Emotion, we all experience it; we feel it, express it, embrace it, hide from it, distract from it by engaging in another form of it, run from it, bathe ourselves in it, wear it like a badge, deny it, find ourselves shifting from continual flow of dichotomy to moments of flowing calmly into and with each arising. The fact is we experience it, it’s extremely difficult not to.
I have chosen this theme because before each of us engage in any existential activity there is some experiential flicker within the spectrum that is emotion (or lack of), I have a deep interest in how we as humans function so often in accordance with our feeling state and how more often than not we are unaware of it’s influence. We often don’t stop to recognise feelings as transient and instead experience them as strong and solid truths, giving rise to choices based on a temporary state. It intrigues me how often we define ourselves, our histories and our futures in accordance with our emotional state which we are temporarily perceiving as a constant fact.
I aim to explore the nature of emotion, consider it’s purpose, from where and how it arises to how we respond and process it, the level of subjectivity and signs of shared meaning, shared expression, the degree to which it is present in each moment, the ever changing evolution of emotional experience and how we are influenced at the deepest levels by our attachment or aversion to it.
A Small Handful of Quotes For Initial Thought
“Emotions affect everything from our disposition to our output at work — even if we’re not aware of it. And if we can’t sense our own emotions, that gets in the way of collaboration. “It’s hard to maintain a positive outlook or influence others if you don’t know how you feel.” – Daniel Goleman
“Emotions, in my experience, aren’t covered by single words. I don’t believe in “sadness,” “joy,” or “regret.” Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I’d like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train-car constructions like, say, “the happiness that attends disaster.” Or: “the disappointment of sleeping with one’s fantasy.” I’d like to show how “intimations of mortality brought on by aging family members” connects with “the hatred of mirrors that begins in middle age.” I’d like to have a word for “the sadness inspired by failing restaurants” as well as for “the excitement of getting a room with a minibar.” I’ve never had the right words to describe my life, and now that I’ve entered my story, I need them more than ever” – Jeffrey Eugenides
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart” – Helen Keller
“What we fear most is usually what we most need to do” – Timothy Ferriss
“Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions” – Elizabeth Gilbert
“I feel too much. That’s what’s going on.’ ‘Do you think one can feel too much? Or just feel in the wrong ways?’ ‘My insides don’t match up with my outsides.’ ‘Do anyone’s insides and outsides match up?’ ‘I don’t know. I’m only me.’ ‘Maybe that’s what a person’s personality is: the difference between the inside and outside.’ ” – Jonathan Safran Foer
“One ought to hold on to one’s heart; for if one lets it go, one soon loses control of the head too” – Friedrich Nietzsche