Thursday, 9 June 2011

Beggaring belief - part III

Part I here

On an individual level, there is no holds barred as far as far as flawed self reinforcing logic is concerned. First of all we have to take a look at the process involved in the survival drive. As you can see from the diagram below, we first want this survival equilibrium as our goal state. This diagram is not meant to insult your intelligence, it is merely to form a picture of what is going on to which, we then can transpose cognitions on top of the model.

The brain will decide a course of action depending on the biochemical need, to move the organism in to taking action. As we know, we are driven towards survival and our brain rewards us with good feelings and highs of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, when something is achieved that increases our survival prospects. Our brain has this neuro - chemical reward system in place to signal an organism it is moving towards survival.

This system then fills in a gap as far as evolution is concerned because before advanced cognitive thought, there had to be some kind of biochemical process, to give feedback to a brain.

We see that this not only appeared only in humans, we can see in primates, rodents and pigs for instance that they have the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. This indicates that without a language, there are limited cognitions and of course this biochemical feedback system which is intrinsic in the mammalian brain.

I labelled on the undesired outcome “neuro - chemical punishment”. This is inaccurate as it it does not work in this way however, as we know we do not feel great when things don't go our way. 
We have a Behavioural Inhibitory System (BIS) that is involved in us not taking actions that would decrease our survival prospects but that aside, for our purposes we will call it neuro-chemical punishment, as some neurotransmitters are involved in mood regulation and if we look at serotonin regulation for instance, we could deem that the brains re - uptake of serotonin being akin to a punishment system of sorts that tells the brain that the survival criterion are not met. So to keep it basic, we will use this basic idea of reward and punishment.

If we take our biochemical system as motivating us on a chemical level, the resultant changes in our brain chemistry form this basis for our reward and punishment system. In effect we are driven towards feeling good neuro – chemically as this is perceived as survival. 
Now, this reward system can be tricked as we know and as an evolutionary function it is merely there for survival however, by going to theme parks, going skydiving, taking drugs etc...

These things are ways of altering our brain chemistry and tricking the survival reward. For instance when the flight or fight response is triggered, we produce adrenaline and norepinephrine to prepare us and when the perceived threat to survival is over, we receive a rush of euphoria which is of course our neurotransmitter reward system at work.

This is how we can explain our propensity to do certain activities that are not specifically for the purposes of survival. Our primary motivation to accomplish something is survival.

Just by looking at this system, we can see that if we had enough events us going against us, our neuro - chemical punishment would increase. Now this alone is enough to see how it causes us problems however it does not operate on this one event = increased reward or punishment. There is just feedback in the system. Basically we are heading towards survival or not but in the short term, if things have not been going our way we get frustrated more easily that is plain to see and we also have a build up of stress.

Particularly where a fictional entity is concerned, more thoughts about more negative thoughts that a fictional reference in thought failed to accomplish. It does not really figure but now we will take a look at the cognitions behind this mechanism.

Now we are in a position where we can transpose cognitions on to our biochemical feedback system. Obviously our cognitions are governed by our drive towards survival and of course our map of reality. 
We could take a dodgy core belief such as “I am not good enough” as a good starting point. This seems to be quite a popular facet of dysfunctional thought, as far as conditioning is concerned.

A member at RT bought my attention to something called the Lefkoe method, which I had a quick look at but his conclusion was that most people hold this as a dodgy core belief and are not even aware that they hold it. So seeing as it is such a popular problem we can start to look at the dynamics of this belief structure, how it plays out and how it reinforces the illusory notion of self.

To start with, this belief was formed from an early age and as parents “never studied parenting at university”, it becomes easily apparent to see that sometimes a parent is often displeased with a child. There is no way a parent can be happy with a child all the time. A child merely wants to explore and play. Parents want their children to be quiet and behave. This causes a conflict of interest from the get go.

By encountering scolding and shaming from parents, it is quite easy to conceive how a child can feel inadequate, without having the cognitive capacity to work out that there really is no reason to hold this belief. It is just accepted as a construct of reality by the brain.

Now without actually even considering the logic behind the process, a child's brain will form this construct of reality, just from its existential experience. This construct is a fundamental building block of its reality and from this dodgy foundation, its experience will be framed through this view of the world.

We can draw a parallel with the concept of self. As the concept of self is forced on a child from a young age, it is also drawn as a construct in which the world is framed. That is why even to this day, you are still resting on this assumption. We already know this is purely thought conditioning and we also know that pretty much all of our responses are also governed by our conditioning.

If you start looking in to no self, you will notice that the experiments on my blog are actually designed to start you noticing the conditioning of the brain and highlight the faculties that you thought you were responsible for and demonstrate that in fact; you actually have no influence over these processes.

So we can simply take our core belief formed by our conditioning and look at how it works on a cognitive level. Now anyone who has suffered with dysfunctional thought before, will describe certain beliefs that keep popping up as negative thoughts. It can seem like there is no escape at times and at other times they can take things in their stride. We can look in depth at this process and form a model of the cognitive processes that occur with these conditioned givens.

Lets take the illusory notion of self in to account. As we can see we have a feedback system which is pretty elementary. At the undesired outcome level, we have an attachment formed in our perceived outcome. 
When thought is put through the frame of an illusory self, the propensity for the thoughts occurring, is always driven on some level towards propagating this self image and there is a constant running away from bad feelings towards our good feelings, generated by the perceived value of our outcome.

When we factor in the illusory self, there is this level of self image involved, how we feel about ourselves and how we look in the eyes of others. There is a level of what this makes you as a person and this is exactly how the lie works by attaching to these illusory attachments and is always coupled with how this or that thing will makes us better somehow.

Of course when we factor in our evolutionary psychology, we are driven towards survival within the confines of our socio – biological hierarchy. It makes sense that we are driven to achieve more and get higher status in our tribe and not act like a spaz in front of others, that would reduce our social value, this much is true.

However, with the self factored in, we not only have cognitions towards our goal state, we also have cognitions about an illusory sense of self, responsible for the actions and thoughts that occur, whilst going towards this goal state. This phantom self in that respect, causes feedback in thought.

Basically as cognitions are geared towards taking us closer to survival, when we have this illusion of self, the brain is literally tricked in transposing ideals on to an entity based in thought.

So say that our outcome is a job interview. At any point in the equation, any thought that is geared towards this false entity can become a disrupt to this mechanism. It is actually thought feeding back in to itself about nothing. In this sense the false self forms an inhibitory mechanism. You have heard of “the zone” right?


Hicquodiam said...

Great explanation Ghost, all this learning is giving me a load of dopamine!

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