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 Infinity...All In Your Head?

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PostSubject: Infinity...All In Your Head?   Fri Aug 29, 2008 6:48 am

Quote :
I always preferred the perspective of infinity as opposed to beginings and ends (which are really one and the same as points of change, but, I guess, still entirely relative to your perspective). It's cool that time was brought up here, and it brings back a lot I read in JW Dunne's `An Experiment With Time', but that book's ideas, though interesting, take a lot of time to understand -- I know I don't understand them completely, anyway -- and even what I do understand of it is hard to put down in my own words. If anyone read the book, though, I think it'd add a lot to this discussion if the ideas in it were brought up.

One idea, I think partially from the book and partially from my own experience, is the strange fact about time perception. I argued with some guy (I believe he was male, though sexes are hard to tell on bluelight sometimes, and, in my opinion, are ultimately irrelevant) some time ago about time. He said that time does indeed exist, and is not a human-created concept, and that proof of this is entropy -- you cannot uncrack an egg, for instance. This is very true: time doesn't usually flow backwards (note: `usually' -- saved for a different post; long conversation); in normal experience, the most we can say is that time flows in a direction and keeps going in `a direction'. However, the rate of the flow in that directionseems to be entirely relative to the individual and her/his psychology, state of consciousness, or brain chemistry.

For instance, I've had a great many horrific experiences with pot. That's why I stay away from it now; Mary has the tendency to give me a bigger ass-whooping every time I breath her in. On one particular night when I was horribly stoned, however, I was driving home from work, where I'd smoked with my managers and a few co-workers (welcome to the food industry). It was during a really bad storm. It was nighttime. I travel this route every day, but my mind kept wandering off. I suddenly came to the conclusion that I'd missed my turn -- I should've turned a long time ago. I was about to turn around to head back and look for this road I turn on every day when it suddenly hit me that perhaps I hadn't missed the turn. Perhaps it hadn't been that long. Maybe it was just the drug affecting my time perception.

Curious, I noted the time. I looked away. When my internal clock had told me ten minutes had passed, I decided, I would look back at the clock and see how close or far off I was, just out of curiosity. So I looked away until I thought it was a little over ten minutes. Just then the digital clock changed. It had not even been a minute.

Certainly this proves how bloody fucked up I was, but that's not even half the point. It shows how a change in brain chemistry, the introduction of a foreign drug, or even a naturally-induced altered state of consciousness can change your perception of how time passes (in a set direction) considerably.

Time slowed down that day -- or my perception of it slowed down, rather. Over ten minutes of subjective time seemed to be somehow packed into less than 60 seconds of our objectively measured time.

I've had sober experiences like this, too, where an experienced hour gets squeezed into fifteen measurable minutes, but they were during episodes of spontanious `waking dreams' or `sleep paralysis' or `OBEs' or whatever you wish to call them. Extremely altered states of consciousness were awareness is unerringly directed inward and away from the senses and signals of the body.

Looking back on it now, I can only explain it as this: thoughts seemed to speed up, emotions seemed to speed up, and I as the perciever seemed to speed up with them, therefore not noticing any change in speed. This was subjectively. Objectively, where I wasn't percieving, everything else seemed to go at it's usual rate. Thoughts, emotions, and my awareness seemed to become unhinged from it's usual allignment with the objective environment and go light speed in subjective space. And had there been no clock or sun to measure the experience against when I returned to normalcy (or the closest I ever get to normalcy), I would've truly believed the experience took an hour and not fifteen minutes.

And I've had the opposite as well, though only sober, where time disappears. Like, "whoops, where'd that hour go?" You swear it's only been ten minutes but it's been one or two hours.

A fly lives, what, a day? Could it experience, naturally -- natural for a fly -- a lifetime equivalent to what the normal human experiences as forty years?

A turtle or tortoise can live a few hundred years, right? Could it's experience, it's natural, species-specific brain chemistry, give it the experience of living only for a few months?

Everyone's noticed how the work day goes slow, and free time goes fast. There's some truth hiding in that whole idea that `a watched pot never boils' and `time flies when you're having fun'. If we were to rewire our brains, mix in the right chemicals, alter ourselves to the right state of consciousness, could we experience our lives as being longer?

If a universe existed only for a couple hundred years and there was a species who had the right brain chemistry, could it experience those few hundred years as infinity? Or is that pushing it?

Could infinity be a state of mind, as unbearably cheesey as that sounds?

Quote :
The perception of time is highly dependent on serotonine. High serotoninergic activity (not enhancing dopamine function or general metabolism) leads to a decrease of perception of time. Time perception can even disappear to be replaced by a feeling of "eternal present". This is due to the fact that serotonine increases attenuation. When attenuation is strong, it is no longer possible to sense the flowing of time because there are nearly no informational objects inside consciousness! Consciousness becomes thus detached and contemplative. Under fluvoxamine and zimelidine (serotonine reuptake-inhibitors) time can cease to be perceived: hours, months, or a journey in an airplane look all similar! Time flow is only felt after one stops using these molecules. Under zimelidine, for instance, you can very easily stay, say, sitting in front of a wall for hours without getting bored as you do not feel time flow! For an exogenous observer you may look deeply "reflective" and "thoughtful" precisely when you have no ideas in your mind! Very amusing from a philosophical standpoint.

A cat under 200mg of fluvoxamine will sit in any position (for instance paws behind the head!) you put him because he also has no more thoughts in his mind. Having no thoughts he "forgets", in this example, that you placed his paws behind his head and he will stay like this in a kind of serotoninergic cataplexy! Very funny to observe for others... a friend of mine to whom I was joking about my cat under fluvoxamine (he did not know about that) would say: "Eh bé? Je n'ai jamais vu un chat comme-ça" (I have never seen a cat like this)! He would think that my cat was the most bizarre cat in the world, staying quietly with her paws behind her head!! Anything disturbing serotonine can lead to alterations in subjective time flow. For instance, if the speed of attenuation is decreased, as under cannabinoids, time seems to be very long because there are a lot of informational objects filling consciousness! Under cannabinoids there seems to be concomittant disturbances in both serotonine and GABA neurotransmission. How both neurotransmitters are exactly linked I still do not know. In fact time distortion under cannabinoids can be modulated, to a certain extent, by benzodiazepine receptors. Clonazepam is quite efficient in this respect.

As I am not a physicist I do not know what is really exoreal time (I wonder if physicists really know about that either!) but I certainly know that endoreal time depends on the quantity of informational objects flowing into consciousness per arbitrary unit of exoreal time!!! The more consciousness is filled with informational events, the more subjective time lengthens. The less consciousness is filled, the more time comes to a halt giving a feeling of "no time" or "eternity", in subjective terms. Psilocine's alterations on time perception are still not well-understood by the author... give me time and I will find an explanation!



Just mull over this, discuss. Agree or disagree? I know I do...our perceptions make up our reality, why shouldn't infinity be within our minds?
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Hammm
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Hammm

Male Number of posts : 1743
Age : 29
Location : Toronto, Canada
Interests : Bass
Registration date : 2007-06-08

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PostSubject: Re: Infinity...All In Your Head?   Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:31 am

You smartass.
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