The Philosophy of One Divide
Moving into these Deep Dives, it is important to establish a baseline of thought that will allow for the necessary abstract conceptualization and metatheoretical contextualization of the information presented. The Deep Dives provide general and critical contemplations and discussions of an inquiry into human conflict with the purpose of creating human unity. The result of that inquiry is an assessment of human nature and human psychology (e.g., human behavior and/or mental behavior) that lays the groundwork for a new philosophical platform titled the Philosophy of One Divide. This groundwork outlines the principles and concepts of a completed and functional theoretical framework that examines the roots of Emotional Warfare — the conscious to subconscious or unconscious (or, put technically, nonconscious) process by which individuals manipulate their own conceptions of self, and thus self states of being, and of others to give themselves a sense of acceptance, belonging, and security, as well as strategies for Emotional Survival through variations of dominance and/or subjugation dynamics generated in response to emotional and behavioral distress and threats, real or perceived (and/or informed by biological/mental dysfunction or irregularities in the brain that alter the psyche or mind and create dissonance with external reality, i.e., psychosis), that occur within individuals and within societal contexts and influences. This includes the way Emotional Warfare and its deterministic patterns, cyclical mechanisms, and multidimensional interplay develop in individuals and how they affect everyday interactions, relationships, and the overall human experience and condition.
This platform is built on the sound assertion and metatheoretical premise that a single, universal divide is the causal instigator of all human conflict. This divide exists both within each person and between people and larger cultural groups differentiated by attitudes, customs, beliefs, and so on. The platform’s name, One Divide, refers both to the separation within individuals between their True Selves and False Selves (concepts I will explain in detail in the coming pages), which prevents them from attaining emotional freedom, and to the distance Emotional Warfare creates between people.
One Divide operates from the theory that people can only achieve their desire to find individual, independent emotional freedom (and advanced levels of self-expertise) and access their True Selves by learning about their False Selves and Patterns of Emotional Warfare. This leads to a purposive dual-agency theory centered on human conflict and unity. People will learn to adapt, evolve, and build unity in healthy ways as agents of meaningful change, or they will remain stuck in their hard-wired behavioral blueprints, unknowingly reinforcing negative patterns of behavior in divisive or coercive ways as nonadaptive agents governed by the interplay of Emotional Warfare and rooted in the pursuit of esteem needs and materialistic wants, just as humans pursue physiological needs such as air, water, and food (consider Maslow).1
The One Divide perpetuates human conflict and inhibits human unity. Not only does the ongoing conflict within and between humans prove the necessity for this new platform but also a deeper recognition and identification of the manifestation of conflict itself — intra- and interpersonally — could lead to advancements in mental health and mental fitness as well as cognitive optimization in healthy and unhealthy brains and, metaphorically, a closing of the One (emotional) Divide in place of its widening that is evident today.
The platform has a contemporary Aristotelian, learning-by-doing approach coupled with a principled methodology instantiated by the foundational neuroscientific principle known as Hebbian learning or Hebb’s rule2 and the ongoing advancements within this field of neuroscience, giving the individual the context necessary for advanced emotional intelligence, social intelligence, and abstract intelligence within a telos of attaining higher, modern-day levels of self-expertise. The idea of a personal teleology of working toward self-expertise stems from the Platonic and Aristotelian notion of aretē, a state of goodness or virtue something attains when it functions effectively for its purpose. The platform also is rooted in a neo-Kantian understanding of the moralities in which virtue is attained by learning to master the psychological and psychosocial field of Emotional Warfare and the interplay of Emotional Warfare and its Pattern(s).
Underpinned by the contemporary cognitive science of innate pattern-recognition processes, this purposive, interdisciplinary philosophical-psychology platform and methodology ultimately promotes meaningful evolutionary change simultaneously in the user’s own nature and in their participation in society, creating potential for positive social emulation and agreement modeling and a writ-large evolutionary wisdom/moral philosophy. It sets up the student or practitioner to receive or provide interventions to reach the most effective self, living a fuller life while adding inarguable social value to the self in the process.
“Individualism and collectivism are opposing forces; however, neither can exist without the other. They are inextricably connected through their dependence on the individual — a singular life domain. This holds true universally, in every culture around the world. Furthermore, in either theory, a given society's level of equality or ONEness — which has been the aim of many throughout history and which we continue to seek — grows out of the state of the parts that comprise the whole. Thus, whether speaking in individual or collective terms, a community's elevated state of collective consciousness or ONEness is dependent upon the consciousness or ONEness of the individuals within it; the individual state transcends into the external form. If the individual is divided, the collective will be divided…as the individual cannot be part of a whole if he or she is not whole.”- The Reference Guide to Emotional Warfare® and the Philosophy of One Divide®
The One (Emotional) Divide and Emotional Warfare
Working with Human Nature
To reach full potential as individuals and as the collective human species, humanity needs a new approach to understanding human conflict and how to attain human unity, and it needs new intra- and interpersonal navigation techniques that can be applied within the natural world while dealing directly with the reality of human experience. Of course, this is accomplished through self-examination, a notion that has been around since the earliest forms of philosophy both in the East and the West and in psychology’s early schools of thought such as structuralism. Consider W. Wundt’s laboratory of 1891 through to the modern self-help era (or the contemporary medicalization of disorders, which has shifted self-examination to self-diagnosis). Despite the wide acceptance of the basic premise, many such philosophies have been exercises in futility. Indeed, the idea that the answers people seek are inside them is not new. Nor are the criticisms regarding the utilization of introspection to study the adaptive purpose of mental processes — from the earliest forms of philosophy to Wundt’s attempts to establish psychology as science through structuralism, introspection’s unreliable subjective perceptions and unobservable mental processes have been problematic, and they remain so in modern neuroscientific methodologies and modern scientific theory in general.3 The debates about nature versus nurture, mind versus body, dualism versus monism, or what exists beyond the ontological and epistemological, i.e., the ineffable, are not new either. Nonetheless, to discover what lies within, people must do something humans generally resist — look deeply at themselves, within their given cognitive capacities to do so, and examine their lives and the roots of their behaviors while understanding the nature of their own humanity and that of other people they encounter.
This kind of introspection means asking some real and tough questions, both metaphysical and objective, and questioning the intersubjective beliefs that underpin the current uses of language — beliefs that involve society, which creates context and meaning and determines the intersubjective views of normalcy, morals, ethics, justice, social justice, states of well-being, mental health, what is considered adaptive/maladaptive behavior, and what should or should not be a diagnosis in the psychological or psychiatric domains.
True self-examination also means addressing how to develop, decipher, or choose between the multiplying individualized cognitive mental models and representations or intrapersonal algorithms being generated, shaping the individual and collective perception of reality, reasoning, and problem-solving approaches and informing the various educational platforms and metacognitive styles that explore the self, identity, and society. Of importance regarding this specific topic, One Divide’s metatheoretical framework provides an “observational gap” — with both reflexive and pre-reflexive considerations in place — through the metaphor of the One Divide, allowing for enhanced metacognition moves that supply both the narrow and broad-view lenses necessary for intellectual exploration, emotional growth, and spiritual development, especially when conceptualizing and delineating abstract or metaphysical notions of self, scientific mechanisms of human neurophysiological or biological functions, epistemological or ontological conceptions of being and/or identity, expansive views that contain the sociopolitical nuances of human nature and the social architecture of the human species, and broadly the ideals central to humanity.
In general, one can begin this kind of in-depth self-examination by asking: Do we really want equality and peace between us? Is it possible to experience true hope, love, and trust — actualized states of individual and societal well-being? If we did, would it inspire us to be more evolved in our thoughts and actions, both as individuals and collectively? Are equality and peace real possibilities without a moral universalism? What would an overarching behavioral and moral framework that cuts across space, time, and the full range of sociohistorical cultural domains look like in today’s fragmented, pluralistic society?
Answering these questions involves learning to accept the world and people’s place in it more pragmatically. For the human experience to become one of equality and peace — to operate within a conceivable framework of individual and societal well-being and cogent forms of social justice that transcend the historicity of social class hierarchies and socioeconomic strata in human civilization — each person must examine humanity’s underlying and apparently unchanging nature, or at least have a philosophical platform that provides the venue for contemplation of it.
Humans, whether in adaptive or maladaptive ways and whether viewed as independent or interdependent agents (a difference of perspective that is evident between Western and Eastern cultures: “In very broad strokes, Westerners understand the self in terms of the individual (independence), whereas Easterners understand the self more in terms of social relationships (interdependence)”),4 all operate from a neural-behavioral perspective within the realm of desire. Either this stems from a “human nature” that is influenced by the fusion of the biopsychosocial dimensions (consider the model offered by G. L. Engel or a more technical, discipline-oriented, active approach toward development, e.g., a revised bio-personal-social conception such as that proposed by Gerald Young),5 or alternatively there is no essence to human nature, as existence precedes essence (consider Sartre’s notions on anguish and despair and his views on agency, which he believed gives humans the capacity to make something out of their nature and the world they exist within).6 To varying degrees, humans desire to understand their own existence and to be successful in life in some capacity, personally and professionally; they desire autonomy, emotional freedom, authenticity, and control over their own destinies and personal value; and perhaps most importantly, they desire a sense of significance or meaning to their existence, as well as forms of social authority (e.g., dominance) within their familial dynamics, interpersonal relationships, communities, or given industries. However, all of this involves the participation of others, whether knowingly or unknowingly on the desirer’s part and willingly or unwillingly on the others’, and within the continued contemporary influence of Western thinking, these desires produce a relational, individual-to-collective causal reciprocity and create a multifaceted functional-causal tethering — which has attributes similar to neuroplasticity — and a bridging between philosophy of psychology (e.g., folk or pop psychology) and the natural sciences (e.g., neuropsychology, etc.). These individual-to-social and social-to-individual influence dynamics constitute the human experience itself. When coupled with human conflict, they create another ubiquity — though a paradoxical one. Everyone experiences personal discord within the self and conflict with others. This is in large part due to a paradox: the opposing needs for security and for freedom. From this paradox arises ever-deeper conflict within and between all people. In many ways, people have become subconsciously and/or unconsciously reliant on this conflict to create the change they are looking for — to move from devalued states of being to valued states of being and/or more desirable narrative identities — only to find, in the end, neither security nor freedom. To reverse this cycle, individuals must change their beliefs (or operating mental states, mental representations, etc.), both about their own personal behavior patterns and about human nature as a whole.
False Self and
Building Off and Further Developing Donald Winnicott's False-Self Disorder
Understanding one of the central elements of One Divide's platform, the theory of Emotional Warfare, provides the groundwork to identifying the False Self — the organism–environment mediator and self state or persona one develops agency and efficacy within as a survival mechanism. The False Self in this context is situated within a cause-deterministic action and is behavior based; depending on its strength of governance — or dysfunction or maladaptive characteristics — it can rise to the level of a “disorder.” It serves in two ways: first as the person's interior or intrapsychic coping and defense stratagem in response to the person's introduction to Emotional Survival and self-preservation, and secondly, later in development, as the external faceplate and representative of the person to the outside world, utilized to gain and/or manipulate a level of acceptance, belonging, and social embeddedness from another or others — building off and further developing Donald Winnicott's false-self disorder. (This is discussed more thoroughly in Deep Dive Section 3: Anatomy of the Pattern of Emotional Warfare.)
Identifying and deconstructing one’s False Self allows one to find and protect one's independent emotional freedom (and attain advanced levels of self-expertise, emotional intelligence, and social intelligence, combining to form an intuitive abstract intelligence) in what I have termed the True Self — the self state or most authentic expression of one's best qualities, which generates an intuitive sense of ethics and moral truths and is the agent of optimized behavior states and habits that produce all meaningful human change — in a manner that improves society. One can then achieve overall emotional well-being through an empirical, qualitative methodology that teaches one to help the True Self, providing a contemporary form of true self-help influenced by philosophical and psychological science and the philosophy of psychology, designed specifically to address human agency as found in the psychological and psychosocial field intersectionality in the natural world.
Each person, trying to survive — and thrive in some regard or to some degree — builds a False Self, basing it off the behaviors the person observes in others. In this sense, the False Self is formed in reaction to observed and learned behaviors and society's structured machinations and current ethos. Imitation and mimicking are intrinsic traits of human behavior (consider mimesis7 or the anthropological philosopher René Girard's mimetic theory8); as humans are social actors, performances, representations, and depictions are vital elements of individual and collective social abilities — even those that are antisocial or rebellious and/or fall outside the norms of a given set of societal parameters. However, despite the innate human ability to imitate the socially accepted behaviors of others, misconceptions, miscommunications, misinterpretations, and so on are also constants. Human conflict has many variations and involves a multitude of underlying causes. Nonetheless, the One (emotional) Divide is the instigator to all human conflict, as misconceptions, miscommunications, and misinterpretations take place first within the individual, between the process of interpreting reality and the resulting perception that produces the dialogue between the False Self and the True Self.
With mastery of the theory of Emotional Warfare comes sustainable True Self efficacy, supported by tools for deciphering internal and external “emotionally driven” transactions or forms of dialogue. Because of these transactional patterns, inner dialogue becomes a deterministic value, not only in one's interpretation of the exterior environment but also in one's communication and interaction with it, ultimately influencing one's experience of the outer world. Thus, a thorough understanding of this dual transaction influences the shared human experience, as all humans fall within the same parameters of functionality, whether in verbal or nonverbal communication. This understanding results in improved communication skills, both in self-talk and in outward interaction, as language mediates not only the social environment but also personal identities, which comprise both self-identities and social identities. (Social identities interact within a deterministic, functional, and multidimensional identity-game matrix, the gamification of identity.) In many ways, this language-based transaction both constitutes and affects a person's identity. It can either be accurately acknowledged or go unrecognized, creating a multitude of complexities in discovering the self and affecting conversation or negotiation with others that moves out of the normative first- and/or second-person desires, the reactive attitude structure, and oppositional–nonoppositional, in-grouping–out-grouping interactions (agreement and disagreement modeling). An awareness and explicit understanding of this leads to a simultaneous ability to learn about and improve one's “self” in a way that can be practiced and to actively participate on a meaningful level in the community, adding or generating social value, ultimately creating a broad, widespread, choice-based human agency that not only increases overall societal health but moves society toward a unified, elevated state of collective consciousness.
All this can be reached through a philosophical endeavor that examines the One (emotional) Divide. This divide is both a metaphorical space in which Emotional Warfare is generated within the emotional realm or psyche and a space between people within the observable world that prevents human unity and this elevated collective consciousness.
- 1. Maslow, A. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, 50(4), 370–396; Maslow, A. (1968). Toward a psychology of being (2nd ed.). Van Nostrand.
- 2. Hebb, D. O. (1949). The organization of behavior: A neuropsychological theory. John Wiley and Sons.
- 3. Rieber, R. W., & Robinson, D. K. (2001). Wilhelm Wundt in history: The making of a scientific psychology. Kluwer Academic/Plenum; Nicolas, S., & Ferrand, L. (1999). Wundt’s laboratory at Leipzig in 1891. History of Psychology, 2(3), 194–203. doi.org/10.1037/1093-4510.2.3.194.
- 4. Strohminger, N., Knobe, J., & Newman, G. (2017). The true self: A psychological concept distinct from the self. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 12(4), p. 554.
- 5. Young, G. (2011). Development and causality: Neo-Piagetian perspectives. Springer-Verlag New York. doi:10.1007/978-1-4419-9422-6_2.
- 6. Sartre, J.-P. (1956). Being and nothingness: An essay on phenomenological ontology. Philosophical Library. (Original work published 1943)
- 7. Puetz, M. (Winter 2002). Mimesis. University of Chicago: Theories of media: Keywords glossary. Retrieved from http://csmt.uchicago.edu/glossary2004/mimesis.htm.
- 8. Andrade, G. (n.d.). René Girard (1923–2015). Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from https://www.iep.utm.edu/girard/.