Anankelogy 101

02  Need conveyance

Defining emotion

 

Which do you think is more likely?

Emotion is an elusive experience that cannot be succinctly defined.

OR

Emotion conveys needs.

 

Emotions only exist when sensing some need that requires your attention. Apart from some need experienced directly or vicariously, you do not process any emotion. 

 

That's it. Emotions only exist to draw awareness of an evoked need. Everything else researched about emotions—physiological arousal, cognitive interpretation, subjective feelings, behavioral expression—all point back to conveying needs.

 

When you become aware of your body's conveyed need, we call it a feeling. If your body instantly and automatically responds to the triggered need, your feelings may not even register it. Do you remember shooing away the fly that buzzed near your head?

Nature-based anankelogy illustrates how emotions personally convey your needs in at least five distinct ways:

  1. Your emotions convey the direction of your needs;

  2. Your emotions convey the intensity of your needs;

  3. Your emotions convey the degree of your needs;

  4. Your emotions convey the duration of your needs; and

  5. Your emotions convey the object of your needs.

In short, nature-based anankelogy defines emotion as a need-conveyor. 

Pronunciation guide

anankelogy [n.] (ä'-nä-kĕ'-lŏ-jē): the study of need, specifically here the human experience of need.

anankelogical [adj.] (ä'-nä-kĕ-lŏ'-jĭ'-kâl): of, relating to, or characteristic of anankelogy; referring to the role of need in another subject.

anankelogist [n.] (ä'-nä-kĕ'-lŏ-jĭst): one who studies the role of need in observable phenomenon.

anankelogically [adv.] (ä'-nä-kĕ-lŏ'-jĭ-kâ-lē'): referring to the role of need on some action. E.g., Political views tend to be less rationally deduced and more anankelogically produced. 

anakelogic [adj.] (ä'-nä-kĕ-lŏ'-jĭk): same as anankelogical.

 
 

I. Emotions convey direction of need

 

Your emotions provide you direction. To direct you toward what is good. To pull you away from what is bad.

When something goes your way you naturally feel good. Right? When things go terribly wrong, you understandably feel bad. Why?

 

Simply, according to nature-based anakelogy, because your emotions convey your needs. Specifically, your emotions convey the direction of your needs. Good feelings flow when your needs find relief. Bad feelings flow when they don’t.

 

 

Your homeostatic cycle of emotions

 

Let’s look at this through the lens of indigenous wisdom. Its four-quadrant-circle sheds light on life’s many intersecting cycles. Including the many back-and-forth balancing acts of emotions.

 

Think of each of your needs. For food and water. For shelter. For friendship. For security. For meaning in life. Each involves the experience of moving toward easing that need, or moving away from easing such needs.

 

Homeostasis involves this moving up and down across a relatively stable line of balance. That’s represented here as the green area running through the center, left to right across the circle.

 

This creates four basic directions for your emotions:

  1. discomfort (or any level of pain),

  2. relief,

  3. desire,

  4. pleasure.

 

All your other emotions fit into one or more of these four basic need-conveying directions. Each result from something occurring to your needs—two what happens to you (exceeding and depleting) and two how you respond (removing and replenishing).

There is no good nor bad except for need.

1. Discomfort

 

You feel discomfort when exceeding some limit. Someone gets too close. You drink too much. Some new law threatens your livelihood. All generally bad for you.

 

 

2. Relief

 

You feel relief when removing that excess. That person moves along. You use the restroom. That regulatory threat to your livelihood gets removed. All comfortably good.

 

 

3. Desire

 

You feel desire when depleting your reserves. You wish your friend would call. You hunger for something rich in protein. You desperately await your paycheck. For the moment, not so good.

 

 

4. Pleasure

 

You feel pleasure when replenishing your tank. Your friend calls with encouraging words. You eat your favorite protein-rich meal. You finally receive your paycheck. All pleasantly good.

 

 

Morality for needs

 

Generally speaking, desire draws in, expecting pleasure. While pain repels, anticipating relief. Both enable you to get back to full functioning.

 

Although, sometimes you resort to substitutes. You get some pleasure from something that doesn’t fully replenish your loss. You find some relief from something that doesn’t fully remove the threat. What may seem aesthetically good risks turning out bad.

 

Just about any use of the word “good” and “bad” points to this basic experience. There is no good nor bad except for need. In more ways than one, morality serves as code for needs.

 

Can you think of any time you regarded anything as good or bad that was not connected in some way to how you felt about some need?

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II. Emotions convey intensity of need

 

Your emotions provide intensity, a sense of urgency. Must have it now?

Whatever you feel about Donald Trump’s presidency, or about your current job, or just about anything, you feel it as intensely as you need something. Your emotions convey your needs. Where you experience no need, you experience no emotion.

Your cycle of focus with each need

Besides direction, each emotion conveys your need’s intensity. The more intense you feel your need, the more it grabs at your focus. Consumes your attention. Often compelling you to seek relief.

 

You go from feeling your need to no longer feeling your need. Using new terms to illustrate this, you see how you quickly—or sometimes slowly—shift through four phases.

  1. Prefocal

  2. Focal

  3. Defocal

  4. Nonfocal

 

There is no such thing as pain or desire apart from unresolved needs.

Nature-based anakelogy uses another four-part-circle to illustrates this in its need focus cycle.

 

 

0. Nonfocal

 

Prior to needing it now, your need laid dormant. If you don’t feel thirsty right now, for example, your body’s need for water remains nonfocal.

 

You still need water. Just not right now. You have enough water in your system, thank you very much. So you don’t feel the need at the moment. It’s nonfocal.

 

Most of your needs at any time sit somewhere in this nonfocal stage. They must, or you would be overwhelmed.

 

 

1. Prefocal

 

As your body’s fluid level drops, it starts to signal you. You don’t feel a full-on thirst yet, but know it’s coming. Don’t you? For now, your need for water waits in a queue with a bunch of other prefocal needs.

 

You expect your friend to call to ease your loneliness, but you’re doing fine as you wait. You anticipate your paycheck to direct deposit into your bank any minute now, but your account is not yet in the red. It helps to be aware of these needs before they become emergencies.

 

Meanwhile, you’re dimly aware of this creeping thirst, but likely must attend more pressing matters. That drink can wait. You know to get ready for it.

 

 

2. Focal

 

Now you can’t focus well on other things until you take a gulp from your water bottle. Or get yourself a cup of coffee. Whatever it takes to restore your body’s fluid level to quench that thirst.

 

About now, your loneliness yanks at you to call your friend, as you feel distracted without her inspiring words. About now, you check your account to see if that check cleared, lest you get an overdraft charge and all the anxiety that comes with it.

 

You now focus squarely on your most urgent needs. You can do little else. We aren’t built to put our most pressing needs on hold and still function as usual. We feel compelled to do something about such needs, to relieve them as promptly and fully as we can.

 

 

3. Defocal

 

After a few sips, you can feel your thirst subside. You no longer feel consumed by it. You can now freely focus on other things, instead of obsessing about what’s available to drink.

 

After hearing your friend’s reassuring affirmation, you find it easier to focus on what she has to say. After seeing your paycheck post to your bank account, it falls off your radar.

 

You feel relieved. Your thirst feels quenched. You enjoy the pleasurable warmth from a loving friend. You know the peace of being financially secure once again. You feel these needs fade, but realize they are not completely off your radar, yet.

 

 
4. Nonfocal

 

Thirst? What thirst? Your body’s need for fluid equilibrium slips completely out of your current awareness. Of course, your body’s need for water persists. With the right balance, you simply do not focus on it anymore.

 

No loneliness. No financial worries. These too slide to the backburners. Leaving ample room for other needs coming into focus.
 

Eventually, each of these sleeping needs will reawaken. Most of our needs cycle back and forth like this. Which keeps them predictable. And helps us remain prepared. The more of these needs fully resolve, the freer to focus on other matters. And the easier to enjoy life.

 

 

Applied to both desire and pain

 

At the precise moment all of your needs sit resolved, you cannot experience pain. At that instance, you suffer no desire. There is no such thing as pain or desire apart from unresolved needs.

The diagram above applies specifically to focusing on desire—on replenishing what’s been depleted. This one below applies specifically to focusing on pain—on removing threatening excesses.

Both cycle around from nonfocal back to nonfocal. Some needs only apply in one of these directions. Like too much pressure on the skin. Others swing in both directions. Thirst is complemented by relieving the bladder.

 

Stacked atop each other, you can see how some needs vacillate between pain and desire. Your emotions convey the focus of your needs direction something like this.

Focusing on your emotional focusing of needs

 

While your need for water slides into a defocal stage, your hunger for food may rapidly shift from prefocal to focal. Before you can satisfy that need, your need to remove some stomach cramps suddenly becomes focal. Your hunger must now wait, defocal but not yet fully nonfocal.

 

How you attend one need readily affects another. Some needs promptly become nonfocal after you start addressing them. Others take much longer. Especially if you’re relying on substitutes—like junk food.

 

Satisfying some needs only lasts a brief moment. Your need for oxygen remains constant. Instant pain if you can’t breathe freely. Meanwhile, you can go days without hearing from your mother.

 

 

Your never-ending emotional focusing of needs

 

A need you assumed was fully satisfied returns to your painful awareness. Perhaps you left it in its defocal stage and failed to finish replenishing, or removing, what proved necessary. Or the substitute you relied on failed to last long.

 

What we call peace could be characterized as moments we feel neither the focus on some pain to relieve or desire to fulfill. What we call contentment could simple be these fleeting moments of the nonfocal stage.

 

Nature doesn’t care what we call it. Or what we believe about it. Nature governs how we experience our needs. And if you reflect on it, you realize you will inevitably feel some focal need right about now. Well, did you?

III. Emotions convey degree of need

 

Your intense emotions provide more than just focus. They include a matter of degree.

It’s one thing to quench your thirst as soon as you feel it. It’s quite another when you’re out hiking or somewhere in the middle of nowhere, and your throat runs dry after your water bottle ran dry.

 

Your focus on replenishing what’s lapsed and on removing excesses is often a matter of degree. The longer it takes to return to full functioning, the more intense you feel that burning need.

 

 

Intensity continuum: focal ranges

 

Nature-based anakelogy appreciates not all focal needs call for the same attention. Some whisper to get your ear. Others scream for your exclusive attention. This continuum covers four progressively louder modalities.

  1. at-rest – resolved needs require no focus at all (nonfocal)

  2. aware – resolve this need when you can get to it

  3. alert – resolve this need as soon as possible

  4. alarm – resolve this need now or else

 

Now let’s apply it to both directions, both for pain and desire.

 

Before diving into each one, notice how each range can be numerically quantified.

+7 to +9 =    alarm, agonizing 

+4 to +6 =    alert, severe pain

+1 to +3 =    aware, mild pain 

0 =                at-rest                  

-1 to -3 =      aware, wish         

-4 to -6 =      alert, desire         

-7 to -9 =      alarm, craving

These can apply to a scale or level of anxiety, depression and other impactful pain you understandably endure if stuck in a power relation.

 

When put together with the direction cycle above, you can imagine it looking like this.

1. At-rest

 

 

No pressing need. Calm. Nonfocal. Peace. Right there in the green zone at center.

 

Since life flows with needs, this can only be a fleeting moment. Soon enough, some need of yours will be triggered.

2. Aware

 

 

As soon as you feel thirst, you quench it. As soon as you your bladder fills, you empty it. When resources to resolve your needs remain accessible, resolving them can be fast and easy.

 

You can then freely focus on other matters all along. Your thirst emerged as modest wish. Easy to fulfill with water in hand. You emptied your filled bladder while still a modest discomfort. No waiting to use the restroom.

 

You cycle through your emotions promptly. You swing not far from balance. You quickly bounce back to equilibrium. You return to optimal functioning, as soon as you became aware of each need.

3. Alert

 

 

What if you can’t stop and take a drink? What if you’re stuck waiting in along line at a public restroom? When resources remain inaccessible, pain persists—and unfilled desire itself turns to pain.

 

Your thirst turns into obsessive desire. You can’t focus much on anything but quenching your burning thirst. Your urgency to empty your bladder slips into disruptive pain. You can’t focus on much else.

 

You cycle through your emotions more slowly. You can’t get back to equilibrium so easily. Your full functioning remains limited, as your unmet need keeps you on constant alert.

4. Alarm

 

 

Your body can only wait for so long until your needs must resolve. Your ability to function soon collapses. Until you access those vital resources, you can only think of relieving that need. Nothing else matters.

 

Your thirst now shifts into desperate craving. Your bursting bladder leaves you in consuming agony. Not only can’t you fully function, long-term or permanent damage soon besets you.

 

You don’t cycle through your agonizing emotions without sufficiently resolving your urgent needs. Stress pushes you overboard, into what’s called a general adaption syndrome. Full functioning stops, as your body now goes into full alarm.

Resolving needs removes suffering

 

Trauma has a way of taking over our responses to painful reminders. We can choose to learn from our conscious mistake, but our body takes over to avoid repeating past alarms.

 

You understandably avoid painful situations. Especially those where you previously lacked access to the necessary resources to fully resolve.

 

If unavoidable, you may find yourself in a freeze-fight-or-flight stance. You understandably oppose others who appear insensitive to your risks. You may become adversarial to protect yourself.

 

About the surest way to remove all painful threats and promptly replenish all depleted resources is to vigilantly resolve each need promptly as possible. Which typically requires help from others.

IV. Emotions convey duration of need

 

Your needs resolve instantly or they linger. Emotions convey this duration.

Besides direction, intensity and focus, emotions convey the duration of your needs. The more promptly your needs resolve, the quicker the feeling goes away. The longer it takes for your needs to fully resolve, the more they linger.

 

 

Your need duration cycle

 

It’s basically a dance between what you do about your need, and then getting the consequence of your actions. Nature-based anankelogy offers a cyclic way to understand this need-duration dynamic.

  1. report – involuntary stimuli, sensation evoking need

  2. react – volitional action prioritizing personal self-needs

  3. respond – volitional action prioritizing social-needs

  4. result – involuntary stimuli, consequences shaping perceptions

 
1. Report

Something seems amiss. It’s just outside your attention. It’s still “prefocal.” Your body reports some action might soon be necessary.

 

You vaguely realize feeling thirsty. You subconsciously consider if something to drink is in reach. Maybe the feeling will pass. Perhaps it’s just a false alarm. You continue what you were doing.

You sense some trouble when trying to buy something to drink. Your debit card won’t process as quickly as usual. Is it you, or them? You’re aware this calls for your attention, but not yet for what specifically. Or for how long.

 

Meanwhile, you feel some preliminary irritation. This annoyance reports the presence of something unacceptable, before any certainty on what should be removed. Or how.

 

At this point, it all seems so ambiguous. It may simply go away. It could resolve on its own, without your full attention or doing anything about it. Or, more likely, this could take a while.

2. React

Once convinced your need is real, your body automatically switches on its readiness to do something about it. Even before you’re fully aware of it. Your survival might depend upon an instant reaction.

 

Some object hurdling at your face requires no reflection on what to do about it. Duck! As soon as your hand brushes up against your hot stove, your hand practically jerks back without conscious decision.

Emotions typically come packed with something ready to do about the triggered need. The more alarming or urgent the sensed need, the less time afforded to consider options. So you act now, ask questions later.

 

When danger overwhelms, your body routinely overrules caution. Your body automatically knows it’s better to risk overreacting to danger than to risk underreacting to life-ending threats.

 

Of course, such reactions can spill into unfriendly behaviors. We like to think of ourselves as appropriately social, censoring our socially inappropriate reactions. Survival has other priorities.

 

If for not this automatic reaction mechanism, you wouldn’t have a self for long to interact with others. Dead people don’t have social lives. Your body defends this truism: survival trumps careful responding.

3. Respond

When your survival isn’t threatened, you get more time to consider options. The duration of your emotion stretches long enough to find an optimal response to the situation.

 

You stomach growls, but you know you won’t starve anytime soon. You pause to reflect. You say “no” to that tempting junk food. You drink a full glass of water to fill your stomach till meal time.

Novel situations particularly demand reflection. You could easily make a costly mistake. So you think twice before doing what you habitually do in such circumstances. Your give a measured response.

 

Far from home, you hear others saying something you find offensive. You realize you’re from a different cultural background, and you’re likely misinterpreting their intent. You avoid conflict.

 

The more space allowed to focus on a response, the more prone to apply whatever conventional rules seem best to apply. Or what you routinely apply, especially where reinforced by others you care most about.

 

Good social relations help you focus more on better options. They can do what you can’t do for yourself. You can count on them to respond to triggered needs to improve desired results.

4. Result

Your behavior creates consequences. For you and typically for others as well. Whether you reacted sharply or responded carefully to your latest triggered need, you naturally seek to know the results of your actions.

 

Your capacity to function occurs in an open system, with feedback loops. Did your actions help resolve the need? Or merely put it on hold? Or worse, increased your pain?

Did quenching your thirst with coffee take that need completely off your mind? Or are you now sipping at that mug all day? Does all that coffee have anything to do with that headache you’re starting to feel?

 

If your needs fully “defocal” to a “nonfocal” state, your pain turns to relief. Your desire turns to pleasure. Too often, the results are less stellar.

 

Much of your modern life abounds with merely adequate results. Don’t they? Or worse, adequate results slip into disappointing results.

 

Worse still, poor results tend to distort your perceptions when these needs get triggered again. Your thirst reports a different routine. Sensing financial troubles reports a likely more painful scenario.

 

In short, your needs endure for longer and longer durations. Do your actions resolve those needs, and result in greater functioning? Or merely relieve your discomfort, diminishing your full potential?

Your need duration array

 

Each result shapes your interpretations for sensations that follow. Results “report” the status of the need. You perceive recurring needs through this filter of resulting experience.

 

Did your hunger fully resolve? Or only partially resolve? Not at all? Despite stuffing down some chocolate treats, do you find yourself obsessing about food all day?

 

Some of this is quite modest, easily overlooked. Others delve into debilitating trauma. Let’s look at an array of consequential results.

 
 

When you don't own your pain, your pain impulsively owns you.

A) Pain relieves (kept aware)

Reactions restoring you to optimal balance create good habits. So keep reacting to your thirst with a mindless gulp of water.

 

Reactions formed from not accessing due resources undercuts your full functionality. Trying to quench your thirst all day with hard alcohol does not bring you back to your full potential.

Substitutes relieve your pain. But since the need persists, your pain persists—albeit at a more tolerable level. You can focus more on other things, but your full potential gets taxed.

 

Your unmet need’s duration only goes down in intensity. It may linger indefinitely, or eventually resolve. Only by fully resolving needs can you fully remove the pain.

B) Pain builds (aware to alert)

Remember the boiling frog of creeping normality? You get used to a gradual build up of pain. You continually adjust to a new normal.

 

You constantly feel hungry. You habitually react by soothing it with more junk food. The hunger returns, long before your next meal time. You likely don’t even think about it much, as you see others stuck in this same trap.

Perhaps you find relief with similar others. Generalizing with them offers you shared relief. “It’s us against the world.” It’s cut and dried for you. Very black and white. Relief depends on it.

 

You can’t afford to focus on disconfirming specifics. Not while generalizing in such pain. You find it almost impossible to respect other’s needs. You’re too busy chasing your own.

 

Your painfully unmet need’s duration goes on indefinitely. What if it remains intense, albeit at a manageable level? What if your pain never goes away?

C) Pain distorts (alert to alarm)

What if you’re still in pain when a need recurs? You’re already anxious about your job when receiving word its funding will be being cut. Your rent payment bounces, and then you’re told your monthly rent is going up another hundred dollars.

 

No one can function optimally if still in pain. Dysfunction sets in. You gradually adjust to being able to do less and less. 

You react more. You have fewer resources to reflective respond to each need.

 

You try offsetting your suffering by indulging in leaps of pleasure. That takes your mind off your troubles for a minute. Trouble quickly returns, since needs don’t resolve when shooting their messengers.

 

Unfortunately, you slide into a vicious cycle of worsening trouble. Your focus pulls more and more toward relief. You slip into normalizing this pathology, this pattern of enduring unresolved needs.

D) Restoring wellness (removing pain)

 

Resolving your needs removes your pain. That’s not always a simple matter, easily within your grasp. Many of your painful needs involves others.

 

Eating and drinking what your body requires removes that grinding hunger. Engaging others to hear what they specifically need, so they can specifically hear yours, removes the pain of alienation.

Resolved needs don’t report pain. You don’t normally feel hungry after eating a full meal. Only unresolved needs persist with pain. Resolved needs restore wellness.

 

What you can do for yourself, yes, do it. But your responsibility to yourself depends to some extend on other’s responsibilities to you. Whether reacting or responding resolves such needs.

 

Psychosociotherapy unpacks the many interpersonal needs fueling psychotherapy-resistant pathology. Power differentials impact the bulk of your needs. Wellness is psychosocial, not merely psychological.

 

The more needs you can identify, express and freely address with others, the less pain you must suffer. You’re most likely to move from severe pain to moderate pain as you find better ways to face and deal with these painful needs.

 

The quicker you can shift from a reactionary adversarial approach (geared more for relief) to a need-responsive conciliatory approach, the more pain you can feel removed. And the better you can fully function, to reach your full potential.

Gradient pain types

Anankelogy recognizes four graduated types of pain. The longer a reported threat persists, the next type of pain often kicks in.

 

Organic pain

This is when your body originally reports a new threat to be removed. This is often a quick and sharp pain. It is rarely agonizing when processed in a flash. It tends to instantly compel you to seek removal of the threat, but typically allows time to reflect on how real is that threat. And if you are to remove the threat or if you are to remove yourself from the threat. If your body perceives the threat is not sufficiently removed, you naturally segue into residual pain.

 

Residual pain

This is when your body reports a persistent threat apparently not yet removed. This typically runs at a lower pain threshold than the organic pain. However, if too much unprocessed pain builds up, residual pain can pile up layers that can be as intensely felt as organic pain. If pain relief lets you avoid the intensity of such pain, it could leave in place the threats this pain reports for you to removed. Getting stuck on avoiding pain can eventually result in more pain to avoid. If left unprocessed, such residual pain can slip into biostructural pain.

 

Biostructural pain

This is when persisting threats being continually reported—along with pain-relieving that allows threats to persist less aware—ends up distorting your biological and psychological processing of pain. You hurt and cannot see the immediate source for that pain. This pain could account for the identified chemical imbalances associated with depression that psychiatric meds seek to relieve. This could also account, in more severe cases, for the severe cognitive distortions among the most violent. If left unprocessed, your body will likely shift into metapain.

 

Metapain

This is when your body reports a threat of too much pain. The pain load itself becomes the threat you are compelled to remove. At this stage, your wellbeing is threatened by too much pain lingering on for so long. Your health likely declines, or rapidly collapses. This is late stage pain suffering. About the only thing worse is death, although some have “opted out” to try to escape such unbearable agony.

 

Your discomfort zone

Your body can endure far more discomfort than you likely give it credit. Modernity grants so many comforts that we risk sliding into more severe types of pain. Without naturally sharpening our tolerances, we easily slip into unnatural suffering.

 

Your ancestors, who lived in humble abodes, developed the skill to adjust to extreme temperature changes. They moderated their expectations while in the cold of winter. They adjusted as necessary to the heat of summer. They survived, and even thrived.

 

Pain relief is best kept provisional. Go bold and embrace each organic pain that comes along. Instead of always shivering in the winter cold, relax and let that chill pass through you. “Yes, it is cold,” you say to yourself,” but not so cold that I am at risk of frostbite.” Be cold, and laugh. You are more at risk of missing life if getting stuck in avoiding life’s natural discomforts.

 

Your best reaction to early pain is to embrace it. Instead of letting pain chase you, you chase it. Grow your tolerance range. Work with trusted others to help stretch your comfort zone. Help them to graciously stretch theirs. Support each other to process pain. You can only reach your full potential when integrating organic pain into your daily life. Because when you don’t own your pain, your pain impulsively owns you.

V. Emotions convey object of need

 

Your needs point to an object. They point to some resource to relieve or resolve the need.

Nature-based anakelogy illustrates how emotions occur in cycles. Including the cycle of how emotions convey the object of what you need, mirroring the duration cycle.

 

 

Awareness cycle

 

How we routinely experience our needs affects how we regularly think about them. Think of a photo you initially can't quite see.

  1. vague awareness: just coming into view, with low resolution

  2. binary awareness: black-and-white image

  3. continuum awareness: grayscale image comes into view

  4. matrices awareness: sharp imagery, almost too vivid

 
1. Vague awareness

 

 

You’re ambiguously aware something is out of whack. Is it hunger? Or longing for something missing that just feels like hunger? Or nothing? For now, you’re only vaguely aware that something isn’t quite right.

 

It’s at the tip of your tongue. It reports something is there. You can’t put your finger on it yet. It’s nebulous. Beyond words. Not yet categorical.

 

Just in case, you’re poised to act if necessary. If it’s thirst, you’re subconsciously ready to reach for some water. If sensing your car is starting to slide, you automatically reach for the brakes.

 

Your intuition serves you well in these fleeting moments. Similar experiences shape your cognitive filter, to give you an instant idea of what it’s about.

 

 

2. Binary awareness

 

 

It suddenly sinks in. The threat is real. A set of binary options rapidly fires through your mind.

 

Is this need urgent or not? If so, do I need immediate relief or not? If true, can I do anything about it now or not? If yes, is it my responsibility or not? If no, who can I blame?

 

This “binary tree” empowers you to instantly react. So you can be ready to protect yourself on the weakest of cues. Long before a dangerous threat makes it too late to react.

 

Black-and-white thinking dominates. You’re either threatened or not. You either fight or flight. If the threat proves fatal, there’s no time for nuance.

 

Intuition continues to dominate. Particularly in familiar situations. Your autopilot lets you move through a bunch of triggered needs without tedious reflection. It’s rather efficient.

 

 

3. Continuum awareness

 

 

If no imminent threat, you can pause to reflect. You have time to consider your options. You have room to become aware of a continuum of possibilities.

 

Black-and-white thinking gives way to seeing more gray areas in between. Fixed extremes melt into matters of degree. Can it wait till tomorrow, till next week, or next year, or indefinitely? Will it result in me feeling mildly anxious, or increasingly dreadful, or in paralyzing terror?

 

With more to consider, you can more carefully respond. Instead of just serving your interests, you entertain what’s best for everyone.

 

In more novel situations, intuition gives way to reason. You optimize results with rational arguments. Instead of “do I stay or go” you ponder “if I stay an hour or if I stay two hours or three.”

 

The better the results, the more sharpened our reactions and responses when the need recurs. Especially if we must rely on our initial intuitive response.

 

 

4. Matrices awareness

 

 

You start seeing one thing connected with another. One set of options overlap with another. You’re aware of a matrix of possibilities.

 

If you leave now, your friend will be disappointed in you, or mildly irritated with you, or possibly slip into a rage. If you leave now and she is only disappointed, she may not return your call tomorrow, or leave an angry voicemail, or ghost you.

 

You realize the complexities involved in your decisions. Previously reasoned conclusions now get packaged in your organized memory for rapid recall.

 

You prefer to create optimal results. But you cannot possibly consider every nuance for every situation all the time. You would become overwhelmed with all these intersecting and overlapping possibilities.

 

So reason dissolves into intuition. Your cognitive filter gets refined. Recurring needs then pass through a better-informed vague awareness. Rinse and repeat.

Balancing intuition and reason

 

Can you see how this cycle mirrors the duration cycle?

 

  1. vague report –- involuntary stimuli, sensation triggering need

  2. binary reaction – volitional action prioritizing personal self-continuance

  3. continuum response – volitional action prioritizing prosocial responsibilities

  4. matrices result – involuntary stimuli, consequential cues shaping perceptions

 

Western culture has long celebrated the role of reasoning over intuition. Feelings can’t be trusted, or can they? If they can, trusted for what?

 

Nature-based anakelogy takes these popular beliefs about emotions to task. Far from inconveniences believed to be from broken psychological, emotions personally convey needs.

  1. Emotions include direction because they personally convey the moral direction of your needs.

  2. Emotions include intensity because they personally convey the intensity of your need’s focus.

  3. Emotions include degree because they personally convey how much your need is resolved or not.

  4. Emotions include duration because they personally convey the level of urgency for each need.

  5. Emotions point to an object because they personally convey the resource to relieve that need.

 

Modern society relies on rational-legal authority to attend our many needs. Laws impersonally convey needs. Good, when needs resolve. When they don’t, the results bleed into political conflicts.

 

To keep laws applicable across diverse peoples with diverse needs in diverse circumstances, laws tend to be intentionally vague. They generalize to a fault. We trust the judiciary to clean up any messes.

 

 

It’s your life, your needs

 

Modern life presents many novel situations. So we make mistakes. Even the judiciary relies on overarching generalizations.

 

The judiciary relies on binary thinking (guilt-or-innocent, offense-or-defense) to offer relief. The judiciary, in the name of reason, remains unaccountable to specific need outcomes and actual personal and social functioning.

 

Your needs cannot play by rules serving others. Laws do not literally govern you. The nature behind your needs govern you, compel you to act toward optimal functioning. Laws at best guide our need-governed actions for optimal social results.

 

Reason emerges to play a dominate role. In novel situations, that’s a good idea. Where “reason” is forced to play an exclusive role over intuition, problems inevitably emerge.

 

 

No, it’s not just politics

 

 

We generalize with our politics, our values, our cultural beliefs. We apply a lot to a few—in the name of reason. But, honestly, such “reasoning” systemically overlooks your specific needs.

 

In the name of reason and law, you’re expected to adjust to fewer and fewer of your needs fully resolving. You’re forced to adjust to a buildup of pain.

 

You follow the unwritten code of not letting others see how damaging this truly is. You manage how others see you as we all fool ourselves—in the name of reason—that this the best we can do.

 

 
Yes, you can

 

 

The more needs you fully resolve, the more you can trust your intuition. The more you can rely on your feelings to help produce results in optimal functioning.

 

In many ways, you already do. With these anakelogical insights, you can now appreciate how and why.

Your emotion-conveyed needs look outward

 

You scratch an itch. You wipe sweat from your brow. You stretch your legs. Each includes the direction, intensity, focus, duration and object. 

But these represent a minority of your needs. Most of the time, you "need" something external to yourself. You need to get some water. You need to find the restroom. You need to call a friend for help. You need to go to the store for food.

You need some resource to ease some need. You need to access that resource. Or someone to access it for you. The object of your emotion-conveyed need speaks to this next area of our need-experience.

Next, your need-experience funnel. 

In the tradition of my Haudenosaunee ancestors, I do not “sell” this inspired creation of anankelogy as individually owned intellectual property but offer it free to all. Once I put it all out there, according to indigenous principles, it no longer belongs to me. It belongs to us all.

 

I do accept donations. I do not require a lot of cash; my bill collectors do. This is how a latter-day Native like myself can balance both worlds. Thank you.

"THANK YOU FOR PROVIDING THIS ANANKELOGY INFORMATION FOR FREE

No information collected, just click to send $1.

If you are ready, willing and able to contribute more, then who am I to stop you? 

Go ahead and click here to express more of your gratitude. And to offer any testimonial of what this means to you.

Thank you for thanking me serving your needs.

with this $1 gift. Thank you."

solving problems by resolving needs
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