Friday, June 13, 2014

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

The brain, an anatomical, physiological entity, regulates animal behavior through emotions. Emotions form with the participation of the entire body to create a sophisticated energy system. It is not our consciousness that produces our feelings, but the other way around. The self is a mental, emotional representation of the body based on sensory importance. The muscle system closely mirrors the state of consciousness, as it tenses up in fear and relaxes in joy 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 to postpone it by 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.

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. Emotion is an evolutionary survival tool, so we are emotionally prohibited from taking our lives; suicide must be planned carefully.

On a conscious level, the display of emotions can turn into a manipulation tool that can 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 by scaring away monkeys with a roar. But even emotions require enormous energy to maintain. We get just as tired, or even more so when we argue or angry, than doing physical work. It can be shown that it is possible to taking mental efficiency even further; it is possible to achieve conscious aims without the energies wasted 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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