I've struggled with many miserable moments in my life and my emotional experiences were something powerful and profound. This experience has led me to a conclusion that I'm desperate to prove. I've been trying to prove it time after time. But all those attempts have failed since I didn't present and explain it the best way I possibly could. What's more, I just couldn't find a way to explain it at the time. However, I think I finally got it right this time. People deny and dismiss my emotional experiences as being nothing more than "trivial feelings" because humanity has a huge misconception regarding emotions.
They think they're nothing more than biochemical induced states in the brain when, in reality, they are literally the experience of beauty, joy, horror, tragedy, suffering, disgust, etc. in our lives. Humanity also has a huge misconception regarding their intellect because they believe the words they think are what give them beautiful, joyful, or horrible experiences rather than their emotions. This post I make attempts to clear up these misconceptions. Sure, intellect does play a role in our lives and certain words we think can make us feel certain emotions.
But I think it can only be the emotions themselves that give our lives value. Many people might disagree with this view. But I think my personal views are the truth and I don't care how offensive they are; the truth is often times offensive, people don't like to hear it, but I'm going to share and express that truth anyway. I'm tired of my own personal experience being denied and that's why I'm sharing this. Since people are denying my personal experience, then I will return the favor and deny theirs. With that being said, I would like to begin:
Explanation Of My Worldview:
Buddhists and other people talk about suffering and how we suffer through our ways of thinking. But the words we believe and think can't be any real form of suffering since words are just concepts or ideas and not the real thing/experience. I'll give you an example. The word "money" isn't the same thing as actual money.
So, believing the words "I'm rich" won't make you rich. Also, believing the words "I'm in physical pain" isn't the same thing as actual physical pain. It's just the idea of physical pain. In order to experience physical pain, then you would have to feel physical pain. Likewise, thinking of the most horrible things in your life and believing that you're suffering isn't the same thing as actual suffering.
How we suffer is through negative emotions such as feelings of misery, agony, or despair. Buddhists and other people also talk about happiness. Again, positive emotions are the only mental states that allow us to be happy and enjoy things. There is no other mental state that can allow us to be happy just as how there is no other mental state that can give us physical pain, hunger, thirst, heat, cold, sounds, or smells.
Also, people claim there is an intellectual form of emotions and I disagree with this. Intellect is the words we think and words themselves cannot be any real emotion. It doesn't matter how emotional people act through their intellect; I still think people are just acting out on words/intentions and not any real emotions. Therefore, it can only be the primitive, instinctive emotions which are the real emotions.
An example of these emotions would be a feeling of panic from being in a dangerous situation, a feeling of excitement from going to the carnival, or a feeling of sexual arousal. This means, even if you felt positive emotions from doing intellectual activities, that still wouldn't be an intellectual form of emotions. You would still be feeling the primitive, instinctive emotions.
As you can see here, the intellectual area of our brains cannot experience emotions, sounds, smells, colors, hunger, thirst, physical pain, heat, cold, suffering, happiness, or value. Rather, it can only experience ideas/words/thoughts. Another thing here. People also claim they can judge things as good, bad, beautiful, horrible, or disgusting through the words they think (their intellect). We call them intellectual value judgments.
Again, words themselves aren't the real things which means our intellectual value judgments aren't real value judgments. It can only be our emotions which are the real value judgments. Emotional theorists and neuroscientists refer to our emotions as being value judgments since our emotions tell us things such as that our lives are beautiful, we are disgusting, etc.
Even though they are unreliable value judgments since relying on what our emotions tell us will get us in trouble, I still think they're the only real value judgments. This means the only thing that can attribute real value to our lives is our emotions which means there's no more value to life than our emotions.
When you judge something as being horrible or beautiful, that's no different than saying you perceive that thing as being horrible or beautiful. This means the only way we can perceive/judge something as horrible or beautiful would be if we felt a certain emotion from that said thing. Otherwise, you would only be perceiving words and not any real horror or beauty.
In short, our emotions are the only real value judgments and they are the only real perception of value. Perception and experience are the same thing. An example would be, if you are seeing (perceiving) the color red, then you are experiencing the color red and vice versa.
This means the only way we can experience the beauty, greatness, joy, horror, tragedy, and disgust of things in this life would be through our emotions. Positive emotions are the only things that can make our lives good, great, beautiful, and they are the only things that can give us the experience of beauty, greatness, and joy since they are value judgments of good, beauty, joy, and greatness.
Negative emotions are the only things that can make our lives bad, horrible, disgusting, and they are the only things that can give us the experience of horror, tragedy, despair, misery, disturbance, and disgust since they are value judgments of bad, horrible, tragic, morbid, disturbing, disgust, etc.
Having no emotions (apathy) can only render our lives with no horrible or beautiful experience at all. It would be a dull, empty, valueless life since no value would be perceived. Therefore, the goal in life should be to avoid negative emotions as well as apathy and to pursue positive emotions since positive emotions are the only beautiful way to live and be an artist.
There is a worldview out there known as hedonism which advocates this way of life. It is a philosophy which states that positive emotions are the only good things in life. Sadly, positive emotions are very fleeting things and many people struggle with depression.
This means living a life that is beautiful, great, joyful, and worth living doesn't come around too often considering that life has many miserable, unhappy moments. With all of this being said, people are confusing words for the real things. But this post I've made makes a clear distinction between words and the real things since it makes a distinction between the words we think and what we're actually experiencing.
For me, my positive emotions are the positive experience and I have yet to acquire a new positive experience in my life to convince me that there's more beauty, fun, joy, and greatness to life than positive emotions. Lastly, I would like to share a link to the emotional perception theory of value. Those who disagree with it would have to be in denial of their own emotions and, thus, they would also have to be in denial when it comes to their intellect.
If they think emotions aren't real value judgments and that they're not any perception of value, then they could also be in denial when they claim their intellectual value judgments are real value judgments and that their intellect is the real perception of value. One of the people who disagrees with this theory is the person in this link who attempts to prove emotional theorists wrong and I disagree with him/her based upon my own personal experience:
Different Areas Of The Brain Will Experience Different Things:
For example, the visual cortex will experience visuals, the audio cortex will experience sound, another area will experience smells, another will experience hunger, etc. As I said before, the intellectual area of our brains cannot experience any of those things and it can only experience thoughts and intentions.
Sure, certain thoughts can send signals to any one of those brain regions to allow us to experience those things such as if you felt hungry and thirsty from thinking of your favorite food and beverage. But, as long as that thought doesn't send the signal to those areas of the brain, then you can't experience hunger and thirst via thought.
As a result, you can only have the thought of being hungry and thirsty or the thought of your favorite food and beverage. The same idea applies to the value in our lives whether that value be beauty, joy, horror, disgust, or tragedy. People who struggle with chronic, clinical depression can't feel positive emotions no matter what thoughts they think because their brains aren't working properly.
As a result, those thoughts can't send the signal to the areas of the brain that allows them to feel positive emotions. Thus, they can't experience any beauty, greatness, love, happiness, worth, joy, or anything positive in their lives.
Therefore, they can only have the thought that their lives are beautiful and worth living while the sad reality is that their lives are empty and passing them by. However, if there are moments where they can feel positive emotions, then those are the moments where their lives and any given endeavor (such as the helping of others) can be perceived as beautiful and worth living for.
Emotions Make Things Matter To Us:
Let me say another thing here which I think is important. Emotions are a form of motivation and, when you are motivated in regards to something, that's no different than saying something matters to you. This means emotions are states of mind where things matter to us. When something matters to you, that's no different than saying something has value from your perspective.
Positive emotions make things, people, moments, works of art, and situations matter to us in positive ways and negative emotions make things matter to us in negative ways. That's no different than saying positive emotions make things of beautiful value from our perspective and negative emotions make things of horrible, bad, or disgusting value from our perspective.
Without any emotions (apathy), then nothing can matter to us at all and people would only be confused and in denial to believe otherwise. As you can see here, that's why I need my positive emotions to make my life something positive, beautiful, and worth living for. Therefore, I should live my life seeking as much positive emotions as I possibly can. Without emotions, then life is just life. But our positive emotions make life something more. They makes it into a beautiful, amazing, joyful work of art.
Here's a hint which supports my worldview/claim. Haven't you ever felt that your life was horrible, that someone in your life was a disgusting person, or that a certain thing was beautiful? Well, that's no different than perceiving your life as horrible, someone as disgusting, or a certain thing as beautiful. You should pay very close attention to your emotions next time.
Only then should you come to realize that they are perceptions/value judgments of beauty, horror, disgust, etc. In addition, you should also pay very close attention to your intellectual value judgments. You should come to realize that they're not real value judgments since they're just words and not the real experience of beauty, horror, disgust, etc.