Fri 17 Mar, 2017 07:18 pm
I have an important question for you and for anyone else out there as well. There is the difference between a thought and an experience. I gave an example of this before. If you think you can see or hear when you are blind or deaf, then you wouldn't have real sight or hearing because you don't have the actual experience of sight or hearing.
Therefore, this would also apply to joy, love, inspiration, beauty, value, and worth in our lives. During your moments of misery and despair (hopelessness) including anhedonia, I bet you thought to yourself that your life still has meaning, value, joy, beauty, inspiration, and worth even in the midst of those horrible moments in your life. But the question is, what was the experience of this for you?
If the experience of this value, joy, beauty, etc. was a dead, lifeless, mechanical experience, then it is quite obvious that it would not be any real value, joy, beauty, worth, etc. But if the experience was a life-filled and fruitful experience for you, then that is what makes it real value, joy, beauty, etc. Anything that is dead just isn't going to work. If you have dead batteries, then that will not make a certain item work.
Therefore, it's no wonder why any other form of value, joy, beauty, worth, etc. besides my good feelings just doesn't work for me. It's like a dead battery. It is only my good feelings that are like working batteries. They are life-filled experiences that are very powerful and profound in my life.
I have thought to myself during my moments of depression and misery that my family still has value, my life still has value, joy, beauty, etc. and that a recovery from these horrible moments in my life had value to me as well, but the experience of this value, joy, beauty, etc. was all dead, lifeless, and mechanical regardless of what I did with my life whether it would be going out in nature, engaging with my family, etc. It has always been like this for me whenever I had a moment of depression, misery, or anhedonia in my life.
Based on my own personal experience, I am convinced that any other form of value, joy, beauty, etc. besides our good feelings is not real value, joy, beauty, etc. It is all a dead, lifeless, mechanical experience for everybody regardless of who they are. Unless, I am somehow mistaken and there is somehow a way to make this an actual life-filled experience in my life during any moments of depression, misery, or anhedonia in my life. But I highly doubt this because it has never happened even once in my whole entire 8 year struggle of depression and misery.
Lastly, even if it was a dead, lifeless, mechanical experience for you and others, you could still personally define that experience as a life-filled experience anyway and claim that it was real joy, value, beauty, etc. in your life. But, again, there is a difference between our personal definitions (thoughts) and our experiences. You may have thought that this was a life-filled experience for you, but I am asking you here again if this really was a life-filled experience for you.
If it really was a dead, lifeless, mechanical experience for you all along, then you were brainwashed by society this whole entire time into thinking that one can have an alternate form of value, joy, beauty, etc. in his/her life besides his/her good feelings. But if it was a life-filled experience for you, then that says here that it is possible to have a real alternate form of value, joy, beauty, etc. Our experiences define our entire realities. Therefore, it is our experiences that are important here and not just our thoughts.
You are way wrong here.
Subjective value uses internal cultural referents with your peers on how you experience and perceive the world to establish degrees of suffering or joy comparatively. This is why some people in 3th world countries with an average expectancy of life around 40 living in abject misery often report they have full happy lives, to much surprise of first world countries.
So, thinking in regards to perceived value, from you cultural referent, clearly has some saying on how happy or miserable you feel within your group.
That said, I agree that if your brain is lacking some key chemical and properly working hormonal elements you don't even get to the cultural referent around you. You close up to Society. A balanced brain chemistry is just more fundamental.
By the way, a thought is just another form of experiencing, a major one.
You make several major confusions and bring up false dichotomies in between concepts all around your post.
"Feelings" are "thought processes" intertwined in brain chemistry which in turn works in a bio mechanical fashion. You conflate some of these concepts as being either opposed or disconnected from each other.
What do you mean with a mechanical meaningless experienced life? All life is mechanical in nature. "Feelings" work through bio chemical mechanical means. "Thought" is yet another form of experience not separate from it.
I think your figures of speech allude to abstractly trying to fake joy by deluding yourself with cultural referents that people often use to establish value that are meaningless to you because you are probably suffering from a chemical imbalance in the production of dopamine and oxytocin on the right amount. You can´t relate more deeply to your group value referents without correcting that problem first, because brain chemistry works at a more fundamental level, just like you can't use software with a broken piece of hardware... Getting the correct diagnostic and adequate medication sometimes can take years. Don't give up just yet. The sooner you start getting help where you need help the better for the remaining of your life ahead of you.
I think there is a difference between thought and feeling. When you are depressed, you can only have thoughts which are distinct from feeling good. There is a difference between our thoughts and our moods. You cannot be in a good mood while you are in a state of misery or depression. Also, what I mean by a mechanical experience of value, joy, beauty, etc. would be an experience that does not have the characteristics necessary to make it real value, joy, beauty, etc.
From my own personal experience, these characteristics would be my good feelings and they are what bring my life real joy, value, beauty, etc. You can define joy, love, etc. as a lifeless robotic machine sitting there right in front of you. But that robot would not have the characteristics necessary to make it real love and joy. Therefore, it would be a mechanical version of love and joy. This also applies to our experiences.
Its a back n fourth process, moods shape thinking, but thinking can shape moods to an extent. So those two are not disconnected. What you feel derives directly from your chemical balance but also from your perception and thinking. "Feelings" come up as a reaction of the interchange, "conversation" between your right and left brain hemispheres. In that sense feelings are thinking. Again, I hope we agree chemical balance is at a more fundamental level here. In my opinion if you can't relate with your cultural background on what to value emotionally than perhaps the problem lays further down.
Let me post a further example to make it more clear to you. If you are not in physical pain and you think you are in physical pain, then that is just a thought. You cannot experience physical pain from a thought alone if you are not actually feeling physical pain.
If you are in an apathetic mood, then you cannot feel anger while you are in that mood. You can think you are angry and you can punch walls, but you wouldn't actually be angry at all. The experience you would be having would not be anger. You would only be just telling yourself that you are angry and punching walls. Therefore, you would be having a mechanical personally defined experience of anger since it would not be real anger.
You cannot be sad while you are in a calm/apathetic mood, you cannot be angry while in a calm/apathetic mood, etc. since they would all be mechanical experiences without the actual feelings of anger, sadness, etc. This also applies to value, beauty, worth, etc. in my life. Thoughts of value, beauty, and worth in my life during a state of depression/anhedonia are also mechanical experiences for me and are, therefore, not real value, worth, beauty, etc. in my life.
You can think you are angry...but you wouldn't actually be angry...The experience...would not be anger.
No matter how you dress it up or try to hide it under scarves, anger is still anger. Sure, it may be at a different modulation; but, at the end of the day, it is still going to be anger.
emotions are conditional
Every one of them are built upon conditions if the conditions are not present then the emotion will not arise.
What are the conditions.
There is attachment or aversion first, this is the base condition.
If the attachment is favorable where you receive the object of your attachment then the emotion will be favorable or considered "positive" ie. Joy, happiness, love, inspiration, ect.
If there is aversion which is something you do not want is present then the base condition will be "negative", ie. Sadness, hatred, anger, resentment, fear, ect.
Also if the attachment is not achieved it becomes similar to aversion.
Also if there is aversion but it is not present it becomes similar to obtaining your attachment.
There is of course apathy which is neutral with neutral emotions. These are when you have neither attachment nor aversion. You are indifferent.
Essentially it comes down to how you want reality to be. It is either favorable or not.
If reality is not turning out how you want you will create the arriving of the "negative" emotions. Ie. Anger, fear, resentment, hatred, ect.
If reality is turning out favorable for you then you will feel more positive emotions.
The word "object" here is anything that falls into the desire or aversion condition field. It can be anything such as a job, career, home, a person, a place, a possession, a situation, anything for which you are attached or averted to.
This is 100% accurate but people don't like to acknowledge that everything is conditional.
The secret is to accept reality just how it unfolds and not to desire it to be any way than how it is.
If you can do this, anger, hatred, resentment, jealousy, fear, worry ect can not arise. Its impossible for them to arise.
If you are always in acceptance to reality then joy will always be present. Always. Because the conditional factor of joy is acceptance with the conditional object which is reality.
This is a fundamental truth, rare to hear, even more rare to understand and even rarer to develop.
Id like to expand on my previous post a little to be redundant.
First us to start with some very simplistic examples to show how this process works.
Let's say you are working a job that you don't really like. You do it because at the moment it's all you have so you deal with it. You may have plans for a better plan later so you accept your dislike for this current work.
Now let's say your boss meets with you:
A. Your boss compliments your work ethic and to your surprise offers you a salary increase. This can spark a positive emotional response because it offsets your dislike for the work. Unless your boss expects more output of this same work which will develope more dislike for the work and a negative emotion arises.
B. Your boss notices you seem to not be into your work. You show signs of lacking interest in the work and suggests you need to do more. This can spark a negative emotion because more work is being asked and you already dislike the work as it was.
C. Your boss informs you that the company is letting you go for not meeting expectations even if you feel like you have been putting in great effort. This can spark both positive and negative emotions since you disliked the job. If you are naturally optimistic you might see this as a push to find some kind of work that you like better. However it could also spark worry if you are on a tight budget as is. You may worry about your finances or the impact being let go will have on getting a new job.
You can see that initially the arising of emotions seems complex but they really are not. The key points are your attachments or aversions.
People can put up with misery or things they dislike if the future result is something they favor. Such as they will justify working a shitty job if it pays well or has benefits they want or need.
The point is even if you have attachments or aversions they can be offset if the future outcome is achieved. If not, then negative emotions result.
Thus this is how a person with a terminal illness can find joy in their suffering.
Or how optimism can cancel current misery. They are gambling on a better desired future outcome.
Depression is just the opposite. A person tells themselves there is no possible good future outcome so they wallow in their current misery seeing no end. It creates a cycle of misery.
The solution is to give up any attachment or aversion to a desired future outcome.
This is why drugs are often very effective, both legal and illegal. They cause a temporary reduction in the attachment or aversion desire. I say temporary because the desire can return which develops into an addiction.
All addictions are built upon this premise. It is only when the attachment or aversions are directly dealt with can the addiction be reduced or stopped.
Daily you go through thousands of these moments of attachment and aversions such as a driver who cuts you off in traffic. A person who got your coffee order wrong. A co-worker creating problems for you. An unsupportive family member. Your alarm clock. Who the president is. An illness in the family. On and on.
The key is realizing we all desire reality to be how we want it to be rather than accept it for how it is.
Sympathy with loved ones is not an illusion,; it is not a feeling, it is a genuine experience.
Sympathy with loved ones is not an illusion,; it is not a feeling, it is a genuine experience.
Well, aren't illusions genuine experience? That's the problem with troubled minds.
If your brain chemistry goes unbalanced there is no way you can pay attention to "cultural software"...
My good feelings are the only things that can make me more of a person because "more" is a good value judgment and it is only my good feelings that can allow me to have good value in my life. Therefore, it doesn't matter how kind or how helping I am as a person, that will never make me anything great. Other people might be able to perceive the good value in me since they have their good feelings, but I will have no good value in my own personal life due to my absence of good feelings.
That might sound silly to you, but my good feelings (good moods) are what I call the "divine spark." They are a powerful sacred life force (experience) that give my life real value, joy, beauty, worth, inspiration, etc. I just don't get that "divine spark" through my way of thinking and my attitudes (perspectives) alone without my good feelings.