Dogs do everything in a circle because their bodies and minds are organized to act just as if they are electromagnetically charged particles. My theory is that a very real electromagnetic capacity on a vegetative level evolved into the complex phenomena we recognize in animals as learning and social behavior. Thus if you take behavior in its aggregate, the sum of many moving parts, you see it playing out over Time just as if organisms are electromagnetically charged particles responding to their environment and other organisms just as if they are dealing with a current and a field of energy. Little by little the scientific research is uncovering this energetic underpinning of behavior and learning. But if you would like to fast forward and get to seeing energy at work in the behavior of animals, and as the most coherent explanation for the phenomenon of learning, one must learn to edit one’s own thoughts out of their behavior. This defuses the human psychological construct of Time from the interaction between organisms and their surroundings so that the human intellect doesn’t automatically and autonomically construct a linear, chronologically rooted narrative of who-did-what-to-who-and when. An overarching energetic template then comes into view. In the animal mind every frame of reference has a direction of flow, high to low pressure, a current, around which variables are construed as if they are cardinal points on a compass, North, South, East and West, a field.
This second article is instructive because it shows how in contrast to our perception of fast moving organisms, our perception of Time introduces a scale to our frame of reference and thus limits how we perceive the behavior of plants that are operating on a much slower pace, or we could say, “subsonic wavelength.”
So for organisms that are seemingly operating on our Time scale, we readily inject thoughts to make sense of their behavior, whereas for plants that are operating on a much slower frequency so that they don’t closely intersect with our frames of reference, we merely see a jumble and can only sort through the maze of their activity with vague notions of competition and random mutations. We think we see plants competing for limited resources, whereas as Bejan has discovered the forest is one organism with all manner of plant life of varying sizes (“few big, many small”) cooperating in a precise formula (branching network) so as to maximize the flow of water, nutrient and stresses in a vascularizing architecture connecting the ground systems to the atmospheric systems.
On all these Time scales we fail to see the networked intelligence, the flow system, by which all life is connected and by which all life communicates so as to effect a current and a field that works according to an energetic logic rather than a human, chronological narrative. The best way to get a grounding in this new vision, (1) understand the NDT model for the canine mind and (2) read “Design In Nature” by Adrian Bejan.
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Books about Natural Dog Training by Kevin BehanIn Your Dog Is Your Mirror, dog trainer Kevin Behan proposes a radical new model for understanding canine behavior: a dog’s behavior and emotion, indeed its very cognition, are driven by our emotion. The dog doesn’t respond to what the owner thinks, says, or does; it responds to what the owner feels. And in this way, dogs can actually put people back in touch with their own emotions. Behan demonstrates that dogs and humans are connected more profoundly than has ever been imagined — by heart — and that this approach to dog cognition can help us understand many of dogs’ most inscrutable behaviors. This groundbreaking, provocative book opens the door to a whole new understanding between species, and perhaps a whole new understanding of ourselves.
|Natural Dog Training is about how dogs see the world and what this means in regards to training. The first part of this book presents a new theory for the social behavior of canines, featuring the drive to hunt, not the pack instincts, as seminal to canine behavior. The second part reinterprets how dogs actually learn. The third section presents exercises and handling techniques to put this theory into practice with a puppy. The final section sets forth a training program with a special emphasis on coming when called.|
I have ordered Bejan’s book, looking forward to FINALLY reading it.
Just want to make what may be a simple comment: Today working on leash training in a busy parking lot, some higher power re-planted the “complete the circle” concept into my mind and whenever A got distracted or tense I would walk her in a circle and we would get reconnected to eachother. This was not a formal decision on my part, just some sort of intuitive behavior that I somehow became aware I was doing.
I PUT THIS IN THE WRONG BLOG, HERE GOES AGAIN!
I have begun reading Bejan and the thing that I keep bumping up against is the concept of time and how it relates to Constructal law and dogs specifically. Kevin, you have said that dogs don’t have any concept of time or time’s resulting logic.
Reading Bejan he states that Constructal law “offers scientific confirmation of our intuition that there is a direction in time to the evolution of all around us, a purpose, a direction toward flow performance in all that goes on around us.”
We speak in terms of the dog seeking flow, going towards flow and those are time directions too, so since dogs are flow sensors wouldn’t they have some notion of the direction of time?
Great question. At the seminar you may recall I drew a circle with the four quadrants, and then noted that there is a clock wise rotation, i.e. an emotional migration from Active/Indirect–>Reactive/Indirect—>Reactive/Direct—->Active/Direct, like the hand of a clock sweeping from 12:01 to 11:59. This emotional migration transpires within the individual as it matures (the puppy goes from being at its most uninhibited at birth, and thus universally social, to more discriminating and striving to get to Active/Direct after it experiences stress and becomes formatted to the various polarities and thereby differentiated from the others), the same emotional migration or progression transpires within the pack itself as roles change over time (each individual in the group occupies one of these polarities for various lengths of time and this has been misconstrued as changes in status), and in the hunt as the prey is brought to ground (when the prey is weakened enough all members of the group are able to get to Direct/Active and bite the prey animal without inhibition). Before the prey was weakened they all had some degree of tentativeness, even the Alpha at 11:59 had to be reactive to the strength of the prey. These are all the same progression, a migration through the hierarchy is the same as learning to manipulate a situation. It’s the same process of emotional evolution. The animal projects its physical memory onto ANY object of resistance and then relates to it as if it is a living being, a being from its past. This is a vital point because it means that there is an innate tendency in animals to manipulate objects, to incorporate them into the configuration, this is what is really going on with bower birds, and crows stealing bright, shiny objects as ornaments. It’s object oriented programming so that organisms have an innate urge to improve their surroundings.
Because of this inherent progression, or direction in behavior, we can note that organisms are always trying to increase their vibration, so they sort themselves out according to the Active/Reactive–Direct/Indirect polarity values, but always want to increase their vibration not stay where they are. This is the direction, the sense of emotional momentum all organisms are innately invested with, and it corresponds to the principle of thermodynamics that heat always travels toward the cold polarity and along the way builds complex structure by the branching architecture its movement creates. The problem therefore becomes how to add new energy to the system so that it persists. Consciousness solved this problem with the thermodynamic nature of emotion so that when Emotion meets resistance, that forms Unresolved Emotion, and because Unresolved Emotion can-only-get-out-the-way-it-went-in, (this btw corresponds to the 3rd law of motion, every action has an equal and opposite reaction) this means that organisms will seek to raise their vibration, which means they will be compelled to form more complex configurations in order to resolve their burden of Unresolved Emotion. They need to achieve flow with others of their own kind (during imprinting phase of life these objects created deepest physical memories) so that they can be released from stress. (This is the evolutionary basis of the starling murmuration, and why starlings themselves would find it rejuvenating.) So E–>UE–>RE is that general sense of emotional momentum that prevents the system from succumbing to entropy and guarantees an increasingly complex network that can recharge itself. The energy of decay is captured and then harnessed to build more complexity. The system persists as Bejan would say. Meanwhile the human intellect conceptualizes this feeling of emotional momentum and the emotional dynamic (E->UE->RE) that consciousness has evolved to solve the problem of entropy, as the notion of Time, and it is this more complex elaboration of the thermodynamic progression that animals don’t grasp, in my view. They get the direction of the momentum, the need to raise their vibration, they are salved when their more complex body/minds can conduct more emotional energy by integrating with the configuration, but they aren’t able to compare one moment to another moment, or one point-of-view to another point-of-view, because that would require them to envision their self as separate and distinct from the flow system in which they are emotionally engaged. So they live in the moment, but the special properties of physical memory allow them to project the past onto the present in order to render a more complex future by turning decay into new growth. E->UE->RE is a universal problem for all emotional organisms, so they all work together so to speak to resolve the net emotional charge. I sum all of this up with the statement, like-is-drawn-to-like, but only opposites can connect. Like meeting like causes friction, this friction emotionally polarizes each individual (disconnects the front-end-from-the-hind-end) so that in order to maintain the integrity of their Self, in other words to feel whole again, they will seek to occupy the polarity that complements the triggering agent, this compels each like-body/minded being toward opposite ends of the flow spectrum—Active/Direct relative to Reactive/Indirect—(this pattern of differentiation that at the same time is complementary, corresponds to the spreading, dendritic architecture so that the field is vascularized) and this complexity is then rewarded by nature yielding new energy sources. Nature is not limited. It is unlimited. That is what emotion and its inverse relationship to stress is for.
So when a dog experiences the collapse of attraction (UE) is their behavior predicated on trying to fit with the (lost) object of attraction in an effort to RE or is this just a short circuit spark? And furthermore if the experience isn’t the same intensity as the original formatting experience, is this bound to be stored as UE until the intensity is matched and alignment occurs? So even though the friction spark has occurred in an attempt to create a mirror of the object of attraction via whatever the response is, the emotion isn’t resolved at all. So our goal is to help the unresolved dog feel flow through alignment? (That last one is rhetorical I think…). It’s hard to stay within one analogy
Yes on all counts. When the state of attraction collapses, UE is absorbed. The dog’s motive at this point is to return to equilibrium by neutralizing the force of acceleration that it’s still stuck with. He can get out of that particular place and run it off, he can bark it out, or he can bite the object-of-attraction in an instinctive attempt at grounding. Another response is to passively internalize it, this is the basis of avoidance and submissive displays. On the other hand had the dog been able to align and synchronize in the first place, then all of that force of acceleration affiliated with a state of attraction would have been absorbed by the body language of the other, their two bodies (and subsequently their minds) would have become mirror images and they would have moved in flow together. So our goal when working with the dog is to match the degrees of intensity that the UE is registered and stored under, and then when these are released, to smooth them out into actions of alignment and synchronization. This is what the core exercises are for, to smooth out the intense forces of acceleration which is what intensity ultimately boils down to. In conformance with Constructal law, this improves the configuration by incorporating an object of resistance into it. The organism evolved to recognize this improvement as resolved emotion and so we see the dog growing softer and its emotional capacity rising so that when subsequently triggered, its capacity to hold off the instinct of collapse gets greater and greater. This capacity is the basis of Drive.
Still fuzzy on memory.
This week I have a stray dog about a year old. I teach her to sit by holding treat over her head. Takes about five minutes of lunging for the treat. I do it several more times until she’s doing it perfectly. Clearly didn’t know how to sit when I started. I come back three days later, hold treat over her head she sits immediately. Didn’t she remember the training? Just a little fuzzy on “dogs can’t remember but never forget”. Thanks.
“So they live in the moment, but the special properties of physical memory allow them to project the past onto the present in order to render a more complex future by turning decay into new growth”
What are the special properties of physical memory and what’s the difference between “projecting the past into the present” and “remembering”.
A dog that sits for the cookie has been stimulated by the cookie. It perceives this stimulation as a force acting on it, knocking it off balance. The exertion of jumping for the cookie is apprehended as this force acting on it. The dog doesn’t look at things linearly, which means causes and effects. Attraction equals a force, and the dog doesn’t distinguish between its own internal processes and external events. Thus when the food is denied because the dog jumps, which means that a specific direction of force (going forward) didn’t result with object-of-attraction in mouth, then there is an autonomic “recoil” or collection process and the dog internalizes this feeling of momentum, which because we’re dealing with food is associated with imprint of ingestion of food during early puppy days. (Without this ingestive aspect the dog would go into avoidance, or if the denial triggers a collapse that is intense enough, flight.) The dog recoils, or collects because since it associates the muscle tension in its hind muscles and their propulsive force as being the force of acceleration acting on it, the ingestion of food is in parallel with this imprint and is affiliated with the softening of tensed muscles (the tension/softening due to food is acquired in the first moments of life when struggling to reconcile its physical equilibrium, a dilemma salved by nursing. These chains of Pavlovian Equivalences—muscle tension—>softening due to relaxation effects of ingestion–all of which is equivalent to the object of attraction, is what allows the dog to string together a coherent view of reality in a way that is dependent on the mechanics of locomotion and hence with the thermodynamic realities of nature. So the dog when collecting shifts its subliminal attention to its hind end because when it didn’t get the food for jumping, there is the equal/opposite force being internalized. (The emotional process is the embodiment in the body/mind of Newton’s laws of motion, every action has an equal/opposite reaction.) The feeling of the force doesn’t go away, it rebounds back inside the dog, which is then subject to manipulation by holding the food over its head so it can sit. (The enteric system is the counterbalance to the Central Nervous System, the physical embodiment of the laws of motion and thermodynamics, i.e. conservation.) Because we’re talking about a fine tuning of body mechanics as the basis of the mind, this is why it takes time to condition an animal. All of this struggle to deal with forces and manipulate their impact becomes recorded as a muscle memory so that eventually when the dog sees the cookie it sits. It’s all a function of physical memory, like learning to ride a bike and then all these muscle memories come back years later when getting back on a bike. So for the dog, in short, sitting becomes what tasting a cookie feels like.
If we think about a day at the beach and remember, we smile with the pleasant memories. But if a warm, briny breeze were to waft inland, we instantly soften as the cells in our body are reliving what it felt like to be at the beach.
Thanks for the detail and thanks to the other commenters. When you say “The animal projects its physical memory onto ANY object of resistance and then relates to it as if it is a living being, a being from its past. This is a vital point because it means that there is an innate tendency in animals to manipulate objects, to incorporate them into the configuration” is this another way of saying there is connection through a midpoint?
There are times, after a really nice walk or play session, my dog brings me her chew-antler and pushes it into me. I then hold it while she gnaws on it. The way I am interpreting this is that the object provides the midpoint for her to move around the D/I/R/A clock towards “ingesting” WITH me in the group. But what has got me questioning my interpretation is that in the group mind, we would be migrating to opposite poles rather than driving towards the same one at the same vibration/time. Aaaack, now I am spinning!
You are interpreting it exactly right, the midpoint is an object that can be imported into the configuration so that you and your dog can align and synchronize around something held in common. Your mind then becomes confused because you are beginning to shift from a linear, Time-Centric logic to a flow systems logic. So just as two objects can’t be in the same place at the same time, you and your dog can’t be equals at the same time, you must be opposites in order to fit into the same frame of reference. This differentiation makes flow possible, otherwise there would be stasis, stagnation and death. So being differentiated within a flow system (hunting group) is fundamentally different from being different within a static model (dominance or pack instincts). Once you are able to hold the overarching flow system in mind while entertaining its various facets, your mind will have fully shifted from a linear driven logic to a systems logic. Good job and Keep On Pushin’!!!
Thanks! I am holding the antler while she chews, definitely differentiated.
There are a few other midpoints that I will start paying closer attention to like the leash and grass (in the desert grass is unusual and soft and prey-ish).
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