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Instincts versus the frame-of-mind… a looming duel?

artist rendering of book, quill and letter ... an original inkwell philosophical analysis

Comparing 'instincts' to the 'frame-of-mind'

(5th edition [re-edit] - April 2012) by A.O. Kime
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However unsuccessful mankind has been in trying to fathom metaphysics - so baffling and elusive - everyone suspects the spirit world is based on some master principle. While there are many facets to this overriding principle but often just by looking at them differently can produce new insights and 'instincts' is a great example. Instincts could be viewed in several ways... including, but not limited to, being a functioning aspect of the 'frame-of-mind'. Of course, all metaphysical terms are just characterizations of something mysterious adopted over the years. In effect, it's a fog bank dissected... assuring major defects in our understanding of life and its processes.

Since there are no tangibles in the spirit world, nobody can produce proof to back up their metaphysical concepts. There lies the dilemma... although a dilemma divine Intelligence can help neutralize. Yet, to the degree this satisfies one's own curiosity, a dilemma would remain about how to express (describe) those 'pictures' in comprehensible terms to others. Since there isn't much in the way of descriptive terms available (metaphysical semantics), one is forced to be creative. New ways to utilize common terms and expressions must be found to characterize these otherwise unexplainable indicators... indicators being all there is to work with. From these indicators then, one tries to characterize how things exist and how they work.

Yet, we shouldn't let indicators lure us away from grasping the bigger picture since instincts could be characterized in a variety of ways with the same amount of supporting 'evidence'... meaning no supporting evidence. The lack of supporting evidence says this phenomena of instincts could go even deeper. But first, let's play with 'instincts' and the 'frame-of-mind' as these concepts are commonly understood.

abstract drawing of bust of long-necked man

Spiritual frame-of-mind

So, how could one characterize this so-called 'frame-of-mind'? While we all have a general idea, it can’t be explained clearly, no clearer than one can explain instincts since there is nothing to put one's finger on. After all, this is metaphysical phenomena we're talking about.

While each animal species seems to have only one frame-of-mind, humans have several depending on their mood. However, more-so dramatic than the differences between moody outlooks is the difference between thinking spiritually and not. Like moods do, the spiritual frame-of-mind also grasps life in a different way... just more profoundly.

While we're all familiar with what 'instincts' entail and know about the instinctual differences between species, it doesn't tell us what instincts actually are. We only know what the term represents. However, the basis for this vague representation is just a concept derived from indicators plucked from a dense fog. Instincts, like the frame-of-mind, are merely characterizations of these indicators, nothing more. The term ‘instincts’ does have value however, it is a way to reference the matter... but it is still a foggy concept which hasn't been attributed to anything. On the downside, titles often have a way of boxing-in a phenomenon which can greatly affect perceptions.

The human frame-of-mind could be characterized as being a flexible state of awareness comprised of several influencing factors which would include, as we understand the concept, instincts… instincts being just one aspect of this frame-of-mind. After all, without knowing the dynamics of instincts, they should be considered merely 'effects'. In other words, until mental processes are fully understood, they cannot be considered anything but effects. We don’t know nearly enough about instincts for that concept to be considered a cause. Yet, instincts are spoken of as a cause.

While perhaps a dependency is to be assumed ... but a dependency on what? Do instincts owe their existence to the subconscious mind or to life itself? Or is it in that order... life being the ultimate cause? Yet, we don't know anything about life either. Is life really a cause or, for practical purposes, just considered a cause? Since life could also be considered an effect, might it be possible instincts have equal standing after all? In other words, while instincts depend on a living body in order to function, even as an aspect they could still be an independent force.

The point of these questions is to also illustrate the fogginess of the matter.

Perhaps to address the problems encountered if one tried to advance the concept of instincts would help clear things up. Let’s first envision a particular instinct in action unleashing its unique dynamic forces which makes itself a functioning unit. Makes itself function? That's just the point, something greater must exist... a cause otherwise unidentified. We can't say life is the cause either since its essence hasn't been identified yet. At any rate, instincts are a greater phenomenon than commonly appreciated.

abstract drawing of bust of smiling man

Instinct concept comprising too much?

So, isn't it futile to try advancing the instinct concept when, evidently, it is comprised of so much? Especially when, it seems, that which it is comprised of is greater than itself? In comparison… it would be like considering with the meaning of a kiss when love is the mystery.

As it is, science has not sufficiently expanded upon instincts except for establishing what would qualify as one, which is essentially ‘unlearned behavior consistent to the species’. Therefore, if science can’t expand on the aspects of instincts much more than that, then the term is only good for referencing the matter. In the meantime, we’re still left with only a vague idea what instincts are all about. Also, since science contends intelligence can neutralize innate behavioral instincts, then humans, at least, are not hardwired to instincts. This would put the frame-of-mind in the dominate position. Being subjacent then, one could say instincts are a functioning aspect of the frame-of-mind.

On the other hand, instincts are not subjacent to the frame-of-mind of animals. After all, instincts are too powerful for the frame-of-mind of animals to overcome. Only human kindness will alter instinctual behavior in animals... albeit limited. Common pets, of course, respond best to human kindness. Otherwise, humans are the only species capable of keeping its instinctual behavior in check. So, in considering that kindness can be a factor... is it still solely about intelligence then? Well, that opens up another can of worms and not the topic.

The question of what 'powers' instincts has effectively gone unanswered... even if it is generally considered a function of the subconscious mind where psychologists toss everything else they don't understand. While in a sense it is, it's too vague to be an answer. So, what might power instincts then? Well, one likelihood is that this phenomenon (instincts) is a form of life as I put forth in my abstract theory of cohabitation... being separate from the 'human element'.

Generally, it isn't natural (out of character) for a species to break the bounds of their logical disposition but some manage nonetheless... primarily pets. Other species can but have difficulty doing so while it's seemingly impossible for reptiles and insects. Common pets are those most capable and became pets for that very reason… but they need interaction with humans to conduct themselves differently. Also, the instinctual habits of animals can be modified by learning from each other... a fact science acknowledges. There are limits however... species only pick up habits of the same genre.

While pets don’t pick up human habits, there is much unrealized significance in their ability to communicate with humans. It indicates pets have a frame-of-mind capable of breaking through their inherent boundaries. As this may apply to man's ability to understand metaphysics, one must break the bounds like a dog, cat or horse often do. However, interacting with the spirit world can’t be done without the right frame-of-mind. It's also much harder than communicating with pets.

This website has articles on practically every metaphysical subject... see the list in our Metaphysical wonders & inkwell philosophy webpage. Inspired by the muse they are original, enlightening and endearing.

The reason science and most philosophers fail to understand metaphysics, that is, the spirit world and its alien-like composition, is because they have yet to recognize it takes a spiritual frame-of-mind to understand metaphysics. Expressing it, of course, is another matter. Further, the picture one tries to paint is merely an artist's rendering and almost any depiction can be improved upon... meaning all conclusions should remain subject to revision. However, the establishment does not subscribe to revisions... it's too hard on professionals with an investment in their education.

A.O. Kime

Matrix of Mnemosyne... the place of smoke signals from the spirit world

Last modified 03/05/16