Originally Posted by Lanya
I personally interpreted it as:
- "with the intention to" being independent of what actually happens. For example, you can still get an answer wrong on a test "with the intention" of getting it right.
- I didn't see "maximize pleasure" or "reduce pain" as necessarily referring to a specific person or necessarily referring to only physical pleasure. For example, dying for your child might be done with the intention of maximizing the pleasure for your conscience. The physical pain from burning would be interpreted as less pain than the emotional pain of not rushing to rescue your child.
I might also insert in there "one's perception of what maximizes pleasure and reduces pain." Or replace "pleasure" and "pain" with "benefits" and "detriments," just to generalize everything more.
That's how everything seemed congruent to me (though, and it was already mentioned, you never know if that'd apply to enlightened folk and such).
But yeah, just an interpretation.
Well put. Eventually it's all about interpretation/perception/beliefs/motivations.
Ramiel: Lanya pretty much said what I was about to.
But let me add that the belief of afterlife/heaven/justice can be pretty strong motivators to even intentionally kill yourself and other people (see suicide bombers). I mean heaven is supposed to be the most awesome place, full of pleasure. Add to this the experience (perception) of a lot of pain in the current life, so one has "nothing to lose", and it's a done deal.
Originally Posted by Evan
We are motivated to meaning/completion. Eg on a maths test we remember the one's we got wrong and think them over until we figure out the solution. (But the pleasure/pain folks say that this completion is pleasure.)
Those abstract/mathematical problems may seem trivial to someone looking from the outside, but they are -to the mind- problems that need
to be solved, otherwise there's a painful
experience of disorder/incompletion. Eckhart Tolle talks a lot about the mind being addicted to solving problems.. But the point is that this could include all kinds of problems, not just "silly abstract stuff". Even problems such as world hunger or a kid trapped in a burning house. I'm making extreme comparisions, but you see the point. I do believe that being addicted to solving world hunger is better than being addicted to hurting other people. But eventually someone might live in the state of mind where the latter is percieved to bring more pleasure or to solve more pain.
The whole thing gets even more complicated when we talk about motivations of a certain self, even tho the self is not a constant object but is in fact always changing.
Let me conclude that I'm not trying to apply this theory to everything
, or to such things as enlightened people™.
I realize that theories and the whole mind/language system are just a part
of life and they most probably can't explain life itself.
The whole point of making such discussions then, is to bring light to some mind mechanisms. You can probably tell that I find Eckhart Tolle's teachings very insightful.