Happiness and the Reality Model, a Love Story.

Emotion is a difficult word as people fight over its usage. I am using it as chemical change that is provoked by the brain's reaction to a set of stimulus: loud noise, fire smoke, and the person next to you has an arm blown off. The brain does not like the direction that this is taking at all and a set of chemicals is released that increases heart rate, muscle tension etc. This is noticed right away by the conscious mind that feels 'fear' or whatever 'emotion' has been unleashed on the body. I 'look around' to determine what is going on. It is my conscious mind that is doing this part of it. My use of the word emotion has generated some controversy, not in the concept, but which part of the physiologic process is described by the word. I don't care so long as the the idea has been understood.

The subconscious mind communicates with the conscious mind with emotion, by my definition of 'emotion'. Some subconscious/conscious communications are not 'emotional' in the sense of strong emotion but something has happened chemically or spiritually (for completeness) to get your body to move or even to notice what has happened, beer! This effect may not seem 'emotional' but in my construction, it is by definition emotion, subtle perhaps, but nonetheless emotion.  For example there is a glass of beer on the table in front of me. My conscious mind did not do a logical process to understand that it is beer and it is within arms reach and I want it and that I go for it. This is all automatic it is unconscious. Hell, I might not even be aware that I went for it and drank it. This happens with smokers all the time. Your subconscious brain can indeed control a person's body.

One principal function of the brain is to construct a viable model of the world around it. It includes: the location of objects in 3D space, that one cannot breathe in water, that fire is hot, lightning has the potential to kill me and that I want that woman, and that hamburger is a good thing. The Reality Model, as I call it is this construction of connections between memories. It goes beyond the physical environment. Some peoples brains have decided that people are evil and lazy, for example. Others that people are good and productive. When something is fully integrated into the reality model it is a belief, by my definition. At this point the brain is unwilling to question the interpretation. My brain is not willing to entertain jumping off a 1000 ft cliff because some fast talking salesman says that I can do it. Nope, not willing to even consider it without some sort of external aid like a parachute. My brain believes that if it jumps it will die. Not up for discussion.

This meme about the nature of man is the same way. Once the brain has an idea, it will look for substantiating evidence and often it will find that evidence and the meme becomes more and more integrated to the point that the eyes and ears are on the lookout for that behavior to the exclusion of contradictory information. The difference in driving to school with Grandma instead of Dad is that there does not seem to be any stupid lazy delinquents on the way to school with Grandma, there are only flowers and good looking boys productively making the world a better place. Grandma and Dad actually remember different things about the trip. Dad's brain is looking for confirmation of his memes and finding them, so is Grandma. Each brain chooses to store different memories of the trip; it is the stored memories that are remembered. That is why it is difficult to believe that Grandma and Dad actually took the same road. They are storing different sensory stimulation in their memory banks. They are living in different realities. They really are.

Conservatives store different words into their memory banks than Liberals do while listening to a speech by Barack Obama, for example. They literally do not hear the same things. They live in a different reality. Each side thinks that the other side is dumber than dirt because the evidence in right in front of there face! Yes, but they each stored away different fragments to remember. Different Reality Models choose to keep different information. Our memories are indeed all we have to describe reality. Personal reality is our memory.

Bias to me is mathematical. The information received by the conscious mind is indeed biased, and it cannot be any other way; it has passed through the Reality Model filter. Sometimes the bias is striking and wrong. The table top is an illustration of this; the two tables look as if the table tops are completely and totally different shapes. They are not. Cut them out and put them on top of each other and they have exactly the same dimensions. The brain has misinterpreted the data. It is interpreting the data as if it were a 3D reality but it is not. It is a 2D set of lines on a paper. The reality model gets it wrong and what your conscious 'sees' is NOT what your eyes see, it is the interpretation that your brain thinks it saw; it is wrong; it has been biased by the Reality Model.

Now take the new knowledge that the rectangles are the same dimensions and look at the illusion again. The brain will refuse to present the reality as it is now known; it insists on the 3D interpretation. It will not let go. My brain *believes* that it is seeing a 3D object even though my conscious mind knows that it is not a 3D object. Political interpretations and the good/evil interpretation of the nature of man suffer the same fate as the table top. Many people's brains *believe* the memes. No amount of logic or discussion can convince them otherwise; it is literally all that they see. When the brain is 'confused' it is unhappy, life is not good. That may be a decent way to define 'happiness'. Brains are not confused when their interpretation, their Reality Model is coherent; it might be 100 percent wrong, but it is coherent. Viola! Religion. Happiness. Contentment. Peace.