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Placebo vs direct experience


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I took a pain killer earlier and it made me feel good. I wanted to find out why so i googled to find out. I found a study done in Stanford on how when pain leaves happiness  is felt(emotionally). Also, i read how pain killers are used for emotional relieves and about their negative effects. The moment i read the negative effects i felt discomfort on my body. I decided to directly see the discomfort and it went away - i saw it as placebo effect. The discomfort came because i started believing it will have negative effect on me. 

Do you think direct experience can dispel placebo effects? (I am also concerned here that direct experience blocks the placebo effects)


I think these effects come because ones believes in them. (If this was a place bo effect or not i am not 100 sure) It can surety do if you would directly see the symptoms of that belief but one would have to fully understand why one beliefs that thing and if the experience correlate to what it is realistically expected to happen. This is were it becomes tricky because many people experience what they read in the internet. People  say things like my adhd brain started doing this thing blablabla and start building/seeing an adhd brain in their experience. While in fact they would not be able to know what adhd brain does from third perspective. There is a paper just recently that shows that the subjective experience of contentless states is different in different people(toby woods, jennifer windt).  So there could also be cases when one would “placebo” a contentless state(since there are subjective experience about it then it is experienced). When pain leaves love comes when we experience the contentless state what comes? 


If it does dispel it then what is the mind that creates the placebo effect? Can that mind be located in experience?

I guess that is the mind that is experienced, but direct experience can be experienced also.  So would it be already what we have right now? 

If we would locate the mind that creates the place bo effect then we can hack belief’s. Would it be possible to consciously convince  or make believers out of ourself about a certain idea or would it have to come spontaneously ? 

For example: my brother is hypochondriac  - if he twist his ankle he will concern much more than normally people would do. It would be inefficient for him to now directly look at the hypochondriac  “symptoms” such as oppsesive thoughts, stress or feeling angry.  He would have to go directly to the triggers of that experience or dissect the belief somehow. There are many people that twist their ankle or catch a cold and don’t  really worry that much. 

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@Eothasiandoing yoga, healthy eating, meditation can conjure up a placebo effect - this would not mean that one is getting healthier physically in a case of some of illness but it can definitely feel better . So it is a belief thing. 



At the time when i write the post i understood placebo effect from a case were they put non alcohol  drinks in a party and all got drunk. In that case would could have stopped and noticed that it is not feeling drunk. One more thing! Awareness is a blocker type of thing. One can drink much more and be in control if you are staying present! 

Edited by nurthur11
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How does one see thru illusion ?


Our senses lie to us all the time. Direct experience is fine, but again, it may be illusion at least to some degree. It might be useful for our purposes illusion, but still. Then almost immediately we put our experiences  into some conceptual framework. I watch a lot of nondualists on YouTube and I don't doubt that most have had an awakening experience. But how they explain it, how they frame awakening (for everyone) -- differs greatly. Sometimes I like how they frame it, many times I don't. It's just their own take on it after the fact. Your mileage may vary. 


Direct experience needs to be followed up by reflection or education. The party experience cited where people got "drunk" but only drank non alcoholic beer -- a direct experience approach relies upon memory -- was I drunk ? (answer, yes). Or present moment. Do I feel drunk now? Possibly again, yes. The Placebo effect is very strong. Sometimes people think of the placebo effect as totally imaginary (not real) but it's not. It's real. There's a study heard of where they did a fake knee surgery (placebo) vs. a real one. The placebo group had real knee healing as if the surgery had been done. 




Advaita Vedanta says the root problem is ignorance and ignorance is best resolved in education. The classic example is seeing a coiled rope as the snake. The direct experience is seeing ... a coiled serpent like thing that SURE LOOKS LIKE A SNAKE! You can also pray about it or meditate and it won't do much good. One will still most likely see the rope as a snake. 


Somebody tells you that the beer is non-alcohlic. That's the fast way to do it. Maybe the person is too drunk or giddy to hear this and can't / won't listen. Then you might say, go onto the balcony get some cool air. Splash some cool water on your face. Maybe even take some deep breaths (meditate) a bit. Meditation won't directly reveal the truth here in this story, but it might be useful to prepare you for it by calming the mind. Now the person might be ready for instruction. 


Ajahn Amaro has a talk where he talks of the reflective power of "Is that so?" For someone who is hypocondriac, this might help. Well, truly IMO for most it would help to be a bit more reflective. 

Edited by Aware Wolf

“If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.” ― The Buddha

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@Eothasian@Aware Wolfit makes sense what you are saying. Placebo effect would be directly experienced - if placebo effect definition is considered as an illusion then we can be aware and learn from it. I liked the Ajahn Amaro question and calming oneself before taking a decision or following some instructions. 


I just may have liked the effect of the pain killer that night and though i had a cool idea.



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