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In a World Like Ours...

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posted on May, 18 2016 @ 10:39 PM
In a World Like ours, we don't even recognize, that what we think, Others also think.

That means, whatever meaning your actions express, is visible to the Other, because every human being knows what the bodily expressions mean from within his or her own phenomenology (or experience of self).

We each recognize from within our self what we do to control the Other's perception.

An effort to feel taller, for instance, would be expressed as a certain style of walking - for the Other who observes. But for the actor who feels the need to walk this way, what are they experiencing mentally? They're insecure, first of all, since people do not control their movements without feeling the need to do so. Thus, we typically find shorter people with a history of being bullied being people who express these sorts of behaviors, and quite understandably. However, what the performers of such actions do not sufficiently realize is that their performative feat - holding their body fully erect and preferring the inside and front of the foot in walking - is intuitively perceivable by the onlooker.

Our brains have evolved specifically to decode the flow of consciousness in the mind of the Other. Specifically, what seems to be sensed is a specific type of mental actions: what is intended by the Other. Intentions can come in different flavors and different frequency; it can be a "dispositional" change in how someone relates with you, or noting that your interlocutor seems to be controlling how they speak, as if they were intending to sound a certain way. We sense intentionality, but also what is felt as the communicator speaks or expresses himself. So, for example, we could perceive a young woman trying to sound a particular way, and notice that she does it jovially and without much anxiety. Or, we can find the same intention to sound a certain way, but hear in the voice anxiety, tension, and an effortfulness. The intentionality is perceived in both cases: the girl is trying to sound a certain way; yet in the former case, the illusion of self-coherency maintains the relaxed manner of expression, whereas the latter person is very much consciously involved in her intentionality - and indeed, the more anxious she looks, the more we sense that she is "trying" to look this way.

We sense the intentionality of others all the time, both the affective dimension and the cognitive intentional dimension.

When walking in the library, I sometimes deliberately put myself in a certain frame of awareness, and notice how people respond to my expressive presence. I'm forced by this experiment into recognizing the usefulness of Martin Bubers formulation of I and Thou, in contrast to an I and It, to explain what it is I'm perceiving.

It's as if we hold in our body's a knowledge about our relatedness to others. Our intentions are held there, and so our face, body, and voice can speak, even if the mind believes it is merely enacting what it feels.

Onlookers who see me looking at them in such a state invariably respond by turning their heads. Why? Because within me and my objectifying gaze, they feel themselves being objectified by an Other. They are held within my mind as impersonal objects, and so the face I cannot see (my own) expresses its intentional state to the mind of the Other. The Other picks it up, sees a mind that implicitly denies its Self-presence, and turns away. A shame-like anxiety arises in such moments - even if we don't recognize it. It's the very knowledge that if the body isn't moved away from the coupled gaze with the Other, so and so will feel that uncomfortable "awkward feeling" of looking at something that makes you feel awkward! And that cannot happen.

The exact opposite tends to happen when ones body is holding knowledge of an intimate relatedness with others. Consider your family members and how you feel around them verses how you feel in a crowded mall. The difference is something called a "relaxed field". Within a relaxed field, animals play and humans story-tell. In the relaxed field, a near perfect symmetry exists, as if the "relaxed" nature was fundamentally related to the anonymous symmetry.

My dog, for example, is more eager to play when I go down on all fours and put myself at head level with her, beckoning the question: is my being closer to her head level - equal with her - a spur towards play? Although I don't need to be on all fours for her to seek play with me, there seems to be no question in her mind that when I or anyone else goes on all fours, I want to play. The leveled head, and being "at her level", seems then to be a formative causal factor in creating this effect in her.

The Free Market's Role:

I feel I should add this at the end of every thread I make, as all the problems that exist in our world at the psychodynamic personal level derive from the way the necessities of living in capitalistic, free-market act upon our affective and motivational processes.

Given that our biological form largely derives from a period at least 200,000 years old (that means, having reached a stasis 200,000 years earlier) our present social environments are in perpetual conflict with the compensatory logic of ancient hunter-gatherer relational structures, where "sensing" into the existential state of the Other was largely functioning as a compensatory mechanism: A feels the pain of B and is empathically motivated to alleviate it. Feelings and emotional contagion allowed a sharing of all sorts of states, but the only states that can be plausibly correlated with neurogenesis - the growth of the brain - are these "sharing" states, such as joy, laughter, and playfulness. As mentioned earlier, these states emerge within the "relaxed field", which refers to the role trauma plays in keeping organisms "frozen" in stereotyped reactions.

Relaxed fields allow spontaneous emotional creation. Since all human self expression originates through the modus of a relaxed and focused nervous system (whats been termed a relaxed field) we are only truly "human" when we are experiencing Maslows "Being Cognition", living in the now, in the presence of others, with a warm disposition of care and camaraderie, friendliness and cheerfulness, but most of all, alive.

To feel alive, most alive, entails being what a human being evolved to be: Alive with it's loved ones. We are alive when we intend a friendly disposition, and exist with others in feelings of joyful playfulness.

Yet....We live in a world like ours, where people do not even know that what they tend is intuitively accessible to the other: whatever happens in you, whatever you fear, or hate, can be traced back to shame, to feelings of worthlessness, inferiority, and loneliness. We are irrevocably social creatures. We live in a world that denies this in it actions and speaks cheaply about it with its words. We are trained to hold in our reflexive thoughts defensive knowings, and efforts to hide what we don't want others to see; yet we know, because we sense the intentionality to control.

Recursion doesn't need to go very far, because humans are rather simple: we want people to like us. We want them to be positively disposed right after we express ourselves. We want confirmation that we are good, that we are valuable, and that we are wanted.


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