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Insight meditation based on the brain structure

Maybe this is complete nonsense, with oversimplifications, etc, but, here it goes:

Insight meditation based on the brain structure:

So, lets assume that there are 2 parts of the brain, the neocortex (NEO) and the reptilian (RPT).
Lets assume that they are “layered”, that is that sensations go first to the RPT and then to the NEO.
So, Sensation -> RPT -> NEO. NEO gets sensation “processed” by RPT.

Lets assume that NEO structure is adapted to process RPT
Lets assume that emotions (fear, disgust, love, desire) exists on the RPT and the concept of them exist on the NEO.
Lets assume that the brain is a learning machine, with limited capabilities of plasticity (of changing its own structure) and huge capabilities of reinforcing connections.

So, a cycle of insight starts when NEO finds it can change its structure (plasticity) to better accommodate the process of experience. By reflecting on experience (meditation), NEO starts changing its structure to change experience itself. As NEO is strong on concepts and reasoning, experience changes based on that.

At some point (Arising and Passing Away), NEO has come to a point where little more can be done in its domain, and realizes that “its input” (what comes from RPT) is faulty. That the problem lies in RPT.

And so the Dark Night starts where RPT starts to change its structure (plasticity). As RPT changes its structure, NEO (which was used to the old structure of RPT) begins changing too. NEO is forced to change by something out of its control (and on which its dependent).
Its important to note that, in every day life, for NEO, RPT is a given. Its really used and dependent on the structure of RPT. So, change is really painful.

At some point RPT has changed and NEO has changed (to accommodate to the new RPT). Both find that the problem with sensations lie beyond them. Here starts Equanimity.

In equanimity, RPT and NEO are “synched” (and without changes) but the brain somewhere knows that more optimization can be done at the sensations level, in some part of the brain that is very, very basic and that requires a “disconnect”.
And so, finally, fruition occurs at the sensations level of the brain. Fruition is an optimization (brain change) at a very deep level in a very reinforced brain pattern that is changed.

After fruition, RPT starts to change to accommodate to the new sensations and then NEO to accommodate to the new RPT. This explains how after a path things keep improving.
Now lets assume that there is a “knower” part of the brain (KWR). Its task is to evaluate and optimize NEO, RPT and sensations.
I cant fit the knower in the model (yet) emoticon.

This model explains the progress to the “Arising and passing away event” (when RPT starts to change disorientating NEO), “Dark Night” (RPT changing and NEO trying to catch up), “Equanimity” (NEO and RPT “synched” and without changes) and fruition (sensations level change) neatly. It also explains sudden changes and gradual ones.

Well, that’s it.
I don’t know a lot about brain structure (so maybe what Im saying is complete nonsense), or how to fit concentration in this model (its only for insight).

RE: Insight meditation based on the brain structure
Answer
4/29/17 11:53 AM as a reply to Ernest Michael Olmos.
I just realized that the reptilian brain is the one in charge for sensations, and the limbic one for emotions. So in the post I should replace RPT with limbic. (LMemoticon.

So sensations -> RPT -> LMB -> NEO.

NEO changes before Arising and passing away.
NEO and LMB in the dark night.
RPT changes in fruition (triggering a change in LMB and NEO) later.

RE: Insight meditation based on the brain structure
Answer
4/29/17 12:18 PM as a reply to Ernest Michael Olmos.
I was thinking. If when the limbic changes and neo changes, the dark night happens, why after a fruition there is no dark night?

My idea is that in the dark night, the limbic is trying to find its faults (and neo trying to catch up). My guess is that the limbic system is not good at finding faults. And the problem is directed from neo. After a fruition, chage to the limbic is based on changes on rpt, and based on the premise "problem solved".

RE: Insight meditation based on the brain structure
Answer
5/1/17 1:25 AM as a reply to Ernest Michael Olmos.
There's a book by Daniel E Haycock "Being and Percieving" that goes into a lot of detail about evolutionary neuroscience and mind.  It's a work of speculative philosophy.

He's a painter!
http://www.danhaycock.co.uk/

It's a bit obscure so you might have to try a UK bookstore to find it eg:
https://www.bookdepository.com/Being-and-Perceiving/9780956962102

RE: Insight meditation based on the brain structure
Answer
5/2/17 8:11 AM as a reply to baba ganoush.
Thanks for the link of the book!!! Seems very interesting.
I don't live in the UK and access to books is a little "limited" where I live.

I'll see if I can read it via google books.

The ideas for the post ocurred to me after reading about neuralink in waitbutwhy.com.

Also, while it's entertaining to try to understand the way insight meditation works, it's has no good use in insight meditation practice.
The only thing that seems to really work for practice is:

1. Try to watch, feel, sense etc the 3Cs.
2. Do 1 each moment, harder, and for longer, with no reservations.
3. Try not to ruin your life while doing 1 and 2.

RE: Insight meditation based on the brain structure
Answer
5/2/17 1:24 PM as a reply to baba ganoush.
baba ganoush:
There's a book by Daniel E Haycock "Being and Percieving" that goes into a lot of detail about evolutionary neuroscience and mind.  It's a work of speculative philosophy.

He's a painter! 


He has a BA in Fine Art... perhaps he should STFU about neuroscience and philosophy, right?

RE: Insight meditation based on the brain structure
Answer
5/5/17 7:53 AM as a reply to neko.
Well, many people know a lot about things and don't have formal education.

In any case, this neuroscience and philosophy seems not very useful for practice.

Maybe the only useful conclusion I get is that, while the neocortex and the limbic system knowing their flaws is useful to "solve the problem" (get a path), the real solution to the problem itself is out of their reach.
The change itself is beyond concepts, beyond what I can rationally or emotionally imagine it is (well, it's called the unknown).

Well, I better STFU and do something useful.

Maybe this is a topic for another discussion:

How much do you thing reading about meditation books (or posts) that do not relate to meditation practice itself is useful to get a path? (vs doing actual practice).
Somewhere I read that koans help and reading and trying to understand what happens with meditation seems useful to me, but I'm not sure if it's a distraction not to do actual practice.

Hmmmm, I'll get back to practice emoticon.

RE: Insight meditation based on the brain structure
Answer
5/5/17 9:34 AM as a reply to Ernest Michael Olmos.
Ernest Michael Olmos:
Well, many people know a lot about things and don't have formal education.

(Begin rant)

Would you let someone without a degree in medicine perform surgery on you? The idea that one can know a lot about about something very technical without having a formal education ultimately signals an anti-scientific attitude coupled with ignorance of the topic, just like Trump with climate science.

With neuroscience, the odds that the painter writing the book knows what he is talking about are ridiculously low. It takes the average neuroscientist decades of work before feeling comfortable writing a book, and you think it plausible that this artist has subjected himself to the same kind of self-censorship? Most likely he is sitting atop mount stupid



The attitude by which an artist writes a book on neuroscience is, I am willing to bet, the same as when Jenny McCarthy writes a book claiming that vaccines cause autism.

Now of course I could be wrong, and it might be that the book in question is well written. The problem is that, since I know close to nothing about neuroscience, I have no way of knowing whether that is the case. So I would never read such a book, and I consider it very questionable of a publisher to print it without verifying the quality and scientific validity of the book. You* want to know about neuroscience? Learn it from neuroscientists, not painters. You wouldn't have a heart surgeon do the plumbing in your apartment, nor a plumber perform heart surgery on you, right?

The problem arises when there are some people who would like to read a "scientific" book putting forward a specific theory, for example denying global warming. No serious physicist would write that, so quacks step in to fill in the demand. It is ultimately a product of intellectual laziness: people wanting some "expert" who will confirm their own biases instead of going the hard way and educating themselves. 

___________

* general you, not pointing fingers at anyone!

(End rant.)

RE: Insight meditation based on the brain structure
Answer
5/5/17 10:25 AM as a reply to neko.
<RANT>

It depends on the area of expertise and on the person. But there is a strong tendency worldwide where formal education is getting behind.
It's not me saying nonsense:

https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/no-degree-required/

In my particular case, most of what I have learned when I got a degree is really outdated, and of not real use.
Take a look at the curricula of most degrees and you'll find they are really outdated.

This is my opinion, but I really value experience more than knowledge and knowledge more than certifications.

About people saying nonsense and making mistakes, well, I consider that a right, something they all deserve to have.
Yeah, that's right. Anyone can give his/her opinion on something and make mistakes. We're all humans after all.

Even more, a lot of revolutionary discoveries seemed like nonsense to the established society and it's "rules of correctness".

It's important that I consider what you say (that people should STFU about what they don't know) as valuable.
And I do think that people can harm other people by doing or saying things in fields they are no experts.
You do have a point there.

In this planet earth there is only people and the knowledge of people who died.

Yeah, right now, people say stupid things, but the stupidity of those things is judged by people who have the same capacity of making mistakes. We're all humans and a lot more alike than we think.

We're all alike in a sense that, in certain fields, we don't now shit about anything. We have really no idea how the brain works.

In fact, if you read the article about Neuralink in waitbutwhy.com, you'll get to the same conclusion.
We know very, very little about how the brain works.

And about conciousness or higher level functions (including meditation) science know NOTHING.

You mentioned the topic "vaccines cause autism". We don't really know the inmune system that well. It's really, really, very complex. We know a lot, but that "lot" is very little compared to what we don't know. I'm not saying he's right or wrong.
His opinion is valuable because we don't know a lot about the inmune system.

You can't compare plumbing to neuroscience. The ratio about what we know-don't know (all humans) is very different.

</RANT>

RE: Insight meditation based on the brain structure
Answer
5/7/17 4:20 AM as a reply to neko.
The idea that one can know a lot about about something very technical without having a formal education
...means that you are, thankfully, free of the incorrect scientific orthodoxies that are unfortunately clung on to by those whose universes are delineated by their college text books, often ones they only read 40 years ago. There's an ever growing graveyard of dead orthodoxies.

RE: Insight meditation based on the brain structure
Answer
5/6/17 8:00 AM as a reply to Ernest Michael Olmos.
guys... I'm sorry i didn't mean to start a flame war :-)

That book .... well originally i did neko's reaction and then thought it's not very expensive.

IMHO it's quite well researched and written (or else i would not have posted), but it does have a few flaws, and also a few quite cheesy illustrations.

Given the simplicity of the opening remark

"So, lets assume that there are 2 parts of the brain, the neocortex (NEO) and the reptilian (RPT)."

i thought maybe a resource to some more detail/ideas might be of interest.
(however in terms of teh OP, esp as it's revealed to be triggered by waitbutwhy*, do we need more??)

I mentioned 'he's an artist' to warn you the he's not a certified expert so caveat lector.

However if evolutionary neuroanatomy is of interest then there's plenty of material and a vast bibliography whereby you can DYO research and quietly ignore the dilentante spiele.

We can read stuff critically, with awareness and not have to get sucked in??

As DH says: "The periaqueductal area of the tegmentum is also responsible for triggering defensive behaviour, with dorsal stimulation resulting in increased movement and sympathetic response, and ventral stimuation resulting in a relaxed, vigilant state know as quiescence", so maybe yes you don't want to be reading that.

I need to get to more ;-)


So yes neko you are right I should STFU and do some practice, and ernest you also gave some good advice, so thnx to both.


* also has cheesy illustrations