines of quantum tunnelling that is used in the application of flash memory where the particle exists on one side or the other of a barrier to indicate the binary 0 or 1 of memory storage, but it gets from one side to the other when being "programmed" by "tunnelling" through the barrier without actually passing through it.

    These quantum concepts can appear confusing to our human minds, but I think they are also an integrated part of, scientifically, how consciousness and thoughts exist and how the brain may be just an interface between the conscious mind and the physical body. (I know I put it simply, but it really would be difficult to describe my understanding of it in words).

    Hugs

    Giles
     
  4. emmanuel_pil

    emmanuel_pil Member

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    Hi Karmoh.
    I noticed that you often use the subjective "spacious" before awareness.
    Is that how you feel your-Self when meditating? Within a space?
     
  5. Karmoh

    Karmoh Member

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    Hi emmanuel,
    Not really, “spacious" "awareness” are just words that point to the space that pervades everything. Language tries to separate, so words cannot give justice. All is space, it’s not a place to return too when meditating or a concept to grasp when thinking.
    Like eating an apple and thinking about last year’s holiday simultaneously , we believe that these are separate, but in reality there is perfect seamlessness between awareness and thinking about holidays, and between awareness and eating an apple. Spacious awareness allows this. :)

    Peace :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  6. emmanuel_pil

    emmanuel_pil Member

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    Hi,
    After watching these videos and reading comments I have decided not to search for any revelation or insight anymore within meditation. Although I will continue practicing it, because it is giving me rest, and I feel I can solve personal internal problems with it.

    One of the reasons of becoming interested in meditation was when trying to understand the theory of the Aether Physics Model. (Find information at: Aether Physics Model Information Center) The author David Thomson writes that the theory started through an insight obtained in meditation.
    Now I feel that his theory is wrong, because it needs a fixed background.
    I hear almost all gurus saying that every thing is made of nothingness. I also believe in this.
    In a nuclear reaction a few percent of the mass is converted into kinetic energy. A small percent of the mass-energy is converted and transported to nearby air molecules giving more speed to them.
    If you reflect about this you can perceive that the whole thing is only an idea. There is no substance. I believe that dynamic existence is made of the desire of existing itself. And only out of that.
    The various string theories and later the combined M-theory gained a big space in press, and I have no doubt that there are mathematics geniuses working on this project, but for me it has the same error. It needs a fixed background. It has also no experimental proof, (what one can understand when considering the scale), but there is also not any prediction, like general relativity theory gave and is showing to be true on and on. Relativity theory doesn’t have any fixed background and can’t thus be combined with string theory.
    More and more people are considering the “loop quantum gravity theory”. Not a theory of every thing, but much less pretentious, introducing the Big Bounce, which makes the breathing of our universe possible with all it´s possibillies, also giving a sence to "free will" as does the Many-worlds interpretation

    Maybe the truth is not the same for every one.
     
  7. MetaCognition

    MetaCognition Member

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    It's important to remember that in the end, all forms of communication (including physics) are just models, symbols that ultimately mean nothing without the observer putting meaning into them. The truth does not lie in any model human beings can create, no matter how quantitative the results might seem to be.
     
  8. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    That's a very good point M.C.

    Any words create a framework of terminology to use, but words (and methematics) are limited, and can never be universal. Only the universe itself is universal and is the only thing that could "describe" itself completely. The only way to know it, is to Be it. ;)

    Hugs

    Giles
     
  9. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    It sounds like a turning point for you, and reading the text, it is in more than one way.

    Looking at the first part, your approach towards meditation is very analytical.
    And when you remembered your experience, suddenly the other half of your brain took over.

    Please do try to not expect your next meditation session to have the same or similar experience.
    Allow the meditation session to surprise you in a different way every session by not expecting anything.
    And try to stop your analytical brain from analyzing your sessions. Enjoy them while you experience them, and leave it at that.

    :)
     
  10. Kauil

    Kauil Member

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    Can thoughts be silent or are they always in the form of words? Animals don't have a language system as delicate as humans, but surely they still think? I wonder if they ever stop to ponder something. I wonder if I've ever seen an animal stopping to think. I know cats sometimes just sit with their eyes open, seemingly doing nothing, just being. Are they trying to sleep?
     
  11. Hazelkay

    Hazelkay Member

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    Hi Kauil

    Well dogs obviously dream as you can see the rapid eye movements and see their twitching and hear sotto voce barks, so some memory system must be feeding images.

    Early written languages had a very pictorial system, so maybe its conceivable that thoughts were more often visual than wordy in earlier times.

    If we broaden our definition of thoughts, then it seems more likely than not that some animals can think. Inventive tool use by animals must have started by some sort of 'what if?'

    Off to lose the thought process now and have a bit of a sit
    peace and joy;)
     
  12. MetaCognition

    MetaCognition Member

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    I'd say "of course" animals think, they just don't really dwell on the thoughts (or at least not to the extent that human beings tend to). Animals definitely have "egos" of some sort, so I'd say it's safe to assume they have fleeting thoughts.
     
  13. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    Thought can not be compared to silence as silence relates to sound. Perhaps a better terminology would be to say that thoughts are movement. Thoughts arise in the mind, but may manifest as sounds, words, visual images, sensations, emotions etc. all of those things, but at any one given moment we tend to focus on one aspect of the thought, usually whatever is the most prominent one, such as the words, or the emotions etc.

    If thoughts were always in the form of words then the language of a person would dictate the nature of the thoughts i.e. an English person would think different thoughts to a Dutch person, but we know that is not the case. A thought itself is the tiniest pinprick of movement, but it is our minds attachment to that thought that causes it to bring up related patterns of thoughts, which itself is what creates the "whole" aspects of words, images etc that we see. These "whole" aspects take much longer to construct than an individual thought, so we could say that speaking our mind takes much longer than the thought itself. I'm sure most people will recognise that they can observe a thought arising before they construct and speak the words that associate with it.

    Animals, likewise will have thoughts arising, but their "language" is typically of a smaller vocabulary, and thus their ability to act quicker on the thoughts is noticable. Observing our pet cat, it is clear that he does have thoughts, it is clear that these thoughts manifest in his actions or words, but it is also clear that he doesn't have as many attachments and is more able "act" in the present rather than "re-act" on the past.

    Hugs

    Giles.
     
  14. emmanuel_pil

    emmanuel_pil Member

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    I fully agree
     
  15. M L K

    M L K Member

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    "Thoughts as movement" -- out of the Stillness. That's helpful, Giles.

    Thanks, Margaret
     

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