This site is dedicated to the benefits of understanding and optimally using our main two mental faculties– our two minds. The Nobel Prize winning psychologist Dr. Daniel Kahneman wrote, “Odd as it may seem, I am my remembering self, and the experiencing self, who does my living, is like a stranger to me”. It’s time for everyone to appreciate and use this “stranger.” Wouldn’t you like to know yourself more completely?
Everyone understands the world in two ways. Most use the view that relies concepts and relies on memory. There are many dowsides to the exclusive use of this view. Our other view relies on experiential information that comes through our sensory-perceptual systems. In “Untransformed Reality,” no concepts, language or memory is used. It balances many biases of our conceptual understanding and refreshes our mind so that critical thinking an be optimally applied.
Apart from helping us better know ourselves this understanding has important scientific implications…such as for why placebos cause improvement in well-being.
Here’s a small but important scenario, one about the bias of the intellect: Dan Kahneman, tells a story about a man listening to music. For 20 minutes it was a glorious experience. At the very end, however, there was a terrible sound that he said “ruined the whole thing.”
Everyone gets stuck in distorted views or overly-rigid ways causing problems to layer on top of one another. The sound at the end ruined the event for him, “the money spent was thrown away for nothing.” Perhaps the entire evening became distasteful because of this one “terrible” noise. Important questions we can ask ourselves are: “What is this bias and how does it cause stuckness?,” “How did it begin,” “How much does it effect me?” and “How does one get out of it? By resolving this mistake – of being stuck in conceptual bias – life significantly improves.
By staying with his direct experience the person listening to music would have had a grand 20 minutes of wonderful music – some true joy through the direct experience of living perceptually. It’s a pity he believed and behaved as if he had a bad time. If he could have switched his view, from his concepts and beliefs to his perceptual experience, his life would have been much better. But, he didn’t because he couldn’t. Conceptual transformations of his experience co-opted his perceptual processing …attending to the sound of glorious music.
Another example of our two minds comes from T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia). Below is a short video with him extinguishing a match between his two fingers. His answer to a question about the “trick” to it is, “The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts.” By “not minding” he means not putting the mind of the remembering self’s thoughts to the circumstance. Click on this link to see a 1 minute clip from the movie. The heat can be asessed in two ways, one can complain that it hurts or one may not mind that it hurts.