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Reason-Induced Emotion 
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Post Reason-Induced Emotion
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Spinoza recommended that we fight a negative emotion with an even stronger but positive emotion brought about by reasoning and intellectual effort. Central to his thinking was the notion that the subduing of the passions should be accomplished by reason-induced emotion and not by pure reason alone. This is by no means easy to achieve, but Spinoza saw little merit in anything easy. (pg.12)


What are some methods that can be used to bring about this "reason-induced emotion" that Spinoza recommended?

What are some applications of this idea for "success" in life?

Eric




Thu Jan 22, 2004 11:07 pm
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Post Re: Reason-Induced Emotion
I may have found some elaboration on the topic you have introduced. In the last chapter, p 285 Damasio discusses how, "The contemplation of nature, the reflection on scientific discovery, and the experience of great art can be in the appropriate context, effective emotionally competent stimuli behind the spiritual. Think of how listening to Bach, Mozart, Schubert, or Mahler can take us there, almost easily. This is an opportunity to generate positive emotions where negative emotions would otherwise arise..."




Mon Jan 26, 2004 5:01 pm
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Post Re: Reason-Induced Emotion
I believe an important point may have been missed. Specifically, feeling, unlike reason, are unrelenting. Damasio points out (in the Feeling of What Happens) that feelings do not leave us until we are unconscious. Feelings are therefore persistent while reason is quickly assembled then released as attention moves on to other distractions.




Wed Jan 28, 2004 12:35 pm


Post Re: Reason-Induced Emotion
It's easy enough to say "replace negative feelings/thoughts/beliefs" with positive ones". But more difficult to get biochemical leverage over the feedback loops that produced those feelings/thoughts/beliefs. Between the surface level (conscious series of words, images, feelings) and the biochemical level, there has to be a buildup of control...let's say the brain codes "willpower" as an internal voice with specific parameters and settings (a voice tone with rising and falling dynamics, resonance, etc) and a feeling of fullness in the chest...saying to yourself "I am a confident person" in a depressed, hesitant monotone won't work.

Let's say "willpower" is in competition with "arrogance" or "trepidation", each of which comes with its own voice tones, imagery and feelings. If the conscious mind is unconscious of all the parameters involved, it may find itself clinging to "arrogance" if it is available, in order to overcome "trepidation" because the parameters for "willpower" are offline or scrambled (imagine a video editing station where things keep rewinding unexpectedly...you can't yell at the machine "stop that!"...you have to understand how the mechanisms beneath the control panel work).

So we often yell at ourselves to "try harder" when really we lack a map capable of changing the territory. We then yell at others to relieve the frustration. But what if, instead of trying to override unconscious biochemical loops with words, we could directly change the way those loops function, as an enzyme changes the shape of a protein? Would those enzymes (clusters of words, feelings, tones, etc) have to arise organically from what is already there, or could we interfere "top down" with unconscious processing?

Any ideas welcome on that subject...

Michael




Tue Feb 03, 2004 3:47 pm
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