We Are Pre-Determined By Significant Emotional Events By Age Ten

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The Emotion Of Reason

Mv Conversation Continues Futre Time

“What did you do after that,” said MV, “I mean you never really had the ‘smarts’ to compete on the level of the really talented, so how did you handle it—emotionally I mean.”

“I was really conflicted,” I replied. “I had something important to say, but I just couldn’t get the job done. I felt duty-bound to try, though. What I found was that I was in over my head.”

“How so,” MV responded.

“After a couple of failed attempts I got the message,” I said. “It was right in front of me. I just never saw it until I had too.”

“Saw what?”

“The problem,” I said, “I saw the problem that prevents new ideas from taking root. Instinctually we are forced to hold on to our convictions. It’s all about who we are. It follows from my own philosophy in fact.”

“I don’t understand. Can you explain it?” said MV.

“But that is the problem,” I replied. “I can’t explain it unless emotionally, we’re already on the same page; unless we are already in tune, so to speak. Otherwise, anything I say amounts to no more than blowing wind through the willows.”

“Aw go ahead and give it a shot, I’m all ears.”

“What! Is that a joke?”

“You decide,” MV responded. “After all it’s not like we’re two different people, you know.”

“Humor; what next? Okay,” I said, “here goes. The self, the one that buys groceries, goes to the movies, enjoys a cold beer—you get the picture, consists of two components—memories and the capacity for self-determination, the subjective aim of self. The self is not an ‘autonomous will,’ nor is it a chameleon like entity that transforms itself anew every time it comes in contact with some significant other, nor is it merely a product of the environment. Rather, it is the body’s most active component.”

“That’s it, where’s the emotion?” replied MV.

“Be patient. At least, you haven’t changed in that department,” I responded. “More specifically, the self may be defined as the locus of memories embedded in an information gradient, an information gradient resistant to self-determination possibilities. We come to know this information gradient in terms of physical, social, and psychological events—the raw materials out of which memories are woven. Behavior, most assuredly, is a product of environmental stimuli. But, it is not totally determined by these stimuli; to the degree that the self willfully acts (a reflective, evaluative response) it expands the information gradient. In other words, to the degree that behavior is based on critical thinking and judgment, a self-determining agent determines his/her own behavior—the self becomes the determined determiner of itself.”

“Hey, I’m still all ears; but I haven’t heard anything about emotion yet,” MV responded. “Where does emotion come in and overpower reason?”

“It’s right there in the information gradient, and a good thing, too, because you’re really patient! When the self is considered in this light, the cold, independent nature of logical and rational thought loses its independence. Self-determining agents are anchored in the same information gradient that is ‘home’ to more powerful libidinal instincts and drives; and, as such, willful acts of self-determination are never free of emotion, both conscious and unconscious emotion. Rationality is grounded in this emotion, the emotive content of our environment. That is why the psychologist, Morris Massey, can say, ‘…by age ten, significant emotional events have already pre-determined who we will be for the rest of our lives.’ Early on, significant emotional events are seminal in forming the emotional base out of which we will respond throughout life. That is what has to be dealt with, and that is what prevents new ideas from taking root.”

Mud Slinging And Lies Will Change Minds—Logic And Reason Won’t

The Emotion Of Reason Concluded

“What good is reason then?” said MV.

“Good question,” I replied. “I’m not sure I have the right answer, but I do have an answer. In the sciences, reason and logic, more or less, define the process that provides an understanding of law and change, but in the social fabric, reason and logic come up short—sometimes way short. In the technical fields, reason and logic are used to create energy saving strategies. In so far as technology saves time and labor, it also mitigates unnecessary suffering. But, in the social fabric, reason and logic are sometimes used to create abuse and suffering, and, from an evolutionary perspective, that has merit. We have survived evolutionary challenges by seeking after status, dominance, and control. Is it any wonder then that we are still driven by those same needs and desires! ‘Feelings of empathy’ or a desire to eliminate unnecessary suffering rarely motivates people. Legitimate social reformers and spiritual leaders, however, are motivated, almost always, by sympathy, understanding, and compassion.”

“So I guess your ‘God talks’ didn’t go very far, eh? Did you connect with anybody?” responded MV.

“Probably not,” I replied, “It was basically a hopeless situation.”

“Why did you persist?”

“Hey, when you’ve seen God you don’t walk away,” I said. “In some way you respond. I suppose different people respond differently, but for me it was with talks, at least for a little while anyway.”

“Did you learn anything else, or was it mostly a waste of time?” MV replied.

“You’re not listening very well are you,” I said, “God-centeredness is not a waste of time?”

“But if it’s impossible to communicate, why try?” responded MV.

“I didn’t say it was impossible, I only said I couldn’t do it. I didn’t have the talent for it,” I said.

“But it sounds like its impossible,” said MV.

“Not really. Emotional centers breathe life into self-determining acts,” I said. “People can re-center themselves. To suggest otherwise would be wrong. Emotions are everywhere, and significant emotional events happen all the time. Some make you think, and some do not; some—few, spark life-changing behavior.”

“So how do you win converts,” replied MV.

“It’s not easy, and I suspect some luck is involved.” I said. “New beliefs have to be emotionally gratifying, and if they are they tend to be similar to already existing emotional needs and beliefs. Asking a person to consider new ideas, especially when those ideas are God-centered, is akin to pulling teeth. The Buddha and Jesus had success, but they were promoting beliefs about suffering and salvation–universal emotive responses to universal desires. Trying to get people to emotionally connect with a God-idea, especially one in conflict with their own, is a definition for irrelevancy. If, on the other hand, I was appealing to more prurient interests, I probably would have found a few interested people.”

“So asking an audience to see the world from a totally new perspective is doomed?” MV responded.

“It appears so,” I said.

“Maybe you have it wrong,” replied MV. “It wouldn’t be the first time you know.”

“Yeah, wouldn’t that be nice. I don’t believe in miracles,” I responded, “and, according to some people, it’s even worse than that. Bertrand Russell, arguably one of the brainiest men who ever lived, concluded towards the end of his life that arguments–to get people to pay attention to logic and reason–are ineffective tools if one’s goal is to get another person to recant his/her beliefs. Russell was a lifelong champion of liberal and ‘just causes.’ He died frustrated and despondent.”

“Yeah, I know,” responded MV, “but I do not consider dying frustrated and despondent a disappointment, if you know what I mean? So your God-idea and people couldn’t connect; I got it, but how does emotion connect to your God-idea? I don’t understand? Where’s emotion in your X/Y form?”

“It’s in there,” I said. “It’s just that nobody has ever asked me that question before. Here’s my quick answer:

“Think of the above mentioned information gradient as X (subjective aim) embedded in Y, the aesthetic informational continuum. That’s duality in its original form, but when X experiences itself in a higher dimension, ‘subjective aim’ experiences itself within the aesthetic gradient of emotional information, information that both helps and hinders the survival of X. That’s not the end of the story however. Because X, in an even higher dimension, creates/discovers its own information gradient, an information gradient consisting of symbolic forms, symbolic forms which are embedded not just in emotion, but also in aesthetic facts, facts that are subject to change as new symbolic forms are created/discovered that render old facts into new aesthetic facts, knowledge does not die. Aesthetic facts survive the death of X. They are not subject to death; instead, these facts are limited only by the validating connection that exits between prediction, explanation, and observation. In other words, these aesthetic facts, all of which are embedded in emotion, remain subject to the decree of the best science available.”


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