Philosophy of Emotion

by Rex Edward Musick

Table of contents


Nothing has failed us more spectacularly than psychology.

Medicine and sanitation made society healthier and cleaner. What success can psychology claim? Since its inception, we have become less mentally well. We are more anxious. We are more depressed. We struggle to find meaning like never before.

This is not a book about psychology.

Psychology has pathologized emotion. Psychology has locked away feeling behind its vaunted halls of intellectual misery and cold, clinical examination. Psychology has dragged us from the room of emotional experience, kicking and screaming, just as it dragged away the clinically insane of decades past.

This is not a book about psychology.

Innocents seek refuge from abuse in psychology only to find repetitions from their past, a religion shrouded in scientific terminology, its uniformed utterers their new abusers. Psychology seeks not to capture human-ness but to document sickness. It mimics medicine, cataloging and re-cataloging the ever-shifting tides of societal mental illness. It mimics religion, lording its holy texts over others while demanding conformity to their scriptures.

Where it fails most, psychology seeks to directly alter the chemistry of the brain through medication, trampling delicate human-ness into submission, creating dependents on yet more indulgences through their church of the mind. The most desperate and sick may find comfort in these measures, but this has not stopped the church from expanding to reach everyone, including the most vulnerable among us: Children. Society is not clinically insane, but this has not stopped psychology from expanding to everyone's doorstep.

Psychology has failed society utterly and completely.

This is not a book about psychology. This book is not a replacement for psychology. Society for the most part does not need psychology.

This is a book about philosophy. This book is for anyone who feels. This book is for the intelligent and unintelligent alike, the sufferers and perpetrators of abuse, the well and the unwell. This book is for anyone who seeks a simple model to understand their emotions.

Book I: Philosophy of Emotion


Emotions argue. They argue to seek the truth. The truth is survival.

Emotions make an argument for the self, for the world or for society. Emotions are arguments. Humans, feelers, are the instruments of these arguments, survival machines.

The argument of the self is called love.

The argument of the world is called fear.

The argument of society is called guilt.

Love, fear and guilt are the only arguments. These three emotions comprise the entire human experience.

Like any argument, emotions may be valid or invalid. Unlike voiced arguments, emotions have no conscious filter. The argument is made purely based on inputs from the self, the world or society.

The mind generates these arguments as emotions. It then hears and weighs them as conscious, reactive thought. Feeling and thinking are not separate, but rather two steps in the same process. Emotions are always the first step in the process. They are also the second step— they encompass thinking, too.

Successful arguments are chemically rewarded and reinforced by the brain. Unsuccessful arguments are not rewarded. Winning arguments will be made again and again, while losing arguments will atrophy.

The self

Love argues for the extended self.

The extended self typically includes family, lovers and close friends. Extremely malleable, the extended self may also included prized possessions and ideas.

Primarily, however, the self is the physical body of the person feeling the love.

Love argues for self-care and perpetuation of the body. It includes the desire to eat, drink, nurse injuries, have sex and care for others. All of these acts nurture and expand the extended self.

The world

Fear argues for the physical world.

The physical world includes the known environment. Direct surroundings impact fear the most, but the model of the world outside can drive it too.

Fear encompasses rationality. In its less excited states, fear can feel separate from emotion.

Fear argues for reactions based on the environment. The prototypical fear response is fight or flight.


Guilt argues for society.

Society includes the people around the person experiencing emotion.

Guilt argues for participation in society. Love drives the deepest relationships while guilt governs the shallowest.

Unlike love and fear, guilt is not an experiential emotion. It is not based on inputs from within (love) or without (fear).

Guilt governs the state of feeling love and fear at the same time. It can be thought of as a combination of the two, but at the same time is an emotion unto itself.


In addition to the default, internalizing form, each emotion has an externalizing form.

Unlike the internalizing form, the externalizing form demands action of the actual self, the actual world, and actual society. It cannot be satisfied by acting on the mind’s model. The internalizing form is reactive, while the externalizing form is proactive.

The externalizing form of love is disgust.

The externalizing form of fear is anger.

The externalizing form of guilt is pride.

Internalizing and externalizing emotions are different forms of the same argument. Effectively opposites, the internalizing and externalizing forms of an emotion cannot be felt at the same time.


Love argues for inclusion in the extended self. Disgust argues for exclusion.

Disgust is discerning. Disgust is exclusive. It drives taste, standards, and expectations of the self and loved ones.

Disgust ultimately demands a removal from the self. As an argument, it reduces the extended self. Love is the force that pushes the extended self out, encompassing new things. Disgust does the opposite, removing the unwanted from the self.


Fear argues to alter the internal model of the world. Anger argues to alter the world itself.

Anger governs confidence and action. It proactively demands a change to the environment.

In its most extreme form, anger can express as destruction of the environment. Anger can build or tear down.


Guilt guides the feeler to contribute to society by building expectations of involvement, typically felt as a desire to do work for others.

Pride also argues for the wellbeing of society. Unlike guilt, however, pride does so by pushing the feeler to be a good example of a society member.

Like guilt, pride needs a combination of the two experiential emotions. As a result, guilt and pride are the closest of the three dualities.


Each of the three emotions is a duality.

Only one form, internalizing or externalizing, can be experienced at a time. An argument cannot be made at the same time as its inverted form.

Love/disgust argues for the extended self.

Fear/anger argues for the physical world.

Guilt/pride argues for society.

Each form of each duality represents the same underlying emotion. Love is disgust. Fear is anger. Guilt is pride. Love and disgust cannot be felt at the same time. Neither can fear and anger, nor guilt and pride.

The internalizing and externalizing forms of the emotions are at the same time opposites and equivalents. This is the fundamental paradox of emotion.


Love is the additive argument of the self. Disgust is the subtractive argument.

Disgust is only felt upon an intrusion of the self or when the status of members or objects in the extended self is brought into question.

Love and disgust are perhaps the farthest apart as expressions of the same duality.


Fear models the world. Anger demands alterations to the world according to the model created by fear. They work together, assessing and changing the environment.

As a duality, fear/anger governs all interactions with the real, physical environment. Fear/anger models the need for doing a task and then prompts the action that completes the task through anger.

Fear/anger includes rational thinking, intelligence and confidence. If love/disgust is the “be” emotion, then fear/anger is the “do” emotion.


Of the three dualities, guilt and pride are the closest in form and function.

Guilt argues for society through doing, while pride argues for society through being. This apparent inversion of the internalizing and externalizing dynamic is only so from the perspective of the individual. From the perspective of society, guilt is still the internalizing argument, modeling society, while pride is the externalizing argument, arguing for a change to society, usually in the form of recognition by others.

Guilt is characterized by a need to do work for others or help others. Pride meanwhile demands the feeler to improve society by being a good member of society.


Which form of a duality is felt depends entirely on status. Each duality has its own status model.

In general, high status inputs generate an internalizing response while low status inputs generate an externalizing response.

High status objects are answered with love, fear and guilt. Low status persons, objects or ideas are answered with disgust, anger and pride.

Status interactions between a person and another person can be complicated. Status is in the eye of the beholder. It is entirely possible for two people to walk away from a status interaction with different ideas and feelings of what was transacted.


Love/disgust uses the simplest status model, one with a single state: Belonging.

A person, object or idea either belongs to the extended self or it does not. Belonging has one state, not two. The state of not belonging will not elicit a response from love/disgust, and is not a state unto itself at all, from the perspective of emotion. In other words, non-belonging persons, objects or ideas are not internally modeled by love as part of the extended self.

The disgust reaction is only achieved when a person, object or idea with no belonging status is set to become part of the extended self. This can be elicited by a bug landing on the skin, by a friend dating the wrong person, or by an unpleasant stranger striking up a conversation.

The simplicity of the belonging model makes love/disgust incredibly powerful and fast. The absence of nuance in this model allows the feeler to make very quick decisions based on what belongs in the extended self and what does not.


Fear/anger uses the most economical status model, competition. Competition has four states: Fight, flight, fawn and freeze.

The two higher states are fight and flight. Both propose a superiority over the threat, either in strength or nimbleness.

The lower states are fawn and freeze, both of which presume the oppositional stimulus cannot be overcome.

Feelers operating on the competition model will tend to see all interactions through the lens of the four Fs.

Social status

The most complex of the three forms of status, social status, has nine states. Since guilt/pride is the governing duality, its status model contains all of the previous states: belonging, fight, flight, freeze, and fawn. In addition, it contains four more in-between states, where status is frozen for one party.

These interstitial states allow for most of the lopsided transactions that make up society. Mirroring the four Fs, they are the four Ss: Sacrifice, service, surrender, and sycophancy.

Of the four Ss, sacrifice and service are the two higher states, while surrender and sycophancy are the two lower states.

The nine states of social status allow human interactions to elicit the same results as the base interactions found in nature without the dire consequences. The animal world runs on the four Fs. The human world runs on the four Ss.

Values and sensation

Each emotion has underlying values and accompanying sensations driving the emotion. These values are crucial to surviving in nature and crucial in the fulfillment of the emotion.

The values of love/disgust, fear/anger, and guilt/pride are food, security and socializing respectively. At a fundamental level, emotions argue to acquire these three things.

Tied to each duality through its value is a sensation. For love/disgust, it’s hunger. For fear/anger, it’s pain. Finally, for guilt/pride, the corresponding sensation is loneliness.

The sensations are the lowest, most immediate and visceral form of the duality. Values are, in addition to the chemical reinforcement provided by the brain, rewards for successful arguments. Sensations are punishments, negative reinforcement for unsuccessful arguments.

Just as emotions have internalizing and externalizing forms, sensations have externalizing counterparts too. For hunger, it’s sexual arousal. For pain, it’s pleasure. For loneliness, it’s shock.

Food and hunger

Food includes, first and foremost, food and water. Necessary to basic daily survival, the prize of love/disgust ensures the nourishment of the self.

Other necessities, like medicine, are included in the base value of love/disgust.

Hunger, the desire for food, is governed by love/disgust. Love selects foods and disgust rejects foods. Hunger hampers disgust’s discretion.

Sexual arousal, love/disgust’s externalizing sensation, operates on a similar paradigm to hunger. Sex can be pursued after the problems of food and hunger are settled.

Security and pain

The fundamental value of the argument of the physical world, fear/anger, is physical security.

Fear, anger, opposition and competition are all oriented toward securing the physical self in the environment.

Fear/anger builds shelters. It drives the feeler to eliminate danger from his or her life, both by recognizing it and seeking it out to destroy it or otherwise neutralize it.

Pain, the sensation of bodily harm, is governed by fear/anger. This includes the feeling of cold, which will bring about both pain and fear. Both fear and cold can elicit the shivering/shaking response.

Pleasure works similarly to pain, but in an inverted form. Pleasure occurs in the presence of security, not in the absence of it. Pleasure can only be achieved when the problems of security and pain are not present.

Socializing and loneliness

Cohesion within a tribal group is the fundamental value of guilt/pride.

Socializing is not a literal survival need, just as guilt/pride is not an experiential duality. However, just as guilt/pride is felt as one of the three dualities, socializing is experienced as one of the three base needs.

A feeler without socializing will not die or come to harm as without food or security, but he or she will nonetheless feel an unmet need.

Socializing occurs along the lines of all three dualities. With love/disgust, it contains familial interactions. With fear/anger, it occurs in work and competition. Guilt/pride socializing covers the rest, the minor interactions of daily social living with strangers and members of the extended tribe.

Loneliness is felt for lack of socializing. Since externalizing guilt requires others, the repressed form of guilt, shame, often accompanies loneliness.

Shock, or sometimes schadenfreude, is the externalizing counterpart to loneliness felt only in the presence of others, and only at sudden changes in the social structure. Shock is a key factor in most entertainment, and a hallmark of pride.


Actualization occurs when a duality reaches its highest form. Actualizations are not arguments themselves, but the products of the arguments. If sensation is the lowest felt form of an emotional duality, closest to the self, then actualization is the highest, furthest removed from the self.

Actualization is not an emotional end unto itself. The states described here occur after the emotional feedback loop has been achieved or broken.


Love’s actualization is sadness. Disgust’s actualization is joy.

Sadness is felt when any part of the extended self is absent or taken away. Joy is felt when disgust successfully ejects something unwanted from the extended self.


Desperation is the ultimate product of fear. Fear argues for a change to the internal model of the world. Desperation is the product of such a change that overwhelms the feeler.

Wrath, desperation’s counterpart, is the undeniable product of anger. Wrath demands a change to the environment, usually destructive. Like all actualizations, wrath is fleeting. Its resulting damages may not be.

Desperation and wrath are both extreme motivators for action against the environment. Desperation paired with love or hunger makes for a particularly powerful argument.


Piety is the actualization of guilt, compelling a feeler to do work for others, directly or through their community.

Justice, piety’s externalizing counterpart, demands a change in the social structure according to pride. This can include good or bad consequences for an individual or group. Piety is not strictly religious in a supernatural sense.


While the internalizing and externalizing forms of a single duality cannot be felt at the same time, the three dualities themselves can be felt concurrently with one another.

When an emotion is felt with a paired externalizing or internalizing form, it is a complex emotion. Complex emotions are powerful, because the internalizing or externalizing nature of emotion is compounded when combined with another similarly expressing duality.

When an internalizing form of one duality is felt along with an externalizing form of another, the result is a dissonant emotion. Dissonant emotions are chaotic for the feeler, who may find him or herself torn between action and inaction.

Enveloping emotions occur when all three dualities are felt, all in externalizing or internalizing form.

Complex emotions

Complex emotions come about when two dualities are felt in similar forms, both externalizing or both internalizing.

Hatred - Disgust and Anger

The two experiential dualities in their externalizing forms combine to form hatred, one of the most powerful emotions. Hatred demands a change in the environment and a removal from the extended self.

Zeal - Anger and Pride

Zeal demands a change in the physical environment in the promotion of pride, ostensibly for the well-being of the feeler’s society. Zeal can feel like a socially justified form of anger.

Allegiance - Disgust and Pride

Allegiance combines disgust and pride, shifting the feeler’s society into their extended self. Allegiance is typically felt in the presence of a competing tribe or group.

Obsession - Love and Fear

Obsession plots to extend the self by analyzing the world. Easily externalizing as hatred, obsession can be self-consuming and dangerous. Deployed positively, obsession can be beneficial for self-improvement or intellectual pursuits.

Veneration - Fear and Guilt

Guilt is characterized by a need to do work for others. When combined with fear, it becomes veneration, which seeks to think of ways to help others, which includes deciding which people or tasks to help with first.

Loyalty - Love and Guilt

The desire to do work specifically for other individuals in the extended self is loyalty, the combination of love and guilt. Loyalty is effectively the internalizing form of allegiance.

Dissonant emotions

When one emotion is experienced in an internalizing form, and the other in an externalizing form, dissonant emotions are felt. The internalizing/externalizing conflict makes dissonant emotions chaotic by nature. While complex emotions are sustainable over long periods of time, dissonant emotions typically flare up quickly before yielding to one of the two underlying emotions.

Duress - Disgust and Fear

Duress is felt when fear models a loss of the extended self. Duress powerfully evokes a flight response, a removal of the self from the source of fear. It is almost always felt upon incurring physical pain.

Frustration - Anger and Love

The most immediately motivating emotion, frustration is the combination of anger and love. Frustration is often felt when anger activates against people, objects or ideas in the extended self.

Envy - Disgust and Guilt

Disgust and guilt can team up to form envy, an emotion which internalizes a feeler’s place in society while seeking to eject someone from the extended self.

Satisfaction - Pride and Love

When the extended self is nurtured in a way that externalizes the feeler’s place in society, satisfaction is felt.

Reluctance - Anger and Guilt

Reluctance is similar to frustration, replacing frustration’s love with guilt. The presence of guilt works against the desire of anger to manipulate the world, creating reluctance’s dissonance.

Greed - Pride and Fear

Greed seeks to socially externalize through pride while modeling the world through fear. Greed typically seeks to bolster social standing through the acquisition of material wealth.

Enveloping emotions

All of the complex and dissonant emotions have two more forms, where the third duality expresses as internalizing or externalizing. Greed, for example, can be just greed, or loving greed, or disgusted greed.

For the most part, enveloping emotions are stronger flavors of their underlying complex or dissonant emotions. However, two combinations are notable here: The combination of all three externalizing forms, and the combination of all three internalizing forms.

Contempt - Disgust, Anger and Pride

Contempt is the most powerful externalizing emotion. The addition of pride to hatred enables it to be sustained over long periods of time, unlike most externalizing emotional expressions which are short-lived.

Despair - Love, Fear and Guilt

Despair is the most powerful internalizing emotion. With added guilt, obsession becomes more potent and self-damaging.

Contempt and despair both bring a degree of extremism and finality to any emotional situation. They are particularly persuasive arguments because they have the power of unanimity.


The three dualities emerge in three distinct phases: Infancy, childhood and adulthood. Once a duality has emerged, the feeler has it for the rest of his or her life.

The dualities are an incredible burden upon the brain. Unburdened by fear/anger and guilt/pride, infants learn of the world at an incredible rate. Free from the complexities of guilt/pride, children learn fast too, especially in the area of language.


From birth to two years of age, the love/disgust duality develops. The feeler is driven entirely by hunger and the model of belonging. Awareness of the outside world and social structure is extremely limited.

To a helpless infant, fear/anger and guilt/pride are useless. Infants depend entirely on the parent to meet the needs of security and socializing.


From two years to twelve years of age, the fear/anger duality develops. The child becomes able to walk and explore the physical world.

For the first two years of this period, children are notoriously terrible at being able to control their fear and anger. Nightmares, overwhelming fears, and tantrums are common at this age.

By the end of this period, children have developed a mastery of the duality. By the age of twelve, they can run, jump and play at close to the same level of adults. They’ve also, with the occasional exception, moved past the stage of nightmares and fits characteristic of early childhood.


Starting at age twelve, the third duality, guilt/pride, begins to develop. Love/disgust develops in just two years. Fear/anger takes five times longer, at ten years of development time. Guilt/pride continues this 5x trend, taking fully fifty years to develop.

At twelve or thirteen, the desire for finding a place in social status, guilt/pride’s model, kicks in. Like the other two developmental periods, a period of ineptitude marks the beginning. A four-year-old’s grasp of fear/anger is comparable to a twenty-two-year-old’s grasp of guilt/pride and its accompanying facets of social status, socializing and shame.

The development of guilt/pride continues throughout life, fully forming around the typical retirement age of 62.


Personality expresses in terms of the three arguments, with the order of the arguments being the most crucial factor.

The second most important factor is whether each argument tends to express in its internalizing or externalizing form.

The first argument expressed is the conscious duality. The conscious duality shapes most of the waking personality.

The subconscious duality is the second argument, usually experienced as an inner voice which second-guesses or argues with the conscious duality.

The final, unheard argument is the unconscious duality. Powerful in its own right, the unconscious duality holds the model of the world that the feeler acts upon: belonging, competition or social status. It does not have an active voice but is nonetheless present in every thought.

Each duality can express in any of the three slots for personality. Love/disgust can shape the waking personality, make itself heard as the second-guessing inner voice, or it can hold the model of the world. The same goes for fear/anger and guilt/pride.

Conscious duality

The waking duality is called the conscious duality. Composing about half of personality, the waking duality forms the bulk of a feeler’s emotional experience.

If personality is considered the order of the arguments, then the conscious duality is the first argument.

The conscious duality is the emotion most easily felt by the feeler, along with its accompanying sensation and actualization.

Subconscious duality

The inner voice, the subconscious duality, raises the second argument in the natural thinking process.

Second-guessing the first argument, the subconscious duality can manifest as the tone of the inner voice.

However it manifests, love/disgust, fear/anger or guilt/pride, the subconscious duality expresses in a doubtful way. The eternal counter-argument to the conscious duality, it strongly shapes how a feeler reacts and also how they regulate emotional responses.

Unconscious duality

The unconscious duality does not typically surface as a felt emotional response. It is unspoken, or unthought.

Despite its position in third place, the unconscious duality typically contains the operating model for the feeler. Whether the feeler operates on belonging, competition or social status depends on whether their unconscious model is love/disgust, fear/anger or guilt/pride respectively.

The power of the unconscious duality comes in its unspoken-ness. It is a foundation to the personality.

The fulfillment loop of the unconscious duality’s argument is the least obvious to the feeler, leaving them open to addictions which meet the needs of their unconscious duality.


Each duality forms its own bonds with the world. Feelers experience these bonds as different levels of relationships with those around them.

Bonds vary in strength depending on the underlying emotion. From strongest to weakest, they are intimacy for love/disgust, opposition for fear/anger and cooperation for guilt/pride.

Bonds are part of the world-model of each emotion, shaped by the internalizing emotions of love, fear and guilt. The externalizing emotions are typically reserved for those outside the bonds.

Following a pattern similar to development, bonds follow a mathematical pattern. Love/disgust supports about 5 bonds, fear/anger supports about 25 bonds, and guilt/pride supports about 125 bonds. These are effectively soft size limits for groups organized around the bonds.


Intimate bonds operate on love/disgust and belonging. Those who belong to the extended self share intimate bonds.

The flexibility of the extended self means these bonds can be formed with people, places, things or ideas.

The simplicity of the belonging model lends a quick truth to intimate bonds. Belonging resolves quickly, so intimacy maintains an easy self-evidence. Intimate bonds are the strongest and least doubted. These bonds feel obviously true, especially to those with an opposition-based (fear-based) or cooperation-based (guilt-based) unconscious world model.


Oppositional bonds cover bonds forged by the real world. These bonds are formed by rivalries or by shared activities.

Work colleagues are the most common form of this bond. Athletic competition incubates these bonds as well. War forms perhaps the strongest form of the oppositional bond.

Oppositional bonds often flounder when taken out of their real-world-forged context. They depend on input from the real, physical world, just as fear/anger does.


Societal bonds are formed by cooperation and based on guilt/pride.

Cooperation bonds are the weakest and most numerous. They cover the bonds with the rest of a feeler’s society, those outside the home and the workplace.

In terms of the feeler, cooperative bonds are those that can be “upgraded” to intimate or oppositional bonds by circumstance.

Demands and proxies

The emotions can be satisfied by feeling them and then completing the appropriate model change, either through internalizing or externalizing— changing the internal model or changing the real world. The dualities can also be satisfied through demands and proxies.

Demands are lower-level confirmations of the arguments, usually made by the internalizing form of the argument. For love/disgust, the demand is attention. For fear/anger, it is respect. For guilt/pride, it is a combination of the two, esteem.

Proxies are more closely tied to the externalizing form of a duality, but they can sometimes fulfill the arguments of the internalizing forms too. Proxies are tied to the real world. Love/disgust has power. Fear/anger has wealth. Guilt/pride has rank.

Finally, proxies and demands come together in the form of emotional traps, duality-serving arrangements which can trap both the feeler and those close to him or her. Traps are cycles which meet the needs of the demand and fulfill the proxy too. They are not necessarily bad, if deployed sparingly, but they can come to dominate a feeler's life.

Attention and power


The demand of love/disgust, attention is a confirmation of the extended self.

Upon receiving attention from members of the extended self, the feeler verifies love, reaping a similar reward to feeling love.

Attention is typically sought only from intimate bonds, but can be sought from any source, as the extended self is a malleable concept.


The love/disgust proxy is power, the ability to control and change others in the extended self.

Power is the ultimate extension of the self, allowing a feeler to extend their own self through the actions of others. The love/disgust loop in power is completed when others surrender their own selfhood in exchange for a shared selfhood.

Power is more closely associated with the payoff of disgust.


Victimhood allows for easy access to both attention and power. As an emotional trap, it gives the feeler the ability to garner attention easily, extend the self to almost anyone, and have power over others in their vicinity.

Respect and wealth


Respect means real-world confirmation of competence from peers, typically those in fear/anger competitive bonds. As a demand, respect assuages fear and confirms its model.


The embodiment of changing the physical world is money, or wealth. The fear/anger proxy allows a feeler to complete the love/anger loop by spending money, moving the world just as the fear/anger duality does on its own.

Wealth can effect change in the world similarly to anger, providing the same payoff.


When garnering respect and accumulating wealth are both deployed, the feeler experiences triumph. As an emotional trap, triumph can come to rule a feeler's life by overly rewarding the fear/anger duality. Respect confirms fear's model while wealth allows for changing the real-world embodiment of that model.

Esteem and rank

The proxy of guilt/pride is rank. Guilt/pride drives feelers to be hierarchical, and to ascend the hierarchy. Rank provides similar emotional payoffs to guilt/pride, particularly pride.


Guilt's real-world confirmation is a combination of attention and respect. Esteem confirms a feeler's secured position in society.


A feeler's position in social status, guilt/pride's status model, is rank. Rank pays off similarly to pride. Like most rewards, particularly externalizing rewards, rank requires larger and larger emotional payouts, propelling a user through their social hierarchy.


Exploitation is the most complex of the three emotional traps. It is a trap a feeler can fall into, or subject others to. Exploitation is usually the ongoing result of triumph or victimhood. It involves a esteem/rank payoff loop at the undue expense of others.

Emotional death

Emotional death, or ego death, occurs when two dualities “die,” leaving a feeler to operate only on the third duality.

The conscious and subconscious dualities are the victims of this death, leaving only the unconscious duality.

Emotional death is marked by a loss of the accompanying bonds. The development of the dead dualities is effectively reset.

The feeler is left emotionally hampered, with only one duality serving the functions of all three. Depending on recovery, the other dualities can return, and their bonds can be reforged.

Emotional death is typically triggered by a betrayal along the lines of the conscious and subconscious dualities. When a feeler’s emotional models are shattered, he or she loses the accompanying bonds.

Love/disgust survival

When the unconscious duality of love/disgust survives, intimate bonds and the model of the extended self remain. Family and close friends become much more important to the feeler.

The other models, the physical world and society, are replaced temporarily with the model of the self. The feeler feels connected to the universe and to society as one feels connected to him or herself.

Love/disgust survival is the least traumatic, as love/disgust is so foundational to any feeler, but has the longest recovery time.

Classic ego death

When the unconscious duality is characterized by love, the feeling of self expands to cover everything. This manifests as classic ego death, experienced by astronauts looking upon the Earth.


When characterized by disgust instead of love, the surviving unconscious duality fuels isolation. The need to socialize is neutralized by the death of the guilt/pride duality. The surviving disgust drives the feeler to isolation and self-reliance.

Fear/anger survival

Survival of fear/anger means a takeover of the physical world model in the feeler. Fear/anger survival is particularly devastating because it removes all bonds to family and society, cutting off many paths to recovery for the feeler.

Fear/anger survival subjects the feeler to a frightening re-introduction to the physical realities of the world. Survivors can no longer view police officers, for example, as individuals to connect to, or agents of an important function in society, but only as men and women holding deadly weapons.

They can temporarily only relate to others through the four Fs: Fight, flight, fawn and freeze. They lose intimate family bonds and cooperative societal bonds. Their remaining oppositional bonds, such as those with co-workers, no longer serve them well as those bonds are no longer tempered by love/disgust and guilt/pride.


When fear characterizes the surviving fear/anger duality, paranoia is born. Fear dominates all bonds and interactions. Fear makes a poor substitute for love and guilt, ruining intimate and cooperative relationships.

Suspicions from before the emotional death balloon into runaway conspiracy theories and even hallucinations.


The most damaging form of emotional death, psychosis marks the feeler who only has access to a surviving fear/anger duality which expresses as anger.

The externalizing form of the fear/anger duality makes for an even worse replacement for the other emotions. Fight and flight are the picks of choice for anger, which can promote violence in the feeler.

Anger-expressing fear/anger survival will be not only plague the feeler with the problems of paranoia, but also an incredible desire to act to correct them by impacting the world.

Guilt/pride survival

Guilt/pride survival sees the death of the most intimate bonds, those with close friends, family and co-workers. The narrative and governing structures remain, however, leaving the feeler with a life narrative no longer backed by the strongest emotions.

As the least impactful form of emotional death, guilt/pride survival has the lowest recovery time. Sufferers can still easily interface with society and govern their re-emerging dualities.


When the surviving guilt/pride duality tends to express as guilt in the feeler, depersonalization is experienced.

Guilt stands in for love and fear. As a substitute, guilt/pride works the best of the three. The lack of intensity and viscerality, however, leads the feeler to feeling underwhelmed, or numb. Passion for other people, possessions and hobbies can be greatly diminished.


When the surviving duality expresses as pride, the feeler doubts the world, experiencing derealization.

Bonds always involve the self and another, even in love bonds which operate on the shared self. When pride substitutes for the other emotions, interactions feel hollow, but the feeler attributes this to the world, not themselves.

Book II: Eristics


If emotions are arguments, then Eristics is the practice of arguing back.

There are no degrees, certificates or training programs required. Anyone who feels emotion can practice Eristics.

Eristics involves two parties: The feeler of emotions, and the emotions themselves. There are no purveyors of Eristics.

The practice does not seek to validate or invalidate the arguments of emotions, only to examine them and find the truths and untruths within.


The first step to solving any problem is recognizing the problem. Emotional problems can present in many ways, typically revolving around a single duality. The following chapter will discuss common issues and the duality they involve.

Love problems

Selective and careful use of disgust is key to overcoming problems with love. The disgust should never be applied to the self, but to the object of the love.

Disgust problems

Problems with disgust should be seen as signals to self-sooth and practice self-care, which is the application of self-love. Disgust problems often paradoxically forego the consideration of the real, individual self in favor of other objects in the extended self.

Fear problems

The antidote to fear problems is the application of its inversion: anger. The confidence of anger turns fear’s “be” hyper-cautiousness into application and action.

Anger problems

Anger, too much or too little “do,” can be resolved by fear. Taking a step back and examining the problem, fear’s modeling paradigm, can allow anger to proceed again at the proper pace and intensity.

Guilt problems

Guilt problems often look like problems with fear and love, the dualities it governs. Addressing the problems there, at their root, is often the best approach.

Pride problems

Issues with pride usually arise from a burnout of anger or disgust. The internalizing experiential dualities, fear and love, practiced through observation and self-care, can help with pride problems.

Blind spots

Each duality has an emotional blind spot, a situation best avoided. The dualities work together and supplement each other’s weaknesses. Each has a weak point which the duality itself cannot address.

These scenarios are self-disgust, unwinnable anger and unattainable pride. Avoidance of these situations is crucial to emotional wellbeing.


Love/disgust argues for the extended self. Disgust, one form of this emotion, argues to eject the subject of the argument from the self.

In simple terms, the self cannot be ejected from the self. Only subjects of the extended self can be ejected.

This argument is therefore always detrimental. Self-disgust is always self-defeating. The ultimate example of self-disgust is suicide.

Unwinnable anger

There are some things in the world which cannot be defeated. This is a truth to which anger can sometimes be blind.

A wall cannot be subdued by a fist. The fight, flight, freeze and fawn responses cannot be elicited from a wall. That does not stop anger from trying.

Anger demands physical action against the environment, which can include other people. Unwinnable anger demands action without productive results.

Unattainable pride

The foundation for delusion, unattainable pride is the externalizing scenario for guilt/pride to avoid at all costs.

Pride can only effectively be validated by society. Society has a finite amount of validation and a whole bevy of people seeking that validation. An individual can win an award, but he or she cannot win all of the awards. At some point, the award show has to end and awards have to stop being handed out.

Time is finite. Recognition is finite. The capacity for needing recognition is not.

Unattainable pride puts happiness, meaning and daily satisfaction from life at risk.

Duality dominance

Duality payoffs can lead to addiction, where a feeler becomes dependent upon completing the argumentative loop of a duality. Proxies and drugs both have a tendency to addict a feeler, but the dualities themselves can become addictive.

When this happens, duality dominance is achieved, where one duality becomes more important than the other two, first dominating the feeler and then dominating others through the feeler. In terms of personality, one duality comes to dominate the other two, its argument becoming all-encompassing and all-important, drowning out the other two arguments.

Temporary duality dominance can be achieved by circumstance. Similarly, duality addicts can still yield to particularly powerful arguments from their subdued dualities.

Duality addiction expresses in three forms: Narcissism, psychopathy and machiavellianism.


Narcissism expresses as addiction to the love/disgust duality. It is an addiction to defining the self, positively, negatively or both.

Love addiction - Codependency

Addiction to love is codependency, a need to grow the extended self through others. Love addicts need to reaffirm the self through adding to the self, usually through intimate bonds. They crave attention, the demand of the love/disgust duality.

Love-addiction can also express as self-extension through gathering things, also known as hoarding.

Disgust addiction - Narcissism

Addiction to the negative self-defining process is narcissism. Narcissists are obsessed with finding and self-ejecting things, people or ideas which do not meet their standards of self. The narcissist will go out of his or her way to find self-unworthy people, places, things or ideas and then eject them to reap the rewards of the successful disgust argument. Narcissists often crave power, the proxy of the love/disgust duality.


Psychopathy, the fear/anger addiction, occurs when the argument of the world dominates the other dualities. It is characterized by a disregard for the feelings of others (an argument made by love) and for the rules of society (an argument made by guilt).

Fear addiction - Schizotypal

Fear addicts, often called schizotypal, avoid intimate or societal relationships in favor of the rewards gained by modeling the world through fear. Fear addicts seek to add to their inner world model, often to impressive lengths. They measure their knowledge and know-how in direct ways, not through others, though they may demand respect in accordance to these real-world measurements.

Anger addiction - Psychopathy

Psychopaths seek to externalize their anger to the world with complete disregard for the arguments of love/disgust and guilt/pride. They are often incredibly driven and very confident, embodying the “do” emotion of anger. They may single-mindedly seek out wealth, the proxy of fear/anger.


Machiavellianism occurs when the guilt/pride duality comes to dominate the others through duality addiction. The governing duality of guilt/pride comes to over-govern, subduing the other two instead of policing them.

Guilt addiction - Antisocial

The addiction to guilt, also called antisocial, consumes the feeler, leaving them unable to effectively make the arguments of love and fear. The desire to do work for others, guilt’s chief driver, inverts as the feeler comes to resent the addiction. Guilt addicts will demand esteem, often without the accompanying accomplishments. Guilt addicts may have traits of love or fear addicts, since guilt governs these emotions.

Pride addiction - Machiavellianism

Pride addiction is marked by an obsession with gaining rank, the proxy of pride. As with guilt, the usual markers invert. Instead of striving to become a good example of a society member, a pride addict will be fine with sinking to the lowest of the low, so long as rank is attained. Since pride effectively governs anger and disgust, pride addicts may complete the pride reward loop through either, exhibiting aspects of narcissism, psychopathy or both.


Repression occurs when externalization of an emotion is impossible, due to emotional invalidation or imposed circumstance.

Externalization must impact the real world, and therefore must carry consequences. When these consequences are dangerous or otherwise unbearable, repression happens.

The three dualities of love, fear and guilt express as grief, rage and shame when repressed.


When disgust cannot fully externalize, it’s felt in an internalizing form, grief. Grief is recognition of a loss of the extended self without the accompanying acceptance.

In a way, grief is the inverted form of disgust. Disgust itself seeks to remove an object, person or idea from the extended self. When it expresses as grief, it recognizes that a part of the extended self has been lost.

Grief is often accompanied by love’s actualization, sadness.

Due to belonging’s limited model, grief is particularly hard to externalize, often turning into rage or shame, with the accompanying wrath and piety.


The internalization of anger results in rage. Rage builds up internally and can externalize disastrously. Rage is often the fuel for obsession, the combination of love and fear.

Rage can vent itself as anger, but hardly ever effectively. Vented rage is seldom vented at the actual cause of the rage. Innocuous fear-based activities, usually marked by intelligence and concentration, can elicit this vented rage. This can appear as snapping or overreacting.

Rage expresses itself through the body, too, in tensed muscles. This muscle tensing increases in the presence of any fear-inspiring stimulus.


When pride is internalized, shame is felt. Shame is similar to guilt, pride’s internalizing form, but like all the repressed forms of the dualities, it cannot impact the real world.

Shame brings about guilt’s actualization, piety. It drives the feeler to serve society at large to repay the emotional debt created by the shame.

Since it’s a form of guilt/pride, shame needs others to be felt.

Physical health

Emotional and physical health are impossible to pull apart. They both affect and depend upon the other. Eristics focuses on emotional health but the practice would not be complete without covering physical health, too, even if briefly.


The aspect of health affected by love/disgust is diet. Diet is linked with hunger which is governed by the love/disgust duality.

The primary form of nurturing and extending the self on a daily basis is eating and drinking.

Emotional issues involving love/disgust can impact diet. If the argument of love is fulfilled through eating, the feeler may overeat. Disgust can drive the opposite behavior, undereating, even to the extremes of anorexia.

A feeler should strive for balance in their eaten diet, just as they do in their emotional diet. Instead of balancing love/disgust, fear/anger, and guilt/pride, however, in diet he or she balances protein, carbohydrates and lipids.


Physical movement is governed by fear/anger. The component of health involved here is exercise. Exercise prepares the body for the same physical interactions governed by fear and anger.

Over-exercising can point to problems with anger. Sedentary lifestyles, with a lack of exercise and movement, can be a result of fear issues.

All emotion is felt through the body. Intense emotions elicit many of the same signs as intense exercise: increased pulse, heightened blood pressure, sweating. Rigorous (but not too rigorous) exercise will keep the body prepared to feel these emotions.


Sleep is the most important of the three. It should be seen as a prerequisite to the other two, just as diet is seen as a prerequisite to exercise. Love/disgust and fear/anger are experientially active during waking hours. Guilt/pride is active during sleep.

Sleep culls the emotional arguments encountered on a daily basis. It forms the feeler’s basic daily progression and sense of time. Without sleep, the brain does not emotionally heal. The physical effects of sleep deprivation are similar, with healing and immune response impacted.

Dreaming is crucial to the healing power of sleep. The emotions elicited by dreams sever unimportant arguments and wrap up the important arguments felt throughout the day.

If only one measure is taken to ensure good health, it should be getting a full night’s sleep every night.

Guilt can lead to lack of sleep while pride can lead to oversleeping.


The most useful emotional tool is paradox. The same weak spots that leave feelers prone to misfired emotions can be exploited to the end of emotional health.

Paradoxical fixation

Love drives a feeler to similarity with the object of the love.

Unfortunately, disgust works the same way.

The argument of love/disgust only operates on the extended self. Love/disgust’s model, belonging, contains nothing else, nothing outside of the extended self. Therefore, if disgust is felt towards a person, thing or idea, that idea is modeled as part of the extended self.

If a feeler fixates or ruminates in disgust towards something, that something more and more becomes a part of the feeler’s extended self.

The inherent paradox behind fixated disgust is that to eject something from the self it must first be part of the self.

Healthy disgust is purely reactive. Unhealthy disgust occurs when the feeler extends the self around something unfavorable and then intentionally feels disgust towards it. This self-affirming act can become addictive and paradoxically drive the feeler to become more like the object of disgust.

Paradoxical intention

Fear models and anger acts.

Paradoxical intention is the act of intentionally feeling or exacerbating fear. By turning fear into its externalizing form, a feeler can escape it.

This paradox can be deployed to combat anxiety, phobias and other fear-based conditions. Intentionality and action defeats the internalizing nature of fear.

Paradoxical pride

Taking pride in helping others is the essence of paradoxical pride.

Guilt drives a feeler to do work for others, while pride drives a feeler to be a good example of a society member. Both can be achieved by being a good example of a society member who does work for others.


Abuse has as many forms as emotion has expressions. The two primary forms, akin to internalizing and externalizing, are invalidation and blanket validation.

Invalidation occurs when arguments are categorically considered false. Blanket validation is the opposite, when emotional arguments are always validated regardless of their content and context.

Emotional abuse

Abuse along the lines of love and disgust, the abuse of the extended self, is emotional abuse. All forms of abuse are some form of emotional abuse, since they all inherently abuse the extended self of the feeler.

Blanket validation of love/disgust

Blanket validation of love typically involves the complete suppression of dissent. The extended-self unit is presented as something to never be questioned.

Invalidation of love/disgust

Invalidation of love/disgust usually involves an extended-self unit where the feeler cannot ever fully gain acceptance, where they are kept at a less-than-full membership level for an extended period of time or even permanently. Such abuse schemes will dangle the promise of a validated self but never deliver upon it.

Selfhood and belonging are essentially denied to the victim, in favor of a shared selfhood. The ultimate punishment in this abusive arrangement is ejection from the shared self. Those who have been ejected, or shunned, are viewed only with disgust by those who still belong to the shared self.

Physical abuse

Physical abuse involves fear/anger, employing violence directly, the threat of violence, or the amplified threats of the dangers of the outside world.

Blanket validation of fear/anger

Blanket validation of fear and anger paints a picture of dire physical consequences should the abuse victim leave the extended self.

Invalidation of fear/anger

Invalidating a victim's fear/abuse typically involves direct physical violence. It may involve selective protection, to illustrate to the victim the dangerous outside world.

Countering dominance

Duality dominance, or duality addiction, in others can be anything from a nuisance to a complete drain on life.

Countering dominance in others is an exercise in emotional discipline.

Countering narcissism

The key to countering narcissism is to not participate in the narcissist's extended self.

Love addicts will seek to extend the self, bringing others in directly as sudden, close friends. They will rapidly build rapport over shared interests. They will celebrate their targets and themselves at the same time.

Disgust addicts will project their extended self around people, objects or ideas and then reject them to fulfill the disgust reward loop.

They'll often recruit others to validate this process. If these conversational victims do not participate in the expression of disgust, they themselves will become the targets of the narcissist's disgust.

The love or disgust addict's feelings can simply be acknowledged without taking a stance, positive or negative, and implying shared selfhood. Emotionally neutral and distancing statements like "I understand your opinion" will sever the shared self-validation loop.

Countering psychopathy

Countering psychopathy is a matter of managing the four Fs: Fight, flight, fawn and freeze.

Fight and flight will both invite conflict with the fear/anger addict. Fawning (yielding) or freezing will reward them.

The fear addict typically presents as an intellectual bully. They will seek to win conversations in the form of winning a debate, knowing more on a subject or leaving their conversational victim speechless (which they see as a freeze response).

The anger addict, on the other hand, presents as a physical bully. Anger addicts are best physically avoided. They may be encountered in competition, where they thrive.

Emotionally charged "self" arguments will not work with a fear/anger addict. The fear/anger addict is overly concerned with winning according to the rules of the real, physical world.

Countering Machiavellianism

Managing the four Ss is key to countering Machiavellianism, just as the four Fs are for psychopathy.

The four Ss, sacrifice, service, surrender and sycophancy, are the mastered domain of the Machiavellian. Institutions that rely on these four states are where they thrive.

A Machiavellian will never sacrifice or serve others, at least not for long. They will demand surrender and sycophancy of others, which gives them a guilt/pride payoff. Machiavellians will, however, strive for the illusion that they are serving and sacrificing for others, along with the status rewards the two bring.

Machiavellians will typically lean towards narcissism or psychopathy, depending on personality. The countering strategies there will work on them.

The easiest way to avoid Machiavellians is to avoid the power structures that serve them. They thrive in government and other insitutional structures where they can hold on to rank for long periods of time.


Practiced expression can prepare the mind and body for the rigors of emotion. The dualities can be expressed through facial expression, bodily expression and group expression.

Facial expression

Expressing the six base emotions through the face is an excellent exercise, akin to stretching the body before exercise.

Emotion naturally expresses through the face. By inhibiting facial expression, a feeler inhibits emotion. By purposefully “making faces,” a feeler frees themselves to feel emotion more easily.

A feeler should conduct this exercise daily, or as often as needed, and not in front of a mirror.


Express a loving face. Imagine a child looking up to a favorite athlete, or a lover staring into the eyes of his or her partner. The face and eyes open while the muscles in the back of the head tighten.


Express a disgusted face. Imagine an unfavorable food or a bug landing on your skin. The face closes, the eyes narrow. Switching between this expression and love may elicit a yawn.


Express a fearful face. Imagine a threatening stimulus, something bigger and more physically powerful than you, is after you. The eyes widen while the mouth may or may not open, whichever is more comfortable as a stretching exercise.


Express an angry face. The brow furrows. The nose crinkles. The mouth forms downward in a deliberate frown, or perhaps opens to begin a yell. Switching between an angry expression and a fearful expression may result in laughter, itself a form of anger.

Guilt and Pride

Guilt and pride govern the other dualities, so the accompanying facial expressions are less dramatic. Nonetheless, expressing them makes for a good wrap-up to the facial stretching exercise. Alternate between your best guilty face and your best prideful face.

Bodily expression

Bodily expression is best accomplished through stretching, meditation and performance.


Stretching relieves and releases tension, which emotions can invoke.


To sit and not feel is to meditate. Meditation helps to release emotion's hold on the body.


Performance, such as dance, can help a feeler master control over their body, preparing them for the involuntary takeovers of emotion.

Group expression

Church is not the only example of group expression, but it is perhaps the most common form of a group that comes together to govern love and fear, similarly to guilt.

Any group that serves this function can meet the needs of group expression. Close-knight groups that come together for bodily expression— stretching, meditation and performance, can work too.

Weekly or monthly meets can help cultivate cooperation bonds, the bonds of guilt/pride.


The three emotional dualities argue for survival.

Happiness is survival without needing the dualities. When the dualities are not necessary to surviving, they can be felt freely, without dire stakes. When a feeler is free of the necessity of feeling to survive, he or she is free from the emotion.

The crucial components of happiness are duality balance, meeting needs and meaning.


Balance between the dualities means each argument is heard and considered in decision-making. Balance can be lost when dualities are ignored, or when one duality becomes dominant, drowning out the other two.

Personality determines the order of the arguments. However, any of the dualities can become unbalanced regardless of the order.

Ideal balance comes when each duality is given one-third weight.


In order for emotions to be unneeded for survival, the base needs of food, security and socializing must be met.

If their respective base need is not met, the accompanying duality will behave as in duality dominance. Extreme hunger produces something like narcissism, danger produces something like psychopathy, and lack of social needs being met produces something like machiavellianism.

When these needs are met, the dualities can be enjoyed, untethered from survival.


A feeler with all needs met will face the existential need of meaning. Meaning is closely tied to the guilt/pride duality and the society it represents. Meaning can be achieved through any of the three dualities, but it is ultimately judged by guilt/pride.

Meaning is not necessary for happiness, but feeling a lack of meaning can itself lead to unhappiness. Meaning is therefore self-defined along with the parameters for its success.


Emotional forms

  Love Fear Guilt
Argument the self the world society
Internalizing love fear guilt
Externalizing disgust anger pride
SensationI hunger pain loneliness
SensationE arousal pleasure schadenfreude
ActualizationI sadness desperation piety
ActualizationE joy wrath justice
Repression grief rage shame

I denotes internalizing, E denotes externalizing

World interactions

  Love Fear Guilt
Base need food security socializing
Status model belonging competition social status
Bond type intimate oppositional cooperative
Demand attention respect esteem
Proxy power wealth rank
Trap victimhood triumph exploitation
DominanceI codependency schizotypal antisocial
DominanceE narcissism psychopathy machiavellian

I denotes internalizing, E denotes externalizing

Status interaction models

Belonging (love/disgust)

  object has status
feeler has status belonging

Competition (fear/anger)

  object high status object low status
feeler high status fawn fight
feeler low status flight freeze

Social status (guilt/pride)

  object high status object frozen status object low status
feeler high status fawn service fight
feeler frozen status sycophancy belonging surrender
feeler low status flight sacrifice freeze


  Love/disgust Fear/anger Guilt/pride
Age Birth - 2 yrs 2 yrs - 12 yrs 12 yrs - 62 yrs
Length 2 years 10 years 50 years
Skill Eating Moving Socializing
Competence ~6 months ~4 years ~22 years
Mastery ~18 months ~9 years ~48 years


  Love/disgust Fear/anger Guilt/pride
Bond type Intimate Oppositional Cooperative
Example Family Work Community
Number of bonds 5 25 125


Neurotransmitters & hormones

  Love/disgust Fear/anger Guilt/pride
Rewards & regulators dopamine

External addictions

  Love/disgust Fear/anger Guilt/pride
Substances alcohol
Other cosmetic surgery

Related concepts

The truths explored in this book are explored elsewhere, from other perspectives.

Concept Self World Society
Eristics Love Fear Guilt
Aristotle's rhetorical appeals Pathos Logos Ethos
Chinese philosophy Yin Yang Yin-yang
Freud's parts of personality Id Ego Superego
Christian Trinity Jesus God The Holy Spirit


This book is intentionally devoid of the weightiness of philosophical and psychological ancestry of ideas.

Regardless, the following names must be mentioned:

Without the ideas of these wonderful people, this book would not be possible.