on evolution and evolutionary reality (me and you)

Archive for the ‘The Worldview Internet Game’ Category

How to Build your Personal Worldview

This post is going to be published as a part of Worldview Owner’s Manual.  It is posted on my blog to invite you to cooperate in this project.                                           

This is the first chapter in which I’ll discuss the process of working on your personal, unique worldview. I promise that this process will be interesting and rewarding and will make you a better person and the world a better place. It might appear that the two distinct parts of the process can be distinguished: the making of your worldview, conceiving it, and writing down the answers into philozophy.com web site. But it is much more complicated, and you will see it as soon as you begin.

First, you are not creating it, you are teasing it out from your subconsciousness, from your past, from your image (or rather images) of yourself. Like going to hell and back.

The writing it down requires some skills and some courage and some freedoms, and one doesn’t know , really can’t know whether one has them. And when you find them you are a different person from the one you have started with… The writing is the creative process and the form can not really be separated from the content.

Secondly, as I mentioned before, one usually goes through the phases of the working on it:

      1 Browsing

  1. Writing “placement” answers (like “I will tell you as soon as I know” or “human cognition is not yet equipped to handle this question” etc.)
  2. The jokes and/or expressing the dislike towards the site, the questions, us, etc.
  3. The answers where you start to see a glimpse of you.

The benefits are visible from the level 1, the first answer you browse through, but naturally they accumulate and accelerate as you are walking the walk.

Thirdly, there are two sites to work on, the present one  and the future one, the one I am hoping for.

We ( Sophia , our friendly developer and I) are planning to remake and uplift the site.

  1. so , how to do it. No hurry , step by step. Remember , you are the human, the Curious One.

The questions will stay there, and that or this way, you will be trying to understand them to the last day of your life.

I suggest these steps:

  1. Read the Manual (or a part of it). This will slow you down, allow for the reflection and the introspection. Enjoy and repeat. Make notes, how exciting you are doing something completely new, this is rare in our secure lives, and the other rare thing , you completely  do not know the end result. It is like going to a sport event and the rules change every 10 minutes. And it is a bit like a mortal combat (unlike “Mortal Combat”), the results will be with you at the deathbed.
  2. Browse, this is again a shifting target: the more people participating , the richer and more interesting will be browsing. See how silly-heroic-insecure and brilliant people are. There is no ”party line”, each answer comes from the real person like you.
  3. Browse the “famous philosophers” collection which is slowly growing. Even these “giants” had a hard time with the succinct answer to the big questions.
  4. Respond, click and note the answer which can be useful for you, wise or just beautiful.
  5. You may find an answer (or answers) which you really like- “reuse” it, make it yours for now. This would be your first, ginger start of the budding personal worldview.
  6. Pick the first question, out of 14, which you are going to work on. I suggest an area which you are familiar with, thought a lot of it, like it a lot. To choose easier, read the beginning of the Part Two chapters. The philosophical questions become more practical, everyday things, may be related to your very personal story.
  7. Write this story, or a joke or an insight. This is your answer. For now, no hurry.

If the story is too long, put it as the “comment” (the future version will have separate “laboratory” space) and it will help you to formulate the  answer condensed to 250 characters. We wanted the answer to be long enough to show unique opinion, but short enough to be read, understood and commented on.

  1. This point is the most important. Return and edit the answers. Like “real” writers, they edit and edit and edit, they have hundreds of pages to edit, you – 3 or 4 lines…

Then, return after several months, knock yourself on the head, does it sound like metal? you are not a robot, you are not dead, you changed. You’ll be surprised unless you are still on the “early answers”, they reflect not who you are, but your “issues”. And those tend to persist…

 

Move slowly, answer more and more questions: notice that later questions, those you did not like, are more difficult. They correspond with your hang ups and figuring them out will bring the most personal benefits.

If you’re ready to work on your worldview now, click here.

 

Advertisements

Why invest time and effort in working on your Personal Worldview?

This post is going to be published as a part of Worldview Owner’s Manual.  It is posted on my blog to invite you to cooperate in this project.                                           

     “You are a hero!” I repeat this several times a day. It is what I say in my office to a mother who brings her new baby and tell me that she is breastfeeding. Many of them will quit in few days, some will breastfeed for weeks or months. But she is a hero, and in the same way you are a hero. You are attempting to work on your worldview. This statement urgently needs two clarifications( so urgently, that I will proceed at the peril of mistake of not starting with the thesis of the chapter.)

First, I have to remind you that you are not going to reveal any Truth about the Universe. If you are, you are going to get the Nobel Prize, become a prophet or be invited by Oprah. But it is a test, a test of you being unique, individual thinking being. The dogs, cats, the robots, the mob members should not apply. We are going to work on the essence of your experience, of your story. We are going to work on our personal worldview.  

Second, I need to say something about the term “to work on”. And it is more difficult than it looks from the distance. Because you are my hero, you are already working on it. Actually, nolens-volens everybody is working on it. Our every action is an attempt to understand our world and ourselves. And we have been working on it since birth, and our species has been absolutely famous of working on it since we jumped down from the branch. So, our work here is just an “accelerated method” or “advanced course”. We will be transferring our gut feelings and deep instinctual worries and hopes into written, short, crisp thoughts.

 

     In this chapter, I will discuss the dilemma of “why to do it”. And it is a real dilemma. Billions of people never have done it and they go their more or less happy way. Initially, we thought (really!) that the fun of working on it would be so great that no elaborate cajoling would be necessary.

Be advised: this work is arduous and takes longer than expected. Many famous philosophers never did it. If you’ve been to counseling, you know about spilling your guts – and justly so, this metaphor doesn’t sound very inviting.

But it is worth it.

      The most obvious benefit of this work is of course , personal. The personal growth that is.

The term of the personal growth may seem rather vague, but not for a worldview owner. You go from the question to question, you write down your answers and you’re learning about yourself at the every step. Usually, you start with the questions which are most familiar and finding this out very often is  in itself a revelation. Like “am I really worry about the death?” “Is material more important than spiritual?”. You go through several answers and the picture of a human emerges.

Is it you? Or no picture emerges. Oh -oh… You might find yourself in the unfamiliar “territory”. Look, this is great! And you can stop and review and edit.

It is similar to the psychotherapy but more interesting and profound. As you go further and further, you’ll observe that these “late” questions are harder and more revealing. If it is difficult to condense your answer, I suggest that you write a longer version in “comments” and come back other day and finish the job. I have never revisited my worldview without an insight and editing. The most beneficial times to work on it is during the crisis- you’ll be surprised how much it helps to get clarity of the feelings.

There are professional philosophers who would work on big questions with you for a fee, as some sort of therapy. They claim to make you happier and more resilient. I agree, but having it written may be people liking it or commenting on your answers, has for me an additional element of building your own intellectual and emotional castle. You can just hide there if needed, or you can add another tower!

Think also that working on the personal worldview may and should “branch” into the conversations about personal freedoms and personal values. They also deserve to be transferred from implicit to explicit.

Of course, there is always the anxiety that the worldview that emerges from your writing might be incompatible with what you do, who you are. Well, there you are and it is good thing that you got confronted, isn’t it?

     These goodies are all personal, but I believe that this work can have an impact on the society. Does everybody need the personal, unique worldview? In the same way in which everybody needs good education- yes, everybody does. And then people can choose- to be a savage, easterner or westerner , are they any other options? I believe that the people who did the worldview are not only more successful but also easier to talk and negotiate with, they know where they stand. Creating one’s personal worldview can be beneficial for the society, especially if people in charge, people with power will do it and bravely share it with the rest of citizens.

Lastly, participating in the growing community of the worldview owners adds to our knowledge about the society and its values.


     At the end just a hypothesis: The more one works on transferring one’s implicit worldview into the explicit form, the more one become a humanist. And this, by itself, is beneficial for this person and for all humans. Now, I mean the humanist as a person who explores and promotes and holds dear the human values and it includes both religious and non-religious people like Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King, my Mom or Kurt Johnson, a prominent force in the Interspirituality Movement.

The Worldview: An Old Concept and a New Idea

This post is going to be published as a part of Worldview Owner’s Manual.  It is posted on my blog to invite you to cooperate in this project.                                           

In my effort to define and to illuminate the concept of the worldview which is fascinating to me, I am in the bind, facing a paradox.

The concept of the worldview, in this or that form, for millennia, was the domain of philosophers.

From the Vedas, Lao-Tze and Plato to Vidal and Merinoff, all of them were talking about Big Questions.  Funny thing (hint, hint) that they talked much more about the questions than the answers….The other funny thing about these questions is that the more these philosophers divide, categorise and put them in separate domains – like ontology, axiology, praxeology etc, the more they stay the same.   So, Immanuel Kant was apparently the first to use the term Weltanschauung, but in the more perceptual sense, Adler wrote in late 20th century huge treatise summarising our concepts of the worldview, but the best information about worldview I found in Clement Vidal’s brilliant and funny paper “Metaphilosophical Criteria for Worldview Comparison” 2008.

Kenneth Funk from the Oregon State University wrote a nice essay about the worldview and he quoted a good set of definitions including his own. He discussed following  aspects of the worldview:

  • epistemology: beliefs about the nature and sources of knowledge;
  • metaphysics: beliefs about the ultimate nature of Reality;
  • cosmology: beliefs about the origins and nature of the universe, life, and especially Man;
  • teleology: beliefs about the meaning and purpose of the universe, its inanimate elements, and its inhabitants;
  • theology: beliefs about the existence and nature of God;
  • anthropology: beliefs about the nature and purpose of Man in general and, oneself in particular;
  • axiology: beliefs about the nature of value, what is good and bad, what is right and wrong.

 

This booklet is not for the philosophers (even, as I know some of them, they could benefit greatly!), it is for the modern, 21st century curious, educated persons. So, the worldview we want to talk about is somehow different than the thing in the philosophical books. It is much more practical, personal and useful. I want to demystify the worldview, I want to take it out from the hands of philosophers, out of academia, out of the doctrine, no matter which authority it may follow.

It is why the plan for this chapter has changed. After all books, all research, I think, that philosophical history of the concept is unnecessary for the creating of the personal worldview. You do not need PhD in psychology, political science and (often) criminal justice to vote. You did not read Sun Tzu’s Art of war before you were sent off to Vietnam and the problems of entropy shouldn’t bother you at the gas station. Similarly, a modern human needs to be aware of his or her worldview without being  a professional philosopher. On the other hand, the more we explore the everyday life the deeper it leads us.

 

The worldview we are going to work on is the set of rules and values you live your life by. Your human nature and your life experiences, including possibly spiritual ones, made you who you are. Now, the processes and forces that are responsible for creating you, the human being, are controversial and are the part of your worldview. But everybody has one and uses it all the time to make every decision, every move. Most of this system are automatic, subconscious – always or almost always. I get up in the morning and go to work, I am a pediatrician, and there is always the tapestry of mechanical routines, joy and pain, worry and searching for solutions. Big Questions are not there but are floating further or closer, or out of sight, for a moment.

So, this is it. This is the hard act to do- we need to shift and shift and shift- from the abstract, primordial dilemmas of humanity to the simplest, warmest human pain and joy.

 

   In the books, the criteria for the worldview evaluation was very simple: the truth. If it is true it is my worldview, if it is mine worldview it must be true! The problem is that if you look at the big questions, again and again, the only answer you can truthfully give is “ I do not know” or “I am not sure” Well, let’s close the shop and go home. But we can’t. We need to live the rest of our life and live it well. Also, we can see that we have lived the first part of our lives as if we would have known the answers. So now there is an obvious task: to tease out them from the life we lived, fine tune them, make them more clear and coherent and live the rest of the life more “examined” as Socrates would put it.

   

   We do not know these answers, but still we would like to believe in the true values and principles, rather than in false. We’d like to be working on the answers which feel true to us, trying to build a coherent worldview. So, at the end of the chapter about the concept of the worldview I am going to leave you with that: there are no true answers, nobody knows true answers, the smartest people’s definitions did not help us the slightest. If your answer is a piece of a story, a metaphor or even a joke and if it resonates with you as your own, you are a million miles ahead, stronger, with more integrity and resilience.

How to Use this Manual

This post is going to be published as a part of Worldview Owner’s Manual.  It is posted on my blog to invite you to cooperate in this project.                                           

This manual has two parts. In the short part one, we talk about general problems and pleasures of creating your personal worldview. Working on this project for the last two years we learned a lot and I will share with you insights and tricks. Part two consists of 13 chapters, one for each question.

When you want to work on the particular question, you go to this chapter and you find tons of support.  Every chapter has the similar organization.

First, I’ll quote a famous philosopher.  

Then, the pompous philosophical question is softened by the number of “subquestions”.

We were trying to figure out the relationship between the problem representing by the question with your decisions in the everyday life.

Working on the particular question will address specific worries, problems  or even psychological weaknesses- I will point that out.

I will also quote my favorite answer published on Philozophy.com. You will get a working version, maybe a story related to the question, rather than the abbreviated, condensed “end product”.

I will encourage you to study the question by reading “suggested readings” and links to the history of the particular question.

 

   Everybody has a Worldview, but our worldview is mostly implicit. If you, my reader, are like the most of us, humans, this set of personal principles and values lives inside of you in the form of memories, stories, fears, hopes or instincts. A mixed emotional bag, most of which you are even not aware of.  And yet, you function somewhat, you make decisions, choices, you make plans, you can even attach some reasons or explanations to them.

 

   The other part of my thesis is that if you work on building a personal, written down, Worldview, this work creates substantial benefits.

I strongly believe that this work would make you smarter, happier and more resilient in the crisis. Secondly, it would make you more productive, efficient and successful whatever are your projects.

But the third is the most important: it would make you better, I mean “gooder”, more compassionate, non-violent, tolerant and cooperative.

This claim is pretty risky and big isn’t it? I know but look, it is our only hope. The smartest people on the planet, the mystics, the intellectuals and wise men unanimously say that digging into the core of the human nature, brings good, levels boundaries and makes peace.

And it is what you and I embark on.  And not a second too early, I say….

 

I hope we are going to work on this project of the personal worldview together. Of course, I would like that this manual was exciting, captivating, and beautiful. But I am not a writer, and if I’d worry about that, I would never write this thing. I am a pediatrician and I care about children. Naturally, my concern is the most clear and emotional when I think about my own children and grandchildren and the children I know personally.

 

    There are lots of books about the Worldview, most of them, at least in English, about Christian Worldview. Nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is labeling, is boxing yourself in, is the desperate search for the name of your worldview, preferably with the “-ism” ending.

“Oh, it is who I am!” Noooo, you are you, critically and mystically thinking individual human of the 21st century.    The World is trying to define itself. We witness the paroxysms of the violence of the heroism, the faith, and nihilism. But all of that is nothing else but the sum of each human personal struggle. People define themselves by living their lives, and desperately trying to make sense of it. For millennia, some of them attempt to express this in literature, art, and music. For yourself, for your children and for my children, I am going to work with you on building a personal explicit worldview. Yours.

 

    The philosophers distilled the concept of ‘Worldview’ to several basic categories, represented by the infamous “Big Questions”. This is the worldview. It is how you see the World, your opinions, your attitude and your guts. In the innate, experiential form, or implicit form- it is in the everybody’s bones.

In modern times, as more and more people, are educated, reflective, even obsessed with mindfulness and examining your own mind, the explicit (written down) worldview has become more popular. The domain of philosophers, religious doctrines, and scientific theories has become the object of TED talks, self-improvement books and even party conversation.

In Philozophy.com we are trying to encourage and help an ordinary thinking person to work on his or hers worldview. We think that the answer, or as Vidal call it, ”position”, should be short enough to be easily digested and compared with others, but long enough to be meaningful and personal- yours. We arbitrarily decided on the wording of each question, but we included alternative wording or “sub-questions”.

These statements, if they feel yours and true, we believe, can be the very important signposts in your journey to living full and good life.

 

      In our site, we combined personal exploration, almost a “self-improvement” thing, with a game and a social experiment. You will be invited to answer 13 “big questions” with the very condensed answer – 250 characters max. As the philosophers grappled with the answers to these questions for millennia, so how can you or I add anything interesting?

Yes, we can. Every  decision we make is related to our “take on the life”, our attitude, our belief system. They are related to big questions, even you do not think that the way you talk to your friend depends on your opinion of “the nature of the mind” – question #6.

Or does it? How about “origins of evil and good” – #3 and 4, and of course:” how do you find the truth?” – #8.

You pack for vacation, throwing socks and underwear into the suitcase.  But somewhere in the back of your mind, it is the travel, unknown, beginning and ending, and even death – #11, the meaning of life – #9 – and how do you find happiness – #7.

Scrambled in the subconscious puzzle these questions are all there.

 

In books about worldviews, it is always reduced down to 6 to 10 questions, with different exact wording, but they are the same questions, “the buck stops there” questions.

Nobody can change them into “lighter, less philosophical”. They are the concentrated, distilled problems of the human mind and of our civilization.

Look at the questions and start with the one your heart resonate with. Write the answer with the idea that it should be changed and improved and refined many times.

It does not need to be the exact answer, the truth, the definition. This is for you, not for me.

On my hook, please hang your own coat… or hat, or umbrella.  Browse and score the answers of other people, they are all real people, like me and you — some try to be funny, some pompous, some academic or religious.  But they have this in common. They had the courage to answer these questions and share these answers with us.This the sign of courage, of the open mind, of course, but also of freedom. They will read and comment on yours if you’re lucky; otherwise, they will ignore them.

Compose your answer….and edit and edit and edit until when you look at it, you will be able to say: “yes, this is me”. I bet you will be surprised. I was.

 

Then if you have time, pick another one, browse, discuss, score. It is your own brave journey inside your brain and heart – maybe the last frontier.

 

  This text can be interesting in itself, but it is meant to work the best with your browsing and your activity on our website: philozophy.com. The name of the domain is catchy, but it might mislead you. This site not much of the philosophy, most philosophers are very ponderous and not practical. This site is the place where different worldviews live together, they mingle, the participants comment on them, borrow them from each other, discuss whatever they want.

So, this manual has four main separate goals:

  1. Invite you to go with your work to Philozophy.com, browse, express your opinions about others’ work, comment and discuss. .
  2. Assist you and lead you by the hand in this arduous task of creating your personal explicit, written-down worldview, distilled to a philosophical Haiku, 250 characters max.
  3. Encourage you to join others and publish your answers in this abbreviated form, allow others to benefit from your hard work, see what they say, respond to comments and most importantly keep editing your answers.  
  4. Build a social experiment. See if creating your worldview can be interactive. Explore the fears and inhibitions in the society. Can we learn something about us, can the participation be fun?

In case you skipped the “invitation for cooperation”, I will repeat:

Both Manual and the Philozophy.com are completely ideology-neutral. This is the place where different worldviews mingle, all are welcome, their only defense consists of the human values and benefits for humanity. But we have preferences; we are for individualism, for cooperation and for the freedom of expression. We are against mob mentality, mindlessness, and stupidity. We are against the fear of being yourself, against the fear of exploring and against the fear of individual thinking.

 

 

The benefits of the Explicit Worldview

Two new reasons to build the explicit worldview.

1.Rick Hanson quotes research suggesting that implicit memory is sad and explicit memory is happier, many psychotherapies rely on working on the implicit issues to move them into explicit- Jungian and Bowenian systems for sure.

The same thing with the worldviews- the implicit one is more fearful, the explicit more peaceful and mature.

2. The building an explicit worldview is the very primordial, old process. Every  communication, the sole reason of the existing of the nervous system, includes an element of understanding and passing this understanding in the more or less explicit form.

Since the invention of the nervous  system it is how the growth of complexity is done.

The content of the nervous system is the network of behaviors worth remembering . They  differ in the level of explicitness: from synaptic neural connections through the system of instinctual behaviors, then behaviors shared with other social animals, tribal rituals, human emotions, to the language, the text and global brain concept.

Work on your explicit worldview through the Philozophy.com where different worldviews mingle.

The implicit worldview and the explicit worldview

Explicit and implicit worldview,

The World is trying to define itself. We witness the paroxysms of the violence of the heroism , the faith and nihilism. But all of that is nothing else but the sum of each human personal struggle.
People define themselves by living their lives, and desperately trying to make sense of it.
For millennia some of them attempt to express this in literature, art and music.
The philosophers distilled that to several basic categories, represented by the infamous “Big Questions”.
This is the worldview.It is how you see the World, your opinions, your attitude and your guts. In the innate, experiential form, or implicit form- it is in the everybody’s bones.
In the modern times ,as more and more people, are educated, reflective, even obsessed with mindfulness and examining your own mind, the explicit (written down) worldview become more popular.
The domain of philosophers, religious doctrines and scientific theories become the object of the TED talks, self-improvement books or even party conversation.
In the Philozophy.com we are trying to encourage and help an ordinary thinking person to work on his or hers worldview. We think that the answer, or as Vidal call it-”position”, should be short enough to be easily digested and compared with others, but long enough to be meaningful and personal- yours. We arbitrarily decided on the wording of each question, but we included alternative wording or “sub-questions”.
These statements , if they feel yours and true, we believe, can be the very important signposts in your journey to live full and good life.
And if we put them together on the Philozophy.com – we’ll build a smarter planet.

End of Materialism on Philosophy Network

1.1.2014

The Evolution explains the origins and the function of the nervous system.

In the pre- NS world, the interplay between the environment and the organism determines the survival. With increased complexity of the organism, the repertoire of the adaptive reactions increased both in spatial and in the temporal realms.

In pre-NS world the changes of the environment and organisms adaptive reactions are random.

To relate these environment’s  changes to organism’s action you need the behavior.

The behavior includes the information about the environment’s changes (the niche) the ways to remember them , the organism’s action and the way to remember it. Intent/ reward system is also included very early. The evolutionary benefits of processing and of organizing these data, “ pushed”  the development of the nervous system.

So, as I understand this, the content of the organism’s nervous system are these information pieces or neural networks organised in systems  being actually behaviors. This is organism’s Universe with the intent/reward system unifying them into an agent, (in more complex organisms, it become “I” or consciousness).

These Universes overlap , as the experiences overlap, depending on the complexity and socialization  of the organism. This is so simple , especially comparing to the Quantum- everything world. Well, with the Human World it is slightly more complicated , as we are v.v. complex and v.v. hypersocial- so we created from those overlapping experiences  a “Nobody’s Universe”, we call real.

I do not believe such a thing exists.  Any animal’s Universe is perfectly real, and My Universe is real. Animal’s do not have any need to burden their nervous system with Nobody’s Universe, the evolutionary process would not allow for it, and I can’t think how the humans could have grown one.  Instead of Subjective vs Objective World, I have one, real My World, with some things more personal  , not overlapping  much, others- heavily overlapped.