Sunday, February 15, 2009

Emotional Content; I was just about to rant!




I was just about to rant and then I thought it better to have a conversation. My own gentle atmosphere has been riled up enough but we must talk.

I went to a professional function last week where the speaker took the position that emotions must not be considered when determining the truth... you could use the big T (universal application) or the little t (verifiable). Ask me why did that bother me?

A conversation between two

19th century women

liberally interrupted by anachronistic references...

Friend: Dear, you seem upset? What's on your mind?

Me: I'm disturbed that some "educated" professionals are still committed to reasoning through dry facts when trying to test determine the "ultimate truth."

Friend: Why would that bother you? People all have different opinions...

Me: Yes, I know this. Recently, we have begun incorporating emotional intelligence into our thinking. And you know that art is a medium that expresses feeling. So many things. Plus, in our time, women are called hysterics because they express too much emotion. Maybe they disagree with a decision that is made by their husband but their passion is seen as an indication of their weakened mental state. You see?

Friend: I know of the hysteria diagnoses...but certainly you don't think that will return?

Me: No, I'm thinking of the way we understand in life. If we omit the heart where will our insights lead?

Friend: Yes, but that is impossible. No one can function on a purely rational level because all humans have feeling.

Me: Yes, but the argument is to omit that quality and test for truth dispassionately. I think this argument has some validity but it's like the finger pointing to the moon...truth is not all verifiable...I don't accept that premise.

"All instruction is but a finger pointing to the moon; and those whose gaze is fixed upon the pointer will never see beyond. Even let him catch sight of the moon, and still he cannot see its beauty." Adhyatama Upanishads

* * *

Me: Why are we going back to this type of reasoning? We must include the heart even within our logical reflections...where will this type of dry thought lead us?

Friend: Dear, if you are talking and questioning then we are fine. Everyone won't be convinced.

photo -painting A Friendly Call William Merritt Chase


  1. Quite frankly I still do fear that powerful men may decide to incarcerate women who do not agree with them. They only need two doctors to say the woman is "ill" right?

    But there is always "Follow your bliss" which to me is the same as follow your heart.

  2. Thank you, Suki for the visit, and I understand your fear...yes, good point, follow you bliss is like following your heart. (And Joseph Campbell was a man, too.)
    So you don't think I was over-reacting :-)!
    Thanks for the comment. <3

  3. no, you are not my opinion, which is all it is~mine~ one's truth first comes from the heart, all else is merely can think everything is provable as well as the opposite, that nothing is provable ... in the end, for me, it is about what speaks "true" to me...I suppose if I lived in a scientific world in which I must prove my theories, truth would mean something different, no? but I don't...and I have lived long enough to realize that the only truth is what I believe is isn't even about what I "think" since it's all an illusion anyway, but that is my Buddhist pov! ;) perhaps a little skewed and certainly not helpful...

  4. Thank you, Linda...I think people say you are over-reacting when you react...sometimes we are suppose to act like we don't care in order to make others feel at ease. As an artist, if you didn't care, how would you be able to create? I do accept that we need to be able to step back and evaluate...but I don't think we get an accurate picture of any event if we don't consider the emotional element. I appreciate your thoughts, Linda. <3

  5. Interesting; I've experienced this a lot lately from a couple of people close to even "delicately" suggested hysteria...I'm horrified that people would consider that the extreme control or repression of emotions to be a commendable thing in communication...

  6. Cynthia, you absolutely were not over reacting. I get this kind of thing all the time and it is my biggest issue with academia. When I was doing interior work(my area of expertise is environments for children) we were asked to consult on a new lab school for a major educational university here in the US. It was a premo position as the head person was one of the top in their field. I came away so horrified these people were actually working with children ....little children. They spoke of these small humans as they would lab rats...specimens! There was no emotion in their work and the only passion was what they might get published next! I am not joking.

    Now, don't get me wrong, I suppose there is a time and a place for facts, but also emotions have to be a part of that evaluation. For example, I would not want an architect or engineer to design a bridge without facts, but I would also expect some good human elements there, too.

    I feel academia does this to people sometimes. I have a sweet daughter and I can tell when she has been inundated with academic types right away... her entire persona changes. Once she has a chance to step back from it, she is a lot more rational.

    Now, after saying this, I have to tell you my best friend of over 30 years is a professor, my daughter (and probably son) are well on their way to also being academics. I am married to an engineer with graduate degrees and we homeschooled our children. These people put up with a highly emotional moi! In telling you this, I mean to say those of us who are really in touch with our emotions and who stand firm in living our lives from a very human standpoint can at least be a force which changes the way these people view the world.

    I constantly remind people is balance the universe seeks as well as people.

    I am glad you shared would have been quite okay to rant, too...we need that from time to time.

  7. very interesting a food for thought.
    personally, i love a good rant so next time dont hold back !
    lisa x

  8. Braja, yes, since you speak from your heart and sometimes even offend...your readers give you support or criticism...that doesn't seem to keep them from reading though! I hope you feel more peace and that readers understand that you just seek to communicate honestly.<3

  9. Hello Darling Cynthia,

    The nerve of that person! RANT,RANT,RANT, HMPH!

    A thought struck me, (just the one!)that in my spiritual studies, I learned that there are four bodies: Etheric, Mental, Physical and Emotional. Without the emotional component, we wouldn't be whole.


    P.S. You are welcome to say anything you like to me, I consider you my friend.xx

  10. Kim, you gave me a lot to think about here. I home schooled my son for a while and I
    have had students who benefitted from that experience. Usually, they were far more independant and mature. I think its important that children and young adults develop their empathy and sense of connection to others. Unfortunately, we teach competition and ranking in school and society. I try to minimize that in my home and classes but also help to integrate postive team-community traits in those who come in professional contact with me. I completely understand your position. <3

    Lisa, it was enough for me...this time. You know when you have a tooth-ache and the pain starts to subside? Well, my tooth was on the mend and I didn't want to provoke another throb of pain. I'm feeling much better, thanks. <3

  11. Natalie, thank you for your open hearted support. You know what you said is also what I tell my children. Mine, "You have to make sure everyday that you connect and develop your emotional, physical, mental and spiritual self (ves)." I read that in a book called "The Natural Child." It also helped me to think about how to approach childcare...I would make sure that they had a cycle of rest, active time (physical), passive active time (mental and creative) and then the cycle would start again. Also, I remember teaching my children about the life in all son took me so seriously (when he was little) that he would put his hands together and ask the butterfly for forgiveness when he caught and killed it. I probably sound extreem. I think I told him he had to ask forgiveness for taking the butterfly's life just for fun. I so enjoy talking with you too, Natalie, dear friend. <3

  12. If we only thought with the brain and not our emotions - imagine the monotony of our lives. To make all the right decisions and only those that had been considered and re-considered. Every life situaton would be an intellectual evaluation - no thanks. The best decisions I have ever made have come from the heart, from the emotions and only after that have they been backed up with some intelligent thought and planning. Great food for thought Cynthia and thank you for 'taking my tour' to Venice at French Essence , xv.

  13. *Put another way, Smith explains, good people judge correctly what is good for them; bad people judge incorrectly. All wrongdoing simply results from errors in cognitive judgment*

    I think these two authors just want to publish a new book upturning all their previously-held views, in order to earn some cash. Who is to say what is good or bad in this case.How many more books can be written about someone like Socrates anyway?

    Anyway you were perfectly in order to want to rant. Women have been judged harshly for too long- easy to label them hysterical or nagging.

  14. I'll rant if I want to.................

  15. Hmm, where has my first comment gone.........Thank you for email regarding expat blog. I have actually joined that a while back.

  16. Vickie, I completely agree that all decisions cannot be made with the head...most of my life would have turned out differently if I was daunted by the realistic facts and odds of success. Every move seemed like a great risk...both personal house location moves...and professional moves... I know that you understand that because you also have relocated and expanded yourself professionally while others you know have stayed in a more familiar. Maybe they were wise...related to their particular situations...but life challenge is what makes great change possible. I enjoyed the tour and certain hope to go to Venice someday...too bad I haven't gone day I will spend some time in Europe...I'm still putting my almost grown children through school. My daughter is in love with England and I was trying to show her your highlight tour of your city. I'll try again. Sometimes the images take a while to arrive...but of course always worth the wait. Thank you for the visit, Vicki. <3

  17. French Fancy, thank you for your reflective comment. You know that the rational mind argument is so ego centered...decide what is best for yourself...I think we have to consider the best for all concerned which includes yourself, too. We live with others and need to be guided by the welfare of all otherwise the me-me-me thinking would distroy others...and make for a miserable world.
    I hope you feel sorted out with the OU course. See you soon over at French Fancy. <3

  18. Hi Jude...nice of you to come over to our humid Puerto Rico...I always think of the dry beauty of Crete when you visit...lovely. I also am reminded that I want to walk in nature as you do...and 'lose a stone' (14lbs?)as you have! Take care, dear Jude <3

  19. Charmaine (HDD) yes, "everyone won't be convinced" I guess that is the importance of taking a stand in some that those who are easily impressed reconsider ... are encouraged to reflect. Thanks for the visit, busy Vintage blogger! <3

  20. Oh, I think that I am going to lose the entire day here! What a delight your blog is! Your thoughts are refreshing. Vibrant.

    I, too, am an emotional soul. My first husband always said that he could 'fix' me. :( I'm happy to report that he failed and I am still as heart-led as ever!

  21. Hi Susan thanks for the cheerful feedback and encouraging feedback. I was just watching One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest... and Nurse Rachet is exactly the non-emotional type that I worry about! I hope you come back, I love welcoming creative writer types! <3

  22. Susan, I just saw that you will be joining us here at Oasis. Delightful! <3

  23. Wow... what an interesting and though provoking blog you have. Thanks for stopping by mine so I can follow you back to yours and subscribe as a follower. I'll be back!

  24. Sheila, welcome to Oasis! Your creativity will be honored wonderful that you are striving for your true "artista" dream! <3

  25. No emotion? Ridiculous. Your commentary is perfect for such a ridiculous statement. Although if you were at a physics symposium I guess I could see leaving emotions out of things- an emotional physicist would surely lead to anti-matter or something worse!

  26. JBA, funny "anti-matter..." Is that before or against matter? Yes, sometimes we have to set our reactionary emotions aside...especially in delicate situations. Thanks for the visit! <3

  27. thank you for saying hello at my place. not sure how you found me but it's nice to meet you.

    i've had this discussion a number of times since i was raised be decidedly "rational" people but in some ways i tend to be more emotional. i like to think i've found some sort of balance between the extremes by considering that the likely emotional impact of a given decision is another fact to enter into the equation. ;)

  28. I've had so many heated arguments on this subject. I always stated that feelings are a manifestation of intelligence. Our emotions guide us to the real intangible truth in our hearts. Many people fear their emotions because they are frightened by what they might seein them.

  29. The tendency to abstract (reason from passion, for example) is what gets us humans into trouble.

  30. I used to hear "your so emotional" and feel I needed to fix something about myself. If I could go back now I would just say thank you. My emotional intelligence is what makes me a compassionate human and I am happy to feel and think with my head and my heart.
    xx lori

  31. Hello Cynthia...thankyou for visiting my blog and, I see you have honoured me by becoming a follower [I shall return the act forthwith]

    I believe that there is a truth you feel, and a truth you know a posteriori and which can be argued without emotion. I can feel in my senses that good is right, even if I know empirically that in the cause of 'good' much harm has been done.
    I have known academics who would analyize 'I love you'.

  32. This is long and complicated and I haven't read all the other comments yet.
    But I do know one thing for sure..... I'm glad I'm out of the stupid academic world - which has rubrics and grades people on all sorts of absurd scales.
    Hard to judge 'emotional intelligence' except I do think, like creativity, some people have it in spades and some lack it altogether.
    Some people lack common sense.....many academics included.
    Some people lack the gift for empathy and acting with kindness towards others.
    How the world of academe likes to give rules and structures.....
    Again, I'm glad I've said goodbye to all that -thought I still read a huge amount.... but nothing academic.
    love and hugs!

  33. Lime, so glad you could join our discussion. It is a gift to have found your balance between rational and emotional thinking and reacting...personally, I can deal with other's emotional reactions so much more...even anger...than the cold reactions of some rational employed to help professionals. I think it should be a requirement to practice empathy in all professions that deal with people. Nevertheless, I notice that when I'm in a real crisis, I tend to get calm and fact centered. It must be the needs of the situation...kind of adapted reaction. <3

  34. Thank you Pink Cowboy for you comment connecting intelligence and truth to emotions. I don't know why people (some professionals) act in such a distancing way..."objective" really a perplexing stance...I think it means evaluative...which does not mean understanding. Thanks for your comment and visit. I hope the new ranch is up to your excellent standard. <3

  35. Indie, so glad you found your way here. You make a good point and I could give an example "crimes of passion"...but I think that there is a great difference between reasoning from emotionally intense thought and including emotion in your reason. I'm not just talking about semantics...I actually mean that emotion is a fact for human experience. If we omit it in our field of analysis then we are mistaken in our outcome. I tell you this because I know you are in grad school and that is where the confusion starts. Often students get validated for their analytical abilities that discount emotion. Whoever became "happy" without life, I mean. "Happy" is an emotion. <3

    Lori Ann, you certainly know how to live from the heart...and without defense...your warmth, open-mindedness, and abundant heart pours through your the readers! <3

    Moannie, how delightful that you will be a regular! I so enjoyed your "post" post (theme/entry). You describe a process of truth discovery that is felt so how would it be tested? by outcome? so when you arrive at your truth...are you satisfied (emotional)? Do you get what you want (factual/rational)? Or both? I think truth is entirely personal (person specific)...and also that some truths can be tested and validated...but not ultimate truth...which ends up being subjective. <3

  36. Thank you Elizabeth for your input into our discussion and you are so right that rules and structures are found in (or forced in)the academic world. I do the same thing, I suppose. I worry when facts are considered outside of emotion because that is where the practical application is useful. If our knowledge creates a kind of 'superior robotic' type intellect then we have failed. I'm glad that you have your creative expression intact! (As evidenced~note the rational expression~ by your blog/photography) How could we even express or create without developing the emotional sense? I agree that empathy is important ~crucial~ to all forms of experience and expression. Such a joy to have you here dear blogger friend. <3

  37. Cynthia

    My thought...or at least one of this is...from The Little Prince. What is essential is invisible to the eye and must be seen with the heart...emotion..I suspect:>)

    Please check out the new post at Psyche Connections. There is a much deserved blog award waiting for you there. I so appreciate your blog. Now that I am cured for the past months bronchitis...I have hope of reading more!!

  38. How refreshing,

    I am used to the world of academia and especially medical academia... how easily people find it to separate heart from mind... In my line of work 'professionals' often cringe at words like love and 'soul'.

    Let them cringe...

    We love anyway,

    ;) Blessings of love and light to you friend,



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