The murky side of Mankind's both evolved and environmentally maintained motivation

Peter F fell_trapforspambot_in at ozemail.com.au
Thu Oct 21 23:39:26 EST 2004


(This post is another attempt at communicating EPT. )

Mandkind's mind seems motivated into a naturally selective 'mural' (brickwall) of en mass maladaptive madness.

EPT is partly the result of my attempt to defy this, by me (and variably by others) perceived, trend.

EPT is also my in parts perversely SEPTIC-humored, thoroughly science-aligned, deliberately Tolerance Principled (had to be, since we cannot ever exactly describe these aspects of What Is going), comprehensive contouring of the notoriously least understood selection pressures and "content-of-consciousness co-determining" general factors that together have resulted in an aspect of how we are - an aspect of our functions, behaviors, and "psychologicical profiles" (or personalities) - that I flexibly and encompassingly refer to as "AEVASIVE". 

One phenotyping/personality shaping component (and co-explanatory concept) of this aspect is CURSES. 
CURSES is my concEPT/label for a kind of memories specifically caused by certain broadly thematic lifetime challenges that can be characterized as and classed as belonging to an insidiously adverse category of co-selective pressures behind our naturally selected human phenotype.

CURSES is short for "Conditioned-in Unconsciously Remembered Stressors Effecting Symptoms". 

[Alternatively, with a more thoroughly acronymically defined spelling but demanding of the same pronounciation, it can be written as "CCKUHHURSSES" (derived with acceptable looseness from: "Conditioned-in Chronically Kept Hibernated, Hence Unconsciously Reverberating, Remembrances of SHITS-type Stressors Effecting Symptoms"). 

Don't bother, yet, with trying to understand the logical and science-aligned connection (although it should be fairly obvious) between  "Hibernation" (the conservatively unconventional meaning of hibernation that I employ here) and "Unconsciousness" that I 'explicitly imply' within the last version of this concEPT/and attempt to achieve an appropriately allusive acronymic expression. 

Hopefully, I will make this connection clear to you - or it will dawn on you - later.] 
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When an innate need [excluding our very most vital needs for food nutrients, water, air, or for shelter from/not being exposed to lethal physical events or conditions -- excluded since when they are denied even for a relatively short time the outcome is too obvious and to 'trivial' (as in uninteresting) to be considered in this context] is for any reason chronically denied, what normally results is a correspondingly chronic conditioned (automatically learnt) hyper sensitized/excited state of neurons who centrally and most directly mediate (and, when thus conditioned, tend to insidiously motivate) distress in response to this kind of stressor. 

[Any such lifetime situation amounts to a chronic denial of what Janov refers to as "primal needs".] 

Any thus conditioned directly distress 'energizing' neuron(s), has direct synaptic contact with a neuron(s) that monitor whether or not a particular need is being met. 
There is of course also possible for one and the same neuron to fulfill both functions ('the energizing' and the monitoring). 
But it is also obvious that the complexifying trend within the phylogeny of fauna has kept on extending "brainy lineages" (generations of "neural genophenotypes") into a direction of successively increased functional specialization of neurons.

[BTW, every such synaptic junction can be considered to belong to a level at which a neural organism can become "painfully conscious" about an adverse event or situation (past or present) in its life.
Thereof, the idea, "levels of consciousness", is partly EPTly understood. 

For example, within the lowest level (grossly grouped) at which a neural animal becomes "ConsciousT"#  would be at or below the "spinal chord level" because it is there that "an actentional focus on" or "a paying of actention to" an adverse lifetime influence/situation is being maintained. Here, as far as a "pain content of a simple (low-level) consciousness" is concerned, the "actention" consists of (or is manifestated as) a reflex arch that drives a flight or fight type response. 

Neuroanatomically considered, this "painful actention" (consciousness of being in a painful situation) - of an animal with up to a spinal brain or by a more highly evolved animal whose supra-spinal neural functions have for any reason been rendered non-functional - is being energized 'essentially' by tardily and tonically responding and action potential propagating with relatively turtle-like speed "Reticular Activating Type" (RAT) neurons [as opposed to rapidly and phasically responding and action potential transmitting, and prohaving more compactly or precisely distributed receptive and projecting field  "specific type" - neurons with more precise (functionally and anatomically) receptive dendritic and projective axonal structures] of the substantia gelatinosa.

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#
[ConsciousnessT, written with a capitalized first letter (swollen C) and a T-tag (that can be seen as a symbol for a "Tolerance- principled" thinking) as warning flags that says: "please be aware that "consciousness" is here meant as I, personally, understand and (EPTly) define this - it seems by most people inEPTly used and appreciated, i.e. far more vaguely understood and feebly philosophically grasped than I do - notion. 

{Here are some specific details about my far from inEPT attitude to what consciousness is: 
A ConsciousnessT - of whatever 'specific content/quality' and intensity - can partly be defined as a particular set of "actention modules" being predominantly energized, and always transiently if more or less regularly so [the more regularly the more basic or vital the actention modules, or neural "program structures" (+ supporting glial, and other, still more inclusively considered, cellular resources of a brainy individual's "actention selection system")], by the firing of RAT neurons. 
Moreover - to approximately complete this 'EPT-philosophical sweep' (the 'sweep' is only ever approximate, and is also not complete since I have neither yet explained what I mean by "actention modules" nor how their interactions can be interpreted with 'in dEPTh and S_EPT_IC humored' insight) - ConsciousnessT is to be seen (for all we know) as nothing but a *brainspacetime pattern*, and as a to such an extent evolved complex configuration of an ultimately not rationally resolvable ultimate Reality (or, rather than using the term "Reality", it may for perfectly good or best possible reasons be still more EPTly put as, "What Is".}]
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To the extent neurons are specialized to the just mentioned extent [presynaptic distress mediating neurons being 'need-monitoring', and post-synaptic distress mediating neurons being most directly distress energizing (or ditto 'endogenously motivating') "RAT neurons" (from the spinal chord up)], adverse lifetime challenges (or ditto influences or "situations") become stored - as conditioned changes to the synapsing structures (down to alterations of molecular scale structures) between need monitoring and need expressing neurons - *primarily* to the effect of Long Term Potentiation (LTP). 

In cases where a lifetime adversity is a (what I EPTly describe as) "selective *HibernationT* imploring type situation", or IOW, anything from a slowly to a rapidly traumatic lifetime challenge [two descriptions that definitely cover any kind of chronic need negation] the primary "LTP'ing" modification of the relevant neurons' metabolic rate and propensity to generate action potentials (their excitability and/or base-line frequency of firing) will become overlaid and suppressed by Long Term Depression (LTD) type changes.

[Hint: The EPT meaning of HibernationT (only temporarily warning-flagged) relates to LTD type changes as specific or selective as to involve single or just relatively few synapsing structures - structures that so changed (LTD'd) will depress the firing activity, hence the overall metabolic activity, of a thus directly  affected neuron(s).]
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Here I must beg (Exhort/Prod/Threaten) you: 

Please try to be intellectually/philosophically tolerance-principled enough to accEPT that LTD is here meant in a suitably loose sense!
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LTD type (or inhibitory) synapse modifying "pain blocking" changes are initiated by treshold mechanisms within the presynaptic and/or postsynaptic neuron, and/or by negative feedback sent to the former neurons by interneurons that are (as if) "SHITS detecting". 

[I am using "and/or" a lot; even if only because I feel it helps me to hedge all reasonable bets. :-> ]


There is detailed evidence (from laboratory studies) that conditioning in direction of synaptic (neuronal) LTP and LTD can occur simultaneously to one and the same neuron. An "LTD'ing" alteration of a neurons functure (affecting its probability of firing accordingly) can have a masqueing effect on an already occurred, or even concurrently occurring, "LTP'ing" (to that effect conditioning) aspect of an individual's overall situation. 

Pre or post synaptic "pain gating" (approximately à la The Challenge of Pain by Melzack&Wall -- the central inhibitory core of "sub/unconscious defenses and repression" à la Freud and lately Janov et al.) contributes to that pain signals does not become relayed to a most likely self-defeating (distressful) effect. 

Sensory or sensorially derived signals from need-negation monitoring neurons are only actually subjectively experienced in the form of some level and kind of pain (e.g. pain of an emotional level and kind) if the signals are allowed to flow and be instinctively processed for a blindly self-regulatory natural purpose (so not necessarily towards a positive result); Or, IOW, pain awareness, distress, and flight/fight responses results IF and only IF a corresponding preconsciously detected distressor is actually being "PAID {sensory, cognitive, visceromotor, emotional, locomotor, 'manipulomotor', and even hormonal} ACTENTION TO". 

"Actention" is a term (or concEPT) that is unique to and contrived to be a part of my Explanatory Philosophical Terminology. It was derived simply by merging the meanings and spellings of the words "activity" and "attention". 

Gating (or blocking, filtering, repression) of pain can occur at whatever relevant phylogenetically established and developmentally readied neuroanatomical level where a corresponding level of 'consciousnessT' can be generated. 

[Again, the T-tag on "consciousness" is intended to be a warning sign; one that says that I use an excEPTional (of course better - as in more thorough and to the point - than traditional) understanding/definition of this - in its usually more confused conventional senses and uses not as crisply comprehended %-} - concept.] 

The gating (inhibition) of pain signals at pain-mediating synaptic sites does *more or less* efficiently keep correspondingly conditioned-in CURSES type memory states from becoming an endogenous source of *self-defeating* (N.B. self-defeating) focuses of actention. 

E.g., maladaptively neurotic, or - worse by degree - psychotic, mental behavioral and/or motor behavioral preoccupations, and/or a likewise "overloading" somatic distress with symptoms such as general inflammatory and immuno depressant effects -- a "somatic level distress" most directly mediated by the dispersal of endocrinal stress hormones within the vascular (including the lymphatic) system. 

[Pain signals (ditto action potentials) generated because of being in a SHITS or subsequently generated even in the total absence of any current SHITS type stressor because of by one (or more) past SHITS neurochemophysiologically "put" CURSES type memory imprint(s), can possibly act as a "curse on" the individual for many decades (until death, disease, injury, drugs, benevolent mental derangement, or primal therapy type psychotherapy, breaks 'the spell' more or less well; or IOW until the same "solutions" dispells the lingering psychologically onerous odour that SHITS left behind in the individual's "Actention Selection System" (~brain). 

Furthermore, it is EPT to see CURSES as conditioned-in neural states that even when the individual no longer finds itself in a "CURSES inducing" type of frequently environmentally assured 'foul predicament' of folk [the the younger the folk the more common the SHITS - due to people's greater helplessness or dependence when "in the period of their lives of interest to pediatrics" :-)]. 

IOW, even when a person is no longer caught up in the positively onerous occassion of a SHITS, an internalized representation of such environmental/life-situational/natural selective pressures are insidiously kept up transformed into CURSES.] 

CURSES type memories are the by definition unconscious remembrances that SHITS type situations (ditto stressors) normally leave behind in the ASS of individuals who end up being challenged by this kind of adversity. 

SHITS would have occurred throughout the phylogeny (or lineage) of every now living example of fauna. 

A SHITS implores (tends to require - if to be survived) highly specific or discrete synaptically localized (or affecting of specific synapses) kind of "hibernation" - in contrast with a general or 'organismically global' "hibernation" (as the word is conventionally meant -- or, for this *metabolism suppressing* matter, "aestivation").
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An uninhibited ("full on" or 'maximally paid') actention motivated during an genuine SHITS type adversity corresponds to a maximally and predominantly energized set (or a ditto more or less complex circuitry) of not just potentially but actually self-defeating distress generating (or futile flight or fight-generating) "actention modules". 

If such disinhibited responses were allowed to happen it would most likely finish off (or 'self-murder') the individual (or, cause the individual to become acutely maladapted - sooner or later to a lethal extent). 

In reality, natural selection clearly seems to have assured that animal individuals normally only respond and attempt to self-regulate as "fully" as its "overall situation" [amongst else its available repertoire of actention modules and this repertoire's (relevant actention modules's) combined capacity to process the relevant sensory-motivational information to a safe and successful self-regulatory end] allows.
 

During the time spent in situations that each amount to a SHITS, and under the lasting conditioned-in insidious/endogenous influence of one or more past SHITS [the not quite olfactory onerousness of which lingers in the form of CURSES], the for survival required (implored) "selectively hibernatory" suppressant self-regulatory control - a control primarily over the ever since a SHITS *potentially* predominantly activated (by this type of adversity type lifetime challenges most closely "neurophysioanatomically correlated") actention modules - tends to be chronic. 

Hence, an individual who ends up in plenty of SHITS and who consequently come to carry corresponding CURSES within its "Actention Selection System" (~brain or nervous system) has thereby its innate potential or capacity to be conscious and alive in a flexibly adaptive way, chronically constrained. 

In other words an individual who has been in SHITS and hence has had CURSES put into its brain has had its "Absolute Life Quality" (ALQ) - as it is *Holistically* defined within EPT - is correspondingly lowered. 

ALQ is measured, and defined, strictly as the extent to which an individual's primal needs have been fulfilled.

This peripheral part of the 'EPT vocabulary' is one that ought to make it clear that socioplitical, economical and technological tweaks (in our time to be alive) that facilitates a high average degree of ALQHolism in a society (or the global society) is something that we ought to steadily strive to apply.

Also, since a high degree of ALQHolism is naturally not always easy to achieve, by being EPTtly aware and insightful about how we are and What Is going on (in respect of people) we will better than now know how to efficiently deal with and minimize distress both in deeply personal/individual ways and on a demographic scale. 

The harboring (within one's ASS) of "unconscious (but reverberating) remembrances of SHITS", may sooner or later become refined and/or more or less successfully reinforced. That is, CURSES can since repression of "primal Pain" [so called by Janov #] is not so perfect that it does not permit trophic plasticity of neurons to percolate and reroute action potentials from by SHITS LTP'd need-negation detecting and distress-energizing neurons. 

This way the harbouring of hibernated SHITS in the form of CURSES can, due to the general organization of a brain according to the principle of lateral inhibition (amongst mutually incompatible "actention modules" the discrete structures or neural assemblies or circuits by which one or the other focus of actention is initiated and transiently maintained) be elaborated by other forms of causes of memories and learning. 
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# AFAIK, the second last person to have invented a laudable label for this kind of memories is Janov (am deliberately not giving R.L. Hubbard any credit because of the unscientific church-creating {to such an extent corrupting} consequence of his seemingly synonymous notion of "engrams"). Janov refers (or at least used to refer) to the conditioned in aftermath of SHITS as "(imprints of) primal pain", alt. "(imprints of) Pain" and, to their obviously possible accumulation, as a "pool of Pain". 

The last major naming endeavour is, AFAIK, part of my kit of concEPTs. 
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Something about "actention modules":

Our most basic and vital focuses of actention encompasses vital and quite regular activation of muscles - e.g. our hearts' beating and our lungs' breathing, or our intestines' and bowls' peristalsis. 

Higher-level (and very complex) focuses of actention can be almost arbirarily defined. E.g. reading a paper. Planning a holiday. Playing the violin, etcetera ....(ad nauseum). 


In most cases a higher-level focuse of actention is compatible with the carrying out of these vital functions. 

However exceptions exist. They do in the form (or in the sense) of "mental" focuses of actention that directly, and in some cases deliberately, supresses any of these lower level/vital focuses of actention -- e.g. example being the general hibernatory state deliberately entered into by some yogis, people holding their breath (some even break records doing it). 

Also, any intellectual activity that blocks awareness of (blocks internal alerts about) an acute state of adversity in the form of a ballooning bladder or empty stomach (low blood-sugar levels) -- a "blockage" caused by e.g. an intellectual focus of actention having blocked hunger sensations from reaching and successfully competing for what can expressed (with a conventionally tautological wording) as a "conscious attention" (one that in this case is "somatically self-regulatory" - so to speak).

Actention modules orient the individual in an ideally adaptive self and social regulatory manner. And they do so in respect of the specific causes and consequences of not just definite distressors or eustressors but novelties or neutral valence. 

But of greatest relevance to the turdgid tone of this topic is of course that some actention modules become transiently dominant within the ASS as a result of simple adverse situations (or simple source of adverse stimulation) - that does not requiring much of a brain to be detected - all the way to a socioeconomically threatening situation (e.g. that the company a person works for is getting to uncompetitive in the marketplace) that only can have a threatening meaning to, and that can only be detected by, a highly evolved organism's Actention Selection System. 
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We quite naturally can normally not afford to focus/pay attention on/to SHITS when they happened. Nor is it common that we can later do so in respect of the consequently accumulated CURSES.

So, rather than merely walking around blocking or "selectively/synaptically hibernating" these conditioned-in states of denied or abused needs, evolution have found ways to 'recycle' (reroute/sublimate) the action potentials arising from such states of "unconsciously remembered" and selectively hibernated (repressed) experiences (Specific/synaptic Hibernation Imploring/inducing Type Situations).
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There is ample rational and factual (otherwise scientifically established) ammunition for arguing conclusively for, that the (to electronic paper by me loosely transferred) "EPT" approach and understanding *does* represent what must necessarily be part of a psychobiological and evolution theoretical facet of any future, or already ready to be approximately formulated, Foremost Overview Of Truth. A "FOOT" (for short) that might be possible to put forth even before a TOE of fundamental physics is found, or *even though* such a mathematical-logical description of "What Is going on" perhaps never will be part of a by Science (as a whole) solidly established [set of enlightening] principles, theories, interpretations, concepts, and (if only in some sense) "effectively philosophy terminating" conclusions. 

EPT is what I have conceived and written most of all (but not only) in an attempt to unifyingly grasp and explain _human_ behaviour, brain function, and phylogeny. 

In my not so humble opinion, EPT turned out to be an efficient encompassing explanation of /a perversely pert philosophical terminology for /something of an evolutionary [neuro]psychology type theoretical take that is no more tenuously terminologically tailored than to provide a rationally explanatory philosophical traction on, or a concEPTual tool kit for thinking about and grasping "What Is going on" {i.e., every imaginably "thingy" phenomenon, and every non thingy (plausibly even unimaginably intangible) phenomenon (at any or all scales) that nevertheless (though more or less apparently/non-apparently) has been, is currently, and will in the foreseeable future be, going on}. 

EPT is almost a "Philanthropically Oriented Outline". %-}

That is, it is an outline eclectically plotted and elaborately plaited together, and semantically enhanced (to the tune of an justifiably anthropocentric, angry, skeptically cynical, "penny-pinchingly mean", and SEPTIC humored attitude) from a mainly but not only anthropobiological perspective. 

At the core of EPT are considerations and an insight (a 'halfway collapsed universal wave-functionish' insight) condensed, or didactically distilled, into "AEVASIVE" - a concEPT meant, and required, to be richly cross-correlated with all other essentially EPT concepts, and with as many of these concepts supporting scientific or science-aligned facts and observations as possible.  

P

-- 
Partly inspired by MAD (cold war shaming acronym), I arrived at EPT
[e.g: eclectically Explanatory perversely Pert
philosophical Terminology] and by concEPTual lenses/tools saw/grasped how
and why AEVASIVE preoccupations (personalites) normally preclude making
in-dEPTh sense (of themselves).
In the acronym for Ambiadvantageously Evolved Vexed Actention
Selection (System) Involving Various Endorphins, AS(S) stand for how we
think/emote/behave based on our individual repertoire of competing {by
mutual inhibition) whilst cheered and booed {by current and past
environmental influences) "actention modules", & AE refer to the didactic
division of the Evolutionary Pressure Totality into relevant dialectic
lifetime juxtapositions of:
1. Opportunity
2. Adversity - here especially SHITS [Synaptic Hibernation Imploring
{naturally selective AND 'motivating' of selective unconsciousness)
Traumatic {also tardily so) Situations] normally repercussively retained as
CURSES type memory (aka "Pain", à la Janov)


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