Words may present a problem since their meaning often varies between individuals, giving rise to serious communication issues. In an effort to minimize potential misunderstandings between reader and author, this glossary gives the definition of some keywords and phrases as used by the author. The reader, and the dictionary in some cases, may well disagree with his viewpoint, but in order to understand what he is trying to get across, it will be helpful to know how he uses these words and phrases. (Note: no dictionary even has a definition of one of the words … yet.)
Anxiety: an individual’s physical and emotional reaction to the perception of a threat.
Basic beliefs: the meaning attached to experiences; stored in the subconscious brain; the filter through which all thoughts and sensations must pass; true for the holder.
Belief: the conscious awareness of a basic belief; a thought or statement describing a basic belief.
Brain: the three-pound mass of tissue inside the skull comprised of three main sections: the cerebral cortex, limbic system and reptilian brain; each has its own primary functions, and each interconnects with the other areas.
Cause of anxiety: anxiety does not exist in a vacuum: it has both a cause (a threat, i.e., a sensation that is contrary to a basic belief) and a consequence (a defense mechanism).
Emotional concerns: frustration, anger, confusion, helplessness, self-loathing…many others.
Cerebral cortex: the outer layer of the brain; composed of brain cells (neurons). Site of thinking, logic and reasoning.
Limbic system: a group of structures deep within the center of the brain; responsible for generating feelings and emotions.
Reptilian brain: responsible for instinctive and automatic behaviors; the oldest part of the brain; location of the inbornintentions.
Thinking brain: responsible for reasoning and logic; refers to the functioning of the cerebral cortex when it is free of anxiety.
Feeling brain: refers to the functioning of the brain under the influence of anxiety; responsible for generating defense mechanisms to deal with anxiety; associated with the limbic system. Logic and reasoning in the thinking brain is compromised when the feeling brain is in control.
Hidden brain: responsible for controlling functions of the body not under voluntary control: includes respiration, heart beat, blood pressure and many others including inbornintentions; associated with the reptilian brain.
Consciousness: the facility for awareness of one’s self and of one’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors. It is possessed, in varying degrees, by anything living.
Defense mechanism: a protective behavior initiated in response to a threat.
Emotion: a complex mixture of thoughts, feelings and behaviors brought on by basic belief activity.
Empathy: the effort to cognitively understand that another person feels, thinks or acts the way they do; does not imply agreement; does not involve one’s own feelings (a common misunderstanding).
Fear: is, like anxiety, the body’s response to the perception of a threat. A small distinction may be that when afraid, you know what you are afraid of, but when anxious, the reason for the feeling may be unknown.
Feeling: a physical and emotional state; may come from a current experience or a perception.
Inbornintentions: four innate and immutable directions towards which all humans intend to move; they would do so automatically if it were not for holding contrary basic beliefs and/or anxiety. They are:
Human dignity: the sum of all the qualities in humans that distinguishes us from other animals such as our level of consciousness, capacity for language, ability to use mathematics and many other attributes which justify the concept of human dignity; the intent to respect self and others; an inbornintention.
Freedom of choice: the intent to make choices free of undue restrictions; an inbornintention.
Sense of accomplishment: the intent to build, construct, grow and improve one’s quality of life; an inbornintention.
Love: when italicized, the intent to have a positive, optimistic view of that which is outside one’s self; an inbornintention. Without the italics, love expresses a wonderful feeling.
Memories: the remnants of an experience stored in the brain.
Mental health: the degree to which an individual’s basic beliefs are consistent with inbornintentions and unhampered by excessive anxiety.
Mind: The function of the brain, just as the function of the heart is to circulate the blood; has three levels:
Conscious mind: the quality of the brain that is aware of itself and the outside world; useful for thinking and reasoning; associated with the cerebral cortex; the thinking brain.
Subconscious mind: brain activity and functions that take place outside consciousness or awareness; storehouse for basic beliefs, acquired knowledge and memories; metaphorically associated with the limbic system since feelings are generated subconsciously from this area of the brain; material stored here is accessible to the conscious mind, sometimes easily but at other times only with effort; the feeling brain.
Unconscious mind: associated with the reptilian brain because, like other bodily functions controlled from this area, the processes originating here cannot be brought up to consciousness; holds the inbornintentions; the hidden brain.
Self: the essence of who a person actually is; a human being with the innate and immutable quality of human dignity.
Self-concept: how a person describes him/herself: father/mother, husband/wife, rich/poor, smart/dumb or any other variable; possibly quite different from one’s perception of their essential self.
Self-image: how a person perceives his/her physical appearance.
Stress: Synonymous with anxiety so stress relief measures would be the same. Distinguish from “stressor.”
Stressor: An event external to the body that is contrary to a basic belief. The memory of a stressor can be stressor itself. Stressors can be physical, existential or conditioned.
Thought: activity that t:akes place in the conscious mind; the mental or verbal expression of a concept, idea, belief, opinion, intention, reflection, view or judgment.
Threat: a sense of “not-rightness” or danger that results when a thought or sensation is contrary to a basic belief; the perception of a threat triggers anxiety.