(Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M._C._Escher)

The puzzle of the human experience is that a thought – which comes from somewhere in the mind which comes from somewhere in the brain – can compel me (me? Who is this “me” that’s being compelled?) to engage in physical activity, like running, that in turn changes the physiology of the brain that changes the mind that changes my thought. But this is circular. It’s a closed loop. (A very strange loop!) Where’s the beginning? Is there a beginning? Do I know that I am really changing my thoughts or am I playing a game with myself to make myself feel better so I think up “changed thoughts” and I point to those “changed thoughts” as proof that my thoughts have changed. But have they really changed? We know that there is physiological evidence showing that physiological changes can take place in the brain as a result of physical activity. But I don’t see my brain-physiological changes. I only know about them within my own brain because (here we go!) I think I detect the changes. (What does “I ‘think’ I detect the changes” mean? Who’s doing the thinking?) Are my changed thoughts real changes? What are “real changes”? Certainly they are not changes that are independent of me but are changes caused by me. I’m my own cause and effect, my own Prime Mover. (Therein lies the promise of self-improvement because I can will myself to improve and that will-to-improve can bring about the very improvement that I seek. But is there an upper limit to self-improvement or can it go on forever? Does my physiology impose limits? If yes, is it possible for me to know what those limits are?)

There are times when I think I am my own placebo effect,  thinking that my thinking has changed because of the thought that by actually doing something, like running, I can bring about a change in my thinking.

I think that makes sense.

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  • My Own Self

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Scott-Hutson/100000576144521 Scott Hutson

    Jeff, I think your question: “Does my physiology impose limits?” is important. And I think you know the answer is>yes. But: “is it possible for me to know what those limits are?” I don’t think so. Really I think that question is impossible to answer. But if I could, I might not like the answer. Self improvement is the result of an action. But then again the physiology of the brain will always be in control of the ability to produce an action. So it is a “very strange loop”, and I also think what your thinking makes sense.

    • http://jeffsaddmind.com Jeffs ADD Mind

      “the physiology of the brain will always be in control of the ability to produce an action” – And therein lies the fascinating potential since that physiology can be changed through that action that, in turn, can make other changes possible.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Scott-Hutson/100000576144521 Scott Hutson

        That’s a good way to explain it Jeff. And it reminds me of the Ouroboros. I see it as using what I already have to feed and improve what I already have. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ouroboros

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