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Happiness While Cooking

the Emergence Explorer

Questions for the Week of March 12, 2007

Emergence Character Type Babies 9-AI-2

This Week's Questions

[posed by guest questioner Avital S.]
  • Am I happy when I cook because I'm connecting with myself?
  • My cooking is usually a creative process. Where does this creativity come from?
  • Cooking with joy and creativity do not happen when the kitchen is a mess. Is the mess a distraction?

Do you know?

[Question 1] Am I happy when I cook (beautiful bright vegetables in my clean kitchen) because I'm connecting with myself?
[Answer] Before I answer, Avital, know this is a heck of a complicated question. At least, on paper anyway. Why? Because connecting with oneself is one of the more theoretically and philosophically difficult concepts to describe. There is, in fact, a lot more to it than a first glance might reveal. Let's start with an answer to your question.

Yes. When you are happy cooking, you are connecting with yourself. However, when I say, "with yourself," I am not simply referring to being aware of yourself. Rather, I am referring to a little known aspect of the mind which Emergence Personality Theory describes as being a "two that are one." In this cased, the two that are one is the two separate identities which the mind is creating and managing simultaneously; the you who is physically cooking, and the you who first learned to cook. In other words, one identity is the woman you are now, and the other is little girl you once were perhaps from a time when you were helping your mom.

This quality; the ability of the mind to create and manage multiple selves, may, in fact, be what becomes damaged in the condition we call, Multiple Personality Disorder. Here, the problem may lie not with that we have multiple selves but rather with the loss of the mind's ability to manage these multiple selves simultaneously. The loss of the "you" whom is concurrently aware of these selves. The "overseeing" you.

In some ways, this may even be the root of what Freud originally called this quality of the mind. Thus, while he later called the "overseeing" you, the "superego," in the original German, he called this quality, the "above me." Whatever the case, many theorists have referred to this overseeing quality of the mind, including Emergence Personality Theory.

Does it sound a bit scary to be managing multiple selves? It's not really. In fact, all human minds have built into them the ability to simultaneously manage more than two personas. Children do this even from a young age when they anthropomorphize multiple objects (blankies, stuffed dogs) and see them as a group of companions. In fact, what do you think is going on when a year old baby needs these objects in order to feel safe going to sleep? This, in fact, is simply the baby's built self protection from the abject terrors of Layer 8 aloneness.

Unfortunately, most adults, including most researchers, attribute what is going on here to a much different, more logically adult experience. Why? Because we commonly believe that babies have no ability to see others as separate from themselves. And while I suppose this merging is possible and may in fact be partially true, the later-in-life evidence points more to that this was simply the baby managing everyone in his or her life sphere as they were all the baby's multiple selves.

Where is my evidence? It lies primarily in the myriad childhood protector experiences we all have, including those which involve heroes and villains and those which involve imaginary friends. It also evidences itself in the many adult experiences wherein we interact with God or with gods or with angels and spirit guides. As well as in therapeutic experiences wherein we simultaneously connect to both a childhood self (the little boy me) and a present day self (me being the good father to the little boy me).

This behavior further extends even to what we might call "shamanic experiences," those events wherein we connect to the spirits of mountains and trees and rivers. In other words, the wonderful Layer 10 connections we sometimes make to nature itself.

All these experiences require we as people simultaneously create and manage a secondary persona in our minds along with our present time selves. When we do this; whenever we mentally connect to two or more personas simultaneously while at the same time watching this happening, we are connected to ourselves. After all, who do you think is creating the images of these two personas in our minds? It is "us," of course. And in this case, the word "us" means only one person. The person to whom we are most intimately connected. Our managing ego. Our overseeing narrator self.

[Question 2] Does connecting with myself "count" as connecting or does there have to be someone / something else to which I connect?
As described in the previous answer, connecting with yourself definitely counts. For example, connecting to the little you who once learned from your mom how to cook while at the same time, remaining aware of the you who is cooking now. And if this idea is still hard to imagine, picture yourself as a little girl holding a doll to whom you have become attached. Who is creating the images of this relationship? The doll? Certainly not. It is you. Indeed, you are creating both these personas. Literally.

You are also witnessing the whole scene as the narrator of your mind, the off stage witness to both these personas.

Thus, you are indeed connecting to yourself when you cook. In several ways actually.

[Question 3] How about connecting to nature? Is it also that I am connecting with the vegetables etc. that makes me happy?
Indeed, yes. Both types of connections can make you happy; both the Layer 9 connection to an alternate self and the Layer 10 connection to the vegetables. Both connections count. And both feel good.

These are, after all, the two ways in which we humans can connect to our world. One, we can connect to what we perceive as other beings. Including to the anthropomorphic alternate beings we create within our minds. And two, we can connect to what we perceive as the non being world which supports the life of all these beings. Including to our bodies.

Interestingly enough, at some level, we, as humans, often blend these two types of connections into one. Thus, atmospheric chemist, James Lovelock's Gaia theory and Luisi and Varela's work with Autopoiesis and micelle droplets.

[Question 4] My cooking is usually a creative process. Unless I'm in shock while I am cooking, which means I'm cooking on auto-pilot. Other than this, where does my creativity come from? Does it come from the fact that I am connected when I cook?
Where does your creativity come from? Does it come from the fact that I am connected when I cook? In part, yes, Avital. Being connected is a factor in all creativity. However in and of itself being connected does not guarantee you will be creative. Only that you may be creative.

Where does creativity come from then? It comes mainly from following the feeling you may possibly learn something. In other words, it comes from allowing the excitement of a potential new discovery to lead you to new domains. And from allowing the anticipation of what in fact may lead to a wonderful new outcome to inspire you to new visions.

That this wonderful outcome is not guaranteed is also a part of the creative process. As well as being part of what makes this process exciting. This uncertainty makes the potential of some unknown discovery almost like the prize in a lottery. Albeit with skill a greater determining factor in the outcome.

What's also at play here is how you often get ongoing reassurances, during the process, that the journey is unfolding in a meaningful way. Maybe the meal will be excellent. Maybe it will be merely different but in a new unusual way. Whatever the case, all these potentials add to the wonderful feelings which surround this and all creative processes.

All this said though, none of this happens without connection. So yes, connection is an essential part of the creative process. It may in fact be the essential part.

[Question 5] Cooking with joy and creativity does not happen when my kitchen is a mess. Is the mess a distraction? Does it put me into shock when I walk in? Moreover, does it affect most people the same way or does it depend on one's personal BLocks?
[Answer] Ah. What good questions. For you, joy and creativity do not happen when your kitchen is a mess. So you ask if the mess is a distraction which puts you in shock when you walk in?

Off hand, I'd say, yes. In fact, in your case, it sounds pretty clear. Albeit, digression rather than distraction might be a more accurate way to describe what happens to you. And yes, digression does put most people into shock. However, the depth of this shock will vary depending on if you have any blocks in and around seeing messy kitchens.

For instance, if you were once startled by a spill and your counter has a bit of a spill on it, this will effect your ability to concentrate. And if you have cooking items left over from a previous meal and you once were yelled at for not putting things away, this will affect you as well.

Worst yet is if you have the Mind Map for ADD; [1] Digression, [2] Bluntness, [3] Precision, [4] Correction. Here, digression is the normal way to begin any new endeavor. Thus, if the stage on which you go to create is already digressed, then quitting is the likely first impulse.

Fortunately, you, Avital, have the Asperger's Mind Map; [1] Precision, [2] Correction, [3] Digression, [4] Bluntness. Which means what exactly? Which means your first impulses will be to tidy up before beginning. Fortunately, for you, an easy obstacle to remedy.

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