I had a long and troublesome conversation with a friend. He is experiencing much hurt, sadness, and grief since he and his wife needed to split up due to marital problems. I went as far as explaining the “why” when he experiences cognitive dissonance about his wife. I cautioned him to respond and not react to life’s painful situations. It seems he doesn’t learn from anything we speak about as he repeats the same actions he is warned by past misfortunes to resist and avoid. I began to wonder why I am surrounded by belligerence. It is as tough as a diamond and hard to crack… with reason alone. Allowing him to release and express his pain and hurt so he can refocus on tasks at hand is my goal for him because I love him. Even behavior modification through the use of negative and positive reinforcement doesn’t seem to help; sometimes it can be denigrating to ones spirit and they lose hope.
It is difficult to adapt to anything new in order to change; it is a painful process. So the love and altruistic love I learned are two different forces – it seems they have chemical traces for “love – I’m so in love” love, but for love based on the will for the betterment of another’s mind, body and soul – true love that requires no payment back and is unconditional – is quite another story. Pain seems to be the modifying factor in altruistic love – and the offering up and absorption of that pain as a sacrifice to God seems to be the only way out sometimes as a way to effectively deal with hurt and do something good with it. Whereas writing can be just as frustrating to deal with pain, as is singing or any other good skill – the difference between static and a dynamic movement.
I begin to wonder about the free will and where it is stationed within, and how it affects the processes of the PFC – the neo cortex in conjunction with limbic system. If one has a broken heart and disengages it from within then it breaks away from the mind and one’s surroundings; this effect is extreme sometimes as one experiences a lot of pain – in the way it is processed and changes how one perceives the world. We all have free will and wills; some are broken, intentionally and/or non intentionally. How then do some people perceive a fatalistic approach to life? They feel “Things happen at random and there is nothing we can do about it.” Even the feeling “there is nothing we can do about it” is enough of an effect of pain when we give up hope. Hope is an act of the will but, if the will is not free, then can we be fully responsible for the choices we make? Love is also an act of the will, and so is Faith. These are some of the questions brought to mind as I reassess my conversation with my friend.
This brings me to the next issue of defense mechanisms that we build in order to avoid and avert pain that can cause further pain and wreak havoc to other parts of our consciousness, mind, heart, and body until we are ready to deal with the repressed issues. During this time of pain – are we free to choose – free to respond – free even to react? I think not. Therefore it would be nice to know what kind of chemical reactions go on within during this period of repression.
The pineal gland, the eye of the brain, is known as the link of our mind to higher levels of awareness and consciousness. The amygdala, the ventral amygdalofugal pathway is important because it is a link whereby motivation and drives, through the limbic system, can influence responses. It is also a link whereby responses are learned. In this case this is the link whereby associative learning takes place. That is where responses are associated with appetitive and aversive consequences that is rewards and punishers. We need to know more about these glandular functions in order to gain understanding that will lead us to an answer to my aforementioned question.