Wherever you go, whatever you do & how you interact, there seems to be several patterns: depicting your behaviour & attitudes, lying beneath the surface of an apparent reality, the reality which we perceive & feel every instant through our senses & intellect. But, there are many other phenomena going around each pattern that we hardly even realise & emotions are one of those phenomena. We are going to look more on this emotional perspective of human lives & we will explore together that what are they & what can we achieve by putting them into action!
Let us start to understand this natural concept by looking at the following four basic questions about emotions/passions:
What is the exact meaning of emotions or passions?
What are their types & where can we find them?
How they are perceived as a general & why?
What role do they play in our lives & how?
To answer the aforementioned questions in a more general sense requires analysing self in terms of balanced judgement & motivation. The answer to the questions can be approached through ethical, scientific, religious, philosophical & spiritual manner but, we can say that emotions involves certain complex processes regarding the experiences & engagements with the world by humans consciously & somatically. By means of simple definition, emotions are mere feelings which are inside all of us & sometimes, we have to make little extra effort to actually learn different feelings as we have to cope with our society’ general behaviour.
One might start to discuss about their presence that whether emotions are physical entities, which have a lot to do with the world & the people or are they just natural to human/animal psyche & have to be observed individually as they are inside the brains. Our argument will go towards both of the sides without any confusion because emotions or passions can be found & analysed in various aspects of our lives, from physical experience to the rational thinking. As they are present in many forms & we can find them within ourselves & others, we seem to have a clear view that how they might have shaped our culture & society & how they govern our behaviour, morality & approaches toward other things.
From Stoics to Buddha & still yet, we see that emotions are perceived both on the positive as well as on the negative side but, mostly they have been taken into negative considerations. The reason behind this is that emotions seem not to be getting mixed with the world of reason for example ancient civilisations & their people believed that in order to get a peace of mind or a state of balance in life, try to be free in terms of emotions or to avoid their interference in your life completely. Many people have tried controlling emotions in their lives to achieve a tranquil state of being but, all their efforts gone in vain not just because of passions but for various other reasons too which reminds us that it all depends upon a person that how he/she chooses to live his/her life with their presence.
There are many aspects/categories of emotions for instance some emotions are very specific, others are very general in sense (Joy & Depression) while there are some emotions which are long-lasting such as ‘Love’ & even brief ones as ‘Anger & Embarrassment’. So, there might be different doors to this concept that opens up in different dimensions but, the only aspect behind this concept is the relationship with the environment or the world. Take love, for example, to consider the above aspect as this emotion/passion has been debated for many times with significance. Although, love itself is a positive emotion & actually a process that develops over time but, it may not have ultimate or perfect outcome for sure though, it provides an opportunity to make choices & accept responsibilities, which has a lot to do with the experience & the people.
Now, what is the purpose of emotions/passions in our lives is difficult to understand but, it is believed for centuries that emotions actually create us as a real person & give meaning to ourselves & life. Also, passions have the ability to fill people’s lives with capabilities to motivate their moral behaviours & to conceive the world around them in the form of creativity, which might be the key to a happy & a hedonic life. Philosophers like Friedrich Nietzsche & Søren Kierkegaard have stressed the importance of having passions in one’s life is the characteristic of a good life. On the other hand, emotions are also suggested to be irrational because they sometimes lose their control, depending on the situation, & pose a great danger to ones intellect & to the framework of reason.
Existentialist Jean-Paul Satre had proposed that emotional perspectives in people’s lives alter the way they think which in turn, influences their decisions to match their goals & personality. This perspective may also be taken into the account of science & sociology that it contributes to the overall process of evolution of human kind & its nature as Nietzsche had explained. By this process, everything, that has been associated with the human existence & with the matter around us, is in the process of adapting to their environment in a more favourable way. As a result, this will produce, over a course of time, a conduct of new value systems, new intellectual states & new ways of dealing ethically in humans as a whole!
In last, all we can absorb is that emotions can be used in variety of ways to achieve certain human goals & aspirations & to get started, we need to first explore our passionate lives & then, apply them in a natural & a beneficial pattern as the key to human flourishing, accordingly Aristotle, is to have the right emotions in the right amounts & in the right circumstances.
(References can be provided upon request!)
Written & Conceptualised by Junaid Jabbar
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