1. A Concept of Conscious Experience









A clear explanation of animal, including human, psychology follows this brief examination of why it has taken this long to find it. Two forces kept us from identifying the sources of our decisions. One is the illusion caused by our three-dimensional interpretation of what is, in reality, only two, two-dimensional visions; the other is the medieval Church's reaction to the threat that advances in science posed to religion. In combination, these influences have kept us from understanding what part of us sees and which parts think. No one can study psychology until they have identified the subjects of their investigation. We have been under the mistaken impression that our brains both see and do our thinking. We say that smart people are "brainy". We exhort awkward people to use their "brains". This is much like claiming that the hard drives run our computers. Guessing the keyboard would be warmer, but the operator of the keyboard is really in control. Our brains are no more than hard drives. Input/output, they learn and remember. Other parts sense and yet other parts make decisions. Correctly establishing the roles each of our parts play leads us to see the obvious - the emotions remembered from the brain are derived from the survival homeostats that do make our decisions, but are not located in the brain.

We have failed to grasp the role of survival homeostats and emotions because we experience our sight as a three-dimensional, stereoscopic illusion that leads us to misunderstand where we see things. All predator animals quickly learn that life is easier and more pleasurable if we misinterpret our true sight experience. We improve our survival chances by subtracting the steps necessary to calculate how far things exist from our eyes. We misunderstand our sight and hearing sensations because experience automatically teaches us to use our eyes and ears in a way that takes advantage of their most practical hunting potential but denies their true nature. While still in our cribs, we learn to interpret our sight as if we could see things where they exist, instead of in our eyes. That, combined with the closeness of the eye to the brain, misidentifies the eye as a mere conduit between the seen object and the mind or brain. Most of us have, since the advent of consciousness, interpreted our sight experience as peeping out through our eyes, when in fact the eye is the site of seeing. We say and believe that a hand between our eyes and their object blocks our sight of it, when logic tells us that the reverse is true. The hand blocks the light reflected from the object into our eyes. Our eyes are cameras, not flashlights. The light reflected from objects enters and affects our eyes; our vision does not travel to the object. If it were the other way around, we would see in the dark.

Normally, readers believe they see these words some fourteen to thirty inches in front of their eyes, but while they probably do exist at that distance, we can only see the light reflected from these words into our eyes. The rest of the world exists away from our eyes and so cues like the size and clarity of the picture help us judge our distance from far-off objects. At close range having two eyes helps establish the exact distance by providing two, two-dimensional views of the same thing, which we interpret as a three-dimensional view. Our automatic learned compensation adds up to a three-dimensional stereoscopic illusion that empowers us to accurately hunt and kill, touch and grasp things. We make the adjustment so quickly, we aren't even aware of having done it. Anyone who has seen a baby in a crib experiment with its hands and fingers will understand the learning process. We call the child's adjustment, the learning of hand-to-eye coordination. No doubt, other newborn animals with two front-facing eyes (predators have front-facing, prey have nearly 360 degree vision) learn the same lesson because quickly and accurately touching (killing a moving target) depends on this misinterpretation. We could not operate without the hand-to-eye coordination made possible by the three-dimensional, stereoscopic illusion. If we, like a drunk with double vision, were constantly conscious that we really see two separate two-dimensional images of the same thing, one in each eye, we would always need to go through the steps necessary to interpret these two images to touch things accurately. Hawks and foxes would starve. Driving a car, even at five miles an hour, would be a nightmare of constant calculation, correction and collision, which is why we never want drunks to drive. For reasons discussed later, we edit out the learning process but store the result of hand/eye coordination ability to judge distance with the memories of things, so we automatically use it to compensate for the distance to anything we see as part of the, to be explained later, recognition process.

Automatic sight compensation presents the objects as seen where we touch them, and we do not normally notice compensating any more than we take note of the steps we skip while making the adjustments needed to sip scalding coffee. We can even sip hot drinks while reading! If we really could see things where they exist, we would not need two eyes - one would tell us how far distantly we see things. We misjudge the site of hearing and smell for the same reasons. We have learned to interpret the loudness of sounds in each ear to gage the direction and distance of the sound’s origin. We hear sound in our inner ears, which, like eyes, reside next to our brains, but we automatically skip the direction finding steps and just look to the sound’s origin. Likewise, we can smell scents that originate elsewhere and automatically look into the breeze for the source.

As our most used sensory organs (eyes and ears) nestle within our skulls, next to our brains, it seems common sense to view them as windows on the world. If that were true, the controlling part of us would look, or hear, taste, smell, or touch, the world through our sense organ portals. This view has the support of ancient Greek philosopher, Plato, and the Christian Church. In opposition, Plato's fellow ancient Greek philosopher, Epicurus, warns us that the eye is not a window. As we will see, Plato has been winning this argument so far, but at great cost to our understanding of psychology.




The stereoscopic illusion appears the best explanation for the idea of a soul or mind that looks out onto the world through our eyes. The earliest recorded question about the unconscious controlling part of us comes from ancient Egypt. James Breasted tells us in The Development of Religion and Thought in Ancient Egypt (1912) that, based on his translation of their tomb writings, they believed in a central 'mind'. They guessed that the heart made decisions, and did not even bother to mummify the brain because they believed it useless. Tracing backwards to their concept of soul, called the Ka, we find the basis of our mind concept. Their Ka differed from our modern soul notion. While their Ka was born with the person, it did not live on earth, had no purpose in this life, but went immediately to the afterlife to wait. Funeral rites made their deceased physical body recognizable to its nonphysical Ka. Someone, somewhere, had either (depending on your beliefs) invented or discovered the afterlife: a nonphysical place where nonphysical things exist, and in doing so, metaphysically split the universe into two dimensions. This concept allowed Egyptian priests to offer real estate in their nonphysical world to believers in this world. Paying with compliance here ameliorated your fear of death with a reservation in the next world. Compliance and accountability to their Gods for their sins implies that they believed that they acted with freewill, that their hearts made decisions by choosing between options, and also that their heart minds and memories would join their Ka in the afterlife.

The Egyptians' soul and heart mind concept was spread beyond their borders when about three thousand five hundred years ago, around 1450 before current era (BCE), Pharaoh, Thutmose III, took his army on an adventure. They conquered and, for two or three hundred years, occupied parts of the Mediterranean shore between Egypt and, what is now, Turkey. The inevitable cultural exchange introduced their mind, Ka, and afterlife concepts to those new subjects. The idea of existence after death in an idealized place proved popular, and would not quit even after the Egyptians retreated. Trade may have spread these ideas along the Mediterranean shore.

What is now Israel (Palestine on the map provided below) lay east, next door, along the same coast, and the Jews developed a modified version of Ka they called Nephesh. Like the Egyptian Ka, it really did not have a function in the physical world and survived death. Unlike the Ka, it inhabited the body until death and then went on to the afterlife leaving the body behind. Their upgraded concept united the Nephesh with the body during life, and set the stage for Plato to identify it as our thinking organ.


Eastern Mediterranean


The Jesuit philosopher and historian, Friar Frederick Copleston, History of Philosophy (1962), tells us that a thousand years later, further along the same Eastern Mediterranean coast, ancient Greeks speculated on unconscious minds and souls. In our modern times, the fashion is wealthy investors, actors and sports heroes, but in those ancient times, great fame and status attached to philosophers and members of their schools. Most of them agreed that the soul was like a fire that sparked the difference between living and dead bodies. Around 600 BCE, one of them, Anaxagoras, teacher of Socrates, noticed our ability to think and called it 'nous'. Socrates’s student, Plato, connected soul with 'nous'. He noticed that when asked to visualize a thing like a horse or boat, not a specific one from experience but a representative of the general category, we visualize them in an idealized, perfected form, one without the rough edges that distinguish the individual thing from the general idea. The idea of an abstract thing, like a circle, is perfect, but no perfect circles exist in the real world. While today we might have attributed that imagined perfection to the common features of the original teaching examples, he concluded that it means that 'nous' or intelligence must come from the soul. That produced a concept where rational thinking was an operation of the soul and, therefore logically, thoughts and knowledge must exist in the Egyptian-invented, nonphysical dimension. He had combined the Egyptian heart and Ka into one metaphysical entity - the thinking soul. Others continued to develop these mind, soul and nonphysical dimension concepts.







Hippocrates of Cos


At the same time, alternative mind ideas also existed. Plato's model was roughly concurrent with the scientific ideas of Aristotle, Epicurus, and Hippocrates of Cos, the acknowledged father of western medicine and author of the Hippocratic Oath. Hippocrates independently and on an island in another part of the Mediterranean, came up with a scientific idea, that physical brains were the seat of thought and action - the mind as a characteristic of the brain. This, of course, is the modern medical model. The Epicurean model, the basis of the theory that follows, will be discussed with that theory.

Some seven or eight hundred years later the Roman, Christian philosopher, Plotinus, Enneads (200 – 270 CE) a keen student of Plato’s idealism drew the obvious parallels between idealism and Christian dogma (unquestionable truth from authority). Now classified a Neoplatonist, he adopted a concept of mind, body and soul as a kind of turducken (a chicken stuffed into a duck and then stuffed into a turkey). He used Plato's soul/mind idea in a way that allowed him to stuff the mind into the nonphysical soul, and then slip the result into the physical body. In his arrangement, the meaning of the words 'mind' and 'soul' were indistinguishable, synonymous concepts. For those with common sense, he had defined 'mind' as 'soul'. Christian bishop, St. Augustine of Hippo, (354 - 430 CE) (On Marriage and Concupiscence) refined this position. He described the partnership of soul and body as a marriage like that between a man and a woman. They were separate and only joined till death parted them. His positioning of the mind/soul in the body gave the Christian Church a metaphysical view of an accountable, spiritual mind with a memory of this life after death. Over time, the Church incorporated Plotinus's turducken into Christian dogma. In this arrangement, human personalities could jump the line between life and death easily because the mind and soul were never physical in the first place, and so could divorce the body at death and naturally continue into the afterlife.

If thinking souls populated the afterlife, Christians feared, not an ethereal and remote concept, but their very own minds going to hell. The promise of eternal life came with the threat that it could also be eternal misery and that would give the Church hierarchy land and political power. Even a passing familiarity with human motives tells us that convenience married Plotinus's account and the Church's doctrine to Plato's metaphysical view of human psychology. Friar Copleston's exhaustive research tells us that we have inherited two concepts of mind: (1) Plato's mind concept existing in an ideal nonphysical dimension, (2) Hippocrates’ mind as the physical brain. Based on this division, two schools have evolved: idealism and materialism. Based on the stereoscopic illusion, both agreed that the central soul/brain did the thinking and made the decisions. As has been explained, stereoscopic sight is an illusion so both were wrong, but they still had enough disagreement for a conflict.



The history of our current mind/soul muddle starts in the middle ages with the Renaissance, the dawn of universities, and the scientific method.

The ancient Greeks were the first to write the accumulated religious, philosophic, and scientific knowledge of pre-history, Babylon, and Egypt, along with their own. That allowed for its European rediscovery two thousand years later. The intervening millennia represent an intellectual dark age. We can imagine the inferiority complex of medieval European monks and priests reading ancient texts plundered from Arab libraries by crusaders. The Roman Empire collapsed leaving Europe to survive an economic and cultural apocalypse. Their rude shacks and chilly cloisters could not compare to Greek and Roman ruins like the Parthenon and the tombs that pilgrims viewed along the Appian Way. Those buildings mocked them with far finer architecture demonstrating unattainable power and lost expertise. The Bible, and surviving Greek and Roman works on philosophy, mathematics, science, and engineering had reputations for wonder and infallibility. Hundreds of years later, such books were still portrayed as the source of magical powers wielded by Shakespeare's Prospero and Goethe's Faust. Moveable type hadn't been invented; naive readers would naturally overrate such precious, hand-copied books written by more intelligent and knowledgeable people.

Like Plotinus and St. Augustine, they were inspired and awed by some of what they read, but other works horrified them. Some of these books revealed useful secrets; they loved Plato's idealism. His belief that all our ideas came from a perfect place sounded very much like heaven to them. He confirmed that view in his dialogue Phaedo where he tells us that Socrates expected to continue existing on the isle of philosophers after his death. Other books by other authors contradicted basic Christian beliefs. Church fathers buried or banished the works of writers like Epicurus and other materialists for denying the freewill and afterlife concepts. They condemned the dangerous heretical works to the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (1559) "to prevent the contamination of the faith or corruption of morals". We would be fools to overlook the fact that understanding human psychology was never in the Church's best interest. Knowing why people behave as they do and how they will behave in future proves that they have no choice - it disproves the dogmatic doctrine of freewill. Without freewill we cannot be responsible for our actions, cannot sin, and should not be accountable to God, the Church or anyone for our behavior. Those prone to conspiracy theories (like Nietzsche, The Antichrist - 1895) might suspect a plot to misstate the facts, but it was most probably an innocent mistake based on faith. No one tests religious beliefs with the peer review questioning and replacement process that has driven advancements in our modern physical sciences.

The Medieval Christian Church perceived that Aristotilian style rational investigations were a threat to their authority. They felt threatened, and moved to crush science before it took hold. Fear motivated them to restrain Renaissance science by dictating its starting assumptions. They wanted to decide which part of us thinks, so as to make science conform with their cosmology. Early scientific thinkers couldn't fight back; they had no negotiating weight; the Church had overreacted, burning their own friar, Giordano Bruno at the stake, putting Galileo Galilei in jail until he promised to conform, and threatening Rene Descartes with the same fate. Jesuit instructed French philosopher and scientist Rene Descartes (1596 - 1650) wanted to continue his scientific investigations and, threatened with jail, came up with what is now called the Cartesian compromise. He proposed an ontological separation between the res extensa or matter and the res cogitans or spirit. (History and Philosophy of Science and Technology Volume 1, Eolss Pub. Co. Ltd. Oxford, UK. 2010, Pg. 161) His compromise created a metaphysical division along the skin of every human being. What was inside was 'spirit' and the realm of theology; what was outside was 'matter' and the realm of science. (Medicine, being a hard science that probes under the skin, has over the years, shrunk the spiritual realm until now only the brain houses the nebulous 'mind'.) Their overwhelming authority enabled them to force a compromise that imposed the Church's established concept of a central 'spiritual' mind on science. Fear of prison or death obliged early investigators to accept that version of mind. The way the three-dimensional, stereoscopic illusion works confirmed a central mind like the brain as common sense and its imposition offered no readily apparent hardship beyond loss of the right and power to investigate the matter with no prior assumptions. Descartes speculated that the pineal gland, housed in the center of the brain, provided the transition between the spiritual and physical worlds. Today nothing has changed, we still use the same medieval mind/brain concept, and as a result, no one trusts modern psychologists. They can't reliably cure problems like criminality, addiction, anxiety, or psychosis, and any testimony by a defense psychologist will, no doubt, be vigorously denied and refuted by an equally qualified prosecution psychologist. They seem to talk in circles.

The modern version of the Cartesian compromise envisions a material world populated by individual skull envelopes containing the thinking minds or souls of human beings. That meant that the personalities, that are you and me, and our thoughts and knowledge exist in a dimension where physical laws do not apply, and that we experience the material world from the spiritual world. Our brains peep through our eyes, skin and other sensory organs - like watching video feed from a far off land or even another planet. Placing our 'minds' in a spiritual dimension put them beyond scientific observation. Descartes had saved the ancient Greek's kind of rational scientific investigations for Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. Over time, the Church came to see the sense of separating psychology from the less threatening physical sciences. For instance, contradicting what the Bible taught, Polish astronomer, Copernicus proved that the Earth was not the center of the universe. The evidence was overwhelming, and the Church, after burning Bruno for supporting the Copernican Revolution, eventually adjusted because they enjoyed a benefit. His insight produced an accurate calendar, allowing them to exactly predict Holy Fair days. On the right date, they could profit from selling written indulgences to excuse sinners from their sins. 

The Church founded and owned our first universities at places like Bologna, Oxford, and Paris, and, in laying the groundwork of modern scholarship; they would exert influence on science far beyond their lifetimes. They carefully organized their universities to eliminate any conflict with their religious beliefs by using the Cartesian compromise to separate Science from the Humanities, the hard from the soft sciences, and the social from the physical sciences. Classifying psychology as one of the Humanities lumped it in with Philosophy, Literature and History, which insulated it from the more serious Physics, Math, Medicine, and Engineering 'scientific' studies. Those two discipline streams define their results differently, the Humanities provide educated opinions, the physical sciences produce hard facts. In this arrangement scientific investigation could do little to harm the Church's 'soul', 'freewill', and 'afterlife' concepts, but was catastrophic for psychology.

Plato had envisioned the supernatural mind in an ideal, perfect place that supplies this world with its ideas. Philosophers and theologians over the ages have provided us with many creative versions of this source, but, as all exist in Plato's inaccessible world or dimension, they were concepts of idealism and therefore beyond scientific examination. Scientifically speaking, Plotinus's take on Plato's ideas led to a dead-end. For that reason, materialism holds the overwhelming endorsement of the scientific community; it underpins all officially sanctioned medical treatments. No alternative arrangements have gained any serious scientific attention in the two-thousand five-hundred years since Hippocrates. While no one claims to understand how brains produce our behavior, we still use the empty-of-meaning word 'mind' to refer to our thinking ability.

We express our assumptions in our language. Words can only represent knowledge when their meanings are clear. Words like 'soul', 'spiritual', 'afterlife', and 'freewill' have equivocal meanings suitable to religious concepts. We cannot test the existence of such vaguely defined concepts with science because no one claims the entities behind them exist in our physical reality. Spiritual concepts correctly rely on faith not physical evidence. Yet, these concepts pepper the supposed evidence based science of psychology, but not as themselves, rather they exist in disguise as equally equivocal 'scientific' sounding synonyms like 'mind', 'mental', 'psychological' and 'motive'. These words describe a concept of thought and behavior that has no basis in reality. For example, the religious word 'soul' identifies the same ill-defined concept as the supposedly scientific word 'mind'.

The Church's 'soul' concept underpins several other religious concepts that have been 'scientifically' re-labeled. 'Spiritual' means the same as 'mental'. 'Freewill' is a synonym for 'motive' and even 'psychological' is a nebulous alternative to 'physical'. The concepts represented by the more "scientifically acceptable" words like 'mind', 'mental', 'motive', and 'psychological' are no better defined than their religious counterparts, and have no scientifically valid equivalents in physical reality. There is nothing to see, hear, or grasp. No one can satisfactorily define them or point to an observable counterpart because all these words all refer to other-dimensional religious concepts, and for that reason, psychologists cannot talk about psychology in meaningful concrete terms.



Descartes's compromise should have been enough to smother any study of psychology, but starting in the 1900's, pioneering social scientists tried to use hard science methods to study human behavior. However, the compromise had affected the sciences in way that lead hard scientists to misunderstand their own method. They still believed that their brains peeped out of their skulls through their eyes. They could put boots on the moon but they did not fully understand how they did it. Misunderstanding their psychology had little effect on physics, but trying to apply their mistaken view of how their minds operate to psychology completely derailed early scientific attempts to understand our motives. Our motivation can be observed by a method that early psychologist, Edward B. Titchener, Experimental Psychology, (1902) called introspection. I can almost feel any professional scientist who has not read the foregoing recoil in horror. "Sure," I anticipate them saying, "we are conscious of our feelings, but they're subjective. No two people feel exactly the same way in response to things and events. Titchener was not peeping out through his eyes; he looked the other way; he looked into himself. Descartes model had logically lead them to believe that, "subjective experience is inconsistent and therefore cannot be part of an objective scientific explanation." That is what other scientists said in Titchener's time based on Descartes metaphysical split. Titchener's introspective method was "unreliable, limiting, and subjective." The whole scientific community balks at subjective observations because, following Descartes, they have completely committed to the belief that all of our brains look out through our eyes and see the same objective material world, as though we were all watching the same TV program from different houses. As a result, modern science believes that brain cells must be the source of decisions, but still holds that 'thoughts' themselves are non-material and, therefore, psychological/spiritual, and beyond the methods of science. This setup, reflected in our ambiguous psychobabble, conveniently preserves the freewill necessary to hold believers accountable for their sins. Few have occasion to question this religious doctrine because the Christian Church has enjoyed the support of our most powerful cultural, educational, and political authorities. Christianity still wields popular political power in European rooted cultures, and we cannot be much surprised that only a few hundred years later we still generally accept non-material 'thoughts' and 'emotions' without much questioning.



The reader should not be overly concerned to learn that we do not have freewill. Freewill is a crude concept that predates the religion of ancient Egypt. As will be explained later, we individually decide what is best for each of us, our predictability results from the compulsion part, which forces us to act on our most pleasurable known and available option. You must do what you want to do, only limited by your knowledge and circumstances.

We are not robots. We are self-interested and know that our deaths are certain. These facts give our lives urgency and meaning.



The only way forward corrects the mistaken metaphysical arrangement of Descartes by adopting a completely physical worldview. We live in a physical world and all of it is subject to the laws of physics. Our job is to find those laws and use them to improve our lives.

Keeping in mind what has been revealed in these opening paragraphs, we might expect that Psychology can now be observed and examined like Chemistry, Geology or any other hard science, but it doesn't work that way because of the Cartesian Compromise. We still believe our personalities exist inside our skulls looking out onto the world through our eyes. This Platonic, Christian view developed in reaction to the materialism and determinism of the Epicurean mind concept that comes to us mostly second-hand by way of a single copy of a Roman poem (The Nature of Things by Lucretius) rediscovered (1416) in a back-water German monastery. According to Harvard's, Stephen Greenblatt (The Swerve - 2011) its discovery and dissemination by Papal translator, Poggio Bracciolini, sparked the seventeenth century science of Galileo and Newton. The ancient Greek materialist, Epicurus, had studied under the atomist, Democritus, and was also greatly influenced by the idea of the Stoic, Zeno, that we must acquiesce to the laws of nature. We learn from Lucretius’s poem that Epicurus believed mind-work, or as Hippocrates would say brainwork, needed more than a brain. He understood the stereoscopic illusion (explained above) and, unlike Descartes, believed that the mind did not look through the eye like a window (“if that were the case it would see better without the eye”) he taught that the eye sees for itself. That is important because he is not only saying that the mind is physical; he is also saying it is bigger than our brains and that the brain is not the seat of consciousness, we experience the world in our various sense organs - like eyes. No 'we' exists to look out through our eyes; the eyes themselves are our 'we'. (How's this going to work? Don't worry, it's simpler that you'd think.) The good news, from the scientific point-of-view, is that this new arrangement unburdens the brain from the need to understand sensory perception, and so we can ditch the mysterious, super-computer brain, Hippocratic model, because we can now simplify its operations to a level that our current theories of biology can support. Wow! That's an intellectual bucket of ice water thrown over you on a cold day. If Epicurus was correct in saying that eyes see for themselves, then ears must hear for themselves and so on. This concept is so foreign to our common sense self-image that you read it, you can't find anything wrong with what you're reading, but it doesn't change your mind. The Church, by itself, could not stop us from seeing the truth all the way into the twenty-first century. At this point just about all readers still believe that, if not their spirits, their brains are reading these words though their eyes. It's hard to give up on an idea believed by everyone who has ever lived since the beginning of time. Our ferocious and tenacious attachment to the idea that 'we' look though our eyes has a biological/psychological confirmation that is hard to deny. In fact, the religious belief was probably based on our everyday experience of the stereoscopic illusion. Our very survival depends on the illusory belief that 'we' look through our eyes and see the world in three dimensions, but it's still an illusion. It too must be exposed and corrected before we can proceed with psychology.

If we entertain the idea that we experience sight consciously in our eyes and record that feeling in our brains unconsciously, then we would also have to conclude that sight remembered from the brain would also be experienced consciously in our eyes. As we will see Ivan Pavlov discovered that our sense organs have double wired nerve connections to the brain. If the brain was the organ conscious of sight and memories of sight, only one set of nerve connections would be needed. Evolution hates waste. If we see in our eyes and hear in our ears then our conscious stream is a series of events occurring at sites all over our bodies. You still have to operate your day to day life as if the stereoscopic illusion were a real picture of the world, but this is science, no one can see atoms either. This mind concept lends itself to a far simpler explanation of psychology.



No less a philosopher than Immanuel Kant, (Critique of Pure Reason - 1781) noticed that our private conscious streams are the sum total of experience. His work produced an entirely new concept of consciousness by arguing that our conscious streams represent all of our experience of our world and ourselves. Kant made a distinction between nomena and phenomena that inspired the direct observation of conscious sensations. The world exists in an unknowable nomenal form, but, as Kant said, we can only know the phenomenal form reported by and filtered in our five senses. You and your dog have different phenomenological experiences of the world. For one, the dog is colorblind. For another, dogs smell in Technicolor. We theorize that radio waves and magnetic lines exist, but we cannot normally detect them through any of our five senses, and cannot know what else our sense organs are adding or missing. Our sense organs restrict our experience of the world by their limitations. Our experience is entirely subjective. This is why I will call the externally generated identifying and defining reports of our five-senses, phenomenal sensations. Philosophers after Kant believe that only the perceptions in each individual's conscious stream exist for each of us, and perceptions make up all the evidence we can observe. If they are correct, our experience of the world can only be entirely internal and private. This philosophical truth dates from Kant, but it's not the scientific concept relied on by either the physical or social sciences. Following Descartes, Science is mislead by the three-dimensional stereoscopic illusion, and assumes that we can see things where they exist; that our experience is external and public. The Church's division of university subjects into science and the humanities left little or no opportunity for contact or cross-pollination of ideas, and for that reason, scientists are not aware of important methodological progress made by philosophers after Kant.

Kant's insight inspired Edmund Husserl's, Ideas; General Introduction to Pure Phenomenology - 1913 - the first formal statement of Kant's method. Friedrich Nietzsche had previously used it without acknowledging the difference in method, and following Husserl's work, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Jean-Paul Sartre (to name the principals) studied their conscious steams using direct observation, and invented Existentialism: an attempt to answer the ontological question - an examination of Being. If Kant and the Phenomemalists are correct, the physical sciences can also only study the world of things in their own private conscious stream because it represents all the evidence available to any individual. We experience everything we can observe about the world in our own phenomenal sense organs. The sensations reflexively generated in them are our conscious streams. Edmund Husserl's famous example is about the reality of coffee. He says, it is less about the rational constructions of filtered water in a cup and more about what we actually experience - the phenomenal experiences of color, aroma, and taste. We see the color and shape of a cup filled with something dark. Picking it up moves, what clearly now acts as a liquid, and we conclude that we are holding a cup of coffee. We mentally construct the coffee and cup by comparing the sight phenomena (color and shape) in our conscious streams with previously learned memories. We haven't noticed the substitution of 'cup of coffee' for 'phenomenal sights and aroma' because the way our minds work edits that leap. The abridged version misleads us by projecting experience directly to its source and object, by cutting the in-between steps necessary to calculate the gap between the cup-shaped patch of color sight and coffee smell clues and deducing the verbalized, "cup of coffee" conclusion, heard silently in our ears. The leap between sight and smell and 'cup of coffee' feels instantaneous. Again, the phenomenal experience of our conscious streams does not take place at the object under consideration; it really takes place in our sense organs.



Misunderstanding our sight experience, reinforced by the Cartesian Compromise and arrangement of university departments convinces the official scientific community that we objectively share our sight experiences among us. That leads us to conclude that, while feeling emotions and other psychological events take place unobserved inside our minds, we experience the rest of the world outside where we believed we see it - when, in fact, we do not. All our experience is private. Their misunderstanding has kept us from seeing the obvious. For all history, humans have assumed that the operations of their minds were unconscious operations occurring in a 'mental' state. This assumption leads to an unnecessary and false 'mental'/physical division leading us to believe that our 'mental' state could objectively observe the physical world. Using that misconception, a high-school science class asked to find the boiling temperature of water would report that they had all seen bubbles in the beaker at a thermometer reading around one-hundred degrees Celsius. Like all of us, the students would misunderstand their experience by misidentifying where they had seen the bubbles - they really saw the bubbles in their eyes, not the beaker - but that would not stop them from answering the physics question correctly. It doesn't matter to physics where they see the bubbles; all evidence suggests that sea-level water boils at one-hundred degrees Celsius.

Babies are not sophisticated enough to realize that they constantly compensate with a visual shortcut and few adults have had a reason to question or consider the implications of it. Because we have believed that we were seeing things where they exist, we naturally assume others see exactly what we see. All the members of the science class in the example above would believe that they had seen the same bubbles in the same beaker. The three-dimensional, stereoscopic illusion has erroneously convinced us that two observers can share and objectively confirm an experience. Cognitive scientists believing that they can only know objective truth through shared observations have previously rejected subjective introspection as a means of reliable scientific observation, but we can only see and hear in the same way we touch and taste – subjectively in each individual's eyes and ears. To understand how our minds work we need to acknowledge that sight is actually in our eyes because that realization disproves one of the basic assumptions of science. In reality, the Phenomemalists are correct; all observations can only be subjective. I may report seeing water boil at one hundred degrees Celsius and others might confirm my observation, but while we duplicate our reports, we do not share them. Properly understanding the sight concept is not necessary for physics in the same way that understanding space travel is not necessary for driving to Toronto. However, if the science class accurately understood how and where they really see water boil, they could observe the evidence needed to understand their subjective psychology because they would realize that no observations can be objective, and all science, including the physical sciences, can therefore, only be subjective. None of us is privy to another’s experience of any kind and the phrase 'shared observation' is an oxymoron. Objectivity is a misconception caused by the three-dimensional, stereoscopic illusion. Realizing this misconception lets us recognize that we have always based our understanding of physics on nothing more dependable than private and subjective observations. Nevertheless, those observations have proved reliable enough to put feet on the moon because it doesn't matter where you actually see things, it only matters that you observe accurately. Our success at understanding and using the physical world convinces us that the overwhelming majority of scientists have made good faith efforts to give true reports of their observations and others catch any mistakes. Realizing that our experience is subjective and, therefore, could be misunderstood or one of us could be lying or, more likely, yielding to cultural pressure does not call the validity of physical sciences into question. It, rather, expands science to include duplicable subjective accounts of any kind of observation as evidence. We still need independent verification; we just have to understand it is a subjective confirmation. We have not been able to observe our psychology in action because of "objective" science’s assumption that we objectively share observations. That has caused the whole community to dismiss Titchener's subjective introspections as unreliable, but any observations validated by others deserve consideration because they might well be true and valuable.

It has always been parts of our conscious stream observing and reacting to other parts of our conscious stream. What we see and hear provokes emotions. Sight triggers muscle actions.



Here, we will trust the observations and logic of the materialists, Epicurus and Husserl, rather than Plato's idealism. Those reading to the end of this work will have been exposed to an entirely new concept of animal psychology based in physics that explains much about how animal minds work. Psychology will join Chemistry and Biology by also using the atomic theory of Physics for its explanations, but while general animal psychology interests some of us, the majority find the human mind most interesting. For that reason, chapter five explains why human anatomy, not our supposedly special human brains, equips us to speak, and also makes us exponentially smarter than other animals. (The idea that our human 'soul/mind' makes us smarter than other animals clearly has a religious (made in God's image) foundation.) Not just some humans, but all of us speak at least a few words, and are smarter than other animals to one degree or another because of our unique body structure. (Go ahead, take a peek, - chapter five Implications for Humans, sections on Approval and Language - but come back for the basics - the proof for it starts here.) By the end, readers will know far more useful information about psychology than current professional psychologists know. That knowledge will have practical applications, but it requires an open mind and a commitment to skeptical analysis of what is said. Many of these new ideas will require re-reading. Readers can't just passively absorb, they will have to participate, using their own experience and intelligence to grasp the big picture.



Who are we? The answer depends on correctly observing the elements our conscious streams. All conscious elements in our conscious streams fit into three basic categories. Two represent kinds of meaning (identity and value), and muscle sensations constitute the third.

Everyone understands why buckwheat differs from car tires. The words have different meanings because they refer to specific concepts. It's easy to comprehend the meaning of identity as the things and situations we identify exist outside of us, beyond the artificial internal/external barrier. We differentiate between identities by their effects on our five, phenomenal sense organs. Buckwheat looks, smells, tastes and feels different from car tires - neither makes much noise. Descartes would have been very comfortable with identity meaning.

The other kind of meaning is not so obvious because when we have looked out from our brains through our eyes, as Descartes taught us, we cannot find it. Value does not inhere in the external object; value is our internal assessment of external objects. American philosopher, Robert Pirsig, (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, 1974) tells us that subtracting measures of value or Quality (his word, his capitalization) from everyday decisions would leave us with basic utilitarian clothing and food because we would be unable to recognize degrees of value. We could not be aware that one thing looks, feels, or tastes better than another without comparison based on evaluation. In truth, without the ability to evaluate, we could not distinguish between clothing and nakedness or food and starvation. Without evaluation, we would have no motive to cover ourselves or eat, and would freeze or starve ourselves to death. We could identify the difference between ice cream and gruel, but it would not matter because we would not care. We could not prioritize those things and behaviors important to our survival. Understanding differences between things is of little use unless we can also understand their values. Value is the second kind of meaning. Pleasure and pain associated with survival and reproductive triggers like hunger, thirst, injury, and cold represent evaluation in our conscious streams. These survival/reproductive triggers respond to internal, bodily conditions in the same way that the external phenomena report to our five senses. Firstly and mostly, the current brain-in-charge theory fails because science has refused to acknowledge internal experience. By the Cartesian Compromise and the objectivity rule, current science must ignore the role of our reflex survival-triggers and the emotions based on them. Ignoring the fact that we derive our emotions by remembering previously experienced survival reflexes. Reflex survival-triggers and emotions have a prerequisite role in understanding the world as reported by our sense organs. They provide a kind of meaning necessary for us to evaluate threats and supports to our survival and reproductive mission. Much more will be said about this below.

The part of us that asks, Who are we? is one of the conscious minds that time has evolved to help us survive long enough to reproduce. (Yes while we only have one brain, Freud was right to divide our millions of memories into three categories. We find it useful to differentiate between the three sources of learning because it offers a measure of reliability. Superego (the rules learned from parents and other authorities) and id (the pleasures based on biology: sex, alcohol, sweet and fatty foods, and the fun based on them: music, dance, etc.) responses could lead us astray, and should be vetted by the ego (the reasoning ability learned from education).) The rest of this work expands on that answer. Here, we offer a preview to allow the reader to gauge their interest.

Your mother would not recognize this theory. I holds that the core and essential part of you that understands these words is not your brain. Each of us can observe elements in our conscious streams, for now we'll call them reflex-survival triggers, (technically they're homeostats) that have spent all-your-life-so-far filling your brain with their own self-focused evaluations of facts, along with the various successful behaviors that promote pleasure and keep pain at bay. Like those dinosaurs that were supposed to have a second brain to control their tails, we have separate control systems that respond within their domains. This is a variation of the homunculus theory, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homunculus_argument) but instead of "a little person or smaller brain that lives inside your regular brain," it holds that survival/reproductive-triggers act like independent control entities, variable control switches that turn the energy to act on or off by degrees. This avoids the infinite regress problem of all other homunculus variations because the "buck stops" with the behavioral effects of pleasure or pain generated by the survival/reproductive-triggers. We need no further back-up decision makers. Survival-trigger reflexes use our brains like data reservoirs, meaning caches, and behavioral instructions to promote pleasure and keep pain away. They, not our brains, use emotional pleasure and pain variations to consciously evaluate, desire, and prompt action. We pursue the pleasure that rewards survival behavior. Each survival-trigger reflex, in its turn, monitors, and one of them (we hope it's the Freudian Ego, not some Superego blustering with religious indignation), at this moment, is producing emotions to judge these words. We have been taught to experience them as one controlling entity, but they take turns, sometimes two or three simultaneously weigh-in, even arguing with each other. (Yes, this is one of those places where readers should use their own experience to check what is said here.) You should be able to observe each of your survival-triggers as they use pleasure and pain to express their own desires, demands, and solutions. Some people's groups act as a smoothly operating integrated and focused team. Yes, we call these people winners, but are they? Other's groups conflict in goal and method - often degenerating into paralyzing, self-questioning doubt, but sometimes coming up with new and better solutions. Conflict forces choices giving us the appearance and experience of freewill. The same biology plays out in different personalities depending on the happenstance conditions of existence and experience. They are collectively you, me, and every other mind. You were warned - mom wouldn't recall hearing about this concept.



Reflex survival-triggers work like your five reflex sensory-organs, but rather than identifying sight, sound, taste, smell, or touch, they produce pleasure or pain based in sensations from survival-triggers like thirst or injury.  (Check your own experience.) Pleasure and pain are the conscious byproducts of feedback loops that trigger learning, remembering, and action. They function as up or down emotional decisions identifying our needs and wants. Learning and remembering combined with emotional decisions control our behavior.



No educated, thinking reader can take the claims made in this opening sketch seriously. These ideas and observations challenge every existent, scientific concept of mind, and so seem fantastical. Yet, while these claims, as presented so far, do not have any of the attributes of science, duplicable observations and experiments will be provided, and will simply and elegantly explain what our minds are and how they help us survive long enough to reproduce. The attribute of science no one can provide is objective disinterestedness. We will show that objectivity has two aspects. One depends on the belief that two people can share the same (usually sight) experience. Our success with physics lead us to misunderstand our experience of observation. Now, we have no choice but to re-examine and correct some of the fundamental concepts of science. As we have shown, all experience is private, individual, and subjective. The second sense of objective means neutral, and holds that, facts not only can be, but must be neutral, universal, that is, without emotion. However, we will show that no thought can ever be objective in that sense because biology demands subjective self-interest be a component of any and all consciousness. Survival- triggers define self-interest and generate a feed-back loop that causes consciousness. Even the most rational thought depends on emotion for its consciousness. Accurate science can only be based on understanding consciousness because curiosity and thought are the parents of science. Unlike physics, which formulates theories about the world external to our minds, psychology depends on first understanding the internal workings of minds. You simply cannot understand the internal using the rules that produced theories of the external because the very assumptions and many of the building blocks of current science are misunderstood observations of how mind components work. You cannot fix woodworking tools with wood.


Allow me to explain how conscious minds work with a simple example. (We're still sketching the big picture here; details and proofs come in later chapters.)

Like those little round floor-vacuuming robots that scurry across the carpet by themselves, we too have a task. They vacuum; we survive to reproduce.

As running out of power would thwart the robot's vacuuming mission, its designers have put in a subroutine, and like our more complex subroutines, it needs the same three components. It must identify the low power, thwarting condition; its designers have already evaluated that condition as one requiring action, and the mission saving action. A low battery reading prompts the robot to interrupt its main task with instructions to return to its charging station. Threats to our existence and opportunities that support our survival prompt comparable interruptions and change our behavior.  A drop in available power threatens the robot's cleaning mission; time has evolved our DNA to recognize several situations consequential to our existence mission. We recognize reflex survival-triggers like hunger, sweet taste, thirst, injury, sexual opportunity, extreme cold, salty taste, or extreme heat by activating a sub-routine experienced as conscious feelings of pleasure or pain. These mission-threatening or mission-supporting conditions trigger consciousness of pleasure or pain to activate changes in current behavior. Consciousness of pleasure or pain is the subroutine's effect. Consciousness also illuminates our simultaneous five-senses reports and any previously-learned, beneficial actions. Pain or pleasure get your head up, looking or sniffing for its cause and ways to avoid or prolong it. If you have never felt, focused on or observed the pain of cold, hot, hungry, or thirsty or pleasure of sweetness or sexual arousal, you cannot understand the concept of survival-triggers. (This is another part where readers must look to their own experience to test what is said.) If you do not understand that some survival-triggers, like hunger and thirst, are not generated from any of our five-senses and that all survival-triggers produce results additional to our five-senses, well, you will never grasp how emotions drive our behavior. Just as a low power reading overrides the vacuum cleaner's main task, consciousness of pleasure or pain motivates a change in our behavior until the danger to our main mission is past or support for it is no longer useful.



As Darwin theorized, we and all other life in the universe, then, must be the result of the random configuration of biological reflex survival-triggers that successfully reproduce themselves. They, not our brains, are the decisive components of our minds.


This idea is not new. More than a hundred years ago, physiologists were postulating self-preservation as an explanation for animal behavior. They just couldn't square behaviors like celibacy and heroic self-sacrifice with survival and reproduction. This theory explains such behavior, not as attempts to survive and reproduce, but as attempts to feel the pleasure that motivates those attempts and avoid feelings of pain that characterize failure. As drug addicts, celibates, and heroes prove, we can skip the survival and reproduction, and go straight for the pleasure.



Every purposeful act, no matter how far extrapolated from our basic survival triggers, results from reflex or learned instructions to increase or prolong pleasure or decrease or avoid pain. Pleasure seeking or pain avoidance, either here-and-now or extrapolated to a search to understand black holes in space or an imagined life hereafter, may even compel individuals to completely forgo reproduction.

Our existence results from random changes in our DNA (Watson, Crick) producing survival triggers that encourage survival behavior with feelings of pleasure and discourage self-destructive behavior with feelings of pain. Our lives have no purpose or meaning beyond the search for pleasure and avoidance of pain. We maintain our existence solely motivated by pleasure and fail to end ourselves because we fear pain. Our survival triggers operate to keep us successfully reproducing. We search for knowledge, not to increase our options; we have no options, but must act to gain the most pleasure while avoiding the greatest pain. We search for knowledge to find behavior that increases incidence and duration of pleasure and decrease the incidence and duration of pain - once found that behavior becomes our only option.

Learning disconnects consciousness of pleasure and pain from their survival and reproductive reflex sources. Hockey and football players learn to accept and embrace the pain, that their reflexes tell them to avoid, as part of the game. Catholic priests forgo the pleasure of sex because they have learned to value a place in the afterlife more highly. Happenstance learned connections rather than biologically preset reflex connections, then, trigger the interrupting subroutine that defines both what we want to do and what we will do. We can learn to take pleasure from self-destructive behavior. For the first time in history, we can predict the behavior of others and ourselves. Freewill, then, must be an illusion.


The designers of our floor-vacuuming robot have devised a subroutine that responds to running into a wall or piece of furniture by reversing its direction. This subroutine operates independently of the low-power subroutine; in fact, both operate at the same time. We work the same way. Each human develops a complex set of responses tailored to each survival-trigger in their own circumstances. Just as the robot vacuum would have separate preprogrammed instructions to deal with power replenishment and obstacles, each human survival-trigger prompts the programming or learning of separate behavioral instructions. We have several programmed sets of instructions within the individual; each operates independently, but we can learn to coordinate their actions. We can be both hungry and cold, and learn to take steps to solve both problems at the same time. Grab a sweater on the way to the fridge. We use learning to extrapolate our basic reflex survival-triggers into a complex of cause and effect steps that work better than the evolutionarily preprogrammed responses. For example, while other animals can only graze or hunt, we can choose from a variety of educations and jobs to satisfy our need for food. Also, while the males of other animal species take advantage of any available opportunities, most humans develop social relationships in order to procreate. That kind of flexibility and variation enables each human to develop an assortment of responsive behavioral sets. You can feel yourself using or becoming each one as they take turns operating your behavior. Sex organ triggers provoke different emotions and sets of instructions (or personality) than the behavioral set based on the need for food, knowledge, and work. Surviving modern highway traffic teaches different responses than surviving battle, even though the response to shell shock or PTSD often looks very much like road rage. People 'in love' tap into their reproductive behavioral set, and often report "not feeling like themselves", while under the spell of the reproductive trigger.



Such responses depend on the happenstance learning based on experience associated with each survival trigger. While the previous psychological theory held that our personalities had a single, unified source, this theory suggests that it is possible for the same individual to have separate, even Jekyll and Hyde type, response patterns. The same person could exhibit a sincere, law-abiding behavior when seeking a job, but could become a complete liar and thief when feeling the desire for a drug induced high. That same individual might also hold to traditionally acceptable sexual behavior, but become a vengeful psychopath when criticized or a raging maniac when threatened. Each behavioral response depends on past experience in dealing with each survival danger or opportunity type, and each is the sole and authentic person in the moment of use.


As will be discussed with more detail in chapter five, most human behavior depends on hunger and thirst because nutrition in the form of mother's milk creates the pleasure bond necessary to teach language. The pleasure bond connects the child's pleasure to the parent's approval. Most of us feel good when mom and dad praise our efforts. Children learn language to please their parents, and therefore, pleasing authority is the basis, and language is the mode for most of our thought and behavior. (Yes, yes, these rapid fire ideas are confusing. We're still sketching here. Just try for a general idea, the rest will become clear as we go into detail.) The pleasure provided makes us focus on and remember verbal over emotional sensations. We deem it normal to have consistent personalities because the biggest part of our motivation can be traced back to the pleasure of pleasing and acceptance based on our dependence on mother for survival for our first decade or so. Somewhere in our second decade, a nonverbalized trigger inexplicably wrenches behavioral control and provokes uncharacteristically autonomous behavior as confusing sexual triggers powerfully assert their existence. Newly pleasurable behavior, like listening to rock-and-roll or rap music and interest in the opposite sex elicits an individualistic emotional state separate from the pleasing and acceptance pleasures of childhood, and provokes parental disapproval because this reproductive trigger threatens their authority. This theory holds that our independent behavioral sources can cause conflicting emotions, which can only be fully resolved and integrated by understanding the sources of the conflicts.

Learned abstract symbols like language and numbers so successfully assure human survival, that today we mostly concern ourselves with the pleasures of mere comfort. The rest of this work explains how our brains interact with our survival triggers, five senses, and muscles to deal with danger that might interfere with or support our basic survive to reproduction mission. Those four: brain, survival trigger, five senses, and muscles together comprise each of the various minds or separate subroutine instructions of any animal.



Our eyes lead our bodies around by triggering subroutines that identify and evaluate threats and opportunities and provoking muscle actions to deal with them. Our eyes, or others of our five senses, identify triggers that produce the matching consciousness survival subroutine. The five sense organs identify, the survival-reflex evaluates, and the muscles execute. Mostly sight, but any of our five senses can identify, thereby tripping an unstoppable, unrelenting, biological, chain-reaction - like a recording, the brain only stores the matching learned instructions and plays the recorded information back with no conscious part in controlling or ability to change the outcome.








Before we go any further, some readers may be wondering exactly what is meant by 'emotions'. Sooner or later, we must explain what we mean, and that might as well be now because emotions are crucial to this theory of thought and behavior.

Emotions start out as survival-trigger feelings like hunger and thirst. We experience such feelings at the various locations in our bodies that generate them. Stomach hunger, for example, keeps us from starving ourselves. We feel the pain of extremes of cold and heat on our skin. We feel injury pains at the location of the scrape, cut, or blow. We feel the pleasure of relief from thirst and hunger in our mouths and the pleasure of relief from a warm sweater or cool breeze on our skins. Our survival depends on such basic reflex feelings. Later, sourcing such reflexes from memory makes them emotions like anxiety, pride, and hope. We remember pain as fear, the promise of respite from pain as hope, and pleasure as joy.

Let me use an example, Biff the bully punches you in the nose. That triggered the injury survival-trigger reflex and produced reflex pain physically. The next time you see Biff, you remember the survival-trigger's physical pain by re-feeling it in your nose. You may involuntarily raise your hand to protect your nose. Maybe even give it a rub.

Understand, this time Biff is still across the room. You haven't been physically hurt yet, but you remember the pain of your last encounter. That remembered pain comes from a memory stored in your brain. We remember a survival-trigger's, physical feeling as an emotion. Your original physical hurt is now a psychological emotion called fear.

So Biff comes over, and apologizes for hitting you and gives you a hundred dollars. You use the money to take your current romantic interest to dinner, who is so impressed that she or he agrees to spend the night at your place.

The next time you see Biff you will remember both pain and gratitude. Those conflicted emotions will produce nervousness. You would feel pain, nervousness, and sexual arousal, and that's just the result of two encounters with Biff.

Your emotional evaluation of Biff will develop greater complexity with each meeting, depending on the result of your last encounter. The accumulating result will determine whether you run and hide or jump up and shake his hand. Over time, emotions develop so much nuanced complexity that we can hardly follow the process. The ever-growing layers of emotion about everything affecting you, developed between childhood and adulthood, keep you from realizing that emotions trigger our responses. It feels like thinking because it comes from your brain and determines your actions, but it is just remembering.



For reasons explained later, adults fail to notice the role of emotions in understanding our sensory perceptions. Yet, correlating the example above with your own experience will demonstrate, we use emotions like fear and hope to select the appropriate survival behavior.



Brains feel in charge because they are the source of most of our current conscious experience. We know that because we couldn't recognize Biff without a memory of a previous meeting stored in our brains. We also couldn't understand Biff's threatening or supportive evaluative meaning to us or respond without memories of his previous painful/nervous/sexual effect on us. We argue hereafter, that reflex survival feelings and emotions derived from them evaluate the sensations from our five-senses and trigger all our muscle responses. That is a predictive and testable scientific theory; it's also, all of animal psychology expressed in a sentence.



Let's be clear, we're talking about two completely different concepts of mind here. Tradition has our brains as thinking organs informed by our five-senses and instructing our muscles. The theory presented here, limits our unconscious brains to recording and replaying the sensations of our conscious five-senses, survival-triggers, and muscles. The survival-triggers control behavior using the most pleasing previously recorded (learned) actions prompted by recognition of closest matching five-senses data. This is a much simpler theory because it demands far less from the brain. This theory's brain doesn't have to think, it only has to record and replay. From a biological perspective, that will be much easier to explain, (not attempted in this work) than thinking has been. While much of this first chapter has roughed out an account of this theory and more text will explain the philosophical mistakes that have retarded the development of psychology, we cannot forget that this is a scientific theory. Science values simplicity in its search for truth. This new theory is more elegant than the traditional theory.


We know that our experience comes from our brains because a current punch in the nose feels different from a memory of a punched nose. To paraphrase Scottish philosopher, David Hume (An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, 1748), "memory feels like a shadow of real experience." Memory is a faded version of primary experience. We experience all feelings, either current or remembered, at their original locations. A punched nose (remembered or current) always hurts in the nose. That's how we know it was the nose that hurt, not the elbow. Nevertheless, while we feel memories at the site of original experience, we are also aware of the brain as their source, which distinguishes current from remembered feelings and dreaming from waking experiences. We source current waking feelings in our five-senses, but feel remembered and dreaming sensations from our brains.



We have failed to notice the expression of memories at their location of original experience because our experience of the brain as the source of memories overpowers and feels relatively more significant than our experience of the effect of memories at the affected body location. It feels like the brain experiences memories because the experience of remembering outshouts the experience of where it is remembered. This outshouting has evolved because our ability to distinguish between and recognize the difference between current and remembered threats and opportunities has an obvious survival value, so much so, that it defines sanity. We experience all sensations: current, waking, dreaming, and remembered, in the affected organs, only vividness differentiates between the sources. Source discerns current from remembered, distinguishing an immediately actionable threat or opportunity from a dream or memory. Anyone unable to feel the difference between sensations of current and remembered or waking and dreaming should see a doctor before continuing. Paying close attention will confirm that we experience the source of memories as our brain, but the organ of origin experiences the content. We remember all sensations in the same way, so while remembering mom's face puts an image of her face in your eyes, remembering how to move a muscle moves that muscle according to the memory. This consistency explains how we so effortlessly coordinate muscles to play the violin or execute a basketball jump shot. Memory replays muscle movements in patterns recorded in rehearsal or practice.


So the argument runs this far, that we use memory to identify and act on current situations and that we consciously experience that from our brains. A tenth of a second current glance at Biff prompts the brain to produce several seconds of recognizing (that is Biff), evaluating (he hurt me), and action (where can I hide) memories. Eyes were the source of only the tiny current bit of the whole experience; the brain produced the bulk from memory, which gives us the awareness that we feel most of our ongoing experience from the brain, as the source of memory. The brain matches the situation identified in eyes triggering our emotions and actions from memory. We correctly feel that most of our currently felt experience is remembered from our brains. Most response is remembered, not currently thought out. You run and hide or jump up and shake Biff's hand according to the learned emotional evaluation triggered by recognition. Brains store our decisions; emotions are those decisions; and we experience those decisions as feelings in survival reflexes and muscles. A tenth of a second current glance at Biff prompts the brain to produce several seconds of recognizing, evaluating, and muscle-directing memories. Again, it feels like thinking, but it is just remembering (playback) from the brain, prerecorded experience played back in sense organs, survival reflexes, and muscles.



While we source our decisions from the brain, they were not made there. The emotions felt this time make our decisions about what to do next time, and store them in the brain for that coming occasion. This explains the effectiveness of training, the problems inherent in misidentification, and the reason generals always fight the current war with the tactics that would have won the last war.

The brain's splendid ability to record and re-record current sensations in a way affected by both past and current experience makes it doubly effective, while giving the impression of thought.


The mind concept sketched above presents such a simple, straightforward explanation of our behavior that it is hard to imagine that no one else has thought of it before, but we have been tricking ourselves for a long time, and it is instructive to examine how and guess at why.



There is a reason that we have missed the obvious, and it will now be explained.






We misunderstood our emotions right from the start of recorded history.

To repeat, emotions provide the self-interest meaning part of our thought process and motivate our behavior. Being unaware of their role in the comprehension of evaluative meaning and decision-making, Plato could not make sense of perception without using a non-physical, soul concept to understand and make decisions. Today, scientifically sophisticated psychologists believe that physical brains produce our decisions, but switching the word 'mind' for 'soul' didn't change the ancient psychological model. That required a twisting of observed reality to accommodate their belief.

As already discussed, they made four accommodations :

1. they misconstrued the site of thought,

2. and they misidentified the trigger for our behavior,

3. but they also misclassified our evaluating reflexes,

4. they misconstrued the site of our experience.

They didn't intentionally twist those observations; their conclusions flowed logically from their fundamental religious beliefs. The most obvious one being the belief in freewill. Without freewill we cannot have sin nor any level of laudatory or miss behavior. Without freewill all physically caused behavior, like any other action on a physical entity, is subject to the laws of physics, predetermined, and cannot be chosen. Without choice, we cannot be held responsible. Religion as we know it would disappear and so would the police, jails, and the entire justice system. (We return to this subject later, and surprise, we content that we neither have nor do not have freewill, but can change our decisions and fate. However, only by improving them.)

Keeping 'mind' and 'mental-thoughts' mysteriously immaterial was necessary to maintain freewill and accountability, but if thoughts do not exist in our reality, we cannot study them.  If the same kind of religious foundation limited physics and chemistry, we would still be banging flint stones together in hope of a cutting edge. No one expects choices in physics. Everything follows one set of physical laws. Direct observations of entities in the physical world provide an understanding that gives us mastery over nature. Given the same kind of physically observable, biological source for consciousness, meaning, and decisions, psychologists could use direct observation of those biological systems to drive the social sciences to a reality-based understanding of animal, and especially human, behavior. That depends on finding a tangible, physical counterpart to Plato's 'soul' and modern science's 'mental' concepts. Modern science offers powers well beyond those available to ancient philosophers and medieval priests; it's time to reexamine their four mistaken accommodations and replace their religion biased explanation.




In modern times, the idea that our brains experience our conscious streams seems like science and feels like common sense, but that is an illusion. It is based on the idea that we experience sight, hearing, and smell in our brains, but we are aware of our contact with the things we touch and taste and so need no adjustments to use the data from those two phenomenal sense organs. We hold no illusion of feeling touch and taste in our brains because we feel the sensations from those organs at some distance from the brain. We only need to touch ourselves or eat, in order to perceive correctly that we experience those sensations on our skins and tongues. If you wish to understand yourself and others, directly focus on your conscious feelings; the attentive observer will find surprises; different kinds of feelings exist there that will contradict previous teaching. Please observe in your own conscious stream now, that we experience phenomenal perceptions and memories in our five senses, that our brains feel no consciousness and only store information. (You can generate your own evidence to confirm this arrangement. Close your eyes and remember your mothers face. Closing your eyelids stopped current sight from overwhelming the rods and cones view of mom that you remember from the brain side of your eyes. If you were 'seeing' the remembered vision in your brain, the position of your eyelids wouldn't matter. The close proximity of eyes and ears to the brain generates confusion, but you can feel the pain of a burn on your skin. You taste in your mouth, not your brain. Clearly, a toothache is felt in the tooth. The dominant usefulness of eyes and ears combined with their closeness to the brain confuses the location of our experience.) We don't experience our conscious streams in one place; each sense organ becomes the focus of experience as it becomes conscious. We have assumed and been taught that our essence is unified within the soul or brain. The idea that our consciousness and identity is a crowd effort has distasteful implications. We are less angel and a more plant-like, biological machine than we were a few sentences ago, but our experience tells us that we feel most sensations as a movie in our eyes with a self-generated voice-over in our ears. Taste, smell, and touch account for other conscious phenomenal feelings, felt in their individual organs. Perception is a group effort, but who is in charge? We'll start with a brief description of a new scientific approach and theory based on the observation of inwardly focused reflex part of thought; later, details and proofs will be offered.



The claim that "our brains or souls run the show" has been hard to explain. So try this: our brains don't run the show. They just store information and understand none of it. The part running the show changes, sometimes moment to moment. Control, like phenomenal perception, is swapped among sense organs that have been misclassified as a sub-set of our five phenomenal senses. Phenomenal senses only generate reports of the external world. Close attention will reveal that the decisive power in our conscious stream is the second set of misinterpreted and uncounted evaluative sensory reflexes that fall into three classifications:

nutritive (nose, tongue, stomach, bladder and intestines - examples: hunger, thirst),

defensive (skin - ex: injury, itching) and,

reproductive (nipples and genitalia - ex: sexual arousal).

Those reflexes produce graduated evaluating feelings of pain and pleasure. Since ancient times these evaluative, sensory reflexes have been counted and classed as subsets of our five phenomenal senses. This miscategorization has stopped us from seeing how our minds control our behavior. Unlike our five phenomenal senses, which neutrally report on conditions external to us, the evaluative sensory reflexes detect and value internal states. For example, none of our sense organs measure outside temperature, but we do feel a feverish internal state as hot and a chill as cold. We have assumed that these feelings arose from our sense of touch, but they don't focus outwardly. They don't bring us the kind of reports that sensors and probes brought to Kirk. Awareness of being uncomfortably hot or cold are analogous to Kirk's internal feelings, not information about the environment beyond his ship, but rather information about how that environment affects Kirk. Such perceptions are felt as pleasure or pain, and represent the consciousness of self-awareness, self-interest, and self-identity. They are definitely not 'value free' or neutral. Consider hunger. It tells us nothing about the outside world. It speaks to our internal condition, and pain stops us from starving ourselves to death. Each such pleasant or uncomfortable feeling represents a commanding Kirk in our consciousness. The one we currently experience feels like our real being and has the command of our thoughts and muscles. Hunger pains empower your stomach until you eat. Discomforting cold empowers your skin until you find a sweater or turn up the temperature. Pleasant arousal empowers your genitalia until they are satisfied. The feelings from these evaluative organs demand control until they feel neither pleasure nor pain. As we will soon see emotion, based on previous experience with these physical appetites, often uses reason to overrule them, and this confuses us. As said before, evaluative reflexes become emotions when we re-experience them from memory, and, as we can distinguish between current and remembered experience, the single source of remembered emotional memories provides the illusion of a unified evaluator and single self-identify. Both reflexive and the learned emotional evaluative feelings based on them choose between options using a comparative standard (most pleasure/least pain available) called motive. Those evaluative reflexes, not the brain, run the show, and each one in the moment of its use is the real self-interested being that you call you.


Did I forget muscles? We can consciously feel tension in our muscles; again, the brain cannot feel. They are our agent that reacts to our evaluative feelings by neutralizing pain or generating pleasure. 



That's it; those elements (five phenomenal senses, evaluative senses, muscle sensations, and memories of all three) make up our conscious stream, the only experience and record of life we will ever have. Readers, who are suspicious of conventional authority, will already know that this is a better description of their psychological experience. I have placed this bullet-point explanation in the first few paragraphs here to prepare the reader for the explanations, proofs, and insights that follow.



All previous explanations of human psychology have faced two supposedly insurmountable obstacles. First, any theory must account for the apparent inconsistencies in our motivation. Pleasure appears most often to be our goal, but sometimes, rational choice steps in. Sometimes rules seem to bind us, other times we look entirely irrational and self-destructive. Occasionally we appear to sacrifice our pleasure or best interests in favor of another person or cause. Any theory of psychology must explain how a single motivating force or principle produces such apparently inconsistent behavior. As has been explained the evaluative organ in charge changes with their internal perceptions, but that is only one cause of our inconsistency, the most affecting cause will be explained shortly. Before we explain that, we need to address a second supposedly insurmountable obstacle. How do humans, using the same biological equipment (brains, nerves, and sense organs) as other animals, produce an intelligence exponentially greater? As it turns out, these two queries have the same answer. Explaining the main cause of our inconsistency explains our intelligence.



While previous attempts at using the pleasure principle to explain our choices have failed because they could not account for reluctant or self-harming behavior, chapter four describes the four-steps that automatically find and direct individuals to execute their most-pleasurable, least-painful known option. Previous attempts have ignored the overwhelming emotional pleasure inherent in our apparently reluctant behavior. There was a trade. Each of us has acquiesced to obedience, sometimes acting against our own immediate interests motivated by a desire for approval. Humans crave acceptance the way other animals crave food. We work hard for promotion. We phone home to keep the peace. Good marks keep parents off our backs. Soldiers obey dangerous orders. Charitable acts feel good. We have traded obedience, often denying our basic appetites, for the pleasure of approval and the advantage of surpassing intelligence.

Without proof, we believe that prehistoric humans were every bit as smart as modern humans and that newborn humans are genetically more intelligent than other animals, but reports of feral children disabuse us of both conclusions. Human children kept alive without human contact exhibit the same limited intellectual development as the species that raised them. Children raised by monkeys speak no language and cannot do simple math. Without any awareness of doing so, parents model their thought processes for their children, and thereby we learn intelligence from our parents. Interactions with them teach language, the means of reflection and thought. Interactions with other adults builds on that base. Our intelligence has been a progression over tens, if not hundreds of thousands of years, and history traces the human community's improvements in its ability to reflect and think. A desire for approval is the key requirement for learning from those whom we respect, and the reason that we humans are magically smarter than other even larger brained animals like whales, elephants, and porpoises. As will be explained in chapter five, physiology and learning, not genetics, make us smarter because they produce a communication ability and the motive to learn. Learning abstract concepts like symbolic language depends on our life-long pleasure bond with parents. Mom's smile nearly always feels good.  Our parental pleasure bond allows teaching the older generation's accumulating knowledge and thinking skills to successive generations by keeping students focused on apparently boring ideas like language, math, and physics. Imagine life without taught knowledge. Each generation would start over from the caves; even bone and flint tools would need constant rediscovery. Some generations might not even get that far, and we can forget about getting to farming, let alone computers or cars, in one lifetime. We have history and can pass information on; other animals do not and cannot. Our history records each generation's ratcheting contributions to our body of knowledge; learning the wisdom of ages materially improves our lifestyle, but at a price - a kind of addiction to the approval of parents, lovers, teachers, and other authorities. Without the fear of rejection, the pleasure principle would distract us as it does other animals with immediate pleasures like food and sex. Obedience teaches language, freeing each generation from the necessity of starting over again from roots and berries, but unfortunately, obedience also demands a need for acceptance. The craving for acceptance correlates to obedience and intelligence, but has an inverse relationship to power because obedience requires self-deprecation and anxiety.

The pleasure principle chooses the most pleasant/least painful behavior option; it doesn't guarantee that pleasure will always be an option. I came to understand why most humans find approval pleasurable by realizing that evaluative meaning, in the form of pleasure and pain, is a second biological process necessary to produce our understanding of the world. Two kinds of meaning, recognition (identification) and evaluation, work together to make sense of our world and direct our behavior. Emotions learned from pleasure and pain evaluate the significance of our recognized perceptions. Understanding the role of evaluative meaning led me to discover that biology doesn't produce our greatest pleasures and pains. Most, but not all, of us constantly strive to earn psychological emotional pleasures based in parental bonds and earned by approval. The same parental bonds drive most of us to avoid the psychological pains inflicted by disapproval. The rules of psychology are clear, consistent, and depend on a unique human physiology that normally demands obedience and automatically teaches the knowledge of parents to their children. There are exceptions consistent with the pleasure principle, and they will be rationally explained in chapter five. 



Because they have failed to understand the pleasure principle, scientists, business owners, and government leaders cannot yet notice that we already have the hardware to produce artificial intelligence superior to our own natural faculty. Even the cheapest computer can produce answers quicker than any hundred experts. Yet while computers have the necessary hardware along with access to all the knowledge on the internet, trillions of facts; they understand only the recognition part of it. Ten year olds often outwit them. We have been trying to make artificial intelligence machines that calculate output based solely on input; ones that work the way we believed our minds work. We humans make slower, less informed, but better decisions because the pleasure principle evaluates everything that we recognize. Observations of our whole conscious stream leave no doubt that we use our emotions to represent our interests in every conscious perception and action. Computers can recognize things and relationships by matching or not matching a previously established standard, but they do not feel pleasure or pain. Emotions based on pleasure and pain provide animals with evaluative meaning that defines the significance of recognized things. As we will see, evaluation has been omitted from speech and thought because the primary communications channel (common to all animals) consisting of facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language. They automatically convey evaluative information as we speak and our emotional feelings represent evaluative meaning as we think. Speech represents a uniquely human secondary communications channel. Most of us also focus our attention on the recognition part of our conscious stream, as described by a parallel, voice over, verbal conscious stream. It is a secondary communication channel. We use it to verbalize identified things and their relationships. Men in western culture seldom verbalize the emotional primary channel. (On the other hand women and, increasingly 'third wave' psychologists of the existentialist and post-modernist persuasion talk about emotional feelings.) They represents the significance of our perceptions and words in thought and speech. Readers here must supply their own emotional estimation of the significance of my written words. We have been missing the role of self-interest in understanding perceptions because both spoken and written words omit emotions, but as will be shown, all animals need to use unverbalized feelings to select behavior out of biological necessity. Adding the primary emotional elements to our perceptual and secondary verbal streams accounts for our whole conscious stream. Evaluation drives both muscle and thought actions. By computerizing the description of human psychology found in the fourth chapter following, one of the big three automakers could mass-produce cars that would not only adroitly drive themselves, but also make witty conversation, accurately diagnose your latest ailments, and at the same time, conduct speed-of-light research to prolong your life. We have the right technology, but we have misunderstood mental architecture; programing computers to evaluate perceptions and propositions would take advantage of their speedy hardware to humanize their responses.

Adding to the confusion, we are misled in another way; our brains also edit necessary calculations down to an instant reaction. Favoring a timely response, evolution has produced a brain that subsequently eliminates the in-between thinking and evaluation steps that followed our first experience with something new. For example, a business manager needing to deliver a machine to North Bay must calculate the cheapest means of transport. The options would be to hire a delivery company or send an employee in a truck. The calculations might look like this: costs of sending an employee (gas + wages+ running expenses) minus cost of delivery company (price per kilometer x distance). The plus or minus result will determine the choice, but making the same decision about a delivery to the same place a week later does not require any calculation. If there have not been any substantial changes, the manager will have forgotten how to readily make the calculation by the fifth or sixth sale to this customer. It works this way for the manager because all our minds work the same way: we edit out the unnecessary steps. Once we have learned to climb stairs, we take the extra high steps needed automatically without conscious effort. A good touch typist can deliver three-hundred, error free, words a minute, and yet has forgotten how to locate the letter 'a' on the keyboard without looking or touching with fingers from hands held in the standard position. Such unused steps in our thinking process are not unconscious, they are completely missing. Evolution timed out the genetic code of any individuals repeating all the steps to calculate an appropriate action to avoid a stampeding mastodon herd. As a result, we do not have to waste time figuring out how to respond to a poisonous snake or burning building; we just run.

Editing improves efficiency, and thereby survival, by deleting unnecessary information from our thought process. We act immediately on recognition. Editing also hides the causes of our responses when survival is not on the line, which, when coupled with the politeness of others conspires to make our social gaffs hard to notice and correct. Most often, these gaffs cannot be found in our spoken words, but are mistakes in second channel evaluative communications. Unfortunately, seemingly trivial social mistakes have significant consequences. Offensive values can ruin careers, limit friendships, and end romances. The source of the pleasures that originally resulted from our parental bonds and childhood values are normally edited from our verbal conscious stream, but they still drive our social behavior. Only well-informed and somewhat heroic intervention can change those bonds and values, which explains why the children of the poor seldom become rich, criminals rarely go straight, and good students usually find success. Basic relationships with and osmotic learning from family usually predicts fate. I discovered all these things over a lifetime of research, observation, and reflection. Other individuals have their own reasons for probing the mind mystery; nineteen-sixties, government funded higher education threw me into university classrooms with kids from a different kind of neighborhood. My obsessive curiosity stemmed from an intuitive realization that having a poor and low status background meant that the cool and admired students saw me as awkward and rude. Their contempt made me stubbornly determined to understand the source of my inelegance.

To outsiders, psychology is an obscure, even occult science. I had to admit knowing nothing and started with research. Back in the seventies, self-help psychology books were advertised as the best route to social acceptability. Authors of popular books like Eric Berne's Games People Play (1964) or Manuel J, Smith's When I Say No, I Feel Guilty, (1975) had interesting suggestions of more or less value, but they did not even pretend to understand the basics of how our minds work. I upgraded to a scientific approach. Delving into Brett's History of Psychology (1912) or basic university course books, like Wolman's Handbook of General Psychology (1973) or Dennis Coon's Introduction to Psychology (1980) found their subjects to be the various studies conducted to confirm hypothesis about behavior of the "What would happen if we ... ?" variety with no attempt at, or mention of, an overall theory. Casting around for any information that might help, I consulted theorists, like Sigmund Freud (Beyond the Pleasure Principle, 1920) and Carl Jung (Analytical Psychology, 1990). Their proposed explanations based on concepts like "Id, Ego and Super ego," "archetypes" "libido" were more like fairytales based on imagination than scientific observation. The established knowledge base held no usable answers for me.

Well before my sojourn into psychology turned desperate, I had earned a university degree in philosophy; now an antique and irrelevant discipline. However, anyone with a philosophy background could see that psychology had no general theory, nor has the new century improved the situation. Starting circa 1850, modern scientists took the view that all phenomena are explicable by physical cause and effect connections, but mind and behavior appear to be so hard to connect that they just scratch their collective heads trying to nibble at the edges. Social scientists go through the physical science motions: applying the scientific method to this or that hypothesis and publishing their results in journals, but without producing any useful general conclusions. Their breathlessly-wordy and convoluted language betrays their ignorance. This problem has been so hard that we know more about things billions of light years away than we know about how we think. As a result, we have no hypothesis to disprove. It seemed to me that something was wrong. How could we can put feet on the moon, but have no idea how our minds work? Western science is nothing without a hypothesis to work on, and for that reason the social sciences are call soft sciences, they have no successful counterpart to 'feet on the moon', and nobody has much confidence in them. Calling the result a science of any kind credits their public relations hype with far more plausibility than it has earned. Psychology is, practically speaking, as irrelevant to science as philosophy; we need to peel back the misconceptions in order to get the facts strait. Understanding how we got it wrong provides the basis for getting it right.

As I learned later, our generally accepted modern belief in an unconscious mind make it impossible to explain, let alone prove, that our minds operate by a fully conscious recognition, evaluation, and editing process referred to above because that editing has removed some steps in the original thought process. The conscious mind experiences our lives as they unfold, but it appears, another part produces decisions readymade because we have no conscious record of the thought process. Our conscious minds feel in control, but logic seems to tell us that they are no more than mouthpieces for a much larger, puzzling and decisive unconscious process. In fact as stated above, evolution and the spoken word have edited all traces of that process out. As we will see, experience has filled our brains with now unconscious memories, but we become conscious of all components in our conscious stream as they are used. Those wanting to understand this murky process study their conscious minds for clues, but because we occupy our minds seven twenty-four, we can only look at them through themselves - we cannot gain the advantage of a sidewalk perspective, so we are easily misled. We stare into mirrors but see only our preconceptions. We demand truth, but hungrily, greedily, gratefully settle for pleasant illusions. That realization developed into the detective story told below. Research taught me that we base our current mind model on several misleading ancient religious concepts and that a mistake made many years ago has hobbled our understanding of human behavior ever since. So far this has been an overview that needs far more explanation; now we'll slowdown by start over again at the beginning.







Official science's search to understand our own motives was stuck and we had no method for getting it unstuck and so we were patiently waiting. But, I didn't have time to wait. My one and only life was ticking away one red-faced humiliation after another.

Well, when you are stuck you can take inventory, asking, what do we know? What can science deduce from the evidence we have? Assuming that the materialists are correct because the idealist option dead-ends in Plato's inaccessible supernatural dimension, we can only use the science we do know to guess at a hypothesis. Based on Darwin's evolutionary theory, we can suppose that minds must be what Sorbonne physiology professor, Claude Bernard, first conceptualized (1860’s) and Harvard physiology professor, Walter Cannon, named (1932) - homeostats. Minds must be giant, multi-functional homeostats. Homeostats, in general, make both simple single-celled animals and complex organisms like human beings possible by controlling their biological systems. They are the evolution-engineered feedback loops that operate essential biological systems and keep them from getting too far out of whack. On a cellular level, they facilitate nutrition and cell division and make the difference between inanimate, animate and dead. The homeostats of animate beings keep what should be stable, like blood pressure and body temperature, from jumping around. Each homeostat uses a law of physics or chemistry to produce biology. For example, the reflexive homeostat that regulates your breathing uses the chemical reaction between acids and bases in blood to trigger a breath as needed. Each breath reduces the acidity by increasing its oxygen level, and when other homeostats use oxygen for their reactions, the increased acidity of the remaining carbon dioxide rich blood will trigger another breath. The more oxygen you use, the more acidic your blood and the faster you breathe. This law of chemistry expressed through a reflexive homeostat is one of the secrets of life. Our minds must be a far more complex homeostat designed by the same evolutionary principle - they control biological behavior in a way to maintain our bodies in a healthy balance long enough to reproduce. In that cause, it must be designed to find behavior that keeps our whole bodies from getting too far out of whack. While minds probably started out using consciousness as a feedback loop to control simple behavior, they have morphed into thinking machines that have spectacularly outgrown their original function. Eating nutritious food and sheltering from extreme temperatures are the kinds of behaviors that help keep us alive long enough to reproduce. Knowing where to find and how to use food and shelter constitutes knowledge of reality. Picasso's painted depiction of war, Guernica, and Einstein's special theory of relativity are way beyond such basic homeostatic goals, and such intellectual leaps will be explained later. However, many animals that did not improve on basic connections failed to reproduce with human success, and fewer and fewer of their genetic codes still exist. While the necessity of a mind that produces balanced homeostasis seems obvious, that realization doesn't help us much. The mechanism still eludes us. We need a simple step-by-step explanation, like the one for the breathing regulation homeostatic process, outlined above.

Step-by-step, algorithmic descriptions usefully express simple repetitious processes like breathing physiology, and can also teach us how psychology works. Larry Page's algorithm, PageRank, is a familiar example of one because Google uses it to rank internet pages according to how often they are used. Like all algorithms, PageRank provides straightforward step-by-step instructions to accomplish a certain goal. Wikipedia tells us that, "In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm is a self-contained step-by-step set of operations to be performed. Algorithms perform calculation, data processing, and/or automated reasoning tasks." It also tells us what an algorithm does, "Typically, when an algorithm is associated with processing information, data are read from an input source, written to an output device, and/or stored for further processing." The evolutionary process described in the previous paragraph can be reduced to an algorithm. Evolution uses random genetic variation as its data input source, stores that data as a double helix genetic code, and the new beings produced by those genes are its output device. Changing the genetic code changes the characteristics of the offspring - a new bone structure allows chimps to walk upright. Enough changes create a new species - humans are no longer recognizable as apes. The rules by which any algorithm stores and recalls data sorts the information according to an evaluative principle until the answer bubbles to the top. For PageRank that evaluative principle is popularity, for most sorting algorithms the sorting principle is size, but evolution sorts using reproduction as the reality check for each random innovation in a genetic code. If the variation makes the organism less efficient, reproduction will be challenging and extinction will eventually delete the code. If the new configuration results in greater efficiency, success will reproduce the new code in new organisms. The reality test eliminates the genetic codes that do not survive long enough to reproduce and multiplies those that do. Nevertheless, while the steps in the evolutionary algorithm help the whole species find more effective configurations, they work by eliminating ineffective genetic codes with death; there's no second chance with death. Plants use that standard because they have no choice, but it doesn't help individual animals with options to choose effective behavior in unique situations. Responding in the moment requires a different, more forgiving, algorithm: one that chooses future behavior based on, but not wholly determined by, past experience. Our minds must have evolved a set of operations that make us more likely to survive and reproduce in fleeting situations that were impossible to anticipate by evolution.

We can conclude that, if scientific materialism can explain how our minds work, the mental process seems most likely to be a homeostatic process that can be described by an algorithm that sorts behavior by understanding reality. It seemed obvious; correctly analyzing the input would generate behavior that promotes surviving long enough to reproduce. Those basic assumptions appeared rock solid but there must be at least one mistake in even these first concepts, and we know that because this is as far as we have gotten. You get lost by taking the wrong fork, and I was aimlessly wandering towards the same dead-end as the accredited psychologists. However, was it because of a wrong assumption or is the mental algorithm so complex that we have not been able to follow or deduce how our minds would correctly understand the input arriving at an understanding of reality? The modern scientific community has assumed that the complexity of brains defies understanding because the algorithm is impossibly complex. After all, it needs to understand reality. An algorithm that finds such an elusive prey must be utterly sophisticated. The enormity of the problem just stumped me, and I lost interest.

How did we fail to notice the role of emotions in thought? Anyone with access to their own consciousness can feel for themselves that emotions dominate our conscious streams. How had emotional evaluation been subtracted from the examination of human thought? That question sent me back to research that eventually led all the way back to, ancient Greek philosopher Plato. He altered social science history and committed a crime against reason, science, and humanity.

As it turns out, we have misunderstood human mental architecture all these years because Plato could not understand the source, function, or logic of emotions. As one of the inventors of rational thought, Plato denied the Greek's previous belief (that events unfolded at the whims of Gods) and insisted that nature follows universal, rational laws discoverable by a questioning method he called the dialectic - a question and answer dialogue. According to American professor, William Barrett, Irrational Man (1958) Plato sought to create something immortal by explaining the world in universal, theoretical terms. The Greek philosophers were using rational questions to search for invisible laws that explained cause and effect. No doubt, many skeptically sensible readers have been asking themselves questions as they have been reading along. What's he talking about? Could this be true? Is he kidding? Few will have realized that these questions come from an ancient Greek philosophy that still impacts our modern lives. Questions are part of the rational thinking process taught to them by an education system that uses the Socratic questioning method. Teachers don't just tell their students facts in the way educators before the Greek philosophers would have. Teachers don't just tell modern students that two plus two equals four, and expect them to remember that fact. Modern teachers ask questions in an effort to get students thinking for themselves. They ask, "What is the sum of two plus two?" The question and the student's desire for approval lead, by trial and error, to learning to 'do the math' for themselves. Using internally voiced dialectic questions and answers modeled on their classroom experience, they can then reason to find the result of adding other numbers, without having to memorize the answers. We don't have to depend on previous experience or wait for accidental enlightenment. Socratic questioning upgrades our thinking by allowing us to reason the facts we want directly from nature. Where is the water? The first step in our scientific method is the hypothesis framed by a question. It leads to another question, "How do we test our hypothesis?" That leads us to theories, which while not absolutely provable, give us a pretty good idea about what's going on. That is good, and useful, but then Plato subtracts emotions, evaluative meaning, from his rational thought process, and replaces them with reasons. 

To help sell his reasoning method, Plato (in the dialogue, Phaedrus), portrays humans as chariots pulled by two horses. The white horse of rationality and truth follows the consistent (analytic) course, but the black horse of emotions responds to contradictory feelings and veers off, diverting us from our search for knowledge. The idea that reason and emotions are opposites is implicit in his allegory. He correctly believed that the Greeks had been ruled by their emotions, but mistakenly believed that those emotions were always irrational - the very opposite of reasonable thought. The desire for drugs is just as emotional as the desire for approval. Plato counseled ignoring one's subjective, animal appetites and passions in favor of objective, reasoned evaluation and universal truth. He was inventing the foundations of reason and science by insisting that evaluation and truth are both universal, not any group's or individual's opinion. In fact, in the Theaetetus, he makes clear that he doesn't understand the difference between phenomenal sensations and evaluative feelings. He equates the phenomenal counting of numbers with the evaluative feeling of temperature in response to Theaetetus's attempt to define knowledge as perception. He believed that meaning resided in rationally understanding affirming the value and truth of propositions. No other culture has adopted this concept of meaning. It is the basis for our rational questions, and the source of our comfortable, technical world. Reason reveals the relationships between things. Gravity draws water to the lowest point. However, the evaluation concept is slippery. Plato's zeal to promote and defend his invention (rational thought produced by dialectic questions) against emotional thought, drove him to vilify and exclude subjective emotions from his true and universal, rational laws. That meant that he could not use reason to analyze them, and thereby lost his opportunity to grasp how we really evaluate the affirmed propositions. Plato did not understand that the search for truth is driven by subjective evaluation. Problems and pain motivate the search for scientific explanations and finding a universal law prompts its own kind of pleasure. Need we ask Archimedes if he felt joy at exclaiming "Eureka!" as he ran naked into the street to proclaim his method for determining the density of matter? Although unacknowledged, even ignored, subjective evaluative emotions were present in Archimedes day, and continue to be the driving force behind science.

Plato apparently realized that individual subjective emotions could not produce one true objective universal evaluation, and therefore, concluded that universal values cannot come from emotions. Plato paraphrased and quoted from Phaedrus on the first page of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance says, "And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good - need we ask anyone to tell us these things?" Plato must have believed that just as true universal propositions existed, true universal evaluations must also exist and come from the same ideal dimension as ideas. No doubt, the church's interpreters and translators convinced later thinkers that true Christian values would lead them to the right course of action, while emotions would lead them into sinful and damning self-indulgence. They did not think to look into the psychological function of emotions scientifically because evaluation seems irrelevant to the truth of propositions - water always runs downhill, and it will no matter how we evaluate that fact. Plato's idealism would have obscured the possibility that universal evaluation had a DNA programmed, biological source. Entertaining the possibility that knowledge has two meaning components allows that phenomenal understanding could be true or false and universally objective, while evaluative meaning could be relative to individual experience and subjective. Who cares if water runs downhill? As it turns out, thirsty people care. Desire focuses questions in search of truth. Emotional caring drives the search for phenomenal truth; thirst sends us in search of water. Truth or falsity and evaluation are not opposites; as we will see in the next chapter, they are separate and biologically necessary characteristics of the same thing - knowledge. Had scientists known that, they would have realized that an account of Pirsig's 'Quality' as represented by emotions must necessarily be the driving force behind rational thought - must necessarily be the driving force behind all thought and behavior. Philosophy means nothing, until it changes everything. Necessity is the mother of invention? Desire is the real mother. Emotions are not the opposite of rationality; they are the source of rationality, and leaving emotional evaluation out of our knowledge concept has had a destructive downside.

Who is to decide the correct universal evaluations? Martin Heidegger, The Essence of Truth (1988) says "...  genuine and superior objectivity, is either childish, or, as is usually the case, disingenuous." The Church was not and is not the only authority to claim that their interests reflect the objective, universal evaluation. Long before I came to the realization that almost all authorities were insisting that rationalizations of their self-interested values were objective and universal, our break with Plato's insistence on ignoring individual emotions had already tentatively started. Science, government, and business had ignored English poet, William Blake's early warning about the dehumanizing consequences of the "dark Satanic Mills" in his hymn Jerusalem (1808). The unrestrained power of rational, scientific progress directed by selfish economic interest made the inhuman conditions in those mills inevitable.

William Barrett tells us that suspicious questions about Plato's vision of epistemology and metaphysics started with Kant's indictment of pure reason. His distinction between the nomenally existing world and our phenomenal reports of it started others directly observing and thinking about our conscious stream experience. Other philosophers in the German tradition (Soren Kierkegaard, 1813 - 1855 and Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844 - 1900) responded to Kant with direct observations of their conscious experience. Another German philosopher, Edmund Husserl, Ideas: General Introduction to Pure Phenomenalism (1911) pointed out that we cannot be conscious without being subjectively conscious of something. (A cup of coffee has less to do with logically constructed containers of strained liquid and more to do with the directly experienced sensory phenomena of color, aroma, and taste.) Whether in real-time or as remembered, our consciousness consists of phenomena produced by our sense organs because of an emotional response to nomenal reality. Husserl's phenomenalism became the basis of the Existentialist emotional reaction to 1914 (Martin Heidegger, 1889 - 1976, Jean-Paul Sartre, 1905 - 1980).  According to Professor Barrett, nineteen-fourteen was the year when some started to realize that Romantic poets like William Blake were right: "value neutral" theoretical science was not continually improving life based on ever more precise understandings of reality. In fact, theoretical science brought too much power to the battlefields of Passchendaele; the power of science, in the forms of chemical weapons and machine guns, was destroying the very lives it was supposed to improve. Generals do not wage war to improve lives, but to win at any cost. If you think that the millions of lives lost in winning WWI and WWII were costs far too high for some general's ego, imagine the cost of winning an atomic WWIII. Philosophy means nothing, until selfish self-interest starts killing people and destroying our planet. The more truth we learn about reality; the more likely "value neutral science" will accidentally destroy us. What was true of politics in the twentieth century is now true of bureaucracy in the twenty-first century. CEOs do not administer to improve lives, but gain monetary efficiency at any cost. Many managers view the abolition of slavery as a temporary setback. They would willingly bankrupt their companies by putting every consumer out of work to produce their product at an infinitesimal cost - one that would get them a promotion, but no robot would want and no slave could afford. Efficiency without regard for its human cost would destroy both our economy and our planet. Plato's rush to search for universal truth and evaluation ignored the necessity of individual evaluation - the effects of 'his' truth on ordinary people. Ignoring common human values in decisions creates its own kind of inefficiency. We acquire and use knowledge isolated from its effect on ordinary humans at our peril. What science and bureaucracy badly needed then, and still needs today, is to replace selfish, self-interest with common human values in "value free" science and administration.

Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, and Pirsig were suggesting that we consider values as an alternative to blindly opening a Pandora's Box that could prolong a more comfortable life, but also exterminate us all. The acknowledgement of our emotion's role can only help us choose human centered goals as we consider the exploitation of people and nature. The scientific account of emotional learning that follows will empower us to understand our happenstance learned parental bonds and evaluations and realize self-interested evaluations. In as much as we share our human physiology and a desire for pleasure, we should be able to reduce conflict and get a fairer share of pleasure for everyone.

If Pirsig had not been so excessively rational, he would have realized that we do not get our evaluations of meaning from another world, they are the same emotions that Plato has excluded from his version of the rational universe. Emotions based on our reflex feelings of pleasure and pain provide us with the motives to cover ourselves and eat. Evolution has preserved a four-step mind algorithm in our genetic code. It does not kill us for every mistake, but uses pain and pleasure to set limits on behavior by evaluating successful behavior with pleasure and unsuccessful behavior with pain. We all feel pleasure at eating and pain when starving because our genetic codes supply those evaluations. Degrees of pleasure and its negative, pain, evaluate our actions. Just as Google's PageRank finds the most used pages, not the best or truest information; our mental algorithm does not select behavior based on the true situation, it selects the most-pleasurable, least-painful option. The mind algorithm does not have to find the truth; it only needs to respond to evaluative standards that keep us alive, and maybe that was Plato's objection to emotion as a standard for decisions, but this is biology as bound to the laws of physics. Evolution sets the relationship between pain and pleasure and true and false by extinguishing all the reflexive code stipulating pleasure and pain evaluations that do not meet the reality check. We feel pleasure when we act to sustain life by doing things like eating and protecting ourselves from heat or cold or act to reproduce by having sex. We feel pain when we act to starve or expose ourselves or forgo the opportunity to reproduce. Any organisms with code that produced pleasure while starving or freezing did not reproduce. Our mental algorithm uses evaluation to sort sensations and actions. It peruses all available sensations from our five senses and muscles, marking those coincidental with pleasure or pain by making them conscious. This gives us an algorithm that is much easier to find and understand because its standard is inborn, not based on a correct understanding of the external world, and, rather than being unconscious, it expresses itself consciously - incessantly, insistently.

Emotions, like everything else in this universe, conform to the rational laws of nature and in chapter four; we explain their biological necessity for determining both rational and irrational behavior. An individual's emotions define meaning as self-interest by representing the effect of things, events, and actions. In some instances, we might agree on our interests, but that does not make meaning absolute, only duplicated. As has been explained, the Christian Church chose Plato's version of meaning because his idealism conveniently confirmed the Church's belief in absolute meaning from a higher power - their Christian God. That excluded the role of human emotions, and produced the crippled "value free" scientific analysis taught in their universities. A system roughly parallel to the disastrously inhuman Canadian government funded residential schools for aboriginals that were also run by churches. The Greek language in Plato's time had no separate word to distinguish art from other manufactured objects, so they could not have conceived of objects without value or a "value free science". For some two-thousand years, we have scientifically ignored emotions because the Church owned all the universities; their beliefs coincided with Plato's concept of absolute meaning, and they taught their students to dismiss emotions as irrational, unscientific, and sinful. Plato was a human being, science is a human invention, and like other human inventions such as automobiles, it needs an occasional upgrade like seatbelts to improve safety. Before we can understand how our minds work, we need to redesign the assumptions of Western Science because they explicitly exclude a vital component of thought. Adding a rational explanation of emotional meaning to the new model will heal the division between hard and soft sciences producing a unified and more realistic human-centered scientific concept.

Once you know the answer, the mistake of looking for a truth seeking algorithm is obvious, but to understand the rules that govern the mind algorithm, the readers must unlearn what they think they already know because our minds dissemble, offering pleasure while convincing us that we've found the truth - no matter how many times we're proved wrong. We have been rationalizing, each of us believing that our pleasurable behavior is based on a true understanding of reality. Now we must put ourselves in the position of an explorer who has beaten his way through jungles, climbed mountains and swam oceans convinced that if he just keeps plodding on while refining his direction, he will eventually get to the Moon, but while that astral body is over the next horizon, he cannot get there on foot. The wrong concept guides his method: land travel is nothing like space travel. American physicist, Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962) described two kinds of science. He identified 'normal science' as the kind done by 'club members' working for institutions who plod on while refining their hypothesis. The second kind, what philosopher of communications Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (1964) claimed only amateurs, ('non-club members') whose horizons are not limited by a university paycheck, could do; Kuhn called McLuhan's kind of investigation 'paradigm shift science'. If this work intrigued you because you search to understand how our minds work you must now start over; Plato or his interpreters gave us the wrong concept and method. The following paradigm shift science uses a subjective rather than objective method and starts with the Epicurean not the Hippocratic concept of mind. Either change would ask the reader to reverse their basic understanding of the science of psychology; taken together they represent an action like running off an intellectual cliff in the dark. I ask the reader to indulge me for a few more paragraphs, and promise that what follows will represent more familiar territory. This work met no deadline nor did it earn a Dean's approval. Only rejection, humiliation, and despair motivated this private investigation.

 Plato's rationalism led, Rene Descartes, Discourse on Method (1637), a Jesuit instructed philosopher steeped in their Medieval, scholastic, Plato-inspired rationalism, to set the corner stone of 'scientific attitude'. His apparently unassailable basic proposition that (paraphrased): "Consciousness of my thoughts proves that I exist", was based on the belief that the truth of his proposition was its meaning. In the end, Descartes' Platonic, theoretical interpretation of his own consciousness, as an experience possible without emotions, underpinned all Western scientific theories of physical reality like atomic structure and evolution. His interpretation depends on the belief that observation and thought are objective experiences, and before the work of Edmund Husserl that seemed unassailable. With Husserl's insight, we realize that no phenomenal thought can be divorced from its source in our feelings. As David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature (1740) had already pointed out; phenomenal sensory perceptions are, like emotions, conscious feelings. The universal truth about psychology is that we cannot perceive any phenomena without feeling the self-interest, that is, meaning defined by emotions. Based on the mistaken belief that their mental processes are ideal, unworldly, and unconscious, Plato and Descartes et al mistakenly assumed that emotions operate without definable rules. However, you will never understand something that you refuse to study because you already believe it capricious and undecipherable. So, until the creation of the algorithm laid out in chapter four, ignoring emotions appeared the correct scientific path to knowledge. To get it right now, we need to heal Plato's amputation of emotions from rational investigation. Rationality and science were fine little puppies when they were helping us compete for survival with the rest of nature, but we have crossed a line; now they have turned into ever more powerful rogue monsters, "red in tooth and claw", that make the destruction of nature profitably compelling.

Consciousness of pleasure or pain is a sensation much like the feelings of sight or hearing. Let me repeat that for emphasis. Consciousness of pleasure or pain is nearly the same kind of feeling as the sensations of smell, taste, or touch. While we can experience sight or sound without being conscious of them (we often fail to notice available sights and sounds), we cannot experience sensations of pleasure or pain without being conscious of them. Consciousness is always consciousness of pain or pleasure and any other coincidental phenomenal feelings. Pain and pleasure sensations biologically evaluate phenomenal sensations for us; no one wonders if their feelings of pleasure or pain indicate self-interest, but we have no counterpart inborn, comparable feeling for identifying truth. No little bell goes off when we find a fact. While our stomachs biologically trigger conscious pain sensations that evaluate the hunger condition, our considered experience teaches us that we must turn to the scientific method for proof that we are not fooling ourselves when we think we have found truth. The unconscious decisive, externally sourced, truth standard that science has assumed will guide us is non-existent. Our front and center, conscious, decisive, internally generated, evaluative standards (pain and pleasure) provide the basis for judging phenomena and behavior.

The rules governing physical evaluations are consistent, (we all feel hunger pains) and so are the scientific principles that generate our various psychological emotions. As we will see, happenstance phenomenal experience teaches each individual's evaluative emotions. Individual history accounts for the variations. An individual's history produces their subjective emotions, but the process by which we learn to evaluate is universal. The algorithm is the same for everyone.

The four-step, pleasure-seeking algorithm explained in the fourth chapter follows simple rules. Simplicity must be its hallmark because we can see that even basic animals share the same kinds of brains, nerves and such, and it would be a stretch to believe that they work differently. Natural curiosity prompts us to ask how such a simple behavior control algorithm could remain hidden from all the great minds that history sent to find it. Those great minds searched for a front door, Pirsig's insight that thought depends on evaluation led me to the four-step algorithm through a backdoor. Misinformation led the great minds triply astray. 

Firstly, following Plato, they assumed that finding and acting on the truth would offer us the best chance of survival and reproduction. They were looking for something that does not exist; our algorithm has no regard for truth. If misunderstanding gives us more pleasure, we will misunderstand. For that reason, it is difficult to tell when our algorithm is lying to us for our own good. Moreover, as you will find as you read on, it works better that way; for human babies, dumbly misunderstanding their first experiences teaches a parental bond that allows us to transfer generations of previously hard-won knowledge to new humans without effort and at almost no cost.

Secondly, they did not notice that we use pleasure, not truth as an evaluative standard because our algorithms’ editing process deletes some thinking steps from our mental algorithm. Some steps are missing because evolution has designed the algorithmic process to edit our experience by subtracting the unused steps. Once we have found successful behavior, we fail to reproduce the steps between recognizing opportunity or danger and producing the actions that deal with it.

Thirdly, they were misled because we have not symbolized evaluations in our language. Words only describe what is phenomenally recognizable and actionable, while skipping over the evaluation that Pirsig correctly identified as a necessary consideration in selecting what is worth notice and what action is desirable. The necessary, but missing, evaluative element was my logical backdoor. Identifying emotions as the necessary, but unnoticed element, allowed me to find the other missing steps in our algorithm. Here we will skip my angst, and take the reader though the front door by identifying the missing steps in our thought process.

Automatic sight compensation presents the objects as seen where we touch them, and we do not normally notice compensating any more than we take note of the steps we skip while making the adjustments needed to sip scalding coffee. We can even sip hot drinks while reading! If we really could see things where they exist, we would not need two eyes - one would tell us how far distantly we see things. We misjudge the site of hearing and smell for the same reasons. We have learned to interpret the loudness of sounds in each ear to gage the direction and distance of the sound’s origin. We hear sound in our inner ears, which, like eyes, reside next to our brains, but we automatically skip the direction finding steps and just look to the sound’s origin. Likewise, we can smell scents that originate elsewhere and automatically look into the breeze for the source, but we must have contact with the things we touch and taste and so need no adjustments to use the data from those two phenomenal sense organs. We hold no illusion of feeling touch and taste in our brains because we feel the sensations from those organs at some distance from the brain. We only need to touch ourselves or eat, in order to perceive correctly that we experience those sensations on our skins and tongues. We find it easy and pleasurable to act as though we see things where they are instead of in our eyes. However, to understand how our minds work we need to acknowledge that sight is actually in our eyes because that realization disproves one of the basic assumptions of science; the previously mentioned objection that emotions are only subjective. In reality, all observations, both phenomenal and evaluative, can only be subjective.

Because we can acknowledge that all of our observations have always been subjective, we are free to introspect with the confidence that others will confirm or deny our observations and conclusions. It now seems obvious that we have also learned to misinterpret another part of our conscious experience. We can internally observe five kinds of phenomenal sensation that inform us about the external world, but that is not the total extent of conscious information available. The objectivity illusion leads us to experience our conscious stream as if sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch were some kind of multi-media movie. Scientists have been insisting that we disinterestedly watch this movie while trying to discern facts. They have insisted we can only trust observations when we do not care about the outcome because, presumably, we do not care if insulation saves energy or medicine cures disease. We only want to know how the universe works, but now we have to wonder how we choose what to watch. The best subject, according to this theory, would be those things so boring and inapplicable that they guaranteed the observer's neutrality, but that denies Robert Pirsig's 'Quality' relationship we have with nomenal reality.

I can introspect and others agree that injury generates pain and a memory of that injury also creates a real pain feeling, but remembered pain only affects us psychologically, no blood is lost; its effect is still unpleasant and it definitely evaluates a true account of remembered injury. A bar full of men watching a soccer game on TV will groan and protectively raise their knees in unison at seeing a player accidentally hit in the testicles. We know that others feel the same sorts of physical and psychological evaluative sensations because they independently report them. By induction, we believe our own and all reports of pleasure and pain, made by strangers and acquaintances, in literature or in person, do establish their existence.

If readers would use their memories to imagine the conscious streams of two friends watching a TV football game together, they can imagine how remembered evaluative pleasures and pains (emotions) work. They will realize that from slightly different perspectives, the two sports fans would see an almost identical vision of reality, but if they were rooting for different teams, they would evaluate and act differently. Their friendly rivalry would cause one to evaluate a score positively while the other would evaluate it negatively; one might stand and cheer while the other sits and stews. The part of their conscious streams that identifies reality would be similar, but the evaluation and action parts would be unique to their past experience. Each conscious stream provides a complete record of a mind's control system for thought and behavior.

The only fact worth knowing is the cause of pleasure or pain and the only reason for knowing it is to intervene.

We experience some part of us that watches the sensory movie and feels interest: the approval or disapproval that triggers intervention, actions intended to improve the result. We could identify that part as an executive consciousness. We have believed that our executive consciousness results from rational thought produced in our brains where we cannot observe the steps in the process. As already said, we also owe this misconception to Plato because he believed that the ability to reason is a function of souls. He reasoned, with no possibility of physical evidence, that our knowledge is composed of transcendental elements, and believed that we magically make rational decisions in an ideal, spiritual world behind a metaphysical firewall beyond consciousness. When the Christian church adopted this idea and taught it in their universities as indubitable fact, it permeated our Western culture. However, now that we have located our experience of sensations to various sense organs in different parts of our bodies, we can observe a simpler explanation from within our multi-sensational, multi-sourced, conscious stream.

The 'rational executive function' is, in reality, performed by the previously listed, uncounted number of nutritive, defensive, and reproductive evaluative sense organs that reflexively produce sensations of either pain or pleasure. Emotional pains and pleasures derived from these basic reflexes function as an opinion about what we and others experience, think and say. They evaluate meaning through emotions like significant, amusing, sad, silly, interesting, and so on. Coincidence with comprehension of events represented by our five senses and reflex values of pleasure or pain form emotions. We feel pleasure at the anticipation of a good taste and call it hope. We feel pain at the anticipation of an injury and call it anxiety. These evaluations make our decisions; Plato's rational evaluation is another illusion. In reality, we act on our subjective emotions. We are as conscious of evaluative emotions as we are of sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell, but because they are not represented in speech and thought, we have been editing them out by neglect. Spoken language has no need and, therefore, no facility to express these pains and pleasures. The speaker feels them and expresses them when speaking to others reflexively, normally automatically, and most often unnoticed as facial expression (smiles, frowns), tone of voice (harsh, loud, angry, soft, and enthusiastic) and body language (aggressive, relaxed, and defensive). Listeners pick up these cues and respond through their facial expressions, intonations and body language - again, often unnoticed. All animals share this primary level of communication. Our human invented written words based on spoken words leave these evaluative emotions off and have replaced their decision-making role with the spurious verbal reasoning used to rationalize our decisions to others and ourselves. We usually feel the decisive emotional evaluation and then rationalize after the decision in order to justify it. In rare exceptions, reasons accidentally bring unconsidered factors to light changing the emotion felt and the subsequent decision. 'Rational thought' then is another way of saying, “assign the correct, decisive emotional evaluation to perceptions and courses of action”. Using words to represent emotions we can follow the decisive process of someone offered a promotion at work: the candidate must weigh the effects of more responsibility (pain) more pay (big pleasure) longer hours (pain) and more autonomy (pleasure) less job security (big pain) and your own high status parking spot near the building (huge pleasure). You need not keep track of the anticipated outcomes because their individual evaluations adjust your mood to keep an emotional running total. The net sum emotion will determine the decision. Conventional wisdom advises taking care and time with important decisions because the process needs to start with a neutral emotional state. “Sleep on it.” You do not want an initial good or bad mood to influence your final decision. While we had believed that our ‘rational decisions’ were based on a hidden reasoning process, this example demonstrates that our emotional evaluations attached to our reasons and felt but skipped over in our conscious streams really make the decision.

If the argument made so far is valid, we sense reality in our five sense organs, define our relationship with it in our nutritive, defensive and reproductive evaluative organs and intervene with our muscle organs. Assuming that the brain is the storage device that the sense and evaluative organs input to it, and the muscle organs and emotional feelings are output devices, we have the three basic elements necessary for a working algorithm. We now know that the other algorithm explained above, the evolutionary algorithm, changes the code by physically recombining the four elements (guanine, cytosine, thymine and adenine) that make up the DNA in the genetic code, but now we must wonder what comparable physical entity comprises the code in our behavior control algorithm. Where is the juice? What physical elements make up the code that the four-step algorithm processes?

Education in the scientific tradition (because of science’s practical success that includes nearly all education) uses the objectivity and rational evaluation illusions to convince us that both our minds and the products of minds, like ideas and thoughts, are, magically, nonphysical. Again, it was ancient Greek philosopher, Plato, who advocated this dual-realities concept, which was also attractive to the fathers of the Christian Church. While the Church set up and ran our European modeled universities that teach Plato’s concept in some departments, professors of biology and medicine teach an incongruent, slight variation on this concept. They believe that our physical brains are the minds that use Plato’s nonphysical ideas and thoughts to direct our actions. Hippocrates of Cos deduced this theory for two reasons: he observed that brain injuries affect thoughts and behavior and our executive consciousness monitors our senses and moves our muscles. He assumed the brain considered information and generated instructions. Both theories claim that the products of our minds are nonphysical, but idealists claim minds are also nonphysical while materialists claim minds and physical brains are the same physical thing. People accepted the belief that thought is nonphysical over centuries without noticing the inconsistency implicit in a physical brain producing nonphysical ideas and thoughts. We have inherited a sausage-making machine that takes in raw chops and roasts at one end, and magically prints a photo of a sausage at the other. On top of misleading us about objectivity and rational evaluation, educators have taught us to believe that our conscious streams have the atomic weight of fairies or unicorns. In order to proceed scientifically we need to decide if the products of our minds are nonphysical or physical. We need an observable physical mind with observable physical products or we must give up any attempt to understand psychology by assuming that our minds and their produces are spiritual and, therefore, simply beyond scientific observation. We must choose one way or the other because this mashup of physical and nonphysical that enjoys current circulation has baffled all attempts to understand how our minds work.

The biological mind concept of, Hippocrates, has been one of the mysteries quietly taught to each succeeding generation of healers, but it miscast the brain as mind, sense organs as spies and muscles as minions. When you think about that arrangement, you will realize that it made perfect sense according to the information Hippocrates had. Brain injury does affect behavior, which establishes that it provides the instructions for behavior and having the knowledge and memories implies the capacity for decisions. The environment constantly bombards our eyes and ears with sensations that obviously teach us new information that the executive consciousness monitors, evaluates and then decides on action. We behave by voluntarily moving our muscles under the watchful supervision of our executive consciousness. Hippocrates' explanation seems to fit our experience perfectly! However, his physical model presents one insoluble problem: it places an indecipherable burden on the brain.

The difficulty results from the progression of knowledge. The sense organs must take it in, each in its own form: sight from eyes, sound from ears etc. The brain must translate those kinds of information to something it can work with and then translate it again to muscle instruction. This theory stretches creditability beyond the breaking point. Whichever language we have learned as children just happens to be the language of thought? Our brains just happen to be able to translate sights, sounds, smells etc. into that language. The brain, a flesh and blood organ, would have to understand every kind of sensory input and minutely control every muscle, in addition to its presumed chore of manipulating and adapting knowledge to each situation. No ten-story computer could do as much and attributing that kind of operational complexity to flesh and blood makes any attempt to understand how it works so overwhelming as to be futile. Handicapped by demands for objectivity, neuroscience has made progress and asks forbearance, holding out the promise that the brain’s complexity will eventually be dissected and analyzed, neuron by neuron, but not until we invent better computers and not in the foreseeable future.

Hippocrates’ top down management interpretation sounds very normal because it fits with our expectations of how the leaders of family, work, and government make decisions. It assumes that the brain holds an executive power and as a parent, boss or prime minister makes better decisions based its ability to reason. However, Hippocrates used some shady logic in his reasoning; he deduced too much from the fact that brain injuries impair the mind’s operations: strict logic dictates that the premise only proves that brains constitute a component, not necessarily the whole mind. His assumption that the brain takes charge colored his guess about the role of sense organs and muscles and ignored the role of pain and pleasure. We misread our observations because, while our executive function does decide our response to sensations from the world, it is not located in the brain. Instead, evaluative organs throughout the nutritive, defensive and reproductive systems individually produce this decisive function.

The Hippocratic model has only made sense to us because even the doctors and scientists half believe Plato: that while the process is physical, and takes place behind an unconscious firewall, the products are not. This inconsistency is still widely believed because the Renaissance Church correctly suspected that science would derail their gravy train. They burned Italian mathematician and philosopher, Giordano Bruno, at the stake, imprisoned Italian physicist, mathematician and philosopher, Galileo Galilei, and threatened French mathematician and philosopher, Rene Descartes, until he agreed to the Cartesian Compromise. He agreed that science would follow the Platonic division: some things are physical others are not. Science could study the physical world including the brain, but he agreed that the ideal-dimensional world of soul, mind, ideas and thoughts were nonphysical and strictly off-limits. This caused the mashup of Plato’s’ and Hippocrates’ ideas, the division between the hard and soft sciences. The Cartesian Compromise still defines "value free" science’s conceptual framework putting psychologists in the impossible position of studying something that by definition has no place in reality. In 1991 an autodidactic scholar like, Charles Van Doren (Yes, he of the Sixty-four Thousand Dollar Question fame.) was still able to write, “But we cannot sense minds, other persons’ or our own. Minds are immaterial things.” (A History of Knowledge - 1992)


The Epicurean model poses the brain as a library for the five externally focused sense organs, muscles, and the internally focused evaluative sense organs to use as writers and readers, rather than the spies and minions of the Hippocratic model. We have the five senses to identify things and evaluative sense organs that consciously experience self-interest, evaluating threats and opportunities and generating sensations in response. Emotions and muscles, not the brain, drive our bodies according to the instructions they write and later read. While the brain houses, links, and matches those instructions, as we will see, it has no awareness of their content or effects. The brain, like a library building, is unconscious and cannot access its knowledge. The three different kinds of sense organs consciously create and borrow the information brought in and lent out. Only the organs are conscious of each's sensations that result in recognition, evaluation, or effect. Brain injury would be like a fire at one end of the building that burns some books and that would change behavior because knowledge was missing, not because of damage to some supposed decision-making faculty.

The four-step pleasure seeking algorithm theory humbly asks you to ignore the idealistic foundation built by Plato. Consider that a brain could not understand data from all our various sense and evaluative organs while also knowing how to move muscles appropriately to respond to that data, but it also has no need to do all that. As comedians say, "timing is everything". The brain need not understand the various inputs and outputs, only link them. The appropriate action only needs linking to the recognized situation. Learning them together accomplishes that. Linking the need to send a machine to North Bay with the cheapest solution because of their previous coincidence reduces the brain's responsibilities to learning and remembering linked data physically encoded by sense, evaluative and muscle organs. The brain produces the linked, patterned nerve impulses on cue in a system that will be described in more detail over the next three chapters. The parts of our minds then could be the muscle, sense, and evaluative organs, which produce our conscious sensations, and the brain, which unconsciously stores those sensations only to return them to consciousness - remembering and re-experiencing them again at their originating sense organs.

We started with the premise that our minds had conscious and unconscious elements, but now the unconscious appears to be far less mysterious because we understand that memories are only unconscious until we remember them. Mr. Pirsig's insight that our response to reality depends on comparative evaluation was our first clue that the mind's algorithm might be pleasure seeking rather than truth seeking. Using that insight, we realized that our algorithm edits our memories for efficiency - only remembering the recognition and action components. The stereoscopic illusion, which misleads us to believe that we see things where they exist so we can touch and grasp them, is an example of such editing efficiency. Nevertheless, no matter how useful that illusion is, it is still an illusion, and we realized that all perceptions are individually subjective. Established science has wrongly believed that experience is shared and objective; all subjective perceptions, even emotions, have equal validity. Like the observations of physics, psychological observations are private and subjective and we have no reason to believe that they are less accurate or less useful for it. Considering our emotional perceptions allowed us to see that language obfuscates evaluation's role because we convey emotions by facial expression, tone of voice and body language while speaking and therefore had no reason to verbalize them. Reconsidering their importance allowed us to realize that emotions, not rational thought, are our real executive function. Now looking back over the argument presented we find that in combination, the misconceptions of objectivity, rational control, and non-material thoughts have kept us from understanding that our conscious streams consist of physical elements that describe the world and our relationship with it. This new concept of conscious experience allows us to understand a simpler version of our mind's operations. If we are conscious of both inputs and outputs in our sensory and evaluative organs, then storage is the only unconscious activity of the brain. A question based on those realizations would move the inquiry of our high-school boiling-water experimenters beyond physics into the now accessible realm of psychology by observing other sensations in each student's conscious stream.

We could ask the students to report all their conscious sensations. We would expect answers along the line of answers to the physics question. They would mention seeing boiling water and reading thermometers. With a little prompting, they may remember hearing the normal classroom sounds of others conducting their work. Pointed questions may get them to admit slight pains from boiling water bubbles splashing their hand as they reached for the thermometer. Leading questions might get them to admit a feeling of pleasure when comparing their result to the result they remembered as correct. These answers recognize a variety of, some previously ignored, sensations that exist in our conscious streams. So far that includes two kinds of the five senses sensations - sight and hearing; two kinds of evaluating sensations; pain from a current reflex and a remembered emotion of pride; and a memory of the sight or sound of the words one-hundred degrees Celsius. We need only add the sensations of muscle actions that also impose on our consciousness to name all the kinds of sensation.

Readers must accept the validity of using Husserl and Titchener's introspections of their own conscious experience as a credible scientific method in order to proceed because the theory presented hereafter was accumulated step-by-step guided by introspections of my own conscious stream, while checking with others to confirm my observations.


but in doing so most bought into a mistake made by hard scientists, and that stopped them from direct observations of their own psychological processes.

His Theaetetus, https://archive.org/stream/the00aetetusofplatplatrich#page/158/mode/2up is an example of interest to psychology. In recommending Plato, the Church pushed some of his other mistaken ideas. The Theaetetus purports to be only an examination of knowledge, but Plato, apparently unintentionally, secreted the misclassification of emotions into the fabric of his epistemological discussion. He ignores their actual role, assumes that they are parts of our five senses, and also confirms the religious notions that our consciousness and decisions come from within our soul. He treats those mistakes as already proven facts and neither of the other dialogue participants questions his assumptions.

We can easily understand the mistake; the confusion is there to misunderstand. While we can see now that reflex survival triggers produce an evaluative pleasurable or painful feeling in a way that sight, for instance, normally does not, (overly bright light excepted) we also admit that injury feelings come from the same skin as our sense of touch. The pleasure and pain of sugar and acid come from the same sense of taste that identifies the flavors of beans and corn. And, the pain (disgust) of putrid comes from the same nose as the scent of pine. The three sense organs of touch, smell, and taste appear to produce some of these pains and pleasures, but which of the five-senses produces hunger, thirst, and sexual arousal? While injury, sugar, acid, and putrid also produce an evaluative feeling of pleasure or pain in every single human, feeling the door handle, flavors of beans and corn, and the scent of pine do not directly produce a reflex evaluative feeling. Only selected, survival-trigger, examples of what we see and hear produces a universally agreed evaluative feeling. As for the rest, some people have learned to associate them with either pleasure or pain, others ignore them or reverse the evaluation. Learned evaluations are happenstance. Evaluative (survival-trigger) sensations are different from identifying (five-senses) sensations even if they sometimes appear to come from the same source.

As we will see later, this misunderstanding was already millennia old. It was a religious belief, supposedly revealed to long forgotten priests by their Gods and, I suppose, generally accepted as common-sense in all ancient texts. We cannot be surprised that wide-eyed, stage-struck, medieval readers focused on Plato's discussion on knowledge, assumed that he had superior psychological understanding, and became unsuspectingly infected by the assumptions that emotions were sub-sets within our five senses and the soul directed behavior.

Priests and monks were especially susceptible because his explanation confirmed their own Christian soul concept. As we will soon see, it came from the same Platonic source, and was in reality only self-affirmed verification. They couldn't know that because it had been long-before injected into their religious dogma by Plotinus, a Roman, Christian student of Plato. (No lessor classics scholar than Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols - 1889 (Things I Owe to the Ancients part 2) wonders if such ideas were originally taught to the Egyptians by their Hebrew slaves and then taught to the Greeks before Plato's time.)