A Problem Dog has a Physical Not A Mental Problem

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/23/world/europe/americans-recount-gunmans-attack-on-train-to-france.html?_r=0

“Mr. Norman recalled at the news conference in Arras on Saturday. “My thought was, ‘I’m probably going to die anyway, so let’s go.’ Once you start moving, you’re not afraid anymore.”

Allow me to springboard off of current events in order to discuss the root source of all fears. The terrorist attacking the French train presented the passengers with a physical problem, not a mental one. The passengers had an emotional issue with the terrorist, not a psychological one. He was preventing them from moving well. He put an incredible “Charge” into the system.

Likewise a problem dog has a physical problem, not a mental problem. A problem dog is emotionally “charged.” Meanwhile a psychological approach is trying to address the dog’s problem by trying to get a dog to think like a human: “Listen to me I’m your Pack Leader.”—“Listen to me, I control access to your resources.”—“Listen to me, I”m your loving caregiver.” Etcetera, etcetera. These are wonderful thoughts in their own way, there is a vast behavioral industry that industrially works at substantiating these arguments, but they fail to address a dog’s physical problem which is the source of all his fears, i.e., he doesn’t know what to do with his body and therefore he is unable to move well under “the Charge.”All he knows is that once he gets moving, the fear, for one instant, goes away. If this movement is supplied by an instinctive script, we call it a behavioral problem. The dog does not end up moving well and his emotional charge grows ever greater.The goal of Natural Dog Training is to write a new script through channeling a dog’s movement through the five core exercises. Then the dog learns to move well and his charge begins to dissipate. He begins to feel integrated into his group. The men who stormed the terrorist in the French train moved well. I doubt these heroes are suffering any emotional charge from the event. I doubt they will experience any PTSD from the event. The reason is that they moved well and moving well always connects the individual to its group and such a state of integration neutralizes “The Charge.”

 

Published August 23, 2015 by Kevin Behan
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25 responses to “A Problem Dog has a Physical Not A Mental Problem”

  1. Nellie Thompson says:

    I agree whole-heartedly that movement is key to resolving trauma in all mammals. Movement helps energy circulate that a traumatic event may have trapped, for example, in a tight shoulder or neck. Moving is critical and overlooked by modern behavioral science until very recently. However, for human mammals, the complete processing of trauma, starts at the bottom (physical-movement) and proceeds to the top (cognitive-narrative) in most cases. When human mammals just keep moving, the experience of many courageous military veterans of the Civil War, WWI, and WWII, they succeeded in part but they and their families frequently suffered greatly; often silently. Bottom-up processing of trauma is the whole picture for most human mammals. Moving the trauma by talk is important too albeit not the first piece. I think that as man co-evolved with dog, man got enhanced frontal lobe abilities and lost some sensory abilities, for example smell. Dog was there to do work for man and became the specialist with greater capacity in sensory and perhaps e-motional arenas. With our big frontal lobes, comes the frequent need to verbally process traumatic injury after the physical movement in my psychologist opinion.

  2. Pat says:

    That sounds. true. Now, what is the solution? I have a dog like this, but do not know how to fix her .

  3. @ Pat. The best solution is to send your dog to Kevin at NDT. I have sent several of my Dobermans there BEFORE there was a problem. I have seen friends send their dogs to him with huge problems ( that the humans have created of course). It was and is some of the best money I have spent! Also, listen to what Kevin says and do not revert back to trying to do things another way, as the other ways did not work.

  4. Ginger says:

    As an owner of a challenged dog, with stuck energy, I tried a variety of positive-reinforcement trainers with short term success. But after working with Kevin for 4 hours I witnessed results, so I left my dog with him for more in depth training. It’s certainly been a learning process and will always be a dance of two steps forward, one step back. But Kevin’s natural dog training has been an absolute life changer; I’ve learned growth has happened just as much from my dog as from me!

  5. Madelyn Hoffman says:

    How do I send my dog to Kevin?
    She’s a 9lb rescue, about 6 yrs old, a sweetheart with people but can be aggressive with other dogs – especially big dogs.

    Madelyn H

  6. Kevin, I think your evaluation of the importance of the locomotive rhythm — projection and collection, etc. — is unparalleled, and should be taught at all colleges and universities. And I agree that a problem dog doesn’t have a mental problem. However, I wouldn’t say that it’s a physical problem because that suggests a physical disability. What’s really at play here is, as you call it, an emotional charge that’s unable to “go to ground.”

    I would also argue that there is, in fact, a psychology of fear. Psychology is not related only to mental thought processes. In fact, one of the most important aspect’s of Freud’s work is the idea that mental illness and emotional disturbances operate on a purely unconscious level, below the level of human thought. (It’s interesting to note that before Jaak Panksepp got his degree in animal behavior he first studied to become an evolutionary psychiatrist; a combination of Darwin and Freud.)

    As I see it, there are three levels to behavioral dynamics: the physical (feeling states), the emotional, and the mental. Dogs don’t have the capacity for rational linear thought processes, but I think they are capable of rudimentary, unconscious mental processes, involving things like tracking the trajectory of a prey object, etc. It’s not all a matter of going by “feel.” Yes, the “big brain in the head” has been overemphasized by dognitive scientists, but it’s not dead weight. It’s there for a purpose.

    As to whether the American heroes experience PTSD, you’re probably right. PTSD is often the result of a frightening situation that a person or dog is unable to a) escape from or b) successfully fight back against. That said, it’s not unusual for people to develop symptoms of PTSD just by witnessing a catastrophic event on television. Another factor is the emotional resilience of the individual. These guys had guts, no question. But just being able to move and take action doesn’t necessarily mean that they won’t feel any emotional after-effects.

    Lee

  7. Lucy says:

    What are the 5 core exercises? Where can one learn to do them?

  8. Kevin Behan says:

    I’m not sure I have a grasp of the schematics you’re proposing (Feeling States–Emotion–Mental); so this is a great opportunity to parse out possible distinctions. What you are calling feeling states might be what I call sensations, which I like to distinguish between “true feelings”, i.e. that which results from a state of emotional suspension, and which itself results from an optimized locomotive rhythm. In my model I see the Emotion as base level, Feelings on top of this, and then the Mental arises from these. In humans of course there is a psychology of fear as part of our mental experience, but I still think as Nellie mentions, even this is predicated on capacity to move well because these physical therapies are best combined with the psychological approach. For example, imagine someone terrified of dancing in public, were they suddenly able to take a magic programming pill that would enable them to dance beautifully, their fear would just as magically melt away. They would feel integrated into their group and their emotional charge which makes them self conscious, would dissolve. Or consider a novice skier looking down a black diamond slope. Whatever psychology of fear might arise in their mental state, which I suppose would all relate to a sense of inferiority relative to others, or a time-centric quest for causation, “How did I get myself into this?” nevertheless this psychology would still be based on their inability to convert the force of acceleration the precipitous decline impresses upon their mind, into sustained forward momentum. On the other hand were they able to take a magic programming pill so that they could capture this force of acceleration plus all buffeting forces and harness it into forward momentum, then they would feel integrated into their surroundings and a psychology of fear would dissipate. They would feel integrated into the skiing community. What I’m suggesting is that emotion is the laws of motion, feelings are the capacity to integrate the entire system into the capacity to move well (emotion) and thus integrate with the system, and then mental processes elaborate on top of this. In my dancing/skiing examples above, the individuals’ mental experience would be predicated on whether or not the individual can feel their body’s center-of-gravity when accelerated. The self-conscious frightened person is seeing his self in a detached way, he is not in his body. The social pressure or actual rate of descent is accelerating his subliminal beam of attention out of his body and so he can’t feel the subtleties of the system and respond in real time. He feels disconnected from his body and all the more self-conscious. In regards to true feelings I believe this allows for a vast arena of cognition, or “dognition,” that confers a vast and rich mental experience because the subtle nuances of feeling systems’ inputs are infinite in variety and intensity. But it works according to a systems perspective rather than the individual perspective which so consumes the human mental domain and is the basis of what I mean by psychology. Because these heroes can indeed think relative to others, they may in retrospective contemplation of what might have happened if the terrorists gun hadn’t jam, suffer a charge. Yes I agree that’s possible because psychology can have a powerful corrosive effect, but nevertheless, I would wager that the incredible feeling of integration they are now experiencing will completely offset this and they will not wake up with nightmares. For example, I don’t think Captain Sully experiences any PTSD from the landing in the Hudson river (in fact he even recreated the flight by flying a small plane over the route for a documentary) whereas some of the passengers and one of the flight attendants that I know of, have sworn off flying altogether. As pilot Sully was the only one who could map an optimal locomotive rhythm onto his actions at the controls, and so since he moved so well he feels completely integrated into the community and hence no PTSD.

  9. Kevin Behan says:

    Thanks for your interest, please feel free to call.

  10. Kevin: I’m not sure I have a grasp of the schematics you’re proposing (Feeling States–Emotion–Mental); so this is a great opportunity to parse out possible distinctions.”

    What I’m saying is that the capacity to feel things — hot and cold, hunger and thirst, fear and pleasure, attraction and resistance — operates on a purely physical level. This is the bedrock of human and animal consciousness. “Sensations” might work here, but it implies that the animal in question has the capacity to sense things, which may or may not be the case. For instance, a jellyfish doesn’t have sensory organs. And in my recent blog article on dogs, dolphins and jellyfish, I describe how a jellie’s hunting behavior — which a research scientist believes is done “deliberately” — can and should be described in terms of attraction NOT deliberation. In fact, since the jellie comes equipped with an internal “fishing lure,” the prey is also attracted to the predator. (Incidentally, there’s another type of jellyfish that seems to hunt in pairs, using a “chase-and-ambush” approach.)

    Kevin: “What I’m suggesting is that emotion is the laws of motion, feelings are the capacity to integrate the entire system into the capacity to move well (emotion) and thus integrate with the system, and then mental processes elaborate on top of this.”

    Yes, and what I’m saying is that I think you’ve got things reversed. First comes the capacity to feel things physically (which, it could be argued, exists in plants and possibly even in single-celled organisms), then comes the capacity for emotion, which is also tied to Freudian concept of projecting one’s emotional energy onto objexts of attraction.

    Also, in my view there are two kinds of emotion: simple and complex (as opposed to primary and secondary as per D’Amasio). Another problem with tying emotion to movement is that plants have emotions, but have a very limited capacity for physical movement.

    Kevin: “In regards to true feelings I believe this allows for a vast arena of cognition, or ‘dognition,’ that confers a vast and rich mental experience because the subtle nuances of feeling systems’ inputs are infinite in variety and intensity. But it works according to a systems perspective rather than the individual perspective, which so consumes the human mental domain and is the basis of what I mean by psychology.”

    I agree wholeheartedly with the first part of this statement but take exception to the idea that psychology only relates to human mental constructs. Roughly 90% of human psychology operates on a purely unconscious level. Animal psychology operates completely on an UN-conscious level. To me psychology is simply a means of describing the causes and motives behind behavior. For instance, your article on locomotion could, in my opinion, be seen as a treatise on the psychology of movement.

    Kevin: “I don’t think Captain Sully experiences any PTSD from the landing in the Hudson river … [he]was the only one who could map an optimal locomotive rhythm onto his actions at the controls, and so since he moved so well he feels completely integrated into the community and hence no PTSD.”

    As I said earlier, the inability to move or take action is often a part of post-traumatic stress — the soldiers and his unit are pinned down, so is the rape victim — but it’s not necessary. Nor is feeling integrated into the community a source of immunity. One might argue that in cases of combat, one of the reasons some soldiers develop PTSD is BECAUSE they’re so deeply integrated into the community and feel they’ve failed to protect their “brothers-in-arms.” PTSD operates primarily through what you call unresolved emotion and Pavlovian equivalencies. The capacity to move physically may be a factor, it may not.

    As for Sully, while I have no doubt that he’s not suffering from PTSD as a result of that inciden, I think it’s impossible to say whether he did or didn’t develop symptoms of PTSD for the reasons you’ve given. As I said in my previous comment, his capacity for emotional resilience may be the real reason that he was so cool under pressure, and seemingly remains as cool as a cucumber to this day.

    I hope this helps you understand my point of view.

  11. Kevin Behan says:

    Thanks, I think this exchange gets down to a basic departure so should be interesting.

    LCK: “What I’m saying is that the capacity to feel things — hot and cold, hunger and thirst, fear and pleasure, attraction and resistance — operates on a purely physical level. This is the bedrock of human and animal consciousness.”

    KB: On one level I completely agree with this. However I’m saying something a bit more radical, emotion comes first, then the physical. In other words, the physical organs and all the interrelated systems that regulate appetite, balance, temperature, etc., confluence to produce emotion and yes this would be unconscious. All these processes are necessary to produce motion, that’s the purpose, and this motion, collectivized, produces a network. The network is built into the way organisms are configured so that they will move in a collectivized way and achieve complex social structures. You’re right that my title suggests a physical problem, but it turns out to be one because when an individual doesn’t know how to move well, they feel ill-at-ease. And some medical experts argue that a chronic state of being ill-at-ease does ultimately result in an illness. At any rate, the net result of all this activity organized around the center of gravity is that the individual feels attracted to things in terms of how they facilitate or impede motion. This is the basis of the mental process of objectification. Objects arise in the mind, sensory input construed into form, in terms of the objects impact (resistance) on the individual’s locomotive rhythm.

    Kevin: < <>>

    LCK: “Yes, and what I’m saying is that I think you’ve got things reversed. First comes the capacity to feel things physically (which, it could be argued, exists in plants and possibly even in single-celled organisms), then comes the capacity for emotion.”

    KB: Agree with the point of the Jellyfish and plants and feel this still is in accord with my argument. In my model, I’m not treating the sensing of hunger as a feeling, which I concede is probably the consensus view. But this will preclude the ability to build a model. What I’m referring to as a “true feeling” arises from a state of suspension when the individual feels integrated with his surroundings. And this results from the autonomic phenomenon of projecting the p-cog into emotionally relevant objects, and then, achieving a reacquisition of the locomotive rhythm that was interrupted by the perception of an object.
    While it’s true that plants aren’t in motion to the same degree as animals, yet time lapse photography revels a startling degree of motion that looks remarkably animalistic, and on top of this, the things they crave, air/water/nutrients/sun/stress forces are in constant and rapid motion relative to them and so I feel the same principle applies. I would argue that the configuration of the organs, anatomy and life systems are the result of emotion, and as a composite they are the biological manifestation of the laws of nature, this is how all life is connected, like a gravitational field. Emotion creates a universal field of attraction and invests organisms with an inherent momentum. In other words, organisms have systems so that they will manifest emotional affects towards others just as if they are dealing with objects of mass that are in motion. When nature “adds” a nervous system, this introduces an electromagnetic charge to the body’s cog and now organisms act toward other objects as if they are respectively carrying an electromagnetic charge.

    Kevin: < <>>

    LCK: “I agree wholeheartedly with the first part of this statement but take exception to the idea that psychology only relates to human mental constructs. Roughly 90% of human psychology operates on a purely unconscious level. Animal psychology operates completely on an UN-conscious level. To me psychology is simply a means of describing the causes and motives behind behavior. For instance, your article on locomotion could, in my opinion, be seen as a treatise on the psychology of movement.”

    KB: I am using the term psychology too loosely or too narrowly in that I’m not referring to unconscious processes, just thinking rationales. I’m talking about a physics of movement because the thinking behind the movement is, until the very highest levels of motive, irrelevant. In any given situation there is only way to move well and this imposes a systems logic on interactants. If they don’t move well, they acquire a charge and suffer that consequence. It can be denied and held back for a while, but the house always wins in the end. The mechanics available to any movement is constrained by anatomy which evolved according to physics. This determines the metric of well being, the sense of self and even the construct of reality, all of which arrived at as the result of movements that have to subscribe to the fundamental template.

    Kevin: < <>>

    LCK “As I said earlier, the inability to move or take action is often a part of post-traumatic stress — the soldiers and his unit are pinned down, so is the rape victim — but it’s not necessary. Nor is feeling integrated into the community a source of immunity. One might argue that in cases of combat, one of the reasons some soldiers develop PTSD is BECAUSE they’re so deeply integrated into the community and feel they’ve failed to protect their “brothers-in-arms.” PTSD operates primarily through what you call unresolved emotion and Pavlovian equivalencies. The capacity to move physically may be a factor, it may not.”
    “As for Sully, while I have no doubt that he’s not suffering from PTSD as a result of that incident, I think it’s impossible to say whether he did or didn’t develop symptoms of PTSD for the reasons you’ve given. As I said in my previous comment, his capacity for emotional resilience may be the real reason that he was so cool under pressure, and seemingly remains as cool as a cucumber to this day.”

    KB: I think Sully is emblematic of a larger phenomenon but we could consider a larger pool. For example I would guess that the civilized world suffers higher rate of PTSD in their soldiers and this would be because these societies cultivate an enlightened view of their enemies. They seek to understand their enemies as people in their own right. Whereas a warrior culture has a stronger tribal connection and this allows them to dehumanize the enemy and so there is less trauma attached to killing a fellow human being. And a comrade dying in combat is seen as a good death. Finally the tribal connection extends to long departed ancestors and again less trauma attached to the notion of death.

  12. I just got back from walking the dogs, so I’ve only had a chance to quickly riff through your most recent comment. But I wanted to point something out that I think aligns with both our views, which is this: I said previously that Sully Sullenberger seems to have a capacity for emotional and mental resilience that others lack. But what occurred to me on my walk (and we could go into the psychology of why so many ideas come to me while I’m out walking the dogs) is that one definition of resilience is the capacity to feel flow even in a highly turbulent situation.

    That fits Sullenberger’s behavior after the geese struck the engine of his aircraft to a tee…

  13. Kevin Behan says:

    Yes I agree. The important thing about Sully is that he was taught to fly the plane every second, all the way down. He wasn’t taught with positive reinforcements so that he would come to feel safe and then this extended his thresholds so that he could handle difficult situations. He was put into difficult situations in the training and this raised his thresholds and therefore, when all the planes’ systems failed, he could still feel the flow and feel, mores than think, how to utilize what was left to maintain an optimal locomotive rhythm.

  14. LCK: “What I’m saying is that the capacity to feel things — hot and cold, hunger and thirst, fear and pleasure, attraction and resistance — operates on a purely physical level. This is the bedrock of human and animal consciousness.”

    KB: On one level I completely agree with this. However I’m saying something a bit more radical, emotion comes first, then the physical. In other words, the physical organs and all the interrelated systems that regulate appetite, balance, temperature, etc., confluence to produce emotion and yes this would be unconscious. All these processes are necessary to produce motion, that’s the purpose, and this motion, collectivized, produces a network. The network is built into the way organisms are configured so that they will move in a collectivized way and achieve complex social structures. You’re right that my title suggests a physical problem, but it turns out to be one because when an individual doesn’t know how to move well, they feel ill-at-ease. And some medical experts argue that a chronic state of being ill-at-ease does ultimately result in an illness. At any rate, the net result of all this activity organized around the center of gravity is that the individual feels attracted to things in terms of how they facilitate or impede motion. This is the basis of the mental process of objectification. Objects arise in the mind, sensory input construed into form, in terms of the objects impact (resistance) on the individual’s locomotive rhythm.

    So if I understand what you’re saying, emotion precedes physicality in living organisms. So physical features — cilia, tentacles, shells, fronds, limbs, fingers, toes, and brains etc., — are products of emotion. I don’t think that’s true. But I may have a very different definition of emotion.

    KB: Agree with the point of the Jellyfish and plants and feel this still is in accord with my argument. In my model, I’m not treating the sensing of hunger as a feeling, which I concede is probably the consensus view. But this will preclude the ability to build a model. What I’m referring to as a “true feeling” arises from a state of suspension when the individual feels integrated with his surroundings. And this results from the autonomic phenomenon of projecting the p-cog into emotionally relevant objects, and then, achieving a reacquisition of the locomotive rhythm that was interrupted by the perception of an object.

    So when a jellyfish goes “fishing” it’s doing so via an emotional construct of some sort? Obviously jellyfish are capable of movement. And they’re capable of predation. One could also call their movements as having a locomotive rhythm. But I don’t think they’re capable of feeling much of anything beyond the realm of the physical, which would be attraction, nothing more. I would agree that there may be an unseen biotic field influencing and creating these phenomena, and that it’s all part of an integrated system, but I don’t see how a jellyfish or an amoeba — on its own — is able to project its physical center of gravity onto an object of attraction anymore than a magnet is able to project its center of gravity onto a bar of steel.

    KB: While it’s true that plants aren’t in motion to the same degree as animals, yet time lapse photography revels a startling degree of motion that looks remarkably animalistic, and on top of this, the things they crave, air/water/nutrients/sun/stress forces are in constant and rapid motion relative to them and so I feel the same principle applies.

    I agree that plants are capable of movement, and that that they have emotions and even social “instincts.” But I still don’t see how a plant can project its physical center of gravity onto an object of attraction.

    KB: I would argue that the configuration of the organs, anatomy and life systems are the result of emotion…

    Right, and I think the physical platform has to exist first before emotion can come into play.

    1) Physicality
    2) Sexuality
    3) Simple Emotions & Social Relationships

    KB: I am using the term psychology too loosely or too narrowly in that I’m not referring to unconscious processes, just thinking rationales. I’m talking about a physics of movement because the thinking behind the movement is, until the very highest levels of motive, irrelevant. In any given situation there is only way to move well and this imposes a systems logic on interactants. If they don’t move well, they acquire a charge and suffer that consequence. … The mechanics available to any movement is constrained by anatomy which evolved according to physics. This determines the metric of well being, the sense of self and even the construct of reality, all of which arrived at as the result of movements that have to subscribe to the fundamental template.

    LCK: I agree with all that, particularly the idea that the mechanics of movement are constrained by anatomy, which evolved according to physical laws. To me this means that physical constructs do, in fact, come before emotion. Emotion doesn’t create bone and sinew. Neither does it create cell division. Those are physical processes, not emotional ones. So I think you’re still putting the cart before the horse.

    I don’t mind that you have a much different definition of emotion than most scientists. I do too. But I don’t think emotion can exist without there first being a physical platform.

  15. Kevin Behan says:

    LCK: “I don’t see how a jellyfish or an amoeba — on its own — is able to project its physical center of gravity onto an object of attraction anymore than a magnet is able to project its center of gravity onto a bar of steel.”

    KB: It seems to me that the sheer mass of a magnet is a very important determinant of the strength of the field it radiates, so to this extent therefore the field is a projection of the magnet’s center-of-gravity, the most important component of its mass. The Jellyfish is in a state of a deficit, it is hungry, it is in a way magnetized toward its prey. By whatever means and at whatever distance it detects the presence of a prey, represents the projection of its cog which is the epicenter of its physical body. This would also be equivalent to the projection of its cog. A plant has a geotropic drive, the superstructure of the plant above its roots would be symmetrically aligned about that root ball, and that too would be the equivalent of projecting its center mass. As the plant projects itself into the air, the entirety of it all is a projection of its center-of-gravity.

    LCK “So if I understand what you’re saying, emotion precedes physicality in living organisms. So physical features — cilia, tentacles, shells, fronds, limbs, fingers, toes, and brains etc., — are products of emotion. I don’t think that’s true. But I may have a very different definition of emotion. I don’t think emotion can exist without there first being a physical platform.”

    KB: This would seem to be a very radical statement I’m making. Logically however, I think it’s the only reasonable conclusion to be drawn from the available evidence. We can note that software evolved before hardware in the emergence of computer “consciousness.” We see that same pattern over and over, there must first be a network before there can be information. There has to be a sun, moon and earth interacting as a network before there can be life. The photovoltaic principle is the operating system of and precedes the emergence of plants. Jeremy England establishes that self-replicating organisms are extensions of nature’s inherent impulse to dissipate heat more efficiently. The signature of all these immaterial processes and inanimate systems can be found in acts of emotional expression. Thus the physical platform evolved to create a virtual field of attraction, like gravity, and also invest organisms with an inherent momentum so that like the solar system, organisms in their biological drive don’t clump together but maintain network integrity through coherent motion relative to each other. I also think it is the most parsimonious or even possible explanation for premonition, telepathy, and many other extrasensory phenomena that animals and intuitive people are capable of. There is some immaterial essence that connects all things into a network. The network is constantly reassembling itself in the collectivized behaviors of organisms. For example, in my view, there is no plausible evolutionary explanation for starling murmurations. Animals recognize a network recapitulation as their metric of success. When it comes to the behavior of animals, an immaterial point, the center-of-gravity, proves to be the organizing kernel to anatomy, thus locomotion, thus the size and placement of internal organs, there the range of behaviors that are possible. So the network is embedded in the nature of organisms without any genetic programming whatsoever. This means for me that the genes are extensions of those physical, inanimate processes. They are infused in the makeup of organisms since the center of gravity is the defining feature of their bodies and minds.
    Meanwhile it’s considered a conservative notion to believe in an immaterial Omniscient Being that precedes a physical platform, but the notion of emotion as an immaterial precedent for the physical body is deemed unthinkable. That distinction seems arbitrary and it is because we have no vantage point from which we can assess what is a conservative notion and what is radical. All we can go by is the most logical assessment of the evidence.

  16. KB: This would seem to be a very radical statement I’m making. Logically however, I think it’s the only reasonable conclusion to be drawn from the available evidence. We can note that software evolved before hardware in the emergence of computer “consciousness.” We see that same pattern over and over, there must first be a network before there can be information. There has to be a sun, moon and earth interacting as a network before there can be life. The photovoltaic principle is the operating system of and precedes the emergence of plants. Jeremy England establishes that self-replicating organisms are extensions of nature’s inherent impulse to dissipate heat more efficiently. The signature of all these immaterial processes and inanimate systems can be found in acts of emotional expression. Thus the physical platform evolved to create a virtual field of attraction, like gravity, and also invest organisms with an inherent momentum so that like the solar system, organisms in their biological drive don’t clump together but maintain network integrity through coherent motion relative to each other.

    LCK: I would agree with almost everything you’re saying here except that the thermodynamics and virtual field of attraction are products of emotion. (I think that’s what you’re saying.)

    KB: There is some immaterial essence that connects all things into a network. T

    LCK: he network is constantly reassembling itself in the collectivized behaviors of organisms. … Animals recognize a network recapitulation as their metric of success. When it comes to the behavior of animals, an immaterial point, the center-of-gravity, proves to be the organizing kernel to anatomy, thus locomotion, thus the size and placement of internal organs, there the range of behaviors that are possible. So the network is embedded in the nature of organisms without any genetic programming whatsoever. This means for me that the genes are extensions of those physical, inanimate processes. They are infused in the makeup of organisms since the center of gravity is the defining feature of their bodies and minds.

    LCK: Again, I agree. This is similar to Sheldrake’s work on morphic fields. You’ve expanded on that quite nicely. But to me emotional capacity is one of the products of these processes, not the generating force.

  17. Sorry. That was sloppy editing where I somehow inserted my initials into the middle of your statement.

  18. Kevin Behan says:

    Here’s my rejoinder. All animals can potentially communicate with all other animals, and as we’ve noted, it all functions on a state of attraction. This suggests that there is a universal operating system and which I could further demonstrates inculcates the animal mind, sans programming or genetic implementation, such a capacity in a given individual by sheer influence of crude mechanical forces. In other words, they didn’t each arrive at this capacity independently, it had to have been a standard already in place, just as first the protocols for the internet were established, and then computers “evolved” according to that communication standard. Therefore the animal mind is immutably motivated and guided to form collectivized systems simply by virtue of executing their mechanical locomotive rhythm, and so complex structures are nevertheless not complicated. We can also see that this behavioral code has its counterpart in a more rudimentary version in plants, bacterium and other primitive life forms. But in particular, the various odd physical and behavioral adaptations of dogs (for example the copulatory tie as the physical embodiment of the emotional phenomenon of projection of the p-cog and then the feeling of being physically rooted in the object of attraction) I would argue are the manifestations of this primal code, and that it works according to energetic principles rather than any rationale that can be assigned to the perpetuation of genes. Because it is so pronounced in dogs is why they are so adaptable and were able to connect with man in there first place. This is especially telling because I would argue that these various odd traits serve no evolutionary purpose whatsoever in regards to survival or reproduction, however their encumbrance (for example, in addition to the copulatory tie, dogs eat you-know-what and are thus easily infected by parasites which theoretically should reduce their fitness, and yet the behavior persists) must be worth it as an inescapable byproduct of being fully network enabled. Therefore the network is the basis of information, it comes before there are organisms, and everything about an organism evolves in order to enact the network, even the way it’s genes are regulated and expressed and which has nothing to do directly with an individual’s or a species’ genetic fitness in the conventional way of looking at that criteria. So I see consciousness as pure energy, with emotion being the interface between the ethereal realm and the material domain of nature. It’s like the clutch and transmission which connects the engine to the drive wheels that are the only part which actually make contact with the road. Information comes first, the network, and then the physical follows, software preceding wetware and hardware.

  19. I hope we’re getting somewhere with this!

    Kevin Behan says:
    August 28, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    KB: Here’s my rejoinder. All animals can potentially communicate with all other animals, and as we’ve noted, it all functions on a state of attraction. This suggests that there is a universal operating system…

    LCK: I agree.

    KB: … and which I could further demonstrate inculcates the animal mind, sans programming or genetic implementation, such a capacity in a given individual by sheer influence of crude mechanical forces.

    LCK: I agree with the first part of this, but I’m having trouble with the second because it seems to me that you’re saying that the universal operating system is emotion, but that it operates only through crude mechanical forces. I would agree that in animals who actually have an emotional capacity as part of their make up, what emotion does is it sparks some form of movement. I just don’t see jellyfish or spiders as having emotions and, therefore, no emotional centers of gravity. Yes, they have the capacity to move in some very interesting ways. But they don’t have the capacity for emotions of any kind. It seems to me that your way of seeing things hinges on emotional development that isn’t there.

    KB: Therefore the animal mind is immutably motivated and guided to form collectivized systems simply by virtue of executing their mechanical locomotive rhythm…

    LCK: I can see what you’re getting at but I’m not sure it rings true. Not 100% anyway. I think “collectivization” is the result of attraction, among other things, yes. But I’m not sure physical contact is necessary for social relationships or structures to form. For instance you’ve discussed at length the “drive to make contact,” which I’ve always interpreted (or misinterpreted) as the “drive to connect.” So the connection can be purely emotional, and not necessarily physical, therefore not necessarily related to each individual species’ own locomotive rhythm. None of the dogs I know need physical contact to feel connected to me. True, that’s important initially. But the network itself doesn’t need for there to be physical movement to exist. It may act as a channel for movement, but connections can be made with little or no physical movement.

    KB: We can also see that this behavioral code has its counterpart in a more rudimentary version in plants, bacterium and other primitive life forms. But in particular, the various odd physical and behavioral adaptations of dogs … I would argue are the manifestations of this primal code, and that it works according to energetic principles rather than any rationale that can be assigned to the perpetuation of genes.

    LCK: I agree that it operates through energetic principles rather than reason.

    KB: Therefore the network is the basis of information, it comes before there are organisms, and everything about an organism evolves in order to enact the network, even the way its genes are regulated and expressed and which has nothing to do directly with an individual’s or a species’ genetic fitness in the conventional way of looking at that criteria.

    LCK: I would agree with this as well.

    KB: So I see consciousness as pure energy, with emotion being the interface between the ethereal realm and the material domain of nature.

    LCK: I agree that consciousness is a form of energy. I’m not sure it’s “pure” energy.

    However, I don’t think emotion is the interface between the two. I think emotion operates on its own wavelength (or wavelengths), influencing physical movement—yes to a large degree—but not necessarily linked to all forms of physical movement, since not all forms of life have the capacity to feel, experience, and express their emotions, which, again, goes back to my taking exception to the idea that jellyfish and spiders come equipped with emotional centers-of-gravity.

    KB: Information comes first, then the network, and then the physical follows.

    LCK: I would agree with this too. But in my way of looking at things, the physical is the platform for what comes later—emotion and socialization. The information and the network may be a template or form templates for what comes later, but I don’t think of the network itself as emotion or as being comprised of emotion.

  20. Kevin Behan says:

    It seems to me that if physical is necessary as a platform in order for emotion to emerge, then this would beget a sense-of-self in the resulting mind that was by its nature insulated rather than networked, and networking would be more a feature of complex organisms than simple ones. Yet the simpler organisms are more affiliative than complex ones, for example, bacterial colonies. The copulatory tie in canines for example, indicates that there is no survival/reproductive advantage to this strategy because no species but the most social one, canine, performs this in mating. It’s sort of like computer susceptibility to viruses as the necessary byproduct of the ease with which it replicates information. So the computer is invested with a network “consciousness” by virtue of a principle of conductivity and this came well before a computer attained physicality.

  21. b... says:

    I think the missing link here might be that in Kevin’s model projection is not a mental process but a physio-emotional one and thus not predicated on a complex nervous system. Emotion is “energy in motion” rather than the mental construct that we humans assign to the visceral feeling in our body.

    Some energetic phenomenon must drive the chemical reactions that create all growth, evolution, movement in nature. Otherwise I think one would have to ascribe it to some spontaneous phenomenon (randomness) or some rational omniscient intelligence (like a deity).
    I believe that in Kevin’s model this phenomenon is called emotion.

    To my mind, the prevailing biological/psychological models seem to overlook the impetus for anything to happen in organisms in the first place (the “why”) and only address the “how”, describing the effects but not the cause. Sort of a “sh*t happens” approach. Or when it comes to dogs, that dogs do what they do “because they’re dogs”.

  22. KB: It seems to me that if physical is necessary as a platform in order for emotion to emerge, then this would beget a sense-of-self in the resulting mind that was by its nature insulated rather than networked…

    I don’t see why that would necessarily be the case. Dogs are very emotional, and very physical. There’s no sense-of-self (or sense-of-self-and-other) that’s inherently part of a dog’s nature.

    Nevertheless, it’s your theory. I was just putting in my two cents regarding what I perceive to be the nature of emotion. Clearly, that’s very different from yours.

  23. Kevin Behan says:

    I think the question that has to be addressed is how could the singular capacities of wolves and dogs as the most adaptable species, persist in defiance of any selective advantage, in particular we could consider eating you-know-what. The consensus view is that sexual reproduction evolved in order to counter parasitic infection, the “Red Queen” hypothesis. So genes are constantly intermixed and this prevents a parasite from drawing a bead on a sexual species’ genome. Yet dogs as we know are prolific about this trait which certainly increases their risk from parasites, and yet it persists. This suggests to me that it is an inevitable trade off from being so network-enabled, which is the real evolutionary filter. Furthermore that a dog recognizes something about its “self” in the excrement of others. Therefore the information on how to build a network comes before the physical platform toward which it will “aspire” as it evolves. The copulatory tie, problem behavior, becoming electrified by the sound of its name, all manner of such things are signature of a pre-existing network template around which the domestic dog’s body evolved so as to be able to execute. It’s like a radio being designed in accord with the signal, and all other design criteria are subordinate to this. This just seems to me to be the most logical interpretation of the evidence. But by all means feel free to put me out of my reader’s misery and nevertheless I find it rewarding to chew over such matters.

  24. Kevin Behan says:

    Yes what I’m saying is that information isn’t about a gene rationale, or something an individual figures out given its experiences. There is no information without a network. Information is the capacity to capture environmental inputs, and then harness these by converting them to a refined level of feeling for fellow organisms, “emotosynthesis.” In this way nature evolves as a whole, not as a collection of self-interested disconnected parties ultimately related through corresponding rationales of gene fitness. Jeremy England is establishing that given a steady input of energy, a medium begins to resonate with it and take shape around its periodic oscillations because this is the most efficient way to dissipate its heat. Genes replicate not due to their standard of fitness in regards to other genes capacity to adapt their bearers to the environment relative to competitors, but whether or not they efficiently dissipate heat. This is another way of saying a network consciousness. The entire network assembles to most efficiently dissipate heat. All of the singular traits of dogs can be shown to be network efficient in this way. The Constructal law being a more elaborate and a more concrete way of saying the same thing.

  25. KB: “I think the question that has to be addressed is how could the singular capacities of wolves and dogs as the most adaptable species, persist in defiance of any selective advantage, in particular we could consider eating you-know-what. The consensus view is that sexual reproduction evolved in order to counter parasitic infection, the ‘Red Queen’ hypothesis. So genes are constantly intermixed and this prevents a parasite from drawing a bead on a sexual species’ genome. Yet dogs as we know are prolific about this trait which certainly increases their risk from parasites, and yet it persists. This suggests to me that it is an inevitable trade off from being so network-enabled, which is the real evolutionary filter. Furthermore that a dog recognizes something about its ‘self’ in the excrement of others. Therefore THE INFORMATION ON HOW TO BUILD A NETWORK COMES BEFORE THE PHYSICAL PLATFORM toward which it will ‘aspire’ as it evolves.”

    I am in complete agreement with this.

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