- If you eat something new or unusual for you, you may experience a lingering mouthfeel, that keeps drawing your attention back in stolen moments. This may be phenomenology that is involved in the immune system’s epitope-level inferencing to learn and unlearn possible threats.
- For epitopes that have been detected in the mouth, the immune system provisionally considers them less likely to be a replicating invader (because, even if they’re in high concentration, those epitopes could simply have come from food and may be inert/harmless).
- The immune system may even do certain kinds of integrative deltas, comparing epitopes detected in the mouth versus the lower intestine.
- Some of this inferencing is at the “molecular and cellular machinery” level, but, some of this inferencing is “fully general,” seamless, contiguous, coextensive with high-level “everyday” cognition, and this feeds back into the low-level system.
- Both the innate and adaptive immune systems can be top-down modulated (down to the epitope level, at the very least for the adaptive immune system) by high-level percepts and beliefs.
- It follows that immune system underreaction and overreaction, when molecular machinery and nervous system innervation are intact, can be progressively corrected through introspective/interoceptive tools such as meditation.
- (Tangentially, nutritive/energy inferencing & food motivation, through deconvolution of flavor, & other mouth sensations, combined w interoceptive phenomenology over minutes, hours, & days, etc. (Hours later: “mmm that was such a good meal.”), is just as fine-grain & malleable.)
- (Additionally, energy metabolism—energy conservation and burn rate, and thus felt energy & e.g. mood—insulin response, insulin resistance, basal metabolic rate, etc., while highly entrained by mechanical and hormetic influences, are also malleable, top-down influenced.)
- Modulo privilege & opportunity cost, across MANY(/all?) dimensions, seemingly low-level physiological machinery & instinctual motivations are “open,” dramatically malleable, the progressive optimization of which culminates in ever more “autonomic harmony” & felt robust wellbeing.
some enlightenment hot takes: I just had another “big” no-self thing (“no self, no people, no things”). “Big” in quotes because it was a soft thing that had such a similar flavor to a bunch of stuff in that 2000 hours post, which updates my degree of belief that those were “real,” too. but also that there’s was plenty more that took another 6000+ hours
a few things became seemingly apparent over the next couple hours:
- suffering has gone down, so it does seem like there’s some deep and interesting relationship to self and suffering. it’s not so much, it seems, that suffering is less because there’s no one to suffer, but more like there’s some deep relationship between self-ing and the use of suffering as like a “terrible motivator to produce action.” And somehow seeing through the self is identical to some sort of “unification” that makes suffering less necessary. Like unification of spiritual essence is upstream of “wholehearted-heartfeltness” which somehow reduces self-ing and separately somehow reduces suffering as a strategy (because the self system wholeheartedly-heartfelt-ly “just does the right thing without it”).
- i can see why people make such a big deal of “enlightenment has nothing to do with morality.” as per usual, I don’t think that’s true. BUT, /this particular change/ changed nothing about morality/preference/behavior–like not even an iota, which is pretty interesting in and of itself. like there /does/ seem to be something interestingly orthogonal to belief/behavior/preference/morality in whatever changed. to the degree anyone, including myself, is a grumpy, sociopathic dickhead before this thing, it seems they’re exactly as much of a grumpy, sociopathic dick afterwards. BUT-BUT, I still think /meditation/, properly conceived and executed has a direct fuck-ton to do with belief/behavior/preference/morality, just not this particular change.
- and re-no self, there is some deep realization thingy going on, but as for the experience, modulo the insight, it’s more like “unreflective flow,” like, hi, I have an identity, I am me, I am typing these words. also, there’s less going on in “inner space.”
- ah, and, “this just incidentally happened” as a result of executing lightly held instructions with flexibility and precision and patience. I still think the point is “better,” not any particular thing:
- re “no self, no people, no things”–like, ok. there’s a deep epistemics/metaphysics/brain thing here, that’s apparently really consistently replicable across people. it’s really interesting and important, whatever’s going on, here. also, entangled with that, science and neurons and forces and fields, and the better versions of those as science continues to advance. also love, people, etc.
- anyway, curious what’s next. again, these are hot takes