1.6.6 Process

I’ve tried so far to define dominance as the parameter building the dominance structure. I haven’t elaborated much on the details of its processes and effects. I have to admit that it may look a little bit abstract. I’ve stressed that biology and ethology was the main topics in this blog. However, you don’t really need a PhD to understand that maniacs are puppets who are pulled by fluctuating physiological strings (serotonin, noradrenalin, dopamine…). Biochemistry is extremely complex not only by chemistry in itself but also because of countless connections established by the neurons. Cybernetic phenomena and feedback loops should make us think about the concept of cause and effect. Simple and local phenomena can be described by cause and effect. Interaction between two neurons can be described by an emitted and received message. It is no doubt a causal relationship which feed our reductionist brain. However, it is hard for us to grasp the complexity of barely more complex system. Let’s consider a system where A impacts B and B impacts C. C have a feedback on A. Now think about these questions: Is B the cause of A or the cause of C? No easy answer, you have to get rid of the letter arbitrary sorting. Is C the consequence or the cause of A? Do these questions have a sense? Is cause present in the simple object (like A) or is it related to the overall dynamic behavior of the system?

These somehow abstract thoughts about cause and consequence will make us understand more easily a scientific study I want to comment on. Upfront, it is not directly related to bipolar disorders as it deals with happiness. But now, we know the links between happiness, dominance and mood. A vast majority of people believe in one way causality when it comes to happiness. Nice causes (income, family, social network, material rewards…) trigger always the same nice happiness effect. In a previous post, I demonstrated that the social network was not only the framework, the condition of happiness but also the creation of happiness. We can see here a two ways cause street which reflects the biological and ethological basis of the phenomenon. Happiness creates social networks and social networks reinforce happiness which then foster social network etc… Causes are consequences and then consequences become causes. There should be no surprise now when I assert that happiness is not only a consequence of success, like a reward, but also a driving factor that contributes to social accomplishment. If that’s the case then my theory of dominance would have a stronger case because happiness would bring a competitive advantage in the social environment. The happy honest signal along with improved internal tonus would contribute to ascend your flag in the local dominance hierarchy as well as in the structure of dominance.

The scientists demonstrate my thesis and you just need to read the title to realize it: The Benefits of Frequent Positive Affect: Does Happiness Lead to Success ? . The publication is a meta-analysis of other publications dealing with the happiness phenomenon. Its conclusion is a warning for scientists: In complex phenomena, it is important to be careful with the cause concept. In some cases, cause can become a consequence and consequence will impact the original cause, becoming itself a cause.

Source : Sonja Lyubomirsky, university of California,Riverside,Laura King, university of Missouri—Columbia/ Psychological Bulletin Copyright 2005 by the American Psychological Association 2005, Vol. 131, No. 6, 803–855
This paper reviewed cross-sectional, longitudinal, and experimental literature examining happiness and positive affect and their associations with successful outcomes. The empirical evidence suggests that happy people tend to be successful and accomplished across multiple life domains, such as work life, social relationships, and health. The authors of this review therefore propose that, because happy people experience frequent positive moods, they are more likely to strive toward new goals. Furthermore, they suggest that happy people learn to build their skills and resources over time as a result of their previous experiences of pleasant moods. Thus, happiness, or the long-term predisposition to experience frequent positive emotions should, according to Lyubomirsky, King and Diener, promote culturally valued success and thriving.

Are causes really causes and effects really effects? Shouldn’t we be more accurate in saying that these relationships are better depicted by reciprocal correlations? It is a better organic description. Cold linear logic cannot explain what’s going on.

Although the authors recognize that the causality can be bi-directional, they frequently use wording implying that cause flows from the resource to happiness. For example, they suggest that marriage might have “greater benefits for men than for women”(p. 290), apparently overlooking the possibility that sex differences in marital patterns could be due to differential selection into marriage based on well-being

Take the time to ruminate this paragraph. Don’t you draw the conclusion that the author inflates the sail of my theory? They don’t realize the full extent of their studies. Women select their mate according to happiness. How can you deny that happiness and dominance are profoundly linked? Do you think that women select their husband because they’re just happy? Women and Nature are not that stupid. Is dominance such an evil word? It should not be, it is a scientific ethological concept which has nothing to do with good or evil. If you understand this then it is not absurd to think that marriage may be an additional happiness bonus for men who have already demonstrated their happiness or dominance through getting married. It is fun to note that what I was told at university is completely untrue. Durkheim did a big statistical mistake in considering that marriage protect men from suicide. Women tend to select happy men. That’s why suicide rate is low among married men.

Mistakes are common when you study complex systems. I’m not the one who’s to put the blame on anybody. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t if I’m right in separating the three salient objects of my theory: dominance, self-esteem and happiness. I can do so because I can experiment the difference between them. The experiment goes to concept here, empirically. But in reality, the neurologic chemistry is far more complex that my tiny words. But I know my mind. I experiment that my normal happiness is forced to be turned into almightiness. The only explanation is that a higher level knob controls this change. This dominance knob can of course feedback on happiness. This is the same thing for self-esteem. Maybe the whole brain is the dominance knob. It reinforces victory and bitterly punishes unfitness. It constantly does that using memories to bar you from doing the same mistakes. If you succeed then reward is going to be granted. It is not going to be only happiness. You’ll get more self-esteem, more appetence in what you do, more creativity too. Check out the manic symptoms and take a little slice of them. That’s how dominance regulates you. You’ll get “amplified”. If this amplification works, the cycle goes on and your flag will ascend on the dominance structure. That’s the ethological story of your life.

My story is a Larsen effect. My dominance knob goes up. My brain evaluates the result as positive. That’s not totally untrue considering the fact that people will change their behavior toward me. This sends a massive positive feedback in my brain. My brain is told by the environment: Let’s pump up the dominance! See how well you’re doing! However from a certain threshold, the system goes berserk and come up with is own reasons to increase the dominance. Self-esteem is heavily involved in that process as it cuts off the individual from the real world that usually provide the sanction that usually calm you down in case of excess. The virtuous circle dominance increase/environment sanction is completely destroyed. My head declare its independence from reality. Delusions are then the only limit.

Dominance is a regulated phenomenon. It is also a central control system located in the limbic system. Only two directions are known: either up or down. A dominance increase is going to propagate across you. Your ADN and your past (what you’ve learned) will decide the extent of the propagation. There is a differential sensitivity to dominance. Some of your functions will increase (Thoughts, metabolism, endogenous excitation, motor functioning), some others will remain the same or even decrease (Your rational brain). It depends on your personal development. Dominance is a random differential amplifier. There’s a set of different part of you that will change so that Nature knows if something new could be of interest for survival. Dominance disinhibits but it can also inhibit. You don’t know what’s going on in there. Neither do I, but I’m the Muppet at the end of the string so I know a little bit. Differential propagation and inertia could account for mixed episode. We’ll get back on this later on. All in all, you know what you are?

It seems that Nature is playing a melody and you are the guinea pig! It does that apparently randomly. I don’t know if it relies on chance. What is chance when you can tap on billions of years? Dominance has been expressing itself in you all your life long. It has come to term with the environment. You have domesticated it through learning and correction of its excesses. Physical and psychological pain is here to remind you that you need to walk on the right track. In Bipolar patients, dominance has not been regulated the same way as normal people. This can be due to acquired and innate reasons. The flaw exerts its impact on the most fragile part of human, which is the mind. High degree of freedom gets punished here. In animals, you would see more aggressiveness. In human, you see a firework because instincts do not have the grip it has in animals.

You could argue that neocortex functions should also be amplified. True but the limbic system is far older than the most advanced function of the brain. It surreptitiously colors the neocortex so that, in the end, the maniac does not know he’s maniac. Maybe we need some more neural loop in the neocortex to resist this overwhelming limbic wave. Maybe neocortex is still under construction and was meant originally to regulate the limbic waves. Thinking is the most advanced tool to check that desire is consistent with the environment. All in all, evolution is not finished. Deliberative function will need to be protected by more powerful fuse. There’s still work ahead for Nature. We are in a car where the engine is extremely powerful but the brakes are not at the same level of evolution. Evolution is anarchic. But one day, the result will be nice. That’s why we have children, don’t we?

There is a significant underlying consequence of this discussion. The logic command that life history on earth corresponds to a gradual dominance increase. This increase needs to be fitted by gene or meme otherwise it is death or, more precisely, madness. The environment is not the only driver here. It is not absurd to think that evolution has built new biochemical workarounds to cope with the internal dominance pressure. Bipolar patients are the vanguard of this process. We test the latest discovery of Nature. Normal people see nothing because their dominance is stable and they see us as crazy, unfit for reality. We are in fact biological machine attempting to convert the dominance increase into a selective advantage. Don’t laugh when we say that we’re on a mission from god. There’s something profound here even if it is expressed awkwardly. We’re on a mission from Nature. I don’t need god assumption here. During my ups the world change, but god is not responsible for it. I’ve been away from hospital for 11 years now so this demonstrates the accuracy of my dominance theory and the efficacy of my medication. I see no angels, no light beings and no little grey man. I see normal people changing their behaviors toward me. You guys are crazy, not me!

What is the mode of pure dominance expression that causes this change? The answer is derived from the theory and its framework: the dominance structure based upon the happiness honest signal. The interaction between two people will determine their rank in the dominance structure. The limbic brain evaluates the happiness honest signal that it receives and determines a dominance relationship. Evaluation is key here. It is far better to evaluate for the species survival. Engaging in a fight is riskier in term of wounds and possible ensuing death.

What are the characteristics of the dominant/submissive relationship in the dominance structure? No need to have a PhD to understand that women are going to be attracted by the dominant. They’re quite sensitive to the happiness honest signal. Also, the dominant will have sharp manipulative skills that he will use to convince the inferior. To persuade is a far better word than to convince. The former is connection between two neocortex and the latter is a connection between two limbic system. Words know dominance. It is difficult to spot if the submissive is going to be inhibited or if the dominant will increase his impact. Holistically, the result is the same. The dominant, without violence, will establish his dominance. Actually, it is more cunning than violence. Dominant will provide a happiness reward to the submissive who is going to increase his affective dependence on the dominant. You become then a little less submissive if you submit because happiness has been transferred to you.

Human groups that are neither too formal nor structured by a tangible attribute naturally create dominance structure based on happiness. It is interesting to note that happiness is a nice word for everybody. However one need to leave la la land to understand that happiness is a powerful phenomenon that Nietzsche (the will to power) and Darwin (natural selection) have identified. We’ll discuss this in the next posts. Happiness based confrontation are unconscious and occurs mainly in the limbic brain. The unconscious is not a Freudian carnival of symbolic bullshit; it is entirely dedicated to survival exactly like the conscious brain. This will make extremely difficult for you to know if you are dominant or submissive in relationships. It is likely that in 80% of the case, there are no dominant/submissive relationships because happiness levels are equivalent. In this case, there must be some kind of happiness conservation because people tend to engage in social activities.

All in all, people change in behaviors is now a very good warning signs of my ups. They don’t surprise me anymore. Even worse, I found them a little boring now because, when I recognized them, I stop all activities that could bring more excitation.

Evanescence / Exodus
Here in the shadows
I’m safe
I’m free
I’ve nowhere else to go but
I cannot stay where I don’t belong
Show me the shadow where true meaning lies
So much more dismay in empty eyes

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