Emotional Illusions (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 252)

If emotions are constructed from limited data rather than direct perception, similar to the way vision and memory are constructed , then, as with perception and memory, there must be circumstances when the way the mind fills in gaps in the data results in your “getting it wrong.” The result would be “emotional illusions” that are analogous to optical and memory illusions.

For example, suppose you experience the physiological symptoms of emotional arousal for no apparent reason. The logical response would be to think, Wow, my body is experiencing unexplained physiological changes for no apparent reason! What’s going on? But suppose further that when you experience those sensations they occur in a context that encourages you to interpret your reaction as due to some emotion—say, fear, anger, happiness, or sexual attraction—even though there is no actual cause for that emotion. In that sense your experience would be an emotional illusion.

To demonstrate this phenomenon, Schachter and Singer created two different artificial emotional contexts—one “happy,” one “angry” —and studied the physiologic aroused volunteers who were placed in those situations. The researchers’ goal was to see whether those scenarios could be used to “trick” the volunteers into having an emotion that the psychologists themselves had chosen.

Subliminal, How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior

Leonard Mlodinow          2012

Cribb Comment: Several experiments have been performed to explore and examine the validity of this theory. The results have strongly suggested that most people are not perceptive or engaged enough with reality to even accurately understand the root cause of their emotions. In other words, they make shit up that fits into the “reality” that they prefer to believe or that happens to be pervasive in the herd so that they can comfortably conform. It further logically follows that this psychological maneuver is the linchpin enabler of withdrawal and withdrawal is the primary means of avoiding auto-corrective objective reality to maintain persistent excusable or justifiable delusion.

2018

If You Can Just Answer the Question (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 251)

She was always the victim. It did not matter how much effort I willingly expended to be with her or how many uplifting and supportive direct compliments I gave her which she simply refused to hear or how much I stabilized her entire pack. She was always the victim unless she got to be the silent bully and do whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted, without complete consideration of the ultimate consequences to the entire pack, the pack that she said she loved. She was broken. I knew why and I had pity and empathy and resounding faith in her fractured spirit that it would choose to heal itself instead of slinking deeper into false excuses of fear and victimization; deeper into withdrawal from objective reality so that she might rule her own universe without question, without balance. . . without her having to expend the vulnerable effort and posture of maintaining respect for someone she could not control.

I said “I need you to do this for me. Name one time, anytime at all in his whole life, that your father hasn’t considered himself the victim. Just one time, anytime, that he wasn’t always running around doing whatever the hell he wanted to despite the wishes of and responsibilities to his wife and children. Even as he was over-dominating you and breaking your spirit as a little girl, he was always the victim, always, right? I’m not talking about blame right now. I’m just talking above his behavior and his perception. If you can just answer that question, you’ll break through, you’ll see it. So, tell me please, tell me one time in your father’s entire lifetime that he wasn’t the victim in his own mind while he bullied everyone else around him.”

She started crying, but she refused to answer the question and in doing so, in turning away from her fear of reality, she reset the cycle to continue in its revolutions of delusion, madness, and suffering.

Cribb          2018

A Promethean Act of Free Will (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 247)

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William James widely considered the father of American psychology and a co-father to the philosophy of pragmatism, received a MD from Harvard Medical School in 1869. James had always been exceptionally bright and was well educated since his earliest youth. He suffered from severe depression and insecurity (self-loathing) which apparently hit a high point in his life after his graduation from Harvard and as a result he checked himself into an asylum for treatment.

James left the asylum in an improved state and perspective, but not as a result of the therapy he had received at the institution. He experienced a self revelation of awareness and understanding after reading an essay on free will by Charles Renouvier, a French philosopher. His epiphany has been referred to as “A Promethean Act of Free Will” and in essence lead to his profound belief that mental illness could only be accurately addressed and/or cured via the free will of personal choice.

Though James continued to struggle with his mental illness in some form for the rest of his life, his approach to his depression improved his quality of life significantly and kept it from crippling him severely anymore in the future. He went on to teach physiology and psychology at Harvard, published significant data and theory on human emotion (now referred to as the James-Lange theory), and eventually settled on the in depth contemplation and study of philosophy and spiritual energy in the later period of his life. He published numerous books of ongoing significant relevance including The Principles of Psychology (1890), The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902), and a groundbreaking work on education, Talks to Teachers on Psychology and to Students on Some of Life’s Ideals (1899).

The sketch is a self portrait James produced around the age of 24 and the year 1866.

Information borrowed and paraphrased from:

1) Subliminal – How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, Leonard Mlodinow 2012

2) Introduction Notes for The Varieties of Religious Experience, Wayne Proudfoot 2004

Cribb          2018

Rhetorical Stability (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 244)

A child sits alone on the floor in the middle of a room by themselves. The child cowers and shivers uncontrollably if anyone else enters the room. Which of the following responses do you believe is the most stabilizing to the child?

1) The first person walks into the room and kneels down directly in front of the child. They cower a little bit themselves and coddle the child with baby talk saying things like “Are you sick?”, “Are you hurt?”, “You’ll be okay”, “Everything’s alright”, “You don’t need to worry or be frightened”, and “I know how scary this room is, I understand how you feel.”

2) The second person walks into the room and stands directly in front of the child in a domineering stance. This person looks directly at the child and says loudly and with force “Stop that, there is no reason to be scared!” or “Quit it now, I said stop acting like that!” or “If you don’t stop acting like a baby, I’m gonna make you stop or give you something to really be scared of!”.

3) The third person walks into the room quietly and calmly. This person sits down next to the child and refrains from acknowledging the behavior of the child while they also display no self reaction of worry or concern for anything in the environment. After a while, this person stands up next to the child and silently extends a hand toward the child in an obvious gesture to assist the child in standing up if they should so desire.

Cribb          2018

The Conformity of Being Broken (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 243)

I have fought for the broken, the bent, the destabilized, the sexually repressed, the let down, the abused, the oppressed, the insecure, and the manipulated, almost my entire life. I have thrown myself up against a pervasive and heinous social and familial indoctrination system matrix that is the underlying force which inoculated all of these aforementioned entities with the fear that rules them in their preferred form of accepted and continued cyclical unending destabilization and suffering. I have flayed my life, my anger, my confusion, my demons, my own madness, my embarrassments, my vulnerabilities, my shame, and my own neuroses, in my own public blog and other forms of social media, to speak to these lost souls and try and get them to understand that I “get it,” that I “get them,” and I get the struggle they deal with every waking moment. I have read and educated myself endlessly on behavior, psychology, delusion, addiction, and a number of other related subjects, to become the most stabilizing entity, whether it be as son, friend, boss, father, lover, teacher, or veterinarian, possible. That has been the emphasis of my entire life, and I’m not exactly a dull light bulb of mediocre awareness and determination.

And despite all of this intent, focus, education, contemplation, and the best effort I can muster, over and over and over, what I have learned in 99.9% of the cases is that what broken really wants to do the most and what broken also really does best, is stay fucking broken, forever and ever and ever. And as broken does so, it expends an excessive amount of effort, will, and energy, to cycle through an infinite number of scapegoats, excuses, and every form of plausible deniability imaginable.

I once thought that the majority or at least a significant portion of broken adults and all of their excuses with them, could be helped or cured by another entity of supreme stability, empathy, and awareness. I now believe that such a notion is silly at best.

Broken wants to stay broken because that is what it has accepted as normal and it is too scared to choose to be abnormal, that is to break from the constructs it has previously cemented around its psyche as a result of the real or perceived life experiences it suffered in the past.

Normal for Broken is conformity to itself and the role that all the other enabling entities of its pack have “stamped with approval” as acceptable for one of its members even if that group “approved” behavior leads to its own perpetual destabilization. The enabling pack actually controls the destabilized Broken by keeping it weak, fractured, confused, and dependent on them. And they do all of this always in the name of love.

Abnormal or a state of healing change and cure for Broken is nonconformity to what it has previously accepted as itself and nonconformity to the entire damn enabling pack that it has been entrapped and tortured within. It matters not if this enabling pack has done this dastardly deed with specific intent or woeful ignorance, that is an irrelevant issue.

Broken will almost always choose conformity because that is the primary driving force behind social behavior. This conformity will eat its soul alive even as it pretends that only by conforming more and never less to its enabling pack might it ever become unbroken and find true peace.

The Broken were all once nonconformist. That’s a secret no one ever tells you. The reason they became Broken was because someone could not tolerate them with mutual respect and coexistence in their non-conforming state. So, the “non” was cut out of the nonconformist and what was left was Broken.

Broken, now a conformist, bent the knee, and lived happily ever after in the perpetual destabilization and suffering created by the psychological rift of their inherent core awareness and will conflicting continuously and paradoxically with their own outwardly adopted conforming behavior.

Cribb          2018

Hyperfocus (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 234)

If you can hyperfocus on:

1) A, then can you also hyperfocus on B?
2) blue, then can you also hyperfocus on red?
3) exercise, then can you also hyperfocus on being sedentary?
4) eating obsessively, then can you also hyperfocus on anorexia?
5) sex, then can you also hyperfocus on abstinence?
6) being faithful to a mate, then can you also hyperfocus on being an unfaithful adulterer?
7) ingesting meat with every meal, then can you also hyperfocus on being a vegetarian or a vegan?
8) reading, then can you also hyperfocus on never reading and watching movies instead?
9) accumulating material goods, then can you also hyperfocus on being a minimalist?
10) being resentful and unappreciative, then can you also hyperfocus on being appreciative?
11) emotional volatility, then can you also hyperfocus on emotional stability?
12) being anxious, depressed, and distracted from incorporating reality into your existence and your awareness, then can you also hyperfocus on being relaxed, happy, and mindful in incorporating reality into your existence and awareness?

The difference isn’t the target, it’s the choice of the target, and often that individual’s choice hinges on whatever fear or socially attentive benefit has been sown into their psyche regarding that choice.

A person either possess the drive and ability to hyperfocus on any chosen subject, action, item, or ideal, or they do not. “Relative hyperfocus” is a choice (even if it has been traumatically marked and induced by PTSD or other overwhelming abuse/fear), not an instinctual or naturally occuring mandate.

Cribb          2018

A Lawyer, former JAG Officer, and 9th Degree Black Belt talks with SuperNerd Boy at the Waffle House (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 231)

I sat next to and spoke with a lawyer of 3-4 decades of vocational experience who had also served in the JAG Corps and holds a high level degree of martial arts expertise at the WH today. Our independent thoughts and observations were quite similar to one another. Most memorable takeaways from the conversation that we both passionately agree upon:

1) A “correction” is only a challenge to produce a learning and stabilizing opportunity in the “offender” ‘by said authority figure. It is not a trap or a tool to demean or further destabilize anyone. Corrections must occur in a stable environment to create the proper perspective and achieve efficacy. Punishments in unstable environments are only traps and they are completely opposite in intent to that of a correction.

2) Mistakes or failures must be allowed to occur by rigorously maintaining objective boundaries and structure within any given system of accomplishment. These mistakes and failures are only a “thermometer” (per my JAG friend) of learning and adjustment to help a person understand and determine what they must focus upon and master to achieve the accomplishment desired. A mistake or failure is only a mistake or a failure and nothing more. Such an outcome does not suggest permanence or inherent inability. It only indicates a failure to achieve a given goal or skill at a given time as a result of some, likely correctable, deficit (often focus or degree of application).

3) There are very few genuinely evil people in the world. The overwhelming majority of those who are unpleasant or creating strife or being abusive of others, do so as a result of being previously destabilized by environment forces or entities (negative nurturing) beyond their control at a given time of development. These people have had their new “normal perspective” pathologically reset by that previous trauma or melding to change them into an angry or paranoid or defensively selfish creature for the remainder of their life.

And it is completely possible that we and not those victims could have fallen into despair and suffering by those same forces in an alternate reality. In other words, our experiences are only due to random probability in a very high degree when when are children and in our most vulnerable developing stage.

4) We all gain invaluable perspective when we are forced to objectively experience the consequences, punishments, and treatments that we bestow upon others; the lawyer being locked up with other criminals in a cell and being forgotten about by the prison guards, the teacher becoming a pupil, and the doctor becoming the patient. Suffering the system is much different in unstable environments than implementing the system. Empathetic universal perspective allows the guardians of the system to maintain its stability for all.

5) Current day musicians do not produce music and lyrics to any significant degree that are as reflective and interwoven with the philosophies, mysticism, and ponderings of great minds and great literature as they once seemed to do. References and associations between music and literature such as the “Doors” and “Steppenwolfe” for example, have become much less common. This seems a product of our current culture of focus or lack thereof.

Waffle House Conversations

Cribb          2018