Pure mechanical action

Pure mechanical action

There is a problem that plagues modern society, one of desire, impulse and action. The problem is that modern people are only motivated by the unconscious drive of reward and punishment. When reward and punishment are coming from the outside, meaning that someone else administers them to us, this approach is relatively effective and the motivational drive high. However, when we ourselves are judge, jury, executioner and accused the effectiveness decreases for we can, at any time, administer a reward or avoid the punishment. For this reason and others, many humans, when faced with a task they have no desire to complete, will create a mental catalogue of long-term benefits, pleasures and punishments that will come as a natural result from our actions. For example, a student will do their homework because they know it is in the long-term in their best interest. A salary worker will get up early even on the weekends because he knows it is best to keep his sleep schedule regular. These are examples of the rational mind influencing the unconscious desires in order to animate the body who is to eventually carry out these actions.

However, this method of manufacturing desire can take a lot of time and mental energy, especially when the actions are relatively trivial and that results not very impactful. Nevertheless, these actions are often important for self-improvement, personal projects and relationships.

An alternative method is possible wherein in one animates the body directly with the rational mind. This method I call “pure mechanical action”. Instead of spending both time and energy on plotting out all the long-term pleasures that will result from the performance of a particular action, we simply animated body to go through the motions and perform the tasks without even considering our desires. For instance, one might have no desire to get up out of bed on a Saturday morning. However, there may be various reasons to do so. As long as there is a spark of rationality, the rational-, conscious-mind can animate the body directly, forcing the limbs to move. We do this all the time in everyday motion, wherein there is no true desire to move somewhere. The activation of one's muscles and thereby the animation of the body does not cause significant enough displeasure for the unconscious mind with its hedonistic desires to even become involved.

One should realize however that there is a large limitation to the method of pure mechanical action which is already hidden within its name. Pure mechanical action is limited to actions which can be performed with the body only. Especially those acts that require passion such as art or love cannot be adequately completed by “just going through the motions”.

That being said, pure mechanical action can be used to set one up for success in these areas. For an artist the preparation of a canvas, paints and a target, can all be got ready with the body alone. For a lover (who really is in essence an artist) the preparations for mental and physical passion can both be prepared mechanically, even if they do require passion in the end. Personally, I find that preparing my writing equipment and getting the light, seat and drinks ready to work can actually spark passion even when forcibly performed trough mechanical action.

Please keep in mind that pure mechanical action is only a theory with little to no scientific- psychological- or empirical-evidence. It is simply a mindspinsel of someone who struggles with motivation. I have however been able to use put the theory into practice, and it has aided me both in my personal projects and my professional ones