We have some fairly dense ground to cover here, so sit back a chew only a small pice at a time. The line of reason we are following is like such:
What are we living in > What are we > What motivates us > What time frames are these interacting with > How might this affect you as an individual. Summarised bellow
- Rules of the game
- Meet the players
- What utility does any emotion have
- Future projection
- Your balance
We have all been there, that feeling of achievement and then the crash after all we had worked for was achieved. In a movie this would be a kiss scene and a fade to black or a ride off into the sunset. In that moment of time, this was captured, and if you could live within moments, that would have been enough. However we do not live in moments, all biology or the physics of the universe are ALL loops, systems, cycles.
In various theories such as Positive motivation theory and other research papers it has been modled that positive emotion, potentially ALL positive emotions are goal specific. In other words if your not walking towards a goal or running away from a threat you may not be able to have any happiness at all. This makes perfect sense if you agree with these propositions.
The rules of the game (living in our Universe)
- All living things want to be living things (As a species, not necessarily individuals)
- As a living thing we must; avoid dying and seek breeding.
This basic proposition sets up the rules of the game for our minds. We will continue the calculating here
- We are minds (Therefore living)
- Our minds exist in a living body
- Our body exists in an environment
- Our minds (as living things) must guide our body from being killed, dying from the environment and seek breeding.
Now we have set out the rules the game, we can explore the nature of the player, our mind.
Meet the players (Your mind)
In neuroscience, one theory is that we only see things as they are useful to us, in a Darwinian sense. Or more precisely “We don’t see reality — we only see what was useful to see in the past.”
This distinction is important in all communication, especially high stakes ‘survival’ communication such as business or dating. You must, once focused, attempt to communicate and intemperate all interactions in their correct ‘frame’ Relational frame theory.
So now. If we accept some of these principals
- We only see things as they are useful to our basic survival and goals to breed
- We use intelligence (Pattern recognition & Categorisation) to form neural ‘frames’
How is this useful to you. Well in a basic sense, only to keep you alive and breed often and successfully. But in a modern world you can use this ‘truth’ to start to decode and maybe even teach and influence people. People can not see the world in any other way apart from these frames. What your job will be is to try correctly recognise their patterns and categories the data you have collected. This is, by definition, intelligence ie the brain.
What utility does emotion have
Well in a basic sense, it will either keep you alive or help you breed successfully and often. Im sorry folks there is no other game in town. There are many studies showing the selection of emotions and how they are all relevant to the ‘Frame’ we interoperate them to be in and if you scratched the surface deeper how they relate to Darwinian survival.
So now if we believe this then we can classify all emotions in three frames:
- Avoiding Dying: Fear, Anxiety and Anger
- Seeking living: Pride, Excitement and Comfort
- Breed often and successfully: Love, and Heartache
Where this gets tricky is the world we live in is far more advanced than our brains ability to understand it. Our reactions and even thoughts are beyond us for the most part. We need a manual to try work out what is going on under the hood of our brain and then try correctly interpret this.
We are going to go off on another direction for a moment and then converge all our theories into how this might affect your experience at the end.
The ranking intelligence and success in humans is a function of IQ and conscientiousness. We can explain them briefly as
- IQ ability to see patterns and make correct connections and predictions of their meaning (future projection)
- Conscentuioness, ability to sacrifice the now (short term) for the future.
We will for this formula rank them in 3 stages of future projection.
- Potential source: The reptilian brain or brain stem, nervous ststem and DNA.
- Stimuli: Instant reactions, and instincts about light, pain, smells flavours etc
- Effect: Avoid immediate threats to body and reward actions that will ensure survival.
- Examples: Snails, moths, fish being attacked by pins or finding nutrition yet unable to predict windows or traps.
- Potential Source: Amygdala, lymbic system, mamalian brain.
- Stimuli: Instant to medium term reactions to, social interactions.
- Effect: Avoid social and emotional rejection and seek social emotional security and approval.
- Examples: Dogs, cats being rewarded for good behaviour, obeying despite not enjoying (sacraficing now) to foster futures of acceptance.
- Potenial source: Neo Cortex
- Stimuli: Everything sensory, emotional and abstract concepts and potential futures.
- Effect: Decisions are made and then rely of the mechanics of the older systems (Reptilian and Mamalian) to drive them into action (Emotion)
- Examples: Perceiving a job opportunity and negotiating interviews and handing in resignations.
- Extreme examples, identifying the way gravity interacts with space time.
What this means for you (Your balance)
- All your emotions are related to the 3 basics Goals of life
- Your only be able to experience happiness relative to a Goal
So if you accept this, and we introduce the idea so future projection. We see that there are now in the human world many more ways to interact with the future. We can pattern recognise long of into the distant potential futures. What this means is that we can use our emotional reactions or imagination of how ‘future us’ will feel in the future. And sacrifice some ‘now’ for ‘then’. Planting seeds and building shelter so we are comfortable and fed in the future.
There is a catch
Many of the threats are not tangible, you can not simply run away or fight the idea of tax time or getting fired or the economy. Also we are now aware we will die, and that all around us will die.
Dukkha in Buddhism refers to this. The answer that Buddha proposed was Nirvana, the elimination of all earthy wants, essentially restoring us to living in the moment much like a monkey.
In Christianity we are sold the idea that and sacrifice now, and any suffering now and the realisation of death will be rewarded and eased by a rosy future in heaven.
Nietzsche believed through science and the luxury of free speech we eliminated the Christian solution from our futures. “The belief in the Christian God has become unbelievable”. There fore god is dead, we killed him as he famously wrote. Leaving us, unfortunately, with Nihilism.
Unfortunately the Darwinian truth of our universe and our biology is such that, we are what we are. The imperatives to use the mechanics, such as they are, to re invigorate us towards new goals. These goals must be managed and our biology must be catered for. If you have an average IQ the picking appropriate goals, is fair and finding meaning from the categorisation of information you discover in the chaos is your path.
Unfortunately for some of the higher abilities there can be many treacherous pit falls in your existence. With IQ’s of 150-160 you are going to see patterns that are invisible to all most everyone one around you as such IQ’s rarity is 1 in 20,000-40,000 people. You will be communicating across time with trough books written long ago. You will be tackling problems, that if they even have a solution, the solution is abstract and distant and you will likely not be rewarded at all for it.
Regardless of you battle, there are human truths to all of these goals, and taking time to look after your physicality and have sensual, tangible achievements along the way to satisfy your inner monkey.
Jesus was a Carpenter
God Speed, Transcend