Emotions: Basic, Primal, Immature, Unevolved?

Recently, a close friend of mine made the remark that our emotions are for the most part are basic, primal, immature and unevolved.

Ever since then, I have been ruminating on the veracity of this statement. Like most “truths,” this seems to be equally true and untrue — and therefore, possibly a half truth. In nature’s scheme, nothing is wasted. The universe is a big jigsaw puzzle where everything seems to fit.

According to Charles Darwin, nature favors emotionality as a feature of natural selection. And, natrual selection has only one intention — survival. According to Darwin, fear readies the animal for flight in dangerous situations. Anger readies the animal for combat. Jealousy alerts the animal to the possibility of usurpation of reproductive chances, etc.

Anger by itself is not considered a toxic emotion. On the other hand, hostility is felt to be very toxic. Hostility occurs when there are resentments or grievances, and when there is an unconscious need for getting even, for vengence, or for retribution. Hostility is considered to be the number one risk factor for premature death from cardiovascular illness by epidemiologists.

The best way to handle toxic emotions is to become aware that not all emotional turbulence is necessarily toxic. Fear, hostility, guilt and depression are considered to be the most toxic emotions. Depression undermines the immune system and makes one more susceptible to cancer and infections, according to some psycho-neuroimmunoligists. Hostility and aggression predispose one to autoimme illness and cardiovascular accidents.

Psychologists tell us the best way to deal with these toxic emotions is to go through the following processes:

1. Take responsibility for your own emotions. If you are waiting for somebody else to change so you can feel better, you might wait for a long time.
2. Witness the emotion. All emotions are sensations in the body. Feel the sensations.
3. Define the emotions in an emotional vocabulary that does not represent victimization. Feeling sad, for example, is a genuine emotion. Feeling abandoned, on the other hand, represents victimization.
4. Express emotions by journaling, preferably in the first person, second person and third person.
5. Share your emotions with a close and trusted friend, or lover.
6. Release emotions, preferably through ritual practice.
7. Celebrate and move on.
8. If you feel that your emotions are basic, primal, immature and unevolved, remember what Charles Darwin said — natural selection favors them as part of the evolutionary scheme.

Consciousness is Observing Itself

I am on my way to the airport in Washington DC taking a flight to Chile.

I picked up the latest Scientific American and there is an interesting article in it entitled, “The Quest of Christof Koch.” The article claims that Christof Koch one of the world’s leading neuroscientists, at the California Institute of Technology, believes that consciousness is distinctly physical. According to Dr. Koch, consciousness can be described by existing neurological theories and he

The Luminous Numinous

To paraphrase the great Rudolf Otto, the Numinous can be described as a distinctive experience of God, ineffable and
transcendent, the primary source of beauty and love. Feelings of awe,
fascination and elements of overpowering-ness, urgency, and that which
is “Wholly Other” are present in the numinous experience.

The Numinous can speak through a language of symbol, archetype,
inspiration and intuition, as the inner knowing Transpersonal looks to
poets, prophets, artists, heroes, and heroines as models for the
flowering potential of personal and human development. Autonomous and
ever evolving, Jung designated the term transpersonal (uberpersonlich)
as a synonym for “collective unconscious.” The Transpersonal Self is
that which transcends the personal or individual. Transpersonal, or
depth psychology

Mallika Chopra: AIDS — What’s That?

The enormous challenge of AIDS education in India is highlighted by a study that indicates that more than 40% of women in India have not heard of AIDS. 80% of Indian men are aware of the disease. With 5.7 Million people living with AIDS in India,

the lack of awareness of the disease, let alone measures to prevent or treat it, is a mammoth problem.

Per the attached article by Reuters, “Only 54 percent of Indian women are literate compared with 76 percent for men….

Many women in villages do not have television in their homes and
miss out on anti-AIDS advertisements, say activists, calling for a
broad-based effort to educate and empower women.”

On so many different levels, empowering and educating women seems to
be the key to health — of individuals, children, society. The lack of
awareness of AIDS in India is just one more example of the dire need
for grassroots education, literacy, basic health awareness.

Politics and government are crucial here, but how can a society take
responsibility to ensure awareness and education spread? What models
work, and why? How does a society overcome it’s cultural inhibitions to
create awareness, enhance discusion, empower action?

Mallika Chopra: Obama’s Speech on Race

I just listened to Obama’s speech on race,
I was touched, inspired and impressed. And, what he did today,
solidified my slow conversion to wholeheartedly support him. Today

Obama spoke about identity, about who we are today and who we aspire
as a humanity to be. He addressed the racial tensions that have circled
his campaign head on, connecting it to the evolution of this country,
of our current generation, of our own shadow selves.

Obama did not do what is easiest for a politician to do – disavow
his association with Reverend Wright, whose inflammatory snippets of
video have been broadcast worldwide. Rather he honored the duality of
the Reverend – something which we see in our society, but also which we
all have in ourselves. He said:

“He contains within him the contradictions – the good and the bad –
of the community that he has served diligently for so many years.

I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I
can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who
helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman
who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman
who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the
street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic
stereotypes that made me cringe.

These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love.”

As I embrace my excitement about Obama, I recognize that his ability
to stir us to think and to feel and to hope is very rare in a leader.
Obama’s words today made me reflect on the duality that exists in me,
in my relationships with my family and with my community. I recognize
that we all have our hopes and fears, our strengths and weaknesses, but
it is the journey as a family that promises a better tomorrow.

Subjectivity and the Universe

Is the universe physical or is it more like a mind?

This is the same as asking the question, Is fundamental reality particle-like or wave-like?” It is both until you ask the question. The way you set up the experiment determines the answer. A photon is a particle and wave at the same time. Subjective experiences in our consciousness are represented by binary codes of photons in our brains. When you imagine a sunset there is no image of a sunset in your brain only plus (+) and minus (-) charges across cell membranes and synaptic networks. A number of brilliant scientists including the late Herms J. Romijn (Are Virtual Photons the Elementary Carriers of Consciousness? and About the origin of consciousness: A new, multidisciplinary perspective on the relationship between the brain and mind) have suggested that since photons are the carrier of both objective and subjective information, and since the whole universe is permeated with photons: this is evidence that the universe is imbued with subjectivity. If this is so, we should be able to establish a relationship with it and communicate with it.

Love,
Deepak

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