Inquire of your Feelings and Motivations

Volume 3, Issue 45

Raoul’s face showed no change, while inside he suddenly seethed with impatient anger at his spouse, whom he saw as going off onto a long negative diatribe tape he had heard too many times before without ever saying a word to her about it.

Feelings are expressions of motivation — your own motivation. Thoughts have great value of course but are not necessarily brilliant readers of your own feelings. Thoughts must make extensive effort before truly understanding one’s own motivations. Isn’t that strange? Thoughts and feelings working together can make your motivations more clear to yourself than thoughts alone.

Combining these ideas points to the need to put some effort, and not thought effort alone, into discerning your own feelings and motivations. Else you would not understand yourself completely enough to be in Observer state.

But first, what is the evidence that our thinking is not automatically adept at reading our own feelings? Do we not quickly realize when we are in a bad mood, or good mood, and isn’t it almost always obvious what caused it? Can’t we articulate the explanation in our own mind?

At that level of understanding, this is true. In most cases we are quick and confident judges when we think about what we are feeling. We can categorize the feeling into positive vs. negative, and instantaneously we make a mental thought connection with either an image or an amorphous memory of events leading up to the feelings.

This program loop does not even recognize that it’s worth tying into one’s own motivations and goes on somewhat blind to the actual priorities that determine action even when it is not what you, in your thoughts, necessarily planned to do.

At the Observer level of understanding, one experiences the ability to discern the micro steps that are going on inside as one event leads to another. These events are of the four Jungian types of experience, i.e. thoughts, feelings, intuitions (hunches), and perceptions; or the memory of these four types of experience re-arising.

In Observer state, if you are focused inwardly, you can detect that first there are feelings, then there are guesses being made about those feelings, then there is closure on one guess, the guess usually being a pre-existing category with a name. If the feelings exceed a threshold of arousal there is then gloating over and seeking subconsciously to re-experience and lengthen “good” (upbeat) feelings, or to repress, get angry or afraid or melancholy about, or think objectively about in order to fix “bad” (negative) feelings. Below that level of arousal the mind typically moves on to more important and/or pressing matters.

From the perspective of the Observer state there is a skeptically-objective further questioning of the guess before the feeling of closure is allowed. There is realization that outcomes typically have more than one cause so any classification into a single box is reductionism, leaving out significant parts of the system at work, which is the very thing one is seeking to understand more.

In the Observer state too — if one has been in that state long enough for significant processing to have occurred during these times — one is aware that behind the feelings lay the motivations, which the feelings are merely the expressions of.

Acceleritis has made the Observer state an atypical experience because of the drive toward closure in the avalanche of data falling upon the newly-evolved brain, which has only been in its present configuration for the most recent 20% of the time since we came down from trees, and which only taught itself written language in the most recent 0.6% of the time since we de-arborealized. The printing press was invented in the most recent 0.04% of that time, television in the last 0.0065%, Internet in the last 0.0018%, and mobile/social as we know it now in the last 0.0002%. Notice that the jarring shocks are occurring more frequently, accelerating — hence “Acceleritis”.

In Acceleritis mode we are happy to throw the feelings into a simple bucket, with a simple cause, and move on. We do not grasp the importance of more deeply understanding our own feelings and motivations. This is one of the unfortunate side effects of Acceleritis. We do not grasp the importance of a lot of things.

The key part of the feelings system is the moment at which you name it as good, bad, or neutral. I find that “Bad” tends to get oversubscribed. The very feeling of life in the Acceleritis field is background radiation negative. When in doubt, go negative, is the subconscious mental rule at that logic gate.

Avoid hasty closure is the takeaway. More about that in this excerpt from my book, Mind Magic.

Put off deciding that you are in a bad mood. In my case this universal problem manifests most often as feeling like I am not as happy as I should be. I find that just seeing how ridiculous this is, is enough to make me LOL which invariably ups my mood.

The rest of the sensorium seems to also take a clue from the frontalis and zygomaticus muscles of the face. In a devilish feedback loop, if you are always smiling your body will always assume you must be happy. The song “Smile” is actual psychotechnology. A frown on your face automatically triggers a descending mood spiral.

Less than a second after seething with impatient anger at his spouse, Raoul was observing that seething and trying to see what it was: could he feel it in his body somewhere? The feeling ebbed away into nothingness to be replaced by a faint everyday joy in the moment, mildly curious about its look, feel, and meaning, as his mind let go the memory of the momentary inner process and felt soft emotional receptivity focused on his beloved.

Happy New Year to all,

Bill

Follow my regular blog contribution at Jack Myers Media Network: In Terms of ROI. It is in the free section of the website at  Bill Harvey at MediaBizBloggers.com.

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