Joy and meaning does not come from our thinking; it is a different faculty

Reply Thu 22 Dec, 2016 01:41 pm
Most people would think that to perceive your life as joyful and meaningful, that this solely comes about through one's way of thinking. This is not the case. You must understand here that all our experiences are produced by our brains. This would even include our ability to perceive our lives as joyful and meaningful. When you are in a state of misery that gets to a certain point, certain areas of the brain become overly active while others turn off. Your ability to function in life will get turned off which means this faculty has been shut down.

But your ability to perceive your life as joyful and meaningful can also get turned off as well when your misery and depression (hopelessness) reach a certain point. So when you go and listen to your favorite song, it will have no more significance whatsoever to it. It will now sound like nothing more than a stream of noise.

Ask any neuroscientist regarding everything that I just said and they will tell you that I am right. They will tell you that our ability to perceive our lives as joyful and meaningful is a faculty of our brains and that this faculty can get shut down during times of severe misery. So joy and meaning in our lives actually comes through a different faculty of our brains and not simply the faculty known as "thought."

When I was in a state of misery and listened to my favorite songs, they were nothing more than an insignificant stream of noise. Despite my efforts in thinking to myself that the song still had significance, this did nothing. It was no different than a blind person trying to give his/herself sight by thinking to his/herself that he/she can still see.

Well, that is not going to work since sight is a completely different perception than our thinking. Sight is the experience of visualizing objects and your thoughts alone cannot give you that experience. So this would also apply to the joy and meaning (significance) in one's life. This too relies on a faculty independent from our thinking alone. It relies on a perception that our thoughts alone cannot give us.

My absence of significance in my life during my time of misery was not due to my way of thinking alone; it was due to the altered state I was in due to my misery which shut down that faculty of my brain that allowed me to perceive my life as significant. When you are in an altered state, your way of thinking alone cannot get you out of it. You instead have to wait until the altered state can restore itself back to normal.

Lastly, I am not the only one here who has had that experience. There are plenty of severely depressed people out there whose joy and meaning has also been taken away from them. However, there are the fortunate types of depressed people out there as well since the faculty that allows them to perceive their lives as joyful and meaningful is still at least functional. But there are severely depressed and miserable people like me out there who are the unfortunate one's with this faculty shut down.

During that time of misery, I tried my best to make my life significant again, but that did absolutely nothing since that faculty that allowed me to perceive my life as significant was turned off. So there was nothing else I could of done but to simply wait it out until that faculty got restored which allowed my life to be joyful and meaningful once again.
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Reply Thu 22 Dec, 2016 02:46 pm
Wow Moz thank you for that. Noting a lack of profile I'm wondering 1. about your age, ed., nat'l, etc, and 2. how did you come to join a2k, whether you might participate in other such forums

and 3. if it's no trouble, what brought you to compose that excellent OP, or how long it took

...unless of course you might feel it excessively revealing
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Reply Thu 22 Dec, 2016 04:24 pm
"You instead have to wait until the altered state can restore itself back to normal."

Thanks goodness we have pharmaceuticals that can help.

There's a UTube video going around with a guy coming thru a door and then about 8 puppies run up to him. He lays down and they jump all over him, licking and biting and playing. The caption for the video is "A Cure For Depression."
Reply Thu 22 Dec, 2016 07:19 pm
Punk I can testify to that. Going on vacation our No. 2 son has left us his bitty dog, vastly friendly and amusing, a sure cure in fact
Reply Thu 22 Dec, 2016 07:48 pm
....but I wonder if anyone might summarize Link's OP
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Reply Fri 23 Dec, 2016 01:00 am
Neither 'science' nor 'philosophy'. Just the utilization of a public forum for the purpose of personal catharsis.
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Fil Albuquerque
Reply Sat 24 Dec, 2016 05:08 am
Everybody knows experience of joy or pain comes from brains chemistry when we are taking about the default state of emotions. Events can disturb how you feel but the default stance is bound to things like the production of Dopamine, Ocytocine, Adrenaline and many more. It is trivial knowledge. You make it sound an important issue with some mystery left to debate but it is not.../thread.
Reply Sat 24 Dec, 2016 11:32 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
But there is only one way to experience joy and meaning (significance) and that is through that faculty I mentioned. Even though you still have those neurotransmitters you've mentioned, you cannot experience significance in your life as long as you have been affected by a traumatic or a miserable event that shuts down that faculty I've mentioned.
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mark noble
Reply Mon 26 Dec, 2016 11:24 am
You are wrong.

every action is a reaction.

Were you born with no senses you would have no medium for any emotive information transference.

'Ask any neuroscientist.' ffs.

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Reply Mon 2 Jan, 2017 02:34 am
Thank you for a lucid and helpful description of the state of depression. It seems to me that we are all, more or less, subjects to it. We don't have access to joys, which after all are our godlike inheritance, because certain channels are just shut down. But is there a loophole in the grim picture? Can you think of something positive to be done to get out of it?
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Reply Mon 2 Jan, 2017 02:45 am
Are you sure that pharmaceuticals help? A depression sets in. It would goaway by itself with time, although with a fair amount of labour invested by ourselves, relatives and friends. But no, here come in doctors with pharmaceuticals. Pharmaceuticals undermine our health but whenever we try to get rid of them they plunge us back into so deep a depression that we have to give up. So we become dependant on them for good leading the life of an invalid.
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