Agentive awareness derives from pain

The pain of fear (or fear-pain) is the prime mover of all executive action. Fear-pain is a biological construct that motivates the organism to avoid physical pain or death.

Fear-pain emerged when the very first properly modular and coordinated negentropic system emerged, one that could propel the organism into rapid action with hair-trigger responsiveness from a unified executive center.

Upon receiving the right kind of perturbations, the organism (1) executes a fight or flight response, and (2) stores the perceptics that occasioned the perturbation as a (flattened) rule. Once in the clear, the organism returns again to hair-trigger homeostasis, with the rule ready-to-hand. When similar perceptics arise again in the future, the organism will react in the same way, just as if the original perturbations were already present.

Fear-pain is felt at the executive center—at the high-point unity, the agentive self, the coordinator that presides over the whole organism. The agentive subject has two powers: the power of voluntary action and the power of positing images, which includes thinking and communicating.

The self is fully magickal in the imagination. It can choose what it wants to posit and then do so without restriction. It hovers over its repository of concepts (flattened rules), chooses them by fiat, and then makes particular instances of those concepts for its own self-satisfaction. But this is the exceptional case. Normally, our choosing and positing is forced by perturbations. Because we are wired for hair-trigger responsiveness, we are normally in the healthy, pro-survival state of general anxiety. Thus our positing (our non-stop inner life of daydreaming) is compelled by the background of fear-pain that subsists in the inertia of our physical being.

Note that what we crave is always an image of an F, never the concept F. And what pushes us into action, and into feeling, is always an image and never a concept. We are motivated by the sensory—by particulars and feelings—yet we feel like concepts are ontologically prior to images because this priority does hold in the act of making (of schematizing). When we say that our present behavior, feeling, and daydreaming is pushed by past experience, it is being pushed by past particulars, by concrete images.

Yet when fear-pain is present to apperception, to the executive center, it is meaningful—an thus an act of schematizing from rules.

Summary: Fear-pain—the painful part of pain that fills us with dread—is emotional pain, or pain from meaning. Meaning is know-how—the ability, by the ghost-like overseer, to make instances from rules, or “kinds.” The function of the overseer is to coordinate and command the actions falling under its voluntary scope. Fear-pain is rooted in meaning-making. Meaning-making must be voluntary to the degree that it is intended (and, so, meant), but it is almost always compelled by the the involuntary facticity of the pro-survival biologic.