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Which is more Primary: Other People or the Natural World?

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posted on May, 19 2018 @ 08:26 PM
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Sometimes when I'm reading anthropology, and I encounter what appears to me to be an overly romantic description of an indigenous people's psycho-spiritual universe, I find myself wincing, and wishing that the anthropologist not overlook whatever concept I happen to see him overlooking.

An example of what can be overlooked is the primacy of those parts of us which respond and react to the impact of other people (motivational systems like attachment, which seeks affiliative relations, friendships, and romantic relationships) and those parts of us which respond to the wonders of nature.

Its important to understand that phylogenetically (over evolutionary time) and ontogentically (over a person's biological development), social interactions are the semiotic attractor which organizes mental activity.

We can discern three ontological 'zones' within our actual phenomenology. They are: physical movement; social affection; and spiritual affection.

When a baby is born, its first biosemiotic 'experiences' are related to the governance of the body. The social world is still to 'abstract' - still beyond what matters at that moment in time; and what matters at that moment in the governance of the body is the proprioceptive experience of controlling a body - from gait, to timing, to balance, to coordination. If you are curious as to what a neonate is 'thinking' about, it is this: it is experiencing the motions and activities of a living body. It is precisely this part of the brain which is most active early on - the lower brainstem and higher cortical areas related to mapping and coordinating all the parts of the body.


“The notion that we can think about how mental matters occur in the absence of reference to the structure, function, development, and evolution of the brain is intellectually hazardous. The likelihood of guessing how the brain works without looking at its structure seems slim. Certainly, if one agrees with the ethologists that mental states are a product of evolution, we must at least study how the brain evolved. Our obligation is to complete Darwin’s program.” – Gerald Edelman, Bright Air, Brilliant Fire: On the Matter of the Mind; pg. 68, 1992, Basic


This is the mistake of the non-scientific mind. It thinks its thinking is clear; but it only thinks this because it refuses to engage another way of thinking - something that is likely fear-based and related to the way our attachment systems work. When we become attached to a particular moral philosophy, it is not just the philosophy we are attached to; but also the moral effects that the philosophy has already wrought in us: that is, what the philosophy, as a cognitive system, has done to process certain negative affects, and how that ultimately leads to actions which affect other people.

Many people detest mechanistic explanations like this, but this is besides the point: if something is true, it is true because the criteria which accounts for its truth are satisfied in the description of a phenomenon. In humans, for example, we can say that symmetry is the basis of all things - and indeed, actual science proves that. From quarks on up to the golden rule in social interaction, 'symmetry' can be seen in the fundamental inter-inclusivity of the 'other' which is required to complete a formal loop of self-regulation. Since there is a physical body, and an environment, there is correlation. The brains billions upon billions of processes, in fact, are highly tuned 'homeostats' linked up in specific, context-sensitive ways to events in the environment. This is the exact same sort of symmetry that we see in the bacterial cell which pursues glucose molecules when it needs to regenerate itself.

Anyways, following the coordination and the eventual mastery of 'using' the body, the center of consciousness (the 'ego') begins to engage the other which has been aiding it throughout its growth process. At this time, all the psychodynamc 'signs' of self-experience (imagine each experience as a clip on a movie roll) are being metaphorically bootstrapped frm the movement in a physical environment level. The semiosis of movement, and the signs it gives rise, operate as the unconscious dynamic attractors which help the child to detect coherency in the linguistic signaling of others. Many such basic metaphors have been discovered, and have been extensively analyzed by George Lakhoff and Mark Johnson, and so far it has done wonders explaining how we are able to conceptualize and from where those conceptualizations come from.

This 'how' explanation dovetails with the 'why' explanation that comes from the social-sphere. Since movement is the first ontological attractor which organizes meaning-making in the infant mind, social affection operates not merely 'above' the first level, but actually builds itself up from the primary metaphors implicit in physical bodily experience (i.e. such as ideas that can grow from being roughhoused etc; the infant feels at all times; it's just the object of awareness, in the beginning, is body related; whereas as time goes forward i.e. around 8 weeks, the mind becomes more and more centered on the social other, with the body receding into the background).

The 'why' things happen always has to do with 'affect correlation'. If I feel this need, we desire the other to take a complementary state i.e. to affirm our state by showing genuine interest, or, if were not wanting to be bothered, respecting that boundary between us and them. The first state can be understood as a constructive interference, where two waves in phase leads to what the developmental psychologist Ed Tronick has called "dyadic expansions of consciousness". Every infant seeks such affect correlations, and if it receives at least 95% in the first two years, its brain growth in the right hemisphere will be profoundly coherent, and even more importantly, emotionally resilient.

In today's society, a surplus of hatred prevents people from being congruent to the needs of infants 95% of the time; nevermind doing this for the first 2 years. All sorts of dumb explanations can be conjured, but they all boil down to a false theory of how reality works: they act as if change can't happen, even though the biology, genetics, and psychology all point in the same direction: yes you can, it says.

This hatred therefore creates brainminds that aren't good at dealing with feelings; like 'father like son'. If the father can't handle reality in a morally responsible way, than neither should the son. Selfishness begets selfishness; affect dysregulation begets affect dysregulation. All the while that REAL things like the aforementioned process are happening, a narrative occurs in the dissociative left hemisphere, which 'explains away' the incoherency of a selfish action by recruiting a false theory of how things work.

It is only after childhood that the spiritual self really starts to grow. By the early twenties, and especially the early thirties, the self can become engrossed in a way of seeing things thats put it into profound synchrony with the external natural world. The objects 'out there', somehow, are semiotically continuous with the object of my body. Things 'out there' and my mind 'in here', are paradoxically entangled in such a way that the mind can affect the thing - in a real way - and the thing can affect the mind.

Now, this is where metaphysics begins, and also where making assertions about...



edit on 19-5-2018 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 19 2018 @ 08:26 PM
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reality originates.

The problem with analyzing the mind with only the mind is that you cannot reference a third which another person can also agree with.

Of course, one can reference the body, its experiences, and claim that this constitutes an invariant across people; but this is a hard thing to agree upon, especially when some people can claim to follow different 'rules' - and thus, be 'beyond' the criticism of others.

Physics, in effect, is a visual science. We do it with writing and symbols and big machines. Everyone who has eyes can do it, so long as they train themselves in its logic, they can understand important and fundamental principles about reality. An important principle is entropy. And an even more important principle than entropy, at least for living beings, is symmetry.

When we discuss nature, or make claims about the 'nature of nature', we need to understand and appreciate the primacy of developmental psychology in showing how meaning is constructed. With meaning being a function of developmental phases and interactions with others, attachment theory has shown that humans can self-organize in three modes, each a 'phenotype' that serves as the foundation of personality, as well as the philosophy a personality subscribes to. So, for example, a nihilist would need to have an insecure attachment style, and therefore, his decision to 'live a certain way', despite his wishes to 'do it his way', is really just an idealized makeover that conceals the interpersonal suffering that solidified the self in this particular interpersonal mode: ambivalent (i.e. anxious) or avoidant ('i.e. indifferent). The sociopath is an extreme of the latter category, whereas ADHD can be seen as an extreme of the former category.

If we only realized the fractal like nature of development, with its 3 very different ontological phases of psychological experience (movement, social affection, spiritual affection) we would recognize how the third is always related to the second, which in turn is biased by the first.

Since the first is sort of impersonal, we see it as a 'base'. An important base, and indeed, if the early brainstem doesn't grow properly, autism is the result. And as can be seen, autism is the total breakdown of the emotional brain as it fails to integrate itself with the social world around it.

But it is the social which is the link of it all. It is because of the social, and the complexity of our minds as it relates to anticipations of threat, that we should see every social interaction as being governed by nothing other than threat-systems and reward systems - the former directing the mind away from something, and the latter directing it to something diametrically opposed to the former. The brain knows from past negative interactions what we should threat, but not the mind; the mind must be educated in how it works if its awareness is to correlate with fact, and so the narratives it tells itself about how things work, correlate with its own biosocial reality.

Nature, then, is a reflection of the human self - not the other way around. There are things happening within us - affects, which derive and stem back to experiences which profoundly affected us - mostly emotional experiences elicited by others. Since everything we do is mediated by relationships; and teh whole logic of our minds a clear function of 'modeling the responses of real others', it makes absolutely no sense to attempt to talk about theology or metaphysics before you have figured out how your social relationships have constructed the 'why' of your motivations and self-states.

Eventually, perhaps, the universe may throw a curveball and the top will come back down upon the social; and teh social come to reflect something more spirtual. Whether or not that hypothesis turns out to be true is not a question for today, or frankly, something that should be contemplated by brain minds that do not have the neurological structural resources - the symmetry of interpersonal recognition - to process without turning into stones and statues of their former, blissfully naive selves. Nihilism is a popular attractor in such contexts, and so, a person endangers his being by engaging an interpretive system that derives from centuries upon centuries of humans being in the same situation, working from the same ignorance, and not appreciating the real nature of what was going on within their brains.

edit on 19-5-2018 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 19 2018 @ 08:41 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

It depends.



posted on May, 19 2018 @ 08:47 PM
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social interactions are the semiotic attractor which organizes mental activity.


I totally disagree with this statement. In my opinion solitude is what organizes mental activity. Alone with the self is where real thought begins manifesting, true revelation.




the center of consciousness (the 'ego')


wouldn't that mean that I am the center of consciousness?

the ego is based on the idea of death, without death is there an ego? without fear is there an ego? then how is the ego the center of consciousness?

I think you have to much of a reductionist view on how we interact with the world around us. I don't think consciousness is a byproduct of bio-mechanical processes. It's something bigger than us, something that can take form and present itself as experience of an individual.



posted on May, 19 2018 @ 08:56 PM
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people and a drive to keep talkin....enjoy the variety of egos, huh

to go see creation now and then is bliss, too



posted on May, 19 2018 @ 09:10 PM
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People know a lot of this and so it's redundant. Unlike most of social sciences, you seem caught the "oh my god...why don't people talk like I do" part. You spend so long on that one odd predicament that you are actually stuck in place. Which is fine, but you are accusing others. Why don't people spend time talking about something they've learned 100 more times? Well gee I don't know...



posted on May, 19 2018 @ 09:11 PM
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"Society is structured off interactions"

Yeah? Really? Very good..





posted on May, 19 2018 @ 09:15 PM
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Also you need to quit postpooping, refusing to respond to the people who offer constructive criticism and then formalizing a theory in self defense that they're all this and that..

As well as taking theories that others suggest, divorcing them from the owner with insults and then incorporating them back into your posts.

GET OVER YOU





Thank you...
edit on 19-5-2018 by Ohthewey778 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 19 2018 @ 09:15 PM
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a reply to: toysforadults


As to your first comment:

What do you mean by 'solitude' organizes mental activity? Being alone with yourself is being alone with theemotional impressions that have constructed your 'brainmind'. Solitude is just a state, or a situation a person can be in. But to think solitude is the ontological source of material is to confuse etiology, or where things come from.

The mind transforms things in metaphorical ways. My dreams, for instance, metaphorically re-represent interactions I have with others. It is the 'feeling' that occurred in that situation, with others, which is 'reworked' in a sort of existential way by my unconscious mind.

The stuff is always social. If you don't realize this, is it perhaps due to you not paying attention to how real-interactions affect you? Does it not make sense to believe that you can just bracket out your brainmind in interactions like the one were presently having (my words, or beliefs, are affecting your narrative systems, and therefore your emotion regulation; similarly, by challenging me, you have done the same to me), and then believe that when your alone, your brain has all of a sudden shifted in exactly the direction that your cognitive mind believes it has gone - merely because it believes it to be so?

The logic of the mind is the logic of emotion. And since the most basic emotions which built our mind happened when we were young, and so, before we can have a coherent memory of ourselves, many people still believe that what we tell ourselves about what is real can be coherent without acknowledging early life development.

Postmodernism is responsible for this mess were in.



posted on May, 19 2018 @ 09:17 PM
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a reply to: Ohthewey778

no wonder the only people left posting are Trumpers and anti Trumpers

I would like to thank you for that



posted on May, 19 2018 @ 09:23 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte




Solitude is just a state


just like emotions are a state to be observed by the self experience in solitude and without sensory input if at all possible. Your interpretation of what I believe the self is is different then how I actually perceive it.

Experience the self is the only way to truly experience other states such as the emotions you are talking about, your ability to separate the self from the emotions truly allows you to objectively experience these states in a way that's truly impactful.




The logic of the mind is the logic of emotion. And since the most basic emotions which built our mind happened when we were young, and so, before we can have a coherent memory of ourselves, many people still believe that what we tell ourselves about what is real can be coherent without acknowledging early life development.


Once again I totally disagree. Our mind is what builds the experience of emotions and not the other way around.

Reductionist science would say that we are a product of our surroundings and not the other way around.

Experience tells me otherwise. The world I experience around me is based on myself and emotions are a byproduct of the world I choose to experience. This is easy to test... decide to change your career, do it and see how the world around you drastically changes.

The world responds to you and not the other way around.



posted on May, 19 2018 @ 11:38 PM
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.
edit on 20-5-2018 by Ohthewey778 because: p..



posted on May, 19 2018 @ 11:46 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte




social interactions are the semiotic attractor which organizes mental activity.



I totally disagree with this statement. In my opinion solitude is what organizes mental activity. Alone with the self is where real thought begins manifesting, true revelation.


Well said.

I would suggest you read some ,Ralph Waldo Emerson his ideas on how nature shapes the psyche would interest you.

I believe it was the buddhist that practice a form of solitude meditation in order to "find" their true selves. Read up on the hermits of ancient buddhism and find out what they learned from it. How did being alone help them to "organize their minds?"

To answer your title question.


Which is more Primary: Other People or the Natural World?


My view is that people are the natural world. Like the dirt of the ground and the salt in the ocean we can not be separate from that which is natural.

So which ever you choose people are the wilds, your fine.
It's discipline of the mind in whatever environment that you find yourself that maters, if your goal is to have organization of thought.



posted on May, 20 2018 @ 12:32 AM
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a reply to: Astrocyte



Which is more Primary: Other People or the Natural World?


More primary? Aw ,c'mon now! Where's that symmetry ?!
Anthropologically speaking, I suppose that the ideal (symmetric) state
would be natural people acting naturally in a natural world.
Something like this for example:



posted on May, 20 2018 @ 08:25 AM
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they like scissors....

they ladies hair was perfect....they have soap, I'm sure...

the men do lotsa black facepaint....so they aren't scrappin for food....true team there



posted on May, 20 2018 @ 08:38 AM
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How do you separate other people from the natural world? Aren't they the same thing?



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