Apophenia: perception of connections and meaningfulness

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ex-l

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Apophenia: perception of connections and meaningfulness

Post06 Sep 2013

Meditation induced change of consciousness increases dopamine releases ... what significance could that have?

Recent research has indicated that high levels of dopamine affect the propensity to find meaning, patterns, and significance where there is none, and that this propensity is related to a tendency to believe in the paranormal.

Apophenia is the term for spontaneous perception of connections and meaningfulness of unrelated, random or meaningless data phenomena, e.g. Lekhraj Kirpalani drawing circles on the walls of a family home and turning it into the pillar of his religion.

A quick, rough sketch taken from: Being Amused by Apophenia, The Skeptic Dictionary and elsewhere. See also; Pareidolia.
There is currently a controversial debate concerning whether unusual experiences are symptoms of a mental disorder, if mental disorders are a consequence of such experiences, or if people with mental disorders are especially susceptible to or even looking for these experiences.

--Dr. Martina Belz-Merk
nothing is so alien to the human mind as the idea of randomness.”

--John Cohen

The propensity to see connections between seemingly unrelated objects or ideas links psychosis to creativity. Individuals, e.g. having a psychotic episode, often think they see the significances in random things such as automobile license plate numbers, birth dates, and arrangements of fallen twigs.

The word "Apophänie", which has become apophenia, was coined by Klaus Conrad to characterize the onset of delusional thinking in psychosis from the Greek apo [away from] + phaenein [to show] reflecting the fact that a schizophrenic initials experiences delusion as revelation.

In contrast to epiphany, however, apophany does not provide insight into the true nature of reality or its interconnectedness, but is a "process of repetitively and monotonously experiencing abnormal meanings in the entire surrounding experiential field" which are entirely self-referential, solipsistic and often paranoid, e.g. Lekhraj Kirpalani believing that he and his gopis of the Om Mandli were responsible for WWII happening. Paranoia of an unbelievable scale when you think about it.

Whether or not BK meditation increases Apophenia, I do not know but I do know, on the basis of my own experience with the Brahma Kumaris that, socially, they encourage apophenia amongst adherents. A simple form might be seeing their Baba performing miracles of practical events around them, or feeling "touched" and personally directed by God to do things on a regular basis.

However, I am not a professional psychologist and may have the science wrong, so you must do your own research, contemplation and come to your own conclusions ... comments welcome.
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Pink Panther

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Re: Apophenia: perception of connections and meaningfulness

Post08 Sep 2013

In one sense, apophenia is at the heart of Buddhist philosphy (especially in the rDzog-Chen tradition) - all experienced phenomena are a kind of apophenia, it's just that there are certain commonly accepted connections and meanings which are described as "normal" or "conventional" consciousness - based on the what the majority think.

And they have become the commonly accepted ones because they are the ones that allow for the successful survival, propagation and proliferation of the species, the ones handed down that work/ed.

A truly held perception that celibacy is the essential prerequisite for human happiness, if it became common consciousness, would of course see the end of that species.

That is, celibacy can only ever benefit a few, only a small number of the population can ever practice it.

Sometimes being 'special" just means being carried on the backs of others, like one's own parents, or the taxes paid by the children of others.
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ex-l

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Re: Apophenia: perception of connections and meaningfulness

Post08 Sep 2013

Pink Panther wrote:That is, celibacy can only ever benefit a few, only a small number of the population can ever practice it.

Sometimes being 'special" just means being carried on the backs of others, like one's own parents, or the taxes paid by the children of others.

In other words, for a few, celibacy is just part of the script of a religious performance which allows the few to tax others to live off them ... additional taxation by such "religious" governments. Or as the BKs used to call them self politico-religious movements. The "Shiv Shakti" Government. A government by self-appointed divine rule without democracy.

Is this "apophenia" what you spoke about when you were coming into Gyan and making it all real for yourself on the basis of patterns you saw that weren't even part of what they taught?
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Pink Panther

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Re: Apophenia: perception of connections and meaningfulness

Post08 Sep 2013

ex-l wrote: Is this "apophenia" what you spoke about when you were coming into Gyan and making it all real for yourself on the basis of patterns you saw that weren't even part of what they taught?

Yes, in my own way, I interpreted things that were going on in my life and the world as 'signs" that it was the right path. And, yes, it probably was, as per the saying, "the student is ready, the teacher appears" .

That is, life is going on all around all the time, but the lessons each one "takes" from it or what Life teaches each one, even those in the same situations, will be different for each one depending on how they have been "readied" for it, on what "meaning" they invest into it, what patterns they are "conditioned" to see (like prejudices and presumptions but deeper, less conscious than that).

Meaning - is a word for "what comes to mind", what something means to us is what it brings to mind for us. If someone asks "what does this mean to you?" it shows that. And why would something mean different things to different people? I like this word (and topic) apophenia - it opens up so much worth looking into.

BTW, Apo - means "from" i.e. more general than just "away from" as you indicated. It can also be "come from". Phenia > pheno means "appear" but in a colloquial use can mean "occurred" (mentally) - as in " when I saw that, this occurred to me".

Mean : ORIGIN Old English mænan; related to Dutch meenen and German meinen, from an Indo-European root shared by mind. ma and mana.
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Pink Panther

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Re: Apophenia: perception of connections and meaningfulness

Post26 Dec 2017

Meanwhile science is proving the actual connections rather than ”spiritual” notions of connection:

The Walrus (a.k.a. Tom Chi) explains how it is that
I am here as you are here
as you are me and
we are all together...

https://www.facebook.com/mindvalley/videos/1720588267986178/

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