The Pattern of
The Building Blocks of Emotional Warfare
Each individual is essentially indoctrinated into and gradually becomes enmeshed in Emotional Warfare from preconscious infancy to adulthood. I have termed the psychological steps and states in this process of pattern identification, recognition, and processing the Building Blocks of Emotional Warfare. (Note: The term Building Blocks is intended to denote the natural-science or mechanistic anchoring to the integrated functionalism of the psychological steps and states, establishing One Divide’s mechanistic functionalism and functional-causal theoretical framework. For a detailed exploration of the Building Blocks written for a broad audience, please see Book 1, The Reference Guide to Emotional Warfare; for a more technical, academic discussion, please see The Essay Collection: Volume 1.) Ultimately, these Building Blocks come together to form a behavioral pattern and dual-purposed psychological and psychosocial field (within the interior realm and in the outer, external realm) of Emotional Warfare that governs the individual’s life until they become aware of it and begin to prioritize emotional freedom and authenticity over the need for emotional security. These Building Blocks inform the action of Emotional Warfare and ultimately form the interplay of its Pattern(s), which occur on (1) the inward or intrapsychic level and (2) the outward or intersubjective and/or interpersonal level. This supports the multilevel definitional framework of Emotional Warfare and provides various entry points into the theoretical framework of Emotional Warfare. Each of the nine Building Blocks has an underlying base of Emotional Survival supporting it, reifying and/or instantiating its context and meanings for maximum intelligibility within the human experience, whether from a first-person, subjective view or a third-person, objective standpoint.
Anatomy of the Pattern of Emotional Warfare
— The Map —
Anatomy of the Pattern of Emotional Warfare: The Map provides a key visual tool — an anatomical view of the Pattern of Emotional Warfare, constructed as an interactive communication mechanism for both the general user and the academic researcher or practitioner — that emphasizes the Building Blocks’ algorithmic sequencing and algorithmic information, which support One Divide’s pattern identification, processing, and pattern recognition premises. The Map also helps newcomers to the platform to understand the interconnectedness of the Building Blocks and thus attain the overall abstract intelligence and psychological gestalt of Emotional Warfare.
Throughout the Map, shaded areas and arcs (dotted lines) illustrate the Building Blocks of Emotional Warfare and thus the Pattern’s interconnectedness. The arcs show direct relationships between one Building Block and another, and the arrows show the directions in which the relationships travel (2015, design updated 2019).
Click image to view larger in a new window
By way of quick review (or introduction), the foundational framework and original philosophical literature of One Divide is centered on the functional theory of Emotional Warfare. Nine Building Blocks form the Pattern of Emotional Warfare, and I call reader attention to them by styling them with initial capital letters; capitalization of words, terms, or phrases (e.g., One Divide, Emotional Warfare, True Self, False Self) indicates that these concepts are central principles to the One Divide/Emotional Warfare platform and/or work within the purposive language system established in the Philosophy of One Divide. This language system enables an explanatory ladder, starting with a base level of inquiry or domain of observation and moving to the necessary abstract, metatheoretical level of discourse where deep philosophical and psychological problems are explored and (perhaps) solved. To accomplish this, I purposively use some “plain speaking” for maximum computational processing, interpretation, and translation and to capture the full breadth of behavioral complexities and phenomena of human conflict and human unity in a simple manner for the sake of accuracy and longevity; consider the Pythagorean theorem, logarithms, and other very long established equations that, while simple at face value, continue to accurately capture the pure grandeur of behavioral complexities and phenomena in the vast domains of time and space, informing Albert Einstein’s theories of relativity and other foundational and influential equations in modern mathematics, computer science, information theory, physics, quantum mechanics, and so on. Understanding this tethering of the simple to the complex (which extends from mathematics into the branches of philosophy and psychology that One Divide operates within), I remind the reader of the nine Building Blocks:
- Broken Trust
- False Self
- Emotional Desperation
- Emotion-Based Survival Skills (EBSS)
- Perceived Security
- Hidden Agenda
- Emotional Prison: Level One & Level Two
These are articulated in their most metatheoretical and meta-psychological forms in Book 6, Emotional Warfare Essay Collection, Vol. 1. However, for now, the key attribute of the Building Blocks is that they provide the functional-causal basis for what I describe as intra-interplay, established through their conceptually interdependent interconnectedness. The Building Blocks and their subcategorical principles, which are all associated with the Philosophy of One Divide and theory of Emotional Warfare — and these specific terms and their metaphoric meanings — work almost seamlessly, coming together in an algorithmic sequence, which compounds their intricacies as they build off each other and form the gestalt of Emotional Warfare itself.
Ultimately, the Building Blocks, the intra-interplay of Emotional Warfare, and the One Divide conception all work off the underlying base that is formed by the fundamental need for self-preservation, what I couch universally as Emotional Survival. Although not a Building Block itself, Emotional Survival is of equal importance and therefore it is also capitalized throughout the platform’s materials. In fact, it may be the most vitally important of them all — and could be considered a neo-Maslovian move toward the hierarchy of needs of the human person, in addition to being an advancement of Maslow’s conception of self-actualization through self-expertise via the One Divide Method, as established in Book 3, Identifying the Pattern of Emotional Warfare (2015).
The Building Blocks become intermixed after they are established; any given Block (or axiom) may come to be interdependent with variables that are present in other Blocks, including in ones that do not precede or follow it in the sequence. All of these attributes add to the deceptiveness and depth of Emotional Warfare, since it is all directly tied into the underlying base of Emotional Survival, making a full philosophical and psychological investigation all the more necessary for establishing proper metatheoretical discourse and articulation of Emotional Warfare’s seen and unseen nature: the ongoing unveiling and understanding of the functional-causal relations between the mechanical — the objective materialist or physical reductionist views of the biological sciences, behavioral science, and neurology and the classic understanding of the first half of the Cartesian split: body — and the metaphysical — the subjective, intersubjective, and socio-subjective nonmaterialist views of consciousness and the classic understanding of the second half of the Cartesian split: mind — that combine to establish this full inquiry into human conflict and human unity.
Advancing the False Self Concept
(via the Broken Trust Event)
In academic terms, the Philosophy of One Divide builds off and advances Donald Winnicott’s theory of the false-self disorder1. However, the Philosophy of One Divide is distinct because of its introduction of the theory of Emotional Warfare.
The anatomy of the Pattern of Emotional Warfare is initiated by the Building Block of Broken Trust: a moment or event that occurs in the beginning stages of human life, often preconsciously and preverbally, in which self-preservation and the basic human need for physical and emotional survival first emerge. It is reinforced by various mechanisms throughout childhood and adulthood, establishing and advancing a False Self conceptualization via the Broken Trust and forming a meta-theoretical to clinical explanatory ladder. The Broken Trust is an unavoidable element of a person’s life experience and fundamental to the person’s awareness of existence, and its effects take shape cognitively and/or affectively in the person’s development and learning processes. Moments that occur afterward reinforce the Broken Trust event and move from the preconscious/preverbal to the subconscious to the conscious as cognitive and linguistic development (through inner speech and/or interpersonal communication) take place. However, initial imprinting (in the form of “emotional markers,” which work like data points) stays within the subconscious and informs the conscious adult. The Broken Trust usually occurs and/or is reinforced at a very early age and stage, when something happens to disrupt the infant’s or child’s sense of safety and triggers an unhealthy level of fear and aloneness, loneliness, abandonment, isolation, and uncertainty. While the initial Broken Trust event could be considered to take place via the womb (consider traumas to the carrier of the fetus and developing research on epigenetics) or even at birth (consider ideas in depth psychology), categorically it is reinforced later, through something as simple and normal as being yelled at or as objectively life-altering as abuse, abandonment, or the death of a parent. A child’s sense of safety and trust need only be pierced on the smallest of levels to be the Broken Trust event. From this time on, the child begins learning to change or adapt (even if by developing maladaptive responses to social stressors and/or threats) as necessary to fulfill expectations and earn love and acceptance from parents or caregivers.
This is in part a reflection of Donald Winnicott’s false-self disorder; the child begins to develop a false persona, believing it will produce emotional security. The child also retains a True Self — an honest, authentic side to the personality, which will become more and more private and separate from the public persona and which the child will bury more and more deeply. This can occur gradually or quickly, depending on the reinforcement (positive or negative, in equal or unequal measure) the child receives from those responsible for his or her survival. Simply put, as the child observes, learns, and survives the physical and emotional environment — and the behavioral cycles of the primary role models and caregivers first responsible for the child’s Emotional Survival — and the child gauges and adopts schemes, strategies, and tactics to successfully utilize the False Self to meet emotional security needs, he or she begins to place more trust in the False Self than in the True Self.
At this point, imagine the child metaphorically splitting into two halves — the True Self and False Self — separated by a gap, which fills with what I have termed Emotional Desperation. Emotional Desperation is the sum of three universal fears — aloneness (loneliness), abandonment, and uncertainty — and becomes the foundation of the individual’s subsequent Pattern of Emotional Warfare.
This brings us to the second Building Block: the development of the False Self. The False Self is the persona an individual develops after the Broken Trust event to ensure the physical and/or emotional security he or she needs from others by mimicking and self-presenting in ways that force others to give attention and/or approval. It can push a person into model behavior, disruptive behavior, or any gradation between. The False Self stands between the outside world and the True Self (e.g., public persona(s) versus private self or interior narrator), keeping the True Self safe but also preventing the person from achieving emotional freedom or connecting on an honest level with others.
This is not to be confused with Winnicott’s false self. Although there is some overlap between the two theories and they have some parlance in common, Winnicott’s false self emerges in reaction to maladjustment by the parents, particularly the child’s mother,2 while One Divide’s False Self emerges in reaction simply to the initial inevitable Broken Trust event — which may involve poor parenting and may not. The False Self comes from an individual’s intense, fundamental human need to feel secure and to avoid feelings of Emotional Desperation, rather than from a need to please a maladjusted parent.
This False Self theory is the core of the Philosophy of One Divide and theory of Emotional Warfare. The mind manufactures a False Self to restore a sense of security, unconcerned with emotional freedom. The False Self, on one side of the divide, is a survival, coping, and defense mechanism that serves as the person’s faceplate and representative to the outside world. Its main function is to interact with others, using Emotional Warfare whenever necessary, to elicit and restore a sense of emotional security throughout the human lifespan, from the temper tantrums of a child to the subconscious, unconscious, or reflexive motivators behind the sophisticated, strategic covertness and sociopolitical calculation of an adult. Importantly, the False Self is not simply a conduit for redirecting negative emotions.
The False Self can be utilized in a multitude of ways, including procuring more Perceived Security (another of the Building Blocks) through “false positive” emotional representations — in which the person projects positive affective responses and/or uses private-to-public filtering to promote positive attitudes — or needing additional forms of “thriving” even after a substantial sense of Perceived Security is attained, i.e., creating multilevel dominance strategies in various interior and/or intersubjective domains or interpersonal interactions. Though the False Self is initially designed as a protector, its obsession with providing a sense of security becomes both damaging and restrictive within the interior emotional realm or psyche of the human person and between people, affecting the human experience and human condition simultaneously. While the universally felt emotions of Emotional Desperation are the fuel of Emotional Warfare, the False Self is its administrator and agent. This introduces One Divide’s dual-agency theory: the exercised/practiced agency of the True Self set against the instinctual/reactive agency of the False Self.
While the False Self instinctively wants to advance to a more evolved form within the interplay of Emotional Warfare, the True Self intuitively wants to transcend the biological limitations and psychological and conceptual barriers — as well as emotional barriers that form and/or stem from the conscious, subconscious, and/or unconscious — that inhibit emotional growth and contemporary spiritual development, moving beyond the interplay of Emotional Warfare entirely.
- 1. https://psychoanalysis.org.uk/our-authors-and-theorists/donald-woods-winnicott; https://www.sas.upenn.edu/~cavitch/pdf-library/Winnicott_EgoDistortion.pdf
- 2. Winnicott, D. (1965). Ego distortion in terms of true and false self. In M. Khan (Ed.), The maturational process and the facilitating environment: Studies in the theory of emotional development (pp. 140–152). International UP Inc. (Original work published 1960)