Sunday, April 5, 2015

Changing Philosophy, Changing Behavior

Insert picture just because:
Magpie philosophy: pick out the shinny bits. We cannot step in the same river twice. Impermanence.

In this post I go off the reservation. Be aware. Some of this is based on Epictetus.

When we change philosophy, thinking, our behavior changes. This is quite well understood in rational emotional behavioral therapy. In cognitive behavioral therapy, the emotions take a back seat. These both depend on coming to understand what we actually think, and change our thinking pattern.

Let do a thought experiment. What would happen if we were to load a new thinking pattern onto ourselves, a hot boot if we were a computer? What would our new thinking pattern be, and how would we do that? We would need to start with some kind of assumed approximate structure of the thinking process, and load one piece at a time, until we reach some end point or run out of new concepts to load.

The object should be something like creating enough behavior change to bring about a end to the problem we are trying to solve. But should we stop there, or keep going until... some thing happens or what.

Live by virtue, start with judgement, prudence, temperance, justice, perseverance, courage, compassion. Judgement, prudence, temperance suggest some kind of wisdom/knowledge foundation, which must be upgradable as we learn more. There is a reason that the Stoics and I put judgement first, for it is reason that must be used every step of the way to sort and evaluate everything. What is up to me, and what is not, must be one of the foundation points. Judgement, to assent to propositions, to withhold judgement or to reject any proposition must be basic. Next is managing desires, aversions and the neutral position, or the zone of comfort. Impulse, toward, apathy, and away provides mobility or at least opinion of direction. This all means that I have control of my emotions, since emotion is build on expectations and delusions, grandiose expectation of how life should be, how things should go, how people should behave and the like. Anger is the emotion of frustration on those desires and expectations. Remover those expectations and anger cannot happen. Replace those expectations with real values and all the passions simply cannot a arise.

What are realistic expectations? Life contains suffering, pain, death, violence, criminal activity, thieves, vandals, free loaders, those who suffer from learned helplessness, the helpless, the reagent of lower forms of life, vice filled people,  and the like along with the good people, the virtuous. In short, expect what happens, aka, no expectations. That must be another foundation point. 

Is that enough for today?     

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