THE BOOK – PART 2
0. Why Beliefs are Held
2. The Benefits of Black and White Thinking
6. The Irrationality of Putting Value Judgements on People
7. Concepts of Self
8. The Overextension of Beliefs (Why Everything’s a Phallic Object to a Psychotherapist)
9. Wanting to believe (‘the Curse of Different Strokes’)
10. Choosing a World View in a Post-Modern Era
1. Eye Contact
2. Why talking/psychotherapy works
3. The Difference Between the Sexes
7. Love and Bonding
8. Pretending to be Busy
9. Lucky Charms
10. How we may fall in love.
0. Two Good Reasons why Humans are Essentially Compassionate.
1. Kings, Armies, Religions.
2. Clothes as a form of social control
5. The Influence of Drugs
6. The Glamour of Thieving, Drugs, and Madness
7. The Charming Man
9. Holding a bad view of oneself has a protective quality
3. Smashing Things
1. Intro/Extroversion, Neuroticism, Happiness/Sadness
2. The Rational for Variation
3. Schizophrenia and Negative Symptoms
- Why beliefs are Held
This is something that has been discussed extensively in 1A +B.
It could be stated again just to make it crystal clear, the logical extension of this theory is that a belief is held only if it makes one happier or less unhappy overall. However this does not mean that a belief cannot approximate to the truth and help with prediction of future events.
Of course holding a belief has many implications and either way we all have mixed feelings about beliefs as they are related to gains and losses. An example of this would be holding a bad belief about one’s own race. If the evidence is particularly unequivocal and stark – say that there is a higher incidence in your race of violence toward women, then to disbelieve would cause incredible discomfort, however the belief causes shame but is a better alternative.
We are all aware of the role that tradition plays in important life events, weddings, funerals, birth of children. As a result of the novelty of these occasions and the number of people involved it can be high anxiety inducing. With much attention on individuals they may experience loss of social control as they struggle to communicate. Also there are multiple possibilities of realizing that individuals are judging you in a negative way. In addition a physically unfamiliar setting may heighten the loss of control. Anxiety will again lead one to get anxious thoughts (diagram 2) and a self-perpetuating cycle is put into motion.
Tradition provides an escape for this negative scenario. Firstly traditional actions by their very nature have social approval. Secondly ones actions are set out by tradition and therefore it is less easy for others to judge or be doubtful of. The whole sense of being in control is raised.
Once the influence of tradition has been experienced, and the individual empowered the person’s tradition becomes a good symbol. Tradition then starts to help in situations where individuals are intellectually, empathically, and socially uncertain what to do. It can provide an answer to lack of clear thought therefore leading to pleasure and enhancing its status. Thus a challenge to tradition by an individual by is experienced as a personal attack; the pleasurable symbol of tradition is threatened as are the ‘clear’ thoughts produced by it. Thus anger and anxiety are created. This is usually vented on the individual who is the pleasure blocker.
Of course the nature of traditional belief is that it exists because it is seen to be true and proper in an absolute sense. However if one examines any traditional culture you will find radical change. This is usually known to the culture which creates a concept of a Dark Age when the rules of the present day did not exist. This era is usually considered uncultured even though this may be the reverse of the truth.
- Benefits of Black and White Thinking
Because of the denial processes involved in our belief systems there is a tendency to be in denial of doubt. As a result views are held with a false sense of certainty. What may be the benefit of this? I can think of two.
Firstly though beliefs may not be solid the actions that they provoke must be carried out with focus, completely and without distraction. For example if someone is hungry and makes a decision to go shark fishing instead of sowing corn it becomes a wasted day if on the way to the centre of the lake he decides he has made a mistake and must head back. So much time might be wasted that neither becomes possible.
Secondly belief systems exist because they work in providing pleasure and as as a result of this power. The actual truth may not be only partially represented in the crude model but that works more efficiently than realising that one knows nothing with certainty and questioning everything which may not be time wisely spent.
Going back to the shark fishing analogy if I fall into the lake and a shark approaches with its mouth wide open then I may make the wrong decision to attack as opposed to swimming to my boat. However that is probably preferable to me thinking about it for a bit.
Finally a little word about this belief system that is presented in this book. Of course it is a crude version of reality but I feel the blurred outlines of reality may be seen through the window it provides. Experience tells me also that it is not as crude as its predecessors. Of course it is always possible that I am completely deluded.
Two important things that seem to fuel a moral belief
- selfish anger
this may seem less convincing as I have to stress that if all around feel it’s wrong then one comes to terms with it.
- compassionate anger
The exact meaning of ‘compassionate’ will be discussed later. These two sources of moral belief are in very opposing camps; selfish anger concentrating on one’s own feelings, and compassionate on others feelings.
Where enough people experience the selfish anger over the same grievance, the forces which are described in the ‘social features’ section get to work and it will be considered an anger that is morally justified (take the Romans throwing Christians to lions). However in life the existence of selfish anger in one individual, usually over limited resources, often causes selfish anger in the another person. Therefore selfishness itself becomes morally wrong on the basis of 1) selfish anger. In short selfishness in an individual affects us all negatively.
Therefore selfishness and selfish anger becomes stigmatized. How then can one act selfishly and yet believe oneself as moral?
Solution Y Humans have the habit of expressing selfish anger (1) in terms of compassionate anger (2)
A good example of the above is the historic view that prostitution is wrong. It is natural for a man to enjoy the physical aspect of sex with anyone he finds attractive. Therefore if he does not have sex with a prostitute with a good figure there is a desire blocked which creates anger. Now being human he has to allocate this anger on someone, himself for being so ‘sinful’ (if religious), the police for not doing their job (if liberal), and tragically often the prostitute (if right wing). Each will create a reason,; god told me not to; the police are fools; the prostitute because she belongs to a type of human deserving of hate (if right wing). (Is there not more to be gained by admitting that part of your brain wishes to sleep with the prostitute, even if most of it does not?)
Both empathic and compassionate anger share a common final pathway in your feelings. If it is selfish anger the justification will be described as your ‘right.’ This suggests that ones actions contribute to the order of society and therefore one can claim to be acting out of compassionate anger for citizens.
Practically it means that if your demands are not met that force can be used or should be used to ensure they are ( by government, police, or law ). This means that either democratically, or through a popular leader the will of the majority has been met. However where undemocratic suppression occurs people talk of infringement of rights.
Therefore normally the masses have chosen a system where the majority have a say in the force of authority.
Therefore in the two motives, selfishness and compassion, it could be said that either individuals benefit (kindness) or the majority benefit (which is for the good of the many?)
However there are big flaws in this presumption. Namely that the above discussion is specific to culture. What happens if cultures outside ones own is affected by another’s rules?
Do our policies really make them happy or are we just angry with those who block our short-term pleasure of holding certain beliefs? – eg prostitution is prohibited.
Can neglecting rights of the minority ever benefit the majority? Especially if actually the minority are being inflicted punishment as an end in itself? It could be argued that in this situation, a stable state, little emotional development occurs. To make things less vague let us talk about an example, smacking.
Certainly smacking satisfies a short-term need in the majority (adults) and causes short term suffering in the minority (children). Parents talk about their ‘right’ to smack children and yet there is no clear evidence supporting it.
It may seem that short-term gains create real benefit in satisfying our desire to smack. However if we have desire then we have moments of unsatisfied need. This surely involves loss of control and therefore reduced power and self-esteem. Therefore there may be benefit from having the short term pleasure of seeing ‘justice done’ however this brings the displeasure of that principle not enforced at other times, especially when the children are too old to smack.
Perhaps we should consider the following ‘rights’; to smoke, keep all money, to smack. Do the majority really benefit, any evidence?
Wanting to appear kind.
What if selfish anger comes into conflict with compassionate anger?
Then there will be two desires in conflict. A third force though is involved is involved. This is wanting to appear kind – to one self and others. This desire is likely to favour the compassionate option. Therefore the third issue of wanting to appear kind makes the issue more complex.
Therefore the following conflicting desires exist;
- To satisfy selfish pleasure
- To satisfy compassionate desire
- The desire to consider oneself kind
To prioritize or satisfy a selfish option (1) is likely to produce incomplete satisfaction with the remaining two desires (2 + 3). To resolve a mismatch the problem externalization of the reason for the mismatch is the most pleasurable option. This depersonalizes the issue and deflects the implicit accusation of being an unkind person. This is achieved by the concept of ‘rights’ that is an external moral order of things that allows one to choose the selfish option.
It would probably help to give an example. Imagine the following example;
- Desire to have money
- Desire to do something kind with the money
- Desire to be think oneself as kind
Solution Z; Externalise the cause of choosing 1, say that it is the ‘right’ order of things and that you are kinder by supporting the moral order.
keep the money and say it’s your ‘right’
Thus solution Z allows one to
1) Keep the money
2) Feel compassionate for supporting the rules of civilised ordered society.
3) Consider one self kind for standing up for others rights
I would say that the most racism is based on
- Our tendency to perceive individuals as belonging to various ‘symbolic’ categories.
- The existence of solution Y (see above)
- The existence of solution Z (see above)
a Perceiving someone’s colour or ethnicity is a fundamental part of being human. Beliefs about that person will occur on a conscious and subconscious level but
to remain completely impartial would be counterintuitive and in evolutionary terms suicidal (this is not a justification). If like in the film 200 years b.c. the blonde race is at war with the brunette race the to be friendly to a brunette armed stranger would be statistically dangerous.
b The tendency to express selfish policies in terms of benevolence (solution Y) will inevitably lead someone who is removed from that culture and sees someone breaking one of their own cultures rules eg. to queue, will always create the tendency to pass moral judgement on them.
c The tendency to create an external moral order whereby selfish desires are justified by the concept of ‘right’ (solution Z) will always create the tendency to pass moral judgement on cultures where those ‘rights’ are not needed or established.
Where in one culture selfish anger overwhelms compassionate anger then denial of the importance of the compassionate anger will take place over time as it creates only anxiety. This means that that type of empathy will be not recognised for what it is in another culture.
I will take India and England as examples as they are the only two countries I can claim to have any insight into. For example in the U.K. dumping a girlfriend may be a necessity due to the economic and emotional forces in that society. The empathic injustice of this will be minimalised by saying such an act was a ‘right.’ Therefore if travelling to India where those economic forces exist it will be not perceived or even noticed as anything good. In fact it might even be considered a sure sign of unsophistication.
Just the reverse situation occurs for many Indians with the issue of female and male equality of opportunity. However this cultural compassionate policy might not be given the admiration it might deserve.
When parents and society ‘conspire’ subconsciously to label certain actions as bad and punish them children have no option but to believe they are bad. According to diagram 2 children have no option but to believe things that make them happier. To do ‘bad’ will always be punished through social ostracisation and often physical punishment for going against the norm of that subculture. Bearing this in mind it is not surprising that we believe in bad and conform to society. This I must stress is probably has compassionate effect as it would seem there is essentially a kind side to human nature, however not always.
So the concept of badness may prevent a lot of selfishness and cruelty and may benefit society in on average making individuals happier, however this does not mean that the concept of badness is logical, it simply means that the belief has a lot of benefits to society.
The drawbacks occur when outsiders to that culture are called bad, wars are started, or people such as the insane in former times, have suffering inflicted on them because they are considered bad.
The Irrationality of Putting Value Judgements on People. Nature vs Nurture
Imagine a human without a soul;
‘Moral’ decisions are based upon feelings and thoughts but ultimately decisions to do one thing or another. It is upon these judgements that we base our labeling of people as good or bad. The decision making processes inside a human, like everything else in mankind is based on 2 things; nature and nurture, that is to say ones biology (genes) and ones environment.
With humans you could say that their judgements are based on nature and nurture too. However humans nurture is a complex thing, and is partly chosen by that human. Therefore nurture, from playing in the sandpit to being in a gang, is influenced by judgement.
judgements = nature + nurture
= nature + previous unchosen environment + previous chosen environment
However previous chosen environment was itself a matter of judgment that included nature and nurture (previous chosen and unchosen environments). Going back in time to any point in a human’s life this is always true until we get to in utero life then you cannot reasonably argue that the individual chose their environment. Therefore you get to a point in time where the following is true
judgement = nature + previous unchosen environment (no previous chosen environment)
This effectively means that tracing back a person judgements you will always find that judgements are ultimately based on nature and nurture only, with judgement not standing on its own as a factor but arising out of nature and nurture.
Nature and nurture are two things therefore that an individual ultimately has no control over (all judgements to enter one environment were based ultimately on the nature and nurture of the unborn child)
One has no control over one genes(nature) and no control over nurture therefore free will does not exist – one is not morally responsible for ones actions.
World with a Soul
The whole concept of the soul involves something that is always present in an individual from birth. Before the existence of the individual the individual could not presumably have chosen his own soul. Therefore the influence of the soul is much like that of one’s genes. You cannot blame someone for their genes and therefore their soul so the above argument still applies.
It does not logically follow that if we are not responsible for our own decisions that any decision we make should be accepted, condoned, permitted or go unpunished.
The real question is why we as rational beings need to believe that we are accountable for our own decisions.
If you accept the model above regarding belief then belief is something not true. Therefore no such thing as good + bad exist outside an individuals mind
Is it Kind to Imprison?
-the public enjoy it
-it protect public?
-sends messages of unacceptability leading to prevention
-suffer of prisoners
-punishment/harsh society part of the course of aggression?
see – perpetuates unkindness
-makes behavioural problems more entrenched
-sends out mixed illogical messages leading to problems with –
(lack of knowledge – false models – confusion – anger)
7 Why we need the concept of self
It is our innate genetically determined ability to symbolise that leads us automatically to the concept of an impermeable persistent existence. W could every time we looked at an orange we thought just because it looks like an orange it doesn’t mean that it is, I better not put any of it in my mouth until I know for sure. Though this is rational, it is extremely inefficient. The same is true of self. If we had to rethink our needs objectively every morning then we would be very rational and very hungry!
The Overextension of Beliefs
‘Why Everything is a Phallic Object to a Psychotherapist’
So long as humans have a pleasure in beliefs and explanation then they will be explaining things they don’t understand. When you don’t have an understanding of things then you can only use existing beliefs and extend them to fit your purposes. When things really baffle then statements like ‘the Lord moves in mysterious ways’ or where humans are concerned attributing actions to ‘phallic’ object involved (which in this world can be anything that is not orange shaped).
There can easily be alternative explanations that have not come to peoples attention. Take phallic treasured objects for example. These include cars, planes, rockets, sharks, high rise buildings etc.
Any object that a human can move quickly according to diagram 3 is likely to be pleasure inducing as the human is making a dramatic physical change to his environment. Any object travelling through air, sea, or solid will encounter air, water, and solid resistance. It can be shown mathematically that resistance is inversely proportional to cross sectional area. Therefore physical objects minimise resistance by being long in shape in the direction of their movement
Therefore cars, rockets, fish are all exciting objects in the integrated model as they move fast. They also have to be long for the above reasons. A penis has to be long because the same reason. Therefore things that do things and excite will be penis shaped, not because that is the reason they are exciting, but because of a similar job of movement.
Of course in outer space the problem of resistance is absent as space is a vacuum. As a result we see in ‘Star Wars’ Darth Vadar travelling in a very unpenis like craft. His space ship actually is a sphere with octagonal wings. Who could deny however that Darth loves his little ‘Tie-Fighter’ and washes it with a bucket and sponge on a Sunday morning?
Wanting to Believe
(‘The Curse of Different Strokes’)
To illustrate what I mean by the ‘overextension of ideas ‘ let me tell you about the ‘Curse of Different Strokes’. The story begins in the early 80’s in an American situation comedy of the called ‘Different Strokes’. It was based around the premise that if two black orphans were adopted by a single white American father who has a daughter then this would be funny. There was always a funny bit in each episode when Arnold the overly short for his age boy would say to his older brother ‘What you talkin’about Willis.’
Well as with all American programs it was shelved after losing a rating’s war. Well subsequently all the young kids never really went onto better things. The elder daughter ‘Kimberly’ ended up in playboy, the last I saw. Arnold appeared as an ambassador in an episode of Buck Rogers in the 25th century. As for Willis, he was never seen again.
It transpires that many years later all the main players in different strokes had been enigmatically cursed. “Kimberly’ ended up being arrested up with many prescription of valium in her possession. She later died of her addiction. “Arnold’ not being able to find work in acting got a job as a car park attendant. On refusing to give an autograph to a driver was angered by an insult about the small star ‘not only looking like a kid, but…’ He appeared in court charged with her assault. As for Willis he got into bad habits and was arrested for the murder of a man in a crack den.
Thus the ‘curse of different strokes’ was born. Everybody involved in the entire soap being cursed and having an ill fate. Faces appeared on magazines, journalists furthered their careers on articles, and people read them with their Sunday breakfasts. However it’s not true is it? I mean what happened to the father? No one mentions him do they? He ‘s actually happy and retired and does a lot of gardening.
I mean this is a bit of a daft example but there are plenty of examples where people conveniently forget. The curse of tootam Kamoun where everbody dies except they don’t. Why should anyone want to believe in this curse. Well it is an event with a novel cause. Something mysterious and beyond normal understanding. Such a thing is uncertain in intellectual pleasure. It therefore excites which is pleasant. That is why. However normally culturally accepted beliefs tend to be scrutinised by generations, academics and mathematicians therefore there is a tendency for beliefs that stem from ‘wanting to believe’ to be rooted out and exposed. Therefore most ‘desired beliefs’ occur privately to the individual eg. believing a fox killed the chicken in the yard with a big tractor mark tyre mark across its back, or believing that ones life is based on astrology.
Choosing a World View in a Post Modern Era
We look at the world through windows on which we have drawn grids (concepts). Different philosophies use different grids. A culture is a group of people with rather similar grids. Through a window we view chaos, and relate it to the points on our grid, and thereby understand it. The order is in the grid. This is an aspects of Post Modern Discordian belief.
Western philosophy is traditionally concerned with contrasting one grid with another grid, and amending grids in hopes of finding a perfect one that will account for all of reality and will hence be ‘true’. Some are more useful or beautiful than others but none can be absolutely true.
Humans however do need some Structure : ALL of them will to some extent. Choose your own grid carefully. Don’t make it so rigid that it shakes and breaks the window – everything then will simply fall to the floor.
They say that we live in a world where grand narratives have ended. I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t work with some grand narrative or other, whatever they claim. There is a human need to organize one’s world.
Eye Contact and the display of Confidence
It has been shown that people tend to make much less eye contact when listening than when talking. It is also common knowledge that people who are considered ‘confident’ often make more self-assured longer eye contact.
- a) If someone is talking to the listener, the listener may find themselves in the position of socially following the speakers lead ( eg. facial expression) (S), following the others intellectual ideas (I), having to empathise (E) with the talker in order to understand what they are saying so that a sensible response may be made. Given all this it is easy to see that listening can be quite a passive Because we have a need to maintain a level of control through constant pulsation of actions (diagram 2 + 3) this inactivity might lead to a fall in controlling actions and increased anxiety. These sensory changing images that the listener has no control over and directly lead to the sensations can be minimised by looking away even if that is for just a split second.
- b) However this disempowers the speaker. During teen years we can learn that by overcoming this discomfort and looking and empowering the speaker that a) we gain empathic pleasure through noticing the calming effect caused by a reassuring nod, and b) we can gain social control during listening through subconscious knowledge that this tends to increase the affection towards you and cooperation of the speaker as the listener (you) becomes a good symbol in their eyes. And so it becomes evident that both a) + b) are actually active not passive roles.
Therefore not only the listener helping himself but they are helping the talker. This is a no lose situation. However the listener needs sustained periods of feeling empowered at certain stages in life in order to cross the threshold into eye contact. Tragically poor eye contact is more likely to lead to a lack of bonding and failed relationships thus further decreasing confidence. In that sense its a bit like being in a rocket (confidence) on Earth destined for a docking with a mother ship; Either you escape the pull of the Earth and float into space and make contact, or end up crashing back to Earth and destroying your vehicle.
Why Talking and Psychotherapy works (for some)
Normally when thinking about several issues negative changes in mood may lead to a situation where many things are denied. The world with its many frightening associations can be a place as discussed where much fear and negative change is generated automatically leading to various denials and reinforcement of these denials.
1) Now it may seem that if the mind has created these self-protecting mechanisms then it would seem likely that they perform some valid function. May be dangerous to interfere with perceptions of the truth, as reality may not make one happier. However often beliefs that once empowered someone disempower them at a later stage. By and large it seems to me that if a subject is too anxiety inducing or valuable then the thought of it going will be too anxiety inducing and the individual will become too anxious and either steer one away from that topic or ‘block’ and close up to the therapist. It is only when a subject is ready to be broached that true change will take place. Of course this is not always true.
2) As I have discussed whilst eye contact takes place much reassurance takes place as communication by its very nature is an empowering activity. If whilst this empowerment and calming aspect takes place whilst false beliefs are being discussed and the client is made to review his own beliefs then maybe the logical side will win over in this unthreatening atmosphere.
3) If a subject is unpleasant – for example school, then displeasure is associated with the school symbol. Communicating as stated is empowering and pleasurable. By talking about school pleasure becomes now more associated with the symbol, dampening the negative effects.
The Differences Between the Sexes
I feel that the difference between the sexes can be entirely explained by three aspects of psychology. One I would say that women on average are more anxious and men more aggressive. Secondly I would say that they have a greater emotional reactivity. Thirdly I would argue there was evidence that men think in a more physical way and women in a more social way. These of course are generalisations but may explain the mean statistical differences in behaviour.
In a male this is almost too simple to discuss. A reflex genetically determined system may explain much of the behaviour. With a female the series of events seems much more surrounded in mystery. Perhaps a series of empowering events lead to a decrease in tension and if handled with sufficient skill an increase in excitement as the surprise and uncertain aspect of the situation is experienced.
A. Emotional Reactivity
Change in emotion when thinking about and acquiring the pleasures (IPSE). Makes sense that one is turned on at times when there is significant pleasures accessible. Of course some of the most pleasurable moments are sexual.
Things that enhance reactivity – Cocaine, amphetamines, mania
-‘status’ symbols of potential pleasure
strength (P), cleverness (I), kindness (E), social power (S)
When women lack power in their lives (more so usually when they are younger) they are more likely to be attracted to males that represent power. They are exciting. This may be mediated by hormones or may arise psychodynamically.
Because less thoughts of threatened loss of pleasures (IPSE) leads to relaxation, physical control can then be given away. The female sexual act is literally passive physically to a great extent due to the physical nature of male and female bodies. Relaxation therefore is more likely to lead to a seduction.
Things that enhance relaxation
Alcohol, benzodiazepines. A soft affable man or a symbolically reassuring archetype eg. knight in shining armour?
The woman’s experience can be steered in a way to empower but giving indications of planning this will be disempowering as they will feel manipulated and a passive player, which is anxiety inducing leading to a reflex desire to take greater control on all fronts (IPSE). In other words it often is better just to be one’s self and be direct.
In theory however, and often in practice, a sense of power can be encouraged by facilitating the following behaviours in the female:
Control – Learning (I)
Understanding you (E) – fitting an archetype might speed this.
Socially Control You (S) – may include involve unthreatening cooperative activities such as negotiations or alternatively having her own way.
Physical (P) – car, buying her a drink/meal, safe comfortable restaurant etc.
If you accept that all activities are based on genetically determined features of the brain which make a planned act which creates change in the physical/social/intellectual/emotional world then play is the natural consequence of this. Female children more naturally find fantasy of social change pleasurable whilst men find fantasy and actual real physical change more stimulating. Of course there is crossover.
Humour may well have more than one function. Not only does the humourist hijack the various pleasure pathways with jokes to create pleasure, he also increases his or her reproductive potential. Perhaps is indicative of an understanding of how to manipulate his environment and create pleasure.
The pathways of pleasure are intellectual/physical/social/empathic. We find pleasure in having power in these areas relative to others. It is not surprising then if there exists four types of humour – abstract (i)/slapsick (p)/farce (s) and social observation (e).
Abstract humour apart, the funniness is heightened by a few features 1) safety 2) excitement, and 3) brevity.
1) Safety. The fact that they are only actors/comedians removes unpleasant compassionate concerns, which may induce anxiety.
2) The excitement, and therefore the emotional reactivity is heightened by making the outcome uncertain – leading to excitement.
3) Brevity distills the pleasure and concentrates the subsequent pleasure of the realised thought.
Slapstick (p) and farce(s) represent the aspect of human nature, which experiences pleasure at being more secure than others. Children reveal this pleasure in a less guarded fashion. The comic actor takes this potential pleasure and amplifies it to extremes.
Abstract humour could possibly work through creating novel connections between different belief systems. New connections produce the delight of new thoughts. Hume stated that there are 3 things that connect thoughts.
1) time and place – congruity
2) cause and effect
Taking Monty Python the examples are as follows.
1) congruity There are many examples of this, particularly in the Terry Gillian cartoons where novel unexpected events take place.
Role reversal is another favorite joke. Besides several men dressed as women there is ‘the Life of Brian’ which has a very normal modern day like man (Brian) mistaken for a Jesus like character. It’s from the connection of ideas between the belief systems of a) the Christian view of Jesus and b) the lifestyle of a modern working class man.
2) cause and effect A good example of this is the ‘Monsieur Mange-toute’ sketch where a hugely obese man after a massive meal is urged to eat ‘ just one more waffer thin mint.’ What results is an explosion of the man’s abdominal cavity leaving offal all around the restaurant.
3) similarity. It is challenging to think of similarities between two sets of beliefs that would not be though of naturally. One Monty Python sketch has an instructor showing how to defend oneself against an attacker wielding fresh vegetables. This draws similarities between weapons and how they can be held in one hand and yet vary in size and shape, as do vegetables. It is novel to think of the ‘use’ of a fruit dependent on its size and shape. This sketch creates new thought linking ‘vegetable shape’ and ‘use’ belief systems.
Another famous example would be the dead parrot sketch where a man is dissatisfied with a parrot he bought as it was dead when sold and had been nailed to its perch. This perhaps compares the loss of function of a pet when dead to a broken appliance.
Love and Bonding
When an individual produces pleasure in another then they come to be loved. The mere sight of them triggers positive feelings. If two people share a common good experience then also each becomes inextricably associated with the same good feelings and triggers those good feelings in the mind of the other when activities involving that person are proposed. Positive changes in mood occur leading subsequently to activity involving the other.
Pretending to be Busy
Activity leads to instant reward. Control over reward leads to ‘power’ (diagram 3). As a result lack of activity and laziness are associated with low power and are what can be described as low status. Therefore people often pretend to be busy or lie about their inactivity.
A lucky charm is something that is associated with positive things due to personal historic factors or cultural ones (say a crucifix to a catholic). During activities this item which is in sight and in mind so to speak triggers positive change in activities (see diagram 2). Therefore say if a lady at a party wishes to say hello to a friend she has fallen out with her favorite ring might trigger positive feelings when she decides to say ‘hello’ counteracting anxieties present due to the possibility of some form of rejection.
This augmentation of the change in well-being on consideration of actions has the effect of 1) reducing net negative change on consideration of action allowing it to be carried out with more confidence, and 2) reducing the number of options that overall produce a negative change on consideration and are taken no further. Therefore more options are open to the individual and options that would otherwise be rejected.
Another example may be an actor who takes a lucky rabbits foot on stage to feel more ‘lucky’ which has the effect of making him more confidant.
How we may fall in love
- Getting Hooked
A potential love interest may allow one (empower one) to act in a number of ways. As everything in this book it is categorised in the four types.
Intellectual – the love interest can say or do things that enable the onlooker to think new thoughts about the world. This is experienced as exciting and pleasurable.
Physical – the love interest may do something that empowers the individual physically. They may buy one a cup of cofee, or leave you space to advance whilst driving.
The love interest may ‘bring out’ the best in oneself, allowing oneself to expand one’s intellectual, physical, social or empathic abilities. This probably occurs when someone has more in common with that person.
The potential love interest may be passive in a way that allows the other person to have control over them at times. It is stated in this book that a ‘confident’ person can tolerate passivity better. Also it has to be said an very unconfident person may be frozen with fear and may be passive through lack of choice (a less sustainable stable form of passivity since the passive individual). Whichever it is that person allows the other to talk to them (E), teach them (I), lead them (S) and to physically (P)control them. This form of active passive phenomena is more likely to occur in people who are opposites, after all ‘opposites attract.’
Empathic – the person may be someone an individual understands. A certain woman may find she can understand a vulnerable man and find pleasure in that process. Alternatively an out door type might go for rock climbers, skiers, and parachute jumpers because of the pleasure of understanding their motivations.
Non-Automatic cognitions are mood congruent according to this theory.
Momentary Mood itself can be influenced directly by (1) baseline mood as well as other factors such as (2) sensory experience, (3) drugs, and the (4) non automatic actions described above which lead to instant reward (diagram 3). (5) automatic cognitions. These are expanded upon in the ‘non-automatic cogition’ section.
Here is how a potential partner may affect the mood of a date
- Apparently exercise and activity is the best date (an example would be a trip to an ice rink). This I imagine is due to the effect exercise has on mood.
- A beautiful face or a romantic view may provoke a good mood.
- Never forget the wine.
- Taking someone who is a good salsa dancer to a salsa dance will probably make them happy.
- Mentioning touchy subjects may trigger off bad memories. Probably a bad idea to mention your mother if they have recently lost theirs.
Once the mood is low negative cognitions may be triggered.
This I imagine depends on complex social features of the potential love interest. Features that trigger positive pleasurable associations, for example his ability (intelligence, strength, beauty, agility, charm, wit) along with that person’s identity (religion, race etc.). This leads to various cognitions such as ‘she’s nice’ or ‘he’s a winner’ Positive conclusions trigger positive feelings of when you won or last met a nice person.
- Once Hooked
Once ‘hooked’ having experienced some or even just one of the above the desired individual becomes to be a symbol that triggers the previous pleasurable mood. This leads to two consequences.
- The mood during automatic cognitions (diag 1) is elevated and therefore more positive automatic cognitions arise.
- During non automatic cognitions (diag 2) thoughts are created in a mood congruent manner eg. ‘she’s the nicest person I’ve ever met.
The above cognitions and subsequent deductions lead to reinforcement of the current trends. This results in an upwardly spiralling motional situation where one starts to feel and believe the other person to be a kind of a demigod!
- The Fall from Grace
Habituation is a cruel and relentless process leading to a progressively decreasing emotional response and the subsequent reversal of the above trend.
A little word now about other states of mind. If provoked good moods can lead to states of love can the opposite occur? I would say that where anxiety is a common response then paranoid states can occur.
Two Good Reasons Why Humans are Essentially Compassionate
A person reading the earlier description of social control may feel there is the suggestion that humans are natural fascist bastards. This would be a misrepresentation of this theory. To the person who may say ‘If I like social control why don’t I shoot the neighbours cat?’ read on ;
Firstly humans have a great imagination and pain in others is felt in themselves. Therefore controlling others at the others expense is unpleasant unless you pretend (deny) the other has feelings.
The second reason is that humans like social control and if one controls another at their expense they will tend to avoid you in future. However if you control them at their benefit (like a good leader) they will keep on coming back for more. This of course all makes good evolutionary sense as individuals benefit greatly from the help of others.
Following on from the cat example –
1) If you are nice to the neighbour’s cat (stroking it) you also trigger pleasurable feelings in one self of how nice it is to be touched/liked.
2) If you stroke the cat he will come back again and again producing a lifetime of control. To shoot the cat is to do it only once.
If however the neighbour’s cat is viscous and keeps on jumping on your face from your shed roof, you may be tempted to place him firmly over the fence, or drop kick him into orbit if you are like me!
If trapped in an environment of the viscous cat for long enough at the right time in your life it is easy to see how any of us could become psychopaths.
Kings, Armies, Religions
In every country that you go to in the world you will find a history of Kings, Armies and Religion.
The King is the person who will get you killed if you oppose them. The army stops people coming into the country from outside and killing you. The religion stops you being killed when you die. The existence of an Afterlife is the only thing that link all religions, not the presence of God(s).
Of course like lucky charms clothes are objects, especially associated with the individual as they envelop them and therefore are closely associated with them visually. They offer therefore an opportunity to create positive triggers in yourself/others when they regard you. Clothes can trigger positive feelings in a number of ways.
. Firstly cloth can be valuable and scarce (think of Joseph’s coat), which can exude power as a result of their scarceness and financial expense. They can represent the manifestation of that individuals domination and control over the physical and social world, reflecting the role of money in the world.
Secondly clothes can be visually pleasing in an intangible visual way. Thus making the individual induce positive feelings through being part of the same sight and psychologically through association. The person wearing the clothes experiences this (illogical) flawed analysis, but also is aware that others may experience the same feelings about them.
The exclusivity and value of an item of clothing may trigger positive changes related to them. This occurs parallel to other decisions concerning one self. The decision to dance say may be associated with all kinds of anxieties of being observed and judged. This can be counteracted by a pretty and expensive dress. Now the decision to dance doesn’t some how feel as intimidating – the effect being at the ‘change in emotion stage in diagram 2)
The ultimate form of status dressing is a crown. The gold and the jewels are very resistant to change and forces and therefore acquire the status and power of something that can withstand all destructive forces, and rarely is passive to other forces.
As diagram 3 shows the trigger of pleasure brought about by physical change and social change combine to form a joint pathway when sex occurs. It is the active role of the individual in bringing about physical and social change that partly lead to pleasure (in addition to purely sensory pleasure). It might be observed and generalised that women gain more pleasure than males through certain social rather than physical routes (chatting for example). Perhaps that is why it has been shown that girls often play with dolls and boys more often push toy cars around a room. Perhaps these differences are reflected in sex, again generalising.
The opposite to active of course is passive. If something is changed it is passive. Rubber may be torn with the bare hands, wood snapped, sheet metal dented, and silk torn. Leather on the other hand can’t have any of the above done to it. Try as you might with your bare hands it is in fact very hard to do anything to leather. Leather is very resistant to change. Of course it may be bent, however folds are an essential aspect of its existence, and it remains fundamentally unaltered at human hands. Therefore there is a direct link between sex, physical change and leather.
These positive associations which humans instinctively pick up from all their experiences of this material and materials means that the presence of the leather triggers positive changes in the people who are present. All their concurrent activities are effected by the leather, which leads to positive change and boosts all the ‘changes in wellbeing’ when physical, social, or empathic actions are considered and subsequently acted upon (diagram 2). Of course sex involves all of these three in excess.
The social equivalent of something that is not passive and is resistant to change is ‘the master,’ as opposed to the slave. Given the existence of associations being triggered in the mind it is not surprising if a women dressed in a leather skirt with a leather whip demanding obedience is a turn on for some.
There are many elements that make poetry distinctive – sensual beauty of word sounds, imagery, intellectual ideas, similes, and empathy. In terms of the integrated theory it could be stated that like other arts these can be divided into 1) triggered pleasures, intellectual, and empathic, and 2) sensory pleasures.
It should be stated that this analysis obvious puts forward reasons why a poem should be pleasurable, not how the poet produces the poem.
Triggered Association – This is the good and bad feelings associated with words and ideas. Recalled pleasurable visual stimulation or imagery exists in this sphere. Therefore if someone talks of a ‘a wasp waisted woman’ it triggers the image and wonder of when you first are struck by how narrow a wasp gets in the middle.
Intellectual – New novel thoughts are pleasurable. Connecting symbol groups for the first time in simile. An example of this is the following;
To be or not to be that is the question
Whether it is nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrow of outrageous fortune.
Here it is the comparison of the emotional effects of ballistics and sudden social trauma (see diagram 3). This may be the first time these symbol groups has been compared creating a knew pathway.
Rhyme creates new novel intellectual connections between two symbol groups that are not normally connected. Therefore because new thoughts are pleasurable, rhyme is pleasurable.
Empathy – This is dependent on the skill of the poet to communicate his experience. As stated in integrated approach understanding his feelings would be a pleasure in itself.
Sensory Pleasure – There are many aspects of language that is pleasurable simply in itself rhythm, certain vowel sounds etc. This is I imagine not learnt but a part of the hardware of the brain circuitry. Just consider how many female names contain a softness and end in vowels. However novel words and sounds have an excitatory effect due to their novelty perhaps?
The Influence of Drugs
Defines the issue of short term versus long term pleasures.
The Glamour of Thieving, Drugs, and Madness
As I have argued before taking an act empower the individual via instant reward. Have a direct way to get a rewarding experience is registered as being powerful and calming, cool in fact (have you ever noticed how sweaty you get when your anxious and can’t get what you want?)
Thus thieving and taking drugs lead to instant reward (though usually long-term loss) But it is this instantaneous control over the moment that makes them seem powerful and glamorous.
Impressing people with your behaviour is a difficult task. The sense that ‘mad’ people do not have to engage in this makes them in that respect appear powerful. There is thus an element of glamour attached.
The Charming Man
The charming man is a thing of eternal mythology and it might seem absurd to attempt to claim to say anything new about it, however here goes. From what I have observed the essence of the charmer is that he or she relaxes the person they interact with. This is done, I would say, by empowering the listener. It takes an empathic understanding of the listener but as the diagram would suggest the method would be through making the listener feel they have social control (perhaps by being a good listener and making eye contact, physical control ( not standing too near and paying for drinks!), intellectually giving (by being interesting and witty), and by allowing the listener to be empathic ( by being open in facial expressions and showing emotion)
Society writes its potential through the minds of intelligent motivated individuals. It’s response to them excites their minds into a manic frenzy that amplifies their potential, and is in fact the only route to them fulfilling their Genius potential. Psychological excitement is mathematically literate : 10 people clapping is psychologically different to 100’000 people clapping. The genius therefore is like the nib of a pen where society is holding the barrel in the open palm of their hand. The genius’s potential can only be written on the wall with society’s helping hand. Society’s response to their work is anticipated within the mind of the genius, and the following success only acts to spur them on further. This is Genius and Society working in harmony. Never underestimate the power of the society on the individual.
Holding a bad view of oneself has a protective quality
What is the benefit of an individual holding a poor view of themselves biologically. Perhaps it prevents us from being targeted by others higher up the order. Perhaps it encourages us to make more realistic plans. Perhaps is encourages us to have healthier trade. I don’t know.
If you believe my proposed diagram then the anxious person gains relief from creating any sort of change. Fidgeting is the natural by product of this link.
Swearing is in many ways a social fidget. By mentioning a word that triggers an emotion relating to a displeasurable or anxiety inducing event or object, an individual may alter another’s feelings, usually in a negative way. This empowers the swearer momentarily by producing emotional control.
The control produced, I suggest, results in the activity becoming associated with power and becoming an acceptable ‘social feature’. It is interesting to note that it is more popular generally in subcultures that have less power (IPSE) – the young, the poor, the inarticulate etc.
Swearing also occurs more often at moments when an individual’s power (IPSE) is removed, when as a result they become angry. It therefore makes sense that this empowering act may compensate somewhat for the loss of power that occurs when say, someone hits their thumb with a hammer.
When we are angry we are deprived of specific pleasure that we have become accustomed to. It is relatively easy to compensate with creating new pleasures such as changing solid objects irreversibly. That creates pleasure and is empowering, relieving the distress.
What I perceive is meant by cleanliness is when a place object or, person is removed of bits and pieces of matter that are not considered integral and could be said to be contaminants or bad. Achieving cleanliness involves several physical movements and therefore is often a pleasurable process. The pleasure derived would depend (in accordance with this model) would very much depend on the emotional reactivity. The level of activity as with all activity in this model is dependent on1) levels of anxiety/excitement, 2) emotional reactivity, 3) The existence of associated pleasure/displeasure eg. the nice freshness and lack of discomfort that comes with cleanliness. Or the displeasure of being judged as dirty.
Therefore judging others on the basis of cleanliness though prejudice may reflect underlying factors. An individual who is reactive, and excited/anxious is likely to be active in several areas and is likely to ‘do’ a lot. Subsequently cleanliness becomes associated with power and high status. It is a known feature of depression (where activity may be retarded) that individuals can neglect themselves and become disheveled and dirty.
Intro/Extroversion, Neuroticism, Happiness/Sadness
Hans Eysenk is a psychologist who has devoted his whole life to proving through rigorous mathematical means to analyse the mind. He has come up with 3 essential personality traits. 1.intro/extroversion
I feel chemicals have something to do with this all, I’m fairly certain that they are combinations .
- extro dopamine, noradrenaline, seratonin
- neurot -serat, +dopamine
- happiness serat, norad? opiod?
Imagine that you are in a lift with various floors, each representing a various level of happiness. The higher you go the happier you get. The change in height of the lift is its speed. The rate of change in speed, its acceleration, which is proportional to the amount the floor seems to on his feet whilst going up to standing, or to be more accurate the change in pressure. This acceleration is actually in a real lift proportional to its power. (Neuton’s Theory of Motion). Now the pressure on the feet or to put it another way is how I perceive anxiety/excitement. In anxiety the perception is that the lift is falling whilst excitement is the perception that it is rising.
I am asserting that we always have the perception of acceleration or deceleration even if in reality we are staying at the same level – we have all met extremely anxious people who constantly over months state that things are terrible yet despite significant worries and the overcoming of hurdles remain at the same level of anxiety.
Now the thing about lifts is that when moving the acceleration does not remain the same, there is a change in acceleration. This is felt at the beginning and end of lift journeys. It is the change in acceleration that gives that queasy feeling. I am suggesting that this change in acceleration is the factor that influences impulsive actions. If the individual is following one course of action then perceives another possibility then experiences a sudden change in acceleration they will experience a queasiness so to speak that will push them one way or the other. It is the combination of impulsiveness with anxious or excited traits that produces Introversion – Extroversion.
There is evidence that being emotionally ‘abused’ over along period of time produces high impulsiveness. Could it be that long periods of safety have the opposite effect?
The story does not end there
The Rational for Variation
Looking around at the human race it might seem that there is a frightening pointless degree of variation and if you think as someone who ‘believes’ in evolution, you might end up asking yourself why? Why produce so much variation when we all could easily be brilliant Adonis’s. I think of the comic actor Hugh Laurie who not only rowed for Cambridge, is a really good pianist, but also is very funny indeed. Fortunately the guy ain’t no oil painting.
The first thing to be aware of is that may be the variation is not that great. Perhaps we are just very sensitised to the differences. After all to a Guerilla all men come in the same standard of strength (weak). And perhaps a Klingon movie star would consider all humans a) look the same, and b) are ugly!
But coming back to the original point for a second, how can mother nature in her wisdom let us be so varied in our abilities. Why not make us all similar, as indeed say most bacteria presumably are to there brothers and sisters. The answer could lie in two areas. One the huge variation of the world, from area to area and from year to year. The second is related to the complexity of human society.
What may be considered a strength in one era or area of the world may well be a liability in another. We in the west are all aware of the drawbacks of blubber. However its well worth remembering that we haven’t always lived in such a always snug centrally heated wooly clothed world. What a relief it may have been in the past to have a warm layer of centrally heated fat ( I’m sure it helps you to float to). Therefore if one year was particularly bad, or if say some Chinese tribe decide to move North to the poles different qualities of the individual start coming into play.
The second aspect to consider is the strength our peculiarities provide us in a world where trade exists. A lanky member of a tribe may find he can prop up his wages by picking mangoes from tall trees. It might make him a bit clumsy on the hunt but you gotta take the rough with the smooth I guess. Of course the clever dicky of the tribe might invent a stepladder and star selling it to others but that’s life!
Schizophrenia and Negative Symptoms
Schizophrenia is an unusual and mysterious condition. People can hear voices and have delusional beliefs that people are trying to harm them. They can also experience ‘passivity’ phenomena that their mind or body is being controlled from outside. These are called ‘Positive symptoms’, but there are also ‘Negative Symptoms’ which involve inactivity.
According to Jeevism we have a concept of self in our minds on a biological level. When proposing a thought or an action we LABEL this thought/action as our own at Position X on Chart 2. Yes, we actually plan to have a thought or action in our pre-conscious before the thought or action is had. We label with our mind that it is our own mind that is doing this from within. When such thoughts and actions, planned at the embryonic stage, materialise as we had initially planned them to, and are ‘Well Matched’ with our initial conception (see Diagram 2), there is a moment of joy. The matching initiates pleasurable change and within an instant (less than a second) this mental or physical behaviour is implanted within the mind, and is much more likely to happen again. This means the option is created more readily in the future appearing at the Option Generation level (Position ‘O’ at the start of flow diagram Chart 2). Thus the behaviour happens again and again as we have a lowered biological-psychological threshold for it to do so.
What happens though if the labelling system fails? A thought then is not labelled fully as self, and an action neither is labelled fully as self. When action and thoughts do occur it might be possible that they are experienced as not coming from within, as not originating from self, when the self eventually perceives the thinking or action that it is producing. The action then is felt to originate from outside: that one is being controlled. The thought is experienced as a voice, as it is not labelled as coming from the self within. Due to the persecutory mood that accompanies this process, and is perhaps even produced by this process, neutral sensory stimuli are interpreted with the bias that this mood creates, and persecutory delusions are therefore laid down.
Pleasurable well matched behaviours are gone with activities not being labelled at X on Diagram 2. Also due to the loss of behavioural pleasure the activity is not reinforced and appear less at the Option Generation stage (‘O’ in Diagram 2). The person becomes inactive and develops negative symptoms. The list of negative symptoms include poverty of thought and speech, apathy, loss of pleasurable experience, lack of motivation and reduced social interest. This sequence is explained in The Happy Golfer ‘The Normal Neurotic Schizophrenia.’
All Bible parables
Fox and the Grapes
Little Red Riding Hood
Pied Piper of Hamlin
Emperor’s New Clothes
Princess and the Pea
Crime and Punishment
Life of Brian
Kashmir by Led Zepellin