LastThursday

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  1. @Breakingthewall yes I know I'm not particularly old, but I am by some standards. Really my point is, is if you do the right things by your body, then you won't have to suffer decline or at least not so fast, either mental or physical. In fact things can improve. It's not going to be all roses and unicorns I admit, but you can do a lot to enjoy life in old age. And you never actually feel old and that is something that isn't understood by being young. Loss is something you gradually learn to accept, it's part of the process, it's not insurmountable. In some ways you stop being interested in a lot of things you did when you were younger, the focus shifts, so the loss in that respect isn't as great.
  2. Excellent my advertising worked! That doesn't surprise me. I'm fairly together as well in that way, I certainly don't worry about travelling in waking life for example. I believe a lot of dreams are a kind of emotional role play - they give you resilience and let you deal with your emotions in real life, so when that accident at the airport (or wherever) does happen you don't get emotionally overwhelmed by it. But I would also say that you're right to listen to your intuition. Dreams are very metaphorical they fly under the radar of consciousness most of the time. The airport is a symbol that you intuit as something to do with being away from your family, the emotions you feel at the airport are to do with that symbol.
  3. I can't believe I'm answering this question. Anyway. For all those worried about it, it's good to realise getting older is mostly a process or a matter of degree. You don't wake up one day and think "I'm offically old", and then start losing your faculties and health. Age is mostly relative, those in their seventies think everyone is young, those in their teens and twenties think everyone older than them is old. The aging process is a lot slower than you believe. For the upsides: I don't feel old. I pretty much feel like I'm the same I was when I was twenty, just calmer and mostly wiser. In terms of faculties and health, those have actually improved from my twenties: I drink far less, don't smoke any more, eat better, and exercise a lot more. My mind is much sharper than it was in my twenties. My social skills are immensely better, I'm a lot more relaxed and confident than when I was younger, I'm less impusive, and have no anxiety any more. I haven't been ill in years, I constantly got colds etc. when I was younger. In terms of memories, everything is still fresh and feels like it happened yesterday. You have more disposable income and steady life. Downsides: most people seem to think I'm old. I don't recover as quickly from lack of sleep etc. or when I go out partying, or when I do get ill - but those things happen rarely anyway. Concerns start to kick in about how you will support yourself in your old age, such as pension, property and so on. Time seems to shrink and there's never enough of it to do what you want to do. I don't have kids, but for most the responsibilities of family run your life, but it gets easier as your kids get older. You also do get increasingly prone to bodily injuries and ill health, but it's gradual. Diseases of old age kick in after 60 or so. Vision deteriorates like it or not after about 45 (mostly reading). Your good looks can diminish, but sometimes you actually look better older! You will start losing older relatives first and then friends after around age 60. I think as long as you maintain a certain level of fitness and eath healthily, have some sort of social life and something to keep your mind engaged, you don't need to worry about old age very much. In lots of ways it's far better than being young.
  4. Hmm. Have you been reading my journal? TLDR I have the same thing about trains. My conclusion was that it's metaphorically related to my commuting regularly. Although, I sense that there's a fair amount of anxiety in your dreams around confusion, getting lost, accidents. I think travel in general can be anxiety inducing, it's a lot of our fears rolled into one activity. So... it could be just a general expression of a certain amount of anxiety you feel in waking life - that you somehow have to "keep things together".
  5. Tell us your dream, let us interpret for you.
  6. Free energy conspiracy quackery at its best. He has a David Icke aura in his delivery.
  7. I'm slightly bothered by the formality of my writing in my journal. Somehow my unconscious tendency is to write like I read, I mean, using the same level of language that I'm used to reading. I don't know, I feel as though I want to be more informal in my writing but I also want to express myself concisely and using all the words at my disposal. I don't talk to my friends the same way I write! Then again I don't talk to my friends about the "weird shit" I talk about here. Maybe I just need to use a different level of language to get my musings over? I thought I'd go back to talking about dreaming. I just find the recurring themes in my dreams fascinating. I thought that maybe I would try my hand at dream interpretation for a laugh. Although, I think that on the whole trying to decipher dreams is pointless. If there is some sort of hidden message in dreams then it's only meaningful within that dream space. I suspect that given enough time though, the reason why certain themes repeat themselves becomes apparent. Here's a few of those themes and reasons why: Running I have a fair number of these. Normally I'm just running and feeling hot and sweaty. I do run in real life (or used to), so there's a connection there. My suspicion is that those times I'm just too hot in bed and I normally wake up sweating. Sometimes though, there's a kind of urgency in my running as if I need to make it to some appointment or other - maybe I just need to wake up and cool down. Swimming/toilets I have a fair few dreams where I'm either in a swimming pool or open water. I'm not a hugely great swimmer in waking life, but I do enjoy being in water. There's normally no particular reason for being in the water and no anxiety, it's a pleasant experience. The other side of the coin is trying to find somewhere to pee (in the dream of course). Usually, it's a failure. Mostly either it's too exposed, or the toilets are too disgusting to use, or the toilet floor is flooded, or I'm naked or partially undressed and I feel too uncomfortable to go, or I simply can't find somewhere to go. I suspect there is some form of anxiety around this that is a mirror of waking life. Although the level of disgust is unsettling, which I don't normally get in waking life. Occasionally I'm successful within the dream. Yay! Both of these I've worked out is because I actually need to pee, most times I wake up desperately needing to go. Good brain. Ex girlfriends This is a very frequent theme. This is despite having not been in a relationship a fair while. Normally it's just very run-of-the-mill, and the ex is just sort of in the background of my dream like an extra or there's minimal interaction. There's nothing sexual at all about these dreams. For many many years I dreamt about my first girlfriend (I was about 15/16 when I was with her!) and her family. This is strange because I haven't seen or had contact with her since I was about 19. Although I have met up with her brother in the last ten years (who I was also friends with), and her sister is on my Facebook (strangely). I won't use her name but these dreams were so frequent I actually used to call them E------- Dreams, to myself. The E' Dreams I think has something to do with an intense curiosity about what she's up to now. She was always the black sheep of the family, when I met her brother he could tell me nothing about her, he hadn't spoken to her in a very long time. I had no pictures of her either. She seems to have no internet presence at all. At the time, being a teenager my parents had already separated, and her family sort of adopted me, and they became my second family. I suspect this had a deep impact on my psyche. A lot of emotion and other things are bound up in that period of my life. However, I recently found a couple of photos of E in my mum's photo albums. My E' Dreams have now stopped - weird. Flying, levitating See my previous journal entry about this. In general I think its caused by being horizontal in bed, but upright in the dream, because IRL my feet are not touching anything, so this is interpreted as being off the ground in my dream. Exploration For many many years I used to explore buildings in my dreams. I would go room to room, and through corridors and up and down staircases. There would rarely be people around and normally it would be dimly lit. There would be a lot of attic spaces with weird assortment of stuff up there. Occasionally I would have to climb over balconies to get from one place to another. One particularly memorable dream I was on a balcony and realised I needed to hide from someone, I had nowhere to go, so I climbed over and hung from my fingers from the floor of the balcony, hoping my fingers wouldn't be seen - it would make a great movie sequence! I am an inquisitive type of person. I lot of the reason why I enjoy walking is to explore new places just to see how places fit together. I think my dreams are an extension of this curiosity. However, I have no explanation as to why there are always inside buildings. I'm not the sort of person to get lost normally, and I don't normally go wandering around abandoned buildings, who knows? Maybe there's a computer game element to this, I did used to enjoy games like Half-life and Counterstrike, which are kind of "room based" and exploratory. These types of dreams have largely stopped recently. But have switched mostly to staircases. They're bloody annoying in my dreams. It's like Hogwarts most of the time: staircases that lead into walls, staircases with scary large drops into other staircases. In last nights dream I had to slide down the shiny metal handrail to get from one staircase to the other. Why!? Don't know. Trains Again the frequency of these types of dreams has decreased. It's everything around trains, from waiting in stations, trying to find ways to get to my destination, walking on tracks, mainline trains, tube trains, walking through train tunnels from station to station, and on and on. I mean, most of these things I've never done in real life. I don't even travel on trains frequently any more (I drive). Saying that, I did used to travel on trains a lot in my teenage years and I was fascinated with trains from a young age. In a nerdy way I still am (see my post about subway maps!). I worked out in the end that the trains are just a metaphor for travel in general and especially commuting. They were more frequent when I had to drive into work longer distance. Aliens I don't have these types of dreams much any more. Normally there was a nightmarish or scary aspect to these dreams. A lot of times I would be staring into the sky, normally at night and weird stuff would happen, like stars would move about. Or, I would be in dimly lit or dark rooms and would feel a presence there. It's hard to describe the scariness of these dreams, I mean most of the time I wouldn't even see anything, very rarely I might actually catch a glimpse of an alien; but there would always be a kind of malevolence about the whole thing. I would often wake up scared. Normally on my back. One suspicion is that maybe I momentarily stop breathing because I'm on my back, it's possible, I do know I snore, so possible sleep apnea? I don't really know how to interpret these dreams really. I do have an interest in the paranormal, and there is something about the possibility of aliens that I find unsettling, it's one of those things where I think it's mostly bullshit stories, but there's a tiny sliver of doubt about my conviction. I found films like Close Encounters of the Third Kind fairly unsettling as a kid, and maybe that's embedded itself in my psyche. A boogeyman of sorts to be scared of.
  8. Are we living in a story? Whenever I think, I seem to do it with the baggage of my history, places, people, events, phases and the story arc of my life. It seems inescapable, like without all this stuff going on it would all be incomprehensible. Everything is history it seems, no sooner has a new part of the story happened than it becomes yet more past. There are two clues that my story is a fiction. The first clue is that I know how and what I think about my past has changed over time. How can something really be true if it changes? The past is malleable and can be re-configured as new insight comes in. The second clue I'm staring at. It's my complete immersion in this moment, it is something which never appears to go away, yes, it changes but it's ever present. If something is unchanging then that is truth, non-fiction. The story of me is a fiction couched inside a truth. The raw sensation of a me with all my mental baggage and history is truth itself; my mental baggage and history is a fiction and so am I. I am both a fiction and a truth together. The paradox is resolved by realising that I am the ever present moment, but I'm not its content. I exist and that is truth, but I am not the story of a me.
  9. Agreed. I realise you're talking just about beauty. It's the projection of value that's the problem though. Beauty in itself is not a problem. Why shouldn't we all look beautiful if we want to do that? I guess by value you mean either "how useful is this person to me?" or "how do I compare with others in my social hierarchy?". But there are other kinds of value - such as expressing yourself, which @mandyjw mentions.
  10. Attraction is simple, everything else is complicated. I would talk to her a lot more and become better friends first, then both of you can make better decisions. At the moment you're just guessing.
  11. What sort of life do I want? I've never really been very future oriented. What I mean by that, is that I've never really given much thought to the big things in life. This has become acute as I've learned to mostly live in the moment; whereas before I would have had anxiety and constant mental rehearsal about future events, I have none of that now. The great pay off for letting go of the future, is peace right now. But perhaps I've gone too far? The only reason we get motivated and excited by the future is that we have a certain anxiety or itch that needs to be scratched right now. I see it all around me, friends making plans out of some sort of neurotic restless need for peace. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to elevate myself above others, it's just that the pattern seems clear. We want to buy a home, because we believe it will make us happy and secure: because we are not happy and secure right now. We want to party with our friends, because we are feeling unconnected and bored right now. We want that holiday because we are stressed right now. We want a girlfriend, because we want intimacy and love right now. We want all these future things because we are imbalanced in the moment. So when I'm asked "Guillermo, what do you really want?", I feel that I'm simply listing a set of unmet needs and desires. Is that really the right way to guide myself into the future: neurotically? This feels wrong. On the other hand, what other guiding principle do I have at my disposal? So far the best thing I've come up with is to live purely in the moment, this feels like the most aligned way to live and the least stressful. But. I want a girlfriend, I want warm sunny weather, I want to tinker on my own projects, I want to work when and how it suits me, I want spontaneity with friends and family, I want connection, I want to be recognised for my skills, I want collaboration, I want my own time, I want to stay healthy and fit, I want to own my own home and space, I don't want to be beholden to anyone at all, I want to stay financially healthy. Maybe one way is to have a grand big picture of the future. I have fifteen years in mind. By then I'll be properly old and health concerns will start to kick in, and I won't have that energy and drive any more. Most folks here would probably say something along these lines: dream big, don't worry about how you'll get there. My only concern is wasting time, I don't really have it to waste. Yes, my future goal can shift around to a degree, but if I'm going for it, it's all or nothing. So far I've spent well over ten years just drifting in limbo, I know it's a phase, I now know I needed it to mature and to "fix" myself. I feel the pressure of commitment intensely, it goes against my high value on freedom. Being committed doesn't feel freeing, being committed to something big that doesn't work out doesn't feel worth it. Doing nothing, is also a tragedy.
  12. The problem is not the beauty, the problem is the value. Making a judgement about someone's value or making a judgement about your own value is the source of the dysfunction. We're constantly comparing ourselves to each other - media and advertising exacerbate this - and we suffer for it; mostly through our pockets or self esteem.
  13. @Holygrail the subtlety is the following. If we become aware of something, then there must be something to be aware of. It must have a quale attached to it, qualia are awareness. But the qualia are completely relative to each other. Imagine swapping all the high notes on a piano for the low notes, or everything that's dark becomes light and vice versa. Swapping qualia doesn't affect awareness. It's only the juxtaposition (pattern) of qualia that matters. Imagine a baby who is born who sees everything as a negative image to your vision. It would make no difference to their experience. They could still describe exactly the same things as you, they would still wince looking at the "dark" sun. So, if qualia are only important in relation to each other, then the fact that you always experience blood as red and the sky as blue, must mean that "red" and "blue" qualia have become attached to blood and sky at some point. There's no inherent importance to the fact that blood is "red" and sky is "blue". See?
  14. You're talking about the hard problem of consciousness, which is basically that materialism is totally useless for explaining consciousness. It's exactly the other way round, consciousness explains materialism. Consciousness itself is about difference. If consciousness is awareness, then awareness works by comparing differences. Red is not green, because they're different. If something is undifferentiated, there is no awareness of it (it doesn't exist). What's important is the type of difference not the quale attached to it. For example you could swap all reds with greens in your vision, and it really wouldn't make a difference at all. Some people can learn to "see" with sound, like bats. So red is red, because it has become attached to a certain pattern of difference in awareness. It's utterly random. But qualia are similar to each other, red and green share the quality of being colours. There's a whole continuum of qualia, and qualia that you have never experienced. If the brain is a pattern recognition/making machine, then the qualia you experience become "attached" to those patterns. How's that for logic? For some ideas about how the attachment process might work, look up Morphic Resonance and Rupert Sheldrake.
  15. One of my great loves is playing piano. I'm not vaguely professional by any stretch, it's purely a hobby. I do like trying to push my limits though and learn difficult pieces (for me), mostly classical. What really holds me back though is my abysmal sight reading. Whilst I can read music score no problem, I read it like a five year old (no not like Mozart), so I have to be really determined to get through a piece. The consequence being that it takes me an age just to learn a piece, and I tend to just remember it through repetition rather than reading the score. I really want to change that. The biggest challenge is that a musical score is dense. If you take something by Bach or Chopin or Beethoven, it's very dense. Unlike reading words on a page, which is a horizontal process, piano music also has a vertical overlapping component and two hands playing simultaneously. In that sense it is much harder that conventional reading. At the moment my process is to look at the note written down, find the letter say "F" and then press the note on the keyboard. One speed up is to cut out the middle man, and just to read and press, there should be no talking to myself in between, it needs to be instant. The only way to get there is through rote learning. A further complication is key signatures, which flattens or sharpens particular notes, this adds to the cognitive load. There is also rythmn and accenting and phrasing and tempo, but that mostly can be done by feel once the notes are learnt. To take the bull by the horns I thought I'd code up a program that can test me on all these aspects. I have played with writing code to interact with MIDI, and I have a MIDI keyboard. So the ideal usage is for the test to display a note with a key signature and treble or bass clef (right or left hand say), and I press the corresponding note on the keyboard and it says "yay" or "nay". Ideally, the tests should be configurable to be able to select particular keys or hands or ranges of octaves, and even perhaps chords or at least multiple notes in succession. Ideally, in the end it could display a small set of notes with different lengths, but that's way harder to code. This is my process for coding it: Find a way to display the notes and other paraphenalia of music score. For this I'm using a music scoring program called Lily Pond. I need to work with images of notes, so I just blat out a bunch of notes and key signatures and output to PDF through Lily Pond, and then laboriously cut and paste each note of the scale as an image. My program can then choose an image(s) and compose it together with a key signature and clef symbol. So it chooses a random note, finds out how it wants to display it, and then waits for the note to come from the MIDI input. If it's correct it shows a nice green tick or whatever and big red cross otherwise. Working in different keys is trickier because you have to map the displayed note differently to the MIDI input coming from the keyboard, but that's just a bit of maths. Yesterday I coded up and got a working prototype. So I spent an hour or two using it to learn the first two octaves of the piano. And it works! I can now sight read a bit of the range. Ok, I'm still not super fast, but my god it's easier than it was. Just another 60 odd notes to learn!