Table of Contents, Chapter Outline

Table of Contents

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

Part 1: Letters of Introduction to Symbiotic Psychology

  • To Neuroimaging Researchers: A Neuroimaging Cause/Effect Standard definition of Emotions?
  • To Human Rights Activists: Linguistics of Emotions Subverting Human Rights
  • To Psychology/Linguistic Communities: A Standard Cause/Effect Definition of Emotions?
  • Public Awareness Announcement: How Current Psychological and Psychiatric Emotional Theory Can Be Dangerous and Harmful to You and Your Families’ Mental and Physical Health, Well-Being, and Prosperity
  • Dear Researcher: Emotions: The Linguistics of Science and Shakespeare
  • Dear Health Care Professional: Redefining Therapeutic Success
  • Dear Patient: Be Your Own Superhero
  • Dear Board of Education: Empowering ALL Students to Succeed
  • Dear Student: For Entertainment Purposes Only
  • Dear Athlete: Unleash Your Evolutionary-Self of Power and Strength
  • Dear Friend: Justice Founded Upon Falsehood Is Itself False and Unjust
  • Dear Prisoner (of War):  Escape from Alcatraz

Part 2: The Theory of Symbiotic Psychology

  • Emotions
  • 1.0 Symbiotic Psychology
    • Introduction to Symbiotic Psychology
    • Cognition, Emotions, Physiology and Neurology
    • The Five Postulates of Symbiotic Psychology
      • Emotions are a Consequence of Cognition
      • Evolved Cognitive/Emotion Correlations
      • Feels Good is Good
      • Capacity to Change and Adapt
      • Intent Gives Definition to Emotional Guidance
    • Author’s Note
  • 2.0 Emotions as an Evolved Biological System
    • The Mind/Body/Emotion Correlation: Evolution’s Impact
    • Cognitive Imagination and Evolution
    • Conclusion
  • 3.0 Depression: Mental Illness or Mental Injury
    • Cure an Illness; Rehabilitate and Injury
    • Responding to a Neurological Emotional Guidance Network
    • Conclusion
  • 4.0 Cognitive/Emotional Rehabilitation
    • Emotional Guidance
    • Defining Mental Health and Well-Being

Part 3: The Practice of Symbiotic Psychology

  • 5.0 Psychological Therapy
  • 6.0 Pharmaceutical Therapy
    • Psychiatric Medications Designed for Healing?
    • Masking Neurological Processes
    • New Opportunities in Medicine
  • 7.0 Cognitive-Emotional Wisdom
    • Development of Cognitive-Emotional Wisdom
    • Trauma and Addiction Corrupting the Cognitive-Emotional Relationship
    • Cognitive-Emotional Wisdom in Education
    • Criminal Justice Reform: The Unalienable Rights
    • Reframing Antisocial Personality Disorder
    • Military Personnel Decommissioning
    • The Wisdom of a Champion: Let Joy Reign
    • Emotions in the 21st Century
  • 8.0 Cognitive-Emotional Therapy
    • Motivation to Feel Better
    • Cognitive-Emotional Rehabilitation and Strengthening Exercises
      • Focusing on That Which Is Wanted
      • Reframing and Appreciating
      • Touchstones
      • Acts of Kindness
      • Distractions
      • Meditation
      • Sports
      • Music and the Arts
      • Creative Writing and Writing Memoirs
      • Stop Going There
      • Having Compassion for Self
      • Using Religious Ideals
    •  Cognitive-Emotional Wisdom in Therapy
  • 9.0 Emotional Guidance – The Dark Side
      • The Grand Illusion Feeding the Dark Side of Emotions
      • The Emotional Guidance of “What Feels Good is Good”
      • Emotional Guidance Gone Wrong
        • Aberrant and Destructive Emotions
        • Emotional versus Cognitive Disorder Management
        • Medication Addiction: Inertia – a body at rest
        • Self-Indulgence
        • Camouflage, Deception and Trickery
        • Affective Realism Gone Really Wrong
        • Cognitive and Emotional Entanglement
        • Core Beliefs: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (ref. 9-5)
      • Reptilian and Mammalian Cognitive Processors (Mind/Brain)
      • Out of Darkness: The Intentional Life
  • 10.0 Conclusion

Appendix: Essays on Emotional Wisdom

  1. Nets on Fire: Making the Air Electric
  2. Criminal Law and Justice Lagging Psychological Advancements
  3. Memoir: Hell on Earth (As Is Heaven)
  4. A Cognitive Reconstruction Between Emotions and Meditation

 

Detail Chapter Outline

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

“Not until the illusion of emotions is understood will the power of emotions be revealed.”

“Any attempt to understand and affect the internal human environment must be taken with an understanding of the changing biochemical conditions of that environment as indicated by an evolved emotional neural circuitry of the human body.”

 

Part 1: Letters of Introduction to Symbiotic Psychology

To Neuroimaging Researchers:

Subject: A Neuroimaging Cause/Effect Standard definition of Emotions?

  1. Can neuroimaging establish the cause/effect relationships between cognition, biology, emotions/feelings, and conscious awareness?
  2. By establishing cause/effect relationships, can terminology be standardized among psychological and linguistic academia?
  3. What is the evolutionary significance of a conscious awareness of feeling good emotions/feelings or feeling bad emotions/feelings?
  4. If emotions and feelings are both an awareness of biological states/changes neuro-linguistically combined with a cognitive awareness, what is their significant difference?
  5. Is the nature of neuro-linguistic programming in defining the cognitive construct of emotions and its terminology so engrained from birth that science is automatically and without question accepting a linguistic construct of emotions that originated over 3000 years ago as exhibited in Homer’s Iliad?

 

To Human Rights Activists:

Subject: Linguistics of Emotions Subverting Human Rights

My grievance revolves around the neurolinguistic understandings of the word “emotion” as misused within the world wide scientific and academic communities of psychology and psychiatry and ultimately in law and the courts.  This human rights subversion is not easily communicated because “everyone” has been neuro-linguistically programed from birth with the common emotional paradigm that destructive emotions such as anger, fear, revenge, and hate are a driving force behind human behavior.  This linguistic paradigm is only further engrained as a person continues their education into more advanced and complicated literary understandings.  But the meaning and understanding of emotions as used in science, literature, and law is incorrect and the consequences of this misuse are devastating to individuals and their cultures.

 

To Psychology/Linguistic Communities:

Subject: A Standard Cause/Effect Definition of Emotions?

Sequential brain imaging correlated with cognitive awareness, biological changes, and emotional awareness by consciousness would seem to be invaluable research here. But logically, a person cannot have an emotional response to something until he/she is aware of that something.  And emotional feelings of an event entail an awareness of biological conditions of said event which also cannot occur until there is an actual change in biology.  Thus logically, the sequential order is (1st) cognitive awareness, (2nd) biological change/state, and (3rd) emotional awareness.

 

Public Health Awareness Announcement:

How and Why Current Psychological and Psychiatric Emotional Theory Can Be Dangerous and Harmful to You and Your Families’ Mental and Physical Health, Well-Being, and Prosperity.

 

Dear Researcher:

Subject: Emotions: The Linguistics of Science and Shakespeare

Have English speaking researchers’ core beliefs of emotions – which may have been linguistically molded from childhood through family interactions and in later years through reading literary works such as Dickens’s Great Expectations, Poe’s The Raven, and Austen’s Pride and Prejudice – impacted their current understanding and scientific research about emotions – and cognition?

 

Dear Health Care Professional:

Subject: Redefining Therapeutic Success and Emotional Decision Making

Symbiotic Psychology: The Synergy Between Mind, Body, Emotions, and Consciousness outlines a new paradigm of emotional understanding.  Rather than demonizing emotions as aberrant, destructive, out-of-control and in need of regulation because of an emotional disorder, Symbiotic Psychology understands emotions as an evolved sensory system, akin to the sense of pain, giving conscious feedback of a state of physiological biochemistry.  Emotions, instead of being regulated by cognitive behavior, are used to guide cognitive behavior for the health and well-being of the individual.

 

Dear Patient:

Subject: Be Your Own Superhero

How bad is it?  How bad do you want what you don’t have?  How bad do you want to have the good life that others have and you don’t.  If you are a prisoner in jail, what do you want?  If you are angry and mad at everything in the world, what do you want?  If you are alone, hiding in a room, never wanting to see the light of day, what do you want? If you are in poverty and living in filth, with never enough food or warm clothes, what do you want?  If you are sick and in misery, what do you want?  If you are depressed with nowhere to turn but death, what do you want?  If you are on drugs or alcohol and your life is in ruins, what do you want?

I was mentally insane with delusions and voices flying around my head.  I was crying out for God to kill me.  I blacked out and awoke with a rope in my hand to make it all end when a voice asked me, “Can you go on?” I got myself back into a mental hospital and stayed alive.  I blacked out and awoke in a padded cell.  They doped me on medications and minute by minute, hour by hour, day after day I spent walking the hospital halls.  When released, nightly I roamed the deserts around El Paso until I ended in jail, beaten and bruised but still picking a fight with the biggest man in the cell.  A voice wanted me to stay alive and continue my madness in hell.  I said, “I can.”

 

Dear Board of Education:

Subject: Empowering ALL Students to Succeed and to Thrive

What is the purpose of education if it is not to provide the tools and training for a successful adult life?  And where is success without joy and passion?  Can education be called a success if it does not provide the understanding and training of a personal cognitive-emotional system which has evolved for the actualization and maintenance of mental and physical health and well-being?

 

Dear Student:

Subject: For Entertainment Purposes Only

Am I Me?

I am that which I am aware of. I am that which I am conscious of.  Is it I who choose that which I feel and therefore determine who I am, what I am, what I do? 

Or are “they”, those who wish my obedience? Are they managing my mind, my awareness, and therefore my emotions and thus determining that which I am and that which I do? 

Am I me or am I them?

 

Dear Athlete:

Subject: Unleash Your Evolutionary-Self of Power, Strength, Cunning and Success

You are the product of millions of years of successful evolution.  Billions upon billions of beings have succumbed to a stronger foe, leaving only the strongest. You now stand at the top of that mountain. Your heritage is one of strength, power, stamina, reflex, cunning, and wisdom.  You have all that within you.  The Professional and the Victorious have tapped into this reservoir.  How about you?

 

Dear Friend:

Subject: Justice Founded upon Falsehood Is Itself Unjust

Justice within our courts is founded upon a false psychology of emotions.  Punishment guidelines are erroneous because current comprehension of punishment is based upon an erroneous understanding of emotions within human psychology.  Also, the statistics of recidivism that exist only exist because of this ill-founded knowledge of human behavior.  Punitive requirements cannot be based upon these statistics because punishment and recidivism based upon a different psychology – one that accurately portrays human biology – will create different statistics.  Current statistics now based within a mistaken psychology cannot reflect behavior grounded within another, more accurate psychology.

 

Dear Prisoner (of War)

Subject: Escape from Alcatraz

Within this war there is a conflict of ideas and beliefs.  Within our society punishment is seen as “justice” for a “crime.”  Punishment is not justice.  It is not The Truth. Crime and punishment for a crime are but a socially accepted concept fabricated to control a ‘lesser’ people.  It is an idea and a belief given an illusion of validity and power to dominate and enslave a ‘lesser’ culture.  I am writing to you to help you break this illusion of acceptable behavior of a society that has fallen into a coma.

 

 

Part 2: The Theory of Symbiotic Psychology

 Emotions/Feelings: Nature’s Biofeedback Mechanism

Emotions/ feelings are felt. Emotions/feelings are the perception, by consciousness, of a biochemical physiology actuated by an evolved and nurtured cognitive neural circuitry.  Because emotions/feelings are perceptions of an internal state of biology precipitated by cognition, emotions/feelings are a reflection of, and give insights into, the nature of said cognitive behavior. Because emotions/feelings are not causal, emotions/feelings are neither destructive nor constructive but rather they are indicators towards the presence of very real destructive and constructive – and causal – cognitive behaviors.  Correlations between cognition, healthy biochemical physiology, and good feeling emotion/feelings are a result of millions of years of evolutionary survival for the health and well-being of the individual – as are the correlations between bad feeling emotions/feelings and an unhealthy biology.  Now the question is, how are these correlations between cognition, biology, emotions/feelings, and consciousness understood, nurtured, and developed within a society for an individual’s health, wealth, and general well-being through his/her own successful decision-making and creativity?

 

 

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.

 

  • 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? 

  • 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.

  • The Four Postulates of Symbiotic Psychology

    • 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 behaviors. 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?  

2.0 Emotions as an Evolved Biological System

What if emotions are more than a stimulus for song, poetry and drama where poets bend and sway their audiences’ emotions up and down, as a roller coaster excites and thrills for the pleasure, or dismay of its breathless riders? What if emotions are an evolved biological system – like the muscular, skeletal, or nervous systems – and are functionally closely related to the sensory systems? 

  • The Mind/Body/Emotion Correlation: Evolution’s Impact

If feeling good correlates with a well-balanced and physiologically-vital body then feeling good while climbing a tree to gather food or while balancing on slippery rocks in a rushing stream to fish may not be hazardous.  But if feeling good were to correlate with a weakened and lethargic physiology/biochemistry, such challenging actions would tend to be deadly.  Such a false/positive correlation between emotions and physiological biochemical vitality would be disadvantageous to survival.

  • Cognitive Imagination and Evolution

How would a genetic line survive (1) if the body’s need for water did not stimulate the mind’s imagery of obtaining water or (2) if this imagery of obtaining water correlated with negative emotions?  If the body needs water, this need must correlate with the mental act of imagining water and correlate with positive emotions associated with finding and drinking water.  That is, there is a correlation between imagining the necessities of life and positive emotions.  If, instead, there was a correlation such that the imagery of food, water, and shelter brought about negative emotions, then these basics of life would be avoided, leading to an evolutionary dead end.  So, for the survival of the species, there must be an evolved correlation between (a) the evolved neural networks of the cognitive brain of imagination and (b) the neural networks of the emotional system such that it (c) feels good when (d) the individual’s imagination dwells upon the presence of the food, water, and shelter, which (e) is wanted and desired by the body in order to survive.

  • Conclusion

When factoring in evolution, the emotional perception of physiological and biochemical states of the body become an integral part of the brain’s neural network for maintaining the body’s health, strength and vigor.  Emotions bring another attribute of awareness to a person’s consciousness as to the nature of his or her cognitive and physical activities. For simplicity, emotions can be divided into two areas of awareness: those emotions that feel good and those emotions that feel bad.  Because of these evolved mind/body/emotion/consciousness correlations, feeling good or feeling bad has a significant meaning as to the biological health of an individual. Cognitively activating the physiological neural networks pertaining to strength, vigor, adeptness, and well-being activates an emotional positive neural network.  The perception of negative emotions is a warning signal that the continuation of such cognitive and physical activities is having a negative impact on the physical health and genetic survival of the individual.

3.0 Depression: Mental Illness or Mental Injury

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.  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. The feeling of pain is significant to the health and survival of the body.  The issue is the lack of responsiveness to the pain.  But is the condition of the hand an illness or an injury?

From the perspective of an emotional guidance system, the biology of a biochemical “abnormality” associated with emotional pain (such as depression) is analogous to the biochemical “abnormality” associated with the hand’s physical pain on a hot stove. 

  • Cure an Illness; Rehabilitate an Injury

The observation that people with mental illness have a biochemical abnormality compared to from the mentally healthy people is well documented (ref. 3-2).  But there is, by evolutionary design, supposed to be a biochemical anomaly when a person’s mental activities are unhealthy, that is, when cognitive activity dwells upon unwanted, emotionally negative aspects of life.  When a person’s mind remains on the hot stove, he/she is activating a completely different neurological network.  There should be a different biochemical signature.  The fallacy is in the attempt to pharmaceutically normalize a patient’s physiological biochemistry without also removing that person’s mind from the cognitive hot stove and rehabilitating healthy neural network activities between cognition, body, emotions and consciousness.

 Responding to a Neurological Emotional Guidance Network

There is great power within the activation of the emotional negative neural network and the realization and conception of that which is not wanted nor desired.  But this power is only actuated if the opposite end – the positive, pleasurable end of the spectrum – can be known, that is, perceived, recognized, conceived, and reasoned (ref. 3-3) and then acted on.

  • Conclusion

Whatever the dysfunction is called – illness, disease, disorder – and however the symbiotic ties between cognition, physiology, emotions, and conscious were disrupted, the objective in psychological and pharmaceutical therapy should be to reestablish the evolved and symbiotic relationship between these constructs where a person can enjoy and thrive in life with its many exciting challenges.   The neuroplastic capacity of the brain to establish new neural circuits takes time. The psychological and pharmaceutical rehabilitation methods to reinforce this new neurological growth with emotions as a perception of physiological biochemistry have yet to be properly identified and researched.

4.0 Cognitive-Emotional Rehabilitation

There is a need to develop an understanding of emotional guidance and cognitive regulation in the discipline of psychological and pharmaceutical therapy.  Emotional regulation is a misconception and a false construct of actual bio-physiological events. To pharmaceutically regulate emotions is to obscure cognitive behavior from the very consciousness that needs to comprehend its own behavior.  Emotions are a perception of physiological biochemical conditions within the body precipitated by cognitive behavior.  It is cognitive behavior that must be accessed by the individual with the help of the emotional system.

  • Emotional Guidance

Within the psychology of “emotional guidance,” the naturally evolved response to negative emotions is for a person’s consciousness to use the energy from the correlative negative cognitive/emotional state to pivot the mind’s activities onto activities that bring positive emotions.

  • Defining Mental Health and Well-Being

Well-being and the success of any professional therapy, mental or physical, is not defined with the absence of illness but by the presence of health, vigor, and joy along with the necessary cognitive skills, abilities, and motivation to nurture these conditions with one’s own emotional guidance.

Part 3: The Practice of Symbiotic Psychology

5.0 Psychological Therapy

“Doctor, what is your end game? Up to now I have been passively going to therapists like a bump on a log and now I am sitting here in front of you.  I want to get well!  I believe I can get well!  I want to know how listening to you will get me on a path to well-being.  I want to feel good and be free of all you doctors.  I know a person who was psychotic…. he heard voices, had delusions and fantasies.  He really tripped out at times and would ‘wake up’ in a hospital.  He tried to kill himself.  He spent over 15years heavily medicated and still his psychotic manic episodes ended him up in mental hospitals.  He spent years talking to therapists like you and doped up on meds, but now he is free…. free from doctors, meds, hospitals, padded cells and he no longer goes ‘schizo’.  I want to be free.  How is your

therapy going to get me there?  How will I know if I am getting well? What am I doing wrong? How are you going to help me change so I don’t ever have to see the likes of you again?! Sorry, but that is how I feel.”

6.0 Pharmaceutical Therapy

“Doctor, are you working with my therapist?  Her therapy is helping me get control of my thinking.  If a thought doesn’t feel good, I’ve got to find another that feels better.  But how can I do that when these meds you keep giving me make me feel all doped up. She says I need to understand that my emotions have evolved to help me get my mind off what feels bad.  Doctor, your drugs make me feel awful.  How can I use my emotions to understand what’s going on in my head if your meds are screwing me up?  Also, do you have an end game of getting me off these meds?  If I do get more control of my mind, can’t we change these meds to something less doping?  And, if I get better, then do you have another drug after that that is easier on me?   What I am getting at, Doctor, are steps to getting well, steps to get off my meds and not end up back in the psycho ward again. You know, I am getting to like the Grim Reaper more and more as these years with you pass by.  He has an end game.   But my psychologist is helping me to get normal.  Do you really have an idea of how to help me so that I can get normal? How are you coordinating my pharmaceutical therapy with my psychological therapy so that you guys are working together and helping me to not see you ever again?”

  • Psychiatric Medications Designed for Healing?

Any attempt to understand and affect the internal human environment must be taken with an understanding of the changing biochemical conditions of that environment as indicated by an evolved emotional neurocircuitry of the human body.

There is a need for psychiatric treatment to use drugs and medications that help consciousness to regain its own power and responsiveness to its own emotional guidance system.  These medications should also help consciousness break away from a narrow and myopic world view which can spiral cognition out of control. There is a need for pharmaceuticals that can help create a biochemical environment where the personal powers of an individual’s consciousness can start making attempts to be more responsive to his or her emotional guidance system.  These new agents must also augment the brain’s neuroplastic capacity.

  • Masking Neurological Processes

There is a danger of medications masking destructive cognitive behaviors that normally are exposed through erratic, abnormal, and convoluted emotional feedback.  If these emotional reflections of aberrant mental and physical behaviors are camouflaged with pharmaceuticals and if irregular cognitive behavior is left unaddressed without proper psychological counseling and therapy, cognition may fester unabated and create a myopic vortex of circular mental and physical behaviors.  This psychosis can break out with disastrous consequences to the patient and to others, who may become characters in a manically-conceived tragedy played out in real life.

  • New Opportunities in Medicine

The argument presented here for understanding emotions as a product of the evolutionary process opens up vast new opportunities and possibilities within the fields of psychology and pharmacology to rehabilitate the cognitive attributes of mental illness while recognizing and honoring the evolutionary role of emotions.  There is certainly a need to identify new medications that are appropriate for healing. Pharmaceuticals need to work with and augment the cognitive rehabilitation processes within psychotherapy.  And, most importantly, the argument presented here opens up the possibility of a new hope for patients.  Patients may now approach daily psychological and pharmaceutical therapies with the hope and anticipation of new healing possibilities within their journey back into well-being and joy.

7.0 Cognitive-Emotional Wisdom

The success of our teachers in life – whether they are our parents, teachers and other students in school, religious leaders, bosses at work, or the powerful academia, political, and business leaders who set the stage for our lives – is in their ability to empower us with the skills and abilities to think and to feel good, and to help us move our thought and debate up into the mammalian brain.  Here, a ‘what feels good, is good’ mentality can evolve into broader and greater awareness of both short and long-term consequences, and decision-making and action can mature into greater complexity and imagination. With such education and personal development, ‘what feels good, is good’ can have a compassionate foundation for existence. 

  • Development of Cognitive-Emotional Wisdom

The narrowness of myopic mental vision and perspective plays a role in mental illness and aberrant behaviors to strive for action that is not myopic but, rather, integrates the totality of a person’s cognitive and emotional universe.  Just as the various sections of an orchestra must be aware that they are playing in the same key to remain in harmony, the various aspects of a person’s consciousness and very being must find harmonious integration for the person to remain whole and mentally healthy.

  • Trauma and Addiction Corrupting the Cognitive-Emotional Relationship

The correlative relationship between mind, body, emotions, and consciousness has evolved to promote individual health and well-being (ref Section 2: “Emotions as an Evolved Biological System”). Trauma may be defined as an experience – or series of experiences – so severe as to short circuit the normal harmonious and healthy flow of nervous electro-biochemical energy within and between neuro-network areas within the brain and body and disrupting a person’s evolved reaction to seek and maintain cognitive activities that feel good.  Although traumatic experiences are usually cognitive – that is, emotions perceiving biological changes caused by cognitive activities – chemically induced trauma from alcohol, tobacco, and other “recreational drugs” may also – and very quickly and drastically – disrupt natural nervous electro-biochemical energy flow.  No matter how a traumatic experience is absorbed within the human neurological circuitry, neurological behavior is disrupted beyond its elastic capacity to return to normalcy.  As a hand that was forced onto a hot stove may forever be scarred and may even become functionally impaired, trauma-induced abnormal, biochemical physiology may severely impact internal nervous electro-biochemical energy flow and adversely affect natural cognitive and emotional behavior as well as the physical expression of that behavior.

  • Cognitive-Emotional Wisdom in Education

What is the purpose of education if it is not to provide the tools and training for a successful adult life?  And where is success without joy and passion?  Can education be called a success if it does not provide the understanding and training of a personal cognitive-emotional system which has evolved for the actualization and maintenance of mental and physical health and well-being?  Education should not be confined to developing a student’s cognitive skills without also understanding the emotional connection to happiness and joy needed to succeed in life.  Cognition, physiology, emotions and consciousness have evolved together as a synergistic team.  The nature and effective employment of these synergies should certainly be part of our educational curriculum.  And this means teaching and developing the students’ skills and abilities to be happy and joyous within their endeavors.

  • Criminal Justice Reform: The Unalienable Rights

The mental skills and agility that most people have developed from birth to navigate successfully through the societal nuances and intricacies of ‘what feels good is good’ and ‘what feels bad is bad’ is largely absent in the tens of thousands of incarcerated people.  Here, as a result of reinforcement of negative thought patterns with a misunderstanding of emotions as a feedback system, cognitive activity has never moved up the emotional staircase into the pleasures of successful and compassionate living.  Any successful, sustained rehabilitation is also dependent on understanding the brain’s neuroplastic nature by our teachers, our parents, our schools, our religious figures, and by our politicians who are blindly, or maybe purposely, setting up rules and laws with punishments that only further degrade human intellectual and emotional wisdom and well-being.  The brain can be rewired from an emotionally negative decision processing that accentuates destructive behavior to an emotionally positive decision processing that accentuates rewarding, useful and constructive behavior and results (ref.7-1).

  • Reframing Antisocial Personality Disorder

Although the joy of the hunt and the pleasure of gathering may produce the food needed for survival, during the heat of the day continual exertion risks heat exhaustion, dehydration and death.  Rather than being a mere pawn of pleasure and pain, the individual must make decisions whether to continue to hunt in such adverse conditions with survival of self and family as one possible outcome and the death of the hunter and those dependent on the hunter’s survival as another.  Or, maybe the hunter’s lone survival becomes evolutionarily advantageous.

  • Military Personnel Decommissioning

The power of the brain’s neuroplastic capacity to adapt to the demands of a new environment by changing and developing new neural networks is also demonstrated by the successful migration from civilian to military life.  Unfortunately, this neural network change, which is developed to succeed in military life, is not later reconfigured for civilian life.  There must be a structured ‘decommissioning’ period for military combatants that accounts for the neural network changes that allowed for success within a militarily structured environment designed for war.

  • The Wisdom of a Champion: Let Joy Reign

The ‘Grateful Red’ (the UW student section) are stomping their feet in appreciation for the skillful play of their basketball team. Team execution has reached a new level of excellence. ‘Every’ shot is dropping, even more bizarre and – amazingly – a teammate is in the right spot for every loose ball, block, rebound or steal. There’s electricity in the air.  It feels good! It feels great!  It is wild.  For team member and fan alike, this didn’t just happen; it began with a feeling, a positive good emotional feeling that grew and then exploded…lighting the nets on fire!  

  • Emotions in the 21st Century

The purpose of life from a physiological, biochemical perspective is to find joy. A correlation exists between joy and the biochemical balances found within the brain’s neural networks and the body that makes for a strong and vigorous being.   Has not that been the evolution of the emotional system? A false/positive correlation between joyous emotions and lethargy, weakness, and ineptness would only make a being vulnerable and easy prey within the survival of the species.  Joy, happiness, and wonderment associated with biochemical harmony of strength, confidence, skill, and agility, on the other hand, would clearly enhance the survival of the species.

8.0 Cognitive-Emotional Therapy

For those who are not enjoying their ride in life and for those who can’t comprehend how anybody can possibly say “it’s all good,” may I recommend that you start using your emotional system as it has evolved to be used. You will get to a place where, “Yea, I can understand how that makes sense, it IS all good.”  It is very unfortunate that the most influential people in a person’s life may have imparted an impoverished attitude about life. But attitudes can change.  The neuroplastic brain can grow new circuits of understanding and awareness and provide you with new understandings, awarenesses and abilities to meet the challenges of life – if you put in the effort. When I came to the point in my life that I understood “where I am is not my fault but it is now my responsibility,” that is when life started getting better for me.  It takes effort. But if you have the desire to improve and empower your own life, start using your emotions, and understand that if a thought doesn’t feel good, it’s not.  If what you are doing in life doesn’t feel good, it isn’t good, for you or anybody around you. You have to become your own ‘superhero.’

  • Motivation to Feel Better

To feel good, to feel better, to get well, to have a life and to enjoy work and play requires a person to use his or her own emotional system to change current habits of thought.  Work and action are necessary to not be angry, sad, disappointed, depressed, and to lessen the emotional pain and move out of the depths of despair.  Do you want to feel better?  If the answer is yes, then here is where you can start: do something for yourself everyday – something constructive – that helps you feel a little better.

  • Cognitive-Emotional Rehabilitation and Strengthening Exercises

All these tools are methods for changing destructive and aberrant cognitive activities into constructive and useful cognitive activities.  Emotions act as a guide because emotions give cognition feedback via their perception of the body’s physiological and biochemical state of being. These body conditions are generated by the cognitive activities of the reptilian and mammalian brains.  Awareness of whether emotions are basic responses to reptilian cognitive activities or responses to complex mammalian cogitative activities, aids in the understanding that some tools will be more effective than others.  Rather than understanding the differences in basic and complex emotions, it is far more important to develop an awareness of what is working and what is not working for you to feel better.

    • Focusing on That Which Is Wanted

“What do you want” is a question to bring focus and to identify a subject of desire and to bring forth positive emotions. A person knows when he or she dwells upon ‘that which is wanted’ when positive emotions come forward. Negative emotions come from ‘looking at’ or ‘dwelling upon’ such people, places and events a person doesn’t want. “You have told me what you don’t want; now tell me about what you do want.”

    • Reframing and Appreciating

To appreciate a person or persons means to find something of “value” within them to focus on, which stimulates positive emotional responses. To appreciate a situation means to find something of value within the situation to focus on. Appreciation means to make the effort to dwell on some emotionally positive aspect of a person, place, or event that brings about good emotional feelings.

    • Touchstones

Any object can be a reminder of an emotionally positive moment.  Pictures, for example, are very common keepsakes, as are cards and clothes.  Songs and music have a special way of activating thoughts and mental activities and their emotional responses.   Helping a person to understand how objects can draw out emotionally positive thoughts is but one aspect of emotional rehabilitation.

    • Acts of Kindness

A healthy lifestyle means to live – and to act from – an emotionally positive place. An emotionally positive action develops a pathway to a healthier lifestyle. One method to bring up the emotions of a positive lifestyle is to perform acts of kindness. This extends the mental exercise of appreciation outward and into the world.

    • Distractions

Sometimes reframing may be too difficult. Then, instead of continuing to fixate on a subject of angst that is just too unyielding to remold into a better feeling accord, it may be time to step away from the subject and to mentally dwell on something else.

    • Meditation

Meditations, of which mindfulness is one type, are healthful activities whose function is to remove consciousness from the mental chaos generated by daily life.   Some meditations, like focusing on one’s breathing or on a spot on one’s forehead, work on slowly quieting the thought processes. The key is not to latch on or fixate upon a thought but to allow a thought to pass through the mind. More mentally-active, guided meditations take place when someone leads the thought process.  Yoga and tai-chi are even more active meditations that involve the body. Running, biking, and rowing are activities that may also have the meditative quality of quieting the mind. Monitoring the emotional state is the key to the effectiveness of any meditation.

    • Sports

Within the educational curriculum, organized sports provide great opportunities to promote lifelong mental health and well-being in addition to the obvious benefit to the body.  For most student athletes, performing well is their top priority and focus. Enhanced physiology for peak performance is a function of feeling good which correlates with a cognitive knowing of strength, vigor, and adeptness and an actuality of strength, vigor, and adeptness.

    • Music and the Arts

Training in music and the arts is significant in that these disciplines reach into the emotional system and give emotional perceptions an outward expression.  The processes of reaching in and identifying emotional states is a significant step toward working the cognitive/emotional symbiotic relationship.  Music can provide an opportunity to bypass confused and convoluted cognitive activities and make available a direct link into the inner harmonies of well-being.

    • Creative Writing and Memoirs Writing

Creative writing and especially writing of one’s own memories can be very therapeutic by reconstituting past traumatic events into new healthy and prosperous cognitive-emotional behaviors with resulting new and constructive physical behaviors.  Writers would benefit from an instructor with strong psychological and therapeutic skills to safeguard from personal wallowing and accentuating old and traumatic events rather than using these events as stepping stones – or spring boards – into emotionally positive desires, visions, and dreams.

    • Stop Going There

Maybe a subject is so vast and unyielding that the only solution is just to ‘not go there.’ There is no solution, view point or aspect that elicits positive emotions. Avoidance may not be ‘how I was brought up’ or ‘politically correct’ but it may be important for a person’s health and well-being. “That is not your problem” may be the best advice a therapist can give for developing a patient’s health.

    • Having Compassion for Self

Many people can manifest compassion for a person or animal that is having a difficult time, but they fail to feel compassion for themselves. “Give yourself the same compassion you give to others and stop using your own mind to beat yourself up. Do these thoughts feel good? If not, let us work together and find ways to stop this self-inflicting torture.”

    • Using Religious Ideals

“to Walk within God is to Walk within Joy”

There are many aspects of the world’s religions that pertain to easing the mind of its burdens.  There are the Sufi dances of peace; there are the Hindu practices of yoga which means union with God; and there are the Buddhist meditations for enlightenment to reach Nirvana and the cessation of suffering; and the songs of Jewish cantors or Christian chants have a similar effect.  Religious practices can be explored with patients who are so inclined.

  • Cognitive-Emotional Wisdom in Therapy

Emotions have value. They are important. But to have value and to be important emotions must be used as they have evolved. The presence of negative emotions did not evolve to add fuel to the fire and escalate emotionally negative situations accelerating the emotional downward spiral. Like a runaway train down a mountain, there is not going to be a good outcome.

9.0 Emotional Guidance – The Dark Side

Emotions have evolved over millions of years into a discernible identity for all living species not only to survive, but to thrive within this planetary existence called Earth.  A parallel process, cognition, likewise, has been evolving into a discernible identity.  But, the symbiotic relationship between cognition and emotion, which had become so successful within the multitude of species over Earth’s history, somehow has become convoluted within humanity’s cognitive construct of this unique and wonderful relationship.

  • The Grand Illusion Feeding the Dark Side of Emotions

Humanity’s current cognitive construct of emotions is illusionary.  Emotions can not overpower reason, emotions are the result of reason.

  • The Emotional Guidance of “What Feels Good is Good”

To recapitulate what has been stated earlier, the cognitive construct of emotional guidance evolved out of the necessary correlative relationships between cognition, physiological biochemistry, emotions and consciousness that promoted life throughout the ages.  In the most basic biological sense, this means that what feels good is good.  That is, cognitive activities that support a healthy, vital, and vigorous physiological biochemistry must feel good.

  • Emotional Guidance Gone Wrong

Often nature’s wonderful cognition, physiological biochemistry, emotions and consciousness correlation relationships have gone astray.  Humans have evolved to be happy, joyous and healthy beings.  Yet, this is far from our current status quo.  An introduction to the how, where and why nature’s emotional guidance can go wrong is discussed in the following paragraphs.

  • Aberrant and Destructive Emotions

The “modern” psychological cognitive construct of emotions believes in aberrant and destructive emotions.  The premise of cognitive behavior therapy declares that emotions “produce” physiological biochemical changes rather than that they are the perception of physiological biochemical changes.  According to this view, emotions are bestowed with a causal property such that they are falsely understood as aberrant and destructive – or the opposite – normal and constructive, and thus their evolved power of guidance is obfuscated.

  • Emotional Disorders and Emotional Management

The whole content of this book is to empower individuals to use the evolutionary nature of their emotional guidance.  Ignorance of this evolutionary attribute of emotions has led to erroneous cognitive constructs of emotional disorders and hysteria that overpower reason, which has resulted in a pharmaceutical approach to manage and control emotions.  More insidious is the cognitive construct of cognitive management of emotions by which emotions are deemed to be empowered with a force and influence they do not have.

  • Medication Addiction: Inertia – a body at rest

How easy is it to come up with an excuse to not to go to the gym for some needed exercise?  Exercise is wonderful for the body.  Likewise, emotional guidance may be encouraging a change in cognitive behavior, but how easy is it to take a drink and numb the senses instead of exercising a change in cognitive activity?  Actually, contrary to the interest of the pharmaceutical industry, millions of people successfully self-medicate this way and manage to navigate the potential pitfalls of addiction.  But finding a successful prescription which acts only as a temporary cognitive/emotional band aid is not in the fiscal interest of the current pharmaceutical industry.

  • Self-Indulgence

An observer asks, “Why do you hit your thumb with a hammer?”  “Because it feels so good when I stop!” is the reply. The pain of self-cutting and self-burning creates a distraction from an internal emotional pain.  It is also symbolically broadcasting outward this internal and hidden emotional pain. Emotional pain does not broadcast a need for sympathy and understanding to the world like a broken leg does.  Also, “….it feels so good when I stop!” is an intuitive awareness that “my emotional pain should stop so why doesn’t it?”

  • Camouflage, Deception and Trickery

The power of millions of years of evolution is within your emotional guidance system.  Yet this power is a challenge to others who need your servitude for their own edifice.  Psychology, education, religion, society, government, culture and your parents…. within their weakness they impart weakness.  Within their strength, is the possibility to educate, teach, and train emotional empowerment.

  • Affective Realism Gone Really Wrong

A father hires a nanny for his daughter and the nanny turns out to be a sexual predator.  The daughter keeps silent and her abuse goes on for years.  The father, a very successful businessman and powerful lobbyist, rather than accepting responsibility for his inadequacy as a father and employer becomes a self-righteous crusader for “justice.” 

  • Cognitive and Emotional Entanglement

The infectious enthusiasm of the Grateful Red, that is, the UW student section, is spreading throughout the 80,000 spectators as the traditional end of the third quarter ‘jump around’ begins to the tune of the same name by the group ‘House of Pain’.  Similar audience enthusiasm can be found at sporting events, musical concerts, and other entertainment performances around the world.  This massive infectious quality of emotions can be found within even the smallest of interactions.  It only takes two…. two on a dance floor is beautiful, but two in a suicide pack is tragic.

  • Core Beliefs: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (ref. 9-5)

The definition of a core belief can be very complex under the epistemological view called foundationalism, or a core belief can have a simple, useful definition of – commonly accepted thoughts and ideas held without question.  I have done my best to outline how a commonly accepted understanding and definition, that is the core belief, of emotions has outlived its usefulness.  Any discussion of emotions can and should be thought of in their simplistic sense rather than within some complex theoretical view, reserved only for a very highly educated few.  Simply, there exists something commonly called emotions that we feel and it feels good or it feels bad.  The great question is not really “how do you feel?” but “how do you want to feel?”

  • “Reptilian” and “Mammalian” Cognitive Processors (Mind/Brain)

Reptilian ethics is about an intuitive knowing with a lack of complex thought and rationale.  It is reflexive and quick and where the fastest and strongest wins with a might is right ethical attitude.  This is perfectly understandable in sports competition.  And in the hierarchal structure within business and industry, quick decision making promotes inventiveness, creativity and growth.  The next better idea can quickly displace an older, less profitable/functional better idea.

Mammalian ethics is a metaphor for a complex, and sophisticated cognitive mind/brain processor.  Mammalian ethics is about thought and reason, a might for right attitude.  It is not because I have the power it is right but what is right?  If I have the power of deception, what is the right use of deception?  If I have the power to decide, what is the right decision?  Life is not so simple: there is a vast array of ideas and meanings to life in which ‘what feels good is good’ is a complicated ideal that needs deliberation and thought.’

  • Out of Darkness: The Intentional Life

Emotional guidance is about coming to an internal place of emotionally feeling good. The brain/mind has such wonderful qualities of allowing.  The ability of individuals to adapt into thousands of vastly different and complex cultures is astounding.  But ultimately, a clash of ideals arises against society’s rules of behavior.  Individual conflicts with statutory rules, class rules, house rules, and ‘my’ rules and customs are inevitable.   But maybe here, what feels good is good has not gone wrong.

10.0 Conclusion

The human spirit is intertwined within a massive collection of neural networks and circuits. Evolution has guided all of these interconnecting relationships into a highly functioning being who learns and grows and strives for a joyous collaboration with his or her internal and external environment.  The nature of being is to be healthy and to live a joyous life.  Those who haven’t naturally grown into this wonderful connection may need help and guidance in utilizing an emotional system that has evolved to guide their cognitive universe.

 

Appendix: Essays on of Emotional Wisdom

  • Nets on Fire: Making the Air Electric

The Grateful Red, the student section of the UW field house, are cheering and stomping their feet in appreciation for the skillful play of the Badgers.  Team execution has reached a new level of excellence. Every shot is dropping, and for some reason, a teammate is in the right spot for every loose ball, block, rebound or steal. There is an electric current flowing.  It feels good! It feels great!  It is wild.  This didn’t just happen.  It started with an attitude, a positive attitude.

  • Criminal Law and Justice Lagging Psychological Advancements

Criminal law is operating within an archaic knowledge and understanding of humanness.  This knowledge must be updated and incorporated into any proper discussion of criminal sanctions.  New advances in psychology provide new understandings of the actual harmful effects of incarceration presently deemed appropriate justice for a crime.

  • Hell on Earth (As Is Heaven): My Story

I was mentally insane with delusions and voices flying around my head.  I was crying out for God to kill me.  I blacked out and awoke with a rope in my hand to make it all end when a voice asked me, “Can you go on?” I got myself back into a mental hospital and stayed alive.  I blacked out and awoke in a padded cell.  They doped me on medications and endlessly, minute by minute, hour by hour, day after day I spent walking the hospital halls.  When released, nightly I roamed the deserts around El Paso until I ended in jail, beaten and bruised but still picking a fight with the biggest man in the cell.  My wife demanded a divorce.  A voice wanted me to stay alive and continue my madness in hell.  I said, “I can.”

  • A Cognitive Reconstruction Between Emotions and Meditation

The illusion of emotions is to believe that destructive and aberrant emotions are driving mental activities instead of emotions being a reflection of destructive and aberrant cognitive behavior.  It is cognitive behavior that is accessible for consciousness to act upon and modify.

The meditation discipline and training of Tibetan Monks and Lamas provide them insights incomprehensible to the ordinary person.  But only those who have the opportunity, time, and resources to commit to their enlightening meditative methods can have access to Tibetan Buddhism’s vast depth of knowing.  There are millions of others around this Earth who, as yet, do not have the inner drive, strength, and power to obtain the knowledge and wisdom associated with thousands of hours of meditation.  But they can take a step closer.  Humanity has the internal wisdom to take another step out of their ignorance.