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the 2nd Formula of Human Consciousness

The Foundations of Emergence Personality Theory

consciousness formulas-chapter links
Chapter 1 - Introduction Chapter 2 - Meaning Chapter 3 - Meaning Formula Chapter 4 - information Formula Chapter 5 - Woundedness Test Chapter 6 - Time Formula Chapter 7 - Consciousness Formula Chapter 8 - the Information Variable Chapter 9 - the Meaning Variable Chapter 10 - Planes of Experience Chapter 11 - Examples of Planes Chapter 12 - the Time Variable Chapter 13 - Chapter 14 - Chapter 15 - Chapter 16 - Chapter 17 - Chapter 18 -

Chapter 5

the "Woundedness" Test

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consciousness formula for Information

Picturing "Ideas"

Who would have thought we would have ended up here, defining "woundedness?" I wouldn't have. But here we are. So let's take a look.

How do I define "woundedness?" Simple. "Woundedness" is "the inability to picture something on the screen of one's mind." In other words, being wounded means you have "an impaired ability to visualize some particular kind of information."

Did your mind just go blank? If so, know you are perfectly normal.

Know, also, that going blank while reading is usually a very important thing to watch for. Why? Because this often means that you just read something big. An important idea, usually. At least, important to you. And something which potentially can have a big effect on you and on your life. Not necessarily because it is true, mind you. But rather, because it can cause you to question a whole heck of a lot of what you thought you knew. And believe. And because these blank moments mark the things in our lives we have the most to learn about.

I guess this makes this idea something we all have a lot to learn about. Including me. Thus, whenever I tell people how I define wounds, they pretty much all go blank. Even the most educated of folks.

So what makes this idea cause people to go blank?

For one thing, because we humans have a very hard time picturing "ideas." In fact, we usually do much better picturing "stories." No coincidence that when Einstein wrote his essays, about relativity and such, he often began them by first voicing his ideas to the the reader personally. Only then, did he turn to the math. Here's an example in which Einstein tells us a story about how ideas come into being.

"A new idea comes suddenly and in a rather intuitive way. That means it is not reached by conscious logical conclusions. But, thinking it through afterwards, you can always discover the reasons which have led you unconsciously to your guess and you will find a logical way to justify it. Intuition is nothing but the outcome of earlier intellectual experience." A. Einstein.

Notice how he voices his idea as something you, yourself, can feel? He says, "you can always discover... ," and, "you will find a logical way... ".

In truth, then, we all are like this. Why? Because stories are the raw building blocks of everything in our brains. Especially stories about people like us. Thus, when Einstein refers to "intellectual experience," he is not just telling us about his idea. He is telling us a real world story, a story which includes us.

He is also trying to get us to picture ourselves experiencing his idea, so that we can understand it. Not just by thinking about the logic of this idea, which is the part we cannot picture. But by picturing ourselves as the person who is experiencing his idea, which is the part we can picture.

My point is, we human beings do best when we are told stories before hearing logic. At least, when it comes to understanding things. Logic then comes into the picture only when we need to make sense of these stories, which we do by organizing and assigning meanings to these stories.

This is what makes us see unsupported logic like algebra as cold. And real life stories like struggling with math in school as personal.

Abstracts are dense and hard to picture. Real life is tangible and easier to see.

So we go blank whenever we get told a new idea without first being told a story. In a sense, new ideas which we cannot picture all feel like big ideas to us. But this in not the only reason my idea makes people go blank. There is also a second big idea in my statement, the idea that we humans have a very hard time picturing anything stated as "negation." What do I mean?

What I mean is, when people tell us things like that something is "not red," often, our minds go blank. Certainly they go blank in cases wherein we have yet to be given a real world context; what Einstein called, an "intellectual experience"; a real life story.

In a sense then, no real life story, no real understanding. Which makes us function very similarly to how computers function, in that they lock up whenever being presented with a question for which they have no real world possibilities.

For us then, whenever we hear a free-standing negation, our minds simply lock up. "If it's not red, then what color is it?"

What color is "what?" What are we talking about?

Here then is a second cause for people going blank. Whenever we hear a negation like this one in my definition, we simply go into shock. Why? Because we have yet to be told the real world possibilities.

Of course, if after we are told, we use our imaginations to picture some real world possibilities, then we can usually do a pretty good job of guesstimating what has been said. Even so, these guesstimates are not the same as picturing "negation." Which is simply something human beings just cannot do. We just can't. It is literally impossible for us. Which is what makes us like people who state their ideas as positives. And why we seem to understand them so much more.

So why didn't I state my idea as a positive then? I simply can't. Why not? Because negation is whole heart and soul of this idea. It is, in fact, what makes this idea different. And what makes it so hard to picture. Which means, if I hope to get across any of what I've been saying, I first must attempt to teach you to picture "negation." Or at least, I must help you to picture times wherein you cannot picture negation.

Did I just make you go blank again? I'm sorry. Please know, however, that this blankness happens because the idea of "negation" is so big. Then again, pretty much all of the things I've just said are big ideas. How can I be so sure? Well, consider this. Consider what it would mean if my way of defining woundedness were true. Or even if it were partially true.

What would it mean? Well, at the very least, it would mean you would probably have to change your whole sense of what you think "health" is. And "healing." And "learning." And "growing." Which would also force you would to reexamine your entire way of life, everything from "what is medicine?" to "what is madness?" Are you beginning to grasp what makes this idea about woundedness so big? It is big. Moreover, I honestly wish I could make seeing this idea easier for you.

In truth, though, seeing this definition as big, or even seeing it at all, requires you take a whole lot of leaps of faith. Far too many for me to ask you to take at this early point in my writing. So why mention it here? Well, let me ask you this. Setting aside whether this idea is true or not, can you begin to see how my defining "woundedness" this way, as "an impaired ability to visualize some particular kind of information," relates to the Information Formula?

Well obviously, if we define woundedness as "an impaired ability to visualize information," then woundedness is very much related to information. Especially if you read the pervious chapter in which I talked about how information is related to knowing whether things are true or not. Which, by the way, just happens to be the most important information you could ever know about being wounded; whether you truly are or not.

How Can You Tell You Are Truly Wounded?

So does the Information Formula help us to more clearly define whether we are wounded or not? Yes, in fact, it does. And we'll be taking an in depth look at this idea in later chapters. For now though, let me ask you this. How do you feel about what I've just said? Can the whole geometry of human woundedness be defined simply as that we cannot picture something? What about the way we normally define woundedness, as something which causes us to suffer? Isn't this a much better way for us to define woundedness?

Actually, no, it's not. Why not? Because while we obviously need to address our suffering, this suffering is never the proof we have been wounded. What do I mean? Simply this. Have you ever heard the word, "asymptomatic?" In case you haven't, this word refers to "a wound which has no symptoms." At least, no visible symptoms. And since the word, "symptoms" is just a fancy way to refer to our suffering, then we are left with an obvious conclusion. If we use symptoms to define our wounds, and if our wounds can be asymptomatic, then we can never know for sure whether we are wounded or not. At least not if we use symptoms to define our wounds.

Making any sense yet? Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever struggled under the burden of not knowing whether you might have a serious condition? For instance, have you ever worried you might have cancer or a brain tumor, only to find out all you had was a headache?

If you have, please do not be hard on yourself. In truth, we have all done this at one time or another. We all worry at times whether we are seriously ill or not. Each and every one of us. Why? Because we all get taught to use symptoms to define our wounds. And because using symptoms to define woundedness is like using clouds to predict rain. Sure, those dark clouds may mean that it will rain and ruin the picnic. Then again, maybe those clouds will simply pass, not having ruined anything.

Then there is the statistics thing. What do I mean? Well, have you ever noticed, when you are seriously ill, how people often offer you statistics as to whether you will recover or not. Statistics! Whoa, that's cold. Then again, this is what happens when we use symptoms to define wounds. We ask for reassurance and what do you get? We get these pathetically inadequate but so called "educated" guesses. What ever happened to the old fashioned honesty doctors used to have, wherein they offered you a positive attitude, knowing this attitude was simply good medicine and a part of a speedy recovery.

Some folks might now be thinking, not me. I would want to know. Well, if this is you, let me ask you this. What do you think you would find if you were to take a close look at how the "educated guesses" of doctors and weathermen compare? If you did, what you would find is an awfully discomfiting truth. Turns out these guesses are a whole heck of a lot less accurate than anyone wants to admit. In fact, were you to disallow the use of "fluffy" words; meaning, if you were to disallow the use of words like "maybe" and "partly" and "chance of," then neither doctors nor weathermen would have much credibility. At least with regard to their predictions.

Now lest you feel I am putting down doctors, please know I am not. In fact, I feel great sympathy for doctors. Why? Well can you imagine how painfully pressured they must feel when people ask then to make these guesses. Can you imagine?

This is but a brief look at what happens to us because we use symptoms to define woundedness. We get to worry a lot. We feel confused a lot. And worst of all, we fail to get clear answers about one of the most important things we could ever know in life; whether we are seriously ill or not.

Relating this back to the Information Formula then, here is what makes "defining wounds by their symptoms" fail the Emergence Perfect Truth Test. Remember the Emergence Perfect Truth test? It states that a "perfect truth" has the same essence as Pythagoras' Theorem. In other words, a "perfect truth" is something which has "infinitely varying time and meaning variables in a constant relationship to an unchanging information variable."

Obviously then, using symptoms to define woundedness fails this test miserably, in that the painful information (the symptoms) varies chaotically in relation to peoples' wounds. All the way from painfully visible to absolutely nothing.

Is There Really Such a Thing as a Partial Truth?

So OK, we cannot use our symptoms as a reliable test for woundedness. But can't we use these symptoms as a partially reliable test? Well, let me ask you this. If you were suffering, and if your doctor told you that you "might" be sick, how would you feel? And if you had morning sickness and thought you might be pregnant, would it be OK if the pregnancy test said, "maybe?" How about if you went to a therapist and asked if she could help you with panic attacks, only to be be told, "maybe." Or how about if you went to your best friend after you and your wife had a fight and asked, "was it me?," only to be told, "maybe"?

The answer, of course, is that in cases like these which involve important life events, not knowing is terribly painful. So now, ask yourself this. Is there any important life event for which you would be satisfied with a partial truth? My answer. When it comes to the important things in life, there is never a satisfying partial truth. To see this as true, you have only to consider this.

Consider the common cliche which asks rhetorically, "Can a woman be a little pregnant?" The answer, of course is, no. You either are pregnant or you are not. Moreover, no one would want to rely on that they might be pregnant. They would want to know the absolute truth.

And if you stomach hurt and you went for tests but got told you might have an ulcer, how would this be? Obviously, it would be terrible.

What about if you suspected that your wife had cheated on you, and you went to her and asked if she had, only to be told, "maybe"? Or, "a little"? Or, "only sometimes"?

People get told these kinds of things every day. Most of us never really think about it though, other than to temporarily complain.

My point is, we all want to know the truth about our important life events. Especially about things like whether we are ill or not. So, whether it is about being hired or fired, married or rejected, having an ulcer, or getting a loan, none of us want to be told a partial truth. We all want to know for sure.

Now consider for a moment how all this is related to abstract geometry. In all likelihood though, you have never considered how our need to know the truth about these life events is closely related to our need for perfect truth in abstract geometry. It is though. It is identical, in fact. How? These things are either perfectly true or they are not. Period.

How Does Defining "Woundedness" as an "Inability to Picture Information" Help Us?

So how does defining woundedness as "an inability to picture information" help us? Moreover, can't there be wounds which we can picture?

Actually, no. And to understand why not, I'll need explain to you what wounds actually are. Not why they happen. Just what they are. Which I'll now do, beginning with these two ideas. First, there is the idea that the part of a trauma "we can picture" is the symptoms, not the wound. Second, there is the idea that the part of a trauma which is the wound is physically impossible to see. I'll tell you why in a moment. Before I do though, remember why we are discussing woundedness. We are discussing it here because it turns out that "wounds" are simply a kind of "wounded information," an "incomplete truth" of sorts which we never notice as being incomplete. Let alone, untrue. Moreover, because we normally ignore this fact; that part of the information is missing, we often fail to accurately assess ourselves for woundedness.

So what exactly is this "wounded information" I'm referring to? To see, imagine this. Imagine you are a doctor, working in a hospital emergency room and it is late at night. Now imagine you see a gurney being wheeled in on which lies a man who has been shot in the chest.

Certainly, we could say this man has been wounded. But where's the proof? If what I've just said about symptom is true, his symptoms do not prove he is wounded.

So what does? To see, let's do what doctors do. Let's rule out the things we believe are not the cause.

Where do we begin? Well, if you will humor me for a moment and allow that this man's symptoms may not be the wound, then by my definition, the man's bleeding does not prove he is wounded. So let's rule this out. His bleeding is only a symptom. Thus, it is not the actual wound.

Nor would the raged flesh at the edge of the bullet hole be the wound. It, too, is only a symptom. Thus, even though, in a sense, this raged flesh defines the bullet hole, it is still only a symptom, not the actual wound.

Then there is the man's collapsed lung. Doesn't this prove the man is wounded?

Here again, by my definition, we can rule this out too, because it, too, is only a symptom. Thus, by my definition, it does not prove the man is wounded either.

Well how about his labored breathing then? Can we rule this out as well?

Yes, we can. His "labored breathing" is also a symptom. Thus, it too is not proof.

So what proof do we have that this man is actually wounded?

Only one thing. The hole itself. The bullet hole is the only proof this man has a wound. And what makes this the proof? The fact that the hole is the only thing we literally cannot remove and still have there be a wound. This and the fact that the hole is the only thing we literally cannot see.

Oddly, we never even consider this idea; that the hole itself is the wound. Let alone, this this hole is invisible. In fact, this is so not obvious to most of us that just about no one pays attention to the fact that we cannot see the hole. Which is why we do pay so much attention to the symptoms. Why? Because we can picture the symptoms. And because we can not picture a hole. In fact, this is literally impossible for us to do. We simply cannot picture holes. We can picture only what exists around a hole.

Confused? Go slow now. Please know that what I have been saying here is not just semantics. Nor is it merely like Zeno's paradoxes; logically true and yet absurd. In truth then, the only way to define a bullet wound is not by what we can see; the symptoms, but rather by what we cannot see; the hole.

Are you beginning to see what I'm saying about symptoms being a poor way to define wounds?

The Socratic Definition of Things

OK. Let me try this again. What I have been saying is that the bullet hole is the actual wound. How can I be so certain? Simple. We'll use Socrates' way of defining things, his Theory of Definition.

What did he say? He said that the only way to truly define a thing is to refer only to those parts of the thing which give us the essence of it and no more. In other words, Socrates said that the only way to truly know what a thing is, is to remove everything from it which is not unique to it. This then leaves us with the essence of this thing, that without which it would not be this thing.

This essence then is what makes it what it is.

Now let's use Socrates' test on the bullet wound story, starting with the man's bleeding.

So if I were to remove his bleeding, would his wound be gone?

Of course not.

And if I were to re inflate his collapsed lung, would his wound be gone then?

Again, no, it would not be.

And if I were to smooth out the raged flesh which surrounded the edge of the bullet hole, would this get rid of his wound?

No, again, it would not.

And if I eased this man's labored breathing, would this eliminate his wound?

No, again. Not even if we were to completely remove it.

So what could I eliminate to get rid of this man's wound? There is, in fact, only one thing. What thing? The hole. The bullet hole is the only thing, which, if taken away, would mean there was no wound.

Here, then, is the truth then about wounds and wounded information. The essence of any and all wounds, even a bullet wound, is that the "hole" is always the "wound." Always. Every time. Moreover, in every single case, we cannot see this "hole." Why not? Because no human being can see a "hole." We can see only what surrounds a hole, the things which indirectly tell us that something is missing; the symptoms.

But aren't these symptoms what define what is missing? In a sense, yes, they are. At least, when we can see the symptoms. At other times, though, nothing hurts, and nothing shows. So what do we do then? Well, for one thing, we never even realize we need to be looking for a wound. Until, of course, it hurts us bad enough. At which point, the wound has often progressed to the point where it has become pretty serious.

In any case, my point is still the same. A wound is always defined by what is missing, and not by what is present.

This then is the nature of all wounds. Sometimes they hurt. Sometimes they don't. Either way though, they always involve something which is missing. Something important. Moreover, this "missing piece" is always what defines something as being wounded. Never the suffering. Only the "hole."

What About Psychological Wounds Though?

What about wounds to our psyches though? Does this same principle apply to the wounds in our psyches as well?

Yes, it does. In fact, looking for "missing information" is the entire foundation of our school of therapy; Emergence Therapy. It is also the thing which makes our therapy different from all others. We focus entirely on what is missing (the "hole") rather than on what is present (peoples' symptoms). Of course, since no one can literally "see" a psyche let alone a hole in a psyche, it is a bit more difficult to learn to see wounds this way. Most times though, even an inexperienced therapist can quickly learn to discern in a person's mind what is present from what is missing. How? By focusing on what surrounds what is missing. In other words, by focusing on what people can visualize in relationship to what they cannot visualize.

Where then is the "bullet hole" when we get psychologically wounded? It is in our ability to picture things on the screen of our mind. We literally become unable to picture a piece of what we saw during the traumatic event. What piece? The most visually intense piece. The piece which "shoots right through us."

This piece, the part of what we witness during traumatic events which exceeds our capacity to picture, is what, in fact, causes us to be wounded. How? By startling us into recording this visually intense experience in a very painful way.

Do we always get startled though? Yes, we do, although frequently, we can not recall this startle. Why? Because in cases where the onset of a trauma is particularly abrupt (like when something hits us from behind), the suddenness of the trauma impairs our ability to recall this startle.

Even so, if we get wounded, we get startled. Always. Every time. Moreover, whatever occurred immediately following this startle is what we will be unable to see. Permanently. In fact, being startled this way so permanently blocks our access to this material, that we become totally unable to even imagine this, or any similar, visual material. Unless, of course, we heal the injury.

Did you just go blank yourself? If so, let me try again. So what am I saying here? Simply that the part of a trauma which injures us is the startle, not the event. Why? Because being startled permanently injures our ability to picture what happened to us after the startle. Not only in this particular event, but also, in any other, visually similar, events, both future, and past.

So if this is true, why then has no one ever noticed this before? Again, because no human being can visualize a "hole." And because we believe what we can see, the symptoms, is the wound.

In a sense, depending only on what we can see has been what has kept us on the wrong track with wounds. And with many other things, including with both science and spirituality.

So what made me see this? The truth? I had a near death experience. And lest you now write me off as nothing but a crazy person, consider this. What if this is true? Can you imagine? More over, can you chance not taking a deeper look?

Having trouble imagining this? Try this. Try picturing yourself having your picture taken at a wedding. Not just by a relative, but by the official wedding photographer, the one with the huge flash unit on top of his camera. Even have this happen to you? If you have, then try picturing the thirty or so seconds right before, during, and right after the flash went off. Can you picture any of this thirty seconds?

If you can, what you will find is that you can picture yourself standing there before the flash went off. You know, in the moment in which everyone said "cheese." And you can picture yourself standing there after the flash went off, kind of blindly mumbling to yourself about how you just got blinded. But no one can picture what they saw during the flash. Why not? Because the light from the flash blows everyone's internal fuses. This blinding light is simply too much data for the human optic nerve to process.

So am I saying we get wounded by this startlingly blinding moment? Yes, I am saying this. We literally get wounded by this, and any similar life events. Not just some of us. All of us. How can I be so sure? Simple. Some parts of human personality are so predictable, they literally pass the Emergence "perfect truth" test. Now please allow me to explain.

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consciousness formulas-chapter links
Chapter 1 - Introduction Chapter 2 - Meaning Chapter 3 - Meaning Formula Chapter 4 - information Formula Chapter 5 - Woundedness Test Chapter 6 - Time Formula Chapter 7 - Consciousness Formula Chapter 8 - the Information Variable Chapter 9 - the Meaning Variable Chapter 10 - Planes of Experience Chapter 11 - Examples of Planes Chapter 12 - the Time Variable Chapter 13 - Chapter 14 - Chapter 15 - Chapter 16 - Chapter 17 - Chapter 18 -