Emotions and Feelings

 For Me Ness

Some Topics


Grief, like love, is a complex of feelings, emotions, memories and thoughts.  Grief inspires the deepest inquiries into the nature and meaning of existence. Even the distress of talking about grief reminds us that this complex of feeling, memories and thought is an important regulator of human affairs. As soon as you care about someone else, you incur the risk of losing him or her. If you become complacent over time, watching the suffering of others who have lost a loved one is a powerful reminder to be more careful. The prospect of grief is so daunting that humans who care for one another are more concerned and cautious in their custodial role, protecting loved ones.  People who have experienced a loss or near-loss will often declare that they became more appreciative of those around them.

Pure, pristine grief is our response to death. There is an initial emotional state with "outpouring of emotion". The expression is unmistakable in many cultures - crying, wailing, self-injury and self-neglect. The passionate stage of grief tends to last hours to days.  When a loved one dies, grief is inevitable but the onset may be delayed.

A sudden death is especially confusing, hard to believe and impossible to accept. A state of suspended disbelief may last for days or weeks, but sooner or later, grief explodes as the terrible truth is realized with clarity. The emotional expression of grief may be ritualized and dramatized as part of funeral observances. Grief emerges overtime with sustained dysphoric feelings.

Sadness is a subdued expression of grief that may last for years or even a lifetime.  Sadness is both a feeling of loss and withdrawal from life involvements. There is a gradation of sadness from mildly uncomfortable feelings expressed by poems and little tears to despair. The deep, impenetrable sadness of someone grieving the loss of a person truly loved is one of the hallmarks of sentient life on earth. Some humans do not survive their grief because the sadness is so profound and the loss so complete that life is not worth living.

Humans who have caused the loss of a loved one, accidentally or intentionally, have a debt to pay. The death-maker caused the survivors’ grief and survivors will experience mixed and sometimes prolonged sequences of sorrow, anger, hatred. Sooner or later, they  seek revenge. 

Anger  and revenge are antidotes to the self-destructive possibilities of grief. The question is do you kill yourself because you cannot bear the pain of loss or do you kill the person who caused your grief? Some humans do both. Some grieving survivors spend the rest of their life seeking revenge for the harm done to them and are not satisfied with partial remedies. Twenty years after a murder caused their grief, family members will gather at an austere prison to watch the execution of the murderer and will express satisfaction that “justice has been done”.

The term grief appears in a diminutive form in the term “grievance.” The idea remains the same; anyone who has suffered a loss will feel entitled to compensation. Law suits often award damages for “pain and suffering”. Grief is rewarded by payment and the bigger the grief, the bigger the payment.


    Emotions and Feelings

  • This book investigates the for-me-ness of experiences, using psychology, neuroscience and philosophy. Everyone has some idea what emotions and feelings are but their exact nature is elusive. We can begin by noting that emotions and feelings are not the same. Generally, humans are ignorant of internal processes and invent all manner of imaginary and irrelevant explanations to explain feelings. The term “emotion” is best used to point to animal and human behavior. There are a small number of primary emotions and variations that involve mixtures of emotional displays with other behaviors. Joy, anger, fear and pain are pure emotions. Other, more complex and derivative experiences act as interfaces to emotions. Love, jealousy and hate are not emotions. These are descriptions of complex interactions and evaluations that involve a range of feelings and interface to true emotions some of the time. For example, lovers experience a range of feelings and display different emotions at different times. Euphoria is the benefit of being in love. Sadness and anger are the cost of being in love. Jealousy, like love, is another complex of cognitions, feelings and emotions that exist to monitor and regulate close relationships. The absence of emotional display is highly valued in polite society. Humans have advanced toward civil and productive social environments that are emotionally neutral. Emotional neutrality is a requirement for acceptable behavior in school and work environments.

    Emotions and Feelings is available as an eBook download. The book is intended for a well-educated smart reader who is interested in Human Nature and the daily experience of humans in groups. The author is Stephen Gislason

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    Human Nature
    The Good Person
    Pieces of the Puzzle
    The Sound of Music
    Surviving Human Nature
    Language and Thinking
    I and Thou
    Emotions, Feelings
    Neuroscience Notes
    Human Brain
    Children & Family
    Intelligence & Learning
    Religion 21st Century

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    The Psychology, Philosophy, Neuroscience series of books was developed by Persona Digital. The books are copyright and all rights to reproduction by any means are reserved. We encourage readers to quote and paraphrase topics from Emotions and Feelings 2016, published online, and expect proper citations to accompany all derivative writings. The author is Stephen Gislason and the publisher is Persona Digital Books, Sechelt, B.C. Canada.