49: Importance of Deconstructing ‘Should’ Walls

Simple ‘+ & –’ Reinforcement Mechanical

Let us continue with the L, D, R scenario.

R throws out a Behavior vector, which he hopes will change L’s Probability vector so that she will comply with his wishes (his world view). Specifically, R hopes to intimidate L with threats of implied violence so that she won’t ‘bug’ him about his trailer in the driveway. This is indicated in the diagram below.

The underlying assumption in this model is that L’s Probability vector is mono (single) dimensional. While incredibly simplistic, this is a typical mechanical view of behavior. Negative reinforcement will discourage behavior, while positive reinforcement encourages it. This is sometimes true, when the behavior is simple and has little history. Unfortunately for R, L’s behavior was not simple and had lots of history.

L’s Probability Vector Multi-Dimensional

Specifically L’s behavior was just one part of her vector. Another more significant part of the vector was her desire to regularly see her ‘own’ driveway and the beautiful vegetation beyond when she drove up to the house. Thus her behavior wasn’t a simple arrow - instead it was based upon a cord of arrows that was reinforced every time she drove up to the house and saw R’s huge black horse trailer parked in the driveway, which thwarted her desire to see vegetation. Similarly the peasant rebellion is also not simple. Normally it has to do with the results of extreme poverty that occur daily.

While R’s aggressive behavior knocked one of L’s Probability vectors off track, the main part of the cord continued on as before.

‘Should’ walls in collision

In addition to this constant daily reminder that fueled L’s Probability vector, R’s response triggered L’s ‘should’ wall, just as her behavior had triggered his. The ‘should’ wall is one of the primary triggers of the ‘Anger’ response. Because Anger is an emotional response, it affects Mind and Body. The individual builds ‘Should’ walls very early on. Further it is regularly reinforced and strengthened.

The ‘Should’ wall is erected upon our conceptions as to how the world ‘should’ be and how people ‘should’ be and behave. Hammers ‘should’ not strike thumbs or fingers and ‘should’ only strike nails. In R’s world no one ‘should’ tamper with his things and no one ‘should’ tell him what to do.

In L’s world no one ‘should’ respond angrily to a ‘just’ request made in a ‘nice’ way. While R merely said he wouldn’t move his trailer - he ‘shouldn’t’ have said it in the way he did. Thus L's ‘should’ wall was triggered. Her environment was not behaving politely in response to her polite request. Instead her environment, R, was responding ‘rudely‘ to her request. He ‘shouldn’t’ do this.

R's inappropriate response makes L mad. This emotional response means both a physical and mental disturbance to L’ s force. This was not pleasant for L.

Some people, for instance R, live in a more or less constant state of emotional distress - which means that their mental and physical components are constantly in turmoil. Hence, this emotional turmoil is the norm for R. It is constant and ongoing. R considers this state of turmoil normal. Thus R doesn’t notice anything different when he disturbs the Force. He is constantly in a state of turmoil with the surrounding world for not behaving as it should - so one more disturbing element is not something out of the ordinary - barely even noticed on his Richter scale of ‘shoulds’.

L, however, lives in a state of relative peace, normally. Mind and Body are in harmony in her world. So not only did R’s trailer disturb the visual harmony of her world, which affected her emotionally, i.e. disturbing her mental and physical balance, but now his behavior also disturbed her emotionally as well.

L: “He ‘should’ realize that I have been generous to have allowed the trailer as long as I have. He ‘should’ graciously apologize and move it as soon as he can. He ‘should ‘ certainly not get mad at me, L, who has been so patient as to allow the trailer to obstruct my view for so long without complaint - patiently waiting. He ‘should’ be treating me as a benefactor rather than a servant.”

Needless to say L’s equilibrium was disturbed by R’s response. Then this internal disturbance was magnified/multiplied by the presence of the trailer. Further because L normally doesn’t reside in a state of emotional arousal, she was also aggravated by her aggravation.

L: “No one should disturb my peace. I shouldn’t let this disturb my peace.”

So L’s ‘should’ walls were going crazy. Her equilibrium was disturbed and R was the cause. He needed to be eradicated for tweaking her ‘should’ wall.

L’s Disturbance is D’s Disturbance

Enter D. Stage right.

D, as mentioned, normally resides in his fantasy world - flying with the Gods. He avoids day-to-day reality as much as possible. Therefore he regularly attempted to avoid the L&R emotional dance as best he could - hoping against hope that their conflict would not spread to his shore - secretly praying that they could resolve this conflict between themselves.

Unfortunately L is D’s wife. When her disturbance reaches a certain critical threshold, it disturbs his balance. While this disturbance is not part of his ‘should’ wall, which disturbs his emotions - L’s emotional disturbance is transmitted to him due to the fact that they belong to the same family corporation. Indeed her happiness is his happiness. Her peace is his peace. And vice versa, her disturbance is his disturbance.

Thus D had to make his aforementioned move to resolve the disturbance in L’s Force. This exhibits how we all live in an interconnected emotional network rather than existing independently, just inside our Body.

Because ‘Should’ walls generate Anger when pushed, They Must be Consciously Deconstructed

However the overall point of this section is that these ‘should’ walls generate Anger when they are pushed. Anger is devastating internally, mentally and physically. It disturbs the thoughts and the organs - unbalancing Body and Mind. Thus it is in our best interests not to experience Anger.

One of the best ways to avoid the Angry emotion is to deconstruct these ‘should’ walls that we have constructed so carefully from childhood. Normally, maybe always, when Anger is experienced it is because of a ‘should’ wall. Therefore, whenever Anger is experienced it identifies a ‘should’ wall that needs to be deconstructed. Further ‘should’ walls are always built logically upon underlying assumptions. Because they are the foundations of these walls, it is these underlying assumptions that must be thoroughly investigated to bring the walls down.

First put the Fire out - But don’t forget to Deconstruct the Wall

The first step is to put out the emotional fire with Water Purification. Then after the Fire is out, an intense investigation into underlying assumptions can begin. This is opposite the natural tendency to ignore the spot that has ‘made’ us angry. Further an investigation can start the Anger Fire all over again, which we don’t like. Thus our tendency is to put out the Fire and then move on to things that make us feel better, rather than spending time self-reflecting upon disturbing issues.

However, as we shall see, these disturbing issues will come up over and over again in the course of our life. Every time the Universe bumps consciously or inadvertently into our ‘should’ walls we will experience anger unless we have deconstructed their foundations. Hence it is mandatory that we pursue the unpleasant task of self-investigation into the elements of the external world that make us angry. Remember this has less to do with defusing past events and more to do with defusing future collisions with our ‘should’ walls.

Tear them down and nothing can run into them.