Why the elephant?


The purpose of this site is to unify theories of the brain, the mind, and emotions in order to answer fundamental questions about life and for finding a harmonious existence:

What is life?

What is emotion? What are feelings?

How do the brain, mind, and emotions work? (EEBD diagram) (Oct. 21-25, 2009, Science & Nonduality Conf. slides)

What is Emotive Energy?

Where are we all headed? Where am I going?

Who am I? What is my purpose?

What differs between "feeling good" and "feeling bad"?

What about God? Does God exist?

Is there an afterlife?

Why would a "virtual universe" be created?

(skip to Emotive Energy Introduction)

Emotive Energy Introduction

Fundamental to life on this planet is understanding the keys to existence: health and happiness. Without health, we will die. Without happiness, or release from stress, we will also likely die. This website is dedicated to furthering our goal of achieving health and happiness by integrating our knowledge of the brain, mind, and emotions. Such unification empowers the ideas, validates them, and provides direction for future research and greater enhancement of life. From the rigors of mathematics and physics to the subtleties of fine art and music, from the idealism of philosophy and religion to the hard realities of biology and economics, a unified theory must encompass them all. It must handle the greatest scientific detail and yet elucidate the vagaries of passion and the human spirit. Most of all, it must explain the enigma of emotion:

"... emotion is a central organizing process for consciousness, and ... any theory of consciousness must have a theory of emotion as one of its linchpins ..." - Douglas F. Watt
If emotion is anything, it must be composed of energy - as demanded by Einstein's famous equation, E=mcc, which encapsulates the 1st law of thermodynamics, The Conservation of Energy. Thus, energy is the common denominator for our entire universe (real or virtual). And if we have different emotions or feelings, then there must be differences in the amount and or direction of energy flowing through our minds and bodies.

The present unification can be described as a "thermo-bio-psy-conomic" theory in that it integrates physics (primarily thermodynamics), biology (including neurobiology), and psychology (humanism, behaviorism, Gestalt, cognitive science, and more) using the economic idea of "supply and demand" as the fundamental design element of the brain, mind, and emotion. Further, energy is the common resource being bartered. It is the fundamental currency of our universe and the basis of all "transactions". Below are some of the theories included in the present unification:

Behavioral Investment Theory (BIT) - Gregg Henriques; a thermo-psychonomic theory asserting that living organisms use an "approach" system (Behavioral Activation System) and an "avoidance" system (Behavioral Inhibition System) to effect an energy efficient input:output ratio. The return-on-investment (ROI) must be survival.

Adjacent Possible Theory (APT) - Stuart Kauffman; a theory that living organisms (Autonomous Agents) move away from chaos (maximum entropy) and toward greater organization and complexity (Adjacent Possible).

Hedonic Tone Theory (HTT) - Victor S. Johnston; a theory describing emotions (positive, negative, and neutral) as key to a tri-loop adaptive system (evolutionary, learning, and rational thought).

Perceptual Control Theory (PCT) - William T. Powers; a theory that living organisms monitor perceptions and adjust behavior until the perceptions match a targeted state (Reference Signal).

Multidimensional Model of Emotion (MME) - Robert Plutchik; a theory that all emotions are scalar expressions of a small set of core emotions which, in turn, are categorized as either positive or negative.

Global Workspace Theory (GWT) - Bernard J. Baars; a theory describing mental processes as competing for access to consciousness using a "theater of consciousness" model.

Fuzzy Logical Model of Perception (FLMP) - Dominic W. Massaro; a theory of pattern recognition based upon feature evaluation, integration, and identification (decision) based upon relative goodness of match to the stimulus information.

Opponent-Process Theory (O-P) - Richard Soloman; a theory describing positive emotions as directly related to levels of previous stress.

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