Friday, June 13, 2014

Emotions form the basis of consciousness and even if unnoticed, direct our lives from the background

The brain, a mental, emotional representation of the body based on sensory importance, regulates animal behavior through emotions. It is not our consciousness that produces our feelings, but the other way around. The participation of the entire body forms a sophisticated energy system. For example, the muscle system closely mirrors the conscious state, as it tenses up in fear and relaxes in joyful and loving situations. Feelings start hormonal cycles, which regulate the sentiments that produced them. Even taking a breath of air is emotional. If you do not believe me, try holding your breath. First of all, you cannot do it! But if you could do it, you would feel fear, angst, the urge to breathe and fill your lung, after which you would feel elation, relief. This is because emotion is an evolutionary survival tool, which prohibits taking our lives; suicide must be planned carefully.

The recent scientific data point to the unconscious origin of not only arbitrary decisions but even conscious goals. Research suggests that goals themselves arise motivated and primed by social situations outside of awareness. These goals operate in our lives before we are aware of them. Our conscious decisions are just a final rubber stamp on the plans of our social subconscious. Awareness is only a clearinghouse of the emotional forest, trying to make sense of its diversity. We have to contend that some feelings are hidden from our consciousness, and often we cannot figure out what we feel or why we feel them. 

On a conscious level, emotions are often used for manipulation to save energy over physical movement. As a consequence, mammals and birds display complex interpersonal relationships and behavior.  For example, a lion can spare himself from a physical effort because his roar can scare intruding animals. But even emotions require enormous energy to maintain. For example, we get just as tired, or even more so, when we are angry or argue than doing physical work. Nevertheless, it is possible to taking mental efficiency even further and achieve conscious aims without wasting energies on (negative) emotions. The book that details the operational principle of the mind already exists. Its title, The science of consciousness, and it is available on Amazon. You can also sign up for my mailing list.

Picture credit: Prayer by Eva Deli

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