My Current Perception of the World
Through studying about the inner workings of our bodies, physics, and attempting to maintain a logical consistency and the desire to tether my actions, beliefs, and understandings to “truths,” I have become highly desensitize and, to a strong degree, lost my self-identity and a level of self-consciousness. My vision (literally) many times seems to be a game which just exists rather than an observation of some amazing moment the world has just given me. The reason for all this is because I have lost my sense of self. I see my vision as a product of amalgamations of subparticles. I see my decisions as a similar amalgam.
Upon this understanding, which appears to be logically sound, I am working to come up with ways to get back to a belief which allows us to be the successful entities that we are able to become. (Most often this is achieved through some version of the notion that we have the power to choose and change!) However, it is difficult to retain such a belief when you also believe that everything is predictable.
Therein lies my current perception of the world (i.e., everything is an amalgam of elements and a product of interactions between such entities / elements) and how it is affecting me.
This understanding of the world, and my general response (rejection) to previous psychological tendencies which I’ve learned, has led me to the aforementioned standstill (i.e., do we even have the ability to choose?). As well, this is leading me further along a trend (which was previously led by other biology courses and life-thoughts) towards an understanding of the base-level of the world and humans, beyond societally created issues, products, services, and interactions. This is leading me to a fascination of –
A desire to leverage this understanding, the allure of the inherent scalability of this understanding, and the potential benefits of leveraging such, are leading me to an interest in –
- Imaging Techniques
- Coding and Programming
I suspect the best way to get away from this desensitized and self-less perception is to recognize that I am a player, not just an observer. And, as a player, I have the ability to negate any action which I commit through various inhibition tools we have available to us in our biology / chemistry (e.g., molecules, our prefrontal cortex, etcetera).
Update (via a blogpost and some other edits):
My Choice to Choose (And, do we even have this decision?)
It’s very possible that my troubles of conceptualizing whether we have the ability to choose or not is dependent upon the system which I define. In a similar fashion to physics problems, it is often neglected but most important to define your system and variables. The reason for this is because your decisions/chosen actions change, given your reference points, definitions of variables and the boundaries of the system you define.
When thinking of whether I have the ability to decide or whether everything is predictable, it appears to be true that the answer depends on my definition of the system. And, as an actor in this world, the system that I live with is one in which I do have a choice. The reason is because I have the ability to speak, comprehend, have emotions, etcetera, AND, to have inhibitory mechanisms. Combining these abilities, we have “choice.” But, this is still a bit confusing.
To understand this, we must look at the definition of “choice.” Choice refers to the ability to consciously withhold or not withhold a certain action. (You can “choose” to think, as “thinking” is an action!) Now, what is it to “consciously” withhold, not withhold, or catalyze/excite some action? This is a process, and it refers to the compilation of our ability to talk with ourselves, deducing and analyzing situations (another part of the brain), our prefrontal abilities to inhibit, and all of the other unknowns involved. However, the conclusion remains: we have the ability to choose!
Looking at this from a system defining us as an objective observer of the world, we are simply amalgamates of elements/particles (no different than a wall, in this definition…). The interactions which follow are predictable if you take into account all the variables (factors) which are relevant. This is a lot of data, and will take a WHILE, for us to ever be extremely good at predicting events and choices. Most especially, it is hard to predict choice because we are dynamic, closed AND open-system organisms, with multiple feedback loops.
The “truth” (which is a definition in itself… and which depends upon your definition of the system at hand):
Hence, depending upon your vantage point (definition of the system), we do have choice. But, those choices are predictable. Now, what SHOULD we do? Realizing that choices simply refer to a conscious effort to impede or follow through with an action, and it is irrelevant if they are predictable, we should choose. I make this statement partially for the reason of the benefits which extend from this choice. However, I also come to the conclusion that we have choice and should use it because we are ACTORS in this world. While we can still observe, we are actors! In this sense, the words we speak, the thoughts which exist, etcetera, are all interactions which allot us the tool of choice (inhibition/addition..-/+).
*It’s all about scale and definition.
Update 2: How I got to this standstill? & What are the factors that allowed me to escape?
One might say, “Well, Ryan, you chose to choose! Of course you have choice, otherwise this would be impossible.” I respond by saying that: while this is true, my ability to choose was diminished / marginalized by the knowledge that that choice is and was simply a product of amalgmations and interactions. From an objective, outside perspective–when you define your system as the whole of the body–you have no choice. From an objective, outside perspective–when you define your system as subsystems within your body (e.g., your consciousness, your ability to speak, your ability to inhibit, your ability to excite)–you have a choice.
My Choice to choose was contingent upon: (1) having the ability to choose (however, this ability was marginalized by my desensitized and “objective” sense of thought); and (2) the knowledge that “outcomes” change when you change your definition of the system (i.e., when you buy a cookie for $2, you lose $2. However, when you are the seller of the cookie, you are gaining $2… And, if you’re buying a cookie from your dad, the family net worth stays the same!).