All of my life I have wanted to better understand myself and the world around me. When I was a small child I was taught to consume information and ideas, and to emotionally reward myself for this, within limits. This expectation defined my early life and it extended to my exposure to the natural world. I think this is why I still get the same charge out of finding an insect new to me as I did 35 years ago, or more.
Six years ago I was in a very poor state. I discuss that elsewhere here, so I’ll just mention it for the chronology. During a moment of extremely intense emotionalism something in my perception briefly changed and I became able to see my emotions as being more two-dimensional or superficial, I think due to exhaustion caused by the strain of it; I accepted that emotions are something chemical I am detrimentally inflicting upon myself, and that I had become addicted, dependent on my depressive routines. From the moment of my mild epiphany I rapidly realized that the principle I had stumbled upon that was helping me to begin to deal with myself applies much more widely than I had considered. I realized I was dealing with not just my own nature but an important aspect of human nature that I haven’t found published elsewhere.
As I continued to develop a framework of ideas with which I could treat my condition I realized that what I was actually doing was creating the beginnings of a physics based, no-bullshit philosophy or ideology to make coping with my existence easier.
I’m not possessive of this personal philosophy of mine; I believe it to be fairly factual, with the subjective remainder based upon simple and well accepted concepts of morality and ethics. It’s only the latter portion for which I could claim any personal credit; facts are facts regardless of who says them, and nobody owns them.
Ever since then I’ve been making slow to moderate progress in resolving issues that deeply troubled me. These issues include the sources of my long term depression, which in turn included issues like “Why do so many people choose to be so awful?” and “We’re really approaching the verge of extinction, aren’t we?” and “How can I ever hope to accept the unfathomable amounts of suffering in this world?” and also, “How can I ever learn to live with myself with the life I have led?”
I think many people suffer questions like these. They’re valid questions, and each is important to a different aspect of self acceptance. I’ve found my truth laying in plain sight, everywhere I choose to look. On these pages I’ll attempt to elucidate the principles involved in devising a more honest, physics based philosophy and I’ll also cover some of my own relevant experiences with these ideas.
I posit that the basic principle I describe on these pages applies very broadly across the human experience. This principle relies on a few factual assertions:
1. All of our bodily processes are chemical, including those processes ongoing in our brains that afford us the perception of consciousness.
2. Emotions are caused by our perceptions of subtle changes in our brain chemistry. The rates of production, release, and absorption of substances including dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and norepinephrine and the substances responsible for their management are what produces our perception of emotions.
3. Addiction is endogenous in most cases. It represents an affinity within our brains for various patterns of thought and emotional indulgence that unconscious aspects of our biology mistakenly recognize as being beneficial, and upon which we become dependent. Even most recreational drugs aren’t all that addictive, though there are certain exceptions.
Whether a person is addicted to drugs including alcohol, gambling, religion, work, sex, or videogames, what the addict truly values are the emotions they induce in themselves before, during and after the addictive ritual. Drugs that induce physical dependence add an additional set of constraints to the addict, but the emotions of the addiction are always present and at least as important to the person. Further in these pages I’ll discuss the expectations we abuse to make this all possible and some ideas about what we can do about it.
It has become my position and belief that these emotional addictions we suffer are what is fundamentally responsible for the desperate, depressed questions I list above. I think humanity is in its death throes from this condition and I think things will only get worse from here. I think even if the ideas on these pages somehow went viral and were actively pursued by millions of people, it would still be too late to save our species and our planet’s ecology.
So why pursue it, and why endure so much suffering in its pursuit? Because these ideas could help us to substantially mitigate our suffering as we continue to decline. We could choose to face our extinction with composure. We could choose to make better choices with more appropriate information than we currently value. We could suffer less, both individually and alone as well as in our collective groups. The effects I’ve seen in myself over recent years have demonstrated to me that this kind of change is valuable on any scale – even a scale of one.
What I describe here is my pursuit of self honesty and self acceptance. They’re ongoing projects and I suspect lifelong processes. These ideas have helped me to feel consistently better and to in turn be better to people with whom I interact. I believe the benefits scale with the effort expended and I see a great potential for synergy when more than one person approaches these ideas collaboratively, but unfortunately that remains a hypothetical, for now, until I find people willing and wanting to discuss it in depth with an eye to applying the ideas to their selves. If you are such a person, please consider contacting me through the form on my contact page.
It’s my hope that some of the ideas on these pages may help other people with their own issues, and it’s my hope to spread a little awareness, but I don’t highly value hope and I accept very few people will ever read these words. I also think we’ll continue to plod along toward extinction, doubling down on our denial every time it begins to wear thin, while juicing ourselves with more extreme emotions to justify our increasingly false beliefs. There is no light at the end of this tunnel and this is one of the most important aspects to accept, as early as possible.
I used to worry about unduly upsetting people with my ideas, but it proved not to be the case in most cases. People who value their emotional addictions more than what is real simply let the ideas bounce off. I learned a similar lesson during the onset of our COVID pandemic; I expected it to be worse and more rapid than it was because I didn’t fairly account for the mass denial of other people. I’ve even had people agree with aspects of my philosophy while demonstrably deceiving their selves about it. So I don’t worry about upsetting people like I used to, but I do recognize that this kind of work, this kind of healing is a self selected process.
All I can do is make the ideas available and perhaps point people to it if I think it may help. I’ve yet to encounter a person with a passionate interest in this stuff, like I have. I’d like to meet such people, and this is another reason I’ve chosen to share my ideas here.