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 Emotion Matters

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PostSubject: Emotion Matters   Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:10 am

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What is Emotion?
Emotion can be defined as “any agitation or disturbance of mind, feeling, passion; any vehement excited mental state.” Goleman describes emotion as a feeling and its distinctive thoughts, psychological and biological states, and range of propensities to act. There are hundreds of emotions, along with their blends, variations, mutations, and nuances.

The main candidates and some of the members of their families are:
• Anger: fury, outrage, resentment, wrath, exasperation, indignation, vexation, acrimony, animosity,
annoyance, irritability, hostility.
• Sadness: grief, sorrow, cheerlessness, gloom, melancholy, self-pity, loneliness, dejection, despair.
• Fear: Anxiety, apprehension, nervousness, concern, consternation, misgiving, wariness, qualm, edginess, dread, fright, terror.
• Enjoyment: happiness, joy, relief, contentment, bliss, delight, amusement, pride, sensual pleasure,
thrill, rapture, gratification, satisfaction, euphoria, whimsy, and ecstasy.
• Love: acceptance, friendliness, trust, kindness, affinity, devotion, adoration, infatuation, agape.
• Surprise: shock, astonishment, amazement, wonder.
• Disgust: contempt, disdain, scorn, abhorrence, aversion, distaste, revulsion.
• Shame: guilt, embarrassment, chagrin, remorse, humiliation, regret, mortification, contrition.
Each of these families has a basic emotional nucleus as its core, with its relatives rippling out from there in countless mutations. In the outer ripples are moods, which, technically speaking, are more muted and last far longer than an emotion. Beyond moods are temperaments, the readiness to evoke a given emotion or mood that makes people melancholy, timid, or cheery. And still beyond such emotional dispositions are the outright disorders of emotion such as clinical depression or unremitting anxiety, in which someone feels perpetually trapped in a toxic state.



  • In thinking about emotions, their breadth of effects, their reach of relevance, their distorting repercussions and their sources of appearance, I have come to believe in some basic commonalities:
    Feelings are reactive in that they are produced in answer to sensual perception governed by a singular drive to exist.
    Consequently, all of them can be reduced to a common denominator of a response against threat, more aptly represented by the most fundamental of all emotions, that of fear.

  • All emotions are instances of trepidation projected through time and a strategic tool of individual cohesion.
    Behind all of them hides the shadow of intimidation.


  • Fear is the most basic of all emotions because all the others are mere contortions of it.


  • How else would genetic agendas enforce compliance from reason if not through psychotropic effects?
    Inebriation is how intellect is diverted from self-interests towards group interests.


  • The mind is tuned into superficial reality. Engagement and interest in life is ensured through psychological mechanisms.
    Without them existence would become a drab, meaningless journey of unceasing anxious need where suffering is trivial.


  • Purpose? The mind is constructed to offer methods and to find ways. It struggles with notions of destinations and reasons for doing so.
    Then in the futility it accepts anything that is felt.


  • The mind holds onto the self as its only vehicle towards deliverance through power. Ego denounces all foreign motivations.
    But the self senses that there is more to it and that a unity rests at the base of its existence.
    This unity cannot be appreciated by the conscious mind nor completely understood by reason, so it approximates it through the meditative demonstrations of artistry and knows it through intuition and feeling.


  • As relative safety and comfort increases, within any social construct, the degree of individuality decreases and the significance, of phenomena, relationships and moments, is obliterated.
    Tedium becomes mans constant companion.
    The extremes are where recovery is sought.
    Excessive asceticism and hedonism polarize the masses.
    Some denounce empiricism and find contentment in rejection; others embrace it as the only option and find instances of gratification in the embellishment of situations. Both reactions against the real common foe.


  • Ennui – Reason, in some, eventually gains the upper hand and desire, along with the accompanying emotions, are kept at a muffled minimum or ignored altogether. That’s when dreariness replaces the manifestations of Will, as need for need.
    The only possible alternative is a controlled and disciplined indulgence that risks with every taste and accepts the tragic/comic absurdity of it all; Bacchus running wild.


  • How ironic that the very product of natural selection, meant to amplify survival, would become so successful at it that it would eventually free itself from its original purpose and become a critic of the very thing it once served.
    Sentiments meant to protect, now over amplify the absence.


  • Domestication in animals consists in selecting individuals using the criteria of discipline, demureness and cooperative probability and their potential for productivity and usefulness. Whatever residue of ‘wildness’ persists is manipulated out so as to make servitude more feasible.
    Prey could be harvested once and its products immediately consumed, as with the more primitive predatory strategies, but then need would return and the expenditure of energy and the accompanying risk would have to be repeated by the hunter.
    Husbandry is how a killer ensures that its victim becomes an indefinite resource where it and its offspring and their offspring are harvested ad infinitum; sometimes with the conscious or unconscious compliance of the very prey that has lost all ability to survive in the wilderness or becomes addicted to the shelter and order of the ranch.
    Mankind’s ingenious leap of sophistication into farming has had more than just plants and beasts as its yield.


  • It has been said that love is blind, as are all unreasoned mental states.
    But this evaluation is based on a misunderstanding caused by reasons confusions on the motives of emotive states.
    Critical thought comes to mistakenly believe that, like it, all of mankind’s drives are interested in the ephemeral manifestation of self and so concludes that when some of them compel the individual to sacrifice self or well-being that this is due to sightlessness or madness.
    But love is not blinded nor is it confused, it just has different eyes to see with and other goals to see to.


  • Respect, like anger and hatred, is a reaction against an immediate threat.
    But where hatred resists with antipathy, with a long term horizon, and anger with animosity, with a short term horizon, respect attempts to befriend it by showing reverence.


  • The suffering of jealousy isn’t caused by the coveting of another’s possessions but by the insecurity that we may never attain them ourselves.
    We envy what we believe we may not deserve or that we may not be capable of gaining.


  • When personal judgment is usurped by the judgment of another shame is felt.
    When the judgment of the other is usurped by personal judgment pride is felt.
    Both can be the wellsprings of contentment and discontentment.


  • All power is derived through the management of emotion and the focusing of it towards specific goals.
    Sentiment isn’t only a facilitator of life it is also a fire that boils the Will into action.


  • Feelings are how intuitive information becomes apparent to the conscious mind.
    The subtle magnetic push/pull may not be comprehended or traced back accurately but the influence is unmistakable.


  • Emotion is more than an interface between mind and body; it is how the mind tolerates the connection and remains loyal to it.


  • In the nexus of thought and matter, emotion comes to interpret, for reason, the body’s demands.
    The recompense for the Will’s devotion? A temporary satiety detected as pleasure and a brief quietness that follows.


  • If pleasure is made apparent by the absence of need, then contentment is by the lack of desire.
    Paucity of ambition exposes fulfillment.


  • Where once emotionalism entailed life and death ramifications, imbuing it with a degree of severity, today, in these more sedate environments, it appears like melodramatic theatrics meant to make modern life more interesting than it is and circumstances more momentous than they deserve.


  • Coddling permeates through organized superstructures and expressions of survival nourished in more austere domains become frivolous and hollow in the mouths of children.
    Pathos becomes diluted when it becomes a commodity to be sold, purchased and then discarded by those whose lives have been made immune to the repercussions.
    Doesn’t a poodle howling at the moon become silly?


  • Opulence compels the mind to look for satiety on the edges where everything is caricatured into an actors face looking for an authentic familiarity with its part.
    It settles for an audience.
    Their jeers and adulations become its reflection.


  • Sadness is the capitulation of the soul to horror.
    It weeps for its own fated future and un-vindicated past.


  • Only reason that learns to swim beyond the shallows can hope to steady itself in the cold, churning waters of the deep, and look back long enough to discover that the solid land it came from was really a convulsion of liquid magma.
    It was the differentiation of perspectives and the comparison of conditions that made it aware.


  • What is self-love but the mind holding its parts together and justifying it to itself?


  • How does one know he walks along his predestined path? He feels it in the ease.


  • Anger is how the enemy is kept at bay.
    Too much of it and all become adversaries, too little and all become friends.


  • What I enjoy are moments that remind me of my own health and well-being as a counterbalance to all the other moments.


  • When the unforeseen catches me off guard the sense of vulnerability and stress blows forth in astonishment that can turn to laughter when it prompts the recognition of my own non-participation in the tragedy of another.
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PostSubject: Re: Emotion Matters   Thu Feb 19, 2009 3:36 am

Emotion tempers reason; reason tempers emotion. Imbalances may lead us in the wrong direction.
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