Monday, March 28, 2011

Objects are My Wants - My Needs are Metabolic

I want, I want - Yet What Do I Need?
An Object of My Desire? Yet is there a deeper Need it Satisfy's within me?  Is the external world of Objects a true reflection of Internal stimulation and the true nature of my Desire's? The great observations of the past century like Maslow's hierarchy of needs are being explored in their deeper reality nowadays by neuroscientist's like Stephen Porges and "The Polyvagal Theory" So how does a triune brain and nervous system stimulate our needs & desires within the hidden reality of our internal world?

These new ideas of a triune nervous system are revealing an inner reality beneath our object oriented and projected observations. The Polyvagal Theory has revealed the neural innervation of a 'social engagement system' based on the muscles & nerves of the head and face, suggesting a third branch of the autonomic nervous system. It seems we are hard wired for social engagement and indeed our very sense of a humanness is dependent on unconscious 'feedback' from other brains & nervous systems, creating what neuroscience now calls 'affective states.'

Other research suggests that the thinking mind is secondary to movement, that the motor cortex within the brain is the real seat of psychoanalytic notions of a pre-conscious. Discovery of 'mirror neurons' suggest that despite our capacity for intelligent inquiry and design, we may still be bound by an instinctive nature which is driven by the metabolic needs of energy & movement.

 The brains activity began about 500 milliseconds before the person was aware of deciding to act. The conscious decision came far too late to be the cause of the action. It was as though consciousness was a mere afterthought - a way of 'explaining to ourselves' an action not evoked by consciousness. Peter Levine "In an Unspoken Voice"

So what are these unseen needs that stimulate the mind, our daydreams and our fantasies, and can we objectively define the hidden and even unfelt neural activity within our brain? As I write this article I'm listening to my favorite music and enjoying the stimulated sensations, although I can't tell you I'm consciously aware of the increase in temperature and blood flowing through my brain or the particular neural networks that are firing this sense of elation.

Emotional expressions are associated with changes in blood flow and temperature in sub-cortical areas.

Perhaps the music has triggered a firing of innate affects, deep within older layers of my triune brain, perhaps this is where animal instinct meets expanding neural networks and human emotion begins? And what metabolic needs will be served later on, when I find myself repeating this musical track, over and over in my head, will a sometimes compulsive desire be the real need of an energizing metabolic process? As I spontaneously repeat this song in my head while walking along, will I be stirring the kind of emotive energy that will maintain a positive level of interest - excitement, to help me engage with life.

Worth its weight in Smiles?
'Wow! such a beautiful diamond ring darling.' Sasi tells me, with wide beaming smile. Within an instant I was transformed from worry & concern, "Shit its so expensive," I was thinking and now I'm throughly affected by her radiant joy & the power of innate affects. Nine innate affects, Tomkins posits as the instinctual roots of all our complex e-motive energies and part of the 'feedback' system in affective states?
"Oh well, whats money worth compared to her expressions of pure joy, the like I've never felt before?' I remember thinking. Her radiance reminded me of the movie 'Avatar' and "unobtainium" and when she looked at me quizzically I said, 'Your the real unobtainium, Darling!'

Euphoric states are perhaps the most appititivly compelling experiences available to life forms.
Affect Regulation and the Origin of the Self: The Neurobiology of Emotional Development

We pride ourselves on our 'objective logic' secure in the belief that we know the nature of our reality, yet as I've tried to point out here, there is much to our internal reality and motivation that cannot be objectified. In my wanting of a BMW car or Sasi's want of a diamond ring, are we expressing the reality of hidden metabolic processes needed to affect life enhancing energy states?

Princess Sasiprapha
In the above example I shifted in milliseconds from a negative 'affective state' of internally stimulated worry & concern over money, to a positive state stimulated by the feedback from Sasi's glorious smile. The shift was an affective change in my metabolism, my energy, with the whole 'tone' of my being changed by 'affect' When Sasiprapha Smiles.

"Biologic homeostatic models characterize regulatory mechanisms which maintain activity of a system around set points with specified ranges, thereby permitting the system to adapt to shifts in internal organismic needs and external stimuli by triggering feedback structures which inhibit or excite specific metabolic and physiologic processes." Affect Regulation and the Origin of the Self (P, 359)

In good old Freudian terms, do we 'project' our life sustaining organic needs onto inanimate objects, forgetting Moses Biblical advice about the worshiping of false objects? Do we want the object or desire the sensations it evokes, especially those glittering objects onto which we project the need for "Euphoric states, perhaps the most compelling experiences available to life forms."

In "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" The Queen possesses a magical mirror, an animate object that answers any question, to whom she often asks: "Mirror, mirror on the wall / Who in the land is fairest of all?" Is this old fairy tale a metaphor for the recently discovered mirror neurons of the motor cortex, and the part they play in the feedback signals required for affective states, a mirrored reflection of our internal reality sensed through the emotive expressions of others.
What is the true nature of Being Human?

       "We are exquisitely social creatures. Our survival depends on understanding the actions,
       intentions and emotions of others. Mirror neurons allow us to grasp the minds of others
        not through conceptual reasoning but through direct simulation.

By feeling - not by thinking" _Giacomo Rizzolatti