Is it when we first become aware of our own accomplishments and failures do the emotions of pride and shame emerge?

  1. Pride and shame most likely emerge before we are aware of them. They may be initiated by social cues from our parents or care-givers through positive or negative reinforcement.

When we first learn to walk or take a series of first steps, we hear the excitement and praise of our parents. They are proud of us. We hone in and focus on these significant experiences in our lives. When we focus on an experience, certain neuron-chemical transmitter markers such as acetylcholine are imprinted on that memory experience and the memory is embedded in the brain. It is a pleasant memory that says:

“Look at You. You did it. You are the best”

Pride is born and by repeated accomplishments and praise from the surroundings, children learn that pride is a good thing. That part of the brain cannot distinguish between bad and good pride. It has to be incorporated by the parts of the brain that are responsible for morality or higher learning of reasons behind why we ought to be proud or ashamed.

In other cases, it can be explained to us through repetition that our actions may lead us to getting hurt or we may hurt someone else (playing with matches or chewing on something that can get stuck in our throats) There is an experience of shame or scalding by others that say to us:

“Look. What you did just now is really not good ok? Don’t do that again. You can get hurt.”

A child hears the disappointment and anger. Child also runs on fear at that moment which can also be a great motivator. She or he automatically knows something is not right and it was noticed by their parents. Most parents are already stressed out with raising small obnoxious children. Therefore, now violence may be added to the mix by a spank (controversial way of disciplining a child). Child is taught shame on the spot but it may still take some time before the brain catches up with the emotion. The stressful experience now releases norepinephrine (neurotransmitters responsible for fight or flight) in the brain and we get super alert and stimulated. The memory is developed. There is no doubt that a number of children are more sensitive than others and the experience might have a greater impact on them.

Children are focused learners and their neuroplasticity is quite amazing. When they focus on important event, during deep sleep and rest it will affect rewiring of that brain location and register that memory for life in the subconscious. The child may or may not forget the memory but it will be retrieved during accomplishments or during failed behavior or perceived failure automatically. Individual may relive a childhood memory that felt really good or really painful. Pride and shame are instincts also common to other mammals. They often get us in trouble or keep us in line through social stigma. Later we self-regulate ourselves with proper upbringing in most cases.

In conclusion. The praise and tone of a kind, gentle voice is driven by love of our parents and sense of accomplishment is born. Pride results. It is a good memory that teach children it is alright to be proud. Later accomplishments release feel good neuron transmitter such as dopamine and accomplishments and emotion of pride may be manifested or visible to the world. It may be out of balance or be shown in inappropriate moments or instances also.

The shame is driven by fear which incorporates disappointment, scalding, raised voice, yelling and unfortunately aggression or outright violence in some cases. There can be rumors and pointing fingers by others later in life where society or surroundings perceives a behavior to be ashamed about and a person is ostracized.

Both fear and love are powerful motivators that initiate reaction in the brain which cannot distinguish one from another. In some instances, children learn better by pleasant experience and in other instances they learn better through fear and negative experiences. What unites them however, is super focus on these very experiences. That focus according to neuron-scientists such as Dr Andrew Huberman incorporates itself into the structure of the brain. These experiences literally mold the brain through neuron plasticity.

Just to add something important. Neuroplasticity happens during intense focus and one can rewire their brain even during adulthood. Individuals can change the brain for their own good and rewire it and heal it, resulting in more positive perception. They have to focus on a given objective and add experience to it in order for the memory to be imprinted and something new is learned.


 All the phenomena described in your query are but the manna of the mind … they are human produced phenomena (penalties and rewards of the ego) meant to distract one’s consciousness from the deeper, more profound truths of their nature and purpose of being …

… imagine with me a Halloween haunted house and all its spectacles and frights … or a carnival attraction wherein one is lost within a myriad of rooms, each one filled with twisted and deformed mirrors reflecting skewed and utterly distorted versions of reality back to the one traveling through the circus maze … this is a very accurate description and reflection of the egoism mind as it travels through the maze of life and its Maya … its distractions and illusions. And as in the parable of the carnival, there is a part of us that knows it is an illusions, yet, there are those who believe in what they see and fall victim to its dance of illusion.

… “Accomplishments” … “failures” … “pride” … and … “shame” are but distortions of mind reflected back to consciousness though the twisted mirror reflections (emotions) of ego …

… all truth is entrusted to the heart, for the mind is an open mine field filled with many hidden explosives and false ‘rewards’ … therefore, seek that which has been entrusted to the quiet places of the heart … for there, truth lies. Begin the journey for truth that ends all other journeys.

  • Unfortunately shame and pride are basically instilled into you at a young age, or that’s when we develop the feelings but at a young age you’re not understanding what they mean, then as you grow you develop what makes you feel ashamed or you react in a prideful manner because either your used to it, or you see that you’re getting reaction from people.


Consciousness is kind of like the screen that all we are, plays out upon. We are not separate or divided from the screen. We are the illusions that play out as the screen, the action figures on it and as it. The screen is untouched by the apparent body/minds that come and go. You are the screen, and life as this screen identifies as a personal action figure. That dies because it’s a relative reality, it’s an expression of reality like a wave in the ocean coming and going, or a snowflake falling, absolutely unique and impermanent.

Anything that is not real perishes in time and space. The sense of this individual me separate from the other ME’s happens gradually in this dualistic appearing world. It’s like the screen(consciousness) plays at believing its separate from itself (individual) to have novelty, as any individual or blade of grass, or star, or DNA strand..

It’s the potentiality that nothing represents playing itself out in time and space as all that is.. God cannot be in one hit now, it’s too much, so apparent time and space drip feeds God as God to God. Experience.

An apparent appearance.

Yet God hides in plain sight here. That’s how God is known. Stillness reveals the nothingness to nothingness as nothingness here.

That’s why no words…

No thought…

Nothing can come near its reality.

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