The FIML approach to human psychology considers humans as existential networks of signals, some internal and some external.
A core concept in FIML is that cognition relies on semiotic networks. Semiotics are meaningful or communicable signals.
The purpose of FIML practice is the optimization of interpersonal communication. An important part of this process involves removing what we usually call “misinterpretations.” Some synonyms, depending on context, for misinterpretation are neurosis, emotional suffering, emotional confusion, disordered thinking, wrong views, and so on. The main point is that the sufferer of a misinterpretation is making some sort of mistake in how they perceive, cognize, or react to the world around them.
Misinterpretations are fundamentally rooted in meaning. A misinterpretation is not fundamentally emotional, but meaningful. From the mistaken meaning flows emotions, perceptions, reactions, psychological confusion.
A friend sent me a fascinating Wikipedia entry on ideasthesia. Ideasthesia
is defined as a phenomenon in which activations of concepts (inducers) evoke perception-like experiences (concurrents). The name comes from the Greek idea and aisthesis, meaning “sensing concepts” or “sensing ideas” and is introduced by Danko Nikolić. The main reason for introducing the notion of ideaesthesia was the empirical evidence indicating that the related term synesthesia (i.e. union of senses) suggests incorrect explanation of a set of phenomena traditionally covered by this heading. “Syn”+”aesthesis” denoting “co-perceiving”, implies the association of two sensory elements with little connection to the cognitive level. However, most phenomena that have inadvertently been linked to synesthesia, in fact are induced by the semantic representations i.e., the meaning, of the stimulus rather than by its sensory properties, as would be implied by the term synesthesia.
Note this line from the section above—“However, most phenomena that have inadvertently been linked to synesthesia, in fact are induced by the semantic representations i.e., the meaning, of the stimulus rather than by its sensory properties, as would be implied by the term synesthesia.”
If ideasthesia happens with simple perceptions, imagine how often it happens in our existential networks of cognition, semiotic perception, semiotic response and interpretation.
By correcting the core meanings of core misinterpretations, FIML practice corrects maladapted existential networks, thus relieving suffering while optimizing communication.