In Humanities, this might have been the first Gen X professor to take a liking to me. This week was Rousseau. And the concern was acting out of emotion. Anyway, he hated the paper, because we’re at 2nd year midterm and I still can’t do APA formatting. But that’s okay, I couldn’t, and didn’t do it in my fifth year either. Oh yeah, and he did hate that I titled all my papers in a non-clinical manner. Do you recall a time…
Week 4 Prompt 3: Dignity and the Disciplined Romantic;
Yes, actually I do; uncomfortably though, for as our mentors the ancients proclaimed, action without discipline is unorganized. Egocentricism is the culprit and the easiest way to separate that which can be confused with narrsicism (or egoism, which is a justification for one’s behavior and performance). The psychological envelope containing ‘being in one’s moment’ is referred to as heuristics. And every moment an individual expresses his or herself is motivated upon the heuristics they are being driven by. Equally as damaging to society and harmony, is the manner one sets for them, when confronted (the receiver’s heuristics).
Rousseau’s only contribution then becomes that very realization, that feelings are prevalent, perhaps even before thought. Because heuristics are psychological, it means it develops with the mind, manifested from feelings (negatively, anger & frustration; and positively/love & regeneration) in our outward expressions. Even as Rousseau exclaimed ‘I felt before I thought’ (Spacks 498); the very thinking of, or voicing of, and as my pen is to paper; the ‘performance’ of, is the end result.
Then began an age of reasoning, seeking empirical data, evidence and observations on which to enhance experiences, including an interesting idea; If we could discipline our minds enough to only question that which is being argued or examined, then we could discipline our emotions as well. Thereby using only logic and rationale to solve the (every) equation at hand. Theorists have produced guidelines as to posture and performance by these emotional beings, yet few have been anything more than door stoppers and paperweights.
However, I am in agreement with Dr. Alan Watkins, CEO of Complete Coherence Ltd., who has given us building blocks of processes (Watkins), which will give us even more to talk about. A rewording and reverse path will take us from our ‘performance’ which is predicated by our behavioral make-up; which was modeled through our thinking. Emotions are at the base of our feelings, and dependent on our feelings we involve the required amount of thinking. Physiology is of course the foundation of it all; all those electrical and chemical reactions to all our stimuli outside and within. Sensory overload, whoopee. Therefore it is plausible to suggest that with an understanding of our physiology to better control and use our emotions; we could achieve even stronger feelings, creative thinking, and a more humane behavior. Even perhaps to give greater thought to which emotion generated the feelings, which is not always immediate or obvious. Rousseau argued that because the ‘feelings’ are before the thought, it would become more rewarding for us to capture in that moment, that which ‘feelings’ are. Sounds wild, as many have experienced this overwhelming effect of the rush of emotions and feelings, and few rationalize to see if any of it is logical.
As to the Romantics and their separation from the Empiricists, well the romantics feared that the fires of knowledge could consume the soul, forcing it to only be subject to that which is logical, or rational. So a balance was struck, feelings are the kindling to the fires of knowledge, and can become a fire of passion without obsession. Just as ‘happy’ and ‘peaceful’ are conditions of feelings, they too should to be analyzed to which emotion prompted it, and maximize it.
Feelings alone cannot acquiesce: i.e. two people often ‘feel’ the same way. About a relationship, a project, an idea and course of action, yet never have any more involvement in the others life but this one moment. Earlier I mentioned heuristics which involves our mindset during any given moments of perception. Then the physiology of or response to, our stimuli which prompts a significant emotion; these or this emotion then lends to feelings of…fear, love, hate, sadness, happy, etc. Certainly we should apply a degree of logic and rational thinking, especially when separating the imagined from the real.
And then I believe as a romantic, that we can condition our thoughts to produce a positive behavior and series’ of successful performances. With obvious complications; the heuristics of one individual are rarely simultaneously similar to those of another because of this individuality. Were it as easy as Marx could conceive, a society of ‘knowing’ beings, each accepting and performing for the betterment of the whole, we could do away with emotions and feeling’s all together. Or at least find solace in the roll we played to that which is directing us.
I love Confrontation; which mean’s getting to know someone. Conquest; which means understanding their needs and wants. And Conversion; where both our needs and wants are fulfilled. As a romantic, I feel we can do this on the individual level; requiring discipline towards the dignity of the other.
Spacks, Patricia. Et al. The Norton Anthology Western Literature Vol.2 Confessions WW Norton & Co. Inc. New York 2006. 498-519
http://thinkibility.com/2013/01/17/feelings-and-emotions-are-not-the-same/ web. accessed 9/18/13