Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Economics Of Pleasure and Pain

All living organisms, from the most primitive virus to the most sophisticated of mankind, demonstrate intelligent realization of five primal motivations, these being:

1. The Creation of Valuable Manifestations, the first of these being the creation and reproduction of self. We are all motivated to express ourselves and realize the fullness of our nature over time. The more primitive the life form, the more reproduction is chemical duplication and the more sophisticated the life form, the more valuable manifestations are of a mental and abstract nature such as in Art or Politics, as well as physical reproduction with far more genetic variables as happens when male and female entities reproduce, in plants and sundry kinds of animals among them  mammals like us. Every living creature of every kind survives by turning something  into something else. This is as true for viruses which turn microbes and human cells into virus factories as well as shoemakers, who turn cows into shoes. All living things manifest some kind of self creation through nutrition and nutrition itself is self creation by breaking something down into elements and then building one self up with the elements thus attained, manifesting this way self creation, which is a valuable manifestation, is it not?

2. The Maintenance and Preservation of Valuable Manifestations, this being the continued acquirement of the means of mechanization of self reproduction and the acquirement of nutrients to enable the perpetuation of self creation. This also means the removal of toxic waste from within the areas of self creation (self manifestation) and the constant removal of materiel detrimental to self creation from the environment, such as dirt and dust and germs and dirty laundry. Cleaning one's self and one's  blood relatives from invasive elements on a routine basis is an act of maintenance seen in higher life forms like cats and monkeys of all kinds.

3. The Multiplication and Expansion of Valuable Manifestations is the logical consequence of creation, preservation and maintenance. As long as these activities are maintained over time, the quantity of organisms will grow exponentially and occupy an ever growing space in the biosphere, as well as maintain self identity for an ever growing duration. One might liken this to an ever growing, self sustaining bubble of reproducing life entities, that share nearly identical or very similar DNA.  Each one of these biological bubbles competes for living space and assets on the level of the individual organisms such as in sibling rivalry as well as on  far vaster scales where each species spreads out throughout the biosphere, enveloping ever more space, changing the nature of the environment by turning everything it can into an extension of its self or into an asset for survival. Everything alive from the level of any kind of living cell is a composite of living entities cooperating in a symbiotic relationship of self perpetuation, suggesting that conflict and the annihilation of other life forms isn't always necessary for increasing self duration. 

4. Multiplication and Expansion inevitably lead to barriers that prevent the increase of living space or the multiplication of the number of organisms. Therefor Attacking Barriers to Expansion and Overcoming Inhibitions to Multiplication is The Fourth Valuable Manifestation. This is less an issue for more "primitive" microscopic organisms that live in the sea, not an issue for the vast majority of viral life forms and becomes an increasing issue for more sophisticated  land based organisms for whom living space is more a survival issue than creatures of the sea. Microbes and viruses overcome barriers to expansion through mutation. Land animals through migration. The development  of means to overcome barriers to expansion is mostly expressed in the affairs of human beings and was most pronounced in the history of past empires up to modern times as warfare and the development of weapons intended to defeat and remove barriers to the expansion of national entities and their political, cultural and economic interests.  Whatever the kind of organism, if it is unable to increase its living space or fails to remove and dispose of its waste products, it will eventually poison itself with its own toxic secretions. This was a means of waging war against walled cities, as in a siege the population was prevented the acquirement of sustenance as well as prevented from removing waste products, causing the widespread of disease. The germs and sundry disease causing microbes were happy about this, I am sure. Today more than ever, overcoming barriers to the expansion of political, military, economic, ideological, technology, surveillance, etc., Valuable Manifestations  into the minds of ever more individuals, is a prime focus for the application of  human intelligence as such expresses itself in social media on the internet. It has all become an activity of the mind. Perhaps it always was?

5. The Fifth  Valuable Manifestation is The Demonstration of the Ability to Defend One's Self and One's Assets from the encroachment of foreign influences intent on turning one's self  into "nutrients" by breaking one's self down into more basic ingredients for a foreign entity's consumption, thus corrupting and destroying one's identity. One can defend one's self through retreat if there is living space available elsewhere, but by the nature of life itself, this can only be a temporary solution.   One can also defend one's self by waging war against the invading foreign influence, first within one's own living space, by using antibiotics for example, when germs encroach or through preventive measures such as vaccines against pathogenic microbes and viruses. On a larger scale one can resort to building ghettos and then deporting and exterminating Jews, if one sees their being as a threat against one's own identity, for example. Manifesting Self Defense is definitely a  necessity, life behaving as it does, endlessly seeking to self propagate and expand at the expense of other life forms when it can't cultivate them and enter into a symbiotic exchange of  mutual Valuable Manifestation as exists between humans and chickens, for example, though some might argue that chickens are being abused as regards the quality of their life when compared to human beings.

We can sum these motivations up by summarizing them as , Create, Preserve, Expand, Attack and Defend.

Now I wish to postulate that these five intents are all it takes to understand the behavior of all living things, but of  particular interest, human behavior.

First it is demonstrable that human procreation produces groups of competing entities on an organic level, as said before in sibling rivalry, as well as on a far more complex, sophisticated and abstract level, as in the rivalry between great business corporations. Whatever be the nature of the asset, once it is deemed an asset, every one is trying to create valuable self serving manifestations of attainment, preservation and expansion of the quantity and  quality of the self serving valuable asset. This is glaringly obvious in relationship to something as abstract as money. If one makes money by producing shoes and exchanging them for money, leather becomes a valuable asset. One strives to acquire leather, preserve that so acquired, expand one's inventory so as to meet the needs of a hopefully growing market and ever improve the quality of leather attained so as to increase the value of one's shoes and finally the sum of money received in exchange for them. One does the same thing with the money received. One strives to ever increase sales locations and volume so as to increase revenue. The greater the interest received for money accumulated and growing in bank accounts, the higher its value. And so and so on.

Once value is assigned to something, whatever it be, however strange its nature, a human being will begin to manifest these behaviors regarding it. On a materiel  level, food, clothing and shelter are examples of things people want more of. But what about something far more abstract, like an education? One values the attainment of knowledge itself for different possible reasons, the foremost and most common being financial. One learns a profession or a trade so as to attain the finances needed to acquire food, clothing and expansive living space, as well as the valuable manifestation of sex and the attainment of a mate and the production of similar versions of one's self, offspring.  Obviously, everything is somehow connected. Values compete in one's mind for attention and energy.

If one likens the mind to the biosphere, one could say different values compete for valuable self manifestation in the mind and to do so, compete with other values, often causing internal strife and conflict. The most vital asset for manifestation in the mind, is attention. Everything we give value to, for whatever reason, biological to cultural, competes for attention in the mind and attention is allocated or inhibited based on the valuable manifestation of different kinds of pleasures or the alleviation of pains, making everything far easier to comprehend, for here we have the most essential values there are, all the kinds of joy and pleasure one can know and experience, , and the prevention of every kind of distress, discomfort and pain imaginable.

No matter what we would like to think about our selves, it all boils down to the economics of pleasure and pain, however abstract these might be. Some people place so much value on spiritual pleasures that they are willing to endure and suffer great physical deprivation to the scorn and amazement of those whose hierarchy of values is opposite. If one values the pleasure of eating above the pleasure of sex, one is likely to grow to proportions that make sex impossible. If one values the pleasures of being respected for one's affluence more than one's moral integrity, one will cheat to get rich.

The complexity of mental activity is do to the allocation of value to substances and abstractions and the consequent manifestation of these primal intents accordingly in the space of one's mind.

Let's say one highly values social contribution but has low self esteem and one harbors the idea that one is detrimental to the well being of one's neighbors. Such an idea might have been acquired from a parent in their attempt to shape the mind of an offspring, by telling them how important it is to get along socially and how worthless and lazy they are when they spend all day watching television. A consequence to this is self destructive attitudes and behaviors as one's "goodness" tries to get rid of one's "badness" as a Valuable Manifestation. The mind is compartmentalized into  spheres of competing priorities and every single moment of mental activity is the allocation of value to that sphere of internal activity which is deemed most productive of the overall experience of pleasure,  based on the economics of pleasure attainment and the lessening and prevention of pain for the duration of life and in every location one finds one's self in.

Its all that simple.

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