so how often do you sample life?
apparently our whole waking lives can be split into two alternating states. one in which we are thinking about the world and doing stuff in it. habitual tasks (eating, commuting, etc.), vacations, sports, movie watching, working, the list is endless. second state is when we think about the self, am i happy? what am i doing here? why do i want, what i want? who am i?
first state is the waveform of life. every life on earth possesses it. a cell is dividing, a tree is growing new leaves, a sheep is eating them, a tiger is stalking its prey, a human is commuting. the level of sophistication may vary according to species but not the fact that they are living (or leaving :P) out their lives.
the second state is when you sample this waveform. instead of going about living your life, you stop and look at yourself as an outsider. at the risk of sounding spiritual, i must say it is the state when you become 'self conscious'. it lasts a few fleeting moments before giving way to first state again. but it strikes hard and deep.
first state is nice and simple, but do i really need this confusing second state? i mean what can i possibly gain by asking 'who am i' or 'am i happy' to myself over and over again?
simply put, "i" wont exist without the second state. 'cogito ergo sum' really means that 'i think (about my own self) therefore i am' or 'i think (about thinking itself) therefore i am'. it is this second order thinking that makes consciousness and in turn, self consciousness, possible. a lioness is also thinking when she plans an attack. but she does not _know_ that, does she? she does not even know that she _exists_. it is our ability to turn the subject of our lives (ourselves) in an object of contemplation, that makes us exist.
the more you sample the better fidelity you get (we all remember Nyquist dont we?). so, to truly understand life (and not just live it out) you have to be in the second state as much and as often as possible.
philosophy is cheap, show me the money.
No. philosophy is cheap when it comes from a loser like me. what about when a Nobel Laureate talks about something similar?
you dont think that is cheap, now do you? :P (actually its a good working approximation to first look at _who_ is talking rather than _what_ is being said. as long as we dont forget its just that, an approximation. but i digress.)
the only way to reduce distortion between the experiencing self and the remembering self is to sample life as often as possible. the remembering self aggregates all the points that entered our consciousness. more data points will only make it more accurate.
and yes, about the money. you can save on that vacation you don't really want ;)
(video link via Anand)
(video link via Anand)