Triessentialism

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Galaluna - A Triessentialist Civilization


Imagine my surprise when I discovered that one of my favorite cartoon show creators, Genndy Tartakovsky, had a new show which described Triessentialism - the philosophy I have been investigating since early 2001 - but not by that name.


(Yes, I'm a fan. I'm a fan of nearly everything Genndy Tartakovsky has done. However, I watched the pilot, thought it was cheezy and derivative, and dismissed it. That was a mistake; this show is totally awesome. And the tragedy is, it got cancelled before I had seen more than two episodes!)


The civilization on the fictional world of Galaluna is based on a parallel of Triessentialism: "Heart, Body, and Mind, Unite As One" is the credo of their royal family, and appears to be an avenue their science was still exploring, before they were invaded. (This was my own first formulation of Triessentialism, before I started using the equivalent technical terms Emotional, Physical and Logical.)


The Titan - A Triessentialist Symbiosis


When Princess Ilana and her bodyguard Lance land on Earth as refugees, they are surprised to discover that their robot battle suits combine with their android companion Octus to form a gigantic battle suit, the titular Sym-Bionic Titan. (Fans suspect that Lance's father, who was Galaluna's greatest scientist and one of the king's best friends, created Octus.)


Lance, the group's Physically intuitive member, was one of Galaluna's elite soldiers, rightfully the top of his class at battle school. He defeated one of the two known traitorous members of the coup/invasion in single combat with only a sword and a fist-sized rock. His contribution to the Titan is battle tactics, strength of will, and the right weaponry to defeat the mega-beasts.


Ilana, the group's Emotionally intuitive member, is the daughter of the king and presumably heir to the throne. Throughout the series, she is a highly compassionate person, to the point of putting herself in jeopardy for childrens' pets and her own bodyguards. Her contribution to the Titan is subtle than the other two, but she is also responsible for the generation of shields to block incoming projectiles and blows.


Octus, the group's Logically intuitive member, is a sapient robot who can alter his appearance with holograms. He is very intelligent, able to analyse the weaknesses of the mega-beasts using his sensors and keen mind. His contribution to the Titan is control of his robotic body to generate weaponry using his force-fields and replication units.


It is hinted that their minds combine to some degree while in Titan mode. The two Galalunans appear suspended in a trance-like state, protected from physical harm by Octus' force fields. They converse freely with eyes closed and lips unmoving. (I think it would be too confusing and unnerving to show a Trill-like symbiotic mindsharing in a childrens' show, but I think it could have been handled better.)


Triessentialism's Potential


When the alien teenagers and the A.I. enroll in high school as a cover, Octus points out the different social groups: the jocks, the nerds, and the cheerleaders/spirit squad, who run the school social scene and are "the most dangerous of all." These are, of course, the Physically, Logically, and Emotionally intuitive groups that naturally form in high school.


Princess Ilana compares them to the primitive tribes of Galaluna's past, a people divided. Of course, when she tries to unite them, she is mocked. (High schoolers are not the right crowd to try to unite. Early middle school would have been better to explicate differences and forge a bond, but what can you do?)


Triessentialism, when communicated properly, has the potential to aid individuals and entire cultures in understanding their differences, and seeing the strengths of others.


It has certainly helped me discover the differences between myself (Logically intuitive) and my father (Physically intuitive). He need to get things started and get them done; I want to analyze and talk. He has a sense of the urgent and the important that I don't, and he seems to figure out what to do in most situations.


Having discovered our differences, and later having worked for the same employer in the same shop, I was surprised to see that he is Logically intuitive like me, but was forced by the pressures of life to become Physically inclined. Upon reflection, it shouldn't have surprised me as much as it did. After all, watching science fiction shows such as Star Trek has been our primary shared activity since I was a youth.


The situation with Lance and his father is the opposite. His father was Galaluna's greatest scientist, but upon his apparent death, Lance was sent to a military school where he found the will to become a physical specimen of top quality. Lance's latent logical intuition has shown up in his tactical and strategic skills, from his early discovery of the coup/invasion to his skill in dispatching one of its traitorous heads in a swordfight.


I don't know if a society where children are taught the truths which Triessentialism reveals would be much more tolerant, but it would give young adults a greater understanding of their place in the world, and the differences between the people around them. It needn't be in a classroom; perhaps embedded in a TV show for children...?


I plan to watch the rest of the series very soon; I suspect I will learn a lot about my own philosophy from this show, from the perspective of the (probably Physically intuitive) minds of the writers.


Buy it on iTunes or DVD/Blu-Ray. If you're a fan of smart action-adventure, deep-backstory science fiction, or tales of heroism, moral fortitude, and hard decisions, you'll love it.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Lack Of Pretend Play In Autism

For neurotypical children, pretend play is an important part of cognitive development. Thus, when autistic children "fail" to pretend that a doll or action figure is speaking, or when they "fail" to assign specific roles in pretend scenarios, such as "I'm the policeman and you're the robber," neurotypical adults notice the different.

However, from my own Asperger-tinted experiences, this is not failure to map imaginary onto real. The Transformer toy I'm playing with is not alive, and is not the "real" Optimus Prime. I can not lie about reality, even fictional realities, in that way.

Give me a hand puppet, however, and I'll gladly come up with a voice, personality, and facial expressions for it, because this is the "real" puppet, not a toy of it.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Primary Sorting Algorithms

Everybody has a primary sorting algorithm.

Let me explain. The senses perceive something, and the brain then tries to recognize what it is. Then the emotions react positively or negatively.

Perception, recognition, reaction. Boom boom boom, it happens very fast. Then comes decision.

I was hiking with a friend once, and at the top of a hill, I looked down at my feet.

And at the coiled brown thing next to my right foot. (Perception)

Which looked very much like a rattlesnake I had seen in a Scout manual once. (Recognition)

Which meant I was in danger. (Reaction)

Which mean I needed to get down that hill as quickly as possible. (Decision)

My friend later told me that I had been yelling as I ran down the hill; I don't remember that part. Adrenaline does some funny things.

The primary sorting algorithm lives in the Recognition part of the decision cycle; it is based on everything you've ever taken as a fact.

When you see (perceive) a person, your brain immediately goes to work figuring out what type of person they are. For some people, the primary sort is, are they a man or a woman? For others, the sort is, are they my race, or another? For others, the sort is, are they a child or an adult? This DETERMINES how you react to them.

Some people have more esoteric primary sorts, such as, are they a cat person or a dog person? Are they a Star Trek fan or a Star Wars fan? Are they happy or negatively emoting?

Your primary sort is based on that one event in your past when you screwed up a primary identification, and something bad happened to you. In my case, I was de-pantsed by a cute girl, who had never shown any inkling of being mean to me before. (She solemnly apologized when she saw how embarassed and ashamed I was.) From then on, I primarily sorted people by whether they were going to hurt me or not. I determined this by their facial expressions, either of friendliness or of seeming guarded or mischievious. I haven't gotten over this.

Now things get tricky. There are people with screwed up genes, or screwed up hormones or glands or stuff, whose sexual characteristics are not fully male or fully female. These "intersex" individuals have a very hard time in a world that insists on a binary primary sort of male/female. (The same is true of dwarfs, little people, and short people, who are often treated like children despite being adults.)

People who are intersex inspire the same kind of "gender panic" in certain people that cross-dressers and transvestites do: "How DARE you be unrecognizable to my scheme of how the world works! How DARE you attempt to trick me into miscategorizing you!" In a civilized society, there is no reason for "gender panic" to turn into violence; however, it does too often, because not everybody who lives in civilization is civilized.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Learn Your Lessons

God teaches people lessons in life, using everything that happens to us.

However, because there are three different types of people (Physically, Logically, or Emotionally Intuitive), there are three different methods He uses to teach us.

Physically Intuitive people learn life lessons like a coal being formed into diamond. Each hard thing they learn to endure makes them harder, more able to resist the hard things of this world. "What doesn't kill me, makes me stronger."

Logically Intuitive people learn life lessons like ore being purified into gold. God puts them into the furnace from time to time, and as they stop being so rigid, the impurities float to the top to be skimmed off. "If it doesn't work, don't do it."

Emotionally Intuitive people learn life lessons like a pearl being formed in an oyster. Each ugly bit of grit teaches them something beautiful about God and His plan for them. "But if it hadn't happened, I wouldn't have this testimony."

There are times when each of us experiences life lesson learning through the other methods, but I've found, as a Logically Intuitive person, that God prefers to purify me; that's just how I learn to deal with this fallen world. (I do have my pearl testimonies and my diamond resistances in some areas.)

And we will be His crown someday, to His glory as testimony for the angels who remained loyal, and against the angels who turned traitor.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Constitution of Man

The constitution of man is the most common misconception about Triessentialism. I do not deny the existence of body, mind, and spirit, but I believe them to be less than the whole truth.

"Physical" usually refers to the particle-based body in this space-time continuum. However, "Physical" also describes any plane of existence which plays by approximately the same rules. You push something, it moves away. You pull something, it comes closer. You cut something, it is split. In the context of a Christian cosmology, the usual thinking goes like this: there is a spiritual plane of existence called Heaven, in which we will have new spiritual bodies that never need food or cleaning or anything else. Will it be made of particles of matter like this universe? I doubt it; I think it'll be much cooler. However, it will be made of some sort of matter; we won't just be thoughts and emotions swimming in a sea of other minds. Keep in mind this is usually what guys mean when they say "spirit" or "spiritual," since guys are usually physically intuitive.

So already in one category we have both body and spirit -- at least, one definition of spirit.

You also said "mind." I consider mind to be a combination of emotion and logic; at least, human minds. Logic is all about truth, structure, and reasoning. Emotion is, contrastingly, totally and completely irrational. However, emotion is all about identity, purpose, importance, and desire, which logic has nothing to do with. The classical duality, the Mind/Body Problem, is not finely enough defined. Once you split Mind into Logic and Emotion, it becomes clear why the ancients were confused.

Some consider this to be spirit, because it is completely nonphysical. (Although the brain is the container of the mind, and damage to the brain impacts the mind, the brain is no more the mind as the candle is not the flame.) However, some people consider mind to rever solely to the intellectual (logical) capacity, and not the emotions.

Now we come to spirit. Some say it is a paraphysical or pseudophysical reality. Others say it is completely the opposite of physicality. A third option, one which I am loath even to mention, equates spirit and emotion. For example, a "spirited argument" is an emotionally passionate argument. People who are nice are often said to have "a good spirit." Positive or upbeat emotions are said to be spiritual by the world, while a "spirit of devotion" is often spoken of highly in the church. And so on. This option tends to be put forward by women, because they are usually emotionally intuitive.

So in a traditional tripartate constitution of man, "Body, Mind, Spirit" refers to one or possibly two things in two ontological categories, and one or up to three things in one ontological category each. The best possible Triessentialist interpretation of "body, mind, and spirit" is to call mind logical and spirit emotional. Yet surely most people, especially Christians, would chafe at equating emotions simply with spirit. After all, emotions can be influenced with drugs, the mood of the room, or a lack of sleep. Surely that does not imply that if a person dies while in a grumpy mood, they will go to Hell.

There must be a better constitution of man.

I suggest a sevenfold constitution of man. Primarily, the body, intellect, and emotions. Secondarily, the instinctual, philosophical, and innovative capacities. Thirdly, the moral capacity. Everything except philosophy requires a body. Everything except innovation requires emotional capacity. Everything except instinct requires some level of logic. They are not separable; any being without part of each of these would not be human.

That being said, where in this scheme is there room for the spiritual? What about the as-yet unmentioned "soul"?

In Triessentialism, I consider the moral capacity of man to be his soul, and "spirit" to refer either to a paraphysical plane of existence, or the emotional capacity. (I hate ambiguity, but since the words are already defined by the world at large, this level of clarification is the tightest possible.)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Triessentialism in the Job Market

Physically intuitive people feel most comfortable in jobs of a physical, scientific, moral, or animal nature. These include construction, physics, robotics, chemistry, industry, medicine, law, law enforcement, politics, leadership, etc. Since most men are physically intuitive, most men will be found in such jobs.

Emotionally intuitive people feel most comfortable in jobs of an emotional, philosophical, moral, or animal nature. These include counseling, art, charity, religion, philosophy, politics, cheerleading, modelling, medicine, caretaking, justice, law, etc. Since most women are emotionally intuitive, most women will be found in such jobs.

Logically intuitive people feel most comfortable in jobs of a logical, scientific, philosophical, or moral nature. These include computer science, hard math, research, invention, philosophy, law, finance, etc. Since most people with autistic tendencies are logically intuitive, most people with Asperger's Syndrome will be found in such jobs.

If you're not in your category right now, consider that any job in your category would be more to your liking than even the best job outside your category. Take it frim me; I was in jobs that seemed to suit me, but were not in my category. Then I was given a job in a logic-related field. It's like discovering your favorite food at the age of thirty, and wondering how you never tried it before.

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Composition of Man

Back in early 2001, God gave me an answer for my philosophical questions: a systematic ontology, a set of three categories into which everything could be divided: the Physical, the Logical, and the Emotional. Everything that exists, or even can or could exist, is made up of things from these three categories.

It made sense; man has a body, a mind, and a heart. At least it made sense at the time, but the primary objection most fellow Christians have is "where does spirit fit in?"

I need to ask them, each time, "What do you mean by spirit?"

You see, spirit is a word that, in contemporary American English, can be used for many things. It can be used in a philosophical sense, a psychological sense, a moral sense, a purely emotional sense, a metaphysical sense, an abstract sense, or as relating to consciousness either of man, of animals, or both.

Soul can usually also be used in such senses.

The Triessentialist trichotomy, by contrast to the traditional trichotomy, holds at its core the multiplicative combination of the three components (Body, Mind, and Heart): the person as a moral being.

A thing of Body only (such as a rock) cannot be held accountable under law, nor can a thing of Mind only (such as a mathematical equation), nor a thing of Heart alone (such as the emotion of anger).

Nor can the combinations of two alone be held morally responsible in the same way as a human. Animals are beings of Heart and Body (their mental capacity not encompassing the logical capacity necessary for language), and if they harm a person, they are destroyed without trial. Computers likewise are things of Science (Mind and Body without Heart), and as such are tools; they are no more legally responsible for their actions than would be a hammer used to crush a skull. A being of Mind and Heart without Body would be unable to affect the physical world in any way, except possibly through communication with humans; yet we cannot hold Holden Caulfield or Nietzche's Zarasthustra legally responsible for acts committed in their names, as they are fictional characters, beings of Logic and Emotion without real substance.

The only beings we hold morally responsible are humans, the only Earthly nexus of Body, Mind, and Heart.

Thus I define moral existence to require these three characteristics, these three components. I further define this Moral nexus as the soul of a person.

The being currently made of entropy-prone matter and arranged chemically to function as if a real person will be given a better Body, one made of better stuff, without dependence on gravity, electromagnetism, time, and oxygen. I term this the spiritual body, which will house the soul when this body dies or is removed.

Spirit remains, like Love, a word I rarely use due to its ambiguity. First, I state that there exists a pseudophysical realm that is "outside" but "near" our own, in which the general concepts of the Physical still apply, such as things not occupying the same space at once, and one thing pushing on another makes it move; this is the spirit realm, in which angels and demons exist; this is the realm in which we will exist, and the matter of which our new bodies will be constructed. Second, I state that the term spirit, when not used in this manner, is generally used to describe all things emotional; I generally try to refrain from this second use, as it seems more metaphorical than real to me.

When reading the Bible, I draw no distinction between soul and spirit, since the Bible itself draws no systematic distinction, except in the works of Paul. Since he uses them systematically, I see the term soul (psuche) as equal to "psyche", the flesh-based mind OR the fallen Moral will, but "pneuma" as EITHER the pseudophysical supernatural component of Man OR the Moral Will, the nexus that is the person, which Jesus restores through salvation and the Holy Spirit renews through sanctification.

And please, if you see ANY theological flaws with this, PLEASE alert me to them at once.

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