ARTIFICIAL EMOTION II: Real Life Examples, and The Theory of “the New Normal”
By : Papillon Philippe, Comte du Cray
Branded tobacco cigarettes, which are added with texture agents and other chemicals, is poison. Period. The Mephistopheles incarnate.
Want a proof? My father divorced at the very time he quit a life long relationship with it (2 packs a day). Want another proof? I have a friend in Miami who lives on his yacht and cannot quit the habit, even though knowing that, at 65, every cigarette he smokes (about 40 a day) increases in him a “feeling of end”.
The West has had a long love story with tobacco since Christopher Columbus discovered it in the Caribbeans. Priests would actually smoke while giving mass. Still to this day, tobacco is the most popular drug of choice, despite the fact that the scientific community recognizes it as addictive as heroin.
So we won’t try to go further about a substance that I have also loved (and hated). Only to say one positive and one negative: Chemical free tobacco (like American Spirits for example) possesses the nicotinic acid that is beneficial to the nerve (as an anti-anxiety). The negative, and a very big one…one that we shall try to avoid at all cost, is that tobacco decreases our breath.
Now lets wonder and research the world of the most consequential psycho-active plant that has ever existed….One more thought about tobacco for my friend in Miami before we do that:He admits himself more addicted to the added chemicals than to the tobacco itself…a tragic-comedy, is it not? Like an angel from hell, a hell’s angel… lets talk now about its anti-thesis.
In 1986, I was a French sailor going around the world on a school-boat/helicopter carrier (the “Jeanne d’Arc”) that, every year, would take the French navy’s future officers on a planetary experience of ambassadorship. My Godfather was at the time the French navy’s chief of staff. He put me on the boat as soon as I enlisted. Eight months later it was May 1986, and our “escale” was Karachi, Pakistan.
As soon as we got on land, my colleague and I jumped in a taxi and went around smoking hashish (the co-pilot was rolling), riding on camels, and purchasing (in my case) one kilogram of the same substance. The problem was that, three weeks earlier (and in the middle of the Indian Ocean, from where I saw the comet of haley that year), we all had to open up our lockers and let the boat’s police search our belongings. They found a joint in my stuff (that I had gotten in Mombasa, Kenya), and I was sentenced to laundry duty as soon as we hit New Caledonia. That’s all I got. Many petty officers found it to be unfair, that it was because my Godfather was the number one man in the Navy (in rank); that I should have been punished like any other. In fact, another sailor was caught like I, with a small amount of cannabis, and was flown back to France right away.
So I was very nervous with the kilo under my pillow and started imagining the same guy that found the joint in my locker…I came to the feeling that it might not be worth it after all, I was going to Paris soon and study some more… I was not going to take the chance to go to jail. So I picked up the block (about 35 centimeters by 15, and one inch thick), went up on the front deck and threw it into the water. It is probably still there now, 27 years later, on the bottom of the port of Karachi.
What happened is that I had a high emotion, a “ganja rush”, that made me decide to make an interesting investment (200 dollars). But then, I faltered…my inspiration and creative process halted, by fear, by intellect, by psycho-physical poverty and over analysis. Maybe if I had been able to control my fears, left the hashish block alone under the pillow, and spent some time with my friend at the bar he tended on board; Maybe I would have had been able to relax, have a sip of soda, roll a joint, and smoke it with him somewhere safe on the boat (at port we usually step out on the front deck). May be I would have been able to do what I call “help the normal”. Help it, via cannabis, have its fear factor reduced in half, and make decisions upon that new normal and new normal only. So this new normal becomes the only terrain from which actions are started. The creative process…the artificial emotion: “I can resale the hash block for 20 000 dollars (street value, in small quantities) in Paris… along with some of my friend’s (Emmanuel Bonnet)…but I could also be sentenced with jail time by the Navy’s justice system (that could have easily been suspended by my Godfather, but that would still be marked on my record)…”. A full evaluation of the situation with the fear factor reduced by half… the thought, created, travels the nerve route to the emotion process…the artificial emotion is created…then decision (“throw away the hash, or keep?”), then action.
It’s like the Actors Studio in Hollywood: you don’t get in unless they consider you relaxed enough so that the fear factor is not too much of a determinant of your decisions and actions on the stage.
We will never know the answer to anything for sure. That is why homo-sapient invented math. For when we cannot cope with the nature of life: uncertainty.
But one last thing to add on to my time in Karachi: the boat police were giving me pretty fiery looks as I embarked, unchecked, with a big chunk of an illegal substance…especially the one MP who found the joint in my locker 3 weeks prior….looking at me as if I was engaged in contraband…
1. The Artificial Emotion
by Papillon Philippe, Comte du Cray
There is a permanent fact engraved in the complex web of the homo sapiens’ psycho-physical wealth: emotion is the primary precursor of behavior, the primary decider of action.
Life is a moment to moment process that specializes in producing surprises after surprises. There is no way not to let events affect us. Emotions arise and drive our actions.
Sometimes, the event creates emotion that goes through our psychology prior to accessing our physiology. Sometimes, it works opposite: it hits the flesh before it hits the head.
In any case, we are presented with emotions that mysteriously stimulate us (or not) and that need to be processed by our system of being.
In order to be creative, we do not have a choice but to create a system that gets us to the emotion without going through the event; a system that gets us to a specific kind of emotion without going through a specific kind of event.
Once the “artificial emotion” is created and processed by both our psychology and physiology systems, we can get into gear, into action, into creation…
So, how do we create artificial emotions? First, we start with the thought process in order to create a thought; which could be a memory or something imagined. Then, we let that thought travel all the way to the emotion process, via the nerve, by means of numerous messengers called neurons that go back and forth.
The nerve is the connective route between our psychology and our physiology. It must be kept like a “state of the art” highway system so neurons can freely, fluidly take it and ride it at will.
Neuron transmission is the key to the creative process, because it allows the primary thought (the idea) to transform into an emotion (the reality).
Therefore, the nerve must be protected. So let us look at what is available here in America, as far as legal substances, to help us do that (those options will not include any pharmaceuticals, considering that their side effects are just too incalculable).
There are three compounds: alcohol, tobacco and cannabis.
Let us start with alcohol (we will not include here the wholesome, non synthetically “yeasted” red wine alcohol that stands as an exception when consumed in moderation; later in this essay, we will explore the specifics regarding this only source of natural alcohol the world possesses).
When alcohol enters our system, it helps us reach the specific kind of feeling we expect to experience as we prepare and create the original thought. A sense of calm and creativity starts to envelop us, which easily brings us to that emotion in question. But science has proved that alcohol damages our brain and the neurons in it. Our little messengers must be multiple and kept healthy (instead of being destroyed) so they can ride the nerve route in large numbers. Alcohol protects that same route by helping the neurons transmit their messages successfully (which gets us to the emotion from the thought) but it does it by eliminating those that have not started their trip yet, those that are still in the brain and not yet ready to leave it and venture out into the body via the nervous system.
The price to pay is just too high. Self destruction, even though it has been the mantra of some of the best of our past artists and pioneers, is to be avoided when it comes to learning the creative process. May be for the simple reason that it is year 13, a third millennium, and that our perception of things through science and other disciplines has changed. For instance, the concept of neuro-genesis (the reproduction of neurons, a notion that has only been accepted during the last 25 years), the opposite of the neuron destruction that alcohol is responsible for, has started to take hold within the society of scientists, savants and artists. We now know that our psychology and physiology systems possess receptors, including the nuclear one, that are sensitive to cannabinoids, the active compounds in cannabis. Besides, those same cannabinoids are, as we speak, being studied by scientists as potential precursors of that same neuro-genesis.