Envy This!

A deeper look at one of the mind's most misunderstood states.

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Envy this!

Definitely a lot of food for thought here!

My first take-away is that most people's view of envy being strictly a negative emotion may be too big a generalization. It seems that envy of my sibling's accomplishments can actually serve as a positive reinforcment for me to strive harder myself.

The concept of reconciling "two-ness" seems to reflect the ongoing, lifelong, refinement of the mind. I am reminded of something a professor once told me: Education is a two step process. Step one is to learn something. And step two is to learn that what you learned in step one is wrong. The ongoing reconciliation of two-ness seems to be what turns intelligence into wisdom.

And it seems this is a process that never ends. I recently saw a lawyer defending an 18 year old who had committed a violent crime. His defense was "Everyone knows that the human brain is not developed enough to make good judgments until age 25." Slightly lamentable, but more true than not.

Which leads me to my final point: I wonder if the author has seen the movie "HER" yet. And where will 'psychology' venture when the domain of artificial intelligence gets truly cracked open. It may be interesting to see where we land when a lifetime of reconciling two-ness can be accomplished in days or hours!

response from the author:

Thank you, reader!
It is always gratifying to receive such insightful comments that reflect a grasp of the material that resonates with what I have tried to communicate.

Key points: Yes: Most think envy is negative. Envy, in "Envy Theory," however, is so much a typical part of normal development that it is best to see it as a dynamic emotion and attitude that requires ongoing modulation—balance to prevent emotional dysregulation.

Yes, education can be seen as a two-part process, first a beginning approach and orientation, then a gradual refinement over time. In fact, these apparently two steps may be an infinite number of steps that are “iterative”---repeating endlessly. This reflects the mind’s virtually infinite capacity for processing information and experience. This processing combines ideational and emotional data, and probably much more (e.g., physiological, and the like) of which we are unaware.

Last point: Yes, I have seen the movie, “Her,” and have given it much thought.
The entire conception, imagery, and terminology reflect where civilization is today. Technology has begun to supersede the personal in a variety of ways that cross boundaries between reality and fantasy.
Certainly, cinema such as this portrays it in such a penetratingly impersonal fashion, as, for example, referring to electronics (“OS”) as if they were special beings, eventually to be named and related to in ways previously reserved properly for human beings. The insularity of human existence—how some (definitely not all) educated, 'sophisticated' people seem to experience themselves in the world today-- was emphasized. It seemed that the movie ended with two humans left pondering an existential question with regard to something not quite definable—emptiness, loneliness, dread?

Last Key: The "Biomental Perspective," it must be emphasized, is a psychological worldview that puts immense value on “two-ness” on many levels of discourse—the most fundamental of which is the reality of one human person in relationship with another.

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Frank John Ninivaggi, M.D., F.A.P.A., is an Associate Attending physician at the Yale-New Haven Hospital, an Assistant Clinical Professor of Child Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine. more...

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