Pain - Pleasure Principle
Rationality and Honesty
Universal vs. Particular 
Inspiration - Identificationshapeimage_3_link_0
Emotion vs. Reason
Integrity and Independenceshapeimage_4_link_0
Implicit vs. Explicit Values 
Selfishness and Justiceshapeimage_5_link_0
Individual vs. Collective
Freedom and Productivityshapeimage_6_link_0
Perception vs. Deception
Pride and Happinessshapeimage_7_link_0
Implicit vs. Explicit Knowledge 
Volition - Selectionshapeimage_8_link_0
Positive vs. Negative 
Motivation - Pursuitshapeimage_9_link_0
Personal vs. Public
Action - Achievementshapeimage_10_link_0
Limited vs. Unlimited 
Reaction - Celebrationshapeimage_11_link_0

Perception vs. Deception

Perception is an automatic function of man’s nature. To live is to perceive. Identifying what man perceives requires mental effort in the form of conscious focus in reality. To man perception comes in the form of vision, touch, hearing, smell and taste. Some may argue that balance is a form of perception, too. The integration of man’s perceptive experiences in individual coherent wholes distinguishes him from the rest of the animal kingdom.

The conceptualization of man’s identifications by virtue of rationality on the basis of his perceptive mechanism is not automatic -- it is volitional. Through the conceptual mechanism man is capable of misidentifying facts in reality. If he misidentified the pain in his stomach, he faces the danger of dying hungry and in pain. If he misidentified the pain in his child, the child may die hungry and in pain. The survival of man depends on the veridical relationship between perception and conceptualization.

Unlike perception, deception is a volitional phenomenon. To deceive the individual must differentiate between what is true and false, and choose the latter. To the extend that there is no anatomical abnormality in the perceptive mechanism of the child, his mind will guide his identification in accordance with the cause and effect principle. Perception is the norm, deception is the abnormal.

Limited vs. Unlimited

The ability of the child to perceive the world around him is limited by the amount of data he can process on the perceptual level. G. A. Miller (1956) has demonstrated that humans are capable of holding in the field of their awareness up to seven distinct entities as a unit of perception. Ayn Rand has coined the term “crow-epistemology” to denote the limitations of the perceptual level.

When the child arrives at the conceptual level of learning, when he performs a “mental integration of two or more units possessing the same distinguishing characteristic(s), with their particular measurements omitted” (Ayn Rand, 1966), and when this method of learning becomes his modus operandi, the potential for his life becomes unlimited.

The child’s body is limited by laws of nature; the child’s mind is limited by his curiosity and imagination. His identification of what inspires and motivates his sense-of-life will define the magnitude of the horizon in his future.

If he concerned himself only with the perceptibly available to him, he will be limited by the myopia of his context. If he chose to adhere to the abstraction from the perceptively available, to the conceptually possible, he will see far beyond the limits of his perceptual boundaries. His sense-of-life will be unlimited.

Pride and Happiness

Pride is dependent on achievement of a value. Pride is not an automatic sense-of-life experience, the child must earn it. All that work he did as an infant, and toddler, as adolescent and young adult to become a self-sufficient human being integrated in reality pays off in the, now earned, proud sense-of-life he has achieved.

“Pride is the recognition of the fact that you are your own highest value and, like all of man’s values, it has to be earned -- that of any achievements open to you, the one that makes all others possible is the creation of your own character...” (Ayn Rand, 1957)

For the child to grow into a happy adult, he must create a character capable of enjoying happiness. The pursuit of happiness is the final destination on the cyclical progression of his development and interaction with reality. Happiness is the effect he desires to sustain for a pain-free existence on earth. It is selfish and non-negotiable quality of anyone’s life.

Reaction - Celebration

The extend of one’s celebration is proportionate to the extend of one’s sense-of-life. The prouder the man has achieved to be, the happier and greater his celebration of life. Like an infant, an adult is constantly evaluating his body functions, his relation to others, his relation to existence. His integration of body and mind, thought and action, percepts and concepts, are dependent on his volition to pursue happiness, i.e., pursue values that give rise to a pain-free state of existence.

His reaction to a threat of that pain-free state is swift and determined. If he misidentified a threat as a complement to his happiness, he will be reminded of the pain he experienced in his tummy as an infant.

Living pain-free is a taxing endeavor where one is perennially on alert.  But, the reward is disproportionately great.

To celebrate life man is required by nature to respond timely to the pain-pleasure principle, to see the world rationally, to adhere to particulars and universals with honesty, to get inspired by his identifications, to blend reason and emotion in integrated harmony, to rely on the implicit as he relies on the explicit knowledge, which will guide his volition to select the values that in turn will test his positive and negative emotions, to be selfish and just, as in reality, so in society, to be motivated in his pursuit of happiness, to produce goods and values as a free member of a free society, to act in order to achieve the goals he sets for himself, to create proud and unlimited sense-of-life matched only by his relentless perception of reality.

Individual vs. Collective

Metaphysically, the infant is reliant on his parents to survive, i.e., he is dependent on their ability to produce the food for him whenever he cries to indicate that he is hungry. Epistemologically, he is independent in his ability to identify when does he feel the pain and when does he feel well.

It will take long time before the child grows into an independent person, i.e., self-sufficient human being. Until then his individuality is formed by the way he interacts with people around him.  It is on the basis of his accurate identification of the hunger pangs as communicated to his surroundings through crying, and on the basis of the accurate response on behalf of the people that surround him by providing food to satisfy his hunger, that moderates the dynamics responsible for the formation of individual character as related to the group and existence.

The successful interaction between infant, parents and environment will form a veridical character who can rely on his faculty of reason and depend on the faculty of reason of his parents, i.e., other people. Such bond will help the infant to grow into a self-sufficient individual, and view others as himself, i.e., self-sufficient members of the group.

Personal vs. Public

As the infant grows he will discover that having hunger pangs is not specific only to him, but to others, too. His personal experience relate to how he feels, and the experience of others does not alter the body-state, nor his mind-state in identifying that he is hungry. Independent of what others, i.e., the public feels, his hunger or fullness, is directly related to his body, not the public corpus of bodies.

The realization that only he is responsible for the identification of whether or not he is hungry, is now augmented by the realization that no matter what other people say or do, his personal feelings are independent of theirs. In this sense he is better rooted at his individuality, and better suited to understand the individuality of others.

Knowing that his feelings count for his mind-state could easily be transcribed to others. This differentiation of feelings as personal and public mind-states is the foundation for his successful relationship with others. To survive he will have to project his feelings onto others, and in turn be able to read theirs.

Freedom and Productivity

The ability of a child to view himself as self-sufficient member of a group of like individuals gives rise to a free association with others.  Until and unless a child shows metaphysically independent, in his basic function of survival, characteristics he may not take on the responsibility to produce for himself and others. To arrive at this juncture he normally waits to reach adolescence.

The production stage is the second critical period of development in human beings. The first being the development of the conceptual mechanism as expressed in the virtue of rationality. In this second stage of development the child is growing up to be an adolescent in his own right of productive genius. At this stage all basic function necessary for survival have been mastered. The child can feed himself, dress himself, seek shelter, and look after his wounds or cold.  He is becoming an autonomous being.

In the freedom from dependence on others to provide for him, he now faces the responsibility to produce that which his survival requires. Every aspect of life becomes a potential value in his effort to integrate himself with the environment. His faculty of reason will guide him in the selection of the one in the many values he discovers in life. Just like seeing, hearing, smelling, touching and tasting was exciting to him as an infant, so now is the application of knowledge gained through reading, writing, arithmetic, history, science, and music.

Action - Achievement

The manifestation of maturity comes in the achievement of values driven by one’s volitional action. To do that the young adult must find inspiration to identify his values, he must select the value of his choice; find a source of motivation in the relentless pursuit of acting to achieve the value that will make him happy.

The link between action and achievement is reinforced by the realization of the young adult that his freedom is what gives rise to his ability to produce. The value of his choice must therefore be a valid representation of reality.  The value he seeks to claim cannot take him back to dependence on others, as that will hinder the freedom status which gives him right to production.

To properly choose the values in his life the young adult has to assure his adherence to reality, i.e., his honesty as judged by his faculty of reason must be uncompromised: he has to pay attention to the fidelity of his thoughts to action, i.e., his integrity must not be undermined by dependence on others in his judgment of what is right and wrong; he must be independent: as an agent of justice to reality and society he must be selfish in his pursuit of values, i.e., he must know that something is of value to him, and for what: and lastly he must perceive the achievement of value as a source of celebration and boost to his self-esteem.

Implicit vs. Explicit Values

The autonomic mechanism of the infant relies exclusively on the ability of his mind to identify the body-state as experienced by the self. The link between body-state, i.e., hunger pain, and body response, i.e., cry out to alarm the environment, is autonomic.  The identification of the relationship between these two processes is implicit.  The infant is not required to call to action the mechanisms of crying. To the extend that the infant cries as result of hunger pain, he is signifying an implicit value. “I am in pain, I need help to get rid of the pain.”

To help alleviate the pain a caregiver feeds the child. In turn the child feels relieved and experiences pleasure. This interaction between child and caregiver becomes the hallmark for establishing a standard for explicit values. In the connection between the infant and caregiver there is a volitional aspect of the relationship on behalf of the caregiver and appreciation of value on behalf of the child. The child is required to not only identify that the food provided will alleviate the pain in his tummy, but he has to select to eat the food, in order to relieve the pain. To the extend that the child is willing to eat the food he is served by his caregiver he is signifying an explicit value. “Food is good for me, mommy is good to me, and I know it.”

Identifying and selecting what is good for him against the background of human interaction gives rise to the implicit understanding of the virtue of selfishness. He will be justly rewarded or punished in making his choice to eat or not to eat, respectively. If he eats, he will experience pleasure, if he refuses to eat, he will experience pain.

Positive vs. Negative Emotions

The growing pain in his tummy makes the infant feel frustrated, confused, helpless, and vulnerable. He cries. To address the pain his caregiver provides food to soothe him. The infant eats, the pain goes away, and he feels relieved, helped, secure, and attached. The onus of differentiation between what makes him feel happy and what makes him feel miserable is on the faculty of consciousness. It is through the child’s ability to focus on the facts in reality that give rise to his sense of pain and pleasure, that determine how well he’ll develop his sense of what feels good and pleasant and what feels bad and painful.

Based on his fidelity to existence and the ability to translate implicit knowledge into explicit knowledge, the infant will be successful at understanding the experience of positive and negative emotions.  Implicitly, the autonomic mechanism will take care of his identification of the pain through crying. Explicitly, the volitional mechanism will take care of his crying by eating the food provided for him.

Acting to prevent pain the child is turning a negative experience into a positive one. The degree, to which he acts with determination to prevent the painful, is the degree to which he will enjoy the pleasant. It is his rational faculty manifested in his conscious choice to alleviate and later in life prevent pain that stimulates his motivation to act for the benefit of his organism. All action that supports his life is good; all action that undermines his life is bad. That is the platform for positive and negative emotions.

Selfishness and Justice

An infant is far from making moral judgments. But, his relationship with his body-states and mind-states and his interaction with his caregivers will determine whether or not he will develop an adequate sense of self and justice.

On the basis of the autonomic mechanism it is implicitly just that he cries when in pain.  It is just that his mother soothes his pain as soon as possible.  The infant will appreciate this dynamics in his growing attachment to his primary caregiver and himself. The more he pays attention to his body-states, the quicker he will call for help.  The sooner he calls the attention of his parents, the better he will feel as result of their intervention in making him feel well.

In time, the child realizes that he is the center of attention in the dynamic relationship with environment and parents. To successfully manage life his focus must be on his relationship with existence.  His survival depends on his degree of selfishness as related to and affected by existence.

Motivation - Pursuit

The infant will cry until and unless the pain in his tummy goes away. Nature will teach him that to achieve wellness, it’s not enough to identify the cause of his discomfort, but pursue an action to alleviate the pain. The sooner he acts upon getting better, the sooner he will feel better.

When the child begins to understand this implicit in nature principle of call to action, he will start to formulate the basis of motivation. Once the child identifies that food is good for him (it will make the pain go away from his tummy), he is motivated to eat. In the beginning stages of development this process is implicit. After the child is capable of abstracting in conceptual terms the meaning of food for his body-state, he begins acting willfully in pursuit of that which is good for him.  He begins acting selfishly. Motivation relies on the virtue of selfishness.

To be motivated, the child must realize the significance and value of the object of his motivation to himself. What drives the pursuit, the act to achieve value, is the realization that the end result is beneficial to the actor. The greater the knowledge in the steps required to achieve one’s goal, the more lasting the motivation to finish the pursuit.

Emotion vs. Reason

The pain - pleasure principle teaches us to pay attention to how we feel and what we feel. The cause and effect mechanism teaches us to identify the source of what we feel and understand why we feel the way we do.

Metaphysically, man is endowed with the faculty of reason. Epistemologically, he must use his perceptive mechanism to identify and learn the facts of reality. Metaphysically, man is predisposed to recognize the value of the pain - pleasure principle. Epistemologically, he must discover the cause and effect mechanism in order to choose what is good for him.

The child’s realization that the pain from hunger will be alleviated by food is the basis for the integration of reason and emotion. He does it implicitly in numerous instances, until he makes an explicit identification of the connection between the two states of his body and mind.

To achieve normalcy, the infant must clearly interrelate the state of his body with the state of his mind. It is through the perceptive mechanism and faculty of reason that he accomplishes the cycle from rational identification to emotional reaction.

Technically rationality is not manifested until the child reaches his critical period of development at age two.

Implicit vs. Explicit Knowledge

It will take many occurrences of pain in the tummy, crying for attention and help, eating food to satisfy his hunger, and relieving the pain, before the child start associating pain with hunger, and food with satisfaction. Even then, the process remains implied by the condition of the body state the infant is experiencing. It is yet, to become an identification of the mind.

To understand the link between pain and pleasure, the child needs to identify the link between the pain in the tummy and the relieve he feels after he eats. The infant has to abstract the feeling in his body at a future time as projected by the state of the body he has experienced in the past.  The realization of the cause and effect in the interrelation of hunger and food has to be experienced as a mental state against the background of perceptive, body experience for the child to make an explicit connection in his knowledge of his body and mind states.

Once the link has been made, the pain in the tummy won’t be as alarming.  The sight of food will be a source of content via a projected state of homeostasis that he has previously experienced and identified.

The child’s ability to see the interrelation of the pain - pleasure link is a function of his rationality. It is through reason that the child brings the implicit in his body state pain experience to the explicit mental state of pleasant feeling.

Integrity and Independence

In identifying the pain in his tummy the infant’s mind alarms his surroundings with a cry.  This phenomenon is automatic and does not require the conscious, explicit realization: “I am hungry”. Throughout the developmental stages of growth the child relies on this metaphysically given mechanism to survive in nature. Epistemologically, the burden is on his consciousness to discover and understand the relationship between entity and identity.

The indispensable link between body-state and mind-state is correlated with the integration of body, i.e. entity; and mind, i.e. identity. When a person achieves the stage of conscious identification and explicitly knows how to identify his body-states, his mind reaches a level of independence from the automatic processes of his organism. It is at that level of development that the link between his mental identification of body-states, i.e., thinking about the way he feels, must accurately relate to one another, i.e., he must build a strong foundation of integrity between body and mind, between how he feels and how he knows what he feels.

The integrative mechanism of maintaining homeostasis is rooted in the virtue of epistemological independence of the child. To succeed in preserving his integrity the child is required by nature to choose a veridical relationship between entity and identity. “My tummy hurts, that makes me cry, my tummy hurts, because I am hungry, I eat, that makes me feel better, food relieves the pain in my tummy. I am glad I ate.”

Volition - Selection

Going through toilet training the child is encouraged to pay attention to his body-states and learn to control himself. To achieve control over his body-state, the child must identify what outcome follows from given sensation,  i.e., the urge to urinate, results in urination. Implicitly, the child will realize that, to hold the urge, he must focus his mind on the body, and order himself not to urinate, now. The intensity of the urge to go, is proportionate to the degree of focus required in its control.

When the child reaches the stage of explicit identification of his body-states, he is in position to predict what action must he take in order to relieve pain, and prolong pleasure. In abstracting his prediction of what might follow as consequence of his action he is capable to exercise a willful act. In the case of toilet training; “If I let go, I’ll get wet, and that’s uncomfortable. If I hold, and go to the toilet, I’ll stay dry, and that is comfortable. Let me go to the toilet, now.” In the case of hunger pangs; “My tummy hurts, if I ate, I will feel better. I prefer feeling better to feeling the pain in my tummy, I want to eat now.”

The child’s volition follows from his identification of what is good and bad for him. His faculty of reason helped him identify the state he is in, his identification inspired his fidelity to what he feels, armed with the integrity of his independent assessment of a future effect that food will relieve the pain in his tummy, holding his urge to urinate will keep him dry, and that in turn makes his volitional act to eat, or go to the toilet, valuable.

The selection of value is a natural phenomenon rooted in the rational identification of existence. Choosing one value over another is a function of independence as a result of satisfying the necessary autonomic states of homeostasis.

Pain - Pleasure Principle

When an infant gets hungry, he cries out for attention. He does not understand the biological state he is in, but his autonomic nervous system recognizes the pain in his tummy and to alleviate it triggers a response in the infant.  Since speech is not yet a means of communication, he cries to delegate the problem.

When an infant is fed and satisfied he feels happy with his body and environment. The encounter and interaction with his family and others bring pleasure that he expresses through laughter.

The successful relationship of the infant with his body and environment depends on his ability to identify pain and pleasure. The link between pain and cry for help is effortless. Yet, to understand that there is a link between how he feels, and what he does, requires mental effort. To the extend that there is no anatomical abnormality in his cognitive mechanism, there is a direct rational interaction with his environment through his perceptive mechanism, i.e., the five senses of vision, touch, hearing, smell, and taste.

The infant remains consistent in his interaction with his body and environment and indicates changes in the balance of his normal state with a lightning fast precision, without regard for exogenous circumstances.

Universal vs. Particular

There are two mechanisms at work in the effort to sustain a normal existence for the infant. He has to discover that there is something off-kilter, and that there is a way to fix it. There is a gradual intensity in the experience of hunger sensation. Autonomically, the intensity of the stimulus does not affect the outcome of the response. (Sherrington, 1906) Yet, the intensity of the call for food is proportionate to the degree of hunger evaluated by the person. The stronger the pain in the tummy, the louder the cry for attention. Implicitly, the infant’s mind realizes that something is going wrong and needs correcting, now.

The ability of the child to identify hunger pains as particular instances of body-state, and the ability to associate food with the relieve of pain as an instance of mind-state, give rise to the universal understanding, “food is good for me, and I know it.”

This process of gradual data gathering blended in a realization of a solution to a problem underlies the natural for human beings method of knowledge acquisition in a cyclical progression from one of the many, to one in the many. We experience particulars, which we later identify in integrated universals.

To survive, we need to integrate our experiences in universal principles to guide our action.  To thrive, we need to discover the One in the Many -- the principle of life.

Rationality and Honesty

Through the faculty of reason the infant will realize the importance of cause and effect. When I feel pain in tummy, I cry, when I cry, I get food.  When I eat, feel better, when I feel better, stop crying. Pain can be alleviated, pleasure can be augmented.

The tacit realization is: There is a causal relationship between how I feel, what I do, and who I interact with to get the desired effect. The explicit realization is: Food is good for me.

Identifying the cause and effect relationship between body state and mental state, between self and environment is a function of rationality.  Adhering to the facts in existence that give rise to our evaluation of reality is a function of honesty. The more explicit and accurate the account of the experience, the more truthful we are to the relationship between existence and ourselves.

It is the ability of the infant to judge his self-state as painful or pleasant that makes the cause and effect of his action honest. His fidelity to the endogenous state of his being have direct effect on his fidelity to the exogenous circumstances on his being.

To exist in a normal state, the infant’s demands for equilibrium must be identified and met accurately and timely by his primary caregivers.

Inspiration - Identification

The origin of the word inspiration comes from the Latin word inspirare “breathe or blow into” (Oxford Dictionary of English). By drawing his first breath the infant turns on the engine of his existence. The oxygen that runs through his nervous system ignites the neurons of his brain and in turn a sense-of-life moves his body. The infant is now inspired with life.

The breathing of air is autonomic, he is not required to identify or think about how to do it.  By virtue of his existence he breathes. He will not realize the significance of breathing until much later in his life, but he will get inspired by the multitude of identifications in his environment that are inevitably to follow. Everything he sees and touches and smells and tastes and hears is exciting.

Unlike the autonomic function of breathing, identification requires of the infant to focus on the mind-state he experiences as result of the stimulation of the sensation his body signals. Further, he must differentiate between internal and external stimulation, as identified by his mind.

How complete and/or incomplete, how accurate and/or inaccurate his identifications become will determine, how rational, honest and inspired he lives. Before he engages in any activity, he will identify, implicitly and/or explicitly, the cause and effect in all of his existence.