posted on Jan, 13 2015 @ 11:21 PM
When we act, think, or feel, we rarely notice how our mental dynamics are held in place by a secondary awareness of our actual acting. A quick
clinical example shows how this can happen in a pathological mind:
Jeremy is afraid of other people. He cannot understand why he's afraid of other people, he only knows that he's afraid. In this situation, Jeremy is
both aware of a) a fear of an object (other people), and b) implicitly, he is afraid of the physical sensations that go along with his emotion of
fear. Both dynamics mutually feedback into the other; the perception of fear in the body (made implicitly) recursively links to the object that is
feared in the environment. And what is feared reminds one of the embodied sensations; and back and forth: this is how anxieties happen to us.
When we think, recursions between direct knowing (what is actually thought), as well as implicit knowing (in the body) link back up with one another.
This is a fundamental psychological dynamic of the human mind. Were caught up in narratives of perception, while discreetly our mind teeters upon the
awareness of "how it feels on the inside".
A very common example of this process is the experience of shame. When someone experiences shame, its a very public emotion. It can only be
experienced 'publicly' if it is to be a true feeling of shame. In feeling shame, usually there's a direct reason for it, say, you were caught
picking your nose and eating it. You think about this, and it's this 'thought' which holds your attention on the shame. But in between your
perception, so to speak, there is a continuous implicit knowing of how the shame feels inside you; you curl up inside; you wish you were a turtle so
you could retract your head from public notice. In other words, we feel shame ABOUT the shame.
One can also get depressed about ones depression. And this sort of feedback oftentimes creates harrowing states of mind where reflection upon the
depressed feeling in the chest and stomach makes one both scared, and in effect, more depressed. It's this 'thinking about our bodily sensations',
and recognizing, "this feels bad", that we augment and amplify the bodily expression of the emotion. This is oftentimes not explicit. It is just the
type of 'noticing' that the human mind does, without words, just perceiving something on the inside or the outside that 'captures' our attention.
It is useful to think about how we think about the bodily sensations we have, and ask ourselves: why? Instead of reacting to our reactions, as we are
wont to do, we can take a step outside 'ourselves', or the 'system' of our mind, and just watch; watch how the mind goes and focuses upon
something; and how we oftentimes make implicit judgements in our noticing, which leads to a state change in another direction.
A common, and to me, humorous manifestation of emotional recursion is a labyrinth version where a person feels something, decides upon something, and
then feels something negative in response to his deciding. This happens in so many different ways, but it happens most unnoticeably as when we turn
away from a certain action because the thought we had left us with an uncomfortable bodily feeling: shame.
Even when we say, for example, I'm going to smile at the next person, we might feel a certain shame about it. Why? Ok. If this is not you and smiling
at strangers at ANY time, comes naturally, kudos to you. But there are still instances in our day to day life where a certain behavior or thought is
'red-lined' because it produces in us a certain bodily sensation, and in that sensation, implicitly, we think of something different and better.
One could interpret such a turning away as a fundamental weakness in personality organization. If a thought "scares you", or makes you feel
"icky", one can make out a relationship akin to that between parents and children. Whereas the mature mind is able to tolerate and accept negative
emotions because they have something to teach me about the human condition, I am able to feel and think and reflect and imagine in ways that would
have been impossible before.
Accepting the emotions we experience, in the sense of looking upon them with curiosity and a sense that there's no reason to enact an 'emotion about
the emotion', allows us to essentially take control of our own little "i" - that bare zone in our psyche that is completely free from 'outside'
influence; that 'witness' without any quality. And in doing so, we become something like captains to a ship; instead, both the ship, and the sea,
are under the control of this captain.