The nature, evolution and problem of the existing human emotional process of understanding and restructuring it

     The emotional process is an essential component of our hybrid subjectivity, discussed earlier. In fact, it is the cornerstone of any living process and responsible for spawning all other mental functions and processes, including intelligence, in living things. The earliest forms of biological life have elementary response systems and not as yet a proper emotional process or system. The former constitute simple reflex responses (genetically programmed) to any relevant external stimulus or incoming data (also internal stimuli) as opposed to elaborate genetic software or programme based responses, which make up the emotional process. Despite this distinction, however, we do know that the emotional system in developed living organisms is basically an elaborated and complex form of the elementary response systems found in simple life forms. 

 

The process of elaboration of the reflex toward emotion is analogous to the evolution of elementary pre-nucleic biological system (or proto-cell), subsequently producing a nucleus based cell. It was the formation of a nucleus in the biological system that became the root cause for the inception of proper biological software (and programmes based on it) in genes, which produced a developed stable cell, making the evolution of multicellular life possible. Similarly, in the evolution of the emotional process the role of the nucleus was (and still is) played by pleasure sensitivity, because it provided the impetus for evolving a complex software in mental genes that enabled living things to move beyond a reflex response process. The reflex system still exists both in very simple life forms and highly complex ones like us but is identifiably different from the emotional process/system, which operates on the basis of developed mental software and programs installed in mental genes. As biological forms moved up the evolutionary ladder, their biological and mental capabilities started growing and developing due to interaction with a changing environment, resulting in the further elaboration and development of the emotional software. This is why we find a more complex and sophisticated emotional software in advanced animals.

Similarly when the Hominid evolves the Genus Homo and eventually Homo Sapiens, who learn a more elaborate use of their hands, there begins a process of enhancement in the physical and mental capabilities of these species and their interaction with the environment. This produces a corresponding development of the emotional and mental software as a spiraling process. Evidence of this process can be seen in the growing and changing emotional and motivational preferences, and likes/dislikes (alongside mental capabilities of cognition, problem solving, memory, imagination and Will) of this species manifesting in the making of new and increasingly complex material and mental products and developments, (tools, artifacts, Art, etc.). However, during the various stages of the post-homo sapiens phase, despite massive modification in the emotional and mental software, there is very little alteration in the biological software. There are quantitative changes due to genetic modifications in the biological form of the Homo sapiens, as they go through different periods starting from Paleolithic to Neolithic onward, but these are limited, very slow and nothing substantial compared to what happens in the emotional software and processes.  The expansion of the emotional software and corresponding growth of the emotional processes start to happen at a much faster pace with accumulating consequences, which set the stage for further development of existing capabilities and emergence of new ones such as mature language.

Out of the numerous consequences that oral and written language unleashed in human life the most significant one was the enabling of verbal man to multiply his capabilities through a continuous and growing process of adding, integrating, and coordinating the capabilities of many other individuals. We are aware of animal herds also combining and coordinating the capabilities of their individual members for carrying out a specific hunt but that is a very short-term, limited and simple process with a clear intention and motivation. In post-language man this capability moves on to an intensive and broader scale and in fact becomes unlimited. In the period of civilization, when verbal capability (not only spoken but also written) couples with organized social work, then the emotional process reaches a stage of development where it gives rise to new questions in Nature. At that stage we see the emergence of another capability-the intellectual process. This capability is clearly distinct from the developed emotional capability. Although, the emotional capability has grown with time to handle greater complexity and today it is made up of many layers that cover far greater depth and breadth of emotional functioning than before, but nevertheless it is still software based; it arises out of and is tied to the software installed in it. Whereas, the intellectual capability is free of any natal cord with the software. The emotional software process is individual based, as it has its origins in the individual biological process. This fact not only confines it to the individual biological existence but all the response systems it produces are also based upon the relationship between the living organism and its environment from the standpoint of the organism, i.e. its subjective. Consequently, the cognitive capability (and subsequent processes) of the organism is limited to things and their functions in relation to the software installed in the individual emotional process. 

The intellect, on the other hand, becomes capable of cognizing ‘reality in itself’ (in terms of all the interconnections between its things and processes), independently of the design criteria in the emotional software, manifesting in an individual’s pleasure system at a given time and place. It becomes capable of going beyond the constraints of the emotional software (in terms of its paradigms which are made and frozen within a time and place) and cognize all things as a part of macro reality; encompassing all space and time. Thus the intellect’s whole dimension of reality becomes different. Its capability starts to function in terms of objective interconnections and interactions in relation to all things in Nature and not the subjective standpoint of survival and later on pleasure (as it develops in advanced animals and then us). What this tells us is that the intellect’s capability and dimension of cognizing the whole of Nature is logically incapable of being installed in the existing software based emotional process. That is why these two vastly different dimensions of capabilities and processes exist and operate at a parallel level within an individual’s mental system. The emotional and intellectual processes functioning together create a real and complex problem within the mind; an anomalous situation. 

With the emergence of the intellect we are witnessing the birth of a third process in Nature which can for the first time, in addition to all external phenomena, acquire intelligence about the software based emotional process itself. Acquiring this intelligence is necessary for freeing the intellectual process to develop further towards its full potential. At present the software based emotional process, being an older and a more deep rooted process, provides the basic framework of thinking and execution, which inhibits and circumscribes the functioning of the intellectual process. The intellectual capability can cognize much more and in doing so travel way beyond the software based emotional process but it still remains tied to it. This means it primarily functions as a tool for the agenda of the emotional process and is not free to autonomously and consistently pursue its own agenda, which includes its own qualitative maturing. 

At this point it would be relevant to mention that just as the biological and the emotional process are driven by the pleasure sensitivity (as explained earlier) the mature intellectual process is also driven by the pleasure process. In this case however, the pleasure is of knowing reality as a whole, and not just specific things. Hence this knowing and its corresponding pleasure process will be of a qualitatively new dimension which will include the biological and the emotional processes and all other phenomena in Nature. But we need to take note that knowing reality is only a means for the intellect’s pleasure process whereas the application of this knowing is to achieve an emotional process beyond the software so that it becomes compatible with the dynamic and applications of this new knowing. We say this because this new knowing and its applications cannot logically be contained or satisfied in a software process; they have opposite trajectories and operation and are consequently incompatible. It is this anomalous situation within the mind of man which defines the current stage of human evolution. That is why there has to be a transition from a software based emotional/pleasure system to an intelligence based emotional/pleasure system. And since pleasure is the common denominator between the biological, emotional and intellectual systems hence the resolution of the conflict between software and the new intelligence based mental systems, and the transition towards a mature and free intelligence based emotional/pleasure system, will also be driven by the pleasure process. This will free the intellectual process to develop unhampered (by the software process) as a mature process moving towards the pleasure of knowing its own emotional and biological processes and the rest of the world. In this process, the pleasure system acquires its dynamic from the degree of the knowing potential of the intellect, which means it becomes an immensely more dynamic pleasure system compared to the one based on biological and emotional software. This qualitatively different and better pleasure process will only become a reality once our mature intellect replaces the emotional software and functions as intelligence for all the systems; biological, emotional, et al. It is our mature intellect that will open up the present pleasure potential on an unimaginable scale and at the same time prevent it from being tapped and used by the software processes. In order to move in this direction, the existing intellect will have to start a process of communication, and discourse within the mind. The typical line of reasoning posed by our software based system is that if we use our growing intellect and apply our new intelligence about software processes then we will experience pain. In other words, any action which is not software based will be like denying oneself the pursuit of pleasure installed in the software resulting in the experience of pain.  On the other hand, the intellect while using its intelligence about the software processes will point out the contradiction between the existing software based and driven pleasure process and the potential of pleasure which we are inhibiting. In addition, it will reveal to us how the on-going overriding operation of the software processes to the exclusion of our intellect and its intelligence is what will actually cause us pain (as an experience) instead of giving pleasure. 

 

The above process of communication will be the beginning of a discourse on a more intelligent and higher level within our minds. And that is what we need to do in order to move towards a new stage of our evolution, which will be defined by a mature intellect and a new intelligence based emotional /pleasure process and system. In order to move towards evolving a new intelligence based emotional process we need to first acquire a more in-depth understanding of our existing software based or biology based emotional process. This understanding is the first step of any intelligent engineering of our emotional process and the further evolution of our entire mental complex.

 

Understanding the core characteristics of the biology based emotional process in living things and going beyond it

To begin the process of understanding the biology (or software) based emotional process of contemporary man we need to first make a distinction between its two different but interconnected planes; its core reality and its actual manifestations in terms of specifics. Our existing emotional process is like a huge tree with so many branches and innumerable leaves sprouting out of them that it is very difficult to understand it in terms of specifics. One can easily get lost in this variety and intellectually tie oneself in knots while trying to understand them. This distracts one from seeing and understanding this process in terms of its fundamentals, which is a crucial exercise due to its general importance and application for individuals. Since we do not have mathematics or laboratory tools with which we could classify and establish the precise values of our emotional process—both the core and manifest processes—hence we need to resort to inferences based on our current stage of knowledge. We may use a standard operating procedure of philosophical inquiry, wherein, we try to understand the earlier versions of a phenomenon in order to understand its present formation. The earlier versions of phenomena are simpler and more reliably verifiable as historical processes. This reliable verification is not merely due to the way they were recorded but due to the fact that we find them repeatedly functioning in the same way. Thus the historical features of the phenomenon in question stand verified in the laboratory of time. In other words, one can have the reliability of a laboratory if one observes the work of the tools of time on the phenomenon one is trying to comprehend. During this process of observation one is able to identify not only the components but also their functioning, along with their interconnections. So one can see them in a dynamic state over time and then draw inferences from that historical data to understand the present stage of that phenomenon. 

 

In view of the above, if we want to clearly and comprehensively grasp the core reality of the biology based emotional process then we will need to go back to the animal kingdom. As that represents the midway evolutionary stage of our emotional processes. There is an earlier level in very simple living organisms but we can draw the best possible inferences from the middle stage of developed animals. If we take a closer look at the emotional processes of animals we can see the following core characteristics. One, the emotional processes of animals are always with reference to something they need. This is the bottom layer of their emotional processes where the needs are fed in as data. And these needs are firmly based upon the basic elementary process of sensitivity and awareness of the animal about its form as a whole. So an animal looks at the outside world from the standpoint of its needs, i.e. what is relevant or irrelevant, of interest or not of interest, to its needs. This tells us that the emotional process has a direct and easy access to the animal’s other mental processes like the cognitive system and memory bank on the basis of which it makes the classification of relevance and interest. Two, it is this emotional classification of need relevance that drives the animal to make an operational plan of how to fulfill the need. Three, it is this emotional drive which makes the animal invest the best of itself in the pursuit of making a plan to fulfil its need and then for actualizing it. So we witness the most focused application and activation of all its biological and mental capabilities. Four, the emotional process is transactional and short-term; it exists in terms of ‘time bound links’ in the chain of an animal’s biological life. This characteristic can be discerned when the emotional process starting with an active need comes to an end or goes into a passive state. Between this closure and the next installment of activation is the basic approach of the animals towards its life and surrounding environment, shared by its emotional process. It is this feature which is responsible for the short-term and transactional nature of the emotional process.  

Due to this characteristic we are able to perceive the reach of the emotional process in its active state. In other words, it tells us what and how much of the world around the animal is excluded from the reach of its emotional process. This exclusion is not due to failure or limitations of the animal’s capabilities of perceiving, cognizing and intelligently processing data to find solutions to its needs, but due to the emotional process operating in terms of short-term, tangible specifics within the parameters of the world that becomes relevant by the activation of a specific need at a particular time. It is this first emotional switch that determines the focus of emotional attention and the rest gets excluded. Hence we do not actually come to the hurdle of ‘capabilities and their exercise’ because of this earlier hurdle of ‘time bound links’, which makes the former emotionally irrelevant. 

We need to realize how damaging the above characteristics are to the animal’s learning process. They ensure the animal learns only the hard way; when its existence and survival are threatened. Of course those individual specimens who experience but cannot survive a life threatening crisis fail to learn from it or pass on that learning, but there are always others who observe those failed specimens and can emotionally draw some inferences from their observations of that failure. In those animals there would be a learning curve, as they incrementally, through degrees of hardship, drag out their existence over a protracted period of acute struggle for survival. And this acquired learning would be transmitted both genetically and epigenetically to the next generations. In some cases the animal which has undergone that learning would be able to directly (genetically) pass on some part of it to its immediate next generation. But most of the time there would be an incremental process of genetic and epigenetic transmission of that learning over generations. The well-known description for this process is ‘evolution through adaptation’ or ‘survival of the fittest’. 

The above explained four characteristics are the core general reality of the biology based emotional process, which the human emotional process has inherited and preserved. We find no evidence in the history of civilization that man has focused on his core emotional process and tried to change it, although its working has been modifying through the addition of new tools. For example, tools of language and its products in the form of science, engineering, technology, unending material production, etc., and the experiences flowing from these have led to modifications in the working of the core emotional process. The quantitative and qualitative expansion of the emotional agenda, and its manifestations in the form of an unending variety of artifacts and art forms, are a clear evidence of modifications in the working of the core human emotional/sensitivity processes during the period of civilization. But these changes are not a result of any systematic focus of man on the core emotional process nor any serious attempt to change it.  

We do find indirect attempts by religious thinkers and mystics where they focus on human nature, which is actually another term for human behavior. Their aspiration is to focus on human behavior at a level where they can find the means for changing man at a ‘fundamental’ level. By ‘fundamental level’ they do not mean an intelligent redesigning or qualitative change in the emotional process of the biological species but a change or transformation in the overall human behavior. Thus, prophets, and mystics have been treating the human specimen as a whole and not in parts. While we are proposing that in the 21st century there has to be a more synthetic and systematic approach that takes into account the parts as well as the whole. 

We as contemporary people have reached a stage of mental sophistication where in order to understand a phenomenon we break it down to its most basic components, study each of them separately and then to whatever extent possible combine and integrate that knowledge. This enables us to go on increasing the area of our understanding based on accumulated objective knowledge about that phenomenon. Today we propose to apply this same methodology to the phenomenon of man’s mind, especially the biological mind and its emotional process and for the specific purpose of changing it. The need to undertake this particular exercise becomes all the more necessary if we look at the times in which we are living. In our view, problems of present day individuals and societies are somewhat like the difficulties all living species confronted when they were in the throes of evolution. A time of general crisis when a specimen’s needs (and connected issues) could no longer exist in a relatively stable environment where they could be successfully fulfilled within the ambit of its existing capabilities and characteristics. Up to now the difficulties human specimens have been confronting in various periods of their history cannot be classified as evolutionary difficulties because individuals were able to survive and move past them and became more enabled while remaining fundamentally intact. They did not produce a crisis of such form and proportion with which a large part of the species became incapable of coping at their existing level of capabilities resulting in a process of disintegration and deconstruction and then reconstruction on another plane. So human beings suffered but learned to cope with their problems through finding some solutions and alternatives which enabled them to survive better and also multiply.  

 

Today this no longer seems to be the case. It appears that we are failing at both coping and preventing disintegration at all levels of our existence. In fact, both these processes seem to be precipitating and threatening the very fabric of human existence as a species in Nature. We can neither find any geographical nor any other form of solution for the problems that we have created for ourselves, both as individuals and as societies. Any bright and clever solutions that we come up with, based on our massive individual and collective capabilities, only succeed in creating new unprecedented forms of difficulties. It is like an infection which keeps becoming more resistant and is also able to mutate itself and for which we do not have a real long-term cure but only piecemeal and temporary solutions.   

 

We would like to define this present phase of human existence as the stage of an evolutionary crisis. Specifically because in this phase our developed mental needs are getting frustrated (instead of getting fulfilled) despite our becoming immensely enabled, hence we are actually experiencing the limits of our existing in-built (and developed) framework of capabilities to resolve our problems. This implies that we need to evolve qualitatively new mental capabilities and processes. It is in this context that we suggest our minds developing a parallel and successor emotional process with a new design and different fundamentals. Hitherto the core design and fundamentals of the emotional process have been derived from the biological state of a living form, which is its primary characteristic. So a living thing’s mind (a prerequisite for stable and better survival and growth) and its emotional process (a sine qua non) exist and operate within the limits of its biological state of existence. Presently, we are confronting the issue of this primary characteristic because a phenomenon is defined by this and not the whole package of its components, which always include elements (energy and matter forms) from various stages of Nature’s own evolution. Our problem is that a living form need not be defined primarily in terms of its biological state. It can be seen as a post-biological phenomenon which includes the biological component. 

Our hitherto understanding of mental processes informs us that they can become the primary characteristic of our evolving human form. But this cannot be so without a qualitatively new emotional component; a successor to the present emotional component in all living phenomena wherein the biological state was primary. The new evolved emotional process will need to have a different structure of relevancy and core characteristics. This means it would be another formation with a new design and architecture. It will not eliminate or annihilate the previous emotional form but incorporate all necessary elements from it. A word of caution here. In the process of making a successor emotional process we cannot make permutations and combinations of the earlier explained core characteristics of the biology based emotional process and kid ourselves into believing that to be a successor emotional process. In reality that would be persisting with previous foundations and only looking for new leaves. There would be inertia in the roots and dynamic in the leaves, which would essentially mean a repetition of the preexisting form and not its evolution. 

 

The route to making a new restructured emotional process; awakening the sensitivity process and engaging with the emotional process

 

Any individuals who decide to restructure and evolve their emotional processes will need to be clear that this process cannot be undertaken at the intellectual level alone. As the fundamental fault and problem does not lie with the intellectual process but the emotional process and responses. The latter are primarily responsible for creating the mess we experience and observe both within and outside of us. The intellectual process and its tools will be used in the process of evolution but they cannot begin this process. As long as the pre-existing emotional systems (with their paradigms and patterns) are operational they will obstruct any intervention from the intellect. We have ample experience (conscious and unconscious) of this obstruction, both within individuals and in their social interactions. Hence the first steps of the solution involving internal changes in the emotional processes (the motivational structure and personality) have to come from within the emotional process itself and the intellect has to join hands in this process after these initial steps have been taken. Within the emotional process, what has to be targeted, awakened and strengthened is the ‘sensitivity response process’, which lies at the heart of the generic emotional process in Nature. All operating animal and human biological systems find their best resources of stamina and strength (for any pursuit, whether in favorable or adverse situations) in their emotional processes which are firmly based upon sensitivities. In other words, the emotional process or, we can say, the executory mechanism of the biological process, in its natural design is rooted and founded upon sensitivities. That is the objective logical structure of an emotional process which sustains the biological process and serves it. 

 

In the contemporary design of the human emotional process, we have disconnected from this foundation and through the input of our individual centric intelligence we have substituted it with our own privately designed foundation of greed, opportunism, and adversarial isolationism. Today most of our decisions are made on the basis of pragmatism, heavenly truths, sentimental duties, and other constraints and compulsions instead of sensitivities. In this sense we have disconnected ourselves from the natural logic of the emotional process. Practically this has produced a kind of uneven development within our minds where the beneficial effects of the highly developed mental parts do not reach the most important (qua our evolution) parts and functions and so we lose sight of them. We can observe this specifically within our minds in the form of a growing disconnect between our highly developed intelligence/intellectual functions and our neglected sensitivity response function, the most important process for our further evolution. While operating at the level of our existing intelligence, we have been both manipulating this uneven development and exacerbating it by ignoring it with the help of numerous devises intended to preserve an outdated form. So actually we have been perpetuating the disconnection between our developed and undeveloped parts. If we had intelligently connected the two, the development of one part would have impacted positively on the underdevelopment of the other. One can see how the dynamic of our more developed functions like intelligence reaches and interacts with our emotional process where it creates a lot of noise and effect in terms of producing a lot of motivation and a rich, complex and dynamic emotional life. But this only produces an illusion in our minds about the positive and creative application of our rapidly growing functions, whereas in reality it is only creating a deeper mess within us through generating a contradiction between a developed emotional life and a dormant and stagnating sensitivity process. Consequently, our emotional life is nourished and reinforced by insensitivity instead of sensitivity. This is the reality of our contemporary emotional state. 

 

A reflection of this reality can be seen in the way we keep using our assets of developed capabilities for focusing upon and perpetuating our existing emotional process and consequently our existing form. There is an in-built motivation to perpetuate that form beyond its logical life-span. Hence we approach the emotional process with this irrational motivation and then try to use our intelligence in relation to it and end up making a greater mess. Through our emotional solutions we contrive to perpetuate the status quo of our form and consequently with every new generation only succeed in messing up our life experience as a whole. 

 

We have become inflicted with the illusion (in its various forms) that within the framework of this illogical situation we can find a solution for ourselves and even mankind in every sphere of life. What sustains this illusion and gives it more unjustified life is our focus on the success stories of some individuals who have managed to achieve in the short-term. And if we are a part of this exclusive group then we imagine ourselves as one of the exceptions and look upon others as backward and deficient specimens who deserve to fail. This approach is actually a measure of the quality and application of our contemporary intelligence and emotional state to our motivational bundle or agenda. We make a mental picture of ourselves beginning with an agenda we have created through our unique intelligence (also stagnant and half-baked) and not through our sensitivities. So we have actually changed the whole nature of our emotional process. It is no longer the natural truthful process (driven by sensitivities) existing at the core of the living process. At this stage it would be useful to understand the distinction between sensitivity and emotion and the steps through which our multi-layered and complex emotional agenda is formed. And how at present we do not make our choices and decisions on the basis of the sensitivity process but this emotional agenda, which we sometimes call pragmatism, heavenly truths, sentimental duties and all kinds of other compulsions and constraints. 

 

Distinction between sensitivity and emotion and the formation of our emotional agenda

‘A’ particular sensitivity is ‘a’ particular feeling, which is not an emotion. In fact, ‘a’ particular feeling is one of the building blocks of the various sensitivity building blocks out of which an emotion is made. In addition, our sensitivities are not just the building blocks of our various emotions but also of our numerous and varied perceptions (or the many-layered perceptual knowledge fund) about the outside world relevant to and connected with those sensitivities. The perceptual process and mechanism comes prior to the sensitivity process. The latter is the first response to sensory or perceptual inputs. In the first step each sensitivity is responding to a perception but if it is to become an executory process like a motive it has to go beyond being a singular sensitivity and become a sum total of one’s sensitivities and connected perceptions. This also makes it into a platform where interconnection and interaction takes place with all other assets of the mind and body; our ideas, thinking, memory, record and callings of other sensitivities and external reality. Thus a huge processing is unleashed after the first sensitivity response to a singular perception. This makes the sensitivity process move from operating as an element to becoming molecular, where it interacts with other sensitivity data and also relevant data coming from the external world. It is when this composite of our sensitivities and perceptions is cooked in the pot of our brain and mind that we have an emotion. And when we cook many pots with varied combinations of both these components then we have many emotions. At that stage we have a process similar to ‘bias’ in Electronics, which is like a bridge through which interconnections, interactions and adjustments are made between different groups of emotions. An emotion therefore is a finished product, which is operational or executory, and an active partner in an individual’s life. Our existing ‘emotional agenda’ (which includes the operating motivational structure), as distinct from our core ‘sensitivity response process’, is a product of the emotional complex emerging from the above explained process of interaction and processing in our perception and sensitivity mechanisms. It is our emotional complex which produces emotional choices which go on to become motivations. More inputs come into this process when different motivations in our memory or operating systems are correlated. And then our highly sophisticated intellectual or pseudo-intellectual tools are also brought into this process of getting our emotional complex to produce our emotional, motivational or personal agenda. Once our emotional agenda is formed and starts becoming elaborate then it takes on the steering wheel of all our physical, emotional and intellectual systems and their innumerable specific composites constituting our so called ‘unique’ personalities. While the core sensitivity process gets sidelined and becomes dormant. 

The problem is that the processing in our sensitivity and emotional mechanisms is such a complex happening and so much of a drain on our existing intelligence and emotional experience that our thinking gets stuck and exhausted during this process. Due to this we are willing to make all kinds of compromises with reason and logic. So out of tiredness we settle down to some pragmatic emotional agenda, which is essentially manufactured out of our imagination and laziness. As long as we can find refuge and some false sense of security in our herd instinct we continue to accept reigning paradigms and engage in a very ad-hoc choice making process involving an opportunistic method. This is how and why we do not make our decisions on the basis of our sensitivity process but other things like pragmatism, sentimental duties, etc. And during this process we actually trample upon our sensitivities. Within our minds the above process exists in the form of an emotional contradiction between a developed and active emotional life and a dormant sensitivity process (which largely becomes disconnected from our decision making process). This contradiction actually breeds insensitivity or the desensitizing of our sensitivities, which is the reality of our contemporary emotional state. If we look deeper into our minds we will find our sensitivity process existing as sleeping beauty while the witch of insensitivity is actively nourishing our emotional processes.      

 

Communication with the sensitivity process through an emotional dialogue with oneself

To address this situation, we need to first and foremost awaken our sensitivity process and go through an emotional dialogue within ourselves so that we can positively resolve and upgrade our emotional states and processes. When this process begins to bear fruit then we can bring in our intellect as a full-fledged player and equal partner in this process. 

To initiate this process, we need to use our historically developed and preserved emotional assets of cultivated sensitivities acquired in the period of civilization and juxtapose them to our existing sensitivities. Doing this will invoke a general emotional process within us to produce a sensitivity dynamic, wherein we start the process of focusing on our sensitivities. If we feel emotionally safe in tracking down our sensitivities, and find that our personality and its existing emotional choices and priorities are not threatened or disturbed by any hostile element like the intellect, then our existing emotional and motivational agenda will not object to focusing upon and recalling the past history of its own dormant sensitivities. It is then that an emotional dialogue will be initiated within us. But it will be like a very personal or private matter in which our personality will feel sufficiently confident and un- threatened as it will only be taking a condescending look at our sensitivities. With this we come to some of the issues and questions through which we can try to establish contact with and awaken our sensitivities.

 

One, do we have within us a sensitivity which is against a short-term and in favor of a long-term, wherein, both the short-term and long-term are counterpoising elements having their own respective existence and structures. The basic natural tendency in human sensitivity is for the long-term dimension so in the short-term it limits itself and becomes truncated. This means it no longer remains in its natural state. By long-term we do not mean the dimension of macro Nature in terms of hundreds and billions of years. The natural long-term dimension of human sensitivity goes as far as our perception of life goes. At present this does not extend further than one’s grandchildren, which means the current measure of long-term and short-term for us is anything less than this time. 

 

Two, we need to raise the issue of having a sensitivity towards the spatial dimension in which our existing sensitivities are living out their life. There has to be a perception, understanding and corresponding experience of the fact that our personal lives or the space we occupy as individuals is actually the dimension of our insensitivity. The individuals whom we include and interact with in that space, including our children, friends, etc., are in reality optional transactions for us. On the other hand, the natural spatial dimension of our sensitivities, if they are awake, is the social dimension. This includes all people we come across in our lives; people living in our city, province, country, and other countries, and even those with whom we do not have a direct contact, or interaction. An implication of this is that we share and are affected by whatever happens to those people; all their joys, sorrows and problems (like corruption in administration, situation in hospitals and educational institutions, ad infinitum) affect us both emotionally and intellectually.    

 

The third issue to be raised is how at present the criterion of our insensitivity pertains to the extent of our success in adversarial relationships with other individuals, groups and Nature, regardless of our means. Whereas the natural criterion of our sensitivities is that they prefer peace, harmony and trustworthiness.

 

The fourth issue is of sensitivity to our natural environment and its long-term sustenance. Our sensitivities would prefer to see trees thriving and being in their natural splendor of producing flowers, fruits, colors, fragrance, etc., whereas our insensitivity is comfortable with the cutting down of those trees for cash. The same applies to all other issues connected with our natural environment. So here we have to confront ourselves with whether we are working for the long-term sustainable growth and development of our environment or for our short-term material and other tangible interests and agendas, which are destroying that environment. 

 

The fifth issue pertains to one’s sensitivity or insensitivity towards the growth and thriving of children. Whether we would like to see them blossom and become better than us or not. Yet another issue to be raised is the natural preference of sensitivity for that which is beautiful and rejection of what is ugly. We need to examine and assess whether our thinking, decision making and doing at all levels and on different planes involves input from this sensitivity or not. 

 

The above are some of the items that can be used in initiating a dialogue and internal communication with one’s sensitivities. Once this dialogue starts then it will find its own ways of developing further into a full-scale and mature form. And if this dialogue produces some issues which an individual’s emotional system feels obliged to take note off and needs to resolve then this would start a process of resolving one’s existing emotional state, which has so far been viewed as a fixed object, somewhat like a huge mountain. This will enable us to see it as something liquid which can be reshaped. In this process we will also be able to see our insensitivity as another identity, which has so far remained camouflaged but nevertheless operative as an active and dynamic enemy agent. When this positive and dynamic dialogue within the emotional process begins to bear some fruit then one can bring in one’s intellect as a full-fledged and key player and equal partner in this process. 

 

It is only through initiating the above explained process within our minds that human species can hope to break free from the current stagnating human condition and the man-made problems we confront at all levels. Since our problems are a product of ignorance of our defective emotional process/structure and our emotional insensitivity so the real movement of our time is against this and not feudalism, imperialism or the corporations.

 

A successful emotional discourse within an individual can be shared with more people and then one can have a group of such persons who accept and resort to this particular approach of looking at oneself. This group can then start looking at and intervening in the outside world from the standpoint of the changes that take place in their individual and collective emotional processes in consequence of this internal emotional dialogue.

 

Notes

i. Our existing subjectivity is a hybrid of two components/processes; the mature reactive programmed mental system based on the subjective emotional process and a corresponding intelligence process, and a very immature nascent emerging intelligent system, based on post-language intellectual process. 

ii. According to Damasio (2003, p. 42) even the responses of very simple life forms like marine snail ‘Aplysia’ cannot be categorized as classical reflexes, which are even simpler, but should be seen as complex packages of responses some of which can be quite elaborate and well- coordinated. So in his view the basic configuration of emotions can be found in these response systems of even very simple living organisms.   

iii. We are not saying pleasure and pain but only pleasure. The reason being that pain is a software based experience of inner imbalance or failure to maintain balance while pleasure is the fundamental and logical necessity and imperative which drives the specimen to move on to address that imbalance. That is why we view pleasure sensitivity as the nucleus of the emotional process.  We are not denying the role of pain here but without the pleasure sensitivity it would have remained just an experience for the specimen and nothing more. There would have been no drive for it to address that pain experience. The living thing would have experienced pain and then depending on the intensity of that experience it would either learn to live with it or disintegrate. Hence the role of the pleasure sensitivity being more significant and critical than the pain experience. But we must make this clear that both pain experience and pleasure sensitivity are integrally connected and work together in the emotional process to ensure the survival and stable functioning of the living organism.

iv.  The massless-energy-based templates in the brain genes, which determine the formation and functioning of the various mental functions and processes. 

v. Such a distinction is also proposed by the Neurologist, Antonio Damasio, in his work. In his view emotions lie between the very basic survival response patterns like simple reflexes, metabolic regulation, etc., and the complex and more flexible and tailored responses of what he calls “High Reason”.  So he correctly proposes a hierarchy of the mechanisms which constitute the survival and regulatory system of living organisms (Damasio, 2000 , pp. 54-55).  

vi. People who have been observing and researching on advanced animals like dogs, cats, elephants, lions, chimpanzees, etc., both in the wild and in homes and other places like Zoos, Circuses, etc., are aware of the complexity of the like/dislike and pleasure processes of these animals. There are ample examples of the emotional connection and empathy of pets with their owners and even amongst two specimens of the same species. Playing in animals and certain likes and dislikes, warning and helping other specimens of their species, also indicate the existence of a developed emotional software and superstructure. We can find very detailed examples of social empathy and emotions in animals in Darwin’s work. (Darwin, 1981, pp. 74-84)  

vii. A slow and insignificant process in Homo Sapiens living between 500,000 to 100,000 years ago. It picks up pace between 100,000 to 35,000, and becomes quite elaborate between 35000 and 12000 and then after the maturing of language and coming of agriculture in the last 12000 years of civilization we find highly developed forms of emotional and mental processes and an explosion in the variety, quantity and quality of their products. There arise variations in the designs of tools, and their functions and then composite tools with multiple functions, and increasing use of new materials to make objects including new tools, weapons, ornaments, shelters, etc.     

viii. We find some genes in modern humans which underwent rapid mutations during their evolutionary journey as homo sapiens. For example, microcephalin and ASPM, which regulate brain size. The new variant of microcephalin arose 37000 years ago and is found in almost 70% of contemporary humans. Similarly ASPM emerged around 5800 years ago and we find it in 30% of today’s humans (Gianaro, 2005). 

ix. Even to this day we are in the process of upgrading existing and producing new applications of combined capabilities. Examples of such applications are the making of society, Nation States, factories, Research centers, schools, colleges, ad infinitum.

x. Even in its collective form where it operates as culture. Because even there it is tied to the greater pleasure and welfare of the individual on a collective scale. So it is still very much operative and dominant.  

xi. We need to remember that the emotional process is now functioning as a compound system made up of these two discrete processes; the emotional and the biological process. They are both a part of the same subjective and are both based on software. 

xii. As an aside. It is due to these two distinct dimensions and processes that we have the distinction between subjectivity and objectivity. 

xiii. How this process unfolds within the mind of an individual can be seen when we observe the highly developed intellect of a Physicist or Philosopher being covertly hijacked by his own emotional agenda which has items like aspirations for a Nobel Prize, competitive jealousy, fame, power, money, and many other subtle layers of motivations which pollute and put reins on the dynamic functioning of the intellect. The intellect ventures beyond the software in spurts and produces some doing and products but is then pulled back and made to function within the framework of the individual’s basic emotional paradigms and motivations. The dominant framework therefore remains of the emotional process and its individual centric agenda and that determines the larger part of his doing. Whenever he finds repetitive thinking, feeling and doing patterns becoming dominant in relation to any issue or problem (personal or work related) and his inability to intellectually override those patterns then that is an evidence of the covert control of his basic emotional agenda over his other mental processes, including the intellect. The problem is that his intellectually derived conclusions and concepts can also acquire the form of fossilized rigid patterns which become a part of his individual agenda and obstruct the dynamic growth of his intellect; of its observing, questioning, reasoning/ inference drawing processes. Due to this sometimes both scientists and philosophers can restrict their area and scope of questioning, observation and reasoning and confine themselves to known and familiar territory and paths (in the form of ideas, assumptions, known methods, etc).         

xiv. This is emphasized further by the fact that failure to achieve pleasure will be experienced emotionally as pain. But it will be a different kind of pain. At the level of intelligence if there is a feeling of pain resulting from some experience it is called a disappointment. And it is when this disappointment becomes a drive that we call it pain. So when it is not driving a person then it is just a disappointment or failure of pleasure. This disappointment is the negative version of pleasure which opens up from the applications of a developed intellectual process based upon holistic intelligence beginning with its own software processes. 

xv. Emotional and mental alterations which also affect and can alter genetic programmes.     

xvi. We are threatened with growing destruction and devastation through war and violence and then through pollution and destruction of the natural resources that are responsible for our physical/biological survival and sustenance. And most importantly on the mental plane we are increasingly breaking down and not being able to cope with the complexity of our individual and social existence. The growing rate of suicide and random shootings in the developed world and statistics of one in four persons in the world being a patient of depression is saying something about the state of contemporary human mind.

xvii. We cannot run away from our problems by migrating to any place. This can be seen if we analyze the history of human migrations and assess in what measure they have helped to resolve human problems. 

xviii. These include desire for happiness, need for harmony within oneself and in one’s interactions and relationships, pleasure, integration and wisdom, where all these arise as a dynamic product of our maturing intellect and developed sensitivities. 

xix. It cannot be connected to the old relevance of our biology based needs because that will dictate our doing then. It is only a redefined structure of relevance which will become the basis of any new doing. 

xx. Sophisticated super-structural feeling and emotional states and thinking which have all appearances of being both highly sensitive and objective, whereas in fact they are polluted and largely driven by the mature programmed process and its highly developed tool of intelligence for their own perpetuation.  

xxi.  Herd instinct is not a sensitivity but a crude elementary survival instinct which very simply reflects objective reality. It is reliable when animals use it but in our case we interpolate it with our sophisticated intelligence and verbal knowledge and abstractions thus we cannot distinguish between knowledge and ignorance or truth and falsehood. So our process of objective consideration operates like this.