Re: Rationalizing Pleasure was: RE: Rationalizing suffering

Date: Wed Apr 02 2003 - 10:45:23 MST

> Ok, point by point, I'm going to show how the negative
> feelings you mentioned can be integrated and
> experienced as positive bliss.

One facet of pain/pleasure I think we should differentiate is that of sensory
input whose source is from the physical world, and source from our own mind. I
believe as thinking sentients (as opposed to plant life) our brain has eveolved
to allow us to recreate sensory input in a virtual manner. Hence the seemingly
extraordinary ability for us to apply these techniques of converting the mind's
feelings to physical actions and vice versa.

> --- Michael Baj <> wrote:
> > In fact, this is a bad thing. The people with that
> > syndrome generally
> > die in their early 20s.
> I agree that not feeling pain or any other emotion for
> that matter is a bad thing. My thesis though, is that
> as long as you feel the feeling you are able to
> receive all the information that feeling has for you,
> but more importantly it is possible and desirable to

As I have mentioned before, the purpose of our pain/pleasure model of our
existence is to maximize pleasure and minimize pain. Preferably over the period
of our individual lifetime.

> Pain ultimately is intense amounts of energy that
> emanate from the damaged area to your brain. Most
> people experience this intensity in a negative
> context, resulting in suffering. It is possible, and
> I can attest, to experience this energy as
> pleasurable. Last year I fell off an elevated
> platform, and broke my ankle, and experience some
> seriois abrasions in several areas. I immediately
> applied everyting I learned in Yoga and Vivation, and
> within 30 seconds began to feel the intense pain, as
> intense pleasure, and because of that was even more
> accutely aware of the damaged areas, and took great
> care to not damage myself further. According to the
> doctors, I healed almost twice as fast as normal.

A good example of the mind's ability to create what I am calling a virtual
sense that increases pleasure, or decreases pain. Pleasure and pain is always
what the mind perceives. And this is an example of how changing our perception
allows us to physically heal and hence decrease the chance of shortening our

> Yes, feeling sadness is again important. But when
> sadness is truly integrated, the tears flow, and the
> overwhelming feeling is tranformed into one of deep
> gratitude. I lost my father to pancreatic cancer, at
> the first of this year. As I integrated more and more
> of the grief, my sense of gratitude deepened, and I
> was able to be truly be present and loving to my
> father in his last days. While I was by his bedside
> loving and laughing with my father, most of my family
> were off in their rooms in depression and grief.

Understanding sadness and happiness as integrated together (wholly/holy ?) is
an important method for a mind to use to perform this pain/pleasure
optimization, and you have discovered that it is a lot more efficient than the
typical extended grieving period. Good for you.

> > If you can't
> > feel anxious, I'm sure I don't have to remind anyone
> > in this room that
> > anxiety gets us to do many things that otherwise we
> > would not have done.
> There are only two types of fear - rational and
> irrational. Rational fear is what you feel if you are
> about to get hit by a truck, and you run to move out
> of its way. Most anxiety however, is irrational fear.
> A good example of irrational fear (anxiety) is stage
> fright. When you integrate irrational fears they
> transform into feelings of excitement. Many stage
> performers and public speakers have learned to
> transform their stage fright into excitement, which
> makes them the best in their fields. Those who can't
> integrate these anxieties fail to achieve greatness on
> the stage. Same goes for any other anxiety - its
> crippling unless integrated into excitement. Keep in
> mind, the feeling itself is not changing, the context
> in which you choose to experience it does.

Getting hit by a truck (or at least perceiving it) has immediate physical
effects that shortens your life span. Fear of performance or what other people
think are purely mental that have no direct connection with your survival. That
is why we have evolved to have reflexes so that our mind doesn't get in the way
and slow us down while we're thinking about our sensory input. Anthony Robbins
says FEAR is False Evidence Against Reality. With this description, all fear is
irrational. You don't use fear itself as a motivator, you analyze where the
fear is coming from and rationally realize the best action to take.

Attaching a bunch of cameras and microphones and other sensory input devices to
an AI currently does not include the pain/pleasure model that biological
sentients such as ourselves experience. If I shine a blindingly bright light
into a camera, or permanently remove peripherals from a computer, there is no
negative feedback about why this is a bad thing and the AI should try and do
something about it. I think that this is the key difference between current AI
systems and regular sentients, the pain/pleasure feedback of physical and
virtual (mental) sensory inputs.


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