Let me expand the concept of Integration that was introduced previously. I want to present how connections between human beings keeps the World together and governs our feelings and behaviours.
I’ll start by stressing that connection should be understood literally – it’s not a mere metaphor intended to stress importance of human relations. We are born and constructed as a part of a bigger whole, our brain is wired to feel and behave as a part of a bigger whole. It cannot be consciously unwired or opposed, however, it can be “twisted” in case of mental disorders, or even missing in case of psychopathy.
The classic evolutionary theory explains emotional connections and altruism as a yet another way to increase chances of survival of individual genes in adverse environment – yet it does so in an unclear and complicated way and cannot explain not-uncommon altruistic behaviours that has a negative-only impact on altruist’s gene survival. Evolution is a valid and important theory, but it is overused as a tool to explain everything. That leads to some improbable, deficient and confusing explanations. Good theory explains complicated things in a simple way.
I will call the “organism” we are part of, as “the World”, because it’s not similar to organisms we are used to and because “World” is a shorter and more pleasant term.
A few facts about the structure of the World and how we, humans, constitute it:
- We are connected in two “dimensions”, time and space, and in two ways: intimate and regular one:
- time-intimate connection is the bond between caregivers and children. Together with the genes it carves future child personality, it will be also the pattern for all future connections, especially the space-intimate ones.
- space-intimate connection is a very deep, often long lasting, relation of mature people glued together by sexual intimacy. This is the strongest binding that join us with the World. Joining role of sexual intimacy is as much important, or even more, as its “making children” function.
- regular connections represent all other ways we interact with each other. These are our relations with friends, other family members and casual contacts with total strangers. These are books we read or write and movie we watch. Some connect us together, some teach us or transfer our knowledge into the future. Despite calling them “regular” they are also very important bindings with the World.
- We are not an addition to the World, because it is not something external – the World is us and only us: people, but also animals and other living things. Not contradictory, the World is more than only a sum of all the people, it’s similar to the human brain, which is more than just a sum of all the neurons. Some of World capabilities are probably unbeknown to us.
- We are capable to make significant relations with only dozens of people – our brain has its limitations. We are therefore organized into bigger structures: families, school classes, friends groups, local or online communities, etc., and, on a bigger level, in tribes and nations. We are predestined to value group more than us alone and we sometimes switch into “group feeling”. Patriotic zeal may be one of the examples.
- There is no magic way to be connected, no supernatural means like telepathy. Our five senses are all the magic.
Looking at people from this structural perspective brings some interesting implications:
- Every pair of people is part of the World, so is connected with each other. In some portion they are the same being. Altruism toward unknown person is understandable as it is really helping part of ourselves. Envy is absent for the same reasons.
- We are just a small part so we only need to fulfill our small role in the World, others will compensate our deficits – no need to be perfect. On the other hand, we may be small and insignificant but we are part of something huge – this gives a lot of self-confidence.
- Part of us never die, so we are partly immortal.
- Everything we do, matters. Seemingly insignificant actions, like smiling back to a stranger, buying groceries, doing boring tasks at work, chatting with a neighbour – transforms the Word in a small way, but a huge number of times – in total making an enormous difference.
- Whatever we try to achieve in our life, whatever we are passionate about does not end while we die because it can be picked by others and continued.
- Sharing our knowledge, experience and feelings is crucial as it is the way the World communicates internally.
- What is broadly perceived as being “good” in opposition to being “bad” is mostly consistent with behaving as part of the world towards trying to damage it or break its unity. Similarly, deep connection is mostly consistent with “love”.
Taking all above into consideration, a deep integrated person would express following traits resulting from relational emotions:
- Is good and kind in most circumstances and toward most people and animals.
- Is able to sacrifice own good, to provide a greater good for others. Yet is self-confident and stands up for his rights.
- Is sociable, like to speak with others and share experiences.
- Maintains deep family connections. Has frequent, fulfilling sexual experiences with long time intimate partner.
- Derives pleasure and satisfaction from even the smallest things and deeds.
- Lacks an urge to be perfect, but has chosen areas in life that is passionate about.
- Don’t force himself to complete big goals in life, but rather focus on doing and sharing achievements with others. Does not envy the success of another person.
- Engages in the life of local communities or other group he belongs to.
- Besides the positives there is one risk: may follow the group it belongs to and not be able to oppose, even if he does not approve the principles of the group.
Note: this is only from the perspective of the integrated world theory so it’s not a full picture as there are other forces that drive human feelings and behaviour.
Note 2: I’m not a person described above. Trying…
In future posts I’ll go back to the personality disorders area to cover some interesting consequences of rotten connections.