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Trauma, History, and Human Evolution

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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 dominated.

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 animals.

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 system.

posted on May, 11 2016 @ 08:14 AM

But self awareness can also bring disconnection to the people/society around you since you can see how they behave and their lack of following the golden rule (choosing the neutral/mutualistic behavior path).

That is why some souls choose to only be around the empaths and shining ones. The predatory behavior becomes annoying to be around and tolerate because of the lack of both self awareness and group awareness.

The empaths are easy to be around since they more or less automatically restore what they break since they become aware of how their action effected the other one/group.
edit on 11-5-2016 by LittleByLittle because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 11 2016 @ 08:18 PM
a reply to: LittleByLittle

But self awareness can also bring disconnection to the people/society around you since you can see how they behave and their lack of following the golden rule (choosing the neutral/mutualistic behavior path).

I don't think that follows.

If people "don't respect the golden rule", they've began to sow a dysregulating energy in the community you or I are apart of.

Thus, the break "from society" is sown by the expression and existence of a "dominate-dominated" dialectic that exists only when humans fail to acknowledge and function within the golden rule.

To know this - to represent this to yourself - indeed puts you at odds with others; particularly the actor who acts this way. But the concern should always be productive, and so any moralizing tendency that does not acknowledge the situation and context of the actor is not going to fill you with the feeling you need to think accurately: compassion.

Noticing a problem in the actions of another can exist side by side with a genuine understanding of the radical embeddedness we humans find ourselves in. The fact is, if people knew better, they would have the wisdom to act better.

This includes this here conversation. I'm trying, as I tend to do, to recognize who you are and why you asked what you did. I want to disabuse you of the needless thought that self-awareness could ever be a bad thing. These sorts of thoughts dull our experience and our enthusiasm towards being better, kinder, and more compassionate people. So why did you think it?

That you thought this is a very normal thing in a competition society. Our minds always reflexively turn in the direction of the feelings we tend to feel in the society we exist within. But since feelings are embodied - and the society we live in demands constant thinking - we are normatively dissociate. We also build in cliches that essentially accomplish self-delusion - such as a denial of whats felt and known in your typical experience of self.

So that we are vulnerable to not knowing what we feel, it has to do with the way the social realm - TV, music, etc enforced through the presence and force of other like-minded people - orchestrates our awareness; it is both comedic and tragic, the way humans claim and assert things with such embodied confidence yet be utterly naive about the obvious (to a psychologically self-aware person) defensiveness of their action: we speak and think for the feelings we have while we do it. If you're aware of this, this can quite legitimately be called "the beginning of wisdom", in that it gives you an internal map to what you feel in yourself or recognize in the experience of others.

Much of what we know is not even conceptualized. It happens beneath and between our stereotyped narrative chatter.
edit on 11-5-2016 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 12 2016 @ 06:32 AM
a reply to: Astrocyte

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.

posted on May, 12 2016 @ 07:15 AM
a reply to: Astrocyte

Then again, your brother may be dredging up past sibling rivalry or an unresolved dysfunction between you both. Why did you not call him out on his derisive behaviour? I don't always assume a person is not self-aware just because they take on the societal role of conformity due to financial necessity, which can be soul draining, abusive and depressing. I have also found within our toxic systems that once compassion, empathy and kindness are shared,then it is normally readily returned. We are all not so disconnected as it appears.

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