posted on May, 11 2016 @ 01:11 AM
My life is complex. I have good days and bad days. Good moments and bad moments.
Today was full of bad moments. It's like my mind tunnels. I'm high. I shouldn't be, but I am. But the mediating factor is my brother - and the
emotions, dispositions, judgements, and orientations, he sometimes unconsciously assumes in his relation with me.
He holds me, again and again, and filters me through this frame of derision. I feel there's a strong cynicism in him when he responds to me. And why?
Because I'm playful? Goofy? The attitude he's been bringing to my way of being - not always, but sometimes, and certainly today - is a mirror
reflection of what he experiences with business partner Marwan (technically his boss) at work. His perception of self at those times when he feels
mistreated and shamed (even if he would avoid that terminology) is somewhat isomorphic with how I'm feeling. Just as Marwin's harsh words and
attacks generate within Jordan a feeling of not being known - a non "likability" - because the other reflexively orients to you in an attitude of
domination - so too with me. It should not be surprising that the attitude to dominate always derives from - not surprisingly - having once been
Jordan at such moments - how can I say this; I feel that right after experiencing his brash response - composed of his face, body and voice - the
general "gestalt of his intentionality" - Marwins face flashes into my mind; as if I intuitively sense the one-to-one correlation between this way
of being with me and the way Marwin relates with him. As if a common "judgement" exists within him and Jordan at such moments. Not merely a
feeling, or a logic; but a feeling that arises and reacts to the presence of a certain affective material in the other. Not a meaningless material
either, but a deeply personal and painful, experience. What may be called "trauma".
We live in such a superficial, dominating world, ruled by minds that resist noticing the "domination ethic" that permeates its social architectures.
But if we look and use a little something called science, we can see, rather easily and obviously (if we accept basic notions from ethology) how human
beings are constructed. And ultimately, my most bold and daring conjecture: that the quality of our mind, from one moment to the next, is a function
of the relationship between a set of personally meaningful external conditions and the state of your body at the time of perception.
I'm very close to my brother, so I tend to experience even more when it comes to knowing him. In these reactions, I see a reflexivity and a
stereotypy in his motivations. Mind you, he's sick, so whatever cues hes giving off is, as per the principle delineated above, more likely to produce
a negative experience of self and the reflexive enaction of feelings that arise from and follow from experiences he has with Marwan.
Here we can see how the mind is being constructed: when one self relates to another self, it's not neutral in any way, but carries stereotypes,
cliches, manneurisms, humor - all "coherency" functions for living; so long as people are open and focused, they are learning, but the vast majority
of whats learned may be called "social knowledge", and social knowledge is largely non-verbal an performative: we all know that assuming power over
another person oftentimes happens in not what you say, but how you say it; the feelings you feel as you say it. Feelings - these are the
vehicle and frame of our cognitive perception. We only 'represent' - or think - what is made relevant and desirous by our affect. If people don't
usually pay attention to this obvious, indisputable reality, it is because they are often dissociated by the reflexive chatter of their embodied
"social self. The subjective flow of experience tends to steer the mind to "comfy" thoughts; we are as advantageous in our seeking as other
I know give you a lengthy quote, but it is deserving. It's from the 4th Century BCE Chinese philosopher and poet Mencius.
The Bull Mountain was once covered with lively trees. But it is near the capital of a great State. People came with their axes and choppers; they cut
the woods down, and the mountain has lost its beauty. Yet even so, the day air and the night air came to it, rain and dew moistened it till here and
there fresh sprouts began to grow. But soon cattle and sheep came along and browsed on them, and in the end the mountain became gaunt and bare, as it
is now. And seeing it thus gaunt and bare, people imagine that it was woodless from the start.
Now just as the natural state of the mountain was quite different from what now appears, so too in every man (little though they may be apparent)
there assuredly were once feelings of decency and kindness; and if these good feeling are no longer there, it is that they have been tampered with,
hewn down with axe and bill [a curved tool for pruning and cutting]. As each day dawns, they are assailed anew. What chance then has our nature, any
more that mountain, of keeping its beauty? To us, too, comes the air of day, the air of night. Just at dawn, indeed, we have for a moment, and in a
certain degree, a mood in which our promptings and aversions come near to being such as are proper to men [and women!]. But something is sure to
happen before the morning is over, by which these better feelings are ruffled or destroyed. And in the end, when they have been ruffled again and
again, the night air is no longer able to preserve them, and soon our feeling are as near as may be to those of beasts and birds; so that anyone might
make the same mistake about us as about the mountain, and think that there was never any good in us from the very start. Yet assuredly our present
state of feeling is not what we begin with. Truly
If rightly tended, no creature but thrives;
If left untended, no creature but pines away.
The main point of this quote is Mencius' awesome insight and its evidence of his remarkable self knowledge. Is it not true that things could first be
one way, and yet be thought of as something else? The treeless mountain may be thought of as always being treeless, but it conceals a history of
cutting and thrashing - a trauma - endured by the mountain.
The science of traumatology, developmental psychology, sociology and comparative psychology point to the same reality, yet few people see the
psychological components in relation to the biological substratum. I believe our organism operates at it's optimal when something we perform
stimulates an approving reaction in the face, eyes and voice of the other. If you pay attention to your emotive response, notice how were "spurred"
by the reactions - our self becomes more consolidated and "more coherent", by the 'gestalt' of the reaction. The self of the mind is swimmingly at
ease when it exists around others who recognize and sympathize with their emotional states. Even better: when individuals mind are self-aware, and
choose to cultivate an internal ethic of compassionate recognition of the needs of others, arising out of a self-awareness that indicates just
such a universal presence in all selves; then correct action, correct knowing - in short, relating to the world, in the now, in the present, and
applying a compassionate knowing upon and towards the contextual factors of the present - this produces a robust feeling - and so, a dynamic energetic