How Not To Be

Gaby

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For the past year Psyche has been quickly disintegrating at the same rate she has not faced herself. What she calls feeling squirrely which is nothing but inner considering has caused her to quickly disintegrate as things got and continue to get more intense. She lived in the Château for 5 years and had everything any person would had hoped for including companions working together towards achieving a common aim and an opportunity to do research in her field without the constrains of vested interests.

She behaved worse when the police investigation started and when she visited her relatives for the summer. It was a couple of months after that that she decided to take the Spanish medical test in order to practice down there as a mainstream doctor. Suddenly, she was studying all the time, being able to concentrate for hours on end which she never invested before on much needed research and writing for QFG, supposedly among the things that interested her the most. She actually withdrew away from everybody and she behaved like she was entitled to have other people's resources that were destined towards QFG just because it was her. She pretty much made her choice to work again for a non-QFG project, demanding everybody's support and kudos for it during a very stressful time for everybody involved.

The day before she left, the Château crew pointed out her behavior and the implications of her choice to her. She said practically nothing and the very few things she said were self-pity ploys. She took all her perceived things and she was dropped in Spain so she could have her much wanted plan made happened. She wrote a couple of self-pity posts, one which was particularly damaging for others and for which she received feedback and was expected to get a better control of herself. This was in the middle of June.

She wrote again to the Château crew after the last C's session and shared a couple of health related articles she found while doing research for the health book. Then she wrote at least one more time sharing some of her thoughts about what she was going through.

The next post she shared was about more health research with a couple of members of the Château crew and she resumed posting health related material for the forum in August.

During that time she started posting again in the forum, she finished writing the first draft of the health book that she promised to write years ago. Things were going okay for awhile until she started posting in a frenzy and then she finally gave feedback to HowtoBe's thread "Returning to Work: Facing my Problems" where she attributed quotes to herself that she did not wrote and did not admit to it. She composed several pity-ploy posts for which people gave her a mirror and for which she could not accept.


I shared some of what has happened during the last year because it is related to the present mirror. I apologize if I mentioned something that was inappropriate to share, I trust the admins and mods to protect the group from my behavior. As HowToBe pointed out to me, it would have been very bad indeed if he had believed what I said as if it was mine. The consequences of me not getting a hold of myself are evidenced right now and I have had a heck of a trouble in accepting it. The pity ploys I composed are due because I did not want to accept the damaging consequences of my behavior. I had fought tooth and nail in accepting it and I fooled myself into thinking that I did and was doing what was necessary to get a grip on myself. I accept the damaging effects of my behavior and claim them as my own. I'm sorry HowToBe and I'm sorry to the Château crew and to each one of you. You all had spend an incredible amount of time in trying to make me see myself.

My Aim is to get a hold on myself so I can finally stop being so damaging towards others, particularly to you all, the people who I supposedly cared the most.
 

Laura

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Psyche, consider the following:

[quote author=Political Ponerology]
The existence of psychological phenomena known to pre-Freudian philosophical students of the subconscious bears repeating. Unconscious psychological processes outstrip conscious reasoning, both in time and scope, which makes many psychological phenomena possible : including those generally described as conversive, such as subconscious blocking out of conclusions, the selection, and also substitution of seemingly uncomfortable premises.

We speak of blocking out conclusions if the inferential process was proper in principle and has almost arrived at a conclusion and final comprehension within the act of internal projection, but becomes stymied by a preceding directive from the subconscious, which considers it inexpedient or disturbing. This is a primitive prevention of personality disintegration, which may seem advantageous; however it also prevents all the advantages which could be derived from consciously elaborated conclusion and reintegration. A conclusion thus rejected remains in our subconscious and in a more unconscious way causes the next blocking and selection of this kind. This can be extremely harmful, progressively enslaving a person to his own subconscious, and is often accompanied by a feeling of tension and bitterness.

We speak of selection of premises whenever the feedback goes deeper into resulting reasoning and from its database thus deletes and represses into the subconscious just that piece of information which was responsible for arriving at the uncomfortable conclusion. Our subconscious then permits further logical reasoning, except that the outcome will be erroneous in direct proportion to the actual significance of the repressed data. An ever-greater number of such repressed information is collected in our subconscious memory. Finally, a kind of habit seems to take over : similar material is treated the same way even if reasoning would have reached an outcome quite advantageous to the person.

The most complex process of this type is substitution of premises thus eliminated by other data, ensuring an ostensibly more comfortable conclusion. Our associative ability rapidly elaborates a new item to replace the removed one, but it is one leading to a comfortable conclusion.

................

There is no such thing as a person whose perfect self knowledge allows him to eliminate all tendencies towards conversive thinking, but some people are relatively close to this state, while others remain slaves to these processes. Those people who use conversive operations too often for the purpose of finding convenient conclusions, or constructing some cunning paralogistic or paramoralistic statements, eventually begin to undertake such behavior for ever more trivial reasons, losing the capacity for conscious control over their thought process altogether. This necessarily leads to behavior errors which must be paid for by others as well as themselves.

[/quote]

Now, pay VERY close attention to this part:

[quote author=Political Ponerology]

We speak of blocking out conclusions if the inferential process was proper in principle and has almost arrived at a conclusion and final comprehension within the act of internal projection, but becomes stymied by a preceding directive from the subconscious, which considers it inexpedient or disturbing. This is a primitive prevention of personality disintegration, which may seem advantageous; however it also prevents all the advantages which could be derived from consciously elaborated conclusion and reintegration. A conclusion thus rejected remains in our subconscious and in a more unconscious way causes the next blocking and selection of this kind. This can be extremely harmful, progressively enslaving a person to his own subconscious, and is often accompanied by a feeling of tension and bitterness.

[/quote]

The above grabbed me as quite descriptive of what has been going on with you for the past five years or more: "a primitive prevention of personality disintegration... progressively enslaving a person to his own subconscious/System 1".

This seems to be why you have to "overwhelm yourself with compassion" to prevent the positive disintegration of the false personality.

Over the years, the one thing I noticed about you (aside from the fact that I had to consistently prompt you to respond to forum posts when people were having medical issues for which you were qualified to give response) was that what gave you the most trouble was the idea that your thoughts might not be rational, logical, or even "your own" but rather programmed and automatic or, as we term it now, proceeding from unconscious System 1 processes.

Instead of just accepting that, accepting feedback, you would withdraw to "think it through" in the mistaken belief that you could actually think with the way you think, as we say. That is, you were becoming progressively enslaved to System 1 by selection and substitution of data and premises.

Feedback was given to you on many occasions, but it was very gentle because it was noted by all that feedback made Psyche angry and she covered this up by withdrawing and getting headaches, allergies, needing to spend entire days in bed, or - in some instances - sniping at people. Anything that contradicted your self-image of the great brain backed up by the super will to achieve, was a threat. Never mind that, at the same time you demonstrated this great memorizing machine your personal/emotional life was a recitation of misery and failure. You gave lip-service to acknowledging that, and then proceeded on demonstrate exactly the same actions/behaviors that made your emotional life so poor and empty. This amounted to never, ever, questioning your own thoughts or reactions except as in giving it "lip service". It was obvious that, even when you would repeat "I can't think with the way I think" or "I'm so shocked that I did that - it must be because I can't think with the way I think" that you did NOT really believe it: you were just using those phrases in a parrot-like way to further your agenda of getting what you wanted which seemed to be having an easy and comfortable life where you are acknowledged as the "great brain."

But the police investigation changed all that. How DARE those people not acknowledge your great brain and achievements?! How dare Madame Cockroach speak to you in so insulting a manner? And of course, the realization that what we do here really is a threat to the PTB, especially if the ideas began to spread, and that there might actually be real-life repercussions where you have to stand up for what you believe and live, and that might inhibit the "real-world approbation" for Psyche, made you yearn for the glorification of doctors that one could have in that "other life". And, of course, your mother, your sister, the fake world, were all calling to you: "here's a place where you can be honored and respected for that great brain, for being a doctor, for all your brain achievements."

And certainly, all that is somewhat true. You can live in that world that way. It has nothing to do with Truth or truly helping people, but the majority of people on the planet at the moment think it is normal even if somewhere inside them they know that their soul is empty, that something is terribly wrong, and that the global attitude is leading our civilization over a cliff.

So, possibly there is something inside you that doesn't want to give up Truth. Perhaps you have seen too much to stop seeing?

Or, possibly, you just found that going back to work was not nearly as rewarding as being the acclaimed Psyche on this little corner of the internet?

Hard to tell at this point.

Now, undoubtedly, there are those who consider our methods of helping a person deal with their false personality as being hard. As Mouravieff points out, the process of the Mirror can be very UNPLEASANT "socially" speaking. However, if a person has read the cognitive science threads, if that person understands the work of Gurdjieff and Mouravieff and how that actually relates to modern cognitive science which has a lot of experimental backing, then that person will understand fully that the Gurdjieffian principles of observing the self, learning about the machine, facing the truth and reality of how they actually appear/relate to others IN THE EYES/PERCEPTION of those others, then that person will know the usefulness of this method. It is probably one of the few methods - or even the ONLY method - that actually WORKS.

But only if the person can accept the Mirror, and accept the ideas outlined in The First Initiation.

The individual has to accept, for a time, that for the most part we CANNOT see, due to our programs - our false personality driven by System 1 to create System 2 narratives that amount to little more than selection and substitution - becoming enslaved by the subconscious.

It is essential to accept that your subconscious dominates and rules you until you undertake long work with a sincere feedback mechanism (group). You must accept that your own perceptions and thoughts are off, no matter how strongly you "FEEL"! You must accept that the network can see things in your behavior that you do not!

Curiously, we actually just lost a moderator over this point. She managed to twist this last by declaring that the process of the Mirror is basically mean and harsh and that HER input on the matter was what would save us from "becoming monsters".

It really IS unpleasant. But the factual evidence, as well as the successes that result from the process, the positive changes in people's lives, belie that view. Generally, the people who most dislike the mirror process are the ones who are most controlled by their subconscious, their LIKES, their "I want" and "I don't want". Or, sadly, they need to reject Truth because it would destroy the lies - the "overwhelming myself with compassion" - nonsense that makes it possible to continue to fool themselves that they are actually "doing the work". Though God only knows how they manage that self-deception.
 

Chu

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Laura said:
Feedback was given to you on many occasions, but it was very gentle because it was noted by all that feedback made Psyche angry and she covered this up by withdrawing and getting headaches, allergies, needing to spend entire days in bed, or - in some instances - sniping at people.
This is super important, IMO. It wasn't just the last day before your departure. It was 5 years. But a mirror only sinks in if the person receiving it is willing to stop lying to herself. You weren't.

Anything that contradicted your self-image of the great brain backed up by the super will to achieve, was a threat. Never mind that, at the same time you demonstrated this great memorizing machine your personal/emotional life was a recitation of misery and failure. You gave lip-service to acknowledging that, and then proceeded on demonstrate exactly the same actions/behaviors that made your emotional life so poor and empty.
I'd just like to add here that, IMO, this belief that you are a "great brain" could actually be one of your biggest lies to yourself. Self-pity is just a strategy. You are great at memorizing data, for sure. But if you are honestly asking for feedback now, you should also know how others (us here) see you, which is in contradiction with your belief.

- You never really showed to be good at connecting the dots, at seeing one thing in a book and applying it to real life, to a real person in need. You can repeat and memorize things, but when you try to put ideas together, that's when there is often a problem.
- If you can see it, the fact is that "your research" on alternative health wasn't really yours. During those 5 years you lived here, it was mostly Laura finding books and material. It was mostly her trying to get you to post on the forum. We all knew that, but we were hoping that being "the doctor" might provide you with some encouragement and self-confidence. Until we realized that you didn't lack self-confidece at all. Maybe you just weren't interested enough in the topic/other people?
- One of the reasons you gave for going to Spain was that with more practice, you would be there for the group in case of an emergency, allowed to prescribe drugs, etc. but the fact is that there were tons of emergencies here when you still lived with us, and you didn't do much. You actually left (or were always studying) while two members of the household really needed help.
- You never really showed any concern about others. You had a group of people with many different kinds of auto-inmune disorders, but your focus was never in them. I think you can look back and find examples of this if you think about it.
- You left the forum for a little while (in fact, your posting privileges were removed temporarily), some of us found more things about the diet, and when you came back, you made it sound like you knew it all along. You didn't. Why pretend? There is nothing wrong with admitting it. Nobody is supposed to know everything. But Psyche's authority couldn't be undermined. Btw, what led to that recent research was the group seeing one of its members in need, and trying to find a solution. This is something that you never seemed to have in you. Credentials are not needed to want to help someone.
- Even when it came to your own health, you refused all feedback. You had a hard time accepting anything anybody would say about your diet, and how it was related to your symptoms.
- In spite of all the extra time you got, not being asked to do much in the house, for example, you used it to fuel your image of the person who had it all under control. But your actions never showed that. And you acted like you were entitled to a different treatment.
- You showed that you weren't interested in any feedback after you made your decision to leave. In fact, you got irritated at people who asked you what is totally normal to ask: what were your real motivations, how you were going to cope with going back to the medical system, etc. Same with any feedback we tried to give you for years.

So, that's it in a nutshell concerning your "brain". I don't know why, but I think that perhaps this "primitive prevention of personality disintegration... progressively enslaving a person to his own subconscious/System 1" is at its root. In other words, maybe your enslavement is not what you think, but it is actually the fact that you have spent all your life believing you are this or that, that your thoughts are true, and in the process, you didn't learn to care about others. Then there is the question of whether we learn to care, or it's in us. There might be a bit of both, and as long as you are willing to try, there might be a chance. That's the same for everyone. We can't know for sure whether this is the way "You" are or not. But the results can prove that. The point is that, when you strip evething down, you have to try to see whether this is true or not, and whether there is something you can do about it, no matter how long that takes. But this implies really acknowledging, and really having a "Shock".

You mention several times the "damaging effects of your behaviour". But what does that really mean to you? Are you parroting again, or have you actually thought about it? I don't think you really understand "the effect of your behaviour", because in order to do that, you have to understand your behaviour. And your post doesn't show that you do.

Now, undoubtedly, there are those who consider our methods of helping a person deal with their false personality as being hard. As Mouravieff points out, the process of the Mirror can be very UNPLEASANT "socially" speaking. However, if a person has read the cognitive science threads, if that person understands the work of Gurdjieff and Mouravieff and how that actually relates to modern cognitive science which has a lot of experimental backing, then that person will understand fully that the Gurdjieffian principles of observing the self, learning about the machine, facing the truth and reality of how they actually appear/relate to others IN THE EYES/PERCEPTION of those others, then that person will know the usefulness of this method. It is probably one of the few methods - or even the ONLY method - that actually WORKS.

But only if the person can accept the Mirror, and accept the ideas outlined in The First Initiation.
At least from my experience, this is indeed the only method that works. I would even add that it's not so much the mirror itself, but what it triggers in someone when they want the truth. At least from my experience, what was pointed out to me during mirrors was small potatoes in comparison to the realizations I had afterwards. A mirror can show you one aspect of yourself, but then you find more and more examples, and more and more lies (sometimes all at once, sometimes in stages), and boy, does it shutter the image you have of yourself! The horror of the situation is so shocking and painful that something happens, and you DON'T want to repeat the same mistakes. You stop trusting your thinking that much.


Our entire reading instrument is so messed up that, without a mirror, it would be impossible to correct it. But as long as one of those lies is still present, the mirror will bounce back. Instead of looking at ourselves in the mirror, we still look at a distorted image or create just a better lie.

Something that forum members who leave because we are "rude" don't seem to realize is that we don't just go around and give mirrors for the sake of it! Gee, it's as hard or harder to give a mirror than to receive one. Many things are tried. I know many things were tried with me when I was being super dense, in the same way many things were tried with others, and in this case, with Psyche. Until now, she has rejected each one of them. She is not connecting the dots. Can you do it, Psyche? Can you see that the mirror is only a few hints for you to start observing much more? So far, you have taken everything literally, with no real introspection, I think.

I hope this helps.
 

Gimpy

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Psyche says:

My Aim is to get a hold on myself so I can finally stop being so damaging towards others, particularly to you all, the people who I supposedly cared the most.
How will this start?
 

Mikey

The Living Force
Ailén said:
Psyche, it was pointed out that you were having self-pity, and suddenly you write as if you had known this all along. It was pointed out to you that you had been quoting from others in a manipulative way, and suddenly you talk about "your voice". Your lack of honestly simply makes one not want to give you any feedback, if all you do with it is repeat it.
Ailén said:
- You left the forum for a little while (in fact, your posting privileges were removed temporarily), some of us found more things about the diet, and when you came back, you made it sound like you knew it all along. You didn't. Why pretend?
Here a quote from Gnosis I for an explanation, which matches what Lobaczewski wrote about personality disintegration:

Gnosis I said:
Man reacts as much as possible against this constant pressure of the difficulties and obligations which weigh down on him. As for the changes within him, he generally compensates for these by instinctive reactions: a fixed attitude to each situation. He wants at all costs at least to appear logical with himself and master of his actions. Thus, whenever a stroke of luck or an unsuspected success happens to him, he tries to persuade his circle of friends -- and indirectly to persuade himself -- that he is not at all astonished; that he had predicted the sequence of facts a long time ago, and that all had been calculated in advance. In cases of failure he throws the blame on others, on events, and on circumstances in general.

It is because the friction between the particles of iron filings produces a disagreeable sensation in us that we feel the need to get rid of it. The movement of the iron filings stops when we find a solution and so ward off the shocks received. The discovery of a culprit will allow us this relief. As a result man appears to us to be constantly preoccupied with his interior patching up, which in time becomes almost wholly automatic within him.
Ailén said:
I don't think you really understand "the effect of your behaviour", because in order to do that, you have to understand your behaviour. And your post doesn't show that you do.
We only can observe the results. From The Gurdjieff Work by Kathleen Riordan Speeth:

The Gurdjieff Work said:
Work on oneself according to Gurdjieff's teachings is individual and empirical. Results are directly proportional to understanding.
 

Mr. Premise

The Living Force
I agree with Ailen that the mirroring process is the ONLY thing that works. When you are undergoing it it the most painful thing but it is the only thing that can make you grow. It feels horrible but it is truly done with love. It is also where the rubber hits the road as far as trusting the network. It is heartbreaking to watch others reject it at the crucial moment where they can begin to truly grow. It can feel like you are losing that which is most precious but all you are really losing is illusion, lies to oneself.
 

anart

The Living Force
Laura said:
Curiously, we actually just lost a moderator over this point. She managed to twist this last by declaring that the process of the Mirror is basically mean and harsh and that HER input on the matter was what would save us from "becoming monsters".

It really IS unpleasant. But the factual evidence, as well as the successes that result from the process, the positive changes in people's lives, belie that view. Generally, the people who most dislike the mirror process are the ones who are most controlled by their subconscious, their LIKES, their "I want" and "I don't want". Or, sadly, they need to reject Truth because it would destroy the lies - the "overwhelming myself with compassion" - nonsense that makes it possible to continue to fool themselves that they are actually "doing the work". Though God only knows how they manage that self-deception.
Perhaps it's worthwhile to consider the reasons why it's so unpleasant (and having received several mirrors, I think the word unpleasant might be an understatement). Most people live in a world defined by and, really, populated by their own thoughts and feelings - and little else. In other words, all of their thoughts and feelings they not only take to be their own (and private and sovereign) but they take them to be true, because they are "their own". Of course it's true, I "FELT" it, or that's how I "SEE" it or that's been "MY" experience. They are lost in the idea that just because it crosses their mind, it must be "theirs" and "true" when the opposite is often true. Even the most miserable person in the most miserable life circumstances still takes the idea that their mind and heart is their own as "true".

It doesn't even cross our minds that we're lying to ourselves, and that is a very, very comfortable place to be. Even when our lives take difficult turns or our suffering increases in a myriad of ways due to our own blind spots, we still sit comfortable in the knowledge that we are in control of our own mind/feelings. Nothing could be further from the truth and that is born out by cognitive science - that's not an opinion or just a theory, it is fact. It's also a terrifying prospect, if you really think about it. So, when a person is presented with the truth of their behavior that runs contrary to the "story" they have been telling themselves their whole life, it hurts - it can literally produce physical pain.

The "magic" in it all is that if that same person can incorporate the information they have been given - despite the pain that has resulted from being given a truth in direct contradiction to the very well-ensconced view they have of themselves - they end up free from some of the lies they have been telling themselves and are, as a direct result, able to think more clearly across the board. This can literally change everything. Often "incorporating the information they have been given" can be as simple as just considering that it might be true. Just considering that it 'might be true' can tear down the wall of self-preservation resistance because "might be true" is a great way to get around the desperate rigidity of lies to the self. From there, they can move into "it IS true and that's just the beginning".

We've posted a library of articles on the cognitive science involved, on the application by Gurdjieff, Mouravieff, Ouspensky, all of which describe this process in great detail and with piles of data to back it up so I won't go into all the science of it right now. What I'd like to point out, though, is that having experienced it personally, and having benefited by it beyond my wildest imaginings, I can say that it is a singularly effective way to release people from the misery of the prison they have created in their own minds with lies to themselves about literally everything. It is singularly effective IF the person in question is sincere about improving their life. Being presented with a truth about the self that is in direct opposition to how one sees the self, and having it done in such a way that it is unequivocal and backed up with examples and the input of many people who all see you better than you see yourself (merely because they are not you and thus are not lying to you about everything in order to support your illusions about yourself!) is an extremely powerful and beneficial thing.
 

Jones

Jedi Council Member
Laura said:
Actually, when someone is "getting on another person's nerves", it is dealt with directly rather than by going away from it. It is quite simple to say "for some reason, I'm in a state where what you are saying or doing is really bugging me... let's talk about it and find out what's up." And then, you talk about it and find out if it is some state in the one feeling irritated or if the one doing the irritating is actually being covertly aggressive in some way.
This is something that I'd like to hear. As I play that scenario out in my mind, I imagine it taking place in relaxed, respectful and conversational tones and I feel attracted to the idea of it. That could just be wishful thinking though because I admit that it may not always have the best impact in that manner, specifically if the aim is to deliver a shock. My experience is that such scenario's are far from relaxed, respectful and conversational. Is a podcast out of the question?

anart said:
Often "incorporating the information they have been given" can be as simple as just considering that it might be true. Just considering that it 'might be true' can tear down the wall of self-preservation resistance because "might be true" is a great way to get around the desperate rigidity of lies to the self. From there, they can move into "it IS true and that's just the beginning".
I agree, and something similar has been helpful for me - remaining open to possibilities and using the word 'maybe'. It's not always a fast process but I guess some movement is better than none at all.
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Jones said:
Laura said:
Actually, when someone is "getting on another person's nerves", it is dealt with directly rather than by going away from it. It is quite simple to say "for some reason, I'm in a state where what you are saying or doing is really bugging me... let's talk about it and find out what's up." And then, you talk about it and find out if it is some state in the one feeling irritated or if the one doing the irritating is actually being covertly aggressive in some way.
This is something that I'd like to hear. As I play that scenario out in my mind, I imagine it taking place in relaxed, respectful and conversational tones and I feel attracted to the idea of it. That could just be wishful thinking though because I admit that it may not always have the best impact in that manner, specifically if the aim is to deliver a shock. My experience is that such scenario's are far from relaxed, respectful and conversational. Is a podcast out of the question?
Such situations do play out in a more or less relaxed atmosphere. But of course, that only comes after long practice and experiencing safety in such a dynamic. It is not considered to be a "mirror" exactly, though there can be something of that involved.

Jones said:
anart said:
Often "incorporating the information they have been given" can be as simple as just considering that it might be true. Just considering that it 'might be true' can tear down the wall of self-preservation resistance because "might be true" is a great way to get around the desperate rigidity of lies to the self. From there, they can move into "it IS true and that's just the beginning".
I agree, and something similar has been helpful for me - remaining open to possibilities and using the word 'maybe'. It's not always a fast process but I guess some movement is better than none at all.
It is true that some people can take onboard the most gentle hints and explanations. They don't have that "prickly pear" persona of narcissistic tendencies that make them fall into highly charged, emotionally reactive states.

There is an excellent book on the topic we've been reading around here in an effort to find more ways and means of helping those of you who are struggling through different issues. It's called: The Quest to Feel Good by Paul R. Rasmussen. The amazon blurb says:

Emotions, rather than simply being the result of random or disordered biochemical processes, are adaptive mechanisms that are often overly relied upon as a function of basic learning processes. The Quest to Feel Good helps the reader understand that negative emotions serve a critical adaptive purpose that functions in relation to one’s ultimate desire for a felt-positive state. Paul Rasmussen addresses the role of emotions as adaptive components, in combination with cognitive and behavioral processes, to our overall orchestration of life. To this end, the therapist is directed to use a client’s negative affect as a means of guiding critical therapeutic conclusions and decisions. Rasmussen emphasizes an integration of the basic premises of Adlerian psychology with the evolutionary-imperative model presented by Theodore Millon (1990, 1999). This integration is used to explain the primacy of emotions in the manifestation of most clinical conditions. This critical integration and focus makes the volume important, necessary, and unique to mental health professionals. Case examples and illustrations are also offered throughout the text.
After a bit of history of theories of emotions, he writes in chapter 6: (this is scanned text so may have some glitchs)

More recently, psychologists have weighed in on emotions. Considering emotion from the perspective of a scientist and philosopher, William James (1884) and Carl Lange (1887) put forth the position that our body responds to immediate circumstances with emotions and we then use those emotions to interpret our current status. In this view, we are emotionally aware before we are cognitively aware. As an example, when startled by a novel and loud noise, our heart races, blood pressure and respiration increases along with other sympathetically mediated responses, and these aroused feeling states suggest or reflect a state of fear. Important in this description is the assumption that there is a level of awareness and responsiveness that does not require conscious understanding that includes higher-order thinking. This is fortunate, because as we discuss the adaptive unconscious in a later section, we will appreciate that many of the events we encounter require immediate reactivity, and thus we cannot wait on slower, "higher-order" conscious awareness. However, this theory also suggests that there are unique physical characteristics for different emotions, thus prompting uniquely different emotional interpretations. This view, the James—Lange theory of emotion. would then suggest that we have different feeling states for each different emotion.

Somewhat counter to the James—Lange theory, Walter Cannon (1929) proposed a position, later embellished by Philip Bard, that the emotional reaction and cognitive awareness occur simultaneously. Whereas the James—Lange theory suggested two separate levels of awareness in which one (arousal) prompts the other (awareness and interpretation), Cannon and Bard argued that the two systems are independent, but occur together. Important to this theory is the position that the arousal characteristics of many emotions are so different that they characterize a unique emotional state; therefore the interpretation of the event is very important. This theory is referred to as the Cannon—Bard theory.

A third position often described in introductory psychology classes is the two-factor theory of emotion presented by Stanley Schachter and Jerome Singer (1962). In this model the two systems are essentially separate; there is the physical arousal component and the interpretive cognitive component, but they interact in such a way that a specific emotion is felt; thus, which emotion is identified depends on the arousal and the event. Importantly, in this model the same type of arousal might be felt, but interpreted differently given the nature of the event. In the classic description of this distinction we can consider the arousal felt while walking on a high bridge. If alone on the bridge and feeling emotionally aroused, including feelings that might be associated with a fear of falling, that person is likely to describe that feeling as fear. Put an attractive person on the bridge with this individual whom that first individual might find sexually appealing, and the same arousal feeling might be interpreted as sexual or romantic excitement and nervousness (Schacter & Singer). The importance of this later theory is that what we make of the situation, which is a function of our private logic, will impact how we interpret and respond to our emotional arousal. This later theory, while not arguing completely against the other two positions or providing the final word on emotions, has been more broadly accepted as an explanation of the nature of our emotional arousal and reactivity.

More recently, psychologist Daniel Goleman (1995, 2006) has introduced the notion of emotional intelligence (EQ). Goleman suggests that some individuals are more attuned to their emotional states and are better able to manage their emotional reactions than are others. EQ relates specifically to one's ability to (1) perceive emotions, which means being able to see them in others and to appreciate their expression in various works of art; (2) understand emotions, which implies the ability to understand how they originate and how they function in life; (3) manage emotions, which suggests the ability to avoid being ruled by one's emotional energy, without negating the importance of feeling states and their motivating power; and (4) and use emotions, which relates to the ability to use emotional energy in novel and adaptive ways (Mayer, Salovey. & Caruso, 2002, 2008; see Myers, 2010). The concept of EQ has received a large amount of research attention, and conclusions from that research have been applied in a vari-ety of settings, including interpersonal relations (e.g., Schutte, Malouff, Bobik, et al., 2001), education (e.g., Cohen, 2001), and work (e.g., Nikolaou & Tsaousis, 2002; Zeidner, Matthews, & Roberts, 2004).
Next:

When we discuss emotions, it is useful to consider them relative to the concept of motivation. Motivation is a term used to describe the compelling forces that mobilize actions. Many theorists have used the term "drives" to describe motiva-tion (e.g., Freud, 1959; Hull, 1943; Woodworth, 1918). In this context, humans are thought to be driven to act to fulfill and satisfy need states. For example, we are driven to satisfy the drives associated with hunger and hydration. We expe-rience the need for food by way of hunger pangs, and the need for hydration through thirst. The idea of motivation relates to the desire to create positive states for ourselves, including adequate nutrition and hydration, and to avoid or escape negative states such as hunger and thirst. A simple behavioral model shows us seeking rewarding outcomes and striving to derive states of relief from unpleasant circumstances (Figure 6.1).

The feeling of thirst signifies an unpleasant state, and the satisfaction of that thirst via water consumption is associated with relief from the discomfort associ-ated with dehydration. Pleasure might be derived by eating foods consumed not simply to satisfy hunger, but for the enjoyment derived from the taste. Important in this model is the understanding that, when we are able to secure rewards by acting in particular ways, we are more likely to act similarly in comparable situa-tions. Likewise, when we are able to implement reactions in the face of unpleasant circumstances that reduce or eliminate the unpleasantness, we will again imple-ment similar strategies when again faced with a similar unpleasant situation. ...

Let me embellish the basic behavioral model. In any given situation there are essentially four possible outcomes. You can get something you like, get something you do not like, lose something you like, or lose something you did not like in the first place. This is a basic 2 x 2 matrix ...

There are things you like—things that provide pleasure, and there are things you do not like they create feelings of displeasure. Considering these two states of like and dislike, you can either get it or lose it. If we do something and get what we like, we are more likely to do whatever it was we did to get it that time again in the future when the possibility of getting it occurs again. If what we did leads to us losing something we like, we will not do that again in order to avoid losing what we like. Further, if we face something we do not like and do something to make it stop or go away, we will do something similar to whatever it was we did before, the next time we face something similar that we do not like. Finally, if we do something and it leads to an outcome we do not like, we will probably stop doing it—at least until we can find a safe way to do what we were doing, which implies that weassociated our doing it with a desirable outcome. ...

Thus, we do things that lead to desirable outcomes or to the removal of undesirable outcomes. ... if we eat ice cream and like it, but eating it is associated with other things such as a scolding parent or weight gain, we will not necessarily stop eating it: we will just try to figure out a way to eat it free of the negative consequences. For instance, we might only eat it when the parent is not looking or try to get the parent to eat it with us, and we might look for ice cream that is fat free and thus less associated with weight gain. In some cases, we might eat it and then engage in extreme behaviors in order to avoid the consequences of having eaten it, which is often the case in bulimia, where the bulimic individual eats then exercises excessively to burn the ingested calories, or engages in self-induced vomiting (i.e., purging) to prevent caloric absorption. In other situations, the individual might consume the food and feel badly about it, but rather than changing his or her behavior will conclude that he or she is hopeless and unable to exercise self-control. Such an option, how-ever, requires one to retreat from ideals of healthy eating and slim appearance, thereby requiring some degree of hopeless depression. The good news for this individual is that, in his or her state of hopelessness, there is no reason to avoid ice cream, and eating it provides some degree of joy that he or she is not going to get in another way. ...

We are moti-vated by an inherited desire to seek out those outcomes that are pleasurable and to avoid or escape those that are painful and/or displeasing. This is a pretty simple concept. However, it can get complicated. Sometimes we find things to be pleasurable that ultimately lead to more problems, like too much ice cream, and some-times we find things unpleasant that are actually quite good for us. ...

In these situations, the item that should be rewarding actually becomes a source of displeasure, so people avoid it. Or the thing that is ultimately harmful, but brings pleasure, is sought out and consumed. Some people are able to look at situations and objects that many people view as pleasurable, such as ice cream ... and judge them as harmful ... and thereby as something to avoid. Or activities that others find to be unpleasant become viewed as very positive and are sought, such as exercise. For these latter individuals, engagement in exercise, while painful, is also viewed as'an immediate (success) and optimal (better health) enhancement—this includes a strong plea-surable component that sufficiently compensates for the physical displeasure that might be part of the exercise. Anycine watching as a person lifts weights as a form of exercise will typically witness signs of extreme discomfort during the actual lift, which is then followed by a smile and perhaps a subtle boast (e.g., "yes!"), once the lift is completed. That the person often comes back to lift again suggests that the pleasure, however felt, trumped the displeasure. Apparently, despite the pain, the individual derives some pleasure from the activity. Whether eating ice cream or exercising, when some form of pleasure ensues, the individual is likely to engage in the activity again. For the individual who enjoys ice cream and hates exercise, there will need to be sacrifices to health. For the individual who avoids ice cream but pursues exercise, the sacrifice will be the pleasure of eating ice cream.

The challenge to everyone is to identify true sources of enhancement and avoid false enhancers and to find the enhancements in many activities that are in the immediate sense somewhat unpleasant. I rarely see an exhausted runner smiling or showing outward signs of pleasure. but after completion of the run, they very regularly display such signs of joy, but only after the pain of exhaus-tion has subsided. Similarly, I have seen many individuals express considerable signs of pleasure when consuming large quantities of ice cream, but later signs of distress when they have overindulged, or even later when they face the scales.

The important point is that we want to feel good and do not want to face the negative consequences of our bad choices. Indeed, we really do want to eat our cake and essentially not have it too.

The importance of motivation is that it underscores the role of urgency in our quest to feel good. We all want things to go well; the more deprived of positive outcomes we feel, or the more threatened we perceive ourselves to be, the greater is our urgency to act to alter the circumstance we face. Urgency emerges as we con-sider the degree of deprivation should we not procure the desired outcome, or as the intensity of the displeasure increases and our need for relief becomes more intense.

Whether or not an outcome is viewed as positively or negatively reinforcing often depends on the vantage point that one takes in explaining that outcome. For instance, we may look at what someone gained as the result of their behavior and find that it was attention, thus a positive reinforcer. However, they may also have gained some relief from their state of boredom or loneliness, in which case the reinforcement was negative (i.e., relief from unpleasant emotions). In order to sort out whether we are looking at positive or negative reinforcement, we should look at what motivated the response. If there was no aversiveness motivating a behav-ior, yet the behavior wa.s'reinforced, meaning the person received something desirable, clearly this is positive reinforcement. Likewise, if there is a desire for something positive and the person got it, the reinforcer is again positive. HoweVer, if the person was looking to end an aversive state and does, the reinforcer is nega-tive. Unfortunately this will not always be clear, and both positive and negdtive reinforcement can occur at the same time in the same situation, or can explain the same conditioning event. For instance, if the person desired something and felt deprived because he or she did not have it, and perhaps others did, and then did something to get it, it is positively reinforcing (desired object was obtained), while at the same time negatively reinforcing because the aversiveness was ended.

The role of negative reinforcement is probably underappreciated. At issue here is the notion of instead. This is not something that you will read much about, but the idea is worth mentioning. In many cases of psychopathology, the pathologic condition is what the person focuses on instead of something that he or she should contend with but does not really want to deal with. This can occur, incidentally, at an unconscious level (i.e., at a level of consciousness in which the individual is not immediately aware of the process read about the adaptive unconscious in a later section). For instance, the student who does not want to do school work can get bummed out instead and spend his or her time thinking about how much he or she hates school work and how "stupid" it all is. While this is not done specifically to avoid homework, it may be better than doing school work, which is unpleasant for any of a number of reasons it is hard, it is boring, it cuts into other activities, and so forth. The relief from the school work gained via the "bummed-outness" is very much negatively reinforcing (could also get lots of nice, supportive attention that could reinforce the despair; which would be positive reinforcement). As long as the student is hummed-out, school work is avoided. As soon as the "bummed-outness" remits, the burden of homework, which by now has increased, is again unavoidable—providing reason to be "bummed-out." This may reflect a level of depression; not necessarily a clinical depression, but a period of depressed retreat. The person may truly want to do his or her homework, but they are hopeless about their inability to enjoy homework. In many cases, the retreat from homework can develop into a more serious depression. Why the individual becomes depressed probably has to do with several other factors related to his or her reinforcement history, one of them being the fact that this student believes that he should do his homework and at some level wants to. These two factors contribute to an aversive state that compels actions that will, hopefully, produce relief. Depression is par-ticularly well suited for this, because with depression one feels victimized by the condition (i.e., another way of saying "not responsible for"), which is not an opportunity to one who gets relief from the distress of school via excessive video-game playing (which would more likely be associated with guilt rather than victimiza-tion), as an example. To be sure, this does not explain all cases of depression, but it does highlight the learning processes and circular contingencies involved.

As another example, I know of a woman who hated the task of being a mother. She liked the idea of being romanced. On the average she read roughly 10 romance novels a week. She clairbed to be addicted. By reading romance novels and "having to find out if Nathan and Roxanne made up" (i.e., a hypothetical romance plot), she was too busy to be bothered by many of the mundane and less stimulating activities of being a mother. Reading romance novels is what she did "instead." While the pleasure she derived from reading the novels was posi-tively reinforcing, it was also a powerful negative reinforcer via the opportunity to avoid the burdens of spending time entertaining her child. The fact is that a lot of our motives are not clearly understood and are often pretty self-serving. The mother I describe did not "intentionally/consciously" read romance novels to avoid the responsibilities of being an involved mother, but she did recognize the payoff when it was suggested to her. Negative affect plays a very important role in our lives because learning principles have such an impact on affective conditions (e.g., conditioned emotional responses [CERs] and the nature of "positive" rein-forcement and "negative" reinforcement). The fact is that positive and negative are defined affectively.

Before moving on, we should consider the notion of intentionality relative to the idea of usefiiine.ss. To say that symptoms are useful/purposeful/adaptive implies intentionality (i.e., that they are intentionally produced as a means of bringing about a desired outcome). To say that a symptom works, that it is useful, suggests that it leads to a desirable outcome—to a desirable state of affairs (reward or relief). It is important to keep in mind that most of what we have learned we were not even aware that we were learning when we were in the process of learn-ing it. Often, when learning is occurring, we are attending to other factors and not specifically to what we are learning. This is why parents stop us at times and ask us what we learned in a situation; they do not want the awareness to be missed. Despite our lack of awareness, our brains do register the important association between what occurred (the "Event"), what was felt (the "Feeling"), and what was done (the "Action"); thus we are inclined to do similar things in similar circum-stances if they have worked in the past. We learn things and act on what we have learned, yet we often are not aware that learning has occurred or that we are acting on something we have learned—thus our emotional reactions appearing as symp-toms of a condition may be purposeful/useful, but not necessarily intentional. ...

While each purpose of emotional expression is critical, it is useful to consider first the role of emotion as an existential feedback mechanism. Emotions serve the important purpose of helping humans to monitor the quality and state of exis-tence, thereby motivating one to modify a current circumstance, avoid potential problems, and obtain desired outcomes. We determine that a situation is good or bad not just as a function of our cognitive appraisal, but as a function of how we feel about it. If we feel good, we want more; if we feel bad, we are compelled to change the situation—this is the basis of the evolutionary imperatives (Millon), or the striving for a "felt plus" (Adler). Adler stated that "The emotions and their physical expression tell us how the mind is acting and reacting in a situation which it interprets as favorable or unfavorable" (1958, p. 41, taken from Beames, 1992).

Furthermore, the intensity with which we act to affect any situation is a func-tion of the intensity of, or urgency created by, the emotion. For example, if one feels a little anxious or nervous, that individual will remain vigilant of the situ-ation but may proceed anyway. For instance, entering an unlit building might generate feelings of anxiety or even fear, but if threats are not perceived to be great or the emotional energy not significant, the person can proceed, typically in search for a light switch. However, if that person feels a great deal of anxiety, to the point of terror, he or she is more likely to remove him- or herself from the situ-ation as quickly as possible. Of course this depends in large part on how the situ-ation is perceived and interprettd, but the critical, behavioral mobilizing factor is the emotion felt. Further, emotions provide feedback regarding the effectiveness of our behavioral actions. If our actions lead to changes in the event, which are associated with positive feelings, the actor is reinforced and will add the behavior to his or her repertoire of effective responses. If the action is followed by an aver-sive outcome—as determined by one's feelings associated with the outcome—that information will be remembered as an action to avoid.

Some emotions appear particularly well suited as sources of immediate feed-back. While emotions such as anger, contempt, and perhaps happiness require a greater combination of events to occur before they are felt, some are more imme-diate to the circumstance. For example, the feeling of hurt may occur immediately in the face of criticism or rejection. Surprise, an emotional reaction that prepares us for unexpected and salient events, is immediate, as is disgust, which turns us away from unpleasant things. Sorrow follows immediate loss, and embarrass-ment provides immediate emotional feedback concerning our violation of some social rule or expectation. Similarly, guilt may provide immediate feedback con-cerning the violation of some intimate expectation. Importantly, while one might cognitively recognize a rule violation, as in the case of embarrassment or guilt, unless and until the emotion is felt, it is unlikely that one would do anything about that violation, and the recognition would most probably be minimal and fleeting. For instance, sometimes we do not feel guilty until it is clear that we breached a relationship agreement, or we do not feel embarrassed until it has been pointed out that we violated a social rule (e.g., do not go out in public with your fly open on your trousers). Likewise, our guilt might be intensified once we realize we have hurt another, and we might not feel embarrassed if we know our social breach was not observed by others.
In sum, emotions are the critical source of our evaluation about immediate events and quality of life. One may think that life is good or had, but it is neither until it is felt to be one or the other. To emphasize this point, consider the individ-ual seeking psychiatric treatment for a mood disorder such as unipolar or bipolar depression. This individual might he surprised by the depression in light of her objective appraisal of life. She perceives herself as attractive and intelligent. She has wonderful, well-behaved children, a successful marriage to a spouse who appears to adore her, and she is financially well off. Yet as we look deeper into her situation, we may find that, despite the objective appraisal of good things in life more deeply, her lifestyle goals related to her own personal achievements are not being satisfied, and it is the level of awareness that creates her feeling of nonfulfillment. Alternatively, we might consider a drug user who, because of her drug problem, has a life that is, by all objective measures, in a horrendous state of chaos. She has children she cannot care for, her health has been compromised, she does not have a stable or intimate relationship, she is in financial ruin, and as the result of her educational limitations has no real promise of gainful employment. However, while high. life is good and she has no troubles; she laughs, smiles, and enjoys the company of her fellow drug users. These two examples underscore the importance of affect as the critical factor in determining how we view the quality of our lives.
 

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More from "The Quest to Feel Good"

A final topic in this section concerns the conscious control of emotional expres-sion. In many cases, the emotional reaction occurs without input from the higher centers of the brain, specifically the frontal lobes of the cerebral cortex (areas of the brain involved in decision making and emotional expression), and thus occurs "unconsciously" or at least without detailed, verbally mediated aware-ness. However, the cerebral cortex does appear to be attentive, as we seem toile effectively able to alter our emotional expressions to fit the situation, even to the point of suppressing emotional expression when necessary (Tooby & Cosmides, 2008). Recall the story of Mary at the beginning of Chapter 1. Clearly, humans have emotional reactions to events and cognitive processes that they do not com-pletely understand—at least not at a level that allows for articulated awareness. Similarly, via both conditioned and reflexive processes, an emotional experience can be felt independent of higher cortical activity. However, once experienced, it becomes a conscious activity that is then woven into the individual's man-ner of interaction with the immediate circumstance. As an example, one may have a fear, or sexual response, prior to any articulated (i.e., able to be verbally described) awareness of an object of fear or arousal. Once that feeling is realized, however, the individual will draw cognitive conclusions and enact a behavioral response. For instance, one may begin to feel fear, and then look for threats, or may begin to feel aroused, and then look for a sexual object; something in both situations prompted an initial level of awareness, but not at an articulated level of understanding.

Indeed it is adaptive to have these more immediate reactions. If we had to always wait for higher level processing before we formed conclusions and imple-mented responses, we would not survive many immediate threats and we would miss reproductive opportunities; in both cases, genes would not be passed to sub-sequent generations. That these noncortical (which means processes of awareness of which we are not consciously aware) processes occur is reflected in the easily elicited emotional reactions created via imagination, reading, or movie viewing, as examples. While engaged in these activities, the actor is typically aware that events are not real but fabricated, yet the emotions can he felt as very real, albeit moderated by the awareness of the artificial nature of the situation. This is why we do not run in fear from movie theaters when observing a frightening scene. It is adaptive to have ready access to the emotional experience in order to benefit from its adaptive value, but we can suppress the need to act on the feeling.
The adaptive unconscious involves those "mental processes that are inaccessible to consciousness but that influence judgments, feelings and behaviors" (Wilson, 2002. p. 23). Unconscious processes include such events as:

1.Proprioception (a sense related to feedback from muscles, joints, skin, and so forth). Without proprioception, we would have to be consciously aware and attentive at all times to what the muscles in our bodies are doing simply to remain upright.

2.Orientation (the "orienting" schema or "on-line pattern detector") to immediate demands including the rapid assessment of threats (protection demands) and opportunities (enhancements). Thus, it is the adaptive uncon-scious that makes us aware of the implications of the survival imperative.

3.Automatic processing that allows us to be aware of other stimuli while consciously focused on something else. This is best represented by what is known as the cocktail party phenomena (Cherry, 1953), a term used to describe our ability to recognize personally relevant information, such as our name, when heard in the distance (such as might be the case at a cocktail party) while we are engaged in another activity, such as talking with someone else.

4.Memory retrieval that seems to occur spontaneously, but is most likely related to our survival needs, and helps us to provide some orientation based on previous experience, and helps us to predict outcomes and select courses of action.

5.Emotional reactivity necessary to drive the direction and urgency of the adaptive reaction.
Important to the current discussion is that our adaptive unconscious can prompt emotional reactions prior to a conscious, articulated awareness of the cir-cumstance. Thus, we can have an emotional reaction prior to detailed awareness of the event. This ability is mediated by our inherited sensitivities to threats and to our personal histories with threats registered as conditioned emotional reactions (CERs). This last point helps to explain why we rationalize so many of our actions. We act on emotions without much thought and then have to consciously explain why we acted that way, and sometimes we are more aware of the purpose for our reactions than other times. The net result of this is that our lifestyle orientation is primarily controlled by the adaptive unconscious and is not readily processed at a conscious level. Indeed, we should consider the extent to which we come to ratio-nalize emotional reactions in a stylistic fashion, which is a process that repeatedly reinforces our lifestyle assumptions and solidifies our private logic.

The process of psychotherapy. as many theorists have explained, is to make one conscious of the unconscious. Carl Jung discussed the unconscious relative to various archetypes, and Freud discussed repressed memories and instinctual urges. While these can be heuristically useful, understanding the adaptive uncon-scious relative to Adler's view is more palatable. To Adler, the unconscious described the rules we live by of which we are unaware. On the first page of Ansbacher and Ansbacher's "systematic presentation" of Adler's writing (1956), the Adlerian idea of the unconscious is described as one of the basic propositions of Individual Psychology. "The goal is only 'dimly envisaged' by the individual, which means that it is largely unknown to him and not understood by him. This is Adler's definition of the unconscious: the unknown part of the goal"

We might understand the importance of this process better if we consider life without the adaptive unconscious.

Mediated by the adaptive unconscious, we process information at two levels. One level includes an awareness of what we should do given social standards and interpersonal expectations. The second level is what we might prefer to do given what would be most pleasant or least unpleasant.

For example, a husband may know that he needs to pay more attention to his spouse and that he should get up and do the dishes after dinner. However, he may also be aware of the fact that he is tired and that doing the dishes would take a lot of energy that he currently does not have. How he resolves this will depend on the emotions that he gives in to. He could give in to the feelings of obligation to be helpful, or he could give in to the feelings of fatigue and the preference to continue sitting on the sofa.

Factors that will weigh into the ultimate decision will relate to the intensity of the feel-ings, which are mediated by actual fatigue and his attitude toward his spouse. If he believes himself lucky to have her in his life and knows that he should not take her for granted, he is more likely to get off the sofa and help. However, if he tends to think of her in negative ways, or if he thinks others are simply here to serve him, he is far more likely to give in to the desire to sit on the sofa and let her do the dishes. This example illustrates the battle between opposing feelings that we frequently wage with ourselves. At the foundation of this battle is the awareness of some obligation to act that is in opposition to truer desires—a battle between common sense (knowing the appropriate thing to do given fairness and common consensus) and private logic (our personal preferences solidified by years of ratio-nalization). if we go back to consideration of childhood, we can recall that chil-dren do not want to do what they do not want to do, and they want to do what they want when they want. While we may come to understand that this is unreasonable and might even spend more time doing what we should rather than what we might prefer, the fact is that we never really grow Out of the attitude. For some, it may be true that what they want to do is what they should do, and they spend most of their time doing what they should. The idea of should relates to personal and interper-sonal attitudes about appropriate and fair behavior. However, for many others, the conflict is ever present and, at times, debilitating. For some individuals, giving in, for example. to a depression is preferable to doing those things that might lift the depression; that they are willing to give in to the feelings certainly says something about their private logic. ...

That the adaptive unconscious can be shaped by experiencL under-scores Adler's idea of the unconscious as that adaptive mechanism monitoring status relative to the goals of the individual that make up his or her lifestyle and related private logic. In the Z-Factor model, the adaptive unconscious may repre-sent the the desired circumstance that is associated with the desired state of perceived felt plus. This would imply, consistent with Wilson's ideas, that there is a preferred state of existence which is used as a baseline for comparison of one's immediate, here-and-now status. This might relate to subtle states of oxygen deprivation motivating respiration, hunger pangs motivating food consumption, or feelings of social discomfort motivating subtle or dramatic changes in interpersonal behavior (which might be felt as embarrassment and subsequently motivate social withdrawal). ...

A third important purpose of emotional expression has been alluded to in the sections above. However, the purpose of emotions to energize behaviors (Ellsworth & Smith, 1988a, Frijda, 1994) warrants further consideration. Imagine walking down the street in one's neighborhood and hearing the sound of a barking dog in an obvious state of agitation. Imagine further the sound getting louder and louder. As you turn to locate the source of the sound, you see a large German shepherd dog bounding toward you. As your cerebral cor-tex makes sense of the experience and sends messages to the limbic system (i.e., the emotional center in the brain), you respond with a thought somehow consistent with, "OH NO!!" Likewise, you conclude that escape is critical! At this point, the sympathetic nervous system has been activated, and you experi-ence all the "fight or flight" resources your body can muster. The conclusion of "OH NO!!" and the need to escape is energized by the physiological reaction of the limbic system, realized emotionally and behaviorally through the impact of neurochemicals and hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol to name only two. If it were not for the emotional energy corresponding to the cognitive appraisal, the motoric response would be rather casual, given the severity of the circumstance, and thereby not very effective in dealing with the situation. We might imagine further one concluding, "I need to get out of here," then casu-ally walking away from the perceived danger. It is probably safe to assume that none of our ancestors reacted with this particular strategy, and, subsequently. this has not been bred into the species. Elizabeth Duffy (1934) was one of the first to describe emotions as an energy mobilizer. Later, Sylvan Tomkins (1981) argued that need states do not themselves energize behaviors, except insofar as they are amplified by emotions. It is because of the energy created by emotion that one is able to implement the behaviors necessary to deal with the perceived (cognitive) threat; indeed, as suggested by Virgil, "fear lends wings to our feet-(Aeneid, IV).

In all cases, the emotion is implemented in order to help bring about a desired positive outcome (i.e., The Z-Factor), if not in the immediate circumstance, one that is ultimately positive, albeit felt later. For example, people will endure consid-erable pain and discomfort in the service of an eventual positive outcome. Consider student involvement in a particular college class. While students will often work hard to master the subject matter of the class, they may despise the topic and the monotone voice of the professor. Nonetheless, in order to meet the requirements for graduation, they endure. In the example of the dog attack described above, the positive outcome is escape and the avoidance of injury. In other cases, the positive outcome is associated with pleasure rather than harm avoidance or survival. For instance, the desired outcome mad be the receipt of a tangible outcome such as a job and money, the positive affirmation of another, or the opportunity for sexual gratification. In each case, the emotions compel adaptive behaviors experienced as a "felt plus."

An important addendum to this discussion is the fact that the event (X) prompting the emotional response (Y) need not be an actual event. The event may be one that exists only in the individual's mind. Despite the nonreality of the event, the impact in prompting an emotional reaction can be very strong. As an example, consider a parent's thought of harm befalling a child. This thought can elicit a powerful emotional reaction of dread and anguish. The desired outcome (Z) would certainly be protection of the child. Emotions serve to stimulate behav-iors directed at bringing that outcome about (i.e., protecting the child). Similarly, when the imagined event is positive, the actual or potential positive emotion com-pels an action to bring about the outcome. Consider the thought of a meal of one's favorite foods; such a thought is likely to conjure up positive emotions, which may very well induce the person to seek out the imagined foods. Perhaps a more obvious example is the thought of a sexual or romantic encounter, which conjures sexual feelings and arousal. These feelings compel the person to sexual activity and sexual gratification—for many, this is a positive outcome. Rudolf Dreikurs said the following about emotions: "We can see now why we need emotions. They provide the fuel, the steam, so to speak, for our actions, the driving force without which we would be impotent. They come into play whenever we decide to do something forcefully. They make it possible for us to carry out our decisions" (1967, p. 207). Without emotional energy we would not be compelled to act to gain enhancements or secure protections.

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INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN THE EXPRESSION OF EMOTIONS
It may be the case that we all possess the genes necessary for the expression of all emotions. This would make sense, considering that these are adaptive mechanisms similar to other adaptive mechanisms, including the ability to see, to hear, to taste, to think, to walk, and when necessary, to run. Of course there are individuals in the world who, because of genetic abnormalities, are unable to see, hear, taste, and so forth. But such individuals represent the exceptions, and in virtually all cases in human behavior, exceptions exist. However, given the differ-ent combination of genes, differences in the environmental activation of genetic traits and abilities, and the impact of incurred deficits and liabilities, we are not all the same. As Steven Pinker (2003) pointed out in his book, The Blank Slate, we do not all come into the world the same, and our differences are magnified via the different experiences we all have.
One of the important factors contributing to our differences involves the dif-ferences in attitudes we take toward life. Based on our experiences, some of us develop the attitude that others cannot be trusted and conclude that it is wise and beneficial to remain vigilant and untrusting. Such an attitude is reflected in those with a paranoid style of personality. Some develop an expectation that oth-ers should do for them and that little should be asked of them. Such an attitude is reflected in the narcissistic personality style. Others may come to believe that others find them objectionable and undesirable; such is the attitude of those with an avoidant style of personality.
According to Millon (1999), each of us could be defined by a particular style of personality that would fit a particular prototype style. In large part, the derived style reflects one's genetically mediated temperament. However, genes do not typ-ically act independent of environmental input. We did not begin exchanging oxy-gen through our lungs until the necessity and opportunity to do so availed itself to us. As environmental opportunity and demands occurred, we expressed those attributes necessary to meet the challenge, with a more-or-less defining personal-ity emerging as a style of reacting unfolds; the style being dependent upon what is expressed, behaviorally as compelled by emotion, and how well it worked to bring above a positive outcome. This is the process of adaptation that can be described by way of operant and classical theories of learning, and that is consistent with the Adlerian notion of "usefulness."

Depending upon the type of person we become, we will have more or less need of particular emotions necessary to drive adaptive actions. For example, those with a paranoid personality will have greater need for protective emotions, particularly fear, anxiety, contempt, and anger, while those with a personality more similar to the histrionic style will experience more enhancement emotions. Indeed, we might be able to identify the personality by attending to the nature of the emotions felt. However, as yet, that research has not been conducted.
An interesting thing about personality styles is that each style reflects a par-ticular way of meeting existential challenges; thus each reflects a style of adapta-tion. Another way of saying this is that each personality style. whether disordered or not, is adaptive. We could argue that of the 14 or so recognized major personal-ity styles (see Millon. 1999; Millon & Davis, 2000), we all have some degree of each. However, based on our genetic legacy and environmental circumstances, one style has come to define us better than any other. Indeed, a histrionic indi-vidual could look, at times. more paranoid or more avoidant, depending on the nature of the circumstance the person finds him or herself facing. While there are some limits on this, the limits are more in terms of probability than reality. It may not be very probable that a vivacious histrionic would develop into someone with more of a schizoid personality style; however, it is not impossible given that the histrionic maintains many of the basic genetic attitudes necessary to warrant a description of schizoid personality (e.g., socially inhibited, indifferent to praise or criticism, no close friends ON confidants.). Important is the success with which the individual is able to meet the challenges of life. As attitudes and circumstances change, so too might one's style of adaptive accommodations, as mediated and compelled by emotions. To avoid confusion, it should be understood that genetic factors play a critical role in setting the stage for the emergence of a particular personality style. However, it should also be understood that humans inherit the capacity to experience most emotions and to display an infinite array of behav-iors; nonetheless, for a variety of reasons it is more probable that any one of us will experience a relatively unique set of emotions and display a unique and often predictable pattern of behaviors, thus presenting a personality, which is perhaps better described in Adlerian terms, a style of life a lifestyle.

...

A great deal of attention has been given over the last several decades to the study of behavior and to the study of cognition. At present. the most popular and effec-tive treatment of emotional disorders is Cognitive Therapy as developed by Aaron Beck. Prior to Beck the most popular approach, arguably, was Behavioral Therapy. While these have proven to be wonderfully useful approaches. neither is directly related to the very purpose for which people seek therapy. People seek therapy to feel better. Ultimately, they will be required to change both their thinking and their behaviors in order to meet their therapeutic goals. However, emotions define the quality of the human experience. Therapy is not successful, certainly not to the client, until that client "feels" better.

Why is it important to emphasize the role of feeling over thinking, especially when the thinking is so critical to the feeling outcome? One of my favorite lines from the movies is from the 1980 film The Big Chill. The scene is where the col-lected friends are sitting around and talking the first evening after their friend's funeral. While discussing his current sexual frustrations, Michael (Jeff Goldblum's character) makes the following statement: "People can go months, even years, with-out sex; but they cannot go a day without a rationalization: Without giving this statement too much philosophical importance, let me use it to make my point. Why do we rationalize? We rationalize when we are confronted with information that is inconsistent, dissonant, with our beliefs (our thinking). This dissonance in think-ing produces a state of emotional distress. Often minor distress, sometimes more extreme distress, but in all cases a state of emotional dis-ease. In order to resolve that state of dis-ease, we engage in a cognitive process in order to reconstruct the information in just a way that the emotional dis-ease can be reduced; once reduced by way of the cognitive reconstruction, we can accept the information as consistent with our beliefs. In this situation, the cognitive process occurs in the service of our feeling state; we reconstruct the dissonance information to be able to feel better about it! Consider an example: A student who has lots of public school success is able to get into a selective and challenging college program. She comes to col-lege with the belief, based on her record, that she is a good and capable student. Perhaps as an outcome of the increased challenge of the course material or as an outcome of various social distractions, her first exam grade is not at the level she has come to expect for herself. Expecting to get an A grade, she receives a grade of C. The current information, grade of C. is inconsistent with her belief that she is an A student. She is now in a state of cognitive dissonance, which is accompanied by an unpleasant feeling state. The feeling state experienced could be of a variety of types, which depends on her cognitive conclusion (explained later). Regardless of the type of feeling, her task now is to resolve that distress, which she can do by way of rationalization. For instance, she could blame herself and vow to work harder, she could blame the social distractions, or she could blame the professor. Once the performance is explained ("the professor is a jerk"), she is able to accept the C grade as representation of the professor's jerkiness and not an indication of her lack of academic ability. In this way she is able to resolve, to some extent, the distress created by the C grade. If the rationalization does not work to resolve the distress, she will have to rework the rationalization until she is able to feel better. This example illustrates two things. First, the feeling state is very much dependent on the cognitive interpretation; however, the cognitive interpretation is enacted in order to affect the feeling state; the cognitive process is in the service of the feel-ing state. The point is a simple one. What we think and what we do are ultimately enacted in order to feel as good as possible given the circumstance we face. In other words, our thinking and acting are in the service of our feelings. Further, as I described previously, our strategies of rationalization often take on a theme, thereby describing our private logic.

This distinction has important implications. First, if feelings emerge from our cognitive interpretations and our beliefs, and our feelings are generally unpleas-ant, we need to reconstruct our thinking. Similarly, as will be explained, we often base our thinking on our observations of our own behaviors (self-perception the-ory; Bern, 1972); we form conclusions about ourselves by observing ourselves. This often creates dissonance and requires rationalization, but this is based on what we see ourselves do. Thus, if we feel badly, we need to adjust what we do in order to be able to think about ourselves differently, thereby creating better feel-ings. Further, this explanation describes what we are ultimately seeking. We are after particular outcomes, and our abilities to bring these outcomes about depends on the plans we are able to conceive and enact, but what we are really after is the opportunity to feel as good as possible given our circumstance. Knowing that this is what we are after, we are in a better position to orient our thinking and behavior in ways that maximize the possibility of feeling good.

We might focus our attention on thinking, and subsequently create positive feelings, but if we are simply trying to orient our thinking, there is no specific purpose of doing so other than, perhaps, to appease some idealized notion of proper thinking. But, who or what determines proper thinking? We might defer to political beliefs, religious beliefs, cultural beliefs, or proper thinking as deter-mined by a mental health professional. In all cases the beliefs might work. But what does it mean to suggest that they work? It means that they lead to outcomes that feel good. For instante, the Catholic who accepts the religious doctrine yet fails to live (to act) consistent with those beliefs feels guilt, which might. be resolved via confession, or through a behavioral reorientation to life that is more consistent with those beliefs. Ultimately, the individual is attempting to live (think and act) in such a way that he or she is able to avoid feeling badly, and via their religious adherence, feel pure and righteous. If they want to feel good and engage in behaviors that are inconsistent with their religious beliefs, they will have to engage in some serious rationalization in order to avoid feeling badly or to elimi-nate bad feelings.

Consider another example: many people who feel badly seek the help of a mental health counselor. Often these counselors are grounded in a cognitive—behavioral school of thought and practice. Within this model are strategies to uncover distorted ways of thinking and to prompt more appropriate behaviors. The therapist knows about cognitive distortions and has an idea of what more appropriate thinking is often an idea that works for them or that was simply described in a textbook. They then help the client to alter thinking in such a way that they do not feel as badly as they did when they sought treatment. This sounds reasonable, but what is the ultimate goal? For the counselor it is to uncover and challenge the distorted thinking of their client. For the client, it is to stop feeling badly. Of course this outcome is not insignificant to the therapist, but more impor-tant to the client is the feeling. In twenty years of clinical practice I have never had a client who sat in my office and said, "I need help with my distorted thinking." They all report some version of feeling badly and want help to feel better. To be sure, most who come to my office know that we are going to address thinking, but they seek help because they feel bad. Further, a client will judge therapy as effective when, and only when, it leads to their feeling better. This outcome may indeed be the consequence of changing thoughts, but ultimately to the client, the change in thinking is somewhat irrelevant. What is important to the client is that he or she feels better, which may be the outcome of therapy, the mere passage of time, or a change in circumstance that is more consistent with the individual's desires (e.g., spouse becomes more engaged and attentive), and therefore more associated with positive feelings, yet is completely independent of any thinking and acting changes brought about through therapy. Indeed, it may simply be that the client feels better just having a sympathetic person to talk to who is not con-stantly criticizing and making demands. Many clients enjoy the therapeutic expe-rience because it provides an hour of self-indulgence where they are the center of attention rather than having to attend to everyone else.

It is useful to consider the nature of therapeutic resistance. Most therapists can share stories of clients who actively resisted the process of therapy. But why would someone in a state of distress resist the efforts of a professional working to help him or her resolve that distress? The fact is that therapy cannot really be effective, meaning that it leads to long-term changes associated with better feelings, until the therapist is able to convince the client that what the therapist has to offer is better than what the client currently has. What the client has is an orientation to life that, while clearly problematic (after all, they are seeking therapy), works well enough in creating positive feelings that they have not aban-doned that orientation. For instance, one's orientation may be defined by the need to be treated well. It may be that what they do does generally lead to their being treated well by others, but it also leaves them vulnerable to bad feelings when those others have something better to do then attend to their "need to be treated well." Likewise, a person who believes that he must get every task done on time and done well might do fine and receive lots of validation until the number or tasks or demands of a task become overwhelming. What the therapist often has to offer is a change in orientation that typically requires sacrifices that clients are not willing to make. This might include accepting less validation than one desires, or accepting a reduction in standards of performance. Why they are not willing to make these sacrifices is because they associate those outcomes with feeling good and see the sacrifices as likely to contribute to feeling badly. As Kopp and Kivel (1990) suggested, resistance to therapy occurs when the goals of the client conflict with the goals of the therapist. The therapist wants the client to think bet-ter and perhaps act better, but the client wants to feel better. To embellish this, we can consider a statement by other noted Adlerian writers Steve Slavic and James Croake (2001), who pointed out that clients want to stop feeling bad, but they do not want to give up the practices that contribute to their feeling bad. Therapy is not as effective as it could be because the client and the therapist are operating with different goals. This explains, in many ways, the popularity of psychiatric treatments and the notion of chemical imbalance.

If had feelings can be attributed to what are essentially foreign processes that are not a part of the self, such as a genetic defect that leads to emotional distress, and that distress can be alleviated by addressing the consequences (symptoms) of the defect, who would need to consider mistaken attitudes about life? In this model bad feelings are independent of thinking and acting, except that they com-pel the person to think negatively and act suboptimally, but are not outcomes of beliefs. Unfortunately, because feeling states do emerge from attitudes and faulty behaviors, even if you alter the chemical process associated with emotion, you have not addressed the source of that distress. It is not unreasonable to suggest that simply treating the emotional outcomes of our attitudes without addressing those attitudes is like treating a broken leg by simply blocking the perception of pain. If I break my leg, I am going to want medicine to block the chemical associ-ated with pain, but more importantly I want my broken leg to be fixed.

So, what are the implications of this model? If we know where we are trying to go, we might be able to map the most effective course. If we do not appreciate where we are trying to go and operate on the notion of "I'll know it when I arrive," there is likely to be a lot of meandering, dead ends, periods of being lost, and sev-eral unnecessary detours and obstacles to confront along the way, and we might never even arrive at the point we want to be. Unfortunately, these diversions and obstacles are experienced as painful feelings and crisis situations. It is far better to know where one wants to go and then determine the best way to get there, perhaps with a few excursions that you know are likely going to impede immediate goal attainment but might enhance the journey. As well, there are going to be some breakdowns along the way, and the best one might be able to do is sit back' and wait for time and circumstance to change, and then resume the journey.

We want to feel good and feeling bad motivates us to do what we thirfk is necessary in order to feel better and hopefully feel good. While feelings do often emerge from what we think, those emotions can tell us a lot about where we are in the immediate process of getting to those validating feelings that we seek. In fact, because we can often deceive ourselves through our thinking and because our thinking is often not consistent with our feelings, we should realize that our thinking may not be as reliable as we might like it to be. Thinking is influenced by what we assume we should do and perhaps know we should do, but it is also influ-enced by our unconscious appreciation of our desire to do only what we want and to not have to do anything we find unpleasant. Emotions, specifically the feeling state aspect of emotions, tell the truth. The Catholic described above knows pre-marital sex is bad in the eyes of the church and the eyes of God, but her romantic and lustful emotions speak to a desire that may be deeper than her desire to please God. What is the truth that her emotions speak? Guilt tells her that the rules of the church are important; lust tells her that she wants the pleasure of intimacy. Her task now is, as Harold Mosak would suggest, to figure out how to catch two rabbits at the same time; a difficult task to say the least (see Mosak & Maniacci. 2007). What she may need to do is figure out a way to catch one at a time, or let one of them go. This will require a change in thinking, but ultimately that change must lead to a satisfaction of feeling. The primary focus of the text is to describe the language of the emotions as written by years of evolution. The emotions speak because they exist in our service as tools for survival. By understanding the tools. we can make better use of their advantages.
 

Gaby

SuperModerator
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FOTCM Member
I'm not sure what is genuine in me and what is not, I wrote the following shortly after reading today's feedback starting with Laura's and ending up with anart's. I post it right away FWIW, I'll then read the rest of the posts. I hope you can all bear with me through this process.


I was already at the Château when Laura had her shoulder surgery and had her insights about inflammation and started diligently doing and sharing all the health research which has helped so many people in this forum. Throughout the entire process, I shoved down extremely uncomfortable feelings of not acknowledging I didn't arrived at that nor was able to help her in any way by feeding complex theories about the fact that I didn't arrived at that nor was able to help her in ANY way. I did it to the point of using Work material from Gurdjieff or psychology books. Instead of accepting it and disclosing it, I would dig out more material that will justify why I didn't arrived to that nor helped, and in the process I would do even less for others and for Laura. I was never really there for her.

Laura encouraging me to pick up some of the research was a reminder of the lie I was telling myself and more complex theories would had to be created including twisting realizations of how counterproductive what I have learned throughout my entire life was in order to justify why I couldn't help her so I didn't had to disclose what a failure I was to her and others in her situation. Thus, perpetuating my inability to do anything significant for others. It has been eating me away and I don't know at this point if I can tear away all the lies I've been telling myself. I recognize Ailén's points about myself, it is the same things I have fought tooth and nail to admit openly, in a straightforward way. It feels like I've been desperately trying to spit it out and something holds me back and I end up using the desperate energy to create more theories and wallow on the feelings that result which I perceive as real suffering when it is only more of the same bullshit that has ruled my life. Instead of accepting I didn't had a clue, I took it as a mission to prove everybody that I did had a clue when I was only trying to convince myself.

I felt extremely bad when one of the dogs, Sebastian, had a life-threatening problem and yet I didn't recognized it nor was able to help him at all. Instead of doing something about it, I used all the pain to shut myself even more and justify complex theories that I knew it all along and had partaken with the solution when clearly I did not. I would scan the events, find something that I knew about (i.e. a drug used) and blow it out of proportions to justify in my mind that I was doing something all along.

This lead to more uncomfortable feelings and the creation of more lies that had piled up to such monumental size that I couldn't take it anymore. Sincere and open communication would remind me of my insincere and unopened communication which will make me even more uncomfortable and instead of admitting it, I ran away by creating yet another complex lie which I fought tooth and nail to believe. And yet, wherever you go, there you are.

I don't know what would describe me if I am able to recall these things and feel relieved that I was seen all along and that I needed not to pretend. What I'm trying to say is that I feel relieved I don't need to hide anymore. It feels like I'm relieved of seeing that everybody can see that I was a fraud all along because I had spent my entire life this way, feeling like a fraud and having to create theories to convince myself that I am not, self-calming myself into more lies and it has made my life downright miserable at best and at worst are the implications for other people's lives. The energy spent into convincing myself I was genuine has been HUGE.

I gave just two examples, just two. And I am 34 years old...

I have invested so much in my beliefs and theories, that I ended up manifesting the outrage at the injustice of it all in all the wrong ways that would perpetuate the misery and to the wrong people. Instead of putting an end to it, I continued to return to the poison well. It is poisonous indeed and it makes you poisonous.

The emotional energy on creating theories has been very intense during these days because of the emotional investment. The rest of the time, it just comes in automatic mode. If it is only the lies needing protection and asking for a justification from my readily creating-theories brain so they could persevere, then, I clearly need protection from myself.

I don't know at this point what I am able to do or not do. All I know is that it was difficult to write the third person post even after several pipe breaths and PotS, and right until the very end I didn't knew if I said something inappropriate or not. At least there was not much room for theory-making because it was more like a timeline and from feedback I received in a previous mirror.

I find it surprising that I'm still offered this opportunity to see myself through this mirror despite of everything. If I can learn from this experience, then my life would not have been a waste.

It seems to me that I have read that ponerology passage at least 10 times in the past with the feeling that I missed something crucial and that I ended up justifying in mind that I understood it and could move on to the next concept which I end up doing and believing. Now I know it was yet another lie.

I'll re-read the entire thread as it seems I have more understanding.
 

Renaissance

Ambassador
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FOTCM Member
Psyche, instead of basically saying, 'hey, I've been acting like a jerk. I'm sorry.', it seems that you're injecting more complex theories, self pity, and self importance. At least that is how it comes across to me. The focus on yourself is just a bit much. I also think that your version of 'being a failure' and failing to be sincere may be different things. Your version seems to be mainly about you. It's okay to make mistakes and not be everything in the world to others while working for others. Working with what you have is what was apparently needed.

I don't know at this point if I can tear away all the lies I've been telling myself.
I suppose this may actually be a matter of if you really want to or not.
 

Michal

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
Losing one's identity or persona is metaphorically shown for example in Twin Peaks.
I am translating it to myself like this: I am agent Cooper and I am looking at the mirror where I see not "myself" but "evil Bob"! The horror! I am ...? Who am I? Shall I escape? It is so horrible so terrifying that almost cant stand it.

You may say it is not about me. Maybe it is only about me :)... For me that kind of movies are so terrifying because the most scary things are inside me. While watching such a movie I associate with "the hero", main character (and dissociate from real life for a moment), like any other movies also. I live for a moment watching his / her life like it was mine. I discover like him / her truth about his / her life.

So just wanted to say that I understand that dealing with such a mirror could be really frightening - when seeing that I am not "myself" that my actions are not "mine". I experienced it different way and maybe will experience it more? I do not know. But I was really scared. I thought I would have disintegrate that "I" will die, that "I" will be taken over. I was afraid of loosing "myself". "Myself" and its world because personality is like a figure surrounded by background. When one is changing other most likely also.

For me then the most important thing was "to survive" and this came to me naturally that I cant loose hope in that I will finally find an answer which I did not know then. I have "cheated" my life then and directed my efforts to make my other "self" stronger in order to withstand possible future confrontation. I wanted to first anchor myself in this "fake" life to have a base for this kind of adventures. I guess each case is different.

If You are affraid and You feel that You may not handle it - try to be smart. Have hope in truth and be strong but maybe find first small sparring fights (like junior boxer) not trying to attack the championship in heavy weight. (I would say so to myself)
 

seek10

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
psyche, it is interesting to see 'Right Man Syndrome' in your past actions that you regret and current explanations of them too. The symptoms of guilt for your (perceived or real) inability to help is clear symptom of the predator . The book you reviewed before 'ReInventing your Life' may be some thing you want to look. reviewing Copying style may be of some help there. If the current can change the past (how ever theoritical), that may not be a effort in vain. What comes to mind is what c's said to Joe 'Just do the opposite of the program'. Also 'Self Discipline in 10 days ' too.
 
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