Today, we are talking about decision. Not individual decisions, but decision as a universal process.
Decision is a process that is consistent across situations. There are three parallel processes going on in any decision making process.
One is the active attention you pay to anything you perceive at the time. Your conscious awareness of “facts”.
The second is your awareness of your current state of being, which filters our perception of facts.
And the third process is an awareness of reward versus threat. The part of your awareness that informs you about your emotional state is, for the most part, the unconscious mind.
You also have two processes of memory you draw on when considering the decision you are about to make. Implicate and explicate memory.
You have the implicate memory, which reminds you that falling from height hurts, and this memory isn’t under your direct conscious control.
Are we born with that one? We are, yes. It starts learning things very quickly.
That usually stays when you get amnesia. Yes. It’s your explicate memory that gets compromised in amnesia. Explicate memory is all the information, biographical or otherwise, that you have learned in the conventional sense of the word.
So remember I said that there are three processes involved? They don’t all function at the same speed. Can you guess which one is faster?
The third one of reward vs. threat? Good guess. It would seem logical, but its function is tertiary. The emotional or self-referential center in the mind functions before anything else does. The part you mentioned is linked to both the rational and emotional minds, and gets programmed by them both.
Feeling is quick. Even if our thinking mind ignores it, it’s still there. Feeling is quick, and it’s generally more accurate as it tends to reference almost exclusively the implicate memory. The attentional memory is primarily routed through the emotional center. This is why colors, and pictures, and smells can put you in a mood even before you remember why you learned to like or dislike them.
We pay attention to what makes us feel good? Primarily. Recent research has shot huge holes in the whole attraction avoidance theory. We are primarily motivated by attraction. We seek to avoid pain only secondarily, and can override that pain avoidance.
In the same way the subconscious mind only recognizes positive statements? Yes. It only recognizes reward, and the degree to which something is not rewarding.
Some people love pain. A masochist isn’t as weird as they originally theorized. But here is where things get even stranger.
Extrinsic (external) reward is secondary almost to the point of being a non-factor. Money is only valuable to the degree that the person intends to do something else with it. It’s the activity, and the experience of activity, that is the most rewarding. Material reward tends to become an abstraction, especially under stress.
I think those that love money have a hording instinct. They have a hording derangement, and it’s a broken compensation strategy.
How do I acquire that derangement? You acquire a hording derangement by having the experience of validation be linked to physical reward after intense punishment.
My grandmother had a bit of hording, but she never had tons of money. I think she just liked the disarray that a house full of kids makes. Once the kids were grown, she still wanted that feeling. That is what we want out of life; experiences, feelings. People tend to hoard people by proxy, thus everything they hoard they believe has sentimental value.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.