Decisions

from Mary Powers (960221)

Stefan Balke (960219.1630 MEZ)

About making a conscious decision (about choosing a route to
drive). I'd look at it this way:

My goal is to get home as quickly as possible.

In order to do this, at the program or strategy level I juggle
various considerations - time of day, traffic flow, etc. I know
that I can get out onto the highway from a street with a stop
sign when the flow is light, but at rush hour a slightly longer
route to a street/highway intersection with a traffic light
usually saves time waiting. So I go that way. _I do not,
however, select an action_. Having decided on a strategy, the
output of that strategy is the setting of a series of lower level
reference _perceptions_ (look for the sign for 9th street, which
has a light, instead of 8th, which doesn't, turn signal on, wait
for a break in oncoming traffic, pull the steering wheel in a
counter-clockwise direction, turn it back the other way, etc.)
At the lowest level I am acting: tightening and relaxing muscles
to achieve the constantly varying reference conditions of these
perceptions. But I do not choose those actions or make decisions
about them; I perform the ones required by the environment of
other cars, pedestrians, the configuration of the streets, etc.
_in relation to my intended goal_ of getting out onto the highway
at the traffic light, and getting home.

Remi (960219.1500)

     Some also said that human back in natural environment will
     still have more depression (a totaly random example) because
     they are far more complex, and that their intelligence allow
     them to become depressed, because they can review and review
     in their imagination, stressful event of big "reference -
     will" discrepancy.

     Is it ok to correlate minimum "reference - will" for higher
     hierarchical loop with the auto-actualization phase from
     Maslow or "whole" function from Rogers?

I think the key here is not the size of the discrepancy between
desired and actual perceptions, or the ability to brood about it
in imagination, but rather the inability to close the gap. And
one of the main reasons for having a large discrepancy that one
can't do something about is conflict - having goals such that
reducing a discrepancy in one leads to making another, opposite
goal, further from satisfaction. One way to deal with this sort
of painful situation is to numb it down and be depressed.

(The other main reason for having a large discrepancy between
reality and desire is the environment in which one lives - too
cold, not enough food, etc. And the human solution to that is -
voila! - technology).

I think that when Maslow or Rogers are talking about "fully-
functioning" people they are referring to a state of minimum
conflict, not minimum discrepancy. A person can have a huge
discrepancy between intention and actuality but not feel bad
about it if there is a sense of progress towards reducing the
error. And getting everything lined up so that there are few or
no conflicts at all is, I think, what is meant by having a peak
experience.

Remi - how much of your negativity about life in a technological
world is due to being a therapist spending a lot of time with
people who are in conflict and depressed?

Mary P.