Emotion: The Self-regulatory Sense | Katherine Peil Kauffman | emotionalsentience.com

Katherine T. Peil is the founding Director of non-profit EFS International, whose mission is fostering global emotional wisdom. From a background in Pantheistic spirituality and clinical and social psychology, her lengthy interdisciplinary inquiry into the biophysical substrates of emotion led to the identification of its previously mysterious biological function: as an ancient “self-regulatory sense” – an evaluative perceptual mechanism through which living systems directly participate in self-organizing and evolutionary processes, and one that invites deeper inquiries into the physics of consciousness. This new science also casts light upon innate “biovalues, which scientific methodology has long avoided, as well as vital processes that in-form common spiritual experiences, and the healthy development of empathic moral conscience. It provides a biophysically informed vision of “naturalistic spiritualty”, one that echoes the common wisdom across the great religious traditions, while challenging such time honored assumptions as “sin” and the “good and evil” dichotomy.

A former affiliate of Northeastern University and the Harvard Divinity School, Ms. Peil has spoken internationally on the function, evolution, physio-chemical, and informational nature of emotion, as well as its central role in optimal health, human development, moral reasoning, universal spiritual experiences, and its informative value toward creating nonviolence in a global village. – http://consciousnesscongress.org/session/emotional-sentience-the-nature-of-consciousness/


Videos

Reproduced from: http://emotionalsentience.com

Introductory Presentation Short (IPPA 2013) 18:24


Introductory Presentation Long (feature film length) 1:41:28

Articles

Version 1: Emotion: The Self-regulatory Sense? For Psychologists (2012)

Abstract
A dynamic systems model broadly redefines and recasts emotion as a primary sensory system – perhaps the first sense to have emerged, serving the biological function of “self-regulation”. Drawing upon the physical sciences and recent revelations from the field of epigenetics, the model suggests that human emotional perceptions provide an ongoing stream of “self-relevant” sensory information concerning optimally adaptive states between the organism and its immediate environment, along with coupled behavioral corrections that honor a universal self-regulatory logic. With its ancient substrates exemplified by the molecular circuitry in the E. coli bacterium, the model suggests that the hedonic (affective) categories emerge directly from fundamental positive and negative feedback processes, and that their good/bad binary appraisals relate to dual self-regulatory behavioral regimes – evolutionary purposes, through which organisms actively participate in natural selection, and through which humans can interpret “right” and “wrong” states of balanced being and optimal becoming. The self-regulatory sensory paradigm transcends anthropomorphism, unites divergent theoretical perspectives and isolated bodies of literature, and challenges some time-honored assumptions. Contrary to the notion that emotion must be suppressively regulated, it suggests that emotions are better understood as regulating us, providing a service crucial to all semantic language, learning systems, evaluative decision-making, and optimal physical, mental, and spiritual health. The implications for moral psychology are discussed.

KTPeil2012EFS

Version 2: Emotion: The Self-Regulatory Sense. For the Medical Community (2014)

Abstract
While emotion is a central component of human health and well-being, traditional approaches to understanding its biological function have been wanting. A dynamic systems model, however, broadly redefines and recasts emotion as a primary sensory system — perhaps the first sensory system to have emerged, serving the ancient autopoietic function of “self-regulation.” Drawing upon molecular biology and revelations from the field of epigenetics, the model suggests that human emotional perceptions provide an ongoing stream of “self-relevant” sensory information concerning optimally adaptive states between the organism and its immediate environment, along with coupled behavioral corrections that honor a universal self-regulatory logic, one still encoded within cellular signaling and immune functions. Exemplified by the fundamental molecular circuitry of sensorimotor control in the E coli bacterium, the model suggests that the hedonic (affective) categories emerge directly from positive and negative feedback processes, their good/bad binary appraisals relating to dual self-regulatory behavioral regimes — evolutionary purposes, through which organisms actively participate in natural selection, and through which humans can interpret optimal or deficit states of balanced being and becoming. The self-regulatory sensory paradigm transcends anthropomorphism, unites divergent theoretical perspectives and isolated bodies of literature, while challenging time-honored assumptions. While suppressive regulatory strategies abound, it suggests that emotions are better understood as regulating us, providing a service crucial to all semantic language, learning systems, evaluative decision-making, and fundamental to optimal physical, mental, and social health.

KTPeil-Emotion-201403-GAHM

For Consciousness Investigators (2015)
Emotional sentience and the nature of phenomenal experience

Abstract
When phenomenal experience is examined through the lens of physics, several conundrums come to light including: Specificity of mind-body interactions, feelings of free will in a deterministic universe, and the relativity of subjective perception. The new biology of “emotion” can shed direct light upon these issues, via a broadened categorical definition that includes both affective feelings and their coupled (yet often subconscious) hedonic motivations. In this new view, evaluative (good/bad) feelings that trigger approach/avoid behaviors emerged with life itself, a crude stimulus-response information loop between organism and its environment, a semiotic signaling system embodying the first crude form of “mind”. Emotion serves the ancient function of sensory-motor self-regulation and affords organisms – at every level of complexity – an active, adaptive, role in evolution. A careful examination of the biophysics involved in emotional “self-regulatory” signaling, however, acknowledges constituents that are incompatible with classical physics. This requires a further investigation, proposed herein, of the fundamental nature of “the self” as the subjective observer central to the measurement process in quantum mechanics, and ultimately as an active, unified, self-awareness with a centrally creative role in “self-organizing” processes and physical forces of the classical world. In this deeper investigation, a new phenomenological dualism is proposed: The flow of complex human experience is instantiated by both a classically embodied mind and a deeper form of quantum consciousness that is inherent in the universe itself, implying much deeper – more Whiteheadian – interpretations of the “self-regulatory” and “self-relevant” nature of emotional stimulus. A broad stroke, speculative, intuitive sketch of this new territory is then set forth, loosely mapped to several theoretical models of consciousness, potentially relevant mathematical devices and pertinent philosophical themes, in an attempt to acknowledge the myriad questions – and limitations – implicit in the quest to understand “sentience” in any ontologically pansentient universe.

docsKPK2015Proof

The Evolution of Emotion: The Feeling of Living Agency

Reproduced from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/273632663_The_Evolution_of_Emotion_The_Feeling_of_Living_Agency

February 2015

Conference: Conference: What is Life? Universitat Bern, Bern Switzerland; January 12, 2015 (http://www.csh.unibe.ch/content/projects/life_beyond_our_planet/events/what_is_life/index_eng.html)

Abstract
Human life is rich with emotion. Our feelings reside at the center of our deepest, most meaningful, personal experiences. They drive our behavior; they are central to our memory and learning systems, our spiritual impulses, and our moral values – often defining our very identities. Our philosophical and religious traditions have linked their pleasurable and painful (“hedonic”) categories with virtuous and sinful behavior, if not universal forces of goodness and evil. But what is the deeper – physiological-meaning of these “positive” and “negative” categories of feeling? What is their biological function? And how deeply are they rooted in our evolutionary heritage, and in life itself?

A broader and deeper scientific examination of the emotional system reveals some astounding surprises: That the rudiments of emotional sentience are evident in even the simplest living systems. That emotion serves the ancient function of “self-regulation”, affording the earliest organisms the ability to sense their world, to evaluate the “good” or “bad” environmental conditions, and to actively respond in adaptive ways. That the universal values encoded within our hedonic behavior reflect neither good nor evil, but the criteria for natural selection, and that the first crude emotional sentience ushered active creative participation in the evolutionary process. That in more complex organisms, emotion remains a major player in cell signaling, epigenetic regulation, and developmental processes, and an intimate affiliate of the human immune system. Indeed, given the emergent complexity of the “triune” brain, our modern human emotions now contain three levels of self-regulatory information – a moral/spiritual behavioral guidance system there for the taking, once we understand and align with its ancient self-regulatory code.

But the fact of emotional sentience in all living systems also begs a further examination, one of the nature of consciousness and free will. It forces us beyond dead chemistry, machine metaphors, and an epiphenomenal mind, to the possible quantum mechanical underpinnings of life, and perhaps to panpsychist process theology to honor and embrace the degree of ongoing creativity inherent in our universe and in ourselves. Indeed, the binary categories of emotion may well be rooted in nature’s lawful forces of attraction and repulsion, and therefore woven within the very fabric of a pansentient, self-organizing, self-actualizing universe.

KTPTheFeelingofLivingAgencyBern

Lectures

TSC 2016 Plenary 8 Evolution and Consciousness (May 31, 2016)


Emotion: A Self-Regulatory Sense (Mar 18, 2017)


Emotional Sentience: The Nature of Consciousness & Spiritual Experience (Apr 13, 2017)

Katherine T. Peil: Founding Director of non-profit EFS International, whose mission is fostering global emotional wisdom. From a background in Pantheistic spirituality and clinical and social psychology, her lengthy interdisciplinary inquiry into the biophysical substrates of emotion led to the identification of its previously mysterious biological function: as an ancient “self-regulatory sense” – an evaluative perceptual mechanism through which living systems directly participate in self-organizing and evolutionary processes, and one that invites deeper inquiries into the physics of consciousness. This new science also casts light upon innate “biovalues, which scientific methodology has long avoided, as well as vital processes that inform common spiritual experiences, and the healthy development of empathic moral conscience. It provides a biophysically informed vision of “naturalistic spiritualty”, one that echoes the common wisdom across the great religious traditions, while challenging such time honored assumptions as “sin” and the “good and evil” dichotomy.


Emotional Sentience: Katherine Peil (Jul 26, 2018)

Katherine Peil reveals some of the fascinating discoveries of her lengthy inquiry into the nature of emotion. She talks of its function and evolution, and refers to its physiochemical and informational expressions. She reminds us that all living creatures experience pleasure and pain, and that good and bad feelings work together to serve self-regulation. Emotion is a sensory system, and hedonic qualia enable creatures to experience both an autonomous me and a social we. She introduces the topic of quantum biology, and asks the speculative question: Does consciousness collapse the wave function?


The Evolutionary Origins of Self (Mar 14, 2017)

With Stuart Alan Kauffman, Katherine T. Peil, and Neil Theise; facilitated by Chris Fields

Microbes vigorously defend themselves against attack, distinguish friendly from unfriendly members of their communities, and approach suitable partners to initiate sex. What if anything do they experience when doing so? Do they, in particular, experience selfhood? Do fish that protect their nests experience ownership? Do crows that manufacture tools from unfamiliar objects experience planning and agency? Do dogs, elephants and horses experience themselves as related in some particular way to each of the other members of their social groups? Do chimps recognize their memories as their own? What in general can we say about the evolution of the experience of selfhood? Did the multifaceted human sense of self evolve as a unit, or did its various components develop separately?


Interviews

Katherine Peil on emotional sentience and evolution with Nanci Trivellato


Katherine Peil MA – Emotional Sentience & Phenomenal Experience | Newtonian Shamanics #33


Workbook

For Personal Growth: Mastering Emotional Intelligence (layman’s self-help workbook; circa, 1999)

http://emotionalsentience.com/docs/EEFSAll2012.pdf

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.