måndag 8 mars 2010

Values, morals, emotions and I

In february I wrote about 'The singular I and the observer'. It should perhaps have been named the drop of reductionism, or about values.

What is a value?
It can be given away. It can be earned. It is like food or water. It is like some kind of energy, entropy. It is ethics and courage. It is evaluation tool or cognitive tool. Values can be entangled, braided, like cellular automata systems.

Money is a kind of value, and social value, status. They are both very valuable things and we can spend a lifetime chasing for them. But they are usually not enough. Why? Because it is the self that dictates what is good or not. The self with all its shortcomings, insults, interpretations, traumas etc. The self knows what you want. The self is complex.

The self do experiences of different kinds that give rise to consciousness and awareness. They are very different things. Awareness is our thoughts, all that our brain cortex knows, but it is a very small part of what we know as individuals. Most of that knowledge is not in the brain.

One experience that self do very often is that it is not worth so much. It is not good enough. It is perhaps an experience that lays inherent in our culture as Murphys law, but self doesn't know that. Self do only experience. How can our self handle such an experience, because it knows it is no good?

To give away value.
Another way to say the same thing is to give away some value that you have had. You become poorer, less valuable. What has happened? You have given away power, and that is maybe the most attractive thing you can give away. Power is energy too, entropy.

Power is always bound to individuals, to selves, or egos. It is the self that need power to 'make it' in the competition with other selves. Power can be given, or taken by force. The transfer can be accepted by the self or not. If it has happened and is not accepted, then the 'victim' is experiencing a trauma that will change the way his self experience the world ever after.

The self can also give away value, but keep some of it important for the self. The gift can be accepted, though it can be taken by force, and then the self is not so badly changed. The important value is called integrity. So there is difference in the values. Values are complex.

A value - hierarchy.
The most valuable value is the integrity, the value that belongs to the 'self - core', the singular I. I want to call it our inner diamond. What would that be?

Maslows hierarchy of need represented as a pyramid with the more basic needs at the bottom. ERG-theory is further extension of Maslows hierarchy.

If we think of what kind of experience that will change us most, it is experiences in our childhood. An experience of not to be seen, not accepted, not cared for. These are all experiences that belongs very strongly to our self-diamond, security, socialibility and value. We have a strong self also as babies. To be seen is self-esteem, to appreciate the own person and love the self diamond. Ego maybe too. If we are not seen we develope a feeling of 'lack of Ego/love', that can have very serious consequencies. We can look for that lost value for the rest of our lives and maybe never find it. This is the top value. Social acceptans and abilities may suffer too. Social intelligence has a very high ranking for groups. Emotional intelligence too. On the contrary pure intelligence is often repelling. Intelligent people are often more negative personalities, focused on details, more 'ordered' and less holistic. Love is a holistic feeling, and a feeling of lack may change the whole personality. This is the fourth chakra, a gate-chakra to holistic being. The more holistic the emotions are the more valuable? Power has also a very high value.

Stability and chaos.
Also sudden traumas may be very devastating. It invokes on the security or faith and trust. We need trust. This is the first chakra, also a gate to Ego. Stability can also be boring, and we look for entertainment, or disturbance. Stability needs chaos, both are just as important. Chaos, or allostas, is necessary for order and self-organization. Chaos tells 'who I am', where is the border. Chaos can make you healthy.

There is one more gate - to spiriality. It is the throut, the speech. The 'communication and we', the social group. this is also a very high hierarchy.

Communication is also hormones and other not spoken signals. Our body cells communicate with oscillations, maybe as a song. I like that idea. Singing is naturally happy and painless, but pain is also a song. Not to be accepted in the community can give pain. Especially children do often somatise their emotions. In fact the majority of diseases are emotions that have gone wrong; psychosomatic diseases. Or maybe lack of knowledge of 'who am I'? The borders are not recognized, and the mistrust in the environment make the own body the target. Lack of consciousness is another explanation. This is seen so very often, and before healing can happen there must be some conscious thinking about the I. The I must know how it feels and why it feels.

Traumas from the early childhood is very often somatised and global, without proper when and where. One important step in the healing process is to localise the trauma, also in time. Otherwise it is universal and ethernal and the impact on the diamond is never broken.

What do we do when we have experienced lack?
We must shelter our inner diamond against harmful experiences.
1. Love. We very often run away. Love can hurt very badly, and if the Ego is insufficient and experiencing lack escape is the easiest way. It is quite peculiar that love is the most valuable emotion, and the most feared one.
2. Acceptans. Lack of acceptans can be earned. Usually this behaviour has started very early, and is unconscious. A need to do things, to be nice and a 'giving' person. They often manage very well, but the values are not as they should be. They often do not think they are so good person; never enough may the diamond say, although nobody can give more.
3. Power. To be strong and 'capable' feels good. Lack of power gives forceful signals to the environment of weakness, that attract other persons that has lack of power. They see a easy victim. It is very odd too, that in the hierarchy game it is the victim that must 'draw a line' and say no, stop. He must have a border for his Ego.

Motivations, Values and Emotions: Three Sides of the same Coin Motivations prime actions, values serve to choose between motivations, emotions provide a common currency for values, and emotions implement motivations. The three are so pragmatically intertwined.
Artificial emotions will prove most valuable as implementers of motivations in situations requiring learning and development. Every autonomous agent, be it a humanor some other animal or thing like a computer, must have innate primitive motivations. Otherwise, it wouldn’t know how to decide what to do next. Just as goals may have sub-goals intheir service, primitive motivations may have submotivations. Each motivation in any agent must be in the service of one or more primitive motivations. Taxis, trophisms, arousals and drives, values (= general preference independant of other inputs and intentions). Values are often combined into an utility function that is used by the agent to evaluate options. This evaluation is called reasoning, can be effected by deliberation, a kind of internal virtual reality.

Damasio views feelings as somatic markers. Feelings typically attach to response options/stimuli and, so, bias the agent’s choice of action. Similar role of feelings can be observed with other feelings as well -- how one holds a cup when one is angry vs. when one is happy. You feel more sad feelings when you are sad etc. The feeling manifests in one's body, and make up the body language.

Emotions are the cognitive content of the feelings. Emotions have a cause and a consequence. Feelings, including emotions, are nature’s means of implementing motivations for actions, and they adapt us to our surroundings.

These general preferences derived evolutionarily from regularities can be viewed as values. Thus feelings become implementations of values in biological agents, providing a common currency for quick and flexible action selection and they force to an ongoing learning and memory.

Value as entropy.
Entropy is energy, and it can also be mass. Entropy can be many different things and in this context it is emotions as values.
Entropy is a measure of how organized or disorganized a system is: "Gain of entropy eventually is nothing more nor less than loss of information". Entropy has a non-conserved state function and explain why some processes are spontaneous, like a force or a tendency. Entropy is essentially a measure of the number of ways in which a system may be arranged, the degrees of freedom, or possibilities. It is different for open systems as living things are.

From this we learn that maximal energy is gained from holistic emotions. But emotions are complex, and not only energy. The have also cognitive information about the global situation for our inner diamond. The most holistic emotion is love, that can be seen as 'stereo consciousness' and 'summary' emotion, negentropic fusions of a large number of mental images, as Pitkänen said.

Emotional escape.
The obvious - but often unspoken - premise of most emotional healing lies with finding a way to rid yourself of those so-called bad emotions. Any way you can.

We believe (indeed, we've been taught) that it's okay to feel the good emotions, but we should not feel those bad emotions. This teachings has been very much on constraining our doings, our behaviour. The motoral output is taboo.
Which unfortunately stands as one of the most self-destructive beliefs you can hold. First of all, it can't be done. It would be like trying to not see the red side of the rainbow. All real emotions - and all true feelings - link together like the colors of the rainbow. You can't possibly filter out the feelings you don't like... the ones society don't like. Every single feeling comes out of the SAME circuits. All emotions and all feelings come from the same source. It's insanity to try to set up a filtering system to block certain feelings. We can only crimp the source. And hope the good ones make it through while the bad ones stay trapped in the source, which is impossible. We feel less of ALL our emotions. But whatever you fight and push away, generally becomes a bigger part of your life. Feeling less always makes us feel worse. We become more powerless and the pain increases.

You can't outrun your 'bad' feelings. All you can do is to distract yourself in some way. For a while, anyway.

You need tools for that distraction:

1. Sensory distraction. We start to do things, so we change our perceptions and doesn't feel the bad emotions, for a while, anyway. The bad with this solution is that when the distraction is away the problem is back. When we sleep we can't distract ourselves. Dreams reflect our emotions.

2. Projections. We see the emotions we escape from in another person, object, situation etc. In every way we tries to avoid seeing it in ourselves.
One special kind of projection is to somatise the emotion. That is the same as making it unconscious, out of reach. But it is still there.

3. Entanglements. Emotions are entangled with good ones by rituals, objects, etc. Religion can be such a way. This strengthens the good ones. Marriage is too an entanglement of emotions.
Entanglement can also happen with bad emotions, of course. Then we are in a pain cycle.
These rituals can be seen as an allowed channel to get rid of those bad emotions. They are ritualized. This happens in sports for instance.

4. Moral codes is virtue, guides, courage, ethical values. A tool to make entanglements?
Moral codes (being innate) are re-ratified through taboo and ritual. That inner repressed and distorted self is allowed to burst out/channelled towards a 'parent God' – sinful child who can become good, free from 'sin'.
The inner child can re-channel the damage done by the branding done by the parent by loving an outer parent, invisible, but very apt for a love that was lost in childhood and kept unconscious (invisible self).

A mapping between three moral emotions (contempt, anger, disgust) and three moral codes (community, autonomy, divinity). This is the CAD triad hypothesis.

Emotional healing.
It begins with awareness of the problem. Feel those bad feelings and see their messages.
1. You've got to stop seeing emotions as either good or bad. So you'll stop trying to filter out the ones you think are bad. There are no bad emotions. Creating an emotional hierarchy in your mind often stands as the first step towards emotional problems such as depression, anxiety, panic, excess anger, hurt, and so many more. Because then you'll start to repress those unwanted feelings.

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