Thanks Lee: hopefully my responses to your comments and questions will help clarify the model and flesh it out in all its particulars. Thanks.
KB: Perhaps my next article (Nature/Desire) will address your points more precisely, but for now let me just say that the nature-of-information is variability, but not variation by virtue of some random process. Rather as emotional beings become entrained they will always end up manifesting complementary traits; they will manifest a wave pattern to everything they do. Therefore even were two beings to be in the same field, there still has to be an auto-tuning/feedback dynamic between them that is independent of an actual field so that this differentiation as one becoming the equal/opposite relative to the other can transpire. My premise being that this emotional ionization happens through physical memory. Whereas if two individuals tune into the same electrical field there’s no guarantee they will respond to it in a complementary way. However if it is a virtual field that arises from the physical memories they each trigger in each other, then what one does will reflect back onto the other, and vice versa, and only in this way can their interaction evolve into the pattern of differentiation which we otherwise know of as sociability. Otherwise it’s up to them to figure out mentally what to do.
LCK: Meanwhile, I don’t see how a virtual field could in any way affect actual physical behavior. There is no virtual tail-wagging, virtual leash-biting, virtual squirrel chasing, or virtual peeing on fire hydrants.
KB: Actually there is and this characterizes all of animal learning. We can condition a dog to experience something, and then trigger it with a cue and the dog will perform a complex series of behaviors just as if it’s experiencing the real thing. For example, a police or protection dog has to perform what’s called a “courage test” where the helper first runs away a long distance and at 100 yards out the dog is sent after him. As the closes in, suddenly the helper turns and runs at the dog, waving a stick and hollering at the top of his lungs. The process of training for this began with the helper back pedaling while confronting dog with stick raised and so much later when the dog sees the helper threatening and confronting it, it nevertheless feels the helper as moving away. The good dogs become so energized, that when the helper is running at it they launch at the helper with the velocity needed to make contact given that trajectory of a fleeing person. Needless to say with that kind of emotional computation they hit like a linebacker and this becomes an ingrained behavior that needs little reinforcement since it’s what they apprehend this intense crash as the feeling that leads to the grounding. If on the other hand, the developmental process is botched, the dog learns to hesitate and thereafter much more carefully chooses its launch point. The virtual reality induced by physical memory has to precede the actual experience in order for an animal to learn something complex.
LCK: I understand the idea of virtual gravity — <i>it’s just as if the animal is an object of mass</i> — but again I don’t see how a virtual form of energy or anything else could affect physical behavior.
KB: The physical and neurological affects that physical memory incites in the body/mind is what creates the virtual energy. I posted an article on why-dogs-prefer-to-drink-from-toilet-bowls to explore this more fully.
LCK: What’s wrong with just calling it <i>emotional</i> gravity? From what I understand there are still many, many questions to be answered about what gravity is and how and why it works. There’s string theory, torsion physics, and more. So while the general consensus in the minds of most people is that mass = gravity, that may not be the whole story. Is the behavior of a black hole due to its enormous mass or its enormous energy, or both? On a certain level aren’t mass and energy the same thing? If emotion can be stored in the body as electro-chemical energy, why does it have to be virtual?
KB: If we were actually tasked with designing a doggy robot with a functional kind of consciousness, I feel these distinctions would soon become overwhelmingly significant. We do know that gravity isn’t a real force of attraction, but a virtual force. There is no actual force of attraction between objects of mass; they move toward each other as the result of a displacement in the space/time continuum. So there is no actual force of attraction that draws animals together, rather there is a displacement of the current stasis an individual is in as a ratio of hunger/balance, and this excitation of nerve energy by the imbalance needs to be grounded, and so animals act just as if there is a real force of attraction. Meanwhile mass doesn’t mean weight, it’s defined as resistance-to-acceleration. So emotional mass is the physical memory of resistance to the virtual force of attraction and keeps the animal on track, resistant to being accelerated by some change out of its feelings, habits or instincts.
LCK: I don’t think a real, rather than a virtual, field would have to be in complete control of anything. It would be part of the feedback/tuning mechanism, acting both as a template and a potential catalyst. Telepathy doesn’t of itself control anything. It simply gives the animal mind access to one stream of information, emotion: tele/<i>distant</i>, pathy/<i>feeling</i>. So it’s just one part of a very real, not virtual, communications system. At any rate, if the purpose of feelings is to <i>turn change into information</i> — and I’m not sure that’s the whole story; I think feelings motivate an animal to take action, they create tension but they can also create, or at least foster, harmony –, then I would have to say that since telepathy is a normal biological function in animals (and in some humans if they can turn off their brains and tune into their gut feelings), it must play some role in doing all that.
KB: Yes, I believe that feelings have everything to do with achieving harmony and that this is in service to turning change into information. I will develop this idea further in “Nature Conforms to the Power of Desire.” However if the field isn’t the same as an auto-tuning/feedback mechanism then it seems to me that would only leave thinking as the tuning/feedback mechanism.
LCK: I agree that it’s not very practical to try to communicate telepathically to a dog who’s scared of thunderstorms not to worry, that “everything’s going to be okay,” or to telepathically tell a dog to sit (though I’ve done that, accidentally). Telepathy is just one informational stream. The question is, why is it there?
KB: The unified field is necessary so that evolution can happen. It mandates that the future is indeterminate; it can be changed by emotion. Thus the virtual field of emotion and feelings proves to be a modeling device that can be imposed on the real field.
KB: The balance imperative is invoked anytime output (behavior) doesn’t equal input (stimulation)… This is the body/minds’ means of dissipating energy in order to satisfy the balance mandate which is the tuning component of animal consciousness as an auto-tuning/feedback dynamic in order to implement the ever present principle of emotional conductivity by which any two organisms differentiate relative to each other. …
LCK: It just seems to me that when you describe the need for balance in terms of the “fear of falling,” and relate it back to a puppy’s experiences of being knocked down by his littermates, there’s a subtle implication, at least for me, that the dog is “thinking” about this stuff. “If I’m not careful I might fall…” It’s too linear for me. If two animals feel a combination of attraction and resistance, and one can see that playing out in how they interact, where does the fear of falling come into it? They may be looking for ways to achieve internal balance, both physically and emotionally, but neither is afraid of suddenly falling down, which is what I think is being implied.
KB: Learning to ride a bike has nothing to do with the thought of falling, but the feeling of collapse. And as the feeling achieves a higher and higher capacity so that it becomes harder and harder to collapse, then the bumps in the road, which might at first have invoked an outright heart-stopping panic, can then become thrills. So the balance influence is the fine-tuning mechanism that can have an infinite range, from an abject fear of collapse, to a modulation as in an intensity spike in a radio wave.
If the resistance gets too intense, the feeling of attraction can collapse, and this sudden evaporation of energy evokes the first memories of life on earth, falling. The puppies go from the weightlessness of the womb to the weighted-ness and fear of falling at the instant of birth. The degree of displacement, i.e. rapidity of acceleration, is variable and thus there can be a very fine gradient of sensations tied to reaching a breaking point, and coming after a breaking point, all of which are related to the master sensation of full fledged falling.
LCK: We have different ideas of what binary means. Yes, in computers it’s on or off. In consciousness Eros (life, sex, and creativity) and Thanatos (aggression, conflict, death wish); they oppose and compliment each other. Besides, for any change to take place — any real, lasting change, that is — there has to be a third force acting on the first two, the way a catalyst is necessary for a chemical reaction to take place.
KB: I can’t speak with any authority on these but I think we can look deeper into Eros/Thanatos and recognize them as elaborations of energy reflecting back and form between any two beings via their hunger/balance circuitries. Eros would be focus on preyful aspects, Thanatos focus on predator aspects, i.e. overcoming resistance to prey-making. In Hunger mode, the prey controls predator, in Balance mode the predator pushes energy onto the prey.
LCK: I also don’t think morphic fields are electrostatic in nature.
KB: I would suspect it would be everything, from gravity, electromagnetic to nuclear as well as whatever else there may be yet to discover.
LCK: I agree with everything you said except your use of the words <i>virtual</i> and <i>hunger circuitry</i>. (Note: I have no problem with <i>balance circuitry</i>.)
KB: If the little-brain-in-the-gut can apprehend preyful aspects from visual input, then the hunger circuitry is engaged and this is the primary function of sexual energy.
LCK: Again I agree with everything except the use of the word “hunger.” Eros and Thanatos are the two sides to sexual energy. In Darwinian terms the urge to reproduce is worth nothing without a commitment to protect one’s young at (nearly) any cost. So sex and aggression are just two different forms of the same energy; one is creative, the other destructive. The two may co-exist, though, so they’re not binary in computer terms.
KB: In my view, the urge for sex comes from a further arousal of the hunger circuitry as emotion cycles back and forth. Offspring are likewise perceived of as preyful and because both a sexual partner and offspring can reflect the projection of emotion back onto the projector of emotion, this allows the simple prey/predator modality to evolve into complex expressions such as tender care of a mate, or protection of the young. But then there are so many examples of mothers killing their young, wolves eating sick puppies, the lioness having no problem bearing the young of the Lion that just killed all her cubs, sexual predators/rapists and so on. These crude expressions reveal that the prey/predator modality remains as the basis of even the most complex relationships. In my model, sexuality and aggression are both forms of the same thing as means of accelerating emotional mass, specifically sexuality is the capacity to hold onto a feeling of attraction despite resistance, and is magnetic so that the urge to ingest evolves into the urge to deflect, whereas aggression is the means to overcome resistance to a feeling of attraction so that the individual fights to sustain contact with an object of resistance. Thus it is not coincidental that dogs are such sexual and aggressive animals, in service to the overarching program of sociability.
LCK: But it seems to me that if you want to reduce this to its purest essence, neither <i>hunger</i> nor <i>ingesting</i> are the right words, just as “fear of falling” isn’t quite right. I would say that <i>fear</i> and <i>desire</i> should do the trick, or perhaps <i>instinct</I> and <i>drive</i>. That’s because in the auto-tuning/feedback loop the nervous system is the safety mechanism (fear/balance) while the gut is the driving mechanism (desire/hunger). The third force is probably the morphic field.
KB: Emotion is based on desire and desire is one part arousal (hunger) coupled to one part vulnerability (balance). So when an animal is aroused, it feels in equal measure vulnerable and is immediately and innately inspired to be circumspective. If the object of its attraction can mirror this energy back at it, and has the same emotional capacity to go by feel and hence equal measure of arousal and vulnerability, then they will evolve from separate and distinct particles of consciousness, into a group mind or wave function. So a particle and a wave form would be the purest essence of what I’m trying to say. Physical memory as emotional mass makes an individual a charged particle of consciousness, and then when physical memory as emotional mass becomes an emotional counterbalance between two individuals, it computes their perceptions and actions into a wave form, i.e. orbiting around a common object of attraction that can absorb their combined energies. Hunger and balance would therefore be necessary in order to implement this wave/particle duality.
LCK: It just seems to me that when you describe the need for balance in terms of the “fear of falling,” and relate it back to a puppy’s experiences of being knocked down by his littermates, there’s a subtle implication, at least for me; that the dog is “thinking” about this stuff. “If I’m not careful I might fall…” It’s too linear for me.
KB: Actually I think it’s the other way around, without the hunger/balance continuum, then all one can do is think. For example, telepathy isn’t information without a thought to go with it. If I telepath to a dog an image of it sitting and me feeling good about it sitting and with a cookie in my hand, and then the dog sits, without the dog thinking then how did it want to sit? Either it did so reflexively and so there’s no auto-tuning/feedback mechanism going on, or it thought I would give it a cookie if it conformed to the image and the pleasant feeling I had in my mind of it sitting.
LCK: If two animals feel a combination of attraction and resistance, and one can see that playing out in how they interact, where does the fear of falling come into it? They may be looking for ways to achieve internal balance, both physically and emotionally, but neither is afraid of suddenly falling down, which is what I think is being implied.
KB: The experience of resistance derives from the sense of balance, its most extreme manifestation being the intense sensations induced by a fear of falling. This is why we say something “feels right.” In other words, we have imported the essence of the thing into our gut via our hunger circuitry and we’re still standing, still up-right. As I mentioned earlier there are infinites shades of balance along a gradient of varying intensities and these various sensations are the “tags” by which the nervous system keeps track of the various layers of physical memory. Experiencing intense resistance (as when someone is in our face) displaces the body/mind just as much as falling physically and then the emotional battery releases the deeper and stronger energies held in reserve in order to keep the organism upright. This is where the “bad” in a “bad feeling” comes from, the fear of falling. When a batter leaves the plate and rushes the pitcher for brushing him back, he intends to punch him in the jaw. It’s the emotional collapse that he attributes to the pitcher which angers him and he leaves home plate intending to strike with a balled fist. But when he arrives at the mound, he ends up “breaking his fall” by pushing his hand out forward and grabbing the pitcher. The pitcher does likewise because neither is trained to fight and so they end up wrestling on the ground which favors the heavier stronger man, a bad tactical strategy. In effect, they have broken each other’s fall by pushing the other with their open hands. Martial artists don’t do this. They don’t break their fingers when they strike, unlike Basketball players when they brawl, because they have the training to override these intense physical memories of early life. Similarly, when we stumble in public, we’re embarrassed if not humiliated because our physical memories are attached to our physical center-of-gravity and it rushes up with the p-cog as we attempt to right ourselves.
All instincts and habits have the fear of falling in common as they are the collapse of a wave form, i.e. a feeling, because the balance imperative (output-must-equal-input, action must equal stimulation) popped the bubble. Notice the abject expression of terror on an infant child’s face whenever she is in a state of need, even hunger. This demonstrates that the two are on a continuum, thus the little-brain-in-the-gut has as many neurons as the Big-Brain-in-the-head because all animals feel hunger and balance exactly the same way and therefore this bi-polar makeup becomes the platform for a universal form of communication, a network wide language. Furthermore these sensations are not only universal, but provide the basis by which an organism can rate the intensity of things so while an animal can’t think about one being relative to another, or one moment relative to another, it can feel a rising or lessening of intensity from being near one being relative to another, or between one moment immediately relative to another.
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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.|