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The Psychology Of Emotions, Feelings and Thoughts {Adv}

Module by: Mark Pettinelli. E-mail the author

Summary: This book puts forth the idea that life is divided into three groups, emotion, thinking, and feeling. These three groups make humans feel in certain ways, thinking, physical stimulus, and emotion all contribute to feeling. But what is the difference between a thought, an emotion, and a feeling? Is there an overlap between the three? Probably, since any emotion can be broken down into the sensations and real events that caused it, and these events all lead to emotions, feelings and thoughts. So emotions, feelings and thoughts all might have the same source, they are just expressed differently in the mind. Where do your emotions, feelings and thoughts rate on a scale of clarity? Where do they rate on a scale of focus and attention? How does understanding the psychology of ones emotions, feelings and thoughts lead to a long term increased consciousness?

There is an even more advanced version of this article online at cnx.org/content/col10733/

Emotion and Logic

Some things in life cause people to feel, these are called emotional reactions. Some things in life cause people to think, these are sometimes called logical or intellectual reactions. Thus life is divided between things that make you feel and things that make you think. The question is, if someone is feeling, does that mean that they are thinking less? It probably does. If part of your brain is being occupied by feeling, then it makes sense that you have less capacity for thought. [Saying "part of your brain" shows how feeling and thought take up the same space, or might use the same abilities or similar processes in the mind. It shows how you really can't do two things at once, especially since they are both cognitive processes.] That is obvious if you take emotional extremes, such as crying, where people can barely think at all. This does not mean that emotional people are not intelligent; it just means that they might be dumber during the times in which they are emotional. Emotion goes on and off for everyone, sometimes people cry, and sometimes they are completely serious. [This could further mean that an emotional person might be less emotional if they are doing serious thinking.]

Some things in life can identifiably cause more emotion than other things.

1. Color causes more emotion than black and white. So anything with more color in it is going to be more emotional to look at, whether it is the difference between a gold or silver sword, or a gold or silver computer. In both cases the gold is going to be more emotional. [That example with the sword makes it obvious that color is more emotional than things with less color, it usually is hard to tell if each thing is more or less emotional just based off of the color. It might be that something black is more emotional than something colorful if they are different objects. Also, it seems like color is a shallow source of emotion, like you can identify that color causes more emotion, but if you have an attachment to something if it has a black and white color instead of being colorful, or something else is going on, then the black and white object might be more emotional than its colorful version.]

2. Things that are personal are emotional, personal things that people like and that they feel are “close” to them. Things like home or anything someone likes actually. That is a definition of emotion after all, something that causes feeling. So if you like it, it is probably going to cause more feeling. Other things aside from liking something could cause emotions from it, such as curiosity, but usually like is one of the stronger emotions. You could say that the two are directly proportional, the more you like something, the more it is going to cause feeling. [Or the more curious you are, or any other emotion, would probably generate more feeling. If you are emotional about something, that is saying that it is causing you to feel more. This is more clear when the difference between emotion and feeling is explained later in this section.]

But there are things that people like that cause thought. You could like something and it causes you to think, and we previously defined emotion as feeling, not thought. That thoughts are separate from emotions because thought is a period of thinking. What exactly is thinking then? You can think about emotions, “how did I feel then?” etc. So is thought just a period of increased attention? Or is it a sharp spike in attention focused on one particular thing that is clear? [Thought feels like you are paying clear attention to something, whereas you aren't always paying as clear attention to your feelings.] It is hard to focus that much if you are feeling a lot, however. This makes me conclude that there is an overlap of feeling and thought, like a Venn diagram. But there are still parts of thought that don’t have feeling or emotion in them, and parts of emotion that don’t have thought in them. [So thoughts are also going to influence feelings, since they overlap, not only would feelings influence thoughts.] That means that thought requires more concentration than feeling does, since we defined thought as a period of increased attention. You can be emotional and have more attention, but usually if you are emotional you are going to be less attentive than you would be if you were thinking more. [That ties into the idea that you can only do one thing at a time, if you are paying attention to your thoughts (or thinking more) it is going to be harder to pay attention to your feelings (or "feel" more) because you can only pay attention to a limited number of things at once.] Then again, if you are emotional you are being attentive to your emotions, whatever they may be, and if your emotions are on something like the sun, then when you see the sun you are going to be attentive to it, but not be thinking about it. So you can pay attention to something and not be thinking about it at the same time. [If you are paying attention to something but not thinking about it, what exactly is this increased attention doing? It could be helping you process and understand what feelings that thing causes in you, or just make you feel more about it, which would make you pay more or less attention to it. You could be feeling a lot about something and be paying attention to something else, but that is clearly going to be harder (usually, based on the circumstances) than if didn't have that emotion. That is a clear example of how emotion can be a distraction (from thought and even other emotions). But you aren’t going to be paying attention to anything else. [That further shows how emotion can take up your attention, especially if you are paying attention to the emotion, as in that example.] It seems that thought is more attention than emotion, however. If you try to “feel” your computer you still don’t give it as much attention as if you were thinking about your computer. Then again, it depends what you are thinking about your computer, if you are thinking that your computer sucks, you are going to give it less attention than thinking that it is great. It also depends what your feelings are about that computer. If you feel that the computer is good, then you are going to give it more attention than if you feel that it is bad (possibly). [Does this mean that when you think about your computer your attention is on what it is you are thinking about your computer? Thinking about your computer might generate emotions, which would then cause you to be feeling and thinking about your computer. The thought of the computer might just pull up the general feeling of the computer (the feeling from the computer you get when you usually interact with it or think about it, not some other feeling about it which wouldn't then be "general", not necessarily the feeling of the computer that corresponds with that particular thought. Those ideas raise the question, "when you have a feeling about something, what exactly is that feeling causing you to feel and think (consciously and unconsciously).] The thoughts and the feelings correspond, however. That is, if you are thinking it is bad, then you are going to feel that it is bad. Thus thought and feeling are really one and the same. [It might be that if you think it is bad, you feel that it is good, but that would only be if you are confused, like if you consciously think it is good but it really makes you feel bad.] But thoughts are really clearer than feelings. Thought and feeling may result in the same amount of attention to something, but thought is more precise. It is more precise for you to think that the computer is good, then to feel that the computer is good. Who knows why you feel the computer is good, but if you were thinking the computer is good then you would know why you thought that. Emotions and feelings are more obscure.

So, the more you like something (or hate something, or have any strong emotional reaction to anything), [Something shallow that doesn't generate a lot of feeling might not be called "emotional".] the more emotional it is, but that doesn’t mean that it might not also cause you to think about it. One can’t label everything in life as either emotion or thought however. Life isn’t a scale with emotion on one end and thought on the other. There are other factors involved, things like adrenaline and physical action, which might also cause increased attention that isn’t either emotional or thoughtful. [You could be more specific with that scale and mention which emotions, or which thoughts.] When you’re running you have a lot of attention on the fact that you are running, and you’re not thinking about it or being emotional about it. This means that just because you like something, doesn’t mean that it is emotional. You might like running, but it doesn’t cause emotions in you. [But when you think about running it is going to cause more emotions in you since you like it, and you are probably going to be experiencing better emotions when you are running if you like it then if you don't, unless you enjoy pain then you could like something that generates bad emotions in you (it could be generating negative short term emotions, but since you like it, positive emotions over the long term, or positive emotions when you think about it (or even a mix of the emotions since it is more complicated that you like it but it causes pain).] What does emotion mean then? Emotions must be thoughts that you can’t identify, when you feel something, it must be that you are thinking about something unconsciously. You just have no idea what it is, usually. Emotions and feelings are thoughts then. By that I mean that they can be broken down into parts and figured out what those parts are. And thoughts are just really parts that you can identify. So the difference between emotions, feelings and thoughts is that you know what thoughts are about, but you don’t have as good an idea of what emotions and feelings are, as they are more obscure and harder to identify.

Thus once you find out what is causing the emotion, it is no longer an emotion, but it is a thought (that is, you now call the emotion a thought, so the thought is still probably generating emotion. In your mind then there is still an emotion, but this emotion is now “part” of a thought, it becomes part of the thought associated with it because you created this link, and hence you would call the emotion/thought just a thought because while thoughts can generate emotions, emotions cannot generate thoughts (by themselves), unless you realize what the emotion is (then you are generating the thought, not the emotion generating it), but you are realizing it is a thought, not an emotion: so this realization takes over and now the emotion is part of that realization (because you consider the emotion a part of you, and you generated the realization), instead of the realization being a part of the emotion (and since it seems like the emotion belongs to the realization (you), instead of vice versa, you call it a thought instead of an emotion, because you generated the thought (and hence it also seems that you are now consciously also generating the emotion (the emotion coming from the thought))). So that would mean that all emotions have route in real things, and these real things can be explained with thoughts, so all emotions then are really thoughts that you haven’t realized; an emotion would just be a thought that you haven’t identified yet, so the term “emotion” goes away when you realize it is a thought (because that is what it really was all along, a thought) (though this thought might still be generating a feeling). So, since you perceive the emotion as belonging to you, and you generate thoughts consciously, you consider the emotion to be part of a thought, not vice versa (and hence call identified emotions “thoughts”). So when you identify an emotion, it is a thought because thoughts can generate emotions, so if the emotion is still there after you identified it you would say it falls under the category “thought”, because the thought is making it. [That brings up the question, "do thoughts about your emotions accurately represent what that emotion is?". If the thought doesn't accurately represent the emotion, then you would really need more thoughts to represent the entire emotion (show what that emotion is). Also, can you ever really perfectly explain emotion with thought? Emotion seems infinitely complicated, finite and dynamic.] You might be lazy however and not want to spend time thinking, which are what emotions are for. “Ah that gold sword is pretty” might be the emotion, but to your conscious mind you would have no idea that you like the sword because it is pretty, you might just know that you like the sword and it is making you emotional about it. Therefore, emotional things are really any feelings that cause unconscious or conscious thought. Feeling is also another word for unconscious thought. That then leads to the conclusion that thought can be emotional (because thoughts are going to be about things that can cause emotion). I think that emotions can be more emotional than thought, however, because emotions can contain more than one thought (while thoughts are very slow consciously), therefore causing it to cause more feeling, or be more emotional. [So thought is simpler than emotions and therefore they might cause less feelings by themselves, but the feeling a thought brings up is probably going to be more complicated than the thought alone, since feelings are usually more complicated than thoughts.] While you can only express a few thoughts a minute, your emotions can contain endless numbers of thoughts per minute – they are not as exact and hence don’t make as much sense as thoughts do.

So thought is just a lot of attention on one little thing. And emotion is attention on lots of individual things, or possibly one thing. So things that are emotional are things that cause you to think, consciously or unconsciously. [A conscious feeling would just be a feeling that you have identified (or recognized) more than an unconscious one.] And therefore they would cause you to feel, consciously or unconsciously. So the more you like something you can’t consciously identify as to why you like it, the more emotional it is, and the more you like something where you can consciously identify what it is, the more conscious thought it is going to cause, and the more logical that thing is going to be. Emotion is just unconscious thought.

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • “Emotion goes on and off for everyone” – this statement shows how there are degrees to which someone can be focused on and feel thought, and degrees to which someone can be focused on and feel feeling. That then also explains the next statement in the chapter “some things in life can identifiably cause more emotion than other things”.
  • Since there are parts of emotion that don’t have thought (assuming that emotion and thought overlap – but that is a logical assumption because thoughts generate feelings and are therefore less independent) then emotion (especially emotion without any thought) is going to need less focus or concentration, because emotion is a more pleasurable experience, but thought is one where concentration is usually used.
  • Emotions can direct and control thoughts – if you are feeling that your computer is bad, then you might then give it less or more attention, and conscious attention is a function of thought because you need to think to start to focus on something. Or when you notice something you noticing it is a conscious experience because you “notice” it and thoughts are things which you are aware of which would then contribute to consciousness.
  • Next mentioned is how emotions and feelings are just harder to identify then thoughts, and that therefore emotions and feelings are really thoughts themselves, or vice versa. If all thought is really emotion, and all emotion really thought, then all intelligence could vary and be dependent on emotions. This is further evidenced by the statement “thus once you find out what is causing the emotion it is no longer an emotion, but it is a thought”. That shows how an emotion is a thought that you just aren’t identifying. It is just a matter of definition of the terms. Thought is concrete things which are real in the world, and emotion is something that you feel but can’t visualize. So therefore intelligence is just the ability to do things which are real, versus feeling something, which isn’t as “real” as thoughts are.

Thoughts

Anything that is said or done is possibly followed by a long series of unconscious thoughts and thought processes.

What is the difference between emotion, feeling, thought, logic, and intelligence? Use of any of them requires a lot of attention. Even when you are feeling something emotional your attention is directed toward that thing. The answer is that everything in life eventually results in a feeling. Even emotion results in a feeling. Emotion is unconscious thoughts about things, and thoughts are conscious thoughts about things. Thought results in feelings, so unconscious thought (emotion) is also going to result in feelings. [The question is, do the feelings come from the thoughts simultaneously, or later on, or both (and if later on, when exactly).]

If you think about it that way, thought and emotion are both in part feelings, that is, to some extent you feel them right away, in addition to them resulting in feelings later on. But that still means that feelings are always the end result. Then again, thoughts might be the result of current thoughts. That is like emotion, unconscious emotional thoughts are going to result in unconscious emotional thoughts later on. Even feelings could be called unconscious thoughts, because thought is just focusing on one thing for a brief period of time. [When thought about that way, what is the difference between an unconscious thought and an emotion? Is the unconscious thought stronger, more specific, or just something that has more of an influence on what you are thinking than feeling. Thoughts might have a better influence on other thoughts then they do on emotions (and emotions might have a better influence on emotion then they do on thought). Think of it this way, if you are doing something, but you "feel" like you don't want to do it, that isn't going to stop you from doing it as much as you thinking unconsciously over and over that you don't want to do it. The thinking in that instance seems like it is just more intense than the emotion, but not necessarily "felt" as much since it is just thought, not feeling. It has more of an influence over your actions, however, and maybe would generate anxiety instead of emotion. It is like the unconscious thought in that instead comes from your understanding that you don't want to do that activity, and since understanding is a function of thought, you would say that your unconscious thoughts are stopping you from doing it more than your emotions are stopping you.]

Therefore emotion, thought and feeling are really just periods of focus on certain things. With thought you just recognize what it is that you are focusing on. With emotions you feel deeply about what you are focusing on, and with feelings you are focusing on it less. Physical stimulus also results in feelings, and then you focus on those feelings, you aren’t necessarily focused on what caused the feelings (the physical stimulus itself) however. [This ties into the idea that someone can only pay attention to a few number of things at once (including emotion and thought) because if you are focused on one thing, you are probably going to be less focused on something else.]

Thus life is really just different types of feelings; you could categorize all of life as feeling. Even when you think you are in a period when you’re not feeling anything, you really are feeling something; you just don’t recognize what it is that you are feeling. Remember that feelings are thoughts you can’t identify. And since a thought is going to be about something, another way to think about life is just stuff happening. Stuff happening results in feelings in your brain, where more stuff happens. It is all-concrete. [And stuff happens all the time, so you are probably going to be feeling something more than you can recognize when you are feeling something.]

The definition of intellect and thoughts is almost understanding (those concrete things). Emotion is feeling, completely separate from facts or information. All facts and information are going to be about things that cause feeling, however, since all things that happen cause feelings and all facts and information are about things that happen. So facts and information are just feelings organized in a logical manner. [Unless the fact doesn't generate feeling, but most things cause feelings.] Intellect and thought also generates feelings when those thoughts are processed in your mind. Since thought is really only about feelings, it is logical that thought actually has root in feelings. For example, all events are really feelings in the mind, so thoughts are actually just comparing feelings. You take two feelings and can arrive at one thought. Take the feeling of a frog moving and the feeling of a threat of danger. The two feelings combined equal the idea or thought that the frog needs to move when there is danger – the thought is actually just understanding how feelings interact. All thought is is the understanding of how feelings and real events interact with themselves. Feeling is what provides the motivation to arrive at the answer (the thought). If you just had the facts, there is a threat, and the frog can jump, you aren’t going to arrive at the conclusion that the frog should jump away. You need to take the feeling that there is a threat and the feeling that the frog can jump and then combine the two sensory images in your head to arrive at the answer. [It is like the feeling provides the motivation, without emotion thought really wouldn't be possible because there would be no need to arrive at any conclusions.]

That shows how all intellect is powered and motivated by emotion. It also shows that frogs have thoughts; the frog has to have the thought to jump away when it sees a threat, as a thought is just the combination of two feelings resulting in the resulting feeling of wanting to move away. That process of feelings is like a thought process. Thoughts are a little different for humans, however, because humans have such a large memory that they are able to compare this experience to all the other experiences in their life while the frog only remembers the current situation and is programmed (brain wiring) to jump away. The frog doesn’t have a large enough memory to learn from new information and change its behavior. That shows how humans are very similar to frogs in how they process data (in one way at least), and that one thing that separates a human from a frog is a larger memory which can store lots of useful information and potential behavioral patterns. [That brings up the question, exactly how good is a frogs memory? It can make its way around a pool without hitting the same spot over and over, so it lasts at least a few minutes. But that is memory for simple things, it isn't smart enough (remember from the logic chapter) to process more complicated data to remember. On the other hand, humans really don't do complicated stuff most of the time, so we are very similar to frogs).]

Thoughts, especially in humans, are not that independent – they can be much more complicated and it can appear to be that nothing is as it seems. If someone says to you, “I know x”. He isn’t just saying that he knows x, but there is a chain of other thoughts that also occur in your mind. You analyze the statement he made and it causes you to think automatically, “Do I know x too?” “Why does he think I care that he knows x?” “Is there anything else about x that is significant that I am missing?” “What if this other person is smarter than me?” that doesn’t lead to a feeling of being dumb (it might), instead it leads to another concrete thing “maybe I am stupid” or the thought “maybe that person is stupid” interacting with the thought “because that thing he said was wrong”. So one simple thought for a human can mean much much more than that one thought. That example shows another way in which humans are different from frogs – they are capable of more simultaneous thoughts. It is also the memory working hand in hand with that capacity of simultaneous thought as well, if you had no memory then you wouldn’t have information to compare and bring up those simultaneous thoughts. [Remember that thoughts can lead to and are sometimes emotions (unconscious ones), so that example of the unconscious thought process was really an emotion - worry. It was worse than just worrying though, it was worrying about specific things, so the emotion was of a more specific type then just worry. Thus there isn't just one emotion of "worry" but there is "worry about your intelligence, etc".]

They can all be moving at the same time as well, not only does one thought follow another; but it occurs instantaneously. If the thing the person said was something you didn’t know, it might make you feel stupid, thus the thought results in a feeling. But that feeling can be translated to a thought. So it isn’t the feeling, “I am stupid” it is the thought “I am stupid”. Feeling stupid might make you feel bad, but it isn’t just that you are feeling bad, you are also thinking over and over “I am stupid” unconsciously, and that is what is making you feel bad. Or you are paying attention to the fact that you are stupid. Thus thought, feeling, and emotion is just paying attention to different things in your head. Concrete things. [In other words, all emotions are not only real things, but it could be said that all emotions have a source, since they are real things.]

It is a little more complicated than that, however. It is going to be a mix of a lot of concrete thoughts interacting with each other, not just the thought “I am stupid” repeated over and over but maybe also a less intense idea of “well I know x and y that that person doesn’t, maybe this was just one event”. So anything that is said or done is possibly followed by a long series of unconscious thoughts and thought processes. [Or, there might be many implications to any one thought. (there might not be, however, like you could relate almost anything to sex, but in reality that isn't necessary).]

There were two examples of thoughts, one was with the frog and the danger of a threat, and the other was a questioning of ones intellect relative to someone else. The example with the frog was an example of a thought process that was simple, while the example with the person showed how some thought processes can be much more complicated than they appear.

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • It is stated first that use of emotion and thought requires attention, and therefore they both cause feelings, and if they both cause feelings then they are going to be similar in nature. Your intellect (or ability to do things which are real) is going to generate feelings just like emotions do.
  • Feelings can result in thoughts – this was shown with the frog example, the frog has the thought “jump” which comes from the feeling of a threat of danger, and the feeling of it’s understanding that it can jump. That shows how thoughts can be encouraged by feelings and mixed in with them.
  • Thought is also powered by feeling in other ways, as when you are nervous that you didn’t understand something, your feelings then cause you to think nervous things like “do I know that too?, does he think I care that he knows that?” Those thoughts are a function of intelligence, because they are causing you to think about real things, which is what intelligence is. [Therefore feeling is also a function of intelligence, since feelings are about real things, and intellect causes you to think real things, and feeling is unconscious thought.]

Emotions and Feelings and the Difference Between them

Emotion is more similar to conscious thought than feelings are to conscious thought. Although emotion and feeling can be described as unconscious thought, one of them is going to be more similar to conscious thought. Feelings are more like sensations, when you touch something you get a feeling. Therefore feelings are faster than emotions and thought, because when you touch something there is a slight delay before you can think of something about it (thought), or feel something deeply about it (emotion). Emotion is therefore just unconscious thought. Actually it would better be described as unconscious feeling (so a feeling is like a conscious emotion because you can "feel" it better and easier but emotion is a deeper, more unconscious experience similar to unconscious thought, but emotions are also more similar to conscious thought because thought is a deep experience while feelings are intense or shallow, but not deep). [So you feel emotions, but you also feel feelings, only feelings are more tangible (since they relate more to physical things and sensations, which cause feelings directly, not emotions). An emotion can come from something like a sight or sound or touch, but only after you have felt it as a feeling, so it is really the feeling that is causing the emotion. That also shows how the emotion is going to take longer to kick in, since it is a result of the feeling.]

One definition of emotion can be "any strong feeling". From that description many conclusions can be drawn. Basic (or primary) emotions can be made up of secondary emotions like love can contain feelings or emotions of lust, love and longing. Feelings can be described in more detail than emotions because you can have a specific feeling for anything, each feeling is unique and might not have a name. For instance, if you are upset by one person that might have its own feeling because that person upsets you in a certain way. That feeling doesn't have a defined name because it is your personal feeling. The feeling may also be an emotion, say anger. "Upset" is probably too weak to be an emotion, but that doesn't mean that it isn't strong like emotions are strong in certain ways. Cold is also just a feeling. There is a large overlap between how feelings feel and how emotions feel, they are similar in nature. So there are only a few defined emotions, but there are an infinite number ways of feeling things. You can have a "small" emotion of hate and you could say that you have the feeling hate then, if it is large you could say you are being emotional about hate, or are experiencing the emotion hate. You can have the same emotion of hate in different situations, but each time the feeling is going to be at least slightly different.

You can recognize any feeling, that is what makes it a feeling. If you are sad that is a feeling, but if you are depressed that isn’t a feeling it is more like an emotion. You can’t identify why you are depressed but you can usually identify why you are sad. Feelings are more immediate, if something happens or is happening, it is going to result in a feeling. However, if something happened a long time ago, you are going to think about it unconsciously and that is going to bring up unconscious feelings (the reason the things that happened previously are going to be more similar to emotion than things that are happening currently is that sensory stimulation (or things happening currently) is a lot closer to feelings than things that are less linked to direct sensory stimulation (such as emotions which are therefore usually going to be about things which require memory to figure out, things like thoughts that are less like feelings and more like emotion)). So emotions are unconscious feelings that are the result of mostly unconscious thoughts (instead of feelings – a feeling can trigger an emotion, but it isn’t a part of it). Feeling defined there as something you can identify. Also, you can’t identify the unconscious thought that caused the unconscious feeling, but you can identify the unconscious feeling itself (aka emotion). [Memory isn't the only thing that is going to be more similar to an emotion than a feeling. Any type of thinking, (emotional thinking or non-emotional thinking) or using logic would be more like emotions since thought is deeper than feeling. Those things still generate feelings, or are in part feelings. You can't say when you bring up a memory you don't feel anything, but since this memory is less tangible than something which you are currently experiencing, it is going to be more like an emotion. It requires thought to bring up, so that is a deep experience because thought is deep, which makes it more like an emotion (because emotions are deep) but it is lacking a feeling of "realness" or reality. Thought probably also lacks that feeling, because thought is just something in your head, not something which you can feel like a physical object.]

Another aspect of unconscious thought, emotion, or unconscious feeling (all three are the same) is that it tends to be mixed into the rest of your system because it is unconscious. If it was conscious then it remains as an individual feeling, but in its unconscious form you confuse it with the other emotions and feelings and it affects your entire system. So therefore most of what people are feeling is just a mix of feelings that your mind cannot separate out individually. That is the difference between sadness and a depression, a depression lowers your mood and affects all your feelings and emotions, but sadness is just that individual feeling. So the reason that the depression affects all your other feelings is because you can no longer recognize the individual sad emotions that caused it. The feelings become mixed. If someone can identify the reason they are sad then they become no longer depressed, just sad. Once they forget that that was the reason they are depressed however, they will become depressed again. [It is like the depressed emotion transfers to a sad feeling. That makes sense since you can only concentrate on a few things at one time, so if you are feeling it as a feeling, you are going to ignore it as an emotion.]

That is why an initial event might make someone sad, and then that sadness would later lead into a depression, is because you forget why you originally got sad. You might not consciously forget, but unconsciously you do. That is, it feels like you forget, the desire to get revenge on whatever caused the sadness fades away. When that happens it is like you “forgetting” what caused it. You may also consciously forget but what matters is how much you care about that sadness. It might be that consciously understanding why you are depressed or sad changes how much you care about your sadness, however. That would therefore change the emotion/feeling of sadness. The more you care about the sadness/depression, the more like a feeling it becomes and less like an emotion. That is because the difference between feelings and emotions is that feelings are easier to identify (because you can “feel” them easier). [And if you care about something, you are making it more important in your mind, so you are elevating that emotion into a feeling, the emotion might still be there, but you can also feel it as a feeling. In fact, if you focus on one of your emotions it becomes a feeling because you are then feeling it better since you're focused on it. This idea can be applied to various degrees of focus, you can be focused long-term (hours, minutes, whatever) on an emotion or be caring about that emotion (not just short term (seconds)), and you would "feel" it more. Or some circumstance could occur that is negative or positive causing you to think about that emotion.]

The following is a good example of the transition from caring about a feeling to not caring about a feeling. Anger as an emotion takes more energy to maintain, so if someone is punched or something, they are only likely to be mad for a brief period of time, but the sadness that it incurred might last for a much longer time. That sadness is only going to be recognizable to the person punched for a brief period of time as attributable to the person who did the punching, after that the sadness would sink into their system like a miniature depression. Affecting the other parts of their system like a depression. [Depressions are so deep that they probably cause you to feel bad in many ways. Lowing of mood because of depression shows how it can affect all your emotions and "depress" them.]

In review, both feelings and emotions are composed of unconscious thoughts, but feelings are easier to identify than emotions. Feelings are faster than emotions in terms of response (the response time of the feeling, how fast it responds to real world stimulation) and it takes someone less time to recognize feelings because they are faster. Feelings are closer to sensory stimulation, if you touch something, you feel it and that is a fast reaction. You care about the feeling so you can separate it out in your head from the other feelings. “You care” in that sentence could be translated into, the feeling is intense, so you feel it and can identify it easily. That is different from consciously understanding why you are depressed or sad. You can consciously understand why you are depressed or sad, but that might or might not affect the intensity of that sadness. [That brings up the idea that although thought clearly affects how much you are feeling, how much can thought affect emotion? Since emotion is deeper it is going to be harder to affect it with just thought than feelings are to affect. But if the thought is significant, or powerful, it could trigger strong emotions. Any thought can trigger a feeling, since feeling is shallow, but to pull someone's emotions it might take more.]

If the intensity of the sadness is brought up enough, then you can feel that sadness and it isn’t like a depression anymore, it is more like an individual feeling than something that affects your mood and brings your system down (aka a depression). Also, if you clearly enough understand what the sadness is then it is going to remain a sadness and not affect the rest of your system. That is because the feeling would get mixed in with the other feelings and start affecting them. The period of this more clear understanding of the sadness mostly occurs right after the event that caused the sadness. That is because it is clear to you what it is. Afterwards the sadness might emerge (or translate from a depression, to sadness) occasionally if you think about what caused it or just think about it in general. [So when someone says "I'm sad" that is different from saying "I'm depressed". Depression isn't like an emotion, it is something that is long term, that you notice a lowered mood, or many individual instances of sadness, but you cannot "feel" a depression like you feel an emotion, it isn't as real in real time.]

The difference between emotion and feeling is that feelings are easier to identify because they are faster, a feeling is something you are feeling right then. An emotion might be a deeper experience because it might affect more of you, but that is only because it is mixed into the rest of your system. That is, a depression affects more of you than just an isolated feeling of sadness. In other words, people can only have a few feelings at a time, but they can have many emotions at the same time. Emotions are mixed in, but to feel something you have to be able to identify what it is, or it is going to be so intense that you would be able to identify what it is. Emotions just feel deeper because it is all your feelings being affected at once. [At least, that is what it feels like is happening. A feeling is isolated and strong, but an emotion is more complicated and broad and far reaching.]

Since emotion is all your feelings being affected at once, emotions are stronger than feelings. Feelings however are a more directed focus. When you feel something you can always identify what that one thing is. When you have an emotion, the emotion is more distant, but stronger. All your feelings must feel a certain way about whatever is causing the emotion. So that one thing is affecting your entire system. Feelings can then be defined as immediate unconscious thought, and emotions as unconscious thought.

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • Feelings are more direct than emotions and thought because they are more sensory – when you touch something you get a feeling. That shows further how emotions are really about things in the real world, only it is more like you are thinking about them instead of feeling them in real time. Things that come from memory are going to be emotions and/or thoughts, not feelings because feelings are things which are more tangible, those memories might result in new feelings, but the memories themselves are not feelings because they are just thoughts. That shows how you can feel some things more than others, that thought and feeling are indeed separate and intelligence is sometimes driven by feelings and emotions, and sometimes it isn’t. You can think about things and not have feelings guiding those thoughts, or your feelings could be assisting your thoughts.
  • If you care about a feeling then it becomes easier to identify it – that shows how your feelings can help you to identify other feelings, so your emotions contribute to your emotional intelligence.
  • If a certain emotion is larger than others then to your intellect it is going to be easier to recognize, and easier to think about (that is why a depression feels like it does, because you don’t know the individual emotions contributing to it so you cannot feel a specific emotion of sadness from it.

Emotions are Dulled Feelings

Feelings are more immediate than emotions, they are easier to identify and are “faster”. You can also have only a few feelings at a time but your emotions are possibly composed of many more components. That is, you can have a feeling about a Frisbee, and you can have a feeling about a Frisbee game as well. But if you have emotions about the Frisbee game then in order to get those strong emotions there would have to be many things you are feeling about the Frisbee game. [Since emotions are deeper, they are harder to get to than feelings. The stronger the emotional experience, the deeper the emotion it is going to evoke. So something like a Frisbee game might evoke emotions, but just sitting on a couch might not.]

So one could think of emotions as just more than feelings. Emotions are greater than feelings and therefore they must have more parts in order to cause that greater feeling. Feelings are easy to understand because they are simple, but emotions are harder to understand because they are more complicated. A moody person would be described as emotional because emotion is a component of mood. Emotion is something that affects your entire system like a depression does. A feeling such as sadness is only an individual feeling and can be identified as such. [So our person sitting on the couch might be feeling happy, but this happiness is going to be limited because they aren't doing anything intense, so they might not be as emotional.]

If something is intense, then it is a feeling, emotions aren’t intense they are deep. They aren’t as intense as feelings but you could call them intense. Feelings are more intense because that is how we define feelings, if you can feel something then it is a feeling because, well, you “feel” it. Emotion is just something that affects you, your mood, how you are, etc. That is why feelings are easier to identify, because they are more intense. Emotions are deeper, however, when someone becomes emotional you can’t just snap out of it instantly, it hangs around in your system. That is why they are probably made up of more parts than feelings are. [The simpler the emotion, the faster it would probably take to process. You could dwell on something simple, but you'd probably have to be more interested in it for it to stick, instead of it hanging around naturally because you are trying to figure it out.]

The reason feelings are both more intense yet shallower than emotions is probably because your system can only handle so much intensity at a time, so you can only experience shallow things intensely. If you compare it to a river, emotions would have a lot of water and be going slowly, and feelings would have less water, but be going faster. The feeling is therefore going to touch more things in your mind shallowly, and the emotion is going to touch more things in your mind deeply.

Why then do some simple things cause us to become more emotional if emotion is a deeper experience? That is because the feeling must trigger emotions, the simple thing is actually a feeling itself, but it triggers emotions. Like how color can be more emotional than black and white. It is actually that color causes more feeling, and we become emotional then about that feeling. But while you are looking at the color it is a feeling which you are feeling, not an emotion. The feeling made you feel good, however, and that good feeling infects the rest of your feelings and emotions, and then you become emotional.

In fact, all feelings make someone more emotional. The only difference between feeling and emotion is that feeling is the immediate feeling you get from something. It is the thing which you are experiencing currently. Feeling is another word for current stimulation. You can only feel something that you are either thinking about or experiencing. Otherwise you aren’t really feeling it, and it is an emotion. That is why the word feeling is the word feeling, because you can feel it intimately, closely.

How is it then that emotions are generally considered to be deeper? That is because with emotions you are actually feeling more, you just aren’t as in touch with what it is that you are feeling. So you would experience the effects of having a lot of feeling, such as heavy breathing, crying, laughing, they would be things that make all your other feelings and emotions feel the same way. However your mind isn’t intensifying that experience because it would be too much for you to handle. Therefore emotion is just many feelings (or one strong feeling) that is dulled down, and it would actually be a stronger feeling(s), you just can only experience it fully as an emotion. You can also probably experience parts of that emotion as feelings since parts of it are going to be less intense than the whole, and you can “feel” them then. [So if you're processing something complicated, you are not capable of separating out individual aspects of that easily to make them into feelings. You can't have feelings about everything in it since it is so intense, but you can have a dulled emotion of the entire thing, which would be like a summary of all the feelings of it. It might be that an isolated feeling from it arises, but too many can't arise at once because that just isn't possible. Humans can only feel so many strong feelings at one time.]

So people can basically only “feel” or focus on small amounts of feeling. If it is a feeling that is very large it becomes an emotion with more parts. It isn’t that this emotion isn’t as deep as the feeling, it is actually deeper, but you simply cannot comprehend the entire emotion at once to “feel” it like you feel feelings. You can bring up feelings from memory (by thinking about sensory stimulation) but those types of feelings are going to be less direct and therefore more like emotions (less intense) than current, direct sensory stimulation that you are feeling in the real world. [Since it is easier to focus on feelings, they are probably are going to be easier to identify too. Maybe all emotion is really feeling. Maybe when you think about your emotions, they become feelings because then you can feel them because you're thinking about them. And when you think about emotions you were having in the past (not current real time) then you feel them too, and have the misconception that they were feelings and you were feeling them, but really they were more dulled down because you weren't thinking about those emotions as much as you are now. So maybe emotion is more of an unconscious experience than feeling, which is more conscious. Since feeling is more conscious, it is more a function of conscious thought. Thought is a period of attention to something, and since you pay attention to feelings, it is almost like you think about your feelings consciously. That differs from emotions, which, since they are deeper and less "in touch" with your conscious mind, it is like you are thinking about them unconsciously. So any feeling, emotion, you could say you "feel" it or "think" about it, the two are almost the same. The difference is that when you are "thinking" about it you are slightly more consciously aware of it because you are paying it more attention then when you are just "feeling" it. That shows how feelings are shallower than thought. However, emotions can be very deep and meaningful, they just aren't completely consciously understood. In fact, since emotions are harder to figure out than feelings since they are more complicated and deeper, most of what people see when you look at you are probably emotions, since you are mostly made up of deep emotions, you're just not feeling them all the time. Someone would have an "emotional makeup" that determines who they are, not a "feeling makeup", because feelings are more short term and shallow, something like, "I felt that" versus "That is an important part of me".]

Just as feelings can generate emotions, emotions can also generate feelings. For example, something like a fly buzzing might generate the feeling of annoyance, and this feeling might generate the emotion sad. You respond to the feeling first because feelings are faster and more immediate than emotions. An example of an emotion generating a feeling would be being sad that you are depressed. The depression is more of an emotion than the sadness because it is deeper and "slower" but the sadness is more like a feeling because it can be more immediate (it can also be an emotion, but in this example it is a feeling). [Feelings and emotions are going to be mixed in a lot too, like most feelings probably feel emotional to some extent.]

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • If emotions are dulled feelings then your mind is capable of taking feelings and making them into emotions, and vice versa. That means that a part of intelligence is your ability to control your own feelings and emotions and thoughts.

Emotions and Feelings are Broad Thoughts

Any emotion or feeling can be broken down into the sensations and real events that caused it. And you can think about any of those things (with thoughts).

A thought is thinking about something in specific. You can have a thought about an entire paragraph, but it is going to be just a thought, it is going to be about one thing, and that one thing might be a summary of the paragraph - but it is still a thought. So what we think of as thought is really just a short period of thinking - one unit of thinking that lasts for a short period of time. An essay is composed of many thoughts, but just one thought would be “I went to the store”. [So you can think about the paragraph, that might also be a thought even though you might not be thinking in sentences. You could have just read the paragraph and be visualizing what happened in it, or thinking deeply about it without using words.]

Then again, “I went to the store, and Jason followed me” might be considered one thought as well. So how long exactly is a thought? If it is longer than “I went to the store, and Jason followed me” then it is probably going to be considered multiple thoughts. Thus humans use the word thought as just a short period of time in thinking. [A thought could also be a group of similar things that go together, or multiple things that are different, if either fits into the short period of time of thinking you could call both just one thought.]

Thoughts are in general talked about as being verbal, people rarely think of emotions and feelings as thoughts. But emotions and feelings are thoughts if you think about that emotion and feeling. The short period of time in which you think about the emotion or feeling is a thought. So thoughts can be about emotions and feelings. They are just harder to identify because they aren’t verbal. [The question is, when someone is thinking about a feeling or a thought, do they really know what they are doing? Do you know what the feeling is, what caused it, how strong it is, if there are other feelings involved? Feelings and emotions are obscure.]

The reason that verbal things are easier to identify is because they are distinct sounds (that we have definitions for). Distinct sounds, different sounds, are easy to separate. It is easy to identify one sound from another sound, and that is all words are, different sounds. So it could be that someone is talking and you don’t have any thoughts about them talking, or you are not thinking about them talking. In that case you just aren’t listening to them, or you are not paying attention to the sounds they are making. [If words are just sounds, then what are thoughts? You identify a thought by "feeling" the thought, so thoughts are really just feelings. They are going to be more specific than a feeling, however, since you probably are going to know what the thought is about.]

So thought then is really just any short period of high attention. And thinking is long or short periods of high attention. So if you are thinking for more than a few seconds, then you are probably going to be thinking about several thoughts. Since you can think about emotions and feelings too, however, you can think about your emotions or feelings for long periods of time. [So if you have a strong emotion for a while, you could say that you were thinking about that emotion for a while, since you were just paying a lot of attention to it since it was strong, and a thought is when you pay attention to something.]

Just as thinking is made up of individual components of thought, feeling, or emotion, each of those components is made up of their own further components. In fact, when you think about an emotion or feeling you intensify that feeling or emotion a lot. Each emotion, however, is made up of experiences in the real world. The real world can include thoughts and feelings in your head as well. [So you could be emotional about a string of things you were thinking, or feeling, not just be emotional about real things.]

So emotions, feelings and thoughts are made up of real experiences. A thought isn’t just a thing in your head, but it is something that has components that are real in the world. Those things might be sounds (when you think about someone speaking, you make that sound in your head). A sound in your head is just like a sound in reality, you are mimicking the emotion that the sound in reality is causing in your head by yourself, without having the real sound be there. Just try it and think about any sound, it produces the same emotions as when the sound itself occurred outside your head. [So even though emotion and thought is made up of real experiences, all of these experiences are processed in your mind. That makes the experience a matter of perception and your personal view, in other words, you are going to feel some way about everything. Nothing is just "reality" but it is "what you felt about reality".]

So a thought in the end boils down to you thinking about sensations, any sensation, taste, touch, sound, smell, feeling, or emotion. How can a thought be of emotion? Aren’t thoughts supposed to be specific and quantifiable? Well a thought about an emotion is basically a summary of that emotion. If you played Frisbee and you get an emotion from playing Frisbee, then that emotion is a summary of the things in which you remember about playing Frisbee. The same goes with feelings. The feeling you have about something is really all the feelings that that thing causes in you, and when you focus on different aspects of that feeling, you are focusing on different aspects of the real experience which caused the feeling. [So an emotion of an experience is what you got out of that experience, if you only get an emotion from part of the experience, when you think about the entire experience you are probably going to focus more on the emotional part.]

So when you think about an emotion you are intensifying the feeling of those real experiences. You have no conscious idea of which parts of the feeling you are thinking about, however. Maybe if you think about directly different parts of the real experience you can link it up to different parts of its emotion. [If you think about a part of the experience it might generate an emotion, but that might not be the same emotion as the emotion that stayed with you about that experience, the feelings you have about the experience in real time might be different from how you feel about it later on.]

Thus any emotion or feeling can be broken down into the sensations and real events that caused it. And you can think about any of those things (with thoughts). You can also think about those things as individual thoughts. A thought isn’t just a short period of your attention, but it is a short period of your attention during which you are trying to think about something (at least it feels like you are trying, you could not be trying and have a thought). Your natural attention span varies, but if you think about something you can boost that attention, you are trying to boost that attention on something specific or something broad (like an emotion). [If thought is attention to something, then people are really thinking all the time, since they are always paying attention to something.]

Emotions and feelings are so intense, however, that it is like you are trying to focus your attention on them. So emotions, feelings, and thoughts are all periods of focused attention. A thought is just more focused attention than a feeling or emotion (unless it is a thought about a feeling or an emotion, in which case it is going to be even more attention than the feeling or thought or emotion by itself since it is a combination). [So you could make an experience very intense by having intense thought, and intense emotion involved.]

So emotions, feelings, and thoughts are all related, they are all things that you pay more attention to. And since emotion and feelings are made up of stuff which occurs in the real world, you could label each one of those things which occurs in the real world a thought, and say that emotions are made up of thoughts, or are broad thoughts. That is, you pay attention to your thoughts, and you pay attention to your emotions, so you could say that emotions are just a bunch of individual thoughts squished into one thing.

What then is the difference between a thought and an emotion? Emotions are usually more intense and therefore last longer in your brain when you think about them, or “bring them up”. You usually can only bring them up by thinking about them, however. Other things might bring up an emotion, like other emotions or other feelings, consciously or unconsciously. The same with feelings and thoughts. [So you have less control over emotions then you do over thoughts. If you bring up an emotion it might linger for a while. Sometimes it is hard to have control over thoughts, however.]

People "bring up" emotions, feelings and thoughts in various ways. One way to bring up an emotion would be using thought, such as thinking "I like my dog" would bring up the emotion of the dog. You could also think directly about the emotion of the dog without using the verbal discourse, however. This could also be described as just "feeling", "feeling out" or "being emotional about" your dog. A feeling could also bring up a thought (and all the other combinations of "bringing up" between thoughts, feelings and emotions). They might also be concurrent, that is, when you have one emotion there is an associated feeling with it (and the other combinations of that with feelings, thoughts and emotions). Don't forget that one of those combinations is that thoughts can also bring up or be concurrent with other thoughts (as with feelings and emotions).

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • Since emotions are made up of many parts which are real, then intelligence is ultimately just your ability to manipulate real things, and therefore your emotions are going to determine what it is is in your mind, and give a larger pool of things for your intellect to explore.

Emotion vs. Logic

What is the difference between logic and emotion? When someone says that they are “emotional” which emotions do they mean? I guess they mean that they experience all emotions more. They could specify further, however, and say which emotions they experience more, which emotions they are more prone to.

If someone is emotional does that mean that they enjoy life more? What if someone was emotional, but only experienced positive emotions more than most people, and didn’t experience negative emotions. Then that person would be happier I guess. Unless they separated out the emotions joy and sadness and just talked about those. Can you be an emotional person and just have excess amounts of the emotion happy? So anyone just “happy” is therefore being emotional. You’d probably be a lot more emotional if you were happy and sad at the same time however (the mix of the two would drive someone mad most likely, however). [If you look at it that way, theoretically everyone is emotional, since everyone experiences emotion. So being emotional then might mean that you experience emotions a lot. Is it a big difference in life between someone who experiences emotions most of the time versus someone who experiences little? Theoretically someone doesn't need emotions to live (they could just act like they have emotions, and respond in a similar way, but necessarily have them) so then I guess it doesn't matter if someone is non-emotional.]

Happy and sad seem to be the two strongest emotions. They are stronger than fear, anger, surprise, disgust, acceptance, and curiosity. That would make anyone bipolar (experiencing swings from happy to sad) very emotional. Does the swing mean that someone is more emotional than just experiencing one at a time? The emotional change is hard I think and that is more of an experience than just being very happy all the time, so the change from happy to sad is what adds the emotion in. That is, your body goes through changes as it experiences major emotional changes. [Generating emotion from just your own emotions changing doesn't seem like a "real" source of emotion. It seems like that is just causing unnecessary stress. What then is "real" emotion? (probably emotion that has a real source) Does emotion even need to be real? Wouldn't then all excessive emotions (like in fights) be considered to be non-real since they are just ramping up their own tempers/emotions?]

There are two degrees of change in emotion however; one is a major change from depression to mania (which is what bipolar is). Another is just your ordinary change from sad to happy, which can occur many times in a day. So if someone is manic or depressed are they being more emotional than someone who is just happy or just sad? [Emotional in a different way.]

Symptoms of mania ("The highs"):

  • Excessive happiness, hopefulness, and excitement
  • Sudden changes from being joyful to being irritable, angry, and hostile
  • Restlessness
  • Rapid speech and poor concentration
  • Increased energy and less need for sleep
  • High sex drive
  • Tendency to make grand and unattainable plans
  • Tendency to show poor judgment, such as deciding to quit a job
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Increased impulsivity

The symptoms of bipolar depression are the same as those of major depression and include:

  • Sadness
  • Loss of energy
  • Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
  • Loss of enjoyment from things that were once pleasurable
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Uncontrollable crying
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Irritability
  • Increased need for sleep
  • Insomnia or excessive sleep
  • A change in appetite causing weight loss or gain
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Attempting suicide

I don’t think that people with the two extremes of mania and depression are any more emotional than people who are just happy or sad. That is because being too happy or too sad shuts off the other emotions people would experience like anger, fear, disgust, surprise, acceptance, and curiosity. Why does it? Because with all the other symptoms of mania and depression, there isn’t really any room left for emotions other than happy and sad, a person’s system can only handle so much emotion. If you are crying all the time (like you would if you were severely depressed) there isn’t any more room for you to experience other emotions. Or if you are as happy as you can be, you’re probably too out of it (in your happy land) to think about anything else. [That ties into previously discussed how you can only feel a few feelings at once, pay attention to a few things at once, and not think a lot and feel a lot at the same time.]

A person could be happy or sad and be less emotional than someone with mania or depression, however. But a person (if they were experiencing the other emotions other than happy and sad) could be just as emotional as someone with mania or depression. Although those people may be crying or have expressions of extreme glee on their faces, happy and sad are not the only emotions someone can experience and therefore they may not be as emotional. [Someone is so happy when they are manic, that it might not be like an emotion entirely, but more like a thought/emotion because you are so focused on the happiness that it is like you are thinking about it (remember we defined thought as a period of high attention).]

Emotion means that you are feeling something; if you are feeling emotions other than happy and sad, then wouldn’t the other emotions (if they were positive) increase the happy emotion and you then have a happy emotion that is larger than the other positive emotions you are experiencing? I guess that would be happy, but it would probably lead to overload. That is why it makes sense that people who are emotional experience a range of emotions from happy to sad ones, so that if they just experienced happy ones it would lead to too much happiness causing overload. [Remember there isn't just the few basic emotions, but there is a variation of each emotion based on the circumstance. In each circumstance there is going to be a different emotion because something happened that was different. The emotion is based off of the real experience, if you are worried in one situation, that worry is going to be different in another situation (but both are still the emotion worry). That shows how you can be very emotional without the emotions happy and sad.]

Why would emotions be balanced, why not just have only positive emotions? Because if you are curious, your curiosity is going to backfire when there is a failure (you’d be curious in a failure). Or if you are overly surprised, you would be just as surprised at a bad thing happening as you would as a good thing happening, leading to being happy and sad. Or if you got angry at something, you are then likely to become pleased by the opposite thing happening, so the emotions tend to balance out.

So is it really that the positive and negative emotions balance out? It is probably too hard for your mind to wait to become emotional at things that are only going to lead it to become happy. That is, you would have to consciously say to each thing, ah that is a positive emotion, I can have that emotion now. It seems more natural that when something bad happens, you get more upset, and when something good happens, you get happier. So you don’t have to calculate and spend time to assess if you should “feel” in those instances. [Someone might be emotional and respond better to happy emotions, but then they would get more upset when something bad happened.]

That is a good way to size people up, assess how happy they get from what things, and how sad they get from other things. Why is it that happy and sad are the two strongest emotions (or at least the most important)? It seems that way because all the other emotions follow suit with them. When someone is happier they are likely to be more curious, or more accepting. When someone is sad it also makes him or her less reactive to things (the surprise emotion).

The other emotions don’t occur as much as well. You can easily be happy or sad all the time, no matter what you are doing, but the other emotions need to fit into what you are doing. Like the emotion curiosity needs something to be curious in, and the emotion disgust needs something to be disgusted by. When you are doing nothing the emotion you are going to feel most of the time is just plain happy or sad, thus those two emotions are also our “idling” emotions (when we are idle we have them). [So every object even might have its own emotion that you can't really label as one of the general emotions. Even those emotions, every emotion, is going to make you feel happy, sad, or neither. It is like being happy is a conscious conclusion based on thought that the object is good, or that things are going well for you. It isn't like people are excessively happy all the time, they are probably experiencing other emotions most of the time, and since these are emotions good "think" they are happy.]

If the other emotions don’t occur as much, then why would someone be happy or sad in the first place? Are the emotions happy and sad simply the result of other emotions in your body? If that is the case, how is it possible for someone to become manic or depressed? Mania and depression are such extremes of happy and sad that other emotions can’t be experienced as well. What then is the source of that extreme happiness or sadness? [Like I said before, it seems as if they are over-inflating the emotion (probably with thought, since thought is more under their control than emotion alone).]

Either it seems like life has enough in it to justify being manic or depressed or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t then the mania and depression would arise from people just being unstable and fragile creatures, easily upset and disturbed. If it does then by a logic process one should be able to figure out the cause of their mania or depression is and solve it.

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • It could be viewed that emotion is entirely driven by intellect, that everything that you feel you feel because you are who you are, and who you are is determined by your thoughts and your own intelligence. Or it could be rephrased the opposite way, that intelligence is entirely driven by emotion for the same reasons, those viewpoints are obvious when you take emotional highs where it seems like you are acting out of control - because then you realize why it is you are having those emotions, and you are having them because of something you did (which was driven by your intellect) or something you were feeling (which is driven by your emotions). Your intellect determined how you felt the emotion, because you are your intellect, and that (you) would then determine how you feel about something that happens. Someone’s emotional template (who they are, how they respond to the world) could be viewed as being an intellectual template because intellect is understanding real things, and your emotions determine what it is that you process and how you process them.

Laws of Emotion

There is a uniform way in which emotions behave, whereby in similar instances they always respond in a similar fashion. For instance, people respond negatively to pain. “Respond negatively” means that pain makes them feel bad. It could be that someone enjoys pain, but if they do, the enjoyment would only come after the pain itself (and the bad feeling the pain generates) so they are still responding negatively to pain because the pain made them feel bad, they are just enjoying it later on. This “enjoyment” of the pain must come from thoughts, not emotions, since it occurs after the real stimulus, which was some type of physical occurrence that generated pain. By “thoughts” I don’t mean you have to think something verbal, I just mean that something about the pain meant something to you in a good way, which made you feel good. Thoughts generate emotions which are more removed from real stimulus because real stimulation is more tangible, and therefore usually generates a lot more emotion. For instance, if someone gets in a verbal fight, although the fight is verbal, they are still seeing someone else’s expression, which is probably going to be drastic, and it would be accompanied by loud sounds. It isn’t really possible to get that riled up in a debate with yourself.

Seeing the real world and any of the physical sensations is going to generate tangible emotion. If you just think about the real world that would generate less emotion then actually doing that thought in the world. This doesn’t mean that people aren’t feeling most of the time if they aren’t doing intense activity, because even just sitting around you are still taking in lots of sensory data about the real world.

In the chapter “How Emotion is Processed”, I discuss how people are more open to positive emotional experiences than negative ones. But what does that mean exactly? What is the mental significance if someone is more open to positive emotions? Since the mind only has three components of emotion, feeling and thought, the only significance it could have is either on emotion, feeling or thought. Therefore if people are more open to positive experiences, they are going to have better thoughts because of a positive experience. These better thoughts might lead to better emotions, so it would cycle, positive experience – positive emotion – positive thought – even more positive emotion because of positive thought. That might make a positive experience more drawn out then a negative one because you are “playing it up” in your head. People would naturally want to shut out negative things since negative things cause pain. In this way, very strong emotions are probably only positive, since it would take thought to make the emotion very strong. Not necessarily verbal thought, but it could just be a process of recognizing the initial emotion from the stimulus, then saying to yourself (not verbally) “ok, that is a good emotion” and then you would feel better about that. So it is like you get a good emotion, then you feel good about that good emotion, which prolongs the good feeling and deepens it.

That is very significant, because it means that events in real life can have a significance larger than that which they would immediately seem to have. Some event might have a certain immediate emotional impact, but that emotional impact might in turn have a cognitive impact on your thoughts, which would make you realize how significant that emotional event was, which might make you feel “touchy-feely” about it, or whatnot. It might even change what the initial emotional reaction is. That is, maybe it is these thought processes which determine what the immediate emotional response is to begin with. Like if someone picks on you you would feel bad, but why? It is because you think something bad is happening to you. Even if you don’t consciously think that, you unconsciously probably would, and therefore it is going to make you feel bad. But that immediate response isn’t as under our control as the longer emotional response, which is the response right after the immediate one, which you could really change because of your attitude. If your attitude is that you like being picked on, you would probably feel even worse when made fun of then if you didn’t like it. That is because if you didn’t like it you would mentally “shut off” the negative stimulus and it wouldn’t hang around as much. But then again, maybe if your attitude was strong enough that you liked being picked on, you wouldn’t feel bad if you were picked on in the first place. So it is all a matter of how you “really” feel about something that is going to determine your emotional response to it.

Pain is a little different from that, however, because your attitude isn’t going to have as big an impact on how much pain you are going to feel. The examples still show that feeling bad when picked on is a learned response, that is, it is because of your understanding that being picked on is a bad thing that makes you feel bad. That makes sense, since being picked on is a complicated emotional experience, so it would have to be processed cognitively and with thoughts (by thoughts there I just mean a thought structure in your brain, not necessarily you actually thinking). So there are things in life which can please you on a thought level, which could determine your emotional response, and other things in life that are more immediately emotional (which would mean less related to thought and complicated emotions, which are going to be more related to thought since the thought would make them more complicated). So this might mean that someone could like someone but it doesn’t make sense (to an outside observer) that they like them because they respond differently in all other circumstances. But it could be that that person is satisfying a part of the other person’s “thought structures”, like a trick in the system whereby that person makes the other person “think” that they should generate positive emotion in them, and since they think that they should make them feel good, actually would. If anyone believes sincerely enough that something is going to be good for them, then that thing probably is going to generate positive emotion.

But there are limitations, because thought can only do so much. You still need to take in the reality of life, and what actually generates “real” emotion in order feel things that are real, not created by thought. So the title of this section “rules of emotion” is misleading, because these rules can be bend and changed just based on your attitude, how you feel, and your thoughts.

The next question is, “what then generates real emotion, especially since your own thought process can make you feel different things in different ways”. The answer to that is that your thought process works along with reality, so although your thought process can change how you feel emotions, it ultimately itself is going to be based in reality. Reality would be things like, “physical pain causes emotional pain”. That is logical, if something causes physical pain you should feel bad emotionally about it. There might be a person out there who feels good about physical pain, but then the source of that good feeling would generate from that person’s philosophy of life, or attitude towards life. That is because they would be thinking at some level that pain is a good thing, and that would be generating the positive emotion. Why would someone think that pain is a good thing, however? Maybe for them, when they feel pain, people in the world respond more positively to them. So maybe they got positive reinforcement somehow from pain. They are not going to be able to change the immediate painful response when they feel something, and that is because that type of feeling is too fundamental to who they are. You can’t change something that as that fast of a reaction, because it doesn’t seem to be a mental thing that is related to thought, it just seems to be a fact of life.

Or beautiful things cause good emotions is something else that seems to be a fact of life. It is these facts of life that your thoughts determine what is good and what is bad, so that is why you are usually going to think that pain is a bad thing, because in reality it is bad. But if you get “enough” positive stimulus from pain in the real world, then maybe that could override the idea of the pain being bad for you. But the point is, all your thoughts are going to be tied into reality in the first place. Like when people pick on you you understand that is bad because that would cause you to think bad things about yourself, which makes you feel bad because then you image yourself in situations where you are a failure. Maybe that then makes you think about not getting food, starving, since in life if you are a failure you might wind up starving. There are chains of thought you cannot change based on your attitude either, and if one of those thoughts is a thing that is more tied into reality that you can’t “change” no matter your attitude, then you are going to have to base how you feel and therefore the rest of your thoughts off of that reality. Reality is going to determine your thoughts (or your thought structures which determine how “good” or “bad” something is for you), which in turn is going to determine how you feel. You can only change so much from reality.

So how do you know what you are feeling is real, if your thoughts and what you believe about the stimulus can change the feeling so much? Your thoughts are probably going to be accurate, however, and thus they are going to enhance a certain truth about the stimulus. An example of them not being accurate would be a delusion in a romantic relationship, someone thinking their mate is good at something significant, and that might raise their appreciation for that person. It might be that that only changes their view a little, that at the unconscious level you respond to how that person really is because your feelings know if that other person actually has skill. That is why it is important to identify if the feeling you are feeling is really real, if you can really feel it. Things that aren't as related to reality aren't going to be as significant as more important details. For instance, someone being a fast runner might not be as important as them being a good person. You should try to identify what qualities cause which emotions in you, and if that person really "radiates" those qualities or they aren't present at all. Like the fast runner might have a different physical presence, or they might not. Emotions should be accurate and true.

A way to test that would be to say, "what feelings does this cause me directly, not what feelings happen when I think about that thing". You can compare the feeling you get in the presence of the stimulus to the feeling you get when you think about it. When you think about it your thoughts are going to have a greater influence because you are thinking. You could also test and say, "If I thought this, what feelings would this generate in me, versus thinking that or (even better) nothing". You can say to yourself, "I am open-minded, I am going to accept the feeling this causes in me, I'm not going to let my thoughts control what the reality this is presenting is". Also, asking yourself if you really care about the stimulus might have an effect. That would be you influencing your feelings to feel less about somehing that might have otherwise generated a lot of emotion. Some things might seem exciting, but not be exciting in reality, so at first you might get into it and feel a lot of false shallow feelings, but you could recognize that those feelings aren't deep or real, you can choose to not care about them and they might go away. Remember that caring about a feeling or emotion intensifies it (that probably happens becuase you are changing how much attention you are paying to that feeling, remember thought is a period of high attention on something).

Life Occurs In Sharp Spikes

Life occurs during the brief periods of time when people are actually paying attention, in spikes.

People need to pay attention to things in order to keep their minds alive and active. They need to pay attention to little things all the time. That is why spikes occur, when people refocus their attention on little things over and over it occurs as a spike, because the new object needs to be processed as a whole and this processing takes energy in the form of a “spike”. [The key thing there is that the object needs to be processed as a whole. You pay attention to lots of little things all the time, but you only pay attention to complete things infrequently, so infrequently that when you actually do pay attention, it occurs as a spike.]

Humans cannot pay attention to everything, and the things they do pay attention to they need to “spike” their attention initially to get that object into their attention and focus. It is possible to not use spikes of attention, but if you did that then life would be boring. In order for life to be interesting people naturally spike their attention on certain things every so often (once a minute or so) to make life more exciting. Life would be boring if you never paid sharp attention to anything. Spikes of attention keep life “crisp”. [You could rephrase that as, if you never pay attention to anything, you are never going to be interested in anything. And if you actually pay attention to something, you would need to direct your attention to it at some point, putting in maximum attention so you grab it into focus, that is the spike.]

If life occurs in sharp spikes, why then doesn’t it feel like life occurs in sharp spikes? It seems pretty smooth to me. If it seems this way, then you aren’t realizing or paying attention to the complicated emotional and cognitive processes that are going on in your mind, life is not “all smooth” but there are changes in attention going on all the time. Each little thing you pay attention to (actually pay attention to that is, not just “absorb”) actually occurs as a spike in attention. This is because most of the time your attention isn’t extremely directed, but you need to make it extremely directed sometimes (once a minute or so) in order to properly stay awake. It is also because you don’t absorb every little thing, you only absorb a few things once in a while, and these things that you do absorb are the spikes. They are spikes because they are relative to most of your activity which isn’t absorbing things intently or deeply. Every minute or so you need to absorb something. That thing is the spike. [People think all the time, and since thinking is an intense activity (we defined it as a period of high attention), it needs to be supported by intense activities, and a spike is one of these activities. So you could spike your attention on a thought, or use a thought to pay attention to a vision, etc.]

When you pay attention to your attention (or what you are paying attention to) how does life feel to you? Does it feel smooth or rough? Life seems rough if you pay attention to it like that, with occasional spikes of interest in things. It is rough because there are many little fluctuations of interest in various things, but intensity is needed somewhere. This intensity comes from the spikes, otherwise life would just be rough and there wouldn’t be anything smooth. The top of the spike is smooth, however because it is clear and it lasts a little while (a few seconds or a few dozen seconds). Paying sharp attention to things allows you to have a clear mind for the time you are giving that sharper attention. It separates out all the other things and you focus more on what it is you processed. This clears your mind because you just received a lot of stimulation. In this way spikes can make life be smooth. Without spikes life would always be rough because of all the little things. But if you use a spike then life is smooth afterwards because you are satisfied. [So emotional stimulation could come from the spikes, since they are significant since you are paying a lot of attention they might generate more emotion. This emotion helps you to focus on the thing you are trying to pay attention to because you're more interested in it. Since you're paying attention to something now, you don't need to pay attention to other things, so life is smooth because you are being occupied. (not rough by lots of little things you're not really paying attention to) - that applies to various strengths of spikes, whether it is just focusing on something small or a significant amount of emotion or focus generated from something large]

Life is many small variations in attention over time. There are periods of focused attention and periods of non-focused attention. The periods of focused attention are the spikes. This is very complicated if you try to follow your own spikes because there are so many things you are “spiking” and paying sharp attention to all the time. There are three groups of things, things you pay sharp attention to, things you pay attention to, and things you don’t pay attention to. You pay sharp attention to things much less often than the other two categories, and that is why the sharp attention is a spike, because it is uncommon and doesn’t last as long as the other things, so it looks more like a spike when compared with the other two categories than a leveled plain. [You might have little spikes then, things you pay a little attention to. Most of the time you're not paying attention to things, or paying attention in a steady form. But when that attention starts it is grabbed because it is something new, and if it is something new that you're not going to be paying attention to much after processing it, then it might just be a small spike because you stop paying attention to it before your interest can grow.]

Also, people’s emotions change all the time. The change probably occurs both gradually and like a series of steps. There are so many emotions in a person’s head that some of them are going to interact with each other suddenly, causing a sudden sharp change in emotion, and others are going to interact more slowly, causing gradual changes in emotion. [So some changes might even be spikes.]

It might be that the changes are just sharp, however. You could look at the mind as a system that only changes when it gets a trigger, and that would probably mean that it only has sharp changes of emotion. However those changes wouldn’t just be sharp changes. Large, sharp changes of emotion don’t just happen by themselves, but deep emotional experiences are often followed by similar emotions that are less intense. That is, if you experience emotion A, emotion A is going to linger in your system. [That is, you would need a spike to produce a major change, but a minor change might be induced by a smaller spike (but still a spike relative to the emotion after the change) so emotional spikes would work like attentional spikes, starting with a spike because there is an initial period of interest.]

That excludes the staircase model, but there still could be something like a staircase, only instead of steps at a 90 degree angle they would be something like an 100 degree angle. With 10/360 percent being the emotions that hang around after an initiating event. That would be just emotion changes resulting from large events, however. Either a large event within your own system (something like a thought or a feeling, or a mix of thoughts and feelings), or a large external event (like something happening outside your body). [So an attentional spike might result in an emotional spike, or vice versa.] That’s because your mind needs to understand, “ok now I am sad”. As intellectual, thinking beings all major emotional events that occur in the mind need to processed intellectually (unless you’re sleeping). So in other words if you just get sadder and sadder and are not aware of it you are not going to get nearly as sad as when you realize that you are getting sadder. The points when you realize (at some level) that you are getting sadder are going to be when you start feeling a lot sadder (the steps on the downward staircase of sadness and depression).

There must be other stuff going on in the mind, however. While a clash or mix of two feelings or emotions or thoughts could be figured out, and that would probably result in a noticeable emotional change (the staircase or spike model). There are probably other things going on in your conscious or unconscious mind. That is, some things that happen to people take a long time to recover from. But the main point is, everything, whether or not is a slow, gradual change or a sudden, quick change, resulted from some mix of emotions and feelings and thoughts and external events happening.

Furthermore, any mix of those things, when they interact, is going to be a large change. That is because it is a large change relative to your normal state, which is most of the time feeling nothing, because nothing is going on most of the time. People experience events in life and things in life and they occur in individual units.

Thoughts, emotions, and feelings are the three main components of the brain. “Everything” isn’t stimulating enough to cause sharp spikes. There is vision, that is, you see things all the time, but your emotion doesn’t go up or down a lot when you close or open your eyes. Unless you are looking at something that is causing a feeling, of course. But even then that feeling is only going to last a few seconds before it dies off. Therefore vision clearly functions with the sharp spikes pattern.

The same with hearing, if you hear something interesting, there is a sharp spike of initial interest, and then it dies down to almost normal. That must mean that feelings and emotions are probably a combination of thoughts, feelings, and emotions. That you almost think about the event that is occurring, and that when you think about it there is a large spike upwards. That the combination of feeling and emotion with thought results in large spikes, which form our best and common regular life experiences. [So in other words, the spikes are like thoughts because they are a period of high attention (which we defined thought as) even though they might be mostly emotional, they can still be like thoughts as well.]

That is, you can’t really tell you are thinking about it because it isn’t verbal. But it feels like you are thinking about it during that brief time. That means that your attention is going to be focused on it, basically. Sometimes when someone is in a depression these spikes can be very large because that person is very upset. A large spike would result in emotional damage, furthering the depression, thereby causing the depression to go down like a staircase. It is easy to do emotional damage, but it can’t be repaired in a series of spikes, as it would go up gradually (still small compared to the spikes however). [So if you are going through a hard time, what makes that time hard might not just be a higher level of sadness, but there might be more complicated traumatic feelings which are intense mixed in (like spikes).]

Just think of it as fabric; damage needs to be mended, and mending takes time. It is easy to do damage to the fabric, you can only mend it slowly. No one just “snaps out” of a depression. Furthermore it is easy to stimulate the fabric, just poke it. That poke would be similar to a life experience, the poke has ripples, but the main event was the poking. [So spikes are significant beyond just the spike, they can help you to pay attention to what you spiked, or cause damage if it was a negative spike.]

The sharp spike occurrences show just how short of attention span humans have. That for brief periods we are capable of almost perfect attention, and during those periods is the height of the spikes. These spikes actually look more like lumps since they go up gradually and cause a stay in attention for a few seconds, but they are so fast that they are best called spikes. Say looking at an attractive girl/guy causes a feeling. The first few seconds you look at her/him, you are going to have perfect attention, but then it is going to die off. Everything else in life is somewhat like that, whether you are looking at your pencil, or your computer, or whatever. The item you are looking at needs to be initially processed, and your attention needs to be directed to it first off.

Everything in life needs to be processed before it enters your system, and that process is going to be a sharp spike of emotion, feeling, and thought. After you process looking at the computer you can move along to just wandering your eyes throughout the room. If you pause at any one of the things you are wandering your eyes around, you will experience a sharp spike of emotion/thought/feeling. That is, looking at things also causes emotion as well as the thought needed to direct your attention to it, if you are paying more attention to something which causes emotion, then logically you are going to feel more emotion from it.

This doesn’t mean that you aren’t thinking/feeling when you don’t pause or stop. You could say that people are thinking, feeling, and are having emotion all of the time just in amounts so small it is hard for them to detect. That these amounts only go up in sharp spikes when they actually pay attention to something either in their mind or outside it. This “paying attention” doesn’t have to be conscious or deliberate. If two feelings interact within your mind it could cause you to pay conscious or unconscious attention to them.

Something like, your girlfriend meeting your ex girlfriend would cause a clash of feelings for your new girlfriend, with feelings for your old girlfriend (possibly). But that clash of feelings wouldn’t occur in a thought spike, it would occur in an emotional spike. It would also be a slight rise of tension in the feeling between which one you like more. Also, the rise in that feeling wouldn’t be significant compared to if you thought about that feeling at the same time. When you think about the feeling it would result in a sharp spike, and that spike would last a few seconds, then die away. That is because that feeling was a potential explosive one, one that exploded when you thought about it, resulting in a spike. Also, thought about anything else, a feeling, a vision, whatever, results in lesser spikes of thoughts/feelings/emotions. That anything and everything, when thought about, is interesting for the first few seconds, but then that interest dies off. It is the same principal when you pinch yourself. When you pinch yourself the first time, it hurts the most. That is because the first time you are thinking about it a lot more, after that your interest in it dies off. Amazing how much our attention can fluctuate to cause life to occur in short, sharp spikes. [So some experiences and emotions can produce spikes easier than others. Though an emotional spike like in that example isn't a "fast" one that just grabs attention, but is one that stays around as high attention for a while. There are minor spikes when you grab your attention to something or have an emotional change, and there are longer ones where you stayed "grabbed" for a while.] The girlfriend example is different than spikes that occur more frequently all the time, when you pay attention to little things. The girlfriend example was an example of when a spike can happen, but that is a spike that you are going to notice a lot more then something like, you just refocusing on what you are typing. It is spikes like that which happen all the time so you stay focused.

Although there are spikes of emotion and feeling, spikes of thought are needed to direct attention. Not thought in the verbal sense, but thought in the sense that it is under your control and feels more similar to thoughts. Thought occurs as basically a bunch of spikes, and since people think all the time and about everything, life occurs in those spikes. They don’t feel intense because it is just thought. But basically whenever something new comes into your vision or your attention there is an initial sharp spike of interest. And if you are going to be doing the same thing for a long period of time, then it is going to take additional sharp spikes every couple of seconds or every minute to keep your attention. It is easy to test that, try and read something with the same bland expression as when you start reading it (but after your initial interest at the beginning when you notice the piece) and you just can’t do it. To maintain attention your mind needs to snap back to what it is paying attention to. Feelings and emotions are going to follow the thought, however (that is emotions and feelings are imbedded in thoughts). That is why people need to think all the time, to maintain a healthy level of mental activity, it is a part of life. Emotions and feelings can also be described as thoughts, however, so those spikes continue even after you stop thinking, just in the form of emotion-feeling-thoughts (they are still more similar to thoughts however since they are short and spiky). [So a "thought" is required to direct attention. That is because to direct attention you need to pay sharp attention, and any thought is something which you are paying attention to. Something could grab your attention unconsciously, and it could be more like an unconscious thought that pulls you in. That shows that there is going to be degrees of consciousness to which your attention is grabbed, sometimes you do it deliberately, and sometimes you spike your attention without thinking about it at all.]

Basically your attention needs to be initially “grabbed” for anything that you are going to pay attention to. That grabbing is the initial period of paying attention to it. During that first period of paying attention to something is where the spike is because you are processing the item/object. You need a spike to grab your mind and attention, otherwise you wouldn’t be paying attention to anything. You can still process most of life without the spikes, but that is only because spikes had brought you back to reality in the first place in order for that attention to be grabbed. Furthermore it is going to be easier to process new things based on what the spike was about, that is, it is going to be easier to process similar things more related to the spike then to other things in the area. If you focus on a school bus, then you are going to be more attentive to the other school buses you see for the next few seconds or minutes because you were just paying attention to one school bus, and your mind is wired to notice school buses. [That is because you are probably going to have a higher emotional interest in the school bus, making you more aware of it. Even if the thing you saw generated a negative emotion, you still would pay more attention to it (unconsciously) because you are alerted to it. It is in your mind, so when you see it you can process it better.]

Furthermore there is a similar way in which your mind processes each spike. For spikes that are under your control, first the spike would be a period of thought about something, say a school bus or a coffee machine. Then what you just saw or thought about becomes an emotion, or an unconscious series of thoughts. That is you are less focused consciously on what it is you are seeing or whatever but your mind is still processing it. Next, after your mind processes the unconscious thoughts it becomes a feeling, you then feel something about what it is you were focusing on. So it isn’t when you look at something you immediately get a feeling, that doesn’t make any sense. First you think about it, then you feel it in a general way (an emotion) then after you understand what that feeling is, you feel it (but that basically happens instantaneously so in a way you do feel it right away - also, that same process can happen over a longer period of time). That is because you know what it is, you know where it is, and you know what to focus your attention on. An example of unconsciously processing something you see is when you look at match you then think about fire. Then after you think about the fire you can almost “feel” the fire, following the pattern of thought to emotion to feeling (you think about the match, then something happens unconsciously (this unconscious thought process is emotion (remember emotion is unconscious thought) which then causes you to feel the fire – a feeling). [Not everyone is going to feel fire when they look at a match, and for the people that do, that feeling is probably going to be unconscious. That was just an example of how things can be thought about more than just what they are, and since they are going to be thought about, they are going to go from thought to emotion to feeling (emotion more similar to thought than feeling). Since it is a spike of thought that directs attention, the spike dies off, so it goes from thought to emotion, since the emotion is less intense than the thought, after the thought period (or the spike period) you don't need to think about it anymore since you already processed it consciously, you simply then think about it further unconsciously - that thinking unconsciously is the final part where it is a just a small feeling (so it goes from thought to emotion to feeling (with some overlap). Emotion is more like almost consciously thinking about something compared to feeling. Feeling is the final part because feelings are shallow and small, when you touch something you get a feeling, it is not a deep experience that involves thought, it is just like a trickle and emotion is like a stream.]

It could be that a few minutes passes before a conscious spike occurs (that is a spike that is under your control). A spike is basically just anything that you are going to start paying attention to. During those first few seconds of when you are going to pay attention to something there is a sharp spike upwards. Without these periods of attention humans/animals would never pay attention to anything. Basically once every few minutes or so you need to pay attention to something or your brain is going to be too inactive. After you pay attention to one thing, however, your general attention is grabbed and you don’t need to have another spike for at least a few minutes.

Everything that is processed, not just spikes, follows the sequence of thought to emotion to feeling. That is because thoughts are clearer than emotions and feelings, and emotions are more similar to thoughts than feelings are (discussed previously) so when you see something or hear something or whatnot for the first time, it is clearer in your mind. Then it becomes less clear and you think about it unconsciously. You think about it unconsciously because it takes further processing in order to isolate the feeling that that things gives you. Some things are just too complicated to feel them right away. Other things, however, can be felt right away, say if you are touching something the feeling arises right away. That is because the physical stimulus is more immediate than emotional stimulus. [Emotion is very complicated, so the emotions something gives you you aren't going to understand well (for instance a feeling of depression is very complicated but the feeling of sadness that comes from it isn't that emotion lead to a more simple feeling). That also shows how this thought-emotion-feeling pattern occurs quickly, and is just based off of the thought period "dying off" and becoming less and less like a thought, and more and more like a feeling. You could think about it later and spike it again, and then the series would repeat. This doesn't mean that everything occurs as thought to emotion to feeling, only when you have a thought the thought is going to be brief, and when it goes away a feeling is left. Feelings and emotions last longer than thoughts (in fact, you're feeling all the time, but only thinking specific things some of the time).]

Emotional things, however, are simply to complicated to “feel” them right away, they need to be processed first. That is logical, just take looking at anything, say a book. In order to feel the feelings that the book causes in you, you are going to have to at least unconsciously think about it first (that is, after you start paying attention to it, which you do by starting to think about it or just see it and notice it more than you usually notice things in the area). Since you don’t need to think about physical stimulus since it is just a physical stimulus, (not something like vision) you don’t really unconsciously process it.

Spikes are dramatic rises in attention. They can be assisted by load noises or something dramatic visually, but they don’t need to be. In other words they can be internal or external. You can pay sharp attention to something in the real world or something in your own head. If there is a load sound in the environment, it is most likely that your spike in attention is going to occur during that period. It doesn’t have to, you could pay attention to something else in spike form, but the main point is that you have to have about one sharp spike in attention a minute at least. That is, you have to pay attention to something in your environment or something in your head, sharp attention in the form of a spike (lasting a second or a few seconds) every minute or so.

Otherwise the world would just go by you and you’d be completely out of it. You don’t just need to pay attention to things, you occasionally need to pay sharp attention to things. Furthermore this attention in the form of a spike can’t be dissipated and spread out, it is always going to occur in a spike. If, in between the spikes, you are trying to get the highest attention you can in an attempt to spread the spike out, (that is, if you are trying to spread out your attention instead of having spikes) the normal spike would still be a spike relative to even the extra attention you gave to the non spike period, because that attention would still be too low, so you couldn’t give it that high of an attention level, as it would be very low compared to the spike still. Spikes of emotion and feeling also need to occur every few minutes or so. The human system needs to be “shocked” into reality because you need to pay attention to life.

Say it is time for another sharp increase in attention (that is you waited too long without focusing on anything) and something occurs like a dog barking. Then you are going to focus on that dog barking intently in the form of a spike. So if the dog continues to bark for the next few seconds or minutes, your attention will be on that more because you paid attention to it initially more so than other things in your environment. This is very important because if someone doesn’t use their spikes say to someone they are talking to, they could be talking to that person and not be paying attention at all. You could hear what they are saying but not really be interested in it nearly as much as you would in a normal conversation (if you choose not to think about the person talking to you – remember if you do think about the person talking to you then naturally you are going have a thought spike because that is how thought initiates when thinking about new objects, the new object needs to be grabbed and processed first).

If you direct your attention spikes away from the things you don’t want to hear (say if there is a loud noise in the background, just don’t pay sharp attention to it) then most of your attention will follow along suit. If attention was uniform then people wouldn’t be able to direct their attention easily. In order to ignore the other things in your environment and just focus on one thing, the only way to get just that one thing into your focus would be to use a spike in attention. After that spike the thing you “spiked” would be in your attention at a low level, but the other things around you would be at an even lower level. The spike is necessary to differentiate what you are paying attention to, to differentiate the new thing which you are paying attention to from everything else. You can’t just go to a slightly higher rise in attention for one thing (you can pay attention to something new, but you wouldn’t be paying more attention to it than other things in the environment already, you’d just be isolating that thing, it wouldn’t be a rise in attention, or an insignificant one), because people can only focus on one thing at a time for this reason. Because of the spikes in attention, people can isolate (focus intently on) one or a few things.

That limitation (of only being able to focus intently on a few things) happens because each spike eliminates the other things which they were paying attention to previously. You can spread out one spike to different things, however (if you do it at the same time), that is how your attention can be spread. You can’t do a series of smaller spikes because that confuses your mind, it is like saying, pay attention to this, then pay attention to that, and then pay attention to that. It is too confusing. It is easier to say at once, pay attention to this that and that, and then you can do it.

That explanation also explains why spikes occur at all – because it is much easier to pay a lot of attention in a short period of time then to keep jolting yourself over and over at each thing that you want to pay attention to. That way is too jarring and much less smooth. You don’t notice the spike when it occurs because it is more like a refocusing than a spike. People basically need to be focused on little things continuously, and this focus is directed by short periods of refocusing labeled here as spikes. One way in which these spikes occur is that when something is first presented it takes more energy and brain power to process it at first because it is new. It is easier to try and comprehend the entire thing at once than to comprehend it in pieces, as the latter just doesn’t make any sense. People comprehend things as wholes not as parts added up over time. The other reason these spikes occur is to initially catch your attention and hold it at a high level on something. That is, in order to go from a state of inactivity to a state of activity, you cannot just go up to the level of activity, but you need to motivate yourself to get there by having a spike (this spike is also the initial processing of the new object/event and occurs because of that as well).

In order to get someone’s attention they can’t just lazily look at you like they are looking at everything else, but they need pay sharp attention to you for the first instant (this is the initial “grabbing” talked about). Otherwise people would be paying attention to anything and everything at the same time. There has to be a way of separating out what it is that is in someone’s attention field. That method of separating is by the use of the spikes.

Spikes work for emotional things and feeling as well as for thought. That is things that are emotional occur in the same spike pattern, as well as things you feel (feelings). Another way to note this would be that your attention is only focused on things that change (things that change, the change usually occurring in spike form). It might be that something grabs your attention a little, and you only put a spike in after it initially grabs your attention a little to then pay full attention to it. Lots of time something happens, like a loud noise, that you only process after it occurred, or slightly after it occurred. So there might be a delay in when you process it, or spike it, or you might not spike it at all. You might also not need to spike something if a similar spike occurred with a similar thing previously.

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • Someone’s attention determines what they see and figure out about the world, if someone is paying more attention then they are probably going to realize more things, or notice more things visually and intellectually. Since attention varies based on emotion, your intellect is going to vary based on your emotions. If you are emotionally interested in things then it might make you pay more attention to them and then you might realize more about those things. If something causes more of an emotional impact (or more of a spike) you might retain understanding it longer (memory is also a part of intellect) or it could increase your emotional intelligence about that thing.
  • Everything that is processed follows the sequence of thought to emotion to feeling – that shows how everything in the world is real, and these real things all cause feelings, you recognize what it is (a thought) and then you feel that thought, your emotional processing of your thoughts is part of your thoughts themselves – this is obvious with emotional spikes because when you feel something strongly that strong feeling clearly aids in you understanding things about what it is you are feeling.
  • People also only comprehend things in their entirety, because if it isn’t completely understood then you cannot verbalize it and make a thought process of it, therefore things that aren’t completely understood or verbal are going to be emotional and you are going to “feel” them, not think them.

Angry, Upset, and Depressed?

Angry and upset feelings often accompany sad feelings, as it is natural to be upset and angry that you are sad (or became sad).

If someone is sad or depressed, it is natural that they are going to be upset that they are that way. Therefore it is probable that all depression or sadness has feelings of anger and agitation mixed in. In fact it is easy to see a combination of those three feelings as when something bad happens to someone their reaction is an intense feeling of sadness/anger/agitation. Like if you punch someone in the face, or shoot him or her, they aren’t going to be just sad, they are going to sad, angry, and upset.

After the event occurs (such as getting punched in the face) the sad/angry/upset feeling only lasts a few seconds on that persons face, to various degrees of visibility to other people. What happens after that is more interesting however. After the first few seconds of sad/upset/angry their mind loses focus on what happened and it no longer is a single emotion. They are focused on the event and that is why it shows up on their face, after they lose focus, however, the emotions become unconscious.

In their unconscious form the emotions are like a depression. A depression is something that affects someone’s mood, his or her entire system. When the angry/sad/upset emotions go into the unconscious, they start affecting the other emotions around them, and your entire system becomes sad, angry, and upset. This might not be visible on your face because it isn’t as intense, you didn’t just get punched, or something bad didn’t just happen to you, but it has left a mark.

It seems like the angry and upset emotions are more temporary, and the sad feeling is retained longer. That is because you forget why you are sad, you forget the event that caused the sadness, but your emotions remember the impact of the upset and anger, and that impact was to make you sadder. The emotion sad is simply easier to remember. It is marked in your mind for vengeance, you associate the sad emotion with being bad for you, but the anger and the agitation are more hormonal, temporary emotions.

That is, it is hard to be angry if you don’t know why you should be angry. You need to be able to logically justify your own feelings. It is more common that sadness occurs for a long period of time than anger. There are still elements of anger and agitation remaining mixed in however, just less so than the sadness. So after an initiating event there are the three emotions equally present for a few seconds, and after that mostly the sadness remains, still with elements of the other two emotions.

It is hard to be angry or upset when you don’t remember what it is you are angry at. It is easy to be sad because you don’t need to remember anything to be sad at something, the sad feeling simply stays in your system because you are used to sad feelings and you don’t need to justify them like you would an angry feeling. Or it could be that being angry and upset takes up more energy than being sad does, being sad lowers how energetic you are because it brings you down. When you are angry and upset you are much more energetic and agitated.

So it is like, ok that really pissed me off, but I am too tired to be pissed, I can be sad though. The sadness in your system isn’t even an individual emotion after the first few seconds from the initiating event, however. It becomes mixed in with the other emotions and feelings in your body because you no longer remember what caused the sadness. So it is like a depression because it affects your entire system and mood like a depression does.

So there is really a difference between being sad, and being upset. You might even call that period after the few seconds for that person “the person being upset” instead of them being sad. That is how much the upset and agitation emotions are mixed in, that after someone is punched you could say either they are upset, or they are sad, or they are agitated, it depends on the person and the circumstance. That is a lot of proof to show that all three are often mixed in together.

You might say that they are upset, but they are probably going to be more sad, however, because if you are upset and angry then you are going to be sad about that, just like you are going to be upset and angry that you are sad. But I think the sad is going to dominate because no one has enough energy to be upset and angry for very long. When you are upset and angry your tone is louder, you are moving faster and more agitated like, you are more aggressive and looking for retribution. Anger and agitation almost need something to take vengeance on, while sadness you don’t attribute to someone else causing it. You do attribute anger and agitation to something external, however.

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • If it is hard to have emotions if you don’t remember something, then that shows how your emotions are based off of your intellect as well. What your memory (which is a function of intellect) remembers is going to bring up emotions, which are then in turn going to determine (to some extent) your emotional intelligence.

Emotion is a Combination of Feeling and Thought

Emotion is such a strong feeling that it must be the combination of thoughts and feelings. If you think about it, if you combine positive thoughts and positive feelings, you’re going to have a general overall greater experience, (if the thoughts and feelings are on the same idea or the same thing, you are going to have a greater positive single emotion about that thing). Just take the strongest emotion you can experience, it would have to be a combination of all the positive things in your mind, and people can control their thoughts to a large extent.

By a combination of feeling and thought I mean a combination of what it feels like to have a thought, with the feeling of what it feels like to have a feeling – I don’t mean the combination of actual verbal thoughts with feelings, but non-verbal thoughts which are like verbal thoughts in that they are about something, you just can’t identify what it is all the time because it is non-verbal.

Since thoughts are conscious and unconscious, emotion could be redefined as the combination of feeling and thought - that you only have emotion when you are thinking about something, and feeling something at the same time, and the combination of the two results in individual emotions. There is evidence for this from the facts that you can only experience one strong emotion at a time, and you can also only think about one strong emotion at a time. That shows how emotions are pulled up by thoughts, or controlled and generated by them. It might be that this only applies to strong emotions, but it depends on each individuals definition of emotion (it might vary), but I don’t think anyone can experience two strong emotions simultaneously. You can feel it for yourself, try and feel any combination of the following emotions (strongly) at the same time - anger, fear, sadness, disgust, surprise, curiosity, acceptance, or joy. You just can’t do it. A slight feeling of curiosity is exactly that, a feeling and not an emotion. Emotions are stronger than feelings, and stronger than thoughts, but what are they made of? The only logical conclusion is that they are made up of thoughts and feelings.

The type of thought that makes up emotions isn’t just words or sentences or verbal ideas in your head, but basically any period of thinking. It doesn’t have to be intense thinking, in fact, if you are intensely thinking there probably isn’t enough room left to process a strong emotion, but rather emotion arises from periods of very low intense thinking, and less intense feelings (you still have to be trying to be thinking, that is why negative emotions don’t exist, because people just don’t try to think about them). During those periods of low intense thinking (from which part of emotion arises) you don’t have to even understand what you are thinking about, just understand that to some degree you are more thoughtful than usual. Feelings are generally considered to be shallower than emotions, and thought is considered a deep experience, so in order to have the strong, deep feeling of emotion, it must be made up of the part of your brain that experiences deep things, (the thought part) (remember feelings feel like feelings from sensory stimulation, which isn’t “deep” at all).

Furthermore, emotion isn’t just a strong feeling, a strong feeling can give rise to an emotion, just like a strong idea can give rise to an emotion, but an emotion is the combination of a lesser feeling and a lesser idea or thought process (this thought process might be unconscious, leading the person having it to just know that they are thoughtful during the experience). You can’t have a strong feeling and a strong emotion at the same time because there just isn’t enough room or processing power in your mind to do that (it’s easy to feel that in your mind just by testing it).

Is a thought sensory input? No it isn’t, you can think about sensory input, and that would give rise to a feeling of the sensation itself, but a thought is much faster in the brain. A thought is like a fast firing of neurons while a feeling or a sensation is an experience that actually takes some amount of time longer than it takes for a neuron to fire, which (it feels like anyway) is the length of a short thought. So basically, emotions must be the result of feelings and thoughts in your brain because there isn’t anything else left that they could be made up of. All that is in your brain is feelings and thoughts. It is obvious how you can turn off a thought automatically, but you can also do that to some feelings. This is so because feelings are in large part triggered by thoughts. That’s because feelings are experiences of sensory stimulation. If you are feeling something that you don’t want to feel, however, because that sensory stimulation is present in your environment, there is nothing you can do. But if it results from a memory or something in your mind, you are going to shut it off automatically. This way feelings and thoughts work together; you have your present experience of the sensation, and your mental direction of thinking about that sensation. The latter part you can turn on if you want to make that natural, environmental feeling a strong one. It is hard to experience a strong feeling just by bringing the feeling up in your head, to have a strong feeling you need to have some type of direct sensory input and be thinking about that sensory input at the same time.

So a strong feeling is just like a strong emotion, only you need direct sensory input and thoughts to feel it, while with emotions you just need a feeling (which can result from the memory of a sensation) and some thoughts. So, very simply, everything in the brain is either a feeling or a thought. And emotions are combinations of feelings and thoughts.

Thinking about things generates feeling because you are simulating the emotions of that thing in your head. Although you are not experiencing the stimulation in real life, you still understand what it feels like to be in that situation, and this memory of that stimulation you can feel almost like being in the real situation itself.

If you have emotion about something then you are feeling that thing. Thus you are directing thought about that object, and directing thought is what thought is. Thought is just directed to something specific, while feeling is more generalized, you have only a few feelings for many many things, and thought is only a way of categorizing those feelings. For example, you can simulate many feelings by thinking, “I am going to go to the store then I am going to come home”. Instead of feeling “store” which you feel in the store, you are adding the feeling of traveling to the store and being home. Those feelings are less intense than actually traveling to the store and actually being home, but they are still there and present in the thoughts. So when you have a thought about the store, you feel the store because you are simulating the idea of being in the store in your head.

Emotion always precedes thought; thought is always just going to be an explanation of emotion. Everything in the end turns out to be an emotion in your system, so therefore everything is really an emotion. When you say “I want to leave” the feeling of you wanting to leave is always going to precede the thought. Actually first you quickly understand what it is that you are feeling when you realize what it is you are feeling as an unconscious thought process, then you have a more regular feeling about it, and then you are able to verbalize that feeling into a thought. Unless something is said to you instead of you thinking it, in which case the process is reversed. First it is a thought because it is expressed that way, then it is a feeling, and then it is a quick unconscious thought process to think about what was said.

When the thing is said or thought of verbally it is most clear what the meaning is. In this way words assist understanding. This is probably because the combination of adding the stimulation of sound to the stimulation of the visual (or other sense) of the object/idea enhances understanding and forces you to think deeper about it because sound is an enhancing mechanism for thought.

Feelings are fast, you don’t pause and think about them. Emotion you could say, since it is deeper, that you almost “think” about it.

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • Thoughts also contribute to what it is you are going to feel, and what you feel and how you feel it is then going to determine your emotional intelligence, and over the long run would help determine other aspects of your intelligence as well.

Intentions

When someone has an intention, or does anything such as thinking something or doing something without thought, what is the exact mental process that lies behind that action? What combination of emotions, feelings and thoughts makes that happen? Here is what is at the bottom of the "Emotion is a Combination of Feeling and Thought" chapter:

"Emotion always precedes thought; thought is always just going to be an explanation of emotion. Everything in the end turns out to be an emotion in your system, so therefore everything is really an emotion. When you say "I want to leave" the feeling of you wanting to leave is always going to precede the thought. Actually first you quickly understand what it is that you are feeling when you realize what it is you are feeling as an unconscious thought process, then you have a more regular feeling about it, and then you are able to verbalize that feeling into a thought. Unless something is said to you instead of you thinking it, in which case the process is reversed. First it is a thought because it is expressed that way, then it is a feeling, and then it is a quick unconscious thought process to think about what was said."

So there is an unconscious thought process before everything you think/do, however there are also patterns of feelings which are also there. The feelings described are an important part of it, when you do something there isn't an unconscious thought right before you do it. You first have the unconscious thought when you have the original feeling that caused you to want to do that thing - you first have a feeling that you want to do something, then you understand what that feeling means as an unconscious thought, and then that is translated back into a feeling which remains there until you do the action. So the unconscious thought is not right before you do the thing, the feeling is there before you do it because feelings are faster than thoughts, so your mind has the feeling ready at hand to act on the unconscious thought process. That is because once you realize what it is you are going to do as a thought process, you don’t need to spend the time to think the entire thing through again, but it is stored in the instinctual part of your brain where your feelings are. Remember from the instinctual frog example that feelings are faster than thoughts, and feelings are also unconscious thoughts so they can also store information to do. This is the frog example in the chapter “Thoughts”:

"The definition of intellect and thoughts is almost understanding (those concrete things). Emotion is feeling, completely separate from facts or information. All facts and information are going to be about things that cause feeling, however, since all things that happen cause feelings and all facts and information are about things that happen. So facts and information are just feelings organized in a logical manner. Intellect and thought also generates feelings when those thoughts are processed in your mind. Since thought is really only about feelings, it is logical that thought actually has root in feelings. For example, all events are really feelings in the mind, so thoughts are actually just comparing feelings. You take two feelings and can arrive at one thought. Take the feeling of a frog moving and the feeling of a threat of danger. The two feelings combined equal the idea or thought that the frog needs to move when there is danger - the thought is actually just understanding how feelings interact. All thought is is the understanding of how feelings and real events interact with themselves. Feeling is what provides the motivation to arrive at the answer (the thought). If you just had the facts, there is a threat, and the frog can jump, you aren't going to arrive at the conclusion that the frog should jump away. You need to take the feeling that there is a threat and the feeling that the frog can jump and then combine the two sensory images in your head to arrive at the answer.

That shows how all intellect is powered and motivated by emotion. It also shows that frogs have thoughts; the frog has to have the thought to jump away when it sees a threat, as a thought is just the combination of two feelings resulting in the resulting feeling of wanting to move away. That process of feelings is like a thought process. Thoughts are a little different for humans, however, because humans have such a large memory that they are able to compare this experience to all the other experiences in their life while the frog only remembers the current situation and is programmed (brain wiring) to jump away. The frog doesn't have a large enough memory to learn from new information and change its behavior. That shows how humans are very similar to frogs in how they process data (in one way at least), and that one thing that separates a human from a frog is a larger memory which can store lots of useful information and potential behavioral patterns."

It would be too slow for you to just do something based on an unconscious thought process, you would have to wait to have this unconscious thought right before you do the thing, instead of having the thought at one point in time and storing it, and then doing the thing later on. If it is just an instinctual reaction, however, it is just a feeling that you are responding to because it is too fast to have an unconscious thought process. It is just a manner of the definition of what an unconscious thought is - that it is going to be more like a thought than a feeling - which is also an unconscious thought, so it depends how you view it.

If it is an instinctual, immediate reaction, say if you slam a door on your hand then you are going to say "ouch" - that is a thought that resulted from two feelings, the feeling of pain and the feeling that you need to express that pain. The thought is so fast you might consider it unconscious, that is also like in the frog example.

It gets even more complicated than that - this is in the "Life Occurs in Sharp Spikes" chapter of the book:

"Everything that is processed, not just spikes, follows the sequence of thought to emotion to feeling. That is because thoughts are clearer than emotions and feelings, and emotions are more similar to thoughts than feelings are (discussed previously) so when you see something or hear something or whatnot for the first time, it is clearer in your mind. Then it becomes less clear and you think about it unconsciously. You think about it unconsciously because it takes further processing in order to isolate the feeling that that things gives you. Some things are just too complicated to feel them right away. Other things, however, can be felt right away, say if you are touching something the feeling arises right away. That is because the physical stimulus is more immediate than emotional stimulus.

Emotional things, however, are simply to complicated to "feel" them right away, they need to be processed first. That is logical, just take looking at anything, say a book. In order to feel the feelings that the book causes in you, you are going to have to at least unconsciously think about it first (that is, after you start paying attention to it, which you do by starting to think about it or just see it and notice it more than you usually notice things in the area). Since you don't need to think about physical stimulus since it is just a physical stimulus, (not something like vision) you don't really unconsciously process it."

That shows that it is really all mixed in - thoughts, emotions and feelings - that there isn't just an unconscious thought process but you could also just say that feelings or thoughts are first - this is because when you process something you might think about it first, and it certainly feels this way because when you are processing something it is a very intellectual experience, it is clear in your mind and it feels like you are thinking about the thing so clearly that you must be using thoughts instead of emotions. I say that things are first clear in your mind when you first see it or whatnot, - that would be the "thought" but then it is an emotion, and you do that (make it into an emotion) to isolate the feeling the thing causes in you, so then you feel it (after you isolate the feeling) - thought to emotion to feeling.

So when you have an intention to do something could it be that first it is an unconscious thought and then you just do it? First you are going to have an unconscious thought about it, then you are going to have a conscious thought about it (because it is an intention) and then you are going to do it. Your conscious thought about it may or may not be verbal, you don’t have to think about everything verbally in order to do it. You do have a conscious thought about it because that is almost the definition of intention, your intent. If you don’t have a conscious thought about it then it is more instinctual, or it could be a mix of the two. Everything someone does is going to be on the spectrum somewhere between complete intention and completely instinctual.

Intentions and instincts (or things you do) aren’t just thoughts, but feelings and emotions are often involved as well, where do they fit in? First an emotion could start an intention, and then it would be an unconscious thought process, and then it might become another emotion because you can feel everything (you are going to feel the thought, or have a feeling about it) and feelings are very fast so this feeling can fit into the time after you think about it and before you do the action, or after the initiating event and before the unconscious or conscious thought process. When you do think it is very fast, in fact your thinking might be slow, but there is one point in time where your thinking leads to a conclusion and that is culmination is considered to be when you had the “thought” because it is a conscious thought that your mind understands, but leading up to that conscious thought (which could be verbal or not verbal) was unconscious thoughts (or thinking) because it is hard to reach difficult conclusions instantly. This thought is then held in your mind until you do the action, it prepares your mind for the action, and during that time that thought might generate a certain feeling – maybe fear or a lack of confidence. This feeling is then used when you do the intention, because when you do something you do it so fast that you don't "think" about it right before you do it, but you use the feeling that is “storing” the thought. You might not have feelings about it and your action might not be swayed by feeling, but if it is then your thoughts might be under the influence of your feelings. Your feelings might cause you to stop doing the thing if you are too afraid, for example.

So there is an unconscious thought before every intention, that is what thought is, it is figuring out what you are going to do, and you are going to have to figure out what it is that you are going to do first before you do it. Unless it is like the frog example where you just feel it at the same time that you do it, but in that case the feelings are mixed in with the thoughts, so then it is a matter of how you define "thought". Thought is really a conclusion (not a partial thought, which could be an emotion), so you take two feelings and come at a conclusion, which is the thought, then you do the thing, and that means that you do have an unconscious thought right before the intention, the feeling really is a thought, it is just so fast that it is a feeling and a thought. So right before you do something there can be a feeling - which is also a thought, that causes you to do it finally. So is it a thought or is it a feeling? The feeling is the drive behind the thought (or thinking), which builds up along with the feeling. The feeling is powering the thought (or thinking) because it is so instinctual. So things that are more instinctual are going to be faster and involve more feelings, feelings can speed up thoughts (this is obvious with the instinctual example, where instinct then is really just powerful feelings causing you to think very fast).

So if you do anything there is going to be unconscious thoughts before you do it, because thoughts are just understanding real things. That includes if you have intentions, only intentions (since they are more conscious) are going to involve conscious thoughts as well as unconscious ones, unless it is an intention you intended to do unconsciously. The reason intentions involve unconscious thoughts as well is because you need to think to arrive at the conclusion, and most thinking isn’t completely consciously understood. How many people can think without using words, yet understand what it is that they are thinking? You can understand that you are going to do a certain thing without using words, but you can’t think for a long period of time without using words and still follow your thought process. Complicated non-verbal thought processes are unconscious. And almost all thoughts and everything you do is going to be complicated - and therefore they are going to involve long unconscious thinking about them (by long I just mean longer than instantaneous, which would be what you would do if it was instinctual).

So right before you do something there is going to be something in your mind that understands what it is you are going to do, this is a thought because it is real (versus feelings which are things which you just feel). You might even "feel" the thought really. That is what happens right before you do something. However, leading up to that final thought/feeling it is going to be like described before; first you might have a feeling. If humans were computers I would say that first it starts with its programming and then it has the thought, but for humans feelings are their programming – so humans first have feelings and then we have thoughts. Feelings can originate from thoughts however, so it is then a which came first, the chicken or the egg debate. But if the original feeling started because of a thought, the thought was more further away in time from the feeling -by a few seconds at least – that is because conscious thoughts (verbal ones) have space of time around them, if you think, “I am going to shoot” you don’t shoot as quickly as you would if you just understood that you were going to shoot, the conscious verbal thought slows you down. So when you have an intention or when you are going to think something (which is what thoughts are - they cam be verbal because you can express anything verbally almost, including all intentions) then that follows the process of feeling to unconscious thought to feeling again to store it. I said before “a feeling, then an unconscious thought process, then a more general feeling”.

I said that because the first feeling is just the real feeling of the intention you are going to have - which you could say is an unconscious thought because as discussed previously all feelings are unconscious thoughts - and it is clear they are when you realize it is an intention, which is going to be doing something real, and intellect is understanding things that are real. So the first feelings/thoughts are when you first feel that you want to do something, then you need to unconsciously think about it to realize what it is you want to do exactly (this is not a conscious non-verbal thought, but an unconscious one), and then you have a more specific or general feeling about it (by general there I really mean larger or more clear) to store that clear thought, the general feeling then is going to be more clear because you now unconsciously understand what it is that you are going to do, and then it is a real conscious thought and then you could translate that conscious thought to a verbal thought or an action.

So to explain the statement, "first it is a feeling, then it is an unconscous thought process, and then it is a more general feeling and then you are able to make that feeling into a conscious thought (or do an action which would stem from that clear thought)" - that was originally said in the book at the end of the "Emotion is a Combination of Feeling and Thought" chapter in this form - "actually first you quickly understand what it is that you are feeling when you realize what it is you are feeling as an unconscious thought process, then you have a more regular feeling about it, and then you are able to verbalize that feeling into a thought". Whether someone’s state before they have that thought is one that started with an emotion or without an emotion, that state must have originated from a previous state, or from some other previous stimulus. In terms of someone’s first feelings, their first feelings probably came from physical feelings before the brain was developed in the womb. First people would have just physical feelings, not deep emotional ones because all there is in the beginning is sensory stimulation - mostly feeling your own body and your surroundings.

So the first thoughts/feelings originated from physical stimulus, like, "ouch that hurts". Or "that looks cool". After the human develops they can have thoughts and feelings that can originate from sensory stimulation, physical stimulation, or other thoughts and feelings. But that doesn't explain what happens right before someone thinks something or does something. It explains that originally there are those things which would cause the intention, but not how the intention is formed. Since humans have strong emotions, many intentions are going to be formed from emotion. Intentions are also going to be formed from conscious / unconscious thinking. Feelings are also going to have elements of thoughts, however (so it isn’t either feeling or thought that originated the intention, it might be both at the same time). Say if you want to switch a switch - it is going to be a progression of feeling/thought. That is, it is going to take time for you to realize what it is you want to do, so it could be feeling and thinking all along, and at some point in that feeling/thinking you are going to realize fully what you want to do, and then you could call it a thought because it is completely formed (this thought might be conscious or it might remain unconscious and only later become conscious). When you realize you want to switch a switch it isn't instantaneous, but it takes time. But when you do switch the switch instantaneously, are you acting off of the thought or the feeling? You are probably acting off of the feeling, the thought was a period in time a while ago, but that thought started the feeling of you wanting to do it, which lead to you switching the switch off of the feeling instead of the thought. Unless you happen to do the thing right after you finally figure out what it is you want to do, then you could say that the thought made you do it.

That reveals that you are always going to have some feeling about what it is you are going to do right before you do it, because then you “think” or “feel” what it is you are going to do. It isn’t going to be as strong in terms of thought as when you first thought of what it was you were going to do, because you don’t need to think as much to realize what it is you are going to do. You are probably going to be feeling more than thinking right before you do it because you are going to be excited about doing something, you already realized what you were going to do which was the thought part, now it is time for the feeling part. The thought is still there of course otherwise you wouldn’t know what to do, however right before you do it feeling is probably going to dominate.

Right before you do something your mind needs to get ready to do it, and you need to remind yourself what it is you need to do and that you need to do it. So that means your mind probably feels something based on what it is you are going to do. This feeling can be simulated if you read a book and then later reflect on how you feel about the book. Reading the book in this instance would be the original thought process, and reflecting on it later would be simulating the feeling right before you do something. You don’t need to think about everything in the book to understand the feeling that the book causes you. You don’t need to think as hard to understand the same things because it was already understood at one point. The second time it is easier. That is like when you first have an unconscious thought process to understand what you are going to, when you are going to do it later you already understand what you are going to do, you simply then “feel” what it is you are going to do because it is more clearly understood, it is understood emotionally now (more instinctual) so you don’t need to “think” as much as you did before. Emotion replaces thought because emotion is easier than thought. Someone isn’t going to think unless they have to, you basically have already done the hard part, so the second time you bring it up the thought would be reduced and the emotion would remain. The further excitement of being about to do the thing would raise the emotion even more. But here learned is another thing, if you think about something once the next times you bring it up (especially if you bring it up right after you figure it out) it is going to be much easier to understand so thought is going to be reduced and feeling raised relatively.

So in other words, before the thought or your understanding of what it is you are going to do is complete, you are going or are not going to be having emotions that are encouraging this thought process or affecting this thought process. Emotion and intelligence are intertwined. That is why first comes the emotion, then the complete thought, and then you might have an emotion about that thought itself as well, - in other words the state of the emotion you are feeling is probably going to evolve as the thought does. This reveals that while emotion is unconscious thought, not all unconscious thought is emotion.

Humans don't just say things without thinking about them first, so everything is going to be unconscious first. Speech is much much slower than your thoughts are, and unless you start saying something and don't know the complete sentence before you say it, you are going to have the entire thing thought out first. So technically everything starts with an unconscious thought. However this thought has levels of understanding, there are levels to which you understand the thought, that is why you can't just say everything all at once, you usually have to think about it for a bit first. When people think, it takes time to think, and they don't think unconsciously in sentences. They think unconsciously with emotions, thoughts, visualizations, anything your mind can simulate. When they think unconsciously with emotions you could be taking large emotional experiences and trying to analyze them, or little ones, you could be combining different experiences, or combining emotion with thought or emotion with visualization (etc.). Your mind doesn't just use sentences to figure out what it wants to do, that would take too long. Sentences are actually just sounds that represent things, you don't need to simulate a sound in your head in order to think. It might be that you simulate tiny sounds, or however it is your neurons fire to organize the thoughts, the point is the thoughts are not fully formed instantly. It isn't the firing of one neuron once that makes a complete sentence. There is a progression of thought. This is obvious because when you are doing a problem, say a math problem, you often can reach the answer without having to say anything. What is happening is that you are thinking about things unconsciously, maybe you are visualizing the number of things you need to visualize to find the answer (say adding 1 to 1 you have to visualize the separate objects, and then visualize the two objects together).

An Overly Optimistic Attitude towards Life Leads to a Dulling of Emotion

When you go into a situation or an event the attitude you have is going to impact your emotional experience. If you think something is going to be fun, when in reality it isn’t, and you continue to think that that thing was fun afterwards, it is going to make you feel worse than if you had the right understanding of how much fun the event was. This is because an overly optimistic attitude causes you to consciously focus on things which you enjoy more, but your conscious mind can only recognize a tiny amount of things which you enjoy. So you are amplifying a disproportionate amount of emotion in your own mind. That throws things off balance in your head and you start to wonder (consciously and unconsciously) why you are enjoying some things more than others, and it throws off your responses to natural, ordinary events. In other words, your mind compares the positive things which you are amplifying to the things you aren’t amplifying (like how it compares how you work during the day to how you rest at night – that is your mind compares the work during the day to resting at night and therefore you feel more rested because your mind is comparing those things to if you didn’t work during the day). Furthermore ordinary events start to become duller because you are amplifying a few events you just think are fun, when in reality all of life is fun if you give it an equal chance.

What those people fail to realize is that basically everything can be viewed as fun, they don’t need to grab onto a few things with their overly optimistic attitude. Emotions are fun, and life is so full of emotions that any scene or event in life can be broken down into its many emotional parts. Emotion just means how something makes you feel, and that in turn means what kind of reaction things make you have. In fact, each individual object in life gives an emotion, and makes you react in a certain way.

If you have an optimistic attitude towards life, or an overly optimistic attitude, then most of the emotion that you get is going to be undercut (undermined, etc, because it is going to be outweighed by the few things which you are praising, or have an optimistic attitude for) and therefore overall be leading to a dulling of emotion. That is because this overly optimistic attitude is a conscious thing that only enhances a few of the events in life and doesn’t understand that everything in life can be viewed as being fun (if you take the same attitude and just twist it that is).

You’re not still being optimistic because you’re dismissing the verbal discourse whereby you rate some things in life as higher than other things. You are still being optimistic in a way but now you understand that you shouldn’t be over inflating some things more than others. It is like saying, wow that duck tape is really really cool. But then you are missing all the other things in the room which are also cool, maybe a lot less cool than the duck tape but they can still be viewed as being cool. So instead you’d say, hey that duck tape is cool, to keep it more in line with how cool the other things are. This doesn’t mean that you are less optimistic towards life, it just means you are more aware and considering of the whole.

Similarly, an overly negative attitude can bring down how cool an object is. You can basically manufacture false emotions about things. While you might feel a temporary sensation of elation (if you’re being optimistic) or a temporary down feeling (if you’re being pessimistic) afterwards you are going to feel bad because you basically insulted all the other feelings in your mind as being weak compared to it. Either that or you feel bad because you inserted an emotion that was too hard to deal with in your mind because it was so strong, and you feel bad afterwards because that strong emotion lingers in your mind and takes up room that it shouldn’t, in addition to throwing your system off balance.

That is what an overly optimistic attitude does, it takes all the things in your mind that you might verbally over inflate, and inflates them. That creates a tension in your brain because then most of the ordinary things which you should also be enjoying seem dull. The reverse is true with an overly negative attitude, which is also bad.

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • Your attitude is determined by your thoughts, and your thoughts are going to be determined by your intellect because your intellect is who you are, and you decide what it is that you are going to think. Your attitude is going to lead you to have different emotions, and these emotions are then also going to change how it is you understand the world emotionally, or your emotional intelligence.

Smaller Emotions Follow Brief, Intense Emotions

Extremely deep feelings and emotions, like sadness or anger, usually only last a few seconds. However, those deep feelings often trigger lesser feelings of sadness and anger for the period afterwards. This intense, brief period of emotion can trigger a long array of smaller, similar emotions afterwards. Say if the deep emotion was you being sad, the following emotions that person is going to experience would be lesser sad emotions. These emotions aren’t just by themselves, but are often accompanied by thoughts, behaviors, or environmental stimulus.

If you have a brief period of being extremely happy it is more likely to be followed by extremely optimistic thinking, like thinking, I am great, I am amazing, and wow I really did a good job. A brief period of extreme sadness is likely to be followed by pessimistic thinking because that is how your brain is wired. Your brain is programmed to associate sad with failure, and success (or happy) with optimism.

Why do intense emotions only last a few seconds? They do because emotions work in accordance with thoughts. Thoughts only last a few seconds, and therefore it is logical that the most intense emotions you experience are going to be periods of intense thought and intense emotion at the same time. These periods are so intense that they are probably capable of being noticed by the person experiencing them.

Such an intense emotional experience is going to leave a mark, however. That is why those brief periods of intense emotion are going to be followed by lesser, similar emotions. Say if you were extremely happy for a few seconds, then you’d be slightly happy for a while afterwards.

Why does the brief period only last a few seconds? Can’t it be longer? If life were great, I guess the positive intense emotional experiences would last longer, and the short negative emotional experiences not even exist. But the attention span of the average human/animal is actually very short, and they can only handle so much intense emotion in a certain period of time.

That leads to another phenomenon called overload. A person or animal can only experience so many intense periods of emotion in a certain amount of time. Say you made someone laugh really hard, and then would tell an equally funny joke right after, that person wouldn’t laugh as hard because the laugh brain circuitry is already exhausted. It is like being jaded, only in the short term. This theory is easy to test, just pinch yourself, then pinch yourself again, and you’ll realize that it hurts a lot more the first time. That is because pain is an emotional experience as well, and that first pinch is exactly similar to the brief periods of intense emotion mentioned before. Furthermore, the pinch is followed by lesser amounts of pain. When all that residual pain is gone you can pinch yourself again and it will hurt just as much as the first time.

In other words, the brief, intense emotion was so intense that it leaves an aftereffect of lesser amounts of that same emotion. I could also just change the word emotion with thought. If you think something strongly, then similar thoughts are likely to follow, only less intense. The intensity of the emotion/thought goes downhill after the main event solely because your mind is exhausted by the intensity of the intense experience of emotion or thought. Humans/animals simply don’t have the capacity for a more intense experience then an intense emotional or intellectual experience.

People just don’t have very, very, very intense emotional or intellectual experiences. The mind just can’t handle it. People can have very, very, very intense physical experiences, however. That is only because evolutionarily humans and animals evolved going through very intense physical experiences, but there just isn’t any need or purpose to go through intense intellectual/emotional experiences. It would even be boring after the first few seconds. That’s because most emotion and intellect is originally from sensory stimulation, which is found in the real world and not in your head.

There are many examples of the intensity of intellectual and emotional experiences dying off. It is simply because something repeated over and over in your head becomes less and less interesting as its newness dies off. You could take any idea and repeat it to yourself over and over and you’ll notice how doing that becomes less and less interesting.

In fact, sometimes it is better to not initiate thinking about something that would lead to you to continue to repeat it (or similar ideas or emotions) because it is unhealthy to repeat things (or experience emotions that last too long) because the intensity of the experience dies off and you are stuck in a pattern of thinking about something, or feeling something, that you don’t want to be thinking or feeling because it isn’t providing enough stimulation. But you are still stuck feeling/thinking it because for whatever reason your mind doesn’t let go of it easily.

It is healthier to not be so interested in the thing in the first place so your mind doesn’t over inflate it and you wind up going through a period of over-excitement, which you don’t really enjoy, followed by a period of under-excitement, which you don’t really enjoy. It is like an addiction to emotion that would lead to this behavior. Or an overly optimistic attitude towards life. Someone that is overly aggressively approaching life, trying to grab onto whatever positive emotions or thoughts they can. Or someone overly upset about something and, just being persistent, doesn’t realize that it becomes less and less interesting to be upset about that thing, but continues to persist in thinking about it. They just need to move on.

In fact, you could view this two different ways, one is to not experience the more intense thoughts/emotions and try to spread it out over time. The other way to view it is the sharp emotional spike is a good thing. It is probably only a good thing if you like hurting yourself, however. It is a bad thing because it is so out of character with your everyday emotions/thoughts, which are much less intense. Such a drastic change from the ordinary would cause a violent mood swing. Your mind is going to be upset that things around it are changing so fast, and it would lead you to continuously try and figure out what is going on (consciously or unconsciously). Your mind has in it an automatic thing which tries to figure out what is happening to it, and that device is going to short circuit if you put in short, brief periods of intensity. It is like the brief period of intensity jolts your entire system. Like a hot wire.

If you are going to go for the brief period of intensity then that is a way of looking at life, it is a philosophy that you need to grab on to anything that throws its way to you. Or if you are looking for the brief period of negative intensity then that philosophy would be looking to grab onto (really anything, not just anything positive) that comes your way. Someone with those attitudes would think something like, “ok there is a positive experience, lets do it, I mean lets really go and do it that would be really really really fun”. They are so upset about life that when they see a positive thing, they cling onto it desperately. What they don’t realize is that clinging onto something positive (or negative) or any clinging, causes your mind to stop liking it due to repetition and overload.

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • When you have a strong emotion it just doesn’t disappear, but it disappears gradually. This shows how your emotions are going to determine your thoughts and therefore your intellect. It shows that emotions cannot be completely controlled and therefore are going to change your thoughts and therefore possibly the reliability of your intelligence.

Visual learning

Things that are easier to picture are easier to understand.

Things that are easier to picture are easier to understand. Take the difference between understanding, we are going to play with the Frisbee, and if you throw the Frisbee twice as fast, it will arrive at its destination in half the time. It is clearly easier to understand what playing with the Frisbee is then it is to calculate how soon it will get to the other person. That is because the emotional event of playing with the Frisbee is large and distinct, and involves many things.

One thing was an emotional event; the other thing was a precise calculation. You could also view that backwards, that the calculation is actually an emotional event, and the emotional event is actually a calculation. The emotional event of playing Frisbee is in fact a calculation; you are calculating everything that there is involved with playing Frisbee. When someone says, “let’s play Frisbee” you imagine and picture in your head everything that playing Frisbee involves.

Thus for anything that is said you bring up a picture of it in your head. Even if it is a sound or a smell, you always try to picture what is causing it. That is because the vision enhances the experience and makes it more enjoyable to think about and therefore it is also going to be easier to remember. It is like vision is tied in with everything, and that if something can’t be visualized, it simply doesn’t exist.

Empty space is the absence of vision. But when you think hard about just an empty space, you’d like to imagine something there because you know that you would enjoy looking at that space more that way, that it just isn’t right for something to be empty like that. Even blind people visualize things because they can feel in three dimensions with their bodies and hands.

That is also why harder mathematical problems are harder to do, because they are harder to visualize. You have to memorize what 12 times 12 equals, but you can easily visualize what 1 times 2 is. Just one group of 2, that equals 2, you can picture that object in your head easily but when you picture adding up 12 groups of 12 the image gets too large.

Even if you think about a smell that is an invisible gas, you are going to picture something in your head like a gas outlet or a gas tank, or the air being filled with an invisible substance. Vision is in all of our thoughts and emotions, the other senses aren’t. Only some things smell, only some objects make noise, but everything can be seen. Everything exists somewhere physically, that is, and if it exists somewhere physically, then even if it is invisible you are going to be trying to imagine the space in which it is in.

In that manner blind people can see. They have an image of the world similar to what we do (even if they have never seen) solely from feeling objects and imagining where everything is. If someone asked you what the properties of an invisible gas were, you’d be thinking about the empty space in which the gas was in. How is it that people can visualize empty space? If there wasn’t empty space there, then there wouldn’t be anything, just empty space. So when most people visualize empty space they probably think of something like an empty room, or the corner of an empty room and just not focus on the walls, trying to look into the empty space by having an unfocused look to their eye.

It also seems that the easier it is to picture something, the easier it is to understand and remember. That is because things that have a stronger visual presence cause more emotion to be invoked in a person, and it is has a larger presence in that persons mind, and therefore is easier to remember. So the easier the vision is to comprehend, the easier it is also going to be to remember.

Also, the more emotional the event, the easier it is to remember. (and all events and such things in life are visual, as well). That is why dogs remember the words they care the most about like walk, Frisbee, food, and their name. It isn’t just easier to remember these larger things, but it is easier to understand them. The smaller and more complicated it gets, the harder it is to understand. So easier physics problems would be something like ball A hitting ball B, but harder ones would involve something like friction, which you can’t see as well. For example what is easier to understand, what is the force of friction on the ball, or what is the force of my hand on the ball? Mathematically they would seem to take just as much physical work to write down the mathematical solution, but emotionally it takes more work to do the friction part of the problem. (because it is harder to visualize) That means, however, that it is going to be harder for you to do the mathematical problem, or the friction part of the mathematical problem.

The easier something is to visualize, the less the strain on your mind processing that thing is going to have. Things that are easier to picture are easier to understand as well.

There are also degrees to which you visualize something. Say you are doing a math problem that involves distances. You can focus on those distances when you think about them to varying degrees. That is, when you think of the word distance you have unconscious thoughts about something like, “oh was that a very long trip?” Or you think more or less clearly about how straight the line of the distance is because you are thinking about trips now. Or thinking about the force of friction on an object, you have to try and visualize the tiny particles rubbing against each other. There are degrees of effort you can put into thinking about each visualization. Fields like engineering and physics require a lot of visual intelligence. People who can focus more and visualize things better would probably do better in those fields. Since vision relates to everything, better visual ability could help in countless situations to varying degrees.

Is emotional intelligence visual? How does the statement, “boys are aggressive so they would be more likely to buy a book about aggresivity to encourage their own aggressiveness than if they weren’t aggressive” relate to visual intelligence? You have to be able to imagine boys being aggressive and then you have to think about the response (which is visual) to boys when they are encouraged to be aggressive. Emotional intelligence is then just observing slight visual changes in affect. However to notice these slight changes in affect it is important to point out or lead one to notice better certain visual things by more intellectual observations, which are actually just visual observations themselves.

They are visual observations themselves because almost everything is a visual observation, the only things that aren’t visual observations are observations related to the other senses, but those other senses might play a lesser role than visual since visual is the sense people are most in tune with since it occurs all the time.

Emotional intelligence, however, might also relate to understanding physical senses because you need to understand how people physically feel in order to understand their emotional state, as the physical contributes to emotion. You feel your own body all the time and the senses from your skin and muscles changes all the time as well. Those feelings play an important part in how you feel, and serve as a baseline for emotions. That is you can close your eyes and stop thinking, but you are still going to feel something. That thing you are feeling then must be mostly physical since you aren’t getting any other inputs (other than unconscious emotional ones, but you can do things like focusing on your heart beat or breathing to eliminate more of that focus and focus more on your body).

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • Emotional intelligence is sensory (or comes originally from sensory data), and your senses are directed by your thoughts and emotions (or you – and you are your intellect). So it becomes clear then that someone is their intellect, and their intellect then must comprise their emotions and their thoughts (since someone is only emotions and thoughts just behaving in a certain pattern).

Consciousness

Understanding the psychology of your feelings, emotions and thoughts is important because it leads to increased consciousness.

Consciousness occurs when feeling and understanding meet, this is because consciousness is shown in the ability to reflect on your feelings. In other words, when you understand what it is that you are feeling you are the most conscious. That is because during that time you are most aware of what is going on. This awareness could be described as an understanding of life, not just general understanding. That is you could be doing a math problem, but that math problem isn’t going to increase how conscious you are, because doing it isn’t going to increase your understanding of how it is that you are feeling. It could be that doing the problem makes you more awake, and as a side effect of that you understand how it is that you are feeling better, but that is just a side effect. Understanding how you are feeling makes you more aware of yourself because that increases how much you are thinking about yourself (or your feelings).

Since thoughts and emotions lead to feelings, the more you understand them as well the more conscious you are going to be. So if you are doing a math problem, the more you understand that you are doing a math problem, and the place the math problem has in your life, then the more conscious you are. That is, it isn’t doing the math problem that is making you more conscious, but it is understanding the place of what it is you are doing and feeling (in this case a math problem) and where that fits into your life that determines how conscious you are. It is your inner reflection of how the math problem makes you feel as a whole that separates humans being conscious from other animals. Consciousness basically means aware. This means that the math problem actually does lead to increased consciousness, because you are becoming more aware of the place of that math problem in your entire life as you do the math problem.

So consciousness basically means how aware someone is of themselves (it means other things as well). The more aware of yourself you are the more conscious you are. In order to be aware of yourself you need to understand where everything in your life fits in. It is this awareness, or commonsense, that is more important to understanding who you are. In order to be aware of yourself, or have a concept of self, you have to have a concept of how yourself interacts in the world as a whole, not just as individual parts.

Even though you might be sleeping, you are conscious because you still understand who you are. Then again, during dreams you don’t act in as rational a manner as when awake, as dreams tend to not make as much sense as real life. Therefore you wouldn’t be as conscious during a dream as you would when you are awake. You are still conscious to some degree, however, since you are functioning in a somewhat reasonable manner. But you still aren’t clearly perfectly aware of yourself or your place in the world since in dreams sometimes you do things and see things that don’t make sense, but you apparently don’t notice them. This indicates further that consciousness is more a matter of commonsense and how well you know yourself than just standard intellect like would be present say when doing a math problem. Your ability to reflect on yourself might not be related to normal IQ, but might more likely be more highly related to emotional IQ.

In other words commonsense can be measured just as standard intellect can be. But what leads to commonsense is emotional intelligence not intelligence that is more related to memory or something built up over time, like skill. The more commonsense someone has the more conscious they are because they know what it is that they are doing. This is a different type of consciousness then the type that makes humans human, this is the practical type of consciousness that makes someone aware of their environment and their ability to function, versus a deeper human consciousness. In dreams people have very little commonsense, for example, in a dream you might try to do the same thing over and over again even though it might be failing, and you just randomly appear in scenes or scenarios with no background knowledge of how you got there or where in the world you are. That suggests that during dreams you are solely emotional. So commonsense isn’t just emotional intelligence, but it is a general awareness that would result from understanding your emotions, thoughts, and feelings all at the same time (and their place in the world). In order to understand the proper place of emotions, thoughts and feelings just a large assortment of knowledge isn’t going to increase your understanding of who you are. What is going to increase your understanding of who you are however is understanding how your emotions, thoughts and feelings fit into the general assortment of facts and information which makes up the world.

In review, commonsense and a general knowledge of where you are leads to consciousness. Those things both are clear facts separated from a bunch of haziness (the real world). So something like a bee might act like it understands its place in the world, but it doesn’t consciously understand it because if you put it in a glass cage it might just bat against the wall trying to get out over and over, not aware that it is ever going to get anywhere. The bee has no commonsense or knowledge. Knowledge in that case would mean understanding that it is in a glass cage, and commonsense would mean understanding that it is never going to get out. So to have commonsense you do need knowledge, but you need to take knowledge and appropriately configure it in order to gain common sense, or consciousness.

You need some knowledge and standard intellect (like memory) to attain commonsense (or consciousness). The more memory you have (random assortment of facts and information) the more information you have to put together in an organized way. It could be that it is easier to put together small amounts of information since it is less to process, leading to more commonsense than just being confused with a lot of memory. However, if you have a lot of data (or memory) and are also capable of putting it together effectively (like you wouldn’t be doing in say a dream) then you would have more commonsense then if you had less data and put it together just as effectively, because overall you’d have more data that is properly processed. So commonsense (or consciousness) is your ability to organize the data in your head. This data is organized relative to yourself, therefore giving you a greater understanding of where you are relative to the data. Disorganized data doesn’t count at all. A greater memory might increase your commonsense, but only if you can put that extra data together effectively. The bee didn’t understand the data that it was in a glass cage, and it didn’t understand that it wasn’t getting anywhere by hitting against it over and over. If bees had some commonsense they would fly around a room trying to get out instead of trying to get out in the same place over and over. They just have no idea what they are doing. But that is because it probably doesn’t remember what it just did. It might remember to some extent, but that memory might not be clear. So it isn’t the bees fault that it has no commonsense, because it didn’t have a large enough memory to collect enough facts to potentially use commonsense. A person with no commonsense in that example would be someone constantly running into the door without using the handle. You know the person has a large enough memory to remember that it just did that and it shouldn’t do it again, but it is still doing it over and over. That human is not conscious at all.

That human is showing no understanding of its actions. Understanding actions leads to commonsense because it shows that you know your place in the world. That human apparently isn’t aware of its current place in the world, which is that it is never going to get out of the room with that strategy. So the more sense someone has, the more likely they are going to understand their place in the world and what they are doing, therefore being more conscious.

The better one understands the statement “I am happy” the more that person understands how they are then relative to their condition at previous times. That would lead to them understanding themself better. The better someone understands themself, the more aware of themself they are, leading to increased consciousness. That is an example of how understanding feelings leads to increased consciousness. That is also different from what makes humans truly conscious, however. It is someone’s own deep understanding of who they are and how they are happy at that specific time relative to their life, and the meaning of that which makes someone really aware.

So life is a bunch of data that needs to be sorted in some ways in order for a sense of self to be identified. One way to sort the data would be to identify things similar to yourself. A data point in the center would be you, the points closest to that would be the points most similar to you, and the points further out would be more different. That type of sorting would lead to a long term understanding of sense of self. The other type of sorting where the closest points are what is most relevant to you at the time would be a temporary sense of self. Take the bee example, the bee doesn’t understand that hitting the wall over and over isn’t getting it anywhere, so for it a temporary data point that it is missing that would increase its sense of self awareness is that it isn’t getting anywhere by doing that.

The other type of sense of self is a more long term one. Things like what you like and dislike, and what emotions different things cause in you repeatedly would help you identify “who you are”. So consciousness isn’t just awareness of your environment, it is an understanding of yourself and who you are relative to your environment. That means a deep psychological understanding of your emotions, thoughts and feelings, an understanding of how you perform both in individual and general instances, and what your ability is to perform in those instances.

Putting together some data points doesn’t increase self consciousness as much as if you put together data points that relate to yourself. It is when you relate data point(s) to yourself that even more increased consciousness occurs, because you are relating yourself to more information, increasing your interaction with the world and therefore understanding yourself better relative to the world. So doing a math problem isn’t going to increase your understanding of yourself a lot, because those data points don’t really relate to you. It is going to increase your understanding of yourself a little because you understand what it is that you are doing, which increases your understanding of yourself, but it doesn’t increase how much you are thinking about yourself, which would increase your awareness of yourself even more. If you are trying to leave a room (the bee example) however, you linking your desire to leave the room and the fact that opening the door allows you to do that is linking a point about you and a point about the door together, strengthening your sense of self and how much you are thinking about yourself.

So basically any thought about oneself is going to increase ones sense of self. You have a permanent understanding of who you are that doesn’t change, and that is your long term understanding of self, but when you think about yourself, or you doing something (like trying to leave a room) your sense of self is temporarily increased because you are thinking about yourself more. So consciousness fluctuates greatly based on thought. It also increases greatly if you are having feelings or emotions about yourself as well. It increases when you are thinking, feeling, or being emotional about yourself because during those times you are more aware of yourself.

Commonsense increases someone’s ability to put data points (facts) together, but the more those facts (and resulting combinations of facts) relate to yourself the more that your consciousness is going to be increased. This leads to the conclusion that consciousness is just the awareness of the experience of oneself, and that experience includes ones actions, thoughts, feelings, and emotions (both long term and short term). It could be rephrased that consciousness is awareness of someone’s life experience, both short term and long term. The more commonsense someone has the more aware of their life they are going to be because they are going to be able to organize their life and their actions in an efficient, clear manner (both short term and long term) by connecting facts to themselves (the more distant the fact, the less consciousness it leads to because it is less related to yourself causing you to think about yourself less). The more someone is thinking about themself (or experiencing feelings and emotions about themself) the more they are going to be aware of that life experience because their life is going to be temporarily elevated in their minds.

It is impossible to have a perfect understanding of self, or consciousness because to do that you would have to be aware of the exact effect of each emotion, feeling and thought you have. To do that you’d have to be aware of everything in your environment, and everything that you can remember all at the same time. This means that your consciousness evolves based on your memory, that is if your memory changes, who you are changes because you can’t base yourself off the same things anymore. Who you are also changes based on your environment, and how aware you are of your environment.

You are going to be more aware of your environment if you are thinking more about your environment, or processing data about it (again this type of consciousness is more a functional one versus a deeper one). Processing data about your immediate environment leads to a greater sense of self because who you are is dependent on your immediate environment, because you automatically process what is going on in that environment. You get a lot of sensory stimulation from the environment you are in. That can be proved because when you think about your immediate environment your awareness of it increases much more than if you think about an environment you are not in. If you think about being in an environment you are not in your sense of self is going to decrease more than you would be if you weren’t thinking about anything, because your minds awareness is going to be divided between two places, so you’d have two senses of self. That links into the idea that processing data that is more relevant to yourself leads to greater consciousness, if the data is physically in your environment it is going to increase your self awareness because that is where you are (so you’d be thinking more about yourself).

While thinking about yourself being in another environment leads to less consciousness then just thinking about nothing, thinking about another environment without yourself in it leads to even less self consciousness then either of the two. That is because you just aren’t thinking about yourself at all. If you are processing data in your environment it is like you are thinking about that environment, only less so, so processing data in your environment would increase your sense of self more so than thinking about nothing in your environment, but less so than thinking about your environment directly. By “your environment” I mean the area directly around you, the closer it is to you the more related it is to you, so the more it is going to cause you to think about yourself. If you look at trees in the far distance you aren’t going to be as focused as if you were looking at someone right in front of you because your attention is on something less related to yourself.

In summary, when you think about your environment, or you being in an environment, your sense of self changes, (listed from most positive to least positive amounts of change) a) if you think about you being in your environment, b) if you are processing regular data in your environment c) if you are just in your environment not thinking, d) if you think about yourself in another environment, and e) if you just think about another environment (because you are removing you from yourself). This thinking about oneself leads to greater consciousness because that is what consciousness is, awareness of oneself which is going to increase a lot when you think about yourself (or have feelings and emotions about yourself).

Those rules apply unless the environment has data which is similar to yourself, say if there is a painting of yourself far away that you are looking at, it would cause you to think more about yourself then if you were just focusing on your immediate environment. So if the environment is just environmental, sensory stimulation those rules apply, but if there is something in the environments that causes you to think deeply about something then you are going to be either even more removed from yourself (if you are thinking deeply about something not related to yourself like a math problem or a person who is different from you) or even more related to yourself (greater consciousness) if you are thinking about something deeply which is similar to yourself (say a person similar to yourself, or an experience of yours was a personal experience about you).

That shows that if you think about consciousness as a short term thing, your consciousness changes all the time and drastically. For instance, one might have barely any consciousness at all if they are completely out of it (drunk, really unfocused, laughing really hard). During that time you simply have little or no short term consciousness. There are multiple different time spans of awareness, however, one is of your life in the long term (many years), the other is of your life in the short term (a few years), and another is of your life in its immediate, current phase (days or so) (or any combination of time). People about over 50 might have a consciousness for each 10 year or so span of their life, and they would constantly remember all 5. People are aware of themselves and their lives at different periods. The only thing that is very consistent that people have of themselves is their understanding of who they are, how they interact in the world, and how their emotions, feelings, and thoughts respond in similar instances. Those are things which don’t change a lot based on the environment they are in, and that sense of self, or consciousness, is a more long term one. So long term consciousness is based off of how well you understand the psychology of your emotions, feelings, and thoughts, and also how those three interact as a whole to produce your long term psychological state/condition.

So having a larger memory isn’t going to necessarily increase your consciousness a lot because it isn’t going to lead to a greater understanding of yourself. What you remember of yourself changes your consciousness, but it doesn’t increase or decrease it a lot unless it is a dramatic amount of difference in memory, like the difference in memory between a dog and a human. Unless the greater your memory the greater your emotional experience and you’d need to constantly remember all prior experiences in order to maintain the most advanced level of emotional experience you have. In that case a decrease in memory would decrease your emotional experience, and the more advanced ones emotional experience the more likely it is they are going to have a better understanding of themself.

That leads to the idea that certain emotional experiences lead to a greater sense of self more so than other emotional experiences. If someone was in a war they would have the emotional experience of understanding how they respond in combat, and their sense of self would then forever (or as long as they can remember) be a more action oriented one. So the deeper the emotional experience, the more it contributes to your self consciousness. The more individual the emotional experience, that is, the more related the experience is to yourself, the more the experience is going to increase your self consciousness. That means that there isn’t just self consciousness, but people can be conscious about the world around them and other people, and that there is an overlap between self consciousness and world consciousness.

That is, if you have an experience with another person, you then become more aware of that person as well as more aware of yourself. So you’d have more consciousness of that person, and more self consciousness. The same idea goes if you have an emotional experience with an object, or group of objects (in the case of a war it might be something like guns). Going to war might increase someone’s consciousness of weapons or danger. Consciousness therefore means awareness in general, not just self awareness. If you are aware of something, then you are conscious of it.

Most dictionary definitions of consciousness just list it as being the things people are most aware of. There are things to be aware of that aren’t major things, things which you aren’t “most” aware of. Awareness just happens to center around the self. That is a selfish view of the world. Someone could be only most aware of wrongdoing, more aware of wrongdoing than they are of themself, that is possible. If that were true for most people then consciousness would be defined as wrongdoing, not someone’s interest, or awareness in themself.

So the best definition of consciousness is therefore “everything that someone is aware of”. People are aware of things in both the short term and the long term. A fly is probably only aware of things in the short term, since it has almost no memory compared to a human. A human’s consciousness can change drastically, however (their consciousness, or what it is that they are aware of in total). Conscious just means, “Are you aware in general”, but consciousness means, “what are you aware of exactly”.

The next question is, what are people usually most aware of? Most dictionary definitions have as definitions for consciousness things like awareness of ones surroundings, ones feelings, ones identity, things that people are usually most aware of. Those definitions are people’s long term sense of consciousness. Over the long run, most of the things you are going to be aware of are going to be related to yourself somehow; therefore most of consciousness is based on the self. However, you can think about things that aren’t related to yourself, and your thought changes drastically, so during periods of thought about things that aren’t related to oneself that person is almost completely not focused on themself. It is impossible to be completely not focused on oneself because you are experiencing physical sensations from your body all the time (which are going to be about yourself), not just mental ones.

So someone can have consciousness about something, the question “what is consciousness” is like asking “what is awareness”. Awareness is when you focus on certain things and therefore think about them and/or have more feelings and emotions about them. In review, consciousness means “awareness”, “everything that someone is aware of”, “everything that someone is aware of currently”, or “everything that someone is aware of currently or during a certain period of time (say their life)”. So you could ask, “what was your consciousness over the last 5 years”. That would mean, over the last 5 years, what have you been aware of. The response could be “wrongdoing”, “myself”, or a large list of things. A more specific version of that would be to ask, “what are you aware of, and when are you aware of it”, or “over the last five years what were you aware of, and when were you aware of it”. If someone wants to know someone else’s life time consciousness they could ask, “what were you aware of throughout your life”. If someone wanted to know if someone was conscious about something (or what their consciousness was of something) they could ask, “what is your awareness of that thing”, or “what is your consciousness of that” (for example, “what is your consciousness of war”). You could also say, “what does it truly mean to be human” that could also mean what is consciousness.

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • Explaining the definition of consciousness shows how intelligence isn’t just random thoughts and emotions, but some parts of intelligence are directed thoughts and directed emotions, and that direction is what makes someone conscious.

Curing Depression

Depression arises from any negative emotion. Therefore, to eliminate depression, negative emotions need to be eliminated.

Depression arises from wanting things that you can’t have. You basically need to be satisfied with your current state/condition. Even thinking that although things are bad now, but there is hope for them to get better means you’re satisfied with your current condition. If someone wants something that they can’t have, they get depressed. Therefore that is the logical cause of depression.

That works on the small scale too in addition to the large, if you are unhappy with yourself in general, that is probably going to result in a larger depression than if you can’t go to the store right away. If you want to go to the store right now, but can’t, then it might make you sad, but that isn’t as large an issue as if you are dissatisfied with something like your personal life or who you are in general.

What if there is something that will make you happy but you don’t know about it? That is ok because thankfully there are only a few general causes of depression. The human condition can be studied and similar things that people want arise in each instance. Just go through everything that you might want but can’t have and say in each instance, it’s ok that I don’t have that, I don’t need everything.

Wouldn’t ignoring something that you want but can’t have be imposing blocks on yourself, that if you want something, you should let your emotions run free and let the desire go? Well if you do that, you’re going to be upset. You basically somehow need to justify that your current condition is the best thing.

The best way to do this is to realize that each person is an individual and unique, and that a difference should be viewed as an asset. That if you are different in some way, that that way is positive, not negative. That other people appreciate you for who you are. You need to have confidence in who you are and the state your life is in.

Is having too much confidence in yourself arrogant? Yes it is slightly arrogant, but it also means that you have what you want. If someone has what they want, they are going to be confident. That won’t be bad however, because people like people that are confident in themselves because they are easier to be around. Lower self confidence would cause someone to act differently. This is because they would be unsure that each thing they are going to do is going to be ok, so they are going to be hesitant and unsure, causing them to act different and more uncertain. Therefore confidence is the most important thing for someone to have in order to combat depression.

Confidence also eliminates fear. When you aren’t confident you are afraid that life is failing you, you are afraid that there is something out there that you want but can’t have. It is very important to not be afraid of anything. What if there is something you’re afraid of but you don’t know what it is? You need to go through everything that you might be afraid of, and eliminate that you are afraid of them.

What if you’re afraid of fighting a lion? Something like that would be a test of how fearful you are in general. Once you pull up the fear emotion by doing something fearful, if you are more afraid than you should be then something is wrong. That was just a test. You shouldn’t have a lot of fear in life for anything. You should have a lot of self confidence. So you shouldn’t be too afraid to do something like fight a lion, you should, however, realize that it is probably going to cause you to die.

How is it possible to not be afraid of death? Surely everyone is afraid to die. Well it is perfectly possible. Think about the situation if you were not afraid of death. What would you be, and how would you be acting, if you weren’t afraid to die. If you can imagine that, then you know that it is possible. If you can’t imagine that then go up step by step. Take something you are just a little afraid of, and imagine doing that without fear. Then keep going up. Eventually you won’t be too afraid of anything, including death.

Fear isn’t necessary. Part of logic is the understanding of facts. So if you logically understand that you are going to die, that is ok. If you get a weird feeling when you think about death (aka fear) then you should realize that you don’t really need that feeling. The feeling of fear is almost completely unnecessary. You don’t need strong feelings of fear to remind yourself that you are going to die if you fight a lion, or to motivate you to run away. Maybe the emotion fear can’t be eliminated completely, but the more that is eliminated, the more self-confidence you are going to have.

In fact, logically, eliminating any negative emotions is going to help eliminate depression. That is the definition of negative after all, bad and likely to cause sadness and therefore depression. Just go through the negative emotions of anger, fear, sadness, disgust and surprise. Try to go through anything that might cause those feelings and eliminate them. Also you can do the test like we did with the death test for fear. If you have a larger amount of that emotion than you should for an extreme example, (like death) then that is indicative that there is too much of that emotion in your system, that you are too afraid in general and need to reduce how much of the emotion fear is in your system.

Logically only positive emotions are good, and all negative emotions should be eliminated. They basically don’t do any good. The only reason to have minor amounts of them in your system would be to cause a small, healthy amount of anxiety to keep you on edge, but the key word there is still small.

Wanting things that you can’t have counts as a negative emotion which is called dissatisfaction. Also a lack of self confidence is a negative emotion because that is more likely to cause fear. If you have 100% confidence when fighting a lion you aren’t going to be afraid.

Basically psychology doesn’t need to be complicated. If psychology is complicated, then things like depressions can arise easily because there are complicated factors going on. Psychology, however, is actually simpler than it seems. Just imagine a person standing anywhere. This person is not doing anything; there are no inputs in and no outputs. If there are no inputs in and therefore no outputs, then there is no possibility for error (or a depression). Life doesn’t get much more complicated than just standing around and doing nothing, so where could a depression arise from?

It is logical then that something like a slight confidence boost (say imaging having enough confidence to fight a lion) should raise someone out of a depression and into feeling normal, like how they would in the situation where they were just standing around, getting no inputs in and therefore no outputs (output like a depression).

In fact, if you imagine yourself just standing around doing nothing, not only are there no outputs, but you probably feel good about yourself too. There is a simple pleasure in just absorbing the surroundings. That means that humans are like cars, when in idle they are set to go at a minimum speed. They don’t stop when you put them in drive but the engine keeps running at a slow pace. From where can a depression arise if our natural state is a happy one?

Concentration and Emotions are Important Factors in Intelligence

People can concentrate in various ways, and one of these ways is imbedded in how a person’s brain functions (their emotions, feelings and thoughts all contribute to a certain “brain structure” which would enable some people to concentrate more than others). All things which are harder to do and require a higher intelligence really require more concentration. Concentration is best understood when it is compared to a person’s emotional mind; that is, emotion and concentration are contrary to each other because as emotional development and temporary emotion increase, concentration decreases. As adults age their emotional development grows and how emotional they are increases as they learn to separate out the things they enjoy from the things they don’t, (as this is a sign of good emotional development) but their intelligence decreases. This must mean that something (probably emotion and emotional development) replaces the decline in intelligence that occurs as adults age. Emotion replaces it because that is the natural thing to happen. As animals use less and less of their conscious mind, they become more and more unconscious. For an animal with as large a brain as a human’s being more emotional would mean that they could be very emotional. The larger brain size increases emotional capacity. Since brain size doesn’t decrease over age the emotional capacity becomes used more as intellect goes down. When people are less intelligent, they tend to be more emotional because they have a more direct connection (they don’t have to “go through” or “think through” their intellect) to their emotions.

A good example of how concentration can have a large impact on intelligence is seen through the example of some people who cannot read and comprehend complicated sentences, but are capable of hearing and comprehending these sentences in real life (Durell, 1969). It may mean they just aren’t concentrating enough when they read as when they are listening. Listening leads to them being more interested in what is being said so they can focus on it deeper. The sound and/or social factors “wakes” them up and focuses their attention naturally. That means that solely because they were motivated their intelligence increased; that shows how emotion can influence intelligence.

Concentration is relative to emotion, which is unconscious thinking about something. Concentration is also another word for consciously or unconsciously thinking about something, usually when it is normally hard to think about that thing. That is, you need to concentrate more if you are being emotional or not focused in order to stay in focus, so concentration might then be better defined as thinking under pressure, or thinking in the absence of emotion. That is, someone very emotional would concentrate and that would be thinking under pressure, the pressure coming from the emotion, and someone non-emotional might just concentrate without having to battle wild emotions or distractions.

While concentration means thinking against the perils of disruptions and emotion, you can also concentrate when you’re not being disrupted. So any higher-level thinking can be viewed as concentration. This means that when you’re not concentrating, you’re doing more simple things, since those things wouldn’t be higher-level intellect. People can’t think about several emotions at once, so therefore emotional things are simpler than intellectual ones (so simple that you can’t think about them consciously easily – too simple). That is, as emotion increases, conscious thinking decreases, therefore the number of things you recognize yourself as “doing” also decreases. This happens because people can only think of a few things at a time, and if one of the things you are thinking about is emotion (which you would do just by being emotional) then you wouldn’t be capable of thinking as much consciously (remember emotion is unconscious thought) and that this lower thought capacity would be reflected in a lower intelligence. That is, unconscious emotional processes can replace the higher level functioning used in intelligence as your brain ages and physical factors in your mind decrease your intelligence you might accommodate that change by spending time and energy you’d otherwise spend remembering things and figuring things out by putting your mind into emotion. In the absence of thought you retreat into feelings because they are all your mind can physically handle. As people age their minds physically change to accommodate emotion more than intellect, which decreases. It could be that you understand how your brain is changing, and your emotional mind understands that as well, so you emotionally develop to accommodate your changing mental wiring. That is, as you get dumber (in certain ways) you learn to relax more because you don’t have to think as much. You retreat to become more embedded in your feelings and more sensitive to them because the intellect that was covering them up (partially blocking them) is gone. Younger adults might be wilder than older adults, but this does not make them more emotional because emotional means being affected by your emotions, so the younger adults might have a lot of emotion but their intellect isn’t affected by it, therefore they are less emotional.

That is, it could be that your emotional development happens to correspond with the physical changes in your brain. That is demonstrated by imagining an adult in a child’s mind (say around 3) it simply wouldn’t work because the mental wiring is so different. The child is simply too interested in the world and this greater interest is mirrored by faster learning connections in the brain. That is fitting because if you are interested in something, you want to learn about it. As you get older you want to learn less and your ability to learn mirrors your desire to learn. This coincidence is likely a product of good evolution. Learning uses higher level functioning because you need to draw conclusions based on data for the first time, and it is going to be harder to come to conclusions the first time you learn something then when you implement that learning later on. Using what you learned requires much less brain functioning because you aren’t getting used to new material which may require a different way to think about that material (it would probably require a new way since by definition you are learning).

Emotion is really any disturbance from concentration, which can be seen as higher-level intellect. So as emotion increases, your conscious concentration goes down, and therefore your conscious intellect goes down (that is when emotion increases a lot such that your willpower cannot overcome it, say during any highly emotional time like crying). But what then is unconscious intellect? It seems that unconscious intellect would be things like emotional intelligence, that is emotional intelligence would be processed unconsciously, since it is emotional. You can think about how “cool” something is but you don’t have a conscious thought process about it, you have an unconscious emotional one about it so therefore it is emotional intelligence and having more of that type of intellect might make you more emotional (because you are thinking and processing more things unconsciously, which means you are processing them with emotion). That means that emotional intellect is really just an understanding of things that make you feel, and therefore when you use this intellect you are having feelings so large you can usually identify that you are feeling something, like in the example where you identify how “cool” something is you probably are experiencing an emotion of enjoyment if the object is very cool. If the object is neutral (not cool or uncool) then you would still “feel” your emotions as your mind delves into the emotional part of your brain in order to figure out if you like it or not. You can test that for yourself; just think of a neutral object and ask, “How cool is that” – you become slightly more emotional when you ask the question because you have to think deeply in order to figure out the answer. If you ask the question of “how cool is that” to something cool then it makes you feel good because it is a cool object (this happens because it causes you to think deeply about how cool the object is, and think deeply means thinking more about how cool the object is, and since the object is cool you are going to enjoy thinking about it).

If you think about it emotion is really just things that distract you. Emotion and conscious concentration are completely contrary to each other; they are opposites. If something happens to you that is a disruption (like emotion) then you simply cannot concentrate as well, because you were disrupted. As in the cool example, when you think about how cool something is you start to have feelings about it, and this distracts you from other things that you might be thinking for that time period. That is, it feels like emotion “disrupts” you because it is unconscious, so it disrupts your consciousness because it causes you to feel which disrupts your conscious mind and you recognize your sense of self fundamentally as being a conscious being, not an unconscious one. In this way it is fitting that emotion would replace higher level intellect (as adults age), because it is clearly separated from it. That is, thinking about how cool the object is thought just like regular thinking is thought, you can feel that in your mind – this indicates that since emotion and thinking take up the same space they cannot exist concurrently.

Emotion feels like it is disruptions and unconscious thought (that is, because it is not logical so it disrupts your sense of logic and the rational continuity of life). When I say “rational continuity of life” I mean that you need to be logical in order to function in a way that would continue your life. You need to have a basic understanding of who you are and where you are and what you are doing (which having higher order brain processes as shown in a good learning ability helps). That understanding is often absent in dreams, where you are mostly emotional and you clearly don’t know what you are doing because if you did, you’d be aware that the dream you are in doesn’t make sense (as most dreams make little sense). Emotion doesn’t just disrupt people in that way (less logical continuity of life) but it would also cause someone’s mind to become more emotionally chaotic. In other words, emotion is unconscious because it cannot be understood. If emotion was understood, then it would be conscious and it wouldn't be emotion. That is why emotion disrupts consciousness and clear thinking, because it by nature is unclear and not understood. When something not understood such as emotion interacts with things that are understood (such as things in regular thinking and intellect) then the clearer thinking becomes disrupted, because something that is not clear and not understood in nature is only going to add components that don't make sense, instead of adding logical information which does make sense. That means that when emotion is on, thinking is off. Thinking and emotion cannot exist in the same space, because thinking by definition is something you understand, and emotion is something you don’t (you understand emotion to some degree, that is people can say, “I like that” which shows understanding of their emotions, but emotion is less understood than non-emotion related thoughts such as math, which is much more exact). To deal with this your mind must turn off emotion in order to think, and thinking off in order to feel; thus your brain separates periods of thinking from periods of emotion. The two components of intellect and emotion never exist together, they are by nature they are separate (in terms of time and separate in terms of nature).

If you are disrupted, you think about what happened unconsciously, so emotions and disruptions are the same (that is because disruptions cause people to become more emotional since they get so upset that they got disrupted, which in turn causes them to think about the disruption unconsciously, which is why emotion is unconscious thought - or an unconscious control process of conscious thought that is the mechanism by which the disruption causes you to stop; but what drew your attention to the disruption in the first place, however, was something unconscious because it was so fast - this quick attention to the disruption is emotion, and that is why emotion is thinking unconsciously). That further shows how emotion is different from higher level, conscious intellect.

If you are more emotionally developed does that mean that you think more unconsciously and therefore think less consciously? Emotion or unconscious thinking would replace your decreased intellect, and this is fitting because emotion also takes away from conscious thinking anyway because you only have so much space in your mind (you can only think about so many things at once, and it is harder to think about more things than less). That is, it is fitting that emotion would replace intellect because you are still capable of thinking of the same number of things, so you’d need to replace brain power used for intellect with something in order to maintain the same mental activity overall. That is, your brain still has the same power (which could be thought of as your number of neurons) but they are just used differently. That could also be thought of as when you age the number of activities you do remains the same, so you still need to use just as much brain power. When viewed that way humans can be compared highly with other animals, that is, most of life is really just doing simple, animal like actions. Someone could do something intellectual, but this isn’t going to result in a significant amount of more brain activity than non-human animals. Just because non-human animals don’t think in words doesn’t mean that they don’t feel similar emotions and feelings as humans. If one animal likes another they have a feeling about that. A human’s ability to put that feeling into words doesn’t necessarily add that much emotion or feeling. Most of the feelings people have come from external sensory stimulation, not internal (such as thinking) so therefore most emotions humans have are going to be similar to other animals (dogs, cats, etc). Therefore it becomes obvious that humans maintain a similar level of activity when they age as when they are younger. And a human’s intellect can be seen as just a mental blocking of their emotions; especially when compared with other animals in the world. Most emotions come from real sensory stimulation, not just sensory stimulation that you think of in your head say when reading a book. Doing the actions of the book in real life would generate more emotion than reading about them, for sure. So as people age they still get about the same stimulation, and this stimulation either needs to be felt or blocked out.

A good example of “blocking” emotional stimulation can be seen when certain behaviors of dogs are compared with that of humans. When a submissive (possibly younger) dog meets a more aggressive older dog (say the meeting between an American bull dog and a regular dog) the younger dog can show his/her submission by nipping the dominant dog’s snout. That is because the emotional interaction is so intense (due to the dominant dogs aggresivity and potential to harm the younger dog, who it views as annoying) that the submissive dog would be viewed as ignoring the dominant dog if it didn’t engage in a very friendly social interaction such as a nipping on the mouth. The nipping relieves the enormous tension between the two dogs, it is a way of saying, “it is ok we are friends”. The need for such a nipping comes from too much emotion between the two animals. If humans were in the dogs’ skins such an interaction wouldn’t occur because the emotional intensity wouldn’t occur in the first place. The humans’ intellect would block the emotional interaction, they simply wouldn’t be aware of it because they aren’t as aware of their emotions, the dog is more impulsive and responds directly to his/her emotions. The human might be intellectually aware that one dog is dominant and that this might be a problem, but they ignore it. Ignoring it would cause anxiety for the human in the dog’s body and the human wouldn’t know why. The human cannot give into their emotions and accept that there is a problem, and that it needs to be resolved.

This problem (the problem is there is a dominant dog and a submissive dog, and the submissive dog would be upset that there is a dog more dominant than it, and the dominant dog would be preoccupied by how annoying the non-dominant dog is, because it is so inferior to it that it is annoying, also there is a need to establish dominance) of dominance can be seen with other animals as well. If there are two roosters and too few hens the roosters are going to fight. If a human was in the rooster’s body (but had the rooster’s emotions such as a desire for the hens) then it would have to fight it out with the other rooster in order to relieve that anxiety of desire for dominance. The human is simply less in touch with its emotions than the rooster. That is, the rooster is capable of such desire for the hens that it is going to fight over the hens each time, humans on the other hand wouldn’t “have” to have a fight over anything that is emotional, they simply don’t experience emotions as well because they have too much intellect. Even though the rooster’s brain is much smaller than a humans, it is capable of much more emotion because of the lack of intellect. Emotional conflicts that aren’t solved then generate anxiety because they aren’t solved, so sometimes a lack of emotion leads to people being dumber instead of more intelligent. In fact more emotion means that animals would spend more time dealing with emotional issues, thereby causing less anxiety. It doesn’t appear that animals other than humans have the same level of anxiety or depression as a human. How often do you see a dog with a depression or long term anxiety? From those examples it is clear how intellect is a block of emotional stimulation, so if intellect (or memory, which is a part of intellect) is removed the result would be that the animal (including humans) would become more emotional.

Instead of intellect blocking emotions, it could be that intellect is simply changing the emotions to make them go away. That is like with the rooster example, a human might not be aware that there is a problem because he/she isn’t as in touch with its emotions (desire for the hens), or with the dog example he/she might not be aware that one dog is different from it and this causes a social issue consciously, but unconsciously he/she would be aware. So the tension still exists, only unconsciously, so the emotions related to the problem still exist. It is only that the human is blocking them out because of his/her conscious mind, which is capable of blocking the unconscious. He/she isn’t aware of these unconscious emotions because he/she is thinking too much (and thinking is a conscious process, so humans are conscious because they think, but this leads to a blocking of emotion). That could be viewed as that humans think in a way fundamental to their psychology and consciousness, so fundamental and important that it interferes with their emotions. That means that intellect is intricately tied in with emotions. If something is tied in with something else then as one increases ones awareness of the increase increases he/she is going to be aware directly proportionally of the larger portion (that is rather obvious). So as intellect decreases, the emotions that were always there from the large amounts of sensory stimulation and social factors become uncovered.

Just as emotion takes away from intellect, intellect also takes away from emotion. That is, if you are thinking about something you can’t be feeling as many things, because you can only think about so many things at the same time, and emotion is really just unconscious thought. If you have less conscious thinking then your memory is going to be less because you are thinking less about stuff. That is, emotion uses processes in the brain to think that relate to emotional things, like feelings, not intellectual, concrete things which you would be capable of remembering. Emotional things are complicated things which involve feelings and people have a very hard time thinking about them consciously (for this reason when people feel emotion it is almost all unconscious, that is, you do not associate emotion with a sense of self). Unconscious thinking isn’t as clear and defined as conscious thinking, so more unconscious thinking instead of conscious thinking would reflect less of an intellect (because it is less clear and defined, “cloudy”). What it might lead to is a greater emotional understanding, however. That is, it doesn’t help with concrete learning, like in school, since its nature is not concrete, but it might help with emotional learning, since its nature is emotional. That is, if you spend more time being emotional it might be that you have more insight into how it is that you are feeling, and have a more direct connection to your feelings.

The reason that less intellect would lead to greater emotion is because emotion is by definition feeling. And people don’t “feel” their thoughts. That is, thought doesn’t lead instantaneously to feelings. Thoughts can lead to feelings, that is you can direct which feelings you are going to have by thinking about certain things, but the thoughts themselves are not feelings. The thoughts are instantaneous; the feelings take time and linger in your mind. That is why there is an almost endless source of feeling, because you feel them and this feeling is more profound than something you don’t feel. It could almost be said that thoughts are just ideas, and feelings are real things. The ideas might generate feelings, but not directly. The reason that feelings are such a source of emotion and feeling is because feelings are more similar to direct feelings which you get from touching things, feeling things, smelling things, tasting things, hearing things and seeing things (the 5 senses). Stimulation of any of the 5 senses leads directly to feeling. It would seem like there would be an overabundance of such sensory stimulation if your intellect was taken away. That is why other animals’ minds are smaller than humans, because without the intellect if they had such a large mind to just process sensory information it would lead to an overload of sensory data. That is why most of the human’s mind is used for intellectual endeavors, and the feeling part of the brain is very small. In fact, how much people feel compared to how much they think is mirrored in the proportion of the size of the feeling part of the brain to the thinking part. That makes a lot of sense. People think much more than they feel. Animals other than humans tend to feel much more than they think. Just imagine you stopped thinking and just felt the world around you, like if you were a dog. That when you encountered a situation when you needed to think you instead just responded to feelings directly. If you did that then with the submissive/dominant dog example you would respond to the dominant dog (if you were the submissive dog) like the submissive dog does. You would feel the feeling “scared” when you encountered the dominant dog and feel that you would want to suck up, you’d do that by kindly nipping the dominant dog’s jaw. Instead people don’t respond directly to their feelings but they think about things. When they see the dominant dog they would think about the dog and not realize as well that they are scared. This would cause a tension in the relationship between dominant and submissive dog because it would appear that the submissive dog isn’t scared when it should be, and is therefore threatening the dominant dog’s dominance. That would cause both dogs anxiety and probably lead to the dominant dog growling at the submissive dog and the submissive dog running away.

In review, intellect disrupts emotion just as much as emotion disrupts intellect. This is because too much feeling or emotion can disturb an intellect because the intelligent mind is very powerful and can magnify the sensations and feelings it receives from the emotional/sensory part of its mind. Intellect also disrupts emotion because it blocks it out or minimizes it. It is capable of doing this because it is so much larger and more powerful than emotion. That is emotion is weak, but is capable of being large if allowed. It is like a river, emotion has a wide stream but it is moving slowly and has a weak current. Intellect has just as wide a stream but is moving much faster. Thus when intellect meets emotion, as it does in the mind, more “water” from the intellect comes in. If the water from the intellect is reduced, however, there is plenty of water from the emotion to take its place. The lake where the water from the emotion comes from is almost infinitely large, because people can feel anything, anytime. The lake behind the intellect however is more limited, so when you have nothing to think about you resort to feelings. This may make some people feel stagnant, (if they aren’t thinking) because they otherwise wouldn’t be moving around all the time. So for optimum enjoyment/health people either move around all the time, or think all the time, or do one or the other or both all the time. Before modern civilization people were hunter-gatherers and they moved around all the time, and probably thought less. In modern civilization it is more common for people to think all the time, and move around a lot less. That is a significant change. People might be more emotional and in touch with their feelings in pre-civilization time when they were exposed to more sensory and physical stimulation. Physical stimulation is a feeling, you get direct feelings from physical stimulation just as you get direct feelings from external sensory stimulation.

That is, either you are interacting with the world or you are thinking, and if you are interacting with the world you are receiving direct sensory stimulation, which leads directly to feelings. Sometimes intellectual topics lead to feelings, but they rarely lead to deep feelings (things like extremely intense arguments might generate deep feelings, and no one can handle those arguments all the time). Intellect leads to fewer feelings than real sensory input because intellect only leads to thought. How many thoughts can you think of that are more intense than doing the actual thought in real life? I cannot think of any. Real feelings in the brain mostly come from sensory stimulation and emotion, or unconscious thought. If a male sees an attractive female he might feel things and therefore get emotional, but he doesn’t have to think anything consciously to feel those things. So even though there are complicated thought processes (unconsciously) going on about the female, it was still sensory stimulation which triggered the emotion. That is, the sensory stimulation lead to no conscious thought that would be related to having a higher intellect. So that same person could feel all those things even if they had a lower intellect or consciousness (conscious mind) because the thoughts generated from seeing the female in that instance were unconscious. You can only think of a few conscious thoughts when the female is seen because you can only think so fast consciously, but you can think much faster unconsciously, and if it occurs unconsciously it is going to lead to emotion, because that is what emotion is, unconscious thought. Emotion is unconscious thought because if it occurs unconsciously it is something you are going to “feel” instead of “think”.

This emotional nature of emotion (separate from higher order thinking or learning ability) is best demonstrated during dreaming, where a person is entirely unconscious and therefore one can see how emotions (which are unconscious thoughts) function. Dreams are random, chaotic and rarely make sense – that is a reflection of the nature of emotion itself. During a dream you rarely know who you are and things occur which often reflect that you really don’t know where you are. There isn’t a strong sense of self in dreams because you can’t think clearly about yourself. “Thinking” is something which doesn’t really occur in dreams, because if you were thinking you’d realize that you were dreaming, and your mind would switch from its unconscious thinking which consists of making up an elaborate story for a dream to conscious thinking where you wouldn’t do that, or be capable of making up such a complex story and complex visual data that quickly. Emotion can really be defined then just as complicated confusion, such as exists in dreams, which are almost entirely emotional.

Dreams are so out of the ordinary in order to generate more feeling and emotion. The out of the ordinariness in dreams, however, also makes them less logical and make less sense. This means that in order for something to be emotional, it needs to not make sense; if it made sense, then it would be conscious thought not emotion, and that emotion therefore could be defined simply as stuff that doesn’t make sense that you think about, not just as unconscious thought. And “stuff that doesn’t make sense” isn’t going to be remembered because it isn’t stuff that you can think about consciously because it doesn’t make sense. Dreams still make sense to some degree, since there are events in them which are at least somewhat real. So while emotions make some sense, they still make less sense than conscious thought. That is, if you are feeling a lot then are you emotional, and if you are emotional then a lot of stuff is going on in your brain. It could be that emotional development causes people to focus more on things they enjoy as they get older and block out the things which they don’t like (this makes sense as it would be good emotional development) and that therefore they get to be more emotional and experience emotions better. That is, maybe people can separate themselves from the things they don’t enjoy and attach themselves to the things they do. Adults might even seem to be asking the question, “how does that relate to my emotions?” (Since they learn to separate out things they like from things they don’t like better, they’d have to relate everything to their emotions more.) This might mean that adults are capable of being both more distant and more “close” than teens/younger adults because of their emotional development, they simply don’t treat things as equal anymore and possibly as a result gain more feeling. The down side of getting older on the other hand is that the things you enjoyed before are now older and you potentially don’t enjoy them as much because of that (they are less “fresh”). More unconscious thinking (emotion) probably also helps to maintain a more emotionally developed mind, as emotionally developed minds would need to think more about their emotions since they have more of them. This means that as people get older they would get more unconscious, but more intelligent emotionally.

Evidence for the idea that adults learn to separate out emotional events from ordinary ones and emphasize the emotional more comes from studies in autobiographical memory retrieval. In a study done by Dijkstra and Kaup (2005) younger and older adults were tested for autobiographical memory retrieval. Older adults were more likely to selectively retain memories with distinctive characteristics, such as being self-relevant and emotionally intense, particularly when remote memories were involved.

In another study by Charles, Mather and Carstensen (2003) the forgettable nature of negative images for older adults was tested. Young, middle-aged and older adults were shown images on a computer screen and after given a distraction task, were asked first to recall as many as they could and then to identify previously shown images from a set of old and new ones. The relative number of negative images compared with positive and neutral images recalled decreased with each successively older age group. Since it is clear people don’t want to remember negative images as much, the study shows how age and emotional development cause people to select what they like more. This would cause people to “relax” more. That is, as adults get older and their intellect decreases, this lack of intellect enables them to be more in touch with their emotions and be more capable of selecting the more positive images.

Memory tests (R.t. Zacks, G Radvasky, and L. Hasher (1996)) show that young adults perform better than older adults when told to remember and forget data. The older adults remembered less than the younger adults when told to remember, and when told to forget data they remembered more than the younger adults.

The results show that younger adults have better control over their minds than older adults. A greater emotional makeup of the older adults is likely a consequence of this. Emotions would lead to less “mental willpower” which would enable younger adults to direct their thinking and to forget when told to forget, and remember when told to remember.

A paper by Einstein and Mcdaniel (1990) investigated the ability of old versus younger people to remember to carry out some action in a future time (known as prospective memory or PM). They suggested that different patterns might emerge between situations in which the PM target is triggered by some event (e.g. “when you meet John, please give him this message”), and those that are time based (e.g., “remember to phone your friend in half an hour”). Their work showed age-related decrements in time-based but not event-based tasks (Einstein, Mcdaniel, Richardson, Guyn & Cunfer, 1995). In my view that would indicate that the event based tasks were more emotional than the time based ones. That is, old people are programmed to work based off of emotional events that occur in real life, not based off something unemotional like time, which occurs all the time and isn’t associated with emotional events. Since they forgot more on the time based tasks but not on the event based ones, it suggests that older adults are cued into emotional events more than the younger adults because there wouldn’t be a discrepancy between the two. It is clear that the event based task is more emotional than the non-event based task because the non-event based task doesn’t occur along with an event. That is, the event is a trigger for the old adult to remember the task. Even if the older adult is more motivated to remember the event in the beginning, they still aren’t going to remember it later on unless this motivation is “triggered” again. That is, it is something unconscious (motivation, emotion) which helps them to remember the event. The motivation can be triggered better by the event based task because the motivation comes from the task itself, so they attribute a greater amount of emotion to the recipient(s) of the task. Events are simply more emotional than non-events.

You think of yourself as primarily conscious, therefore anything unconscious would take away from your consciousness because you can only think about so many things at the same time. If one of those things is unconscious that you are “thinking” about (and thinking about emotion is going to be difficult at best) then it would make you more confused because you would lose more of your conscious, clear, defined sense of self. That is, your sense of self is a clear and focused one (different from emotion, which is not clear). Your sense of self can’t be an emotional one, because emotion doesn’t really make any sense (already shown as in dreams) so you can’t really think about emotion consciously, because it defies conscious thinking or logic. So since your sense of self is what you think about consciously, you are not going to think of yourself as emotional, you are going to think of yourself as more logical than emotional and if you do call yourself emotional that just means emotional relative to other people. That shows that emotion is clearly different in nature from higher order logical processes. And that therefore as intellect goes down as people age as adults it is possible and easy for emotion to go up, because it is clearly separate from intellect. The idea you have of yourself is as a functional being, not an un-functional and chaotic emotional one (that is, if you were solely emotional, not logical, you wouldn’t be able to do anything, you’d just feel and not think – like a frog).

In review, as people age they learn to separate out what they like from what they don’t like, and this ability causes them to gain more emotion, and emotion, being chaotic and unclear in nature, clearly works differently in the brain than intellect does. Emotions are chaotic; they permeate all your thoughts and have an affect on them, like a cloud. When someone is emotional it certainly seems like your entire mind is affected. Some emotions even have physical effects. More evidence that emotion doesn’t use the same brain processes as memory and learning ability can be seen during very emotional times, like during sex or crying, where ones concentration is less. Concentration is needed to maintain intellect, and emotion is clearly different from concentration (as when you are very emotional during sex or crying you cannot concentrate). You can’t memorize multiplication tables (which to do you’d need to concentrate) during sex or crying.

If an adult is intelligent at the same time that he/she is emotional then he/she is relatively less emotional because the intellect balances the emotion. So older adults would be considered to be more emotional because their intellect (or learning ability) is less (if older adults have more emotional intelligence then that wouldn’t make them less emotional because to use emotional intelligence you don’t “think” to figure out the answer but you feel. Emotional intelligence is therefore a sophisticated way of being emotional that animals other than humans might or might not have). That is, younger adults are wild and they are smart. They would still be considered to be less emotional though since a greater portion of their brain is intellect. Animals (other than humans) would be considered to be even more emotional than humans because they have almost no intellect. Emotional is acting instead of thinking, and all animals do is act, not think. Younger adults could then be viewed as acting and thinking at the same time with a higher proportion of intellect than older adults, if you don’t think that older adults have a greater emotional intelligence than younger, that is.

The statement “people and their intellect are based on emotions” is a complicated one. They are based off of their higher emotions and their lower emotions. There is really no such thing as “no emotion” because people they are always thinking, consciously or unconsciously, and that is what emotion is. Sometimes it appears as if they have no emotion, but they are still thinking about things, they still have a memory and they are still using it, processing data and sensory inputs. Those things all cause thought and therefore emotion.

How then could someone be called non-emotional? It must be that they are feeling less, that is if they are concentrating deeply for a very long period of time then they might be a deep thinker that isn’t really wavering in their feelings, just simply thinking about things and not really doing anything interesting that would invoke a lot of emotion, or unconscious thought.

Many older adults complain about being too occupied, both emotionally and physically. That is better seen in very old people whose brains are decaying, for whom even tiny mental tasks can wear out their mind. It isn’t that their mind is being worn out; it is that they already lost most of their intellect but the pauses are filled with emotion. That is what animals are like, the experience you get from animals is an emotional one, not an intellectual one. Therefore animals spend more time being emotional. Emotional in that context means feeling, animals spend more time using unconscious thought and “feeling” the world around them. That is good evidence that as intellect, learning ability and memory decrease it is replaced with emotion. That is because emotion doesn’t need to increase, it simply needs the block of intellect to be removed. People were already thinking about enough things consciously and unconsciously. That is, someone’s unconscious mind is really being partly blocked at least as a younger adult, but when intellect is removed the unconscious becomes unveiled (like how animals are unconscious) and the person becomes more emotional as a result.

Evidence for the connection between higher amounts of emotion and a lower intellect can be found in test studies done on people with a depressed mood. In a meta-analysis done by Vreeswijk and De Wilde (2004) a confirmation of the connection between overgenerality and depression was done. The depressed patients were less specific in recalling their memory than the non-depressed.

Since being emotional is rated by how much proportionally larger the emotional part of your mind is than the intellectual part, older people do get more emotional since intelligence decreases over age. However they don’t necessarily get more emotion as they age, they simply get more of it relative to their intellect. The lowering of the intellect, however, would make them more in touch with their emotions and capable of greater emotional regulation (as evidenced by the study where successively older age groups remembered more and more of the positive images). They aren’t likely to get significantly more emotional, however because the amount of sensory stimulation they are receiving is going to be similar to what they received when they were younger. The only thing that would go down is internal stimulation or thinking which goes down from a lowering of intellect.

As adults age from 20-74 their IQ (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale) declines steadily (Kaufman, Reynolds and Mclean (1989). The verbal IQ actually stays about the same but it is performance IQ that decreases. From the postulates in this paper the conclusion would therefore be that verbal IQ is somehow related to emotions. Performance IQ is clearly not related to emotions because it tests mostly visual abilities. Verbal isn’t likely to go down because the things it tests have to do with emotion and emotional control of attention. You cannot control how effective you are doing visual stuff, however because it requires concentration to visualize objects because there is less motivation to visualize then there is to just think. Thinking is easier than visualizing because people are used to thinking about anything, however they usually only visualize things they want to visualize, not things that are going to be tested on the IQ exam. That is, you can use emotion to control thought but you cannot use emotion to control your basic intelligence as would be reflected in visual ability tests (performance IQ).

The “willpower” of adults won’t decrease as adults age. The willpower can direct a mind for under 20 second periods, and under 20 seconds is the time that it takes to do most intellectual tasks. Like a math problem. They could repeat the focus they put in every 20 seconds, “spike” their mind every 20 seconds or so to maintain this intelligence. The things on the performance test don’t require that much focus, either you know them or you don’t. Note that three of the verbal tests test mention attention or concentration specifically (which relate to willpower which relates to emotion as already stated). And the other parts of the verbal test measure things which are also going to relate to emotion such as information acquired from culture (you are emotionally interested in your culture) and ability to deal with abstract social conventions, rules and expressions (you are emotionally interested in social events) and verbal reasoning (tests things that occur in everyday life which you are emotionally attached to). The performance test on the other hand doesn’t test things that are likely to go down because of increased emotion. The performance test tests things that are more intellect related than emotion related, that is visual things require a more intellectual, flexible mind to move objects around in your head. While the verbal subtests just require some motivation to perform (only one component of verbal tests working memory (which isn’t that emotional and wouldn’t be subject to changes in concentration) - one component wouldn’t have a significant impact on the result).

Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale

Verbal Subtests

Information

Degree of general information acquired from culture (e.g. Who is the premier of Victoria?)

Comprehension

Ability to deal with abstract social conventions, rules and expressions (e.g. What does - Kill 2 birds with 1 stone metaphorically mean?)

Arithmetic

Concentration while manipulating mental mathematical problems (e.g. How many 45c. stamps can you buy for a dollar?)

Similarities

Abstract verbal reasoning (e.g. In what way are an apple and a pear alike?)

Vocabulary

The degree to which one has learned, been able to comprehend and verbally express vocabulary (e.g. What is a guitar?)

Digit span

attention/concentration (e.g. Digits forward: 123, Digits backward 321.)

Letter-Number Sequencing

attention and working memory (e.g. Given Q1B3J2, place the numbers in numerical order and then the letters in alphabetical order)

Performance Subtests

Picture Completion

Ability to quickly perceive visual details

Digit Symbol - Coding

Visual-motor coordination, motor and mental speed

Block Design

Spatial perception, visual abstract processing & problem solving

Matrix Reasoning

Nonverbal abstract problem solving, inductive reasoning, spatial reasoning

Picture Arrangement

Logical/sequential reasoning, social insight

Symbol Search

Visual perception, speed

Object Assembly

Visual analysis, synthesis, and construction

Optional post-tests include Digit Symbol - Incidental Learning and Digit Symbol - Free Recall.

There is more evidence that emotion plays a role in intelligence. In a study done by Bartolic et al. (1999) the influence of negative and positive emotion on verbal working memory was tested. Their data showed significantly improved verbal working memory performance for positive emotions and a significant deterioration in verbal working memory during negative emotion. That shows how emotion can manipulate intelligence in the short term, as working memory is a short term ability. Therefore, however, long term intellect (like the rest of the verbal IQ test other than working memory) might be manipulated or under the control of long term emotions. It seems like your ability to learn all the rest of the verbal IQ tests would go up during the period of increased emotion as in this study, only it is hard to test for that. But that ability over the long run would be reflected in no decline in verbal IQ scores, and there isn’t. That is, it isn’t likely that just verbal working memory would increase due to increased emotion; that was just the only thing that they tested for. The subject probably became motivated overall and this motivation and good mood gave him/her greater mental powers, not just a better verbal working memory.

As adults age their explicit memory goes down Howard (1988) but their implicit memory stays about the same. Howard describes implicit memory as the ability to successfully complete memory tasks that do not require conscious recollection. Since emotion is unconscious, that lack of decline would provide further evidence that emotional process don’t decrease with age, but more intellectual ones do. That itself provides evidence that the emotional part of the brain is separated from the intellectual. The emotional part of the brain and the intellectual part still interact, however.

Emotion can enhance or detract from intellect, and intellect can enhance or detract from emotions. In the long run intellect does not disrupt emotion, but in the short term intellect and emotions intermingle and disrupt each other. It was shown how emotions are separate from intellect, and how therefore concentration (which can be defined as thinking under the pressure of emotion [since to give undivided attention you couldn’t be disturbed by emotional factors]) is an important part of intelligence (such as memory). When people’s intellect is removed they become more emotional, as this is what is left. The source of emotion (sensory stimulation) is so large that it can never be ignored. Intellect, however can be ignored and emotion would rise up in its place. In the case of adults aging this “ignoring” of intellect happens as the mind physically gets older and some of the intellect is removed. This reveals the idea that humans have the ability to hold off emotion and do intellectual endeavors, or to indulge and bask in emotion if they want to (and switch between the two) sometimes as fast as a split second, and they can switch from one to the other for years.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bartolic et al., 1999 E.I. Bartolic, M.R. Basso, B.K. Schefft, T. Glauer and M. Titanic-Schefft, Effects of experimentally-induced emotional states on frontal lobe cognitive task performance, Neuropsychologia 37 (1999) pp. 677-683.

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