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RE: [hackers-il] Book Recommendation: "Feeling Good" by David Burns

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  • Tzahi Fadida
    my own little observations: I want to add that a lot of people that have learning difficulties have anxieties. learning difficulties is an area that just in
    Message 1 of 21 , Nov 12, 2002
      my own little observations:
      I want to add that a lot of people that have learning difficulties have anxieties.
      learning difficulties is an area that just in recent years got people attention. many
      people, and I might say
      most people have some degree of learning difficulties. if you were not diagnosed
      early then you probably
      will develop anxieties concerning tests and just every day studying. because of that,
      many people that weren't diagnosed early cannot study for more then 40 minutes
      straight. they usually get anxious and cannot concentrate on the material. if they
      try to continue forcefully they get stressed out and burnt by fatigue after a few
      hours.
      I mention this because I think that low self esteem often plays a big part at this.
      if you have low self esteem you try to set goals that will define how you perceive
      yourself. for example, you can say "if I will only achieve this, I will be confident
      from now on, and probably can look yourself in the mirror every morning". the problem
      is that anxieties impede on the success of such people and they usually can never
      attain the level of success they desire. if they did achieve their goal, they just
      dismiss it as too easy and continue to set the next goal.

      recent studies shows that a good exercise for people with learning difficulties is to
      study until the point before they feel they are anxious, and take a brake of 20
      minutes, between sessions. also, at test they should take big breaths each time they
      feel anxious, and whatever they do, don't eat chocolate since its like an energy bar
      to the bunny that goes on and on. too much can make you tired in the middle of the
      test. its better to just eat a sandwitch before the test.

      Concerning depressions, you will notice that people that are depressed are stronger
      then usual people. the reason I say that, is that they not only have to do what
      regular people do, they have to live with their depression. usually low self esteem
      plays a roll when you combine learning difficulties with low self esteem.
      when you cannot attain your goals you start to get depressed, in which case the
      stronger people will get obsessed about the goal they are trying to achieve, and the
      weaker people will usually turn to destructiveness.
      not necessarily suicide but rather perpetuate their low self esteem as a
      characterization of themselves and their life.


      * - * - *
      Tzahi Fadida
      TzahiFadida@...
      Technion Email: Science@...
      My Cool Site: HTTP://WWW.My2Nis.Com
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      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: Arik Baratz [mailto:arikb@...]
      > Sent: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 5:32 PM
      > To: hackers-il@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: RE: [hackers-il] Book Recommendation: "Feeling Good"
      > by David Burns
      >
      >
      >
      > > Reading the book and practicing what it says is a good way to
      > > get rid of
      > > this unpleasant situation or to prevent it altogether. Most
      > > suicides occur
      > > due to the individual being depressed
      >
      > Rare attitude
      >
      > Most professionals believe that depression is a 'chemical
      > imbalance in the brain' and proceed to write a prescription for SSRI
      >
      > The saner on the lot will do the same and suggest
      > psychological therapy as a supplement
      >
      > No one seems to admit that the low serotonin levels are the
      > symptom rather than the problem
      >
      > -- Arik
      >
      > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
      > hackers-il-unsubscribe@egroups.com
      >
      >
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    • Shlomi Fish
      Replying to myself I should add that according to Burns, every depression and anxiety is unnecessary. Injury, loss of a loved one - even a terminal illness -
      Message 2 of 21 , Nov 12, 2002
        Replying to myself I should add that according to Burns, every depression
        and anxiety is unnecessary. Injury, loss of a loved one - even a terminal
        illness - do not necessisate getting into depression.

        He even adds that some people who were held as prisoners in concentration
        camps did not lose their spirits and even experienced spiritual and
        intellectual enlightenings.

        Regards,

        Shlomi Fish



        ----------------------------------------------------------------------
        Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
        Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/
        Home E-mail: shlomif@...

        "Let's suppose you have a table with 2^n cups..."
        "Wait a second - is n a natural number?"
      • Shlomi Fish
        ... I know that psychosomatic drugs may help a bit but are not a panacea. Your situation stems for some cognitive error you made, which is in turn causing the
        Message 3 of 21 , Nov 12, 2002
          On Tue, 12 Nov 2002, Arik Baratz wrote:

          >
          > > Reading the book and practicing what it says is a good way to
          > > get rid of
          > > this unpleasant situation or to prevent it altogether. Most
          > > suicides occur
          > > due to the individual being depressed.
          >
          > Rare attitude.
          >
          > Most professionals believe that depression is a 'chemical imbalance in the
          > brain' and proceed to write a prescription for SSRI.
          >

          I know that psychosomatic drugs may help a bit but are not a panacea. Your
          situation stems for some cognitive error you made, which is in turn
          causing the "chemical imbalance". But drugs alone cannot help in the long
          run.

          > The saner on the lot will do the same and suggest psychological therapy as a supplement.
          >
          > No one seems to admit that the low serotonin levels are the symptom rather than the problem.
          >

          I wholeheartedily agree.

          Regards,

          Shlomi Fish

          > -- Arik
          >
          > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          > hackers-il-unsubscribe@egroups.com
          >
          >
          >
          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          >
          >



          ----------------------------------------------------------------------
          Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
          Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/
          Home E-mail: shlomif@...

          "Let's suppose you have a table with 2^n cups..."
          "Wait a second - is n a natural number?"
        • Shlomi Fish
          ... That sounds logical. My feelings affect other thoughts. But by making some cognitive exercises, I can eventually feel better and so have better thoughts.
          Message 4 of 21 , Nov 12, 2002
            On Tue, 12 Nov 2002, Orna Agmon wrote:

            > On Tue, 12 Nov 2002, Shlomi Fish wrote:
            >
            > >
            > > "Feeling Good" by David A. Burns is a field guide to Cognitive Psychology.
            > > It is meant as a book to help people who tend to get into depressions,
            > > anxieties or similar states, which is quite a common condition among the
            > > populace. I, for once, tend to get into similar conditions and the book
            > > has been a great help in understanding the problem and effectively dealing
            > > with it.
            >
            > The approach Dr Burns is taking is rather redical. He claims that all
            > feelings come from thoughts, and that by changing the thoughts you can
            > change your feelings. He claims that this approach comes in contradiction
            > to the popular appoach.
            >
            > I am not saying the book is not good, (it is very good actually) but-
            >
            > Nowadays, many psychologists believe that there is a two-sided feedback
            > between emotions and thoughts. One cannot solve all his/her problems by
            > following this book. Be warned.
            >

            That sounds logical. My feelings affect other thoughts. But by making some
            cognitive exercises, I can eventually feel better and so have better
            thoughts.

            The book is good, but I also found the Neo-Tech Advantages:

            http://www.neo-tech.com/advantages/

            To be a nice way to rid oneself of the philosophical errors that guide
            his life and make himself or herself unable to live to his full potential.
            They were truly enlightening.

            I also found other sources thought-revolving:

            1. ESR's "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" series.
            2. John Allen Paulos' Innumeracy (sort of a very limited Neo-Tech, but
            still nice)

            And naturally am influenced by many little things and opinions I
            constantly hear.

            Regards,

            Shlomi Fish

            >
            > --
            > Orna. | http://tx.technion.ac.il/~agmon
            >
            > A cat has claws at the end of its paws.
            > A sentence has a pause at the end of its clause.
            >
            >
            > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
            > hackers-il-unsubscribe@egroups.com
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            >
            >



            ----------------------------------------------------------------------
            Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
            Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/
            Home E-mail: shlomif@...

            "Let's suppose you have a table with 2^n cups..."
            "Wait a second - is n a natural number?"
          • Arik Baratz
            ... The only valid readon, IMHO, for using drugs is to get you out of the dysfunctional state and gieve you the time you need to work it out. -- Arik
            Message 5 of 21 , Nov 12, 2002
              Shlomi wrote:

              > > Most professionals believe that depression is a 'chemical
              > imbalance in the
              > > brain' and proceed to write a prescription for SSRI.
              > I know that psychosomatic drugs may help a bit but are not a
              > panacea. Your
              > situation stems for some cognitive error you made, which is in turn
              > causing the "chemical imbalance". But drugs alone cannot help
              > in the long
              > run.

              The only valid readon, IMHO, for using drugs is to get you out of the dysfunctional state and gieve you the time you need to work it out.

              -- Arik
            • Nadav Har'El
              ... A few years ago I was in London, and went to a very special concert in the Royal Albert Hall. All the pieces played in the concert were composed by
              Message 6 of 21 , Nov 12, 2002
                On Tue, Nov 12, 2002, Shlomi Fish wrote about "[hackers-il] Re: Book Recommendation: "Feeling Good" by David Burns":
                > He even adds that some people who were held as prisoners in concentration
                > camps did not lose their spirits and even experienced spiritual and
                > intellectual enlightenings.

                A few years ago I was in London, and went to a very special concert in the
                Royal Albert Hall.

                All the pieces played in the concert were composed by prisoners in Nazi
                prisoner camps, concentration camps, and so on, under the worst possible
                conditions. One vocal piece was a popular song in the French resistence.
                Another extremely moving piece was one composed by a British (if I remember
                correctly) soldier in a Nazi POW camp in horrible conditions in a very
                harsh winter; The only instruments avaiable at the camp was a violin
                with some missing strings and a half-functioning piano (again, if I remember
                correctly), so he had to compose music especially for these conditions.
                The result was very moving - if it brought tears to my eyes, when I was
                sitting in a cozy booth in the Royal Albert Hall, I can't imagine how the
                prisoners themselves must have felt at the original event itself.

                But then again, only a rare breed of people thrive under conditions of
                overwhelming stress and distress (such as seeing your family murdered).
                I doubt that reading a self-help book can change that.


                --
                Nadav Har'El | Tuesday, Nov 12 2002, 8 Kislev 5763
                nyh@... |-----------------------------------------
                Phone: +972-53-245868, ICQ 13349191 |"Mommy! The garbage man is here!" "Well,
                http://nadav.harel.org.il |tell him we don't want any!"- Groucho Marx
              • Nadav Har'El
                ... The biggest problem of trying to better yourself through a book (in this case psychologically, but this can also apply to other fields) is how to maintain
                Message 7 of 21 , Nov 12, 2002
                  On Tue, Nov 12, 2002, Shlomi Fish wrote about "[hackers-il] Re: Book Recommendation: "Feeling Good" by David Burns":
                  > That sounds logical. My feelings affect other thoughts. But by making some
                  > cognitive exercises, I can eventually feel better and so have better
                  > thoughts.
                  >...
                  > To be a nice way to rid oneself of the philosophical errors that guide
                  > his life and make himself or herself unable to live to his full potential.
                  > They were truly enlightening.

                  The biggest problem of trying to better yourself through a book (in this
                  case psychologically, but this can also apply to other fields) is how
                  to maintain your newfound insights and keep your new lifestyle without
                  falling back to the old in a few days.

                  This is certainly not easy. In fact, for most people it is close to
                  impossible. A book's effect wears off, and you return to your old self
                  unless you continuously reenforce the new behavior by exercises, therapy
                  sessions, or whatever.

                  For example, immediately after reading a book about the human mind with a
                  Zen Budhist twist, I was one day able to clear my mind of all thoughts
                  and have complete control over my mind while still moving around and doing
                  things (it's hard to explain...). This was amazing. But I was never able to
                  repeat that experience, and certainly not make it a permanent feature of
                  my life.

                  > 1. ESR's "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" series.
                  > 2. John Allen Paulos' Innumeracy (sort of a very limited Neo-Tech, but
                  > still nice)

                  The two books that probably influenced my thinking the most are:
                  1. "The Unix Programming Environment" (Kernighan and Pike)
                  2. "The Selfish Gene" (Richard Dawkins)

                  But there are many others that affected my thinking (I think we tried to
                  make a list of great books once :))


                  --
                  Nadav Har'El | Wednesday, Nov 13 2002, 8 Kislev 5763
                  nyh@... |-----------------------------------------
                  Phone: +972-53-245868, ICQ 13349191 |If glory comes after death, I'm not in a
                  http://nadav.harel.org.il |hurry. (Latin proverb)
                • Arik Baratz
                  ... I beg to differ. If you re strong-willed enough to keep up exercises, you can have another such day, and then another, and another, and maybe lapse back a
                  Message 8 of 21 , Nov 12, 2002
                    Nadav:
                    > This is certainly not easy. In fact, for most people it is close to
                    > impossible. A book's effect wears off, and you return to your old self
                    > unless you continuously reenforce the new behavior by
                    > exercises, therapy
                    > sessions, or whatever.
                    >
                    > For example, immediately after reading a book about the human
                    > mind with a
                    > Zen Budhist twist, I was one day able to clear my mind of all thoughts
                    > and have complete control over my mind while still moving
                    > around and doing
                    > things (it's hard to explain...). This was amazing. But I was
                    > never able to
                    > repeat that experience, and certainly not make it a permanent
                    > feature of
                    > my life.

                    I beg to differ.

                    If you're strong-willed enough to keep up exercises, you can have another such day, and then another, and another, and maybe lapse back a day but keep it up the day after.

                    I have countless examples from my own experience - including attaining meditative states, which I have learned from a book but kept up since.

                    -- Arik
                  • Shlomi Fish
                    ... Exactly. That s how I use them. Which reminds me that I should be doing a cognitive exercise or two now. Regards, Shlomi Fish ... Shlomi Fish
                    Message 9 of 21 , Nov 13, 2002
                      On Tue, 12 Nov 2002, Arik Baratz wrote:

                      >
                      > Shlomi wrote:
                      >
                      > > > Most professionals believe that depression is a 'chemical
                      > > imbalance in the
                      > > > brain' and proceed to write a prescription for SSRI.
                      > > I know that psychosomatic drugs may help a bit but are not a
                      > > panacea. Your
                      > > situationstems for some cognitive error you made, which is in turn
                      > > causing the "chemical imbalance". But drugs alone cannot help
                      > > in the long
                      > > run.
                      >
                      > The only valid readon, IMHO, for using drugs is to get you out of the dysfunctional state and gieve you the time you need to work it out.
                      >

                      Exactly. That's how I use them. Which reminds me that I should be doing a
                      cognitive exercise or two now.

                      Regards,

                      Shlomi Fish

                      > -- Arik
                      >
                      > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                      > hackers-il-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                      >
                      >



                      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
                      Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/
                      Home E-mail: shlomif@...

                      "Let's suppose you have a table with 2^n cups..."
                      "Wait a second - is n a natural number?"
                    • Shlomi Fish
                      ... One self-help probably can t help. But having an integrated and immune to attachs, philosophy can. Of course, this requires a lot of mental effort and even
                      Message 10 of 21 , Nov 13, 2002
                        On Wed, 13 Nov 2002, Nadav Har'El wrote:

                        > On Tue, Nov 12, 2002, Shlomi Fish wrote about "[hackers-il] Re: Book Recommendation: "Feeling Good" by David Burns":
                        > > He even adds that some people who were held as prisoners in concentration
                        > > camps did not lose their spirits and even experienced spiritual and
                        > > intellectual enlightenings.
                        >
                        > A few years ago I was in London, and went to a very special concert in the
                        > Royal Albert Hall.
                        >
                        > All the pieces played in the concert were composed by prisoners in Nazi
                        > prisoner camps, concentration camps, and so on, under the worst possible
                        > conditions. One vocal piece was a popular song in the French resistence.
                        > Another extremely moving piece was one composed by a British (if I remember
                        > correctly) soldier in a Nazi POW camp in horrible conditions in a very
                        > harsh winter; The only instruments avaiable at the camp was a violin
                        > with some missing strings and a half-functioning piano (again, if I remember
                        > correctly), so he had to compose music especially for these conditions.
                        > The result was very moving - ifit brought tears to my eyes, when I was
                        > sitting in a cozy booth in the Royal Albert Hall, I can't imagine how the
                        > prisoners themselves must have felt at the original event itself.
                        >
                        > But then again, only a rare breed of people thrive under conditions of
                        > overwhelming stress and distress (such as seeing your family murdered).
                        > I doubt that reading a self-help book can change that.
                        >

                        One self-help probably can't help. But having an integrated and immune to
                        attachs, philosophy can. Of course, this requires a lot of mental effort
                        and even directing your actions towards it. Most people are very far from
                        this state, and so when under stress the ones who wish to harm them can
                        exploit their "nekudoth turpa" and cause them to deteriorate.

                        But it is not necessary for a man to be such one. I can't testify that
                        Neo-Tech has prepared me enough to handle all such situations. (I never
                        been in one and hope not to be - because it's still not pleasant). But I
                        observed that many people unnecessarily complicate their lives out of
                        following the path of least resistance instead of choosing an objective
                        integrated philosophy and life style.

                        "Be Prepared." - This is a very good advice.

                        Regards,

                        Shlomi Fish

                        >
                        > --
                        > Nadav Har'El | Tuesday, Nov 12 2002, 8 Kislev 5763
                        > nyh@... |-----------------------------------------
                        > Phone: +972-53-245868, ICQ 13349191 |"Mommy! The garbage man is here!" "Well,
                        > http://nadav.harel.org.il |tell him we don't want any!"- Groucho Marx
                        >
                        > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                        > hackers-il-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                        >
                        >



                        ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                        Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
                        Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/
                        Home E-mail: shlomif@...

                        "Let's suppose you have a table with 2^n cups..."
                        "Wait a second - is n a natural number?"
                      • Gilad Ben-Yossef
                        ... I think you re belittling mind altering drugs. They can serve as excellent teachers too, if you just listen. A lot of people who have deep emotional
                        Message 11 of 21 , Nov 13, 2002
                          On Tue, 2002-11-12 at 23:55, Arik Baratz wrote:
                          >
                          > The only valid readon, IMHO, for using drugs is to get you out of the
                          > dysfunctional state and gieve you the time you need to work it out.

                          I think you're belittling mind altering drugs. They can serve as
                          excellent "teachers" too, if you just listen.

                          A lot of people who have deep emotional problems of the type you already
                          described are prone to what doctors euphemistically refers to as "self
                          medicate", that is they consume mind altering drugs as "pain killers for
                          the soul" in an attempt to treat their painful emotional symptoms, just
                          like someone else might take a pain killer to quench symptoms of a
                          chronic back injury or the like.

                          The thing is that together with giving you the peace of mind you require
                          to cope with a "seizure", they will also teach you a very important
                          lesson, if you're mind is open enough and you're ready for what they
                          have to teach you. And (to tie it in to what Nadav was saying before)
                          drugs are direct experiences, not "canned" experiences that can be found
                          in books. Once you have been taught something by directly experiencing
                          it it has much more effect and is much more "sticky" then learning
                          something from a book.

                          After using mind altering substances for a while you start to realize
                          something about the nature of the universe and yourself: You feel very
                          depressed, the world seems like a dark bleak place and you can't get
                          anything done right and then you take some pill or smoke some herb and
                          the depression goes away, you feel elated and peaceful and the universe
                          is a warm fuzzy place again.

                          As time goes by you learn that different drugs do different things: THC
                          makes you playful and relaxed and takes away the "edge" of the hard
                          feelings, Alcohol will make you upbeat and emotionally numb all
                          together. Selective inhibitors of Seratonine re-uptake system will make
                          you feel "alright" and full of energy but will keep you from sleeping,
                          and so on and so on.

                          After time you learn that this isn't really limited to "drugs" - some
                          foods (like chocolate) have delicate emotional effects too. Simply
                          eating when you're been hungry will make you more relaxed and at ease
                          with yourself and if you're very anxious sometimes you just need to grab
                          a good night of shut eye.

                          At one time or another you simply have got to start wondering: if all it
                          takes is so and so CCs of this and that substance to change my mood and
                          thoughts completely and alter the way I perceive the universe and
                          myself, then obviously my emotions and world view are not a part of
                          "me". I mean, if they change so quickly so much and for so little reason
                          as several CCs of this or that substance, how can they be a real part of
                          what I perceive as "myself"? And if so, if my emotions and feelings and
                          viewpoints are not "me", what, or rather who, is me anyway?

                          And then some remote echo of something you may have read but never quite
                          understood surfaces and answers you: "Why, who is asking the question?"

                          And if you are serious in finding the answer to this question, this can
                          be the beginning of a very new way of living.

                          Gilad.

                          --
                          Gilad Ben-Yossef <gilad@...>
                          http://benyossef.com
                          "Denial really is a river in Eygept."
                        • guy keren
                          ... i think you could observe that the first condition for self improvement is the will to improve one s self. i don t think that people improve just because
                          Message 12 of 21 , Nov 13, 2002
                            On Wed, 13 Nov 2002, Nadav Har'El wrote:

                            > The biggest problem of trying to better yourself through a book (in this
                            > case psychologically, but this can also apply to other fields) is how
                            > to maintain your newfound insights and keep your new lifestyle without
                            > falling back to the old in a few days.

                            i think you could observe that the first condition for "self improvement"
                            is the will to improve one's self. i don't think that people improve
                            just because they read the 'right book'. they happened to read this book
                            when the terms were suiteable for a change ("bashlu hatna'im") - so
                            they'll keep ever liking the book, and recommend it to others - when the
                            book was probably secondary in importance. and it could have been a book,
                            a song, a movie, a person, a drug, a world event, etc. and it could also
                            have been just thinking - with little direct external influence - that
                            made one want to change something about their lives.

                            > For example, immediately after reading a book about the human mind with a
                            > Zen Budhist twist, I was one day able to clear my mind of all thoughts
                            > and have complete control over my mind while still moving around and doing
                            > things (it's hard to explain...). This was amazing. But I was never able to
                            > repeat that experience, and certainly not make it a permanent feature of
                            > my life.

                            i think shlomi was refering to pulling one-self from "deep down" to an
                            "ok" state - not more subtle improvements as you are refering to here.

                            --
                            guy

                            "For world domination - press 1,
                            or dial 0, and please hold, for the creator." -- nob o. dy
                          • Shlomi Fish
                            ... I m not sure it s entirely correct. You see: I recommend the book to other people who want to improve themselves. Reading the book gave me practical tools
                            Message 13 of 21 , Nov 13, 2002
                              On Thu, 14 Nov 2002, guy keren wrote:

                              >
                              > On Wed, 13 Nov 2002, Nadav Har'El wrote:
                              >
                              > > The biggest problem of trying to better yourself through a book (in this
                              > > case psychologically, but this can also apply to other fields) is how
                              > > to maintain your newfound insights and keep your new lifestyle without
                              > > falling back to the old in a few days.
                              >
                              > i think you could observe that the first condition for "self improvement"
                              > is the will to improve one's self. i don't think that people improve
                              > just because they read the 'right book'. they happened to read this book
                              > when the terms were suiteable for a change ("bashlu hatna'im") - so
                              > they'll keep ever liking the book, and recommend it to others - when the
                              > book was probably secondary in importance. and it could have been a book,
                              > a song, a movie, a person, a drug, a world event, etc. and it could also
                              > have been just thinking - with little direct external influence - that
                              > made one want to change something about their lives.
                              >

                              I'm not sure it's entirely correct. You see: I recommend the book to other
                              people who want to improve themselves. Reading the book gave me practical
                              tools and insights for leading a better life. I was ready to change my
                              life, but I also found the book itself very good.

                              > > For example, immediately after reading a book about the human mind with a
                              > > Zen Budhist twist, I was one day able to clear my mind of all thoughts
                              > > and have complete control over my mind while still moving around and doing
                              > > things (it's hard to explain...). This was amazing. But I was never able to
                              > > repeat that experience, and certainly not make it a permanent feature of
                              > > my life.
                              >
                              > i think shlomi was refering to pulling one-self from "deep down" to an
                              > "ok" state - not more subtle improvements as you are refering to here.
                              >

                              Actually, my story is a bit more complicated. I used to have depressions
                              and states of euphoria from the 9th grade onwards. Towards my army
                              enrollment, I entered a very hard anxiety. A psychologist my mother found
                              me told me I was in a depression. I'll always remember him for that,
                              because until then I did not know what those states where, and how to
                              define them. I called them "tekufot" or whatever.

                              Now, I usually only become euphoric, in which case I have a lot of
                              inspiration, and can still usually concentrate on doing things I like to
                              do. It's still an anxiety in disguise, though. But now I'm working on
                              getting the approval addiction out of my system, which will take some
                              time, because I am very sensitive to what other people think of me.[1]

                              Regards,

                              Shlomi Fish

                              [1] - It is impractical to expect people not to hurt other people's
                              feelings. People get hurt all the time from all kind of remarks, some
                              of them perfectly positive. Only a person himself can make sure he is not
                              affected by the way other people commented about him.

                              This does not mean a person should be purposely tactless or so. Tact is a
                              Good Thing<tm>.

                              > --
                              > guy
                              >
                              > "For world domination - press 1,
                              > or dial 0, and please hold, for the creator." -- nob o. dy
                              >
                              >
                              > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                              > hackers-il-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                              >
                              >



                              ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                              Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
                              Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/
                              Home E-mail: shlomif@...

                              "Let's suppose you have a table with 2^n cups..."
                              "Wait a second - is n a natural number?"
                            • Nadav Har'El
                              ... The problem with narcotics is that the experiences/thoughts/visions/feelings they induce are not natural, but rather caused by bugs in your brain that
                              Message 14 of 21 , Nov 14, 2002
                                On Wed, Nov 13, 2002, Gilad Ben-Yossef wrote about "RE: [hackers-il] RE: Book Recommendation: "Feeling Good" by David Burns":
                                > I think you're belittling mind altering drugs. They can serve as
                                > excellent "teachers" too, if you just listen.
                                >...
                                > The thing is that together with giving you the peace of mind you require
                                > to cope with a "seizure", they will also teach you a very important
                                > lesson, if you're mind is open enough and you're ready for what they
                                > have to teach you. And (to tie it in to what Nadav was saying before)
                                >...
                                > As time goes by you learn that different drugs do different things: THC
                                > makes you playful and relaxed and takes away the "edge" of the hard
                                > feelings, Alcohol will make you upbeat and emotionally numb all
                                > together. Selective inhibitors of Seratonine re-uptake system will make
                                >...

                                The problem with narcotics is that the experiences/thoughts/visions/feelings
                                they induce are not natural, but rather caused by "bugs" in your brain that
                                are activated by these drugs - "bugs" that are not likely to be activated in
                                any useful life situation. As such there is not much you can learn by
                                experimenting with drugs.

                                For example, Richard Leakey in his book "The Origin of Humankind" discusses
                                some 20,000 year old paintings found in some cave. He argues that the person
                                who drew that specific painting must have been a "shaman", in the sense that
                                he or she was using halucenogenic substances to achieve a trans-like
                                situation in which he or she were supposed to be "closer to the gods", or
                                something like that. Why does Leakey claim that? Because he claims that some
                                of the geometric patterns found in the painting are exactly those you'd see
                                in the typical first phase of an halucination; These patterns (lines, dots,
                                etc., with a very specific configuration) happen because of physiological
                                details in the way the human brain is wired to the eye - it has nothing to
                                do with an individual's feelings, experiences, or something that can happen
                                to someone in his ordinary life. (note, though, that severe distress to the
                                brain, such as an extreme fever, can also bring about such halucinations, at
                                least from my experience).

                                In the next phases of an halucination, more "layers" of the brain are
                                affected, and more complex halucinations appear (involving higher
                                abstractions, objects, concepts, words, etc., and not just geometrical
                                patterns), but arguably these can't teach you much either because they
                                are just semi-random combinations of feelings and concepts that your brain
                                was already occupied with. In fact, if you're looking for a safer way to
                                see those, dreams already do something similar. Moreover, some researchers
                                argue that dreams are the brains way of solving psychological and emotional
                                problems subconciously - so they may be not only safe but genuinely important.

                                M.C.Escher once said "I don't use drugs - my dreams are frightening enough" :)

                                The worst thing about many drugs, obviously, is that they have some dangerous
                                physical effects that have no parallel in the real lives of non-users.
                                For example, what can you learn from getting physically-addicted to opiates
                                (like Heroin)? What can you learn by your liver being destroyed by Alcohol?
                                From getting cancer by getting your daily Nikotine or THC through smoking?
                                What can you learn by the severe stress to your cardiovascular system (and
                                risk of cardiac arrest) by methamphetamines, MDMA, PCP, and the like?
                                There are also experiences that you should never want to learn: would you
                                really want to learn what it feels like to be violent, paranoid and
                                obsessive, by using Alcohol or Cocaine? Would you want to learn what a
                                schizophrenic feels like, or what happens when you have an halucination
                                "flashback" while doing something dangerous (such as driving)? There are
                                certain things you *better* read from a book and not experiement on yourself,
                                just like I hope nobody here tries to learn about electricity by personally
                                holding a kite and waiting for a lightening :)


                                --
                                Nadav Har'El | Thursday, Nov 14 2002, 9 Kislev 5763
                                nyh@... |-----------------------------------------
                                Phone: +972-53-245868, ICQ 13349191 |Seen on the back of a dump truck:
                                http://nadav.harel.org.il |<---PASSING SIDE . . . . . SUICIDE--->
                              • Orna Agmon
                                ... This is why Burns recommends, in the beginning of his book, to read the whole book every month, a certain chapter every week, and the chapter you are
                                Message 15 of 21 , Nov 14, 2002
                                  On Wed, 13 Nov 2002, Nadav Har'El wrote:

                                  > The biggest problem of trying to better yourself through a book (in this
                                  > case psychologically, but this can also apply to other fields) is how
                                  > to maintain your newfound insights and keep your new lifestyle without
                                  > falling back to the old in a few days.

                                  This is why Burns recommends, in the beginning of his book, to read the
                                  whole book every month, a certain chapter every week, and the chapter
                                  you are currently practicing - every day.

                                  This way, at least you do not forget. But I guess nothing equals the
                                  impact that a fresh thought has on one's feelings.

                                  --
                                  Orna. | http://tx.technion.ac.il/~agmon

                                  A cat has claws at the end of its paws.
                                  A sentence has a pause at the end of its clause.
                                • Nadav Har'El
                                  ... Wow, I m really curious in what context he said that... (if he said it about me, and not about some other Nadav). -- Nadav Har El |
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Nov 20, 2002
                                    On Wed, Nov 20, 2002, Adi Stav wrote about "Re: [hackers-il] RE: Book Recommendation: "Feeling Good" by David Burns":
                                    >...
                                    > --
                                    > "I am the anti-Nadav! I inspire conflict wherever I go" -- Moshe Zadka

                                    Wow, I'm really curious in what context he said that... (if he said it
                                    about me, and not about some other Nadav).

                                    --
                                    Nadav Har'El | Wednesday, Nov 20 2002, 15 Kislev 5763
                                    nyh@... |-----------------------------------------
                                    Phone: +972-53-245868, ICQ 13349191 |Experience is what lets you recognize a
                                    http://nadav.harel.org.il |mistake when you make it again.
                                  • Adi Stav
                                    ... A common theme in the Larry Niven s books is stressing the fact that the physical structure of one s personality does not reside solely in one s central
                                    Message 17 of 21 , Nov 20, 2002
                                      On Wed, Nov 13, 2002 at 11:37:38AM +0200, Gilad Ben-Yossef wrote:
                                      >
                                      > At one time or another you simply have got to start wondering: if all it
                                      > takes is so and so CCs of this and that substance to change my mood and
                                      > thoughts completely and alter the way I perceive the universe and
                                      > myself, then obviously my emotions and world view are not a part of
                                      > "me". I mean, if they change so quickly so much and for so little reason
                                      > as several CCs of this or that substance, how can they be a real part of
                                      > what I perceive as "myself"? And if so, if my emotions and feelings and
                                      > viewpoints are not "me", what, or rather who, is me anyway?

                                      A common theme in the Larry Niven's books is stressing the fact that the
                                      physical structure of one's personality does not reside solely in one's
                                      central nervous system, but also in the hormones and other substances in
                                      one's bloodstream. In his book "A World Out Of Time", a future
                                      totalitarian society extracts personality patterns from corpsicles
                                      (terminally ill people from our time who chose to freeze themselves) in
                                      order to resurrect their personalities in empty bodies. The process
                                      involves grinding the dead bodies of the corpsicles into mush and then
                                      filtering out the RNA. Worse -- the totalitarian state affects those
                                      resurrected personalities by injecting even more RNA from other sources
                                      in order to create new emotions in them -- for example, loyalty to the
                                      state. In this world, no emotion really is anything more than a
                                      chemical which can be or not be injected into a body.

                                      Another story of Larry Niven's which perhaps illustrates even more
                                      strongly the point you raised is "The Coldest Place". In this short
                                      story, a research ship crashes on Pluto and the sole survivor freezes
                                      without his spacesuit in the near-0K environment. Then a funny thing
                                      happens: although he is unable to move, he does not die, but instead
                                      his nerves are turned by the cold into superconductors. His nervous
                                      system continues to function at a speed several orders of magnitude
                                      slower than the natural, and so he continues to experiences thoughts
                                      and even sensory input from his eyes and skin. Only at night time does
                                      the superconductor effect work, because only then the temperature is low
                                      enough, so every time the sun rises he sees a "lapse" until after it had
                                      set.

                                      Now, the superconductor effect only works on the nervous system, and
                                      not, of course, on the bloodstream and the hormonal system that depends
                                      on it. The hero is capable of thought, analysis and observation, but
                                      slowly realises that he is no longer feeling any emotion at all. If
                                      you take the story as an answer to your question, then the real "me"
                                      is abstract thought which chemical emotions are able to affect.

                                      In the story, the hero waits for a rescue mission which would take
                                      decades and may never come. He observes his frozen surroundings and thinks
                                      about his situation without the ability for either action nor emotion.
                                      The story ends with one of the strongest feelings I have ever read in a
                                      science fiction story -- a feeling of loss, fear and loneliness. That
                                      feeling is only intensified by the knowledge that the hero is, in fact, NOT
                                      able to feel these emotions anymore, and knows it.


                                      --
                                      "I am the anti-Nadav! I inspire conflict wherever I go" -- Moshe Zadka
                                    • Adi Stav
                                      ... He did say it about you, in the context of cheese ravioli and iced cappuccino, after I mentioned that your entering heated discussions appears to have a
                                      Message 18 of 21 , Nov 20, 2002
                                        On Wed, Nov 20, 2002 at 11:46:42AM +0200, Nadav Har'El wrote:
                                        > On Wed, Nov 20, 2002, Adi Stav wrote about "Re: [hackers-il] RE: Book Recommendation: "Feeling Good" by David Burns":
                                        > >...
                                        > > --
                                        > > "I am the anti-Nadav! I inspire conflict wherever I go" -- Moshe Zadka
                                        >
                                        > Wow, I'm really curious in what context he said that... (if he said it
                                        > about me, and not about some other Nadav).

                                        He did say it about you, in the context of cheese ravioli and iced
                                        cappuccino, after I mentioned that your entering heated discussions
                                        appears to have a tendency to calm everybody down. I.e., nothing but a
                                        compliment.

                                        As you can see, I started actually using my up-until-now-only-alleged
                                        quotes file. Watch out.


                                        --
                                        "Helped nagging newbies on mailing lists, then helped Marc flame them"
                                        -- Ira Abramov mentioning some of his Free Software community achievements
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