What is the "anatomy" of "believing"?

Feb 2011
1,196
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USA
When I learned of the phenomenon of 'placebo effect', I was fascinated by how believing works; how do we believe?
If anyone knows, I would very much appreciate if you would share your knowledge.

I asked that question and the answers are about the 'what/content' of what is believed, that's not my question, my question is, "How" do we believe"
"What" do we do? The word 'believing' is verb, meaning 'process/doing'.

Some creatures blend with the environment. (natural deception).( See on line, "Top Ten Animals that perfectly Blend With The Environment") {I could not see the Iguana}.
Is it possible to disguise thoughts as perceptions?
We, unwittingly, experience that everyday; (often to our chagrin).

Is it possible to disguise thoughts as perceptions?
 
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Sep 2012
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Here, Now
Here's belief in a nutshell. You don't think about your beliefs, you think from them. It's like having made a decision, you don't think about the decision after you've made it, it becomes the basis for other thoughts, actions and, well... decisions.

So belief is a lot like how dual process works. At some point (hopefully) we examine and consider the belief consciously before accepting it as true -- at which point it becomes a part of the unconscious process and forms a part of your model of the world.

With the placebo effect, well, we're always running on a thousand assumptions based on how we think the world is, and our unconscious reacts according to what we unconsciously believe to be true and rarely take the time to verify what the actual facts are.

There's a great illustration of this in Fight Club when Tyler Durden threatens a gas station attendent with an unloaded gun. Since it's reasonable to believe that if someone forces you to your knees at gunpoint and points the gun at your head that the gun is loaded. But it wasn't. The gun was a placebo and the the gas station's attendendants panicked state was the effect of the placebo. He believed the gun was loaded, and unconsciously reacted AS IF it was.

Actually, most people live in a perpetual AS IF state based on their unquestioned beliefs, lack of paying attention and laziness about verifying the facts -- most people simply accept whatever pops into their head as true.

BTW: This is both the foundandation of acute psychosis and suggestion.
 
Feb 2011
1,196
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USA
Thank you. I didn't see the 'Fight Club' movie; great example. I use the example of 'accidental' shootings, when people say; "I thought the gun was empty". That recognition comes 'after' the fact. At the time of the shooting, the thought was 'not' recognized as thought, but instead as 'perception'. (innocent error).
Hunters and livestock get shot because some hunters say; "I thought the rustling bushes was caused by game".
quote;" most people live in a perpetual AS IF state based on their unquestioned beliefs..etc."
Unrecognized beliefs can't be questioned, recognition comes first.
Unrecognized beliefs trigger emotions, so a different cause is attributed to causing the emotions, as indicated by remarks such as; "S/he; it; them makes me mad". The real cause is not recognized , so it's hard to make corrections.
Lets look at a simple/common example. As a child, I was afraid of 'bogyman'; until I recognized it was only a thought. That thought is still in my memory but no longer evokes/causes fear when I now think of it. (Why not? I stopped believing it was perception).
If we 'did' it with one thought, can we generalize that, across- the -board to all thoughts?
Thought recognition results in relief, such recognition is therapeutic.
Can we explore that in depth?
 
Feb 2015
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United States
This should be good. Yes Sakoz, please listen to Shawn2 and in 4 sentences or less condense it so that you guys have a center from which to explore.
 
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Feb 2011
1,196
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quote: "You don't think about your beliefs, you think from them." Astute observation.
We don't look at our eye glasses, we look through them, ( often forgetting they are present).
I would add to the quote, the words; "often without recognizing doing so".
We don't think about our beliefs, we think from them; but we can think about thinking. When we don't recognize our beliefs, then even if they are false to facts, we still react to them. Unconscious beliefs function exactly like post-hypnotic-suggestions regardless of who originates them. In order to think about unconscious beliefs, we acknowledge they exist; like physicists postulated quantum level to account for what is observable.

Regarding post #4, I'm not sure I can condense my paragraph to four sentences. Please excuse my lack of concise/cogent presentation.
 
Feb 2011
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"Believing" has the effect of lederdemain.....

.....of (unwittingly) accepting 'thoughts' as 'legal tender',(without intentional choice), for 'reality/facts'.
We tender thoughts in lieu of facts AS IF thoughts were the facts/referents themselves.(reification). Language/symbols are mistakenly idolized in and of themselves.
People are hurt; angered by thoughts, comments when they don't recognize and so react to symbols as though they were facts instead of proxy.

If this is only my opinion, then that demonstrates what I wrote is true for me.
The very writing of the above, is itself a example of what was written.

What you believe is true for you. (Believing affects the believer.)
 
Feb 2011
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When "stress" is reaction to thought

'Stress' is the bane of peak performance.
Why do 'good guys' ,in movies, let 'bad guys' draw their guns first? To 'psych out'* the 'bad guy'.
"It's quicker to react than to think". (emergencies and peak performances).
The 'bad guy' has to think when to draw his gun; the 'good guy' just has to observe the 'bad guys' hand, and at the slightest motion to holster, the 'good guy' automatically reacts without thinking and fires.
We often 'psych out' ourselves, and interfere with our automatic skill; unintentionally.

* definition of "psych out"; 1. to intimidate or frighten, or make nervous.
 
Feb 2011
1,196
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USA
Can bulling 'hurt your feelings' without your participation?

It takes two to tango. If you react to other's thoughts, then it follows you react to your own as well.
How do you 'come by' the thoughts that 'hurt/stress' you?
What/who creates the thoughts you react to? When we believe 'thoughts are real', our neurology reacts to them. You (hopefully) stopped believing 'bogyman' was real and you stopped reacting to that thought, because you recognize 'thoughts' can't hurt.
PhilosophyofLife is volunteering to demonstrate what I write about.