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The Golden Verses Of The Stoic

Seneca and Epictetus refer to the Golden Verses of Pythagoras , which happens to provide a good framework for developing a daily routine, bookended by morning and evening contemplative practices. Zeno of Citium , who founded Stoicism in 301 BC, expressed his doctrines in notoriously terse arguments and concise maxims.  However, Chrysippus, the third head of the Stoic school, wrote over 700 books fleshing these ideas out and adding complex arguments to support them. 

Emotional Motivator
Maslow wasn't Correct

What is an Emotional Motivator ? What good is it? 

Symbolism is a effective
method of  demonstrating
emotional turmoil by
implying rather than describing
On the Emotion Description pages for the Encyclopedia Project there is a section titled Motivator. This post is to give you an idea of what that section supplies and some possible uses for the information.

There are several studies which have suggested over the century that emotions, and not logic drive our actions. Those who develop and utilized Marketing and Sales techniques accepted this as far back as -- well let's just say that Aristotle talks at length about it in his book Rhetoric (both 1 & 2).

Maslow created a rational, brilliantly thought out hierarchy of needs...


Unfortunately the priorities set by this hierarchy dismisses the overwhelming strength of our emotions, and the alternative priorities these emotions can  throw into the game of life -- thrown in with little regard for things like logic, rational thinking, or even brilliance.

Even the primary aspects of LIFE itself are treated dismissively by Emotive alteration. The most primary, that life wants to survive. How many parents have dove in front of cars to push their child from the path, knowing that they would die in the attempt? How many have gone hungry to see their loves have something to eat? How many men and women charged into battles knowing they had clubs against tanks, with no thought of their survival, only that by their action, others might have a few more minutes for escape?

Fiction writers, and playwrights  attribute the driving force of character actions -- whether heroes or villains -- to strong emotions. This is true of the character's own actions, but also a common tactic used by characters as a way of motivating another character to act in a predictable manner --Othello for example. Iago plays to Othello's jealousy and brings him down -- one of my all time favorite lines comes from that dichotomy :"I am Not what I Am!" This single line expresses with rare eloquence the turmoil in Othello, but also presents the power of Emotional motivation over  logic and the overruling power emotionally fueled actions frequently have  over our sense of self, our judgement and even causing us to act against our needs. From Othello, it is also the outcry of a man whose Character Arc is shaped like a Dead-Fall roller-coaster.

Characters charging into danger
are exciting, but only if we can
understand why - what is driving
them to risk destruction? 
Beginning in the mid 90s, as technology caught up with theories coming from neuropsychology, and other related areas, studies have been able to confirm this belief.. In fact, recent discoveries suggest that we would not be able to act at all in many situations without emotions to drive us in one direction or another.

With these discoveries and collaborating results from further investigations, it is clear that emotions play a significant part in our decisions by giving us the will and energy act on those decisions, or even at a the foundation level -- the ability to make the choice of action. What is also clear is that emotions have various affects on our motivation level. For example, guilt is a strong motivator, in fact one of the strongest we can be subjected to -- but the fear of loss (either not getting something we want, or loosing something we have) is stronger still.

Emotional Motivators : Emotives 
Jealousy in Religion -  Valuable Metric
 Religions may be compared and contrasted in valuable ways on how they address Jealousy in two particular ways : concepts of divine jealousy, and their doctrine rules regarding the provocation and expression of human jealousy. Analysis in this area has been helpful for Theologians to contrast other areas of doctrine, which appear nearly identical between two religions, but looked at juxtaposing the two doctrines against the doctrine of these two motivational factor, gives insights which often demonstrate stark differences where accord was perceived before.


"WHAT'S MY MOTIVATION?" is a common question from actors on stage and film. It is a question which is asked in daily life on a regular basis as well, "WHY DOES HE SAY THINGS LIKE THAT?" and "WHY DOES SHE DO THAT WHEN SHE KNOWS IT BOTHERS ME?"

Knowing the emotional motivation behind the character's actions interests readers.There are few instances when actions justified  only by logical explanations will feel satisfactory. Some characters can pull it off, such as Spock, but only under clear unbending conditions. Spock was clearly defined and introduced as a purely logical character, coming from a race who trained themselves to purge emotion from their motivations over generations -- but still had them. The other condition is the requirement of a  Bones. Bones is over-emotional, and doesn't mind projecting  emotional motivations onto Spock -- and frequently does -- thus giving us the fulfillment by proxy. So, providing Emotives is not only  an accepted trope - unless you are working hard to deliver in other ways,  it's a requirement, which readers never get tired of experiencing.

Characters are often motivated by:
  • Indignation/Contempt --A sense of justice, after being subjugated or abused or witnessing other profit and live well through immoral means.
  • Benevolence -- Defending the rights of someone else who is subjugated or abused
  • Trust in someone who is motivated
  • Betrayal -- after discovering their trust was unfounded
  • Love -- enough said there. Love can fuel motivation for nearly any action
  • Outrage -- In WWI the English had to make propaganda saying the enemy was bayoneting babies, because the interest level in the war from the public simply wasn't enough, so they manufactured outrage.
  • Sympathy or Empathy -- Poverty is not a strong motivator, but seeing family suffer is. Sympathy and Empathy are not the same and there will be pages on these two soon.
  • Guilt or Shame -- again these two are not the same. Guilt is personal, Shame is felt when knowing others will disapprove. 

EVERY EMOTION AFFECTS OUR MOTIVATION by degrees, in either a positive or negative way. Often there are conflicting emotions -- those which motivate, and those which do not, influencing us at the same time, and sometimes from the same situation i.e. The woman I love is in danger -- but she slept with my brother last night.

Also our motivation from the same emotional influence can change over time -- for example, Frustration, when fresh often will motivate us to try again and again. However, after the 10th or 20th "again" Frustration begins to DeMotivate

THE FUNCTIONALITY OF THE MOTIVATOR area on each of the Emotion Description pages for the Encyclopedia Project should be clear at this point, but to make sure: it is to give an idea of how the emotion commonly motivates us, and in what direction i.e. Positive, Negative. Also, how strong of a motivator it is, and whether there are variables such as degrees of motivation by sex, age, education level and anything else I might turn up. Again, most of the descriptions of this sort will be cited so that you can find the academic paper and determine if it will work for you.

That said, the Motivator area is not meant to be the Word of Destiny for your character. There are 100s of examples throughout history that could back up just about any combination of Motivator and Choice of Action, and Degree of Motivation. .Odd, surprising and questionable combinations are great for novels and fun to explore with character. A great example of this is the Emotive that Aristotle called Mildness as a Strong Positive fueling Motivator, giving direction and drive toward goal achievement strong enough to face peril and life threatening situations.
St. Francis of Assisi
Mildness:
The settling down and quieting of anger. quality of being gentle or temperate; calmness; softness; pleasantness; moderation
The example is a man named Francis. St. Francis of Assisi. Francis was never accused of being Rambo, or even a strong negotiator -- or even very bright. Mostly this is due to most not knowing much about him. Francis' father was Pietro di Bernardone, a prosperous silk merchant. Francis lived the high-spirited life typical of a wealthy young man. He was in a great deal of trouble, and a bit reckless. He did fight as a soldier for Assisi. He wasn't a coward or unable to face violent situations.

While going off to war in 1204, Francis had a vision that directed him back to Assisi, where he lost his taste for his worldly life. His value system changed. He sough for and believed strongly that his calling was for simple, basic living in the pursuit of a personal relationship with his God. There he had a dramatic break with his father which put Francis into the arms of the Cardinal,

Francis had the idea that priests shouldn't be rich. He took a vow of poverty and began preaching in and around Assisi. Men joined him, mostly beggars. They found and old church and began to restore it using donations as they could acquire them. They worked for the days food, slept in barns and preached the word of God.

With his followers growing, and word of him spreading -- it was not common at all for a priest to live like Francis did, quite the opposite in fact -- Francis decided that he needed to get the permission of the Pope for his Order. As soon as his followers and patrons hear his intention they tried to talk him out of it with every skill and means at hand -- and for good reason too. His Cardinal patron even refused to give him a letter of introduction, which if you didn't have something same or similar, you were never going to get a meeting with the Pope. Francis left for Rome anyway.


This was 1210 AD, the Pope in question was Innocent the III, and at that time Innocent was the most powerful man in all of Europe, parts of Russia and into Turkey.

Pope Innocent was anything but. He was a war Pope, campaigning the 4th and 5th Crusades. As soon as he was seated he began going after the Cathars(Cathari "the Pure,") in France which were said to be Heretics because they would not recognize the authority of Rome. Innocent ruled over all of the Kings in Europe, so this was a fairly bold stance  for the Cathars to take. Murdering Innocent's legate, Pierre de Castelnau was bolder still. Innocent wiped them out, using the King of France and orders of Knights under Romes direct rule. That was 1208.
So to give a quick timeline:

  • 1199 -- Pope Innocent III Creates Order of Teutonic Knights
  • 1199 -- Begins the Inquisition 
  • 1201 the pope openly espoused the side of Otto IV. From there was dealing with the German Kings(the most powerful at that time)
  • 1202 --  manged through political skill, negociation and expert use of power to get the German Princes and families in power to agree to the "Corpus Juris Canonici", which basically gave the Papal the powers of rejecting any elected King, and the Pope the only authority to crown one.
  • 1202 -1204 -- Launched the 4th Crusade 
  • 1204—Fourth Crusade of 1202–1204 captures Zara for Venice and sacks Byzantine Constantinople, creating the Latin Empire.
  • 1205 -- Pope Innocent III Declares Jews Doomed to Servitude & Subjugation
  • 1208 --  Pope Innocent III calls for a crusade against the Albigensians or Cathars, a heretical sect in Langueodoc (southern France). The heresy is particularly dangerous to orthodoxy because it refutes the need for worship in churches, the sacraments, and the material wealth of the church empathy or support.. over 20,000 men women and children are hunted down and put to death in the was churches put heretics to death.
  • 1208 -- Innocent places an interdict on England in March  prohibiting clergy from conducting religious services, with the exception of baptisms for the young, and confessions and absolution for the dying King John says this is the Papal equivalent of a declaration of war.
  • 1209 -- Excommunicates German King Otto IV
  • 1209 -- fed up with King John's attacks on church property, Innocent excommunicates him. Although theoretically a significant blow to John's legitimacy, this did not appear to greatly worry the king. Two of John’s close allies, Emperor Otto and Count Raymond VI of Toulouse, had already suffered the same punishment themselves.  John simply tightened his existing measures and accrued significant sums from the income of vacant sees and abbeys: one 1213 estimate, for example, suggested the church had lost an estimated 100,000 marks (equivalent to £66,666 at the time) to John
  • 1210 Francis visits Innocent III
Later he would launch the 5th Crusade,  destroy relations with the Eastern Orthodox Church, Declare the Magna Carta  Invalid , Excommunicate several other Royals, and meet Genghis Khan alone and talk him out of sacking Rome(which was defenseless at the time).

Decision making often occurs in the face of uncertainty about whether one's choices will lead to benefit or harm. The somatic-marker hypothesis is a neurobiological theory of how decisions are made in the face of uncertain outcome. This theory holds that such decisions are aided by emotions, in the form of bodily states, that are elicited during the deliberation of future consequences and that mark different options for behavior as being advantageous or disadvantageous.
Into the  office of this War Pope, came Francis. No invite, no authority and not popular as soon as the Gatekeepers of the Pope deduce this guys idea of what a Priest should be like. Members of the Sacred College, regarded the mode of life proposed by Francis as unsafe and impracticable. Pope Innocent on the first request by Francis for a meeting rebuffed him rudely.

Francis' mildness was too deep to be insulted, and too firm to leave. Soon. within days he met with the Pope. He explained what he wanted to do, which was sleep in barns, travel with no money, preach the word of God and own only what they needed to live from day to day. The most powerful man in the world at that time, asked, "Are you educated in Theology?" the answer was no. In fact Francis had zero qualifications for running an Order of the Church of Rome. Innocent soon discovered that Francis had very little education at all, most of it coming from Troubadours. He had zero leadership skills, no negotiation skills and no plans for support of his order or even a place for them to use as housing. Basically, I'm more qualified than Francis was and I'm not Catholic. 
The War Pope, who took the right to rule from the German Princes, tossed out their King, gave them another, began the Inquisition  slaughtering thousands of men, women and children, -- the only Pope who had to be restrained from going on the Crusades himself and leading the knights into battle, told Francis, "Yes."   (??)

Before leaving Rome they all received the ecclesiastical tonsure, Francis himself being ordained deacon later on.

Many historians cite Francis' motivation and drive to simple ignorance. They suggest that he did understand Innocent or who the man they called Pope really was. I disagree, citing the visit to Egypt to meet the Sultan, but that is another story. 

The real point to all of this is -- don't be afraid to use the Emotional Description pages to spark other possibilities. The information on them is for that purpose -- to give you what you need to understand the rules, so that you can play around with recipes, while maintaining credibility.

Further Information and References

NOTE:  Most of the collaborating studies and Further Information Academic papers I reference in this project, and in fact on the rest of the sight are purposely filtered to be from 2011 forward, as most of the subject matters of  interested to me often discover new perspectives, and make strong developments -- which often overshadow earlier findings -- because of new technology. So in my personal research I limit  my research within a five to six year period. In this post however there are several references using earlier years. This is because I found them to be particularly useful for the Fiction Writer, and while i did make an attempt to insure that the finding they suggest have not been diminished by more recent observations, keep in mind that all of the pages for the Emotion Project are not intended, nor written with Academic study in mind, but rather for the Fiction Author to help with insights into: Character Development, Mannerisms, Motivations, and ideas for Character Arcs.
-- Glenn Hefley 


Allen, Colin. “Calculated Morality: Ethical Computing in the Limit.” Cognitive, Emotive and Ethical Aspects of Decision Making and Human Action 1 (2002): 19–23.


Allen, Steve. “Control States and Motivated Agency.” Proceedings of the i3 Spring Days 99 (1999): 43–61.


Badea, Leonardo, and Nicolae Alexandru PANĂ. “The Role of Empathy in Developing the Leader’s Emotional Intelligence.” Theoretical and Applied Economics 2, no. 2 (2010): 69.


Bandura, Albert, and David C. McClelland. “Social Learning Theory,” 1977. .


Bowles, Samuel, and Herbert Gintis. “Origins of Human Cooperation.” Genetic and Cultural Evolution of Cooperation 2003 (2003): 429–43.


Davis, Darryl N. “Minds Have Personalities-Emotion Is the Core.CiteSeer, Available at: Http://citeseerx. Ist. Psu. Edu/viewdoc/summary, 2000. .


Dillahunt, Tawanna, Geof Becker, Jennifer Mankoff, and Robert Kraut. “Motivating Environmentally Sustainable Behavior Changes with a Virtual Polar Bear.” In Pervasive 2008 Workshop Proceedings, 8:58–62, 2008. 


Franklin, Stan, and Lee McCauley. “Feelings and Emotions as Motivators and Learning Facilitators.” In Architectures for Modeling Emotion: Cross-Disciplinary Foundations, AAAI 2004 Spring Symposium Series, 22–24, 2004. .


Keltner, Dacher, Randall C. Young, and Brenda N. Buswell. “Appeasement in Human Emotion, Social Practice, and Personality.” Aggressive Behavior 23, no. 5 (1997): 359–74.


Mezirow, Jack. “Learning to Think like an Adult.” Learning as Transformation: Critical Perspectives on a Theory in Progress, 2000, 3–33.


Porter, Lyman W., Gregory A. Bigley, Richard M. Steers, and others. “Motivation and Work Behavior,” 2003. .


Wlodkowski, Raymond J. “Creating Motivating Learning Environments.” Adult Learning Methods: A Guide for Effective Instruction, 2004, 141–64.