Emotions

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LoneBear
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Emotions

Post by LoneBear » Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:10 pm

I've been doing a study on the nature of emotions, trying to get a more formal definition of what they are, how they work, how they interact between things. I found a study done by one Robert Plutchik, where he was was able to define some 48 emotional states as combinations of 8, primary states. It made for a good starting point.

I then delved into "virtual emotions," which are pieces of software used in computer games to simulate emotional states and reactions by computer-generated characters to give them a more "realistic" feel. (The Humaine computer model.) There is quite a wealth of information in this area, because in order to simulate emotions, you need some very specific details.

The model defines two driving forces behind emotions: stimuli and appraisal. Both require that the organism experiencing the emotion considers them to be relevant to some major concern to the organism. It makes sense that you only have emotional responses to things you actually CARE about, which indicates that emotions are tied in to the valuing system (vMemes), as an expression OF those values.

In general, stimuli-response systems are an attempt to bring things back into balance. This can be done by a couple of obvious ways:
  • the yang, discordant approach, to make the situation worse and drive away what caused the response (rivalry)
  • the yin, sympathetic approach, to use the reciprocal emotion to neutralize it (rapport)
The more I look at the emotional states, the more I find they are analogous to the old "ether" sciences of the 18th and 19th centuries--they are non-local fields that are associated with a specific location in an organism--but that point (chakra, etc) is NOT the source of the emotion, it is more like the "center of gravity" of it.

If that is the case, then the levels of the body's emotional neurotransmitters, GABA, acetylcholine, dopamine and serotonin, are not the CAUSE of the emotional states, but a result OF them. Just like iron filings arrange themselves in a magnetic field, neurotransmitters adjust their states to the emotional field.

I have updated Plutchik's emotional correspondences to include all 48 emotional states (see attached PDF). The 8 primary emotions he defined also have an amplitude to them: the hypo (low) and hyper (high) states, which are indicated and grouped on the diagram. For example, hyperanger = rage, whereas hypoanger = annoyance. I have also broken them down into 4 harmonic groups; the primary are the solid circles, the 2nd harmonic (emotions as a result of two, adjacent primaries) are the dashed circles, the 3rd harmonic are the diamonds and the 4th harmonic are the squares.

The chart is arranged such that opposite emotional states are on opposite sides of the chart. This indicates that there are only 4 primary, emotional "axes," which seem to correspond to the levels of the neurotransmitters. My best guess at this time for those associations is:

joy / sadness = dopamine
trust / disgust = seratonin
fear / anger = GABA
surprise / anticipation = acetylcholine

So far, this arrangement makes sense to me if one considers emotions to be on the "cosmic" side of Larson's Life Unit (the cell--a stable combination of matter an cosmic/antimatter). From space, time (the cosmic side) appears 4 dimensional, hence the 4 axes for emotions would make sense. And from a personal side, it is a lot easier to deal with 4 emotional axes, than what appears to be 48 random emotions!
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Emotional Chart.pdf
Updated Plutchik emotional chart
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aurora
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Re: Emotions

Post by aurora » Sat Dec 24, 2011 11:54 pm

Let me see if I understand what is being shared here. In the diagram there are 3 circles that get progressively larger. Is there any significance as to which emotion is located in any of the larger circles? It is interesting to note how the increased intensity emotions are in the smallest most center circle as if they are condensed and increased in magnitude. As one moves away from the the center of the diagram the emotions seem to be of a more relaxed energy. And yet, moving outside the 3rd ring, the emotions have almost become our ingrained beliefs or behavior patterns. Though the intensity has decreased as the emotions move away from the inner circles, they appear to become the more complex emotions that are difficult to release and not use towards others.

I also find it interesting and yet am trying not to look at the emotions as positive or negative, but it appears that only 20-25 percent would vibrate at a much higher frequency then all the rest. It makes sense to me that our emotions would be the cause of chemicals being produced in our bodies since the perceptions in our mind are what provide the reaction or cause of those very emotions.

People get prescribed some of the chemicals made in a lab to replicate what the body should already naturally be producing. Those drugs just seem to shut down the neurotransmitters that allow that person to feel emotions in the first place thus blocking the natural production of other necessary chemicals made to keep all the systems in balance.

Our body has an incredible defensive mechanism that protects us from the most extreme and intense emotions. If one has not learned how to let go of the extremes and keeps them pent up inside, they can either erupt violently later or get stored into the muscle and fatty tissues. Through conscious intent and effort they can be released at a later date. However, long term, these locked in emotions are what lead to the loss of our health on a physical level each one impacting a different organ or body system. These emotions are manifested irregardless of an actual experience taking place or just the memory of that experience with the same intensity if not dealt with in the first place. Otherwise that event just becomes a memory with no power over our emotional release.

Though I make the above statements as if they are factual, they are from my life experiences rather then the in depth research that others do to help me digest some incredible concepts that I may not have understood otherwise. Thank you for the foundation of the research that allows others to build upon.

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Re: Emotions

Post by Gopi » Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:09 am

First off, Aurora... I have edited your post to change the color, I hope you do not mind. It was straining the eye to read that color, so I flipped it back to black, I can change it if you want it to remain colored though.
Aurora wrote: However, long term, these locked in emotions are what lead to the loss of our health on a physical level each one impacting a different organ or body system.
That makes a lot of sense... it would go into the parasympathetic nervous system. Hence many of the "tics" or mannerisms of a person can be directly correlated to the emotional make-up of the person.

One thing about emotions though, at least in my case I know I am within them when I am actually feeling the different emotions as I am examining them, with a little center of focus, a tiny calm spot in the middle of the storm. If I am not feeling elated or depressed or peaceful as I examine them, but am predominantly in one emotional state... then I am not really examining them, but only intellectually analyzing them. It has served as a good check, to make sure I am not merely spinning a web of thoughts without the right depth.

Maintaining that little calm spot is the toughest part though.
It is time.

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Re: Emotions

Post by LoneBear » Tue Dec 27, 2011 3:43 pm

Hi Aurora. You bring up a number of very interesting points.
aurora wrote:Let me see if I understand what is being shared here. In the diagram there are 3 circles that get progressively larger. Is there any significance as to which emotion is located in any of the larger circles?
I wanted to do this diagram in 3 dimensions, but it does not work well to post as an image. The three, solid circles that are linked together by a color would be better represented vertically, stacked on top of each other to indicate "magnitude." For example, ecstasy would be underneath joy (below the image) and serenity would be above it (above the image), as they are three faces of that emotional aspect. (I tried to do it that way, but the text ended up unreadable). So the innermost circle groups the strongest emotions derived from the primaries, the ones most likely to be repressed "downward" into the unconscious. The 2nd circle are the primary emotions, as indicated by Plutchik. The 3rd circle are the mild emotions from those primaries.

Everything outside the 3rd circle are "harmonics" -- relationships between the primary emotions. The harmonic level is indicated by the shape (dashed circle = 2nd harmonic, diamond = 3rd, square =4th).
aurora wrote:It is interesting to note how the increased intensity emotions are in the smallest most center circle as if they are condensed and increased in magnitude.
That is why I put them there, as close as I could get them retaining readability. I also thought they might be conic--projecting downward and meeting at the point in the center, sort of like a transition point between the conscious and unconscious aspects of the psyche.
aurora wrote:As one moves away from the the center of the diagram the emotions seem to be of a more relaxed energy. And yet, moving outside the 3rd ring, the emotions have almost become our ingrained beliefs or behavior patterns. Though the intensity has decreased as the emotions move away from the inner circles, they appear to become the more complex emotions that are difficult to release and not use towards others.
Also consider that in waves (like photons), energy is proportional to the frequency. The 2nd harmonic emotions would have twice the frequency--and therefore only needs half the intensity to have the same, apparent energy.
aurora wrote:I also find it interesting and yet am trying not to look at the emotions as positive or negative, but it appears that only 20-25 percent would vibrate at a much higher frequency then all the rest.
I've been working with the frequency aspect, and find that there may only be a SINGLE frequency to the primary emotions (joy/sadness, trust/disgust, fear/anger, surprise/anticipation)--and it is the PHASE that is significant. If you examine it as a wave, the peak would be the "positive" side, and the valley the "negative" side of each pair.

I did have one problem with determining the positive/negative placements--two of these pairs are obvious. Joy+/Sadness- and Trust+/Disgust-. When Fear is compared to Anger, it is Fear that is positive... which seems a little out of place until you look at the survival mechanism of the body. It is Fear that keeps you alive--a sense of "don't do that" that keeps you out of dangerous circumstances. In that light, Fear+/Anger-.

That leaves the "mystery axis"--Anticipation/Surprise--which is more of a temporal shift than a polarity. By that I mean that Anticipation is a "future expectation" and Surprise is more of a "past expectation"--didn't see it coming, but generates an emotional memory analogous to the feelings you get with anticipation. It is obviously a different character than the other three, polarized axes. I could not help notice the similarity to a mathematical construct called a Quaternion... | w ix jy kz |. The three, imaginary variables nicely match the three, polarized emotional axes. The scalar, w, is neutral in the context of the other three, and works nicely with Surprise/Anticipation.

So this diagram is basically a "yin" geometric structure--a Mandala.
aurora wrote:People get prescribed some of the chemicals made in a lab to replicate what the body should already naturally be producing. Those drugs just seem to shut down the neurotransmitters that allow that person to feel emotions in the first place thus blocking the natural production of other necessary chemicals made to keep all the systems in balance.
It is difficult to "shut down" a neurotransmitter, but it is very easy to "clog up" a receptor site--which is what most drugs DO. And as you point out, it creates an emotional avalanche throwing everything out of whack.

What has not been considered is the "residue" that drugs leave, particularly psychoactive ones. They enter the synaptic cleft to do their dirty work, but what happens after that? They are "neutralized" with another drug, basically producing a "salt" (chemically neutral structure), which has no where to go, so it just piles up in the cleft. Over time, the effect is cumulative causing emotional damage, memory loss, loss of cognitive ability (inhibits the flow of shen / kundalini in the brain).
aurora wrote:Our body has an incredible defensive mechanism that protects us from the most extreme and intense emotions. If one has not learned how to let go of the extremes and keeps them pent up inside, they can either erupt violently later or get stored into the muscle and fatty tissues.
Excellent observation, and very accurate. I've noticed that correspondence in my own life. Very interesting thought--fatty tissue is acting as type of "emotional memory" for repressed emotions. Makes sense given the reciprocal relationship between thinking (space) and feeling (time). Compression in time is tantamount to expansion in space. Repress those emotions into the soul, and the physical body expands to accommodate. Also works well with the psychological concept of projection--the spatial effect is plainly visible, just as all symbolic projection tends to be.
aurora wrote:Through conscious intent and effort they can be released at a later date. However, long term, these locked in emotions are what lead to the loss of our health on a physical level each one impacting a different organ or body system.
I completely agree.

Something else I've noticed and want to incorporate into the monastic aspects of the project, is the fact that it is MUCH easier to release these emotions in a friendly, supportive environment. Emotions are FIELDS, not senses, and as such, affect (and are affected by) everything and everyone around them. If you are in an environment where people are willing to release their own burdens, or have done it, it makes it significantly easier to release your own burdens as all emotional structures are sympathetic.
aurora wrote:These emotions are manifested irregardless of an actual experience taking place or just the memory of that experience with the same intensity if not dealt with in the first place. Otherwise that event just becomes a memory with no power over our emotional release.
Can you expand on this concept? Particularly the correlation between memory, power and emotional release.
aurora wrote:Though I make the above statements as if they are factual, they are from my life experiences rather then the in depth research that others do to help me digest some incredible concepts that I may not have understood otherwise. Thank you for the foundation of the research that allows others to build upon.
Factual or personal, they are still some excellent ideas that generate new ideas in my own mind. And for me, that's what "it" is about... expanding ones mind and horizons. Thank you for taking the time to reply!

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Re: Emotions

Post by aurora » Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:38 pm

One thing about emotions though, at least in my case I know I am within them when I am actually feeling the different emotions as I am examining them, with a little center of focus, a tiny calm spot in the middle of the storm. If I am not feeling elated or depressed or peaceful as I examine them, but am predominantly in one emotional state... then I am not really examining them, but only intellectually analyzing them. It has served as a good check, to make sure I am not merely spinning a web of thoughts without the right depth.
Yeah! I figured out how you had parts of my conversation within yours. Took me a moment though. Alright Gopi, no eye strain allowed on my behalf, black works.

You got me on this one. All of my comments have been based on intellectually analyzing rather then from feelings. Every time I turn around lately this has been like a short coming. This weekend at breakfast a friend pulled out a plastic card the size of a credit card. Once obtaining his permission to touch it, I held the edges of the card and looked at what was printed and painted on it. A rainbow of colors reflected off the metallic colored paint. The purpose of the card was to properly align the molecular structure of food and beverages as well as other energetic purposes. I passed the card to the next person after LOOKING at it. My friend Arden about flew out of her chair as she got an energetic rush from handling the card. My other friend Jill's reaction wasn't quite as extreme but was very obvious as she too handled it. When she was finished with the card I asked to handle it again and then by touching the surfaces, I could feel an energetic response to my touch that was very pleasant.

Because of what was taught in Qi Gong, I have held a sacredness of touching something energetic that belongs to someone else as if it will get contaminated. We were taught to build and store up our energy, then get it sealed within us. Almost like selfish hoarding. As I write this, it strikes me as odd to think that by willingly sharing with other giving people would cause any type of contamination unless there is ill intent. I actually used to love how my young grand daughter was fascinated and enjoyed handling my tools and stones. All I ever thought was how pure and innocent a child's energy is and why wouldn't I want to share in part of that? Oops, got off topic sort of here.

I appreciate the way LoneBear put the diagram together. I have never seen that many emotions listed out before. I can now giggle and admit after reading your post that it is easy to read each emotion, wait a moment and then actually feel that emotion and picture myself in a past situation when I actually experienced going through it. I will have to pull out a dictionary to understand what pensiveness represents and then I will smile again as I am sure I have felt that before too.

Thank you for helping me remove some of the cob webs.

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Re: Emotions

Post by aurora » Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:17 am

LoneBear wrote:
aurora wrote:These emotions are manifested irregardless of an actual experience taking place or just the memory of that experience with the same intensity if not dealt with in the first place. Otherwise that event just becomes a memory with no power over our emotional release.
Can you expand on this concept? Particularly the correlation between memory, power and emotional release.
Hello LoneBear, after reading what I wrote last night I can see why some clarification is in order.

I meant to show how "undealt with" emotions continue to wreak havoc within. As we remember a situation that we perceived as negative or bad that caused strong emotion, we reexperience that emotion strongly again each time we think about it until it is released from our mind and body. Once released, dealt with or our perception changes, that memory will no longer stimulate the chemical changes that would normally occur from the expression of the emotion that we previously held to correspond with that memory. Hence the memory now has no power over us to create the same negative sensations in our mind and body. Now instead of living the experience again and again, it would be like looking at a photograph of a place rather then actually being there.

Unfortunately, as with a picture, it can be easy to lose some of the good feelings that come from memories over time as well. This would make sense when looking at emotions as frequencies like described above moving away from the source.

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Re: Emotions

Post by LoneBear » Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:08 pm

I was digging through "artificial emotions" used by computer gaming characters, and they define quite a range of emotional states. But, when you examine the coded responses, they are just different magnitudes of the basic emotional range the Plutchik uses. He identifies "terror" as just amped-up "fear," which is reasonable logic.

In one of the discussions, the concept of "beauty" arose and as to whether it was an emotion or a property of a person, item or scene. Considering the expression of "beauty is in the eye of the beholder," it is apparently a reactionary condition specific to an individual, making it more of an emotional evaluation than the property of an object. Personally, I find the rugged wilderness of Wyoming to be quite beautiful; most others consider it boring.

So I got to wondering... when does something become "beautiful?" Throw 200 wind turbines on the Wyoming prairie, and what was beautiful becomes ugly. Ugly is another name for disgusting, which is one of the primary emotions. Beauty is associated with Joy, but is not ecstasy, so I'm thinking that beauty falls in as composite of the joy/sadness and trust/disgust axes--the positive aspect of that is "love," making beauty a higher magnitude of love.

That means when it flips, it goes to the other side to a combination of disgust and sadness--which, after seeing all those wind turbines for the first time over where I used to live in Medicine Bow, is very accurate.

I've also noticed that the more highly valued an emotion is, the more likely it is to collapse to it's opposite. Look at all the TV episodes where two people are deeply in love, one gets caught cheating and the other becomes immediately outraged. Where did all that love go? There is no ramp down--it's a flip from one strong emotion, to its opposite, then calms down. As a mathematical analogy, it is like counting up to infinity, crossing infinity, and coming down the negative axis. The crossover point is at the maximum possible value.

So I have two questions now...

1. Where do you draw the line in naming emotions? For example, how do you distinguish serenity from joy from ecstasy?

2. What are the conditions that cause emotional overload? What is it that "breaks the camel's back?"

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