What are basic and complex emotions but the perception, by consciousness, of physiological biochemistry actuated by cognitive activities of the reptilian and mammalian brains? Since emotions are a perception of a state of physical being precipitated by cognition, emotions cannot be aberrant and destructive. But cognitive activities can be extremely aberrant and destructive. It is the management of cognition with emotions as feedback that must be understood and developed within our society. (ref. 1-1, 1-2, 1-3, 1-4, 1-5, 1-6, 1-7, 1-8)
The Three Postulates of Symbiotic Psychology
- Cognition precipitates changes in body’s physiological biochemistry which consciousness then perceives as emotions. Therefore, emotions cannot be aberrant and destructive but only reflect aberrant and destructive cognitive behavior.
- Emotionally feeling good correlates with the body’s physiological biochemistry and the mind’s cognition and an actuality of physical health and well-being. Therefore, cognitive activities should not dwell within emotionally negative events but continue a reiteration of various cognitive activities until emotionally good feelings reflect physical health and well-being.
- Because our basic emotional ethical system of ‘feels good is good’ evolved out of the reptilian brain, parenting and community child education and training must strive to push moral and ethical debate up into our mammalian brain where a more complex cognitive and emotional awareness of a ‘feels good is good’ ethics can be sustained.
How is an “emotionally out of control” person “emotionally” out of control? If a person is having a “fit of rage”, or “acting out in anger” or commits a “crime of passion’, is he/she being “emotionally out of control” because his/her emotions are controlling cognition and physiological/biochemical behavior, or, is he/she being “cognitively out of control” because cognitive activities are creating physiological and biochemical changes consciousness perceives and calls emotions?
This paper uses the theory of evolution to develop an argument that there are fundamental and necessary correlations between (1) the mental activities of cognition, (2) the body’s physiology and biochemistry (3) the emotional perceptions of feeling good and feeling bad, and (4) consciousness. Understanding these correlations reveals an emotional neural circuitry designed to perceive healthy physiological biochemistry. Consciousness does not regulate or manage emotions. Consciousness only regulates or manages cognitive activities which initiates physiological and biochemical changes that are then perceived as emotions. The nature of this emotional guidance system is developed and elaborated to encourage its incorporation into psychological and pharmaceutical therapy as well as its incorporation into every day usage for the health and well-being of an individual.
But, awareness of emotional conditions is another awareness to cognition…. which then can form a feedback circular loop. This feedback, which if left unabated, can rerepeat upon itself where the feedback is more dominate than the original awareness. This is similar to the distortion that can occur between a repetitive feedback loop between a microphone and a speaker. Here cognition is a response to emotion, that is, emotions are generating a feedback loop in which cognition is responding to.
Section 2 of this paper reasons that emotions are an evolved biological system designed to give feedback on cognitive activities through the perception of physiological and biochemical behavior. Sections 3, 4, 5 and 6 integrate this cognitive/emotional feedback circuit into psychological and pharmaceutical therapies. Section 7 develops the progression of emotional wisdom in guiding cognitive activities towards healthy, successful, and environmentally adaptive deductions, conclusions and decisions. And lastly, examples of cognitive-emotional behavior therapeutic exercises are outlined in Section 8.
The physical pain of a hand on a hot stove brings about a very natural response. Such pain is a signal to get the hand off the stove, which is usually a quick and automatic reflex. If the pain is ignored and the hand remains on the hot stove, the biochemical signature of the hand changes to the degree that the hand burns. If the hand is quickly taken off, maybe no medical attention is needed. If the natural response of the body is usurped in some fashion and the hand burns a little, maybe a little salve would allow the healing. But the longer the natural signals are covered up or ignored, the worse the damage and the more extensive the healing process, including skin grafts or worse. The crux of the problem is disregard for the body’s signal to take the hand off the stove.
But aren’t emotions also giving signals? Certain perceptions, thoughts and actions feel good. Other perceptions, thoughts and actions feel bad. This feels good; this feels bad. What is the significance of understanding emotions as an evolved biological system? What is the neurological liaison between mind, body, emotions and consciousness that promotes health and well-being? How can this relationship be exploited to develop more effective psychological and pharmaceutical therapies? How can this relationship be used in daily, moment to moment decisions?
Cognition, Emotions, Physiology and Neurology
There is a vast array of interconnecting neurological networks which allow communication between the different functional areas of the brain. These evolved neurological circuits support liaisons between cognitive neural networks, body’s biochemical physiology and emotional neural networks, and the (ref 1-9). Whereas the five sensory neural networks provide information about the external environment, the emotional neural networks provide information about the state of the body’s environment itself.
There is an array of neurological networks associated with positive emotions, a second associated with negative emotions and a third that inhibits or stops and freezes action (ref 1-9, 1-10). Because different combinations of arrays are activated under different circumstances and nuances, there exist a great variety of corollary possibilities between cognition, the brain/body physiology and biochemistry, the emotional perception of feeling good and feeling bad, and the associated activities within each function.
Neurological networks develop, grow, and even reorganize throughout life. New relationships among these networks develop as new lessons in life are experienced and learned. This attribute of neural networks is called neuroplasticity (ref 1-11). As a result of neuroplasticity, every person has the neurological capacity to change and develop new interpretations of and responses to his or her environmental stimuli. The irreverence of this biological wonder is demonstrated within the U.S. criminal “justice” system.
Cognition deals with the processes of knowing, namely, perception, recognition, conceiving, and reasoning (ref 1-12). The focus of, this paper, however, is how emotions have evolved their own wisdom as to how that knowledge should be processed for the health and well-being of the individual. Emotional neural circuits provide feedback as to how cognitive processes need to be further utilized before any internal mental deliberations have been properly concluded. The significance of negative emotions means the presence of a physiological biochemistry that is unhealthy for the individual and the need for more cognitive deliberation. The work isn’t finished until the presence of positive emotions are dominate.
Within the United States, every year, 44,000 people kill themselves. (https://afsp.org/about-suicide/suicide-statistics/) How many of those made a decision, consciously or unconsciously, to “reject” help from modern psychological and pharmaceutical therapy? What of those mass shootings with the killing of innocent men, women, and children? Why aren’t these mentally ill perpetrators getting help? What is going wrong with mental wellness in the U.S.? Can the mental health community do better? What are modern psychological and pharmaceutical therapies missing?
The thesis of this paper is that emotions are perceptions of physiological biochemistry states of which are a product of cognition. Since emotions are a perception of state of physical being precipitated by cognition, emotions cannot aberrant and destructive. But cognitive activities can be extremely aberrant and destructive. It is cognition that must be managed, and evolutionary speaking, through understanding emotional perception.
That is the message I wish to convey. I believe there is enough argument of logic to foster a much-needed academic discussion. Until such a time occurs, much can be accomplished by just understanding the arguments within this discussion. This paper is free and open knowledge. It is ‘copylefted’ to promote a new wave of understandings within the symbiotic relationships between cognition, physiological biochemistry, emotions, and consciousness.
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