Tag - consciousness

To Have or Not to Have an Ego

In western culture the ego has had a bad rap. Most people think that an ego is something negative. That it should be suppressed. You have an over inflated ego, or you are egocentric or egotistical. And Eastern religions say you should abandon it altogether, it just causes problems. 🙂 But what is the ego? Is it something good or bad? Should you give up on it or hold on to it? In both analytical psychology (Jungian) and psychoanalysis (Freudian), the Ego plays [...]

The experience machine and Jung’s symbolic attitude

I heard from one of my lecturers at Wits recently about a book called Better never to have been: the harm of coming into existence, written by a local lad, Professor David Benatar, HOD of the philosophy department at the University of Cape Town. As the title suggests Benatar proposes that it is far better never to be born; that one is irreparably harmed by coming into existence. The two arguments that Benatar offers for this view are: 1.By bringing someone [...]

On the Nature of Love: an unromantic critique

When you love someone what is it that you love? Let me tell you why I ask. I think that often when we relate to other people we objectify them. This is most noticeable on virtual social networks such as facebook. The term facebook friend long ago started meaning something different from a friend in the real world. A friend on facebook means something like – a member of my virtual community. And much like those that follow you on Twitter a facebook [...]

Eric the Vampire Viking: Man or Mouse?

Ok, I confess! Stephen and I love True Blood. (it is very psychological, OK!!!) We are currently watching Season 4; and oh what a disappointment! Eric, Vampire, Viking….. hot, hot, HOT! Or rather he used to be… . For those of you unfamiliar with ‘True Blood’ and the various characters, let me explain. Eric is over 1000 years old. He is a Viking made Vampire and he is BAD! Hot but BAD! And if your thing is bad boys, he is [...]

The Childish Pursuit of Happiness

‘”Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called. What a lovely piece of writing. It fills me with happiness just to read it. And yes I am capable of these types of feelings of happiness, fleeting as [...]

Limitless: How Far, How Fast, and How Much, can You Achieve?

This post is inspired by the movie Limitless. If you haven’t seen it yet, go and see it tonight- trust me, it’s that good. The plot is fairly simple. The main character Eddie Morra is a down and out writer, late twenties, whose life is going nowhere fast. When, through a series of circumstances, he comes into possession of a drug, NZT-47 which increases his cognitive abilities beyond belief. He goes from Mr. Dopey to a Albert Einstein/John F. Kennedy [...]

Who are you: Really?

How would you answer the question: Who are you? You might answer with a name. So in my case I might say: I am Stephen, or I am Stephen Farah. But this is limited and somewhat flawed answer to the question. You existed prior to being named, legally you can apply to change your name, and frequently people use an alias for one reason or another. Whilst a name has a power over you it is not who you inalienably are. If it [...]

The Search for Consciousness. Where are we in 2010?

In April this year the Centre for Consciousness Studies, at the University of Arizona, will hold their 9th, bi-annual, conference. As this approaches I thought it a good time to reflect on some of the presenters and their thoughts at the last conference in 2008. The initiative started in 1994 by Professor Stuart Hameroff, University of Arizona, and David Chalmers, Australian National University, is a cross-disciplinary, scientific, investigation into the phenomenon of consciousness. The conference is well supported and draws a [...]