The issue: an important aspect of envy is its binary unconscious information processing. Since the proposition of "unconscious" denotes outside awareness, deeply hidden from natural conscious examination, several conjectures--some highly abstract--are introduced and may be perplexing. Insight into these ideas requires fair consideration.
This hypothesis proposes the idea that even if "envy' is intrinsic and reflexive when recognized, it can be harnessed and managed. No one is condemned merely for innate constitutional givens---being five feet or seven feet, man or woman, born in China, America, Egypt, Syria, Israel, etc., talented in quantum physics, or aesthetically attractive, and so on. What matters is recognizing one's own strengths and weaknesses, testing them equitably, and working effortfully to improve.
The conjecture: Envy, jealousy, resentment, contempt, condescension, and working against rather than with---ourselves and those around is a "no-win/no-win" vicious circle of defeat.
A word of warning: often, conjectures about unconscious processes trigger suspicion, if not disbelief. In fact, negative material such as that related to "unconscious envy" is particularly "hard to digest" and provokes a reflexive rejection, devaluation, and "condescension"---attitudes of patronizing superiority and disdain. The aim of such automatic, binary splitting is to cut the worth and existence of perceived inferiority. With these provisos, I offer the following.
In Ayurveda: A Comprehensive Guide to Traditional Indian Medicine for the West, I spoke about the ancient conception of the Five Elements that make up the Universe. These "Elements" are bioenergetic constructs inferring the way all created things, even the mind, operates.
In my discussion of Akasha or Ether, the first of these five Elements---fundamental principles organizing the universe, I relate it to modern scientific conceptions such as the Higgs Field and bosons, sometimes called the "God particle" since so elemental.
In my book, Biomental Child Development: Perspectives on Psychology and Parenting (2013), I further discuss the Higgs field concept and draw a parallel to "mental space." Mental space correlates with the opening of mind and mental processes. This "mentalization" experience is subjectively dynamic. It is an ecologically valid idea emphasizing the meaningfulness of human experience as the "mental" aspect of the biomental person.
This conception argues that mental space "in the beginning" (at birth) is a directionless vacuum within which mental particles ("bosons")--sensations, feelings, thoughts, imaginations, and fantasies arise, take shape, and interact.
Envy, as described in the Envy Theory book, posits that fission (expansion) is possible in this "birthing chamber" that becomes the mind----one thought multiplies into many.
A rough approximation to scientific theories is the following: that a psychological quantum fluctuation in brain matter occurs at birth as the brief appearance of energy particles out of space, as suggested by Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. Mental fission means that the nucleus of a mental atom splits into smaller and subtle parts. Hence, by extension to psychology, creation of mental life is evoked, and the mind becomes populated in all its brilliance and mystery!
The central point is this: the brain/mind's default information processing is "binary splitting." This means to break into twos to distinguish and bring about contrast, then an attempt at reconciliation.
If envy dominates---which often occurs to varying degrees--- the split becomes felt as superior/good in opposition to inferior/bad. The mind experiences a sense of the inferior as "the stranger." This alienation emerges as feelings of condescension that may become forms of hatred.
While envy at root is an unconscious information processing mechanism, after it arises, it bubbles up to the subliminal and consciously aware layers of mind. Here, if unmodulated by reason and positive emotions (e.g., love, agreeableness, cooperation, and gratitude) over time, envy behaves in ways that spoil, devalue, and efface that what it perceives as superior or "good." Envy acts as anti-creation.
A common phenomenon illustrating the surfacing of envy is "condescension" and "patronizing." The person suffering from envy behaves with impertinence, lack of mutual respect, subtle contempt, and downright bad manners masked by needing to control.
Envy cannot tolerate any perception of "goodness."
Envy relentlessly attempts to cut goodness on every level.
Envy is mental "anti-matter." It is auto-destructive.
Envy is quite irrational and paradoxical because it polarizes and tries to delete it perceived negative part. Envy is a natural distinguishing default. However, it is so reactive that it requires rational containment to modulate it toward alignment with reality. Speculations about the evolutionary roots of fear, predation, and xenophobia directly correlate with these ideas. When these evolutionary survival mechanisms go awry, a "no win-no win" alienation scenario is set up and becomes maximally self-defeating.
This nonconscious modus operandi of self-sabotage may be the "Grand Paradox" of the human mind--still present to this day, and eerily influential.
Not only individual psychology but also social phenomena across the globe show such self-defeating uncooperativeness.
Today, we know about positive emotionality and can use it as an opportunity to learn from experience and better our lives and those we love.
Knowledge is power.
Self-knowledge is self-empowering!
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