The Origin of Moods
Where or what causes our moods? Emotions come from where?
Personally I hate the scientific answer of "chemicals in the brain", and though it is more realist, it’s not romantic, aesthetic, artist. I like to think my emotions mean something other then chemicals fizzing in my thinking box- I think of something more ‘color’.
(English just doesn’t have the right words I’m looking for. ‘Color’ I mean a flowing array of identity radiating from the physical origin of the body, it’s music like lines on a staff of sheet music, like playing the saxophone the colors blaring out of the bell swelling and shrinking at every note and tone.) I don’t know, speak and be heard.
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@stonedragon, So the book is called The Presence Process and is written by a guy called Michael Brown. After a 100-page introduction, you get assignments for each of the following 10 weeks. Each week you have to do connected breathing which is basically meditation twice a day, to read the materials for that week and you have a Presence Activating Statement that you need to say whenever you remember (sort of a mantra). The whole point of this is to become more aware and as you become more aware, you start noticing emotions as they come up, you start seeing how reactive you are and then you deal with them. I’m describing this in very simplistic terms of course. I can’t say more because I’m only at week 2.
But I do resonate with a lot of what this guy is saying and as my current goal in life is to become as aware as possible, this work seems to fit perfectly. I’m now discovering that emotions do play an important part in my life and I’m even starting to understand women (just maybe 1% :p) because they live more in the emotional plane while the men are very mental. It’s funny that I’m with a girl now and I am telling her all these “discoveries” that I am making about emotions and about how I can ride an emotion or transform it into something else, and she says “Dooh!” :)) It seems I need to catch up.
All this process reminds me of transpersonal psychology and holotrophic breathing. There too, you had to breathe in a certain way while special music was played in the background and you then had various emotions and pains from the past appearing in your body and you had to somehow release them.
If I start crying when I see a baby, I know I’ve gone a bit too far :)
I see how that could be true for people, but I don’t see it that way. The origin of the way I experience the world does not necessarily change the way I experience it. For example, sadness hurts whether I know where it comes from(chemically) or not. And love is no less meaningful with the knowledge that it works in the brain the same way as an addiction.
@Chris, Cool, I also prefer to be skeptic but I am open to anything and I took down science from its pedestal because I realized it is really limited. I have the feeling that you are quite attached to the science dogma and as a consequence you have a blind spot. As the Zen saying goes “Empty your cup” ;)
Regarding emotions, I prefer to dive deep into them and to experience them and then I’ll see what conclusions I come up with.
i dont get this thread that much. but i do want to say that i am one extremely synthesistic person. i taste music and hear colors. my emotions are full of vibrations of all sizes, shapes and forms. this i feel indeed in my heart area and see it im my minds eye as color and form. i do wish i could control it , but i cant. at least i never tried. perhaps i should.!
i give a shit if it is chemical or not. that part does not interest me.
what interests me is how do others perceive?
it seems hard for me to imagine other people not being able to see forms and colors when they hear jazz music for example. or not see dark blue and brown triangles in the chest area when they are sad…
@martijn. i read your article and liked it very much. this topic is of great interest for me.
@Martijn, What I wanted to say is that I don’t run from negative emotions but I want to investigate them and find the root of the problem. Or maybe to learn to let those emotions flow through me and not have them affect me for a longer period than it has to. I don’t want to suppress them, but transcend them in a way. In the end, we all want to be at peace (happy). Even the act of accepting is based on the idea that if I accept it, it will go away.
I wrote a long post on sensations/emotions/feelings/moods and our language/how we relate to the world. I feel it answers most of your questions, but it might rise some new ones aswell. Could you read it and let me know what you think? I would appreciate that :)
The article is also about synesthesia, and it seems you, Chris, are arguing that that is not the case? You are right, most of us can’t experience emotions as colors, or bodily tension as sound. But, as far as we know, almost all indigenous people can. And you have the potential as well.
Also explained in my article: http://www.highexistence.com/the-one-taste-of-the-universe-or-how-to-experience-synesthesia/
Emotions originate in the body, which is in turn in constant conversation with the world (nobody seems to notice this tho, but I refer to the phenomenology of Maurice Merleau Ponthy).
For example, if someone is angry at you, your body mimics/resonates his posture and facial expression (mirror neurons), this automatic empathy makes you feel what he feels.
If you hear about a loss of a dear one, the symbolic information is connected to your actuall experience of losses in the past (or the ability), which in turn sends neurotransmitters/hormones/synaptic signals through your body, making your heart area tense (coincidentally the same place as the heart chackra, in this case hippy BS, science or introspection gives all the same information). This in turn makes you feel sad/hurt/devastated.
Why can’t it be a simple cause/effect relationship between thought and emotion and the resultant mood? I like some music because it stirs a positive emotion. I know some songs that I get a positive emotion from only because of the novelty of the song, and its ability to open up a part of my memories from my past. So why not, when you hear certain music it opens the memory to good times past. It doesn’t have to be something you heard before, just something that cues your memory to something to which you have attached a positive emotion.
You can make yourself feel happy merely by thinking about something positive from your past. Emotion on demand. Some people learn to display moods, as a way of manipulating people around them. Some people parade their moods around as a form of identity. Mood is a decision.
I think if we take the time to analyze our moods we will, more often than not, find that it is merely a reflection of the past and a resurgence of the emotions attached to that past.
Once again you are right. But if you wear the glasses of: These are just chemicals, you don’t value the sadness, it doesn’t tell you anything, it’s not a signal to which you can relate. Over time, neural connections will whither away, and you become insensitive to sadness (and, also at the same time it’s opposite, joy). This will make thoughts even stronger (sadness loses it’s pull on your attention, room opens up for more distractions).
Absolutely you are right of course, but we experience it relatively, and over time, it can be the cause of the biggest neurosis this planet has ever seen.
Another way I look at it is that mood is a product of expectation. If you expect something to go one way and it does, you are happy; if it does not, you are unhappy. We create our own expectations, and thus the consequent mood.
Look how people attach an expectation to the weather and let it affect their mood.
Chris, “It is by arguing that we learn to understand idea’s and the universe. Why is it that wherever spirituality is involved we must turn off the left side of our brain and take it at face value.”
That’s very absolute. There are many other ways to understand ideas and the universe that are not arguing. Often times people choose not to argue concerning matters of “spirituality” because you cannot tell someone what they do and do not experience, since you possess your own consciousness, and not theirs.
To spend time intellectualizing and attempting to defeat someone’s qualia sounds like a great waste of time to me, and makes no logical sense other than trying to make them look foolish and yourself smart by comparison. (this does not, of course, apply when this person’s qualia is negatively affecting others in concrete ways, e.g. religious terrorist acts of violence.)
@Phil, please read this. I’m not bashing science, I think my intent got lost in translation:
“When it comes to scientific research and proof, exploration is into phenomena that carry a factual existence independent of the observer, quarantining it from psychological bias and delusion. But by limiting proof to what is universally replicable, what remains are solely those phenomena comprising the lowest common denominator of experiences available to all observers inhabiting a consensual reality.
In other words, scientific proof is strictly material proof that depends in no way upon the individualized conscious or spiritual state of the observer. Thus scientific proof encompasses the crudest set of phenomena that are undeniably real to individuals with even the crudest levels of conscious development.
Scientific standards do not allow for personal proof that depends on the observer, and yet it is precisely the conscious development of the observer that determines what other levels of reality beyond the purely physical and deterministic can be accessed. The closest science has come is in quantum mechanics where it is now commonly accepted that the observer plays a unique role in the outcome of an experiment. But beyond verification of the statistical trends describing the distribution of all possible observations in a given experiment, any particular outcome is not universally replicable.
That is why quantum physics, in not being able to predict any specific observations, must resort to statistical descriptions because in doing so it once again approaches collectivity and thus what it defines as objectivity. Even so, the exact influence of the observer on a quantum system is not understood, and thought to be random as well as being limited solely to the atomic scale.
That’s as far as modern science goes. Yet seasoned researchers of fringe knowledge and battle-hardened experiencers of the strange know that trans-objective phenomena also operate on the macroscopic scale and depend on the quality of consciousness and spiritual orientation of the observer. Synchronicities and the correlation between attitude and attracted experiences are some examples.
We are not just observers of reality, but active participants endowed with freewill to choose to transcend our realms by going above and beyond our prior assumptions. Inexplicable events happen, and we can either rationalize it away with assumptions and rules programmed according to our collective mainstream reality, or we can figure it out within ourselves and leave the herd in the dust.”-Tom Montalk
I disagree, if you accept an idea without question then your wasting your intellectual ability.
It seems that your misinterpreting, (and to be honest we have drifted from), the original point, the Origin of Moods. Qualia are subjective experiences, input digested by the brain. Mood is output, something coming from the brain. At least as far as I understand it. If this is a misconception let me know.
Ill give them a look. Thanks.
Wikipedia’s Definition: Synesthesia is a neurologically based condition in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway.
The way we gather input from our body is through our brain, still sounds like chemical reactions to me.
I got a new wallpaper outta this discussion, baller.
Not sure if that tone is confidence or condescension.
I was foolish enough to waste half my life on the thought that I’d live forever if I just loved Jesus enough.
I won’t waste the other half on blind faith again.
Isn’t it funny that a human says that emotions are just chemical reactions, while he himself, the human, according to his own belief system (the Science religion), is also nothing but chemical reactions. Chemical reactions devaluing other chemical reactions. Now that’s a funny sight! :)
The topic of emotions is actually one that I am focusing the next 3 months on. I’m going through The Presence Process by Michael Brown and his all framework is based on the idea that emotions are the causal point for our actions and for everything that happens around us. Emotion -> thought -> physical action. And the idea is that we have suppressed emotions from our childhood which we didn’t know how to process and now, as adults, we are still running from those emotions and mess things up. Anyway, I’m in week 2 of the “bootcamp” and I am starting to see emotions coming up and hell if I know how to deal with them :)
Its probably better to ask what purpose emotions/moods serve in animals. They are a primitive sort of way to handle life situations and the attitude you should be taking towards things. A collection of active biases. Also, a communication tool of sorts to help you deal with people who use similar approaches.
You are right, that is what science does. Ever asked yourself exactly why we have the need to do that?
Because in my view, most people seem to overestimate the human race, denying we are animal in every sense. That we do some things because that is just human. Which is very bad science. There is alot to say about this, but here is a short excerpt from the article I wrote I linked to above:
Peter Sloterdijk writes in his book The Critique of Cynical Reason that this way of relating to the world is rooted in fear, that the drive for objective knowledge is only a tool that is used in order to preserve the self, the self that doesn’t trust the senses anymore and is then bound to map, control and always be on the look-out for the world that is not-me. This fear is our fuel for systematically constructing an identity from outside sources, like science, religion and media, thus depriving us from creating one ourselves. We are turned into spies that try to predict every move of our enemies, everything we can’t control and thus a potential threat.
That’s false reductionism, which is quite a common fallacy if you’re a hardcore physicalist. Have you read my article that discussed Mary’s Room?
Also, scrap the first recommendations: if you have the opportunity, read: spell of the sensous.
That is a perfect example of what I was referring to as black and white thinking, “These are just chemicals, you don’t value the sadness.” For me, the fact that they are just chemicals (with no inherent meaning) means I can assign my own value, or lack thereof, to it.
i guess we can have a thought, it stems from an emotion which is deeper inside us. the thought is the voice of the emotion and the mood is our genergal reaction to the whole thing.
looking at it, seeing it for what it is, deciding to go on with it, or cut it.
that is our free will at every given instance. but are we capable of such control.
we can learn a lot about ourselfs by looking at this point.
“This fear is our fuel for systematically constructing an identity from outside sources, like science, religion and media, thus depriving us from creating one ourselves.”
^That’s all I’m saying Martijn : ) the lengthy posts were an attempt to assert what you’ve just said. I’m not denying the animal nature of human begins, quite the contrary. I am also not ruling out the virtue and ability of the evolved human mind to transcend binary and intellectual limitation.