September 20, 2017 at 12:19 pm #169585MattParticipant
Positive emotions can only make our lives matter to us in good ways, negative emotions can only make our lives matter to us in bad ways, while having no emotions at all would only render our lives not mattering to us at all. When something matters to you in a good or bad way, these are actually emotional states rather than outlooks or mindsets (i.e. thought states). This is because our emotions are forms of motivation which make things matter to us.
Without emotions, then you could have thoughts and beliefs of things mattering to you and you could do things such as helping others, but nothing would actually matter to you. It’s, in a way, like the sense of sight. If you were blind, then you could have thoughts and beliefs of seeing objects, but you would not be able to see objects. This means that our positive emotions are, in a way, like the sense of sight since they are what allow us to truly see the beauty, goodness, and joy of our lives and artistic endeavors.
There is a big difference between acknowledging the good value and beauty that certain things hold as opposed to seeing that goodness and beauty. You could still very well acknowledge the good and bad value of certain situations to make wise decisions even in the absence of your emotions. Such wise decisions would still be highly recommended.
But it can only be our emotions that can allow us to truly see the good and bad values of these situations. It’s no different than how you can acknowledge the existence of objects when you are blind and how you can still make wise decisions to avoid or pursue certain objects. But it can only be your sight that can allow you to see these objects.
As a side note, positive emotions would be euphoric states such as feelings of joy and excitement from getting a new movie or game. They would be biochemical induced states by serotonin, dopamine, endorphins, and oxytocin. Negative emotions would be feelings of dysphoria such as a feeling of anger or despair.
Good and bad value take on the form of experience (our emotions) which would make our emotions literal forces of good and bad. Our positive emotions are like a sacred, divine, and holy life force of goodness that can only make things matter to us in good ways. They are literally beautiful states of mind. Our negative emotions are like a horrible and dark life force of badness that can only make things matter to us in bad ways. They are literally horrible states of mind.
This is world changing because there were many miserable and depressed genius artists in the past who thought that their misery and depression made their lives and artistic endeavors matter to them in good and beautiful ways. To this day, many artists still believe this and there are many other people who believe this lie as well. By revealing this truth, it would change the world and it would reveal to us that the only way to live and be an artist is through our positive emotions. Living a life of anhedonia or, even worse, misery, is no way to live or be an artist.
Now, it is an established fact that our emotions are everything to our lives. Without emotions, then nothing could matter to us. We would lose our empathy and humanity without emotions. We can’t have empathy without emotions which proves the point that it is only our emotions that make our lives matter to us. Empathy is where things such as helping others matters to you.
Since you can’t have empathy without emotions, then nothing can matter to you without emotions. Empathy would, therefore, have to be emotional states of compassion and love towards others. Compassion can either be a positive emotion of joy in helping others or it could be a negative emotion such as a feeling of sadness and misery from the idea of someone suffering. Sociopaths have no empathy, but they still have emotions to make other things in life matter to them in good or bad ways.
Lastly, the fact that these miserable genius artists claimed their lives and artistic endeavors mattered to them in beautiful ways could mean that these artists had some degree of positive emotion mixed in with their misery even though they thought their art mattering to them in beautiful ways had nothing to do with their positive emotions. This would have to mean that these artists were not in a position like me. I was in the most miserable state of my life where all of my positive emotions were completely turned off. The 2nd possibility would be that these artists were in a position like me and were only deluding themselves.
Mixed Emotions: Now, if you were in a situation where you had mixed emotions, then you would be experiencing both good and bad value at the same time. It would be something like 20% good and 80% bad in regards to certain things and situations. It all depends on the degree of positive and negative emotions that are there.
How To Live The Greatest, Worthwhile Life: The profoundness and intensity level of your emotional states dictates the level of experienced value in your life. If you were feeling very joyful and excited, then you would be experiencing much good value in your life and, thus, your life would matter to you a lot in a good way. If it was only a small degree of positive emotions that you felt, then you would only be experiencing a slim amount of good value in your life and, thus, your life would only matter to you to a small degree in a good way. This makes all the difference in the world because a life filled with the most intense and profound positive emotions is the greatest life to live while a life with a slim degree is only a somewhat good quality life. This same rule applies to negative emotions. Therefore, if you were someone poor who struggled with depression and you had a very slim amount of positive emotions in your life, then your life would not be that good.
You would be experiencing very little good value and worth in your life and towards the helping of others regardless of how much you have made the best of your life and helped others. So, basically, I am telling you that if you are a depressed or miserable human being or artist, then your life can only amount to ****. As for a rich and wealthy individual who feels the most joy and excitement and doesn’t care or help anyone else, he would, of course, need his emotional viewpoint (value judgment) to keep him from doing reckless things. Other than that, everything should be all well and good with this person’s life. I am not advocating the idea that the only way to a good life is to become a rich and uncaring bastard. I am only pointing out here that the only way to a good life is through our positive emotions.September 20, 2017 at 2:29 pm #169603
“The only way to live and be an artist is through positive emotions”
Interesting however the philosophy does not account for problem of opposites and consciousness. (we could never be conscious of the experience of cold if hot was not also experienced nor ‘know’ when the experience of cold is experienced with a associated positive emotion or negative one)
Good and bad are not two sides of the same coin but exist together within each other… and depending on level of perspective actually merge and disappear… there is no good or bad…
The same experience that is good and associated with positive emotion one moment can be experienced as bad and associated negative emotions in the next. Or even more complex a good experience that is associated with a negative emotion… (An artist might try to capture that)
“For there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so” – Shakespeare
You beg the question: what is a negative or positive emotion?
Many would argue that emotions in and of themselves are neither negative or positive but it is how we respond or react to them that might be labelled as positive or negative.
Another issue is the problem of objectivity, subjectivity and semantics when it comes to experiencing good and bad and our attempts at communicating that experience while associating the experiences to positive or negative emotions.
Some might argue that Artist goal is to transcend language/experience and confront the viewer/self with the tensions between the objective and subjective experience of the good and the bad – evoking both “positive” and “negative” emotions which are neither “Good” or “Bad” but information.
That an Artist (we are all artists) might experience ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ emotions does not make him or her any less of an artist. Instead the experiences would inform their work and doing so add depth and maybe even meaning.
Perhaps “The only way to live and be an artist is transform all negative emotion into positive emotion. No longer viewing the negative as negative but positive, its all good… however such a transformation itself would end the experience of emotion associated to the experience… which I guess the person might experience as a “positive” emotion of contentment?September 20, 2017 at 3:43 pm #169605MattParticipant
Our emotions are objectively positive and negative and allow us to experience an objective good and bad. In a way, you could consider our emotions to be the ones making the value judgments. But they would be emotional value judgments rather than value judgments due to our way of thinking. The value judgments that come about through our way of thinking are subjective while the value judgments that come about through our emotions are objective. Let me give a metaphor/analogy for this. Our positive emotions would be like the light of god flowing through us. The light of god is sheer goodness itself which means it is something objectively positive and good. So, goodness wouldn’t be a concept or an idea. Rather, it would be a force or energy (the light of god). Without the light of god, then our lives would be completely empty and no way of thinking can fill in that void. You would have to be delusional or not awakened to the truth to believe otherwise.
September 21, 2017 at 10:44 am #169677
- This reply was modified 6 years, 5 months ago by Matt.
Our emotions are objectively positive and negative
I suspect this is were we are going to disagree. Is the emotion of sadness objectively positive or negative?
My view is that emotions by their nature are experienced subjectively and very difficult if impossible to objectively measure. The reality is all experience is subjective, and thus illusion.September 21, 2017 at 12:25 pm #169691PearceHawkParticipant
Matt I respectfully disagree with your opinion that “Therefore, if you were someone poor who struggled with depression and you had a very slim amount of positive emotions in your life, then your life would not be that good.”
“You would be experiencing very little good value and worth in your life and towards the helping of others regardless of how much you have made the best of your life and helped others. So, basically, I am telling you that if you are a depressed or miserable human being or artist, then your life can only amount to ****.”
After returning from a year of rehabilitation to help me walk again from an injury I got in the Middle East, You cannot imagine the amount of profound depression I had. Paralyzed from the waste down for 9 months, learning to walk again took a year. Returning home from rehab in Germany I was homeless for almost 7 months. No job, poor, depressed, feeling worthless for YEARS, justifiably so, with a barely measurable amount of feeling positive. But the very small amount of feeling positive was the one thing I held on to. As a result of making a choice to not accept all the negativity I had I became stronger and stronger. It was not all those negative emotions that defined me nor did they define who I was going to be. It was I who decided who I was going to be and how I wanted my life to be. As a result of nurturing that strength, I am a very successful person both professionally and personally. I agree with you, my friend, when you said, “Therefore, if you were someone poor who struggled with depression and you had a very slim amount of positive emotions in your life, then your life would not be that good.” However, you are not correct in your assessment that “if you are a depressed or miserable human being or artist, then your life can only amount to ****.” with the operative words you chose “your life can only amount to ****.” My life did not turn out to “only amount to ****.”
@Peter…My friend would you mind helping me understand what you said about “… reality is… illusion.” During the past few years I am learning more about reality being an illusion. I find that to be an exciting concept but I have a hard time understanding it.
To both of you…recently I was in a discussion with a friend of mine about judgements. He said that judgement is based on perception and that is where prejudice is derived from. My friend did not limit prejudice to race but clarified that by saying we often times are prejudice toward something else as well. I found his comment to be interesting. I did not agree or disagree with this because for me the jury is still out. I am interested in what both of you would offer about his statement, and everyone else on Tiny Buddha as well.
Thank you both for an exciting post.
PearceSeptember 21, 2017 at 2:39 pm #169717
Hi Peace Hawk
I very much recommend ‘The User Illusion: Cutting Consciousness Down to Size’ – by Tor Norretranders It’s a philosophical and scientific study of the idea of life experience being an illusion
In Much of Buddhist philosophy you will hear the words that are similar, that the life is an illusion.
“We live in illusion and the appearance of things. There is a reality. We are that reality. When you understand this, you see that you are nothing, and being nothing, you are everything. That is all.” ― Gautama Buddha – That is of course a paradox and so difficult to understand but I believe it to be a truth.
Our ability to “see” and be fully conscious of each moment, each now, is limited and so we fill in the gaps through the filters of our desire, fears hopes, beliefs, faith… and create illusion, a user illusion. A goal of Buddhism is to become conscious (Enlightened) were the now is experienced as it is without filters. (If we do so we become enlightened and maybe conscious of the unconscious (another paradox) and know that everything we ‘though’ was real was not real but an illusion of our own making)
In scientific terms, ego Conscious is limited. Ego Consciousness can process about 8 to 16 bits of information a second where as our body (unconscious) process millions of bits of information a second. We see more then we ‘see’, hear more then we ‘hear’ know more then we ‘know’…. If ego concourses had to be aware and control everything the body needs to live we would all die. (the unconscious is capable of multi tasking, ego consciousness is not – go ahead try adding two numbers together while reciting a singing a song, you will see that ego consciousness divides time into slices – time division multiplexing. Ego consciences is always directed so you will go from one task to another. You can train yourself to do this so quickly it might look like multi tasking but its not)
So Ego conscious also is linear – to understand and operate in the world the ego conscious breaks down each moment of now into cause and effect. In the Quantum world, everything happens all at once and there is no past, present or future just the now which is not a moment of time but a moment of time and space (not the same thing as time does not exist by isself). “…for us physicists believe the separation between past, present, and future is only an illusion, although a convincing one.”.” ― Albert Einstein – (sound familiar there is only the now and everything is one we are all one)
Ego conscious as well as being linear is also slow. It takes 0.5+ seconds to process the bits of experience that our consciousness focuses on. In the 0.5+seconds (an eternity) the experience is processed though our filters, our hopes, expectations, dreams, fears, desire…. most of which are unconscious. This means we never experience the now as it is but only after they pass through our filters and thus create illusion. Interestingly communication technology takes advantage of the fact that we create illusion and fill in the gaps.
Anyway, if one accepts that they are only conscious of a very small portion of the now (of all the now’s occurring simultaneously around the globe) and that they are filling in the gaps, one cannot help but become more compassionate. One realizes that one’s judgments are perceptions, information only, influenced by filters most not of our choosing. One must continue to act on one truth as one knows it to be in the moment but with compassion and in this way we learn and become. Life is a illusion though we are the reality of it – co-creators with the divine – If you want to go down the rabbit hole further.September 21, 2017 at 3:09 pm #169723PearceHawkParticipant
Peter your recommendation, The User Illusion, is certainly going to be my read before this weekend. I appreciate it. Your comment brought me so much closer to understanding that concept. I know it is very real but struggled with understanding it. As I write this I keep looking at your explanation and feel this “aha” moment. I greatly appreciate your thoughts and time.