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Why You Should Be a Fake

Parshat Terumah

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Why You Should Be a Fake: Parshat Terumah

Why should I act in a way that contradicts my true feelings? Should I present a façade of calmness even when I really want to lash out in anger?
Psychology & Behavior, Action; Deed, Ark, Terumah

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Robert Sockloskie Sherman Oaks, CA February 22, 2023

Let me add that I sense that you are optimistic and loving at heart. Indeed, to be a successful "fake," it greatly helps to be optimistic and loving of heart, even in times of adversity when we feel gloomy and are transitorily pessimistic, such as at the current time in our eventually changing world.

Furthermore, we are all fakes in a variety of ways. Reply

Chana Weisberg February 23, 2023
in response to Robert Sockloskie:

thank you for your thoughtful comment. Even when we're not "feeling" loving or optimistic, acting it can help change our inner perspectives. :) Reply

Robert Sockloskie Sherman Oaks, CA February 24, 2023
in response to Chana Weisberg:

Yes, I agree entirely! But what are you referring to as our "inner perspective"? As a research psychologist (theorist) who specializes in "personality," I now believe that our "personality" is really the repertoire of our various states of mind, along with their propensity to be experienced and our learned behavioral response to them. When I said that you are optimistic and loving at heart, I think I was referring to your soul (your true being), but maybe to a truer and more prominent sense of your "self." The point here is that changes in our "inner perspective" and our "feeling" are really a change in our state of mind, which may become more salient in our above-mentioned repertoire, and subsequently how we experience our "self" in the future, but with no effect on our soul. Much elaboration is needed here. And it is subjective, speculative, and maybe a bit presumptuous, so feel free to disagree.

However, I am certain that you have a lovely soul and are under a very special spirit. Reply

Robert Sockloskie edited Sherman Oaks, CA May 18, 2023
in response to Robert Sockloskie:

A few added elaborations: At the macro level, the above theory reflects “personality.” At the micro level, however, the self is in a constant, but constrained, state of flux (i.e., the “self” changes moment to moment).

States of mind can also be split into finer and finer learned behaviors. For example, social learning can get divided into non-interpersonal environmental versus interpersonal social learning; moreover, non-interpersonal environmental social learning can get divided into family environment versus non-family environmental social learning; the hair splitting can be infinite.

Each state of mind has its innate behavioral response which can be modified by behavioral learned responses. Behavioral learning is being used in its broadest sense here and may include the various forms of conditioning, possible spiritual and religious influences, coercion, etc.
Where do our states of mind originate and where are they stored? These are more philosophical questions Reply

Robert Sockloskie Sherman Oaks, CA February 22, 2023


Let me digress by asking whether there is any difference between the experiences of "happiness" and "pleasurableness." It is a subjective question and depends on perspectives, conceptions, and personal experiences. Since my teen years (I am now 68), I have always had a great preference for the latter. Why? Because I experienced the two as qualitatively different states of mind: More specifically, I experienced happiness as a lower-order emotion that ate up my spiritual energy, thus acting as a roadblock to my reaching higher states of holiness, whereas I would experience pleasure as being more spiritually energetic, which motivated me to reach even higher states of holiness. However, please know that it may be worthwhile for us to define "holiness" as well. Reply

Robert Sockloskie Sherman Oaks, CA February 23, 2023
in response to Robert Sockloskie:

Please let me elaborate a bit more: When you used the word "happy" in your presentation, I felt the cognitive component of perspective-taking, which increased my pleasure without any emotion itself. The same goes when I say that I feel happy for a person, which sometimes implies hope or something similar in addition to increased pleasure. What I think you are implying by being fake is that you are artificially inducing "emotional contagion," which I believe relates to the emotional component of empathy.

The more intense emotional forms of happiness will eventually result in mental fatigue. However, the experience of pleasure can be sustained over the long term without causing any mental fatigue.

Your presentation filled me with a more loving heart, which is also a form of contagion.

The process by which we experience these things is profound; they are usually taken for granted. Reply

David Harold Chester Petach Tikva, Israel May 19, 2023
in response to Robert Sockloskie:

Happiness does not necessarily include physical pleasure. That is the difference. I see no need to include holiness in this discussion. Reply

Sabrina February 3, 2022

I just love this insight! Thank you for sharing! Reply

Yvonne Sandoval San Antonio February 13, 2018

Amazing! Thank you. I needed to hear this. I think as parents and caregivers to our parents, with so much going on we sometimes forget we are pure gold.
Thank you again. Reply

Aviva Nj October 22, 2017

I love the 'wooden self'.. Reply

Ruchama Phoenix via June 11, 2017

Amazing & so true!! Wow. Loved this, you're so inspiring! Reply

Rishe Brooklyn March 5, 2017

convincing i love how you explained this, Chana Reply

David Chester Petach Tikva, Israel March 1, 2017

The self-attitude problem with growing up At a stage of adolescence, we discover the need to present a face to the rest of the world which is an act. Out "true" selves are not socially acceptable because they are both too frank and brutally truthful. This may show idealistic forms of behavior that are either crude and unfriendly or alternatively over-caring to a self-sacrificial degree, which appears to be unrealistic. Neither of these approaches can be thought to consist of what we really want to be, nor what we wish others to see in us. So we find ourselves with certain characteristic features which are somewhat close but not equal to an idealistic nature. The few of us who get closer to this are thought of as being either saints or evil ones.

This creates a problem because we need somehow to evolve in our nature and express it in our daily living. Its all very well if we simply allow our instincts rule (as some do with disastrous results), we feel fine but how then can others accept us? On the other hand, to "fake" is out. Reply

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