1.0 Symbiotic Psychology

Symbiotic Psychology: The Synergy Between Mind, Body, Emotions and Consciousness

(rev 2018-11-30b)

Emotions are the perception, by consciousness, of a physiological biochemistry actuated by cognitive activities of our evolved and nurtured neural circuitry.  Because emotions are perceptions of a state of biology being precipitated by cognition, emotions are a reflection of, and give insights into, the nature of cognitive behavior.  Emotions are neither destructive nor constructive but rather they are signals of the presence of very real destructive and constructive cognitive behaviors.  Correlations between cognition, physiological biochemistry, and good and bad feeling emotions are a result of millions of years of evolutionary survival for the health and well-being of the individual.  Now the question is, how are these correlations between cognition, biology, emotions, and consciousness understood, nurtured, and developed within our society for individual health, wealth, and general well-being through their own successful decision-making and creativity? 

Andrew Jackson

2018-03-23

 

1.0  Symbiotic Psychology

The physical pain of a hand on a hot stove brings about a very natural reflexive response: the pain is a signal to get the hand off the stove.  The feeling of pain is significant to the health and survival of the body.  A person cannot perceive the pain of putting their hand on a hot stove without first putting their hand on the hot stove. It is the hot stove that is altering the biochemical physiology of the hand, which consciousness perceives as pain.

Likewise, a person cannot have an emotional response to an accident of a person injuring themselves in a table saw without first having an accident to be perceived. The accident must occur first, which is then perceived and cognitively digested by the brain/mind, which in turn activates biochemical physiological changes within the body. It is these changes in biology, which consciousness then perceives as emotions.

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, which consciousness then perceives and calls emotions?

Emotional events do not occur without any physiological biochemical changes. To have an emotional event, there must first exist correlative biochemical change events within the body and these biochemical events in the body are initiated by activities within the cognitive neural networks.  Since emotions are the perception of physiological biochemical changes triggered by cognitive events, being emotionally out of control is a false construct of the mind.  It is not possible that an emotional event can precede its correlative cognitive event.  Therefore, a person who is said to be emotionally out of control is in fact cognitively out of control and any emotional disorders must first be understood as cognitive disorders.

 Emotions are the perception, by consciousness, of a physiological biochemistry actuated by cognitive activities of our evolved and nurtured neural circuitry.  Because emotions are perceptions of a state of biology being precipitated by cognition, emotions are a reflection of, and give insights into, the nature of cognitive behavior.  Emotions are neither destructive nor constructive but rather they are signals of the presence of very real destructive and constructive cognitive behaviors.  Correlations between cognition, physiological biochemistry, and good and bad feeling emotions are a result of millions of years of evolutionary survival for the health and well-being of the individual.  Now the question is, how are these correlations between cognition, biology, emotions, and consciousness understood, nurtured, and developed within our society for individual health, wealth, and general well-being through their own successful decision-making and creativity?

Symbiotic Psychology 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. An understanding of these correlations reveals an emotional neural circuitry designed to perceive all cognitive activity in terms of a healthy/unhealthy physiological biochemistry.  Because an emotional event follows its correlative biochemical/neurological event, consciousness cannot regulate or manage emotions directly. Consciousness can regulate and manage cognitive activities which consequently initiate physiological and biochemical changes that are then perceived as emotions.

 Section 1 of this book addresses the power and extreme usefulness of understanding how emotions are a perception of biochemical/neurological physiology and an evolved emotional guidance system for consciousness to evaluate and modify cognitive activities.  It is this understanding that is so important for the mental health community.  This aspect of an evolved emotional guidance system must be incorporated into psychological and pharmaceutical therapy as well as into every day personal usage for the health and well-being of an individual.

However, awareness of emotional conditions is another awareness of cognition…. which can form a circular feedback loop.  This feedback, if left unabated, can continuously repeat upon itself with the outcome that the feedback is more dominant than the original awareness.  This is similar to the distortion that can occur in 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 incorporating into its original cognitive activities giving the illusion that emotions, rather than cognition, are constructive/destructive.

Section 2 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 proposed psychological and pharmaceutical therapies. Section 7 presents a method to progress towards emotional wisdom, which can guide cognitive activities towards healthy, successful, and environmentally adaptive deductions, conclusions and decisions. Examples of therapeutic exercises to develop healthy cognitive-emotional behaviors are outlined in Section 8.   Section 9, Emotional Guidance – The Dark Side, is a discussion of how nature’s wonderful mind, body, emotions and consciousness correlative relationships can go astray. Section 10 summarizes how the human spirit is intertwined within a massive collection of neural networks and circuits. At the end is a collection of Appendices: Essays on Emotional Wisdom reflecting the impact of Symbiotic Psychology: The Synergy Between Mind, Body, Emotions, and Consciousness upon the human landscape.

1.1 Introduction to Symbiotic Psychology

The physical pain of a hand on a hot stove brings about a very natural reflexive response. Such pain is a signal to get the hand off the stove.  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 cognitive perceptions, thoughts and actions feel good. Other cognitive perceptions, thoughts and actions feel bad.  This feels good; this feels bad.  What is the significance of understanding emotions as an evolved biological guidance system for cognitive behavior?  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 towards happiness and well-being? (ref. 1-1, 1-2, 1-3, 1-4, 1-5, 1-6, 1-7, 1-8)

1.2 Cognition, Emotions, Physiology and Neurology

There is a vast array of interconnecting neural networks which allow communication between the different functional areas of the brain.  These evolved neural circuits support liaisons between cognitive neural networks, the body’s biochemical physiology, emotional neural networks, and consciousness (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 neural 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 correlative 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.

Neural 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.

Cognition deals with the processes of knowing, namely, perception, recognition, conceiving – which includes imagination and inspiration – and reasoning (ref.1-12). The focus of this book however, is how emotions have evolved their own purpose and how knowledge of that purpose should be processed for the health and well-being of the individual.  Emotional neural circuits provide feedback about how cognitive processes need to be further utilized before any internal mental deliberations can be properly concluded and any decisions made.  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.  This internal work isn’t finished until positive emotions come to dominate and signify and reflect that a healthy physiological biochemistry has been achieved.

1.3 The Four Postulates of Symbiotic Psychology

The following four postulates form a basis of Symbiotic Psychology. The implications of these postulates are developed in the remainder of the book.

  1. Emotions are the Perception of Physiological Biochemistry: Cognitive neural circuitry activities (a) stimulate biochemical activity within the brain and body (b) that we perceive as emotions (c). The emotions that we feel (c) are the result of physiological biochemical activities (b), not their cause.  The illusion of emotions is that emotions drive the mind and its biochemistry.  Rather, cognition precipitates changes in the body’s physiological biochemistry which consciousness then perceives as emotions. Therefore, since physiological biochemistry is a consequence of cognitive behavior, emotions are not constructive or destructive in themselves because they only exist as a reflection of very real constructive or destructive cognitive behavior

 

  1. Evolved Cognitive/Emotion Correlations: The cognitive construct of emotions evolved out of the necessary correlative relationships between cognition, physiological biochemistry, emotions and consciousness that promoted life throughout the ages.  Emotionally feeling good must correlate with (a) the body’s physiological biochemistry of health and well-being, (b) the mind’s knowing of health and well-being, and (c) an actuality of physical health and well-being. Therefore, cognitive activities should not dwell within emotionally negative events but, rather, should continue an iteration of various cognitive activities until emotionally good feelings reflect physical health and well-being and a focus upon that which is wanted and desired.

 

  1. Feels Good is Good: Whether one is perceiving emotions, feelings, or affect, it will boil down to some aspect of feeling good or feeling bad. And, within the consequences of evolution, feeling good is healthy and right, and, feeling bad is not.  Because this basic emotional system of feels good is good evolved out of the reptilian brain of might is right, parenting and community 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 might for right, feels good is good ethics can be sustained.

 

  1. Capacity to Change and Adapt: 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. Neural networks develop, grow, and even reorganize throughout life. New relationships among these networks develop as new lessons in life are experienced and learned.  Reality changes as new neural cognitive networks form.  That which is understood and known to be real today may not exist tomorrow.

 1.4 Author’s Note:

Within the United States – every year – 44,000 people kill themselves. (https://afsp.org/about-suicide/suicide-statistics/)   How many of those people made a decision, consciously or unconsciously, to reject help from modern psychological and pharmaceutical therapy? What about the mass shootings with the killing of innocent men, women, and children?  Why aren’t these mentally ill perpetrators reaching for help?  Also, 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.A.’s criminal “justice” system.  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?

Since I began voicing my concerns over erroneous psychological and pharmaceutical therapeutic methodologies, over a million (MILLION) people have committed suicide, millions of other people have been put in incarcerating conditions that only amplify their psychological injuries, and mass shootings continue with no review of the psychological environments fostering all of these atrocities.  Lack of academic and public questioning of current psychological and pharmaceutical therapeutic practices within the USA is an affront to humanity’s natural curiosity to understand and comprehend reality.

The thesis of this book is that emotions are perceptions of physiological biochemical states and that these physiological biochemical states of the body are a product of cognitive neural networks stimulating areas of the brain that in turn produce the changes in biochemistry.  Since emotions are a perception of a state of physical being precipitated by cognition, so-called aberrant and destructive emotions are but a reflection of the true prime mover, cognition; and cognitive activities can be extremely aberrant and destructive. It is cognition that must be managed by understanding the significance and meanings of emotional perceptions.

I believe there is enough logical argument within this book to foster much-needed academic discussions.  Until the time that such discussions occur, much can be individually accomplished by just understanding the arguments within this discussion and applying the principles of symbiotic psychology to everyday, mundane events in life.   This book is my effort to promote a new wave of understandings within the symbiotic relationships between cognition, physiological biochemistry, emotions, and consciousness.

References:

download the book: Symbiotic Psychology: The Synergy Between Mind, Body, Emotions, and Consciousness.PDF