All of us live our lives in terms of how the environment structures us. We come in as no more than a being who has been potentiated by his mothers
hormones (which represent her emotional states during pregnancy) and from there on out, we observe, and as we observe, we assimilate, so that our
first moments of "self-agency" become more and more infused with the self-other dialect between affect and mind, or between what others express in
their actions, and what those expressions ultimately express i.e. a motivation-expression "dialectic". In short, expressions should be understood as
potentially dissociative, inasmuch as characteristic situations (social asymmetry in interactions) inevitably provoke species specific responses, and
sometimes the responses we see aren't what we expect, more or less hiding the negative stimulus behind an adaptive idealization of "what the self
be". Idealizations are cognitive reactions assimilated from our observations of others. We don't think it up; it just comes into us
and enchains our reasoning processes to cliché narratives which the culture we subscribe to takes as 'true'.
We live in a profoundly mentally ill culture, and as someone who more or less "sits it out", I am able to maintain a certain level-headedness
precisely because interacting with other humans entails assimilation of self-other affective states.
And what I see is downright horrifying.
People wrongly assume that they are able to deal with apocalyptic scenarios. They exaggerate or - IDEALIZE - their relations. But facts are facts;
very few people can tolerate reality when we are deprived of what makes our day to day lives materially satisfying. Consider, for instance, the
necessity of clean drinking water; or a toilet; or toilet paper. All these amenities actually mediate a feeling state, and so are termed
"affordances": they GIVE you something you would otherwise not have. Take these things away, and guess what? Your consciousness will be "chafing"
- or become chafed, and irritated, by such impersonal things as an itchy asshole, dysentery, and a general feeling of dirtiness.
Here is the power of metaphor, and a profound example of the continuity between physical dirtiness and moral dirtiness. This thesis is easy and
obvious; feelings at the physical level become "re-described" in terms of how we're feeling and how interpret what we feel in relation to Others.
So if we're dirty, #ty, and what-not, those states tend to support a brutish attitude to the world around you - to yourself, to others, to reality.
Or, on the other hand, you will find yourself wanting to leave reality i.e. through detachment. Extreme situations of scarcity thus express polarized
states of human awareness: a thuggish attitude which becomes more or less synonymous with nihilism and sadomasochism, and a world-weariness which
dissociates its conscious mind more and more from the physical senses. These are extremes, and extremes which are supported by the detritus conditions
More or less, then, how humans think is an emergent property of the emotional cultures were exposed to. Affects - or feeligns - are powerful sources
of communication, and they more or less setup the context of how it is were going to think about something. Affect expresses a logical that surpasses
the individual self, and isntead refers to community at large, expressed best, I think, by the psychologist Michael Tomasello's
The above chart tries to represent how humans respond in terms of the larger-level cultural habits of the group around them (for the purpose of
shared-intentionallity); yet, within each consideration, or each interaction, each person really wants to recognized at a basic level in terms of the
affects (needs) which are animating their present consciousness. This of course is an IDEAL. It is one of those ideals which civilization as a whole
is moving towards; indeed, I hope my own understanding of the subject can help shed light on how it is we can change in this direction, and what that
direction ultimaytely means.
For the most part, humans are not reasonable - but i think it is naive to think Humans have never
been reasonable. If C.S. Peirce can be
described as one of the most reasonable - logical - humans we know of, is it at all impossible that at some primitive, perhaps unrecorded past, that
humans, without the neeed to "work" backwards (I think civilization has largely "overshot" what we think reality is) instead acheived a coherent
representatino of reality for the simple reason that we never veered so off from it?
By "veering off", I mean civilization itself. Lines
don't actually exist, but are idealizations. Geometry is an idealization - one that underlies the building of buildings, roads, cities, agriculture,
irrigation systems, etc. Do you think a dynamical system (a human) which interacts with the results of its actions wont come to superimpose the
efficacy of its thinking in one modality (building) into another (relating to other humans and understanding self)? Obviously this is what happened.
Something profoundly normal preceded human civilization which a caused a transformation in functioning such that we came to think in evermore
incoherent ways. Reason - and the way one learns how to reason - vanished. The self became glorified, and the earlier knowledge of the protean nature
of the self - of self being fundamentally a "point-counterpoint" dynamic, a crucial empirical knowledge which arises when the mind attunes to the
world within it and around it - fell away. And from then - perhaps 12,000 years ago, civilization slowly began to arise, and consciousness slowly
reshaped itself in terms of its proudly created objects.
This is another reason for why I think its important to consider the possibility that extant aboriginal societies might not be authentic
representations of "man in his truest state". Some groups, such as the Aka, are an image of edenic behavior; while others (new guinea tribes)
aren't. We must keep in mind, also, the fact of the conditions by which humans live: again, the world around us shapes our affect. Harsh living
conditions produce harsh mentalities.
In any case, if the ground of our being is determined by early life events, isn't it obvious that our earliest joys and sufferings underlie the way
our self-grows, and thus, what are self says is "good" and what it says is "bad"? I don't see how people who subscribe to a "moral relativism"
can imagine that they will get away with this without being forced - by reality itself (it's own self, at root) to recognize the way the tragic
beginnings of life directed the self to believe what it believed and act the way it acted.
Obviously, this has a sort of "grand-consciousness" sort of ring to it. Yet I actually think this is how reality work. It has rules only in the
sense that the rules scaffold the eternal verities of nature, so that, in effect, all of reality is a symbolic expression of Gods "eternal
verities", expressed outward as "nature". In fact, this phrase could just as meaningfully be expressed in the inverse: Nature expresses eternal
truth, such that we realize our own Godliness".