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what is happiness?

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are you happy? do you consider happiness but a good time, laughter, a few smiles with family and friends, an emotion that comes and goes depending on the activity?  or is happiness much deeper to you, a long range emotional asoect of ife?  if the latter have you achieved it>  what is true happiness?
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  • BarnardotBarnardot 185 Pts   -  
    It’s when you are happy all the time because you decide to be happy and not because you weight for something to happen that might make you happy.@maxx
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 4664 Pts   -  
    I think that happiness, fundamentally, is a choice. Happiness is a consistent state of bliss, of enjoyment, of pleasure - but it is not the only state that humans crave. There is a reason not everyone is happy; everyone claims to want to be happy, but I am not sure that it is the case with everyone. Happiness requires certain commitment that not everyone is willing to make.

    I am almost perpetually happy. Do I experience negative emotions, failures, pain? Absolutely. But on a deeper level there is a highly optimistic observer inside me that keeps telling me, "This is all temporary, it will pass. Enjoy life fully, even with these things in it" - and this observer very quickly kills off all negativity should it try to emerge. This is something everyone around me (in the real world; I am not as good at conveying this attitude online - text can only show so much) always says about me: that they cannot imagine me being unhappy with anything. Even when everything around me falls apart, I am wearing a smile on my face, and it is quite contagious.

    But this means that I do not process certain information as well as many other people do; my feedback loop is a bit warped. Some people, when they lose someone very dear to them, for example, have to experience a period of grief: this is how their mind and body process this event. My grief, if it was to happen at all, would likely terminate quickly. I simply cannot harbor such emotions: my body will feel all wrong and quickly reject them. It is quite likely that something essential will be missed: my experience will be incomplete, and I will not react to it properly and make some mistakes that in the future will come back at me.

    So happiness is not some sort of the ultimate state that everyone chases. It is a choice, one few people are willing to make - and one that, should one make it, requires a lot of internal and external work to be sustainable. That said, I would not choose any other state over it. :) I do not like worrying about things: my eyes point towards the future, while my body enjoys the present, and if something is wrong, then I either do something about it and move on, or I choose to do nothing about it and still move on. Either way, I quickly process anything that has a potential to upset me and leave my emotional space to fun and positive things alone.
  • maxxmaxx 950 Pts   -  
    I really do not believe one can simply choose motion and be that way.  That is simply pretense. You may be able to control or guide the emotion once t produced;    yet saying you can prodice the emotion and be that way is not correct. can i suddenly bring up hate, love, sadness? i can bring up what passes for such, however that is noit the actual emotion itself. It is simply role play.@MayCaesar
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 4664 Pts   -  
    @maxx

    Emotions are a result of thoughts, and you can control your thoughts almost entirely. You cannot feel angry, for example, without telling something to yourself that makes me angry. For example: "This person was not supposed to act this way. This is unfair. This is unacceptable!" You can terminate these thoughts and replace them with something neutral, or positive: "This person chose to act this way. Hilarious! Life is funny, is it not?" Completely different array of emotions.

    Maybe for other people it is a roleplay. For me it is the reality I live in.
  • maxxmaxx 950 Pts   -  
    emotions are NOT the results of thioughts; if so,babies would not have them,  nor would animals.@MayCaesar
  • maxxmaxx 950 Pts   -  
    emotions are not the results of thoughts; if so babies would mot have them nor would animals.  feelings and emotioins are two separate things. feelings can be the results of our thoughts interpreting ou experiances; however, emotiions are biological based and instinctive.  @MayCaesar
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 4664 Pts   -  
    @maxx

    Some basic emotions may be, but more complex emotions such as "grief" certainly are a product of your thoughts. If someone dear to you died, but your thoughts just did not tell you how it was somehow wrong, there is no way your body would react strongly to it.

    Take it for what you will. This type of thinking perfectly aligns with my observations of my own psychology. Maybe it does not apply to everyone, but I do not see why it would be the case.
  • maxxmaxx 950 Pts   -  
    i think its been shown that oither primates, and even dogs ant other certain animals have grief. the emotion creates the thought forms, not the other way around. your thinking can "inflence" our emotions, but do not produce them. emotions are biolgial driven, not thought produced. if it akes out thoughts to produce emotions, then we would have never evolved any emotiions at all. @MayCaesar
  • NeopesdomNeopesdom 147 Pts   -  
    @maxx

    >>animals have grief...the emotion creates the thought forms

       Taking charge of yourself requires intelligence, as humans we are capable of overriding our basic instincts if we choose to. Without thoughts there would be nothing to feed our emotions, other than our innate fight or flight responses, our animal instincts. Since we can be more advanced than animals in our thinking, our ability to problem solve can also be used to manage our internal responses to outside circumstances. Rather than being simply reactive to our environment we can become proactive and decide for ourselves beforehand how things will effect us emotionally. You can think of yourself as truly intelligent on bases of how you choose to feel regardless of any external factors. The ability for introspection becomes paramount in learning to choose emotions, rather than letting it be a condition that just happens to us.

    Those who recognize problems as a human condition and don't measure happiness by an absence of problems are the most intelligent kind of humans we know; also the most rare. -Wayne Dyer

       Consider that in life you have certain expectations, such as your house not burning down. If your house burns down reacting sad to the situation may seem natural, but regardless of how you are feeling it will not bring your house back. Why remain in a state that will not benefit you in anyway, allowing your emotions to control you can result in a nervous break down, further spiraling you deeper into an emotional hole, until you reach a state of depression. Was your expectation realistic? Did not meeting your expectations put you into a state of shock? Why not have the expectation that life is full of problems, but they will not determine your emotional state. Own your moments and use your will to choose happiness. Adopt a better attitude. 
    MayCaesar
      “Never argue with an id'iot They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain
  • maxxmaxx 950 Pts   -  
    what i am saying is that our thoughrts do not create emotions.  can you suddenly decide to pull up an intense hat for someone you just met? you can pretend to, but that is a sham. with out the emotional responce kicking iin, then there is no emotion. @Neopesdom
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 4664 Pts   -  
    @maxx

    I can almost instantly shift how I feel about someone by changing my focus and self-talk. If my boss fires me tomorrow, I have a choice to say to myself, "All is cool, we just did not click with each other. Happens. Let us look for other amazing opportunities: I now have a lot of freedom and choice in my hands! Yaaay!" - and feel great about it. Is this a great way to react to the situation? I do not know. But it is a way that works for me, and one that anyone can employ. Not everyone wants to employ it, however, which is what it comes down to ultimately. There are certain rewards in feelings of self-pity, frustration and the like, which is why many people return to them constantly.

    Happiness is impossible without such self-control. If your happiness is conditional upon randomly arising emotions in your body, then it is a fleeting thing: one moment you are happy, another you are miserable. This is not what I consider happiness to be; to me it is a more consistent thing. Being happy means enjoying every second of this life, even when things are not going your way, even when your body does not produce physical sensations you like, and even when your survival is threatened. It does not mean ignoring all the threats around you and being naive and oblivious to any adversity; it means embracing them and not letting them control your overall experience.

    If you do not like the idea of it being possible in practice, think of it as a practically applicable mindset. Whether you can actually control your emotions or not, assuming that you can and working towards that in itself will induce profound positive changes in your life. Try it. When something in your life goes terribly wrong, make it a point to feel happy about it. Give it a real, hard try; see what happens. You might be amazed at just how good you are at dealing with adversity on the mental and emotional level.
  • exconexcon 562 Pts   -  

    Hello m:

    Happiness is an orgasm..  It's a prime NY Strip steak.  It's a painting.  It's a dog.  It's children.  It's a sunrise.  It's a birth.

    Nuff?

    excon
  • maxxmaxx 950 Pts   -  
    thos are nothing but material objects; iif that is whay happiness is to you, then you must have a fairly shallow life.  happiness is a long term achievment, not a bag of donuts.  those what you related is nothing more than objects of feelings.  @excon
  • exconexcon 562 Pts   -  
    maxx said:

     happiness is a long term achievment, not a bag of donuts.  those what you related is nothing more than objects of feelings.  @excon
    Hello m:

    Nahhh..  Happiness is NOT an achievement..  To think it is, is quite bizarre.   It's a state of mind that can be brought about by a beautiful sunset, or a dish of chocolate ice cream..  I can switch it on, and I can switch it off... 

    What?  You're not in control of your emotions??  Do things happen to you, or do you make things happen??

    Seriously.  I wanna know.

    excon
  • maxxmaxx 950 Pts   -   edited December 2021
    emotions are biologial driven , not though produced. onc can direct your thoughts to the sunset; however it is the emotion that produces what you call happiness; not your thinking.  you claim you can create emotions by thinking on them is a fallacy.  let me see you do it.  look out the window and the first person you see, pull up the emotion hate. all you can do is pretend.  what ever you pertend is not the raw emotion of hate.  emotions are not thought produced..  @excon
  • exconexcon 562 Pts   -   edited December 2021
    maxx said:
    emotions are biologial driven , not though produced.  @excon
    Hello again, m:

    Let's dive even deeper than that, shall we?  Endorphins cause happiness.  Or at least they make you feel good, and if feeling good isn't happiness, please tell me what is?? 

    Endorphins are chemicals in your brain..  I say you can induce them to flood your system.  You say, they'll flood your system when they're ready.  You have NO control over them.. 

    And, besides, you haven't achieved your objective yet, whatever that objective is..  Can you elaborate on your objective?  Is it like a system, where you follow certain rules?   And, when you win, you're happy?  Or, does simply following the rules make you happy??  And, what if you and I disagree on the objective?  What if I achieve mine, and I'm happy.  But, they're not your objectives, so I  suppose you'll tell me I'm not happy..

    As you can see, I'm rather confused..  Surly, you can help me out.

    excon
  • maxxmaxx 950 Pts   -  
    first feeings are different than emotions. are you saying you can release a flood of edorphines into your brain with thoughts a one?? perhaps under hypnosis or extream biofeedback...  again, one can direct emotions channel them , but the emotion itself is no created by thought. do you think humans have a monopoly on emotions? look at theother primates, they all have biolgical driven emotions and we evolved from them, hence our emotions are driven by the sam process as theirs, not by thoughts.  @excon
  • BarnardotBarnardot 185 Pts   -  
    thos are nothing but material objects; iif that is whay happiness is to you, then you must have a fairly shallow life.  happiness is a long term achievment, not a bag of donuts.  those what you related is nothing more than objects of feelings.  @excon@maxx

    Thats all nice amid moral to say that kind of thing but I bet that if they give you 40 million dollars then you will be happy. And I bet that the poor peoples in India aren't happy because they don't have money to buy food.

    excon
  • maxxmaxx 950 Pts   -  
    food, clothing, money, to one is poor doesnt give happiness, what it does is trigger the emotional responce of happiness due to the relief of pressure that you get by suddenly having enough.  @Barnardot
  • exconexcon 562 Pts   -  
    maxx said:
    food, clothing, money, to one is poor doesnt give happiness, what it does is trigger the emotional responce of happiness due to the relief of pressure that you get by suddenly having enough. 
    Hello again, m:

    So, if you FEEL happy, don't believe it...  Du-de!

    excon

  • maxxmaxx 950 Pts   -  
    i am saying that material objects do not CREATE happiness, no do our thoughts. if a dog sees food, he will be happy, but it is not the food that creates the emotion, but the biological urege to eat the food it sees.  emotions are a biological fuction based on external or internal stimuli.  @excon @excon
  • BarnardotBarnardot 185 Pts   -  
    So what gives happiness to a starving poor person then. Finding a new trash dump to live on or may be finding a banana peel to eat and if he finds material then he can make clothes which will make him happy. @maxx
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 4664 Pts   -  
    maxx said:
    emotions are biologial driven , not though produced. onc can direct your thoughts to the sunset; however it is the emotion that produces what you call happiness; not your thinking.  you claim you can create emotions by thinking on them is a fallacy.  let me see you do it.  look out the window and the first person you see, pull up the emotion hate. all you can do is pretend.  what ever you pertend is not the raw emotion of hate.  emotions are not thought produced..  @excon
    You have not actually offered any arguments in support of these claims. You are just saying that "you pretend". If this "pretense" though results in a feeling just as vivid as the real feeling, then what is the practical difference? If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it is a duck.

    Perhaps all of the emotions I induce in myself through my thinking are just a pretense. Yet they feel as good as the real thing, so these technicalities do not really matter to me. I can, if I want to, feel really good towards everyone I meet, and I usually do: makes socialization much more pleasant. Whatever people do, I try to interpret it in a positive light, and almost always I succeed and feel good about it. Someone says something slightly offensive - I take it as a joke and move on, not feeling even slightly offended.

    Again, think of it what you will; this is a practically functional approach that many people have adopted. It all starts with the decision to take control over your organism and to not let random events around you perturb your happiness. Once you have made this decision and committed to it, you quickly stumble upon multiple techniques that allow you to stick with it.
    excon
  • maxxmaxx 950 Pts   -  
    emotions and feelings are different; so let us stick to emotions.  our emotions have more impact upon our thoughts, than the other way around. if i hate someone, it is not my thoughts that deice the emotion, it is the emotion that brings up the hate, and out thoughts reflect that emotion. If you can create emotions with your thoughts, i ask you to try;  it should be a simple matter for you to look at the next individual that you see and love or hate the person as you see fit.  @MayCaesar
  • exconexcon 562 Pts   -   edited January 3
    maxx said:
    emotions and feelings are different; so let us stick to emotions.  our emotions have more impact upon our thoughts, than the other way around.
    Hello again, m:

    Somewhere in this thread you acknowledged bio-feeback.  I have some experience with it.  You're hooked up to a machine that beeps when your brain starts emitting A waves, which equates to happiness..  The goal is to learn HOW to control the A waves without the machine, thusly learning how to control your happiness..

    The machine is passive..  It only reads brain waves..  It can't teach you HOW to control them..  Yoga certainly can.  Meditation and prayer can too.  If you're not the hippie type, try the martial arts. 

    I'd give it a shot, if I were you.

    excon
  • maxxmaxx 950 Pts   -   edited January 3
    martial arts?  lol. ive been boxign since i was 12, and  i teach mma; yet i asume you mean tai chi. bio feed back has nothing too do with a machine; it just reads your brain waves..once you are in a very relaxed state, with no thoughts, an emotional well being is triggered. again, it is not the thought that triggers emotions.   @excon
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 4664 Pts   -  
    maxx said:
    emotions and feelings are different; so let us stick to emotions.  our emotions have more impact upon our thoughts, than the other way around. if i hate someone, it is not my thoughts that deice the emotion, it is the emotion that brings up the hate, and out thoughts reflect that emotion. If you can create emotions with your thoughts, i ask you to try;  it should be a simple matter for you to look at the next individual that you see and love or hate the person as you see fit.  @MayCaesar
    And this claim is based on what? Human emotions and thoughts are tightly intertwined, but it is the thoughts that humans can control directly. When someone says something offensive to me, it is up to me how to interpret it, which is done through deciding what thought process to follow - and this interpretation alters how I feel.
    The separation between feelings and emotions you make seems artificial to me. I am talking about whichever of the two is associated with happiness, although in my personal view both are.

    And no, it certainly is not a simple matter. It took me years of introspective work to get to the state where I am mostly in control of how I feel day to day, and even so there are times when my self-control fails and negativity pours in and takes over. These times just do not last long, because I constantly actively monitor my state and am ready to do something to alter it if it is moving in the wrong direction. It is now automatic: whenever I feel that something is off (which in my mind is associated with some sort of darkness and cold: literally I feel like the brightness and the temperature of the world go down), I quickly tell myself, "This is not helpful. Time to think differently" - and get out of the rut and move on.

    People in real life around me are often under the impression that I just have endless positivity and cannot think negative thoughts. That certainly is not the case. :) I may be smiling 99% of the time and laughing after every other sentence I utter, but my smile and laughter are not a result of some oblivious and childish happiness, blindness to the bad things around me and the like. It is a result of the choice to look forward with optimism and enjoy every second of this life. I embrace both the good and the bad, but only let the good go through my emotional barrier and stay there. Which everyone has a choice to do, although it is not an easy choice, and it is not a choice I necessarily recommend everyone to make.

    Cynicism is, probably, the biggest enemy of happiness in my eyes. And I see quite a bit of that in your comments, even if they are honest and well-intentioned. Some people (Jordan Peterson comes to mind) go as far as to say that life at large is suffering, and the best one can do is to make it just a little more bearable. This kind of thinking is very alien to me, and I refuse to poison my well of happiness by seeking darkness in every beam of light. My world is bright and cheerful, and it will never change, no matter how ugly some particular things can be! That is a choice I have made and one I will never relinquish.
  • maxxmaxx 950 Pts   -   edited January 3
    again if thoughts create emotions, then do so, as well we would havenever evolved emotions, if it took our thoughts to decide the emotion .just because i think i hate the next person i see, does not create the emotional responce. seriously, can you create love, hate, grief, , just by thinking about doing so? or is it the emotions that produce the thoughts about the the emotions that fuel it? if we did not have emotions, our thoughts may still exist, yet without our thoughts, our emotions come anyway.  @MayCaesar
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 4664 Pts   -  
    @maxx

    Of course not: "I hate this person" is not good enough. To really feel hatred towards a person, you need to have valid reasons for that, so you need to say much more concrete things to yourself. You may, for example, focus on some pattern of behavior of this person that you find annoying - and blow it out of proportion intentionally, making characterization of that person all about this particular patters. This way you can, indeed, make yourself genuinely feel the same sensations as you do when you "naturally" hate a person.

    That does not mean that spontaneous emotions cannot arise. Human mind is complicated, it works on many levels, intellectual level being only one of them. There is also the subconscious level that you do not have a direct control over, and it affects your emotions as well. Again, I am not talking about instantly summoning or dismissing any emotion you like; I am talking about the general procedure giving you the general control over how you feel. This control is not absolute, but it is powerful enough that you can be consistently happy or consistently miserable by using it a certain way, pretty much, regardless of any other considerations.

    I have known people who constantly complain about everything: their thoughts are very negative, and they always find something that is wrong with their lives, with the people around them and so on. Guess what: they are also generally very unhappy people. Thoughts and emotions do not exist independently: if you think certain thoughts, certain emotions will consistently enter your life. Changing your thinking patterns over time changes the emotions you feel routinely.
  • maxxmaxx 950 Pts   -   edited January 3
    the only things our thoughts can do, is pull up a memory, which can produce an emotion. the thought can not produce a biolgical driven behavior . the thought itself does not and can not produce an emotion unil the emotion has already created a pattern within our thoughts.  your father dies, the emotion comes regardless of your thoughts. years later, you think about that day and you are in grief again. the thought did not reproduce the grief, for the grief was already there  all your thoughs are doing is reproducing the effect of the emotion and bringing the emotion back up, as in a menory. the emotion has to be there in the first place in order to bring it up . @MayCaesar
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 4664 Pts   -  
    @maxx

    If you do not think about your father's death, then you cannot even be aware that it has happened, thus no emotion can come. For the emotion to come, your mind has to process the information about your father dying, interpret it a certain way and assign a certain meaning to it. It may be that you have never liked your father, and him dying does not mean anything to you, and so no grief has a chance to settle in. Or maybe you have a philosophical approach to life and do not think that your close relative's death is a bad thing, but just a part of the circle of life. There can be many interpretations that allow you to avoid feeling grief. And if you have control over those interpretations, then you have control over what feelings the information about your father's death induces in you.

    Your argument is factually wrong. There are no instances in which emotions can come in independently from your thoughts. In all the examples you have given, specific thoughts are the trigger to the emotions.
  • maxxmaxx 950 Pts   -  
    your mind can process information with out thinking; it is just neuroons  firing.  abstract reasoning, through images. or do you not think that the lower primates experiance grief?  @MayCaesar
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 4664 Pts   -  
    @maxx

    It can only process basic sensory information this way. To actually experience grief over someone's death, you have to have a conceptual image of that death, and that one is developed through thinking.

    You cannot control basic reactions of your organism to basic sensory information. You can control those that result from your thinking, which is all that I am saying.
  • maxxmaxx 950 Pts   -  
    i do believe you should look up somne valid cites on animal grief.  as well, let me try it this way. your father passes; an emotional grief floods your system which your thoughts "react" to. the thought did not bring up the grief.  years later, you recall that passing and the grief resurfaces.  is it your thoughts that makes the grief return.? no, you are simply remember his passing, and in doing so, the emotion surfaces again. i also disagree upon it takes conceptual thinking to produce grief, let alone emotions. The majority of human "thoughts " are images; the thinking follows.  by your reasoning, i can bring up an image alone of my fathers passing and that emotional grief will follow. If i recall a very pleasent experiance, i may smile and feel happy, it is not the thought that makes ,e feel that way; nor is the thought responcible for the emotion. the emotion is in responce to the memory. Try it this way; take a future scene that has not yet happened; a very close realitive passed.  Do you still experiancee the same emotional grief as the real thing ?  of course not, for you are not creating the emotion, the emotion creates itself. @MayCaesar
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 4664 Pts   -  
    @maxx

    You keep saying that, but, as I have already explained, it is not true. If the thought did not bring up the grief, then the grief does not enter your system in the first place. Your father dying does not somehow telepathically affect your state: you have to intellectually process this information for the emotion to arise, and you have a large degree of control over that process. After this, when you have processed this information and interpreted it a certain way, later memories of this event bring up that interpretation, and you feel the same emotion as before. A different interpretation would result in a different emotion.

    Images still need to be interpreted. When you have an image in your mind of you kissing your lover, it is not some magical property of the Universe that makes you smile; it is your interpretation of that event. Were you to interpret it as your lover being a mindflayer from the D&D universe, devouring your brain through the mouth-to-mouth contact, the resulting emotion would be very-very different. Not interpreting it this way is, ultimately, a choice, perhaps a choice you make automatically in this particular case, but a choice you are free not to make intentionally.

    Emotions certainly do not create themselves: it is metaphysically impossible for them to do so. Nothing can create itself.
  • maxxmaxx 950 Pts   -   edited January 4
    emotions affect our thinking, not the other way around.  How Emotions Can Influence Your Thinking – Alison L. Alverson (alisonalverson.com)   as well, emotions are inherant and basically invoulentary, while laugange is la learned behavior. therfore our thoughts are secondary, and can only recall emotions. otherwize it is not a true emotion. again, if our thoughts produce grief, then you should produce the same grief in a future situation that has not yet happened and it should be just as strong as the emotion of one who recently passed. Emotional expressions in human and non-human great apes - ScienceDirect  @MayCaesar
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 4664 Pts   -  
    @maxx

    I just gave you a very clear example demonstrating that emotions are not at all involuntary, but a product of particular interpretations which, in turn, result from particular thoughts. Yet you keep repeating the same stuff, as if nothing has been said: "emotions are inherant and basically invoulentary".

    Let us switch the gears a bit: point out where exactly my argument is wrong. Repeating the same stuff again and again will not make your argument any stronger.
  • maxxmaxx 950 Pts   -   edited January 4
    are you actually suggesting that languange and thoughts came before emtions, that it is our thoughts that decides upon emotional content? or are you suggesting that emotions are not biological and do not develop with out thinking?  if our thoughts create emotions, then emotions have to bge learned instead of being inherent. 
    @MayCaesar
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 4664 Pts   -  
    @maxx

    As I see it, thoughts determine one's interpretation of an event, and this interpretation is then processed on a lower level and results in an emotion. If the interpretation, for example, includes perception of a threat, then the body reacts biologically to a threat, leading to sensations of fear and anxiety; on the other hand, if it includes an expectation of pleasure, then the body reacts biologically to an incoming pleasure, leading to sensations of excitement and lust. By controlling one's interpretations, they by large control their emotions. It is not a full control, as there are certain things that happen on the subconscious level and are completely outside of the mental control of the individual - but it is quite a significant degree of control overall.
  • maxxmaxx 950 Pts   -  
    in early humans, as one sees a threat, such as a wild animal attacking, the fear is instant; one does not think of it first. if one is felt tenderly by the opposite, the pleasure is felt, one does not decide it first. chemicles play a huge role in emotions, and are the first part of any emotional activity.  our thoughts "react" to this activity, yet do not create or decide the activity. endorphines will make me feel euphoric perhaps, my thoughts do not.  If you are sitting at a desk and recall something that happened, it juist brings the memory of the emotion back up. You keep of avoiding one thing; if thought create the emotion, then you can create one out of a future scene that has not happen @MayCaesar
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 4664 Pts   -  
    @maxx

    I am not avoiding anything, and I have agreed with it already: indeed, if you put in enough effort, you can think up a scene that has never taken place and feel strong emotions. I used to do that a lot in the past when I spent a lot of time daydreaming and mentally escaping into fantasy worlds of my own creations: the emotions I experienced were quite real, even though the whole thing was a product of my imagination.
    People do that all the time in their everyday lives. When someone sees an attractive person on the street, they often start imagining walking up to them and initiating a conversation, often taking it much further: most of the time they do not actually end up doing anything, yet their emotions are quite strong.

    As for the cases when the instinct kicks in, obviously you are not in charge of your emotions then. When a lion jumps at you, you experience certain emotions no matter what you do: your body is conditioned to do so. This kind of situation, however, is not very common in the modern world, and in those situations that do arise most of the time you have a lot of control over your emotions. Furthermore, even during a lion's attack, you only experience strong uncontrollable emotions for a short period of time: if you have enough self-control, you can quickly switch those emotions up, as, for example, many martial arts fighters do who stop feeling any particular emotions a few seconds into the fight and concentrate fully on their actions.
  • maxxmaxx 950 Pts   -  
    all that is doing is blocking the emotion and allowing your reasoning to take over in the first example of the lion; and  as im the martial arts, all one is doing is blocking the pain centers or and the emotional content.  if you are deep with-in a day dream, you are still not creating the emotion itself; you are producing a scene in your mind; where as the emotion itself rises.  I am sure in night dreams you had vivid emotions; are you to say it is the dream that created the emotion?  emotions hapen naturally. If i think hard enough of my mothers passing, i am very sad...again. it is not my thoughts that repoduce my grief, but the memory and as the memory resurfaces, the the emotion does as well.  you are saying that you are baking a cake, when it is the oven that is doing so. @MayCaesar
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 4664 Pts   -   edited January 5
    @maxx

    It is a semantic different. The result of your mental efforts is the emotion; whether it "itself arises" (which does not make sense to me: arises from what and why?), or you produce it, makes no difference in practice.

    When you are dreaming, your mind is doing some work, and emotions arise. It is not a conscious work, but the outcome, again, is the same.

    When you think hard enough of your mother passing, thoughts are generated in your mind, and those thoughts make you sad. You can think different thoughts and not be sad, although I would not necessarily recommend it.

    maxx said:

    you are saying that you are baking a cake, when it is the oven that is doing so.
    I have never heard anyone say, "My oven just baked a cake". Again, you are arguing semantics, while I am arguing the process.

    But let us go with this analogy, for the sake of the argument. Just like you can produce a cake by letting the oven do the work, you can produce emotions by letting your thoughts do the work. This analogy supports my argument, you realize, because you have a choice in what cake to bake and whether to bake it at all, just like you do with your emotions.
  • maxxmaxx 950 Pts   -   edited January 5
    ok. when you think  of something, such as the passing of your father, you are simply recalling an event that once happened. you are pulling up a memory. memories do nothing more than allow the brain to recall something.. it does not reproduce the emotion associated with it. waht happens is when the memory is recalled, the  emotion "responds". that is all.  when i wake up and think about breakfast, does that make me hungry? does my thoughts make me hungry?  no.! in the evening, when i think about sleep, does my thoughts make me slleepy?  no.the only things the thoughts are doing is remembering past eventts  and when that happens, a biological activity sends the appropaite chemical to the brain. thoughts only allow our emotions to remember and in remembering, the emotion floods the system{brain} anew. again all mammals have emotions  @MayCaesar
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 4664 Pts   -  
    @maxx

    This discussion of semantics really is of no consequence. Okay, you do not create the emotion; you call for it and it responds. If that is how you want to interpret it, fine.

    The point is, you are still in control of this process. You are not just a passive victim of randomly arising memories: you can choose to suppress a memory, or to recall a different one, or to even imagine something that has never happened - all of this will result in some emotions.
  • maxxmaxx 950 Pts   -  
    something else to consider. If you are walking along, and someone suddenly pushed you down, or slapped you, or spit in your face, the emotion of anger is instant; the thoughts come afterwords. @MayCaesar
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 4664 Pts   -  
    @maxx

    Again, that depends on how much work you have done and of what kind. A lot of people on the roads rage at bad driving; I have never raged at anyone, despite driving on the same roads full of the same bad drivers.

    The only time when someone suddenly attacked me in my life, I was not angry at all; that emotion did not come in. What came in instead was a short period of surprise and confusion, followed by my martial arts training kicking in. I lost that fight, to put it lightly, but I do not remember experiencing any anger at all, neither during nor after the encounter.

    There are probably some emotions that are inevitable. But, first, the set of situations like this is very limited, and second, even if you cannot prevent the emotion from coming in, you can absolutely prevent it from sticking with you for long.
    I have never claimed that I never feel negative emotions; obviously I do sometimes. They just do not linger: I let go of them almost immediately in almost all cases and replace them with something more constructive. There is some kind of a radar at the back of my mind, constantly monitoring my emotional state; as soon as it senses that something is off, I think, "Okay, this is not helpful. Let us move on to something better!" - and just that happens.
  • maxxmaxx 950 Pts   -  
    regardless of what you felt, anger, confusion, etc, the point is that your thinking did not bring the feelings up. yes your thoughts can supress and controll the emotions; but only when they bring themselves up. @MayCaesar
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 4664 Pts   -  
    @maxx

    The fact that different people have different emotions in the same situations suggests that it emotions are not hardwired and, at the very least, environmentally influenced - and the environment the individual always has some control over. You do not choose your biology, but you choose what to do with it. By thinking a certain way consistently, you condition your organism to react to certain situations in a certain way. Like I said, I never experience anything resembling road rage, no matter what the situation; I do not need to suppress and control anything, as the emotion of anger never arises in the first place. I attribute it to the mental state I am in when driving: relaxed and focused at the same time, accepting things as they come. A bad driver's behavior does not anger me, because I do not have the expectation that every driver will drive well; I expect bad driving from some people, and when they deliver, my reaction is completely emotionless.
  • maxxmaxx 950 Pts   -   edited January 11
    Hard-wired Emotional Circuits in the Brain? Yep. — EMDR Therapy - Wayzata, MN (resilientlifetherapy.net)  as well i am sure you know of the studies donw on babies and facial expressions.. They have the same expressions relating to certain emotions that adults have.  again, control of your emotions is great.  yet how well do you recall your chid hood?  how many times have you experiance shame, anger, panic, disgust and so on as a child?  ypour thoughts do not go around producing these emotions; they only react to them  @MayCaesar
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