2023.23 : Think, Feel, Sex Vs. Self

Connell, Washington U.S.A. Circa 2021

The only thing your emotion proves is that you feel that way.

— Dante Nero

The human experience, I find, is easier to understand when it is not viewed as a mono-personality, but rather as a dynamic interplay of four players at a high-stakes card table. That’s on a good day, many times, it’s four factions forming and dissolving alliances in an all-out civil war with consequences that last a lifetime.

Let’s introduce the four players at this table of life:

The Thinker:
Thoughts are an emergent property of the mind, which in turn emerges from the brain. It runs risk-reward and ROI (return on investment) calculations. Nearly all of its thought models are based on the designs of others.

The Feeler:
Feelings are the emergent property of the heart. Recent studies suggest emotions from the heart have a biological basis, which helps us understand why the figurative meaning has been with us humans as long as the Thinker could think. Emotions are also generated from other parts of the body, a fascinating topic for a future photo essay.

The Lover:
Sex in humans isn’t primarily about procreation and marriage; two mind shackles that cursed womanhood and thus all humankind since the advent of agriculture. That’s when women were shoved out of their rightful place in society, of equal power, into property. With the added injury of replacing the pleasure of sex with guilt, fear, shame and jealousy. Enforced by law, the sword, and priesthood.

Once one understands the context of the 10th commandment (not to covet), it’s hard not to see the world with new eyes. Women are listed with other property; it has never been about the sanctity of marriage. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.” The book “Sex At Dawn” does an excellent job of detailing the evidence. After reading it, I lost nearly all jealous thoughts.

The Self:
That person you talk to in your head all day and night. The one who knows you best. Even if the implanted voices of others make it hard for us to hear ourselves.

Once I understood that each of the four players never stops trying to bully the other three into doing their bidding, then the madness of trying to figure out people was downgraded to just frustrating.

It’s rare and special for a human to have all four players well-balanced for extended periods of time. I don’t believe anyone doesn’t have all four players. It’s all about shifts of alliances. The most common pairings are:

The Thinker and the Feeler pair up, suppressing the Lover.
The Thinker and the Lover pair up, muting the Feeler.
The Lover and the Feeler pair up, and the Thinker starts drowning in thoughts of how to get everyone out of the resulting dramas.

What about the Self? The Self comes up with narratives to justify the latest power dynamic. The Self also has an ace behind it’s back, which it uses to break the status quo and restart the scrum.

And now… know the photograph.



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