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What is an emotion? An emotion is an experience or reaction to something, usually an external event which we receive through one or more of our senses. We said in the previous section that the physical body is inert and lifeless without something to energise it. The emotions provide the spark of life for our physical bodies to move it around and interact with others.
Why do we have emotions?
The common answer is that they helped us to survive in out distant past, but that doesn’t tell us much. Emotions provide a couple of important functions:
- The kick us into action. The outcome isn’t always positive, but strong emotional responses do stir us up and make us do something. Often that is useful.
- The help us communicate with other human beings, and they help us understand how other humans are feeling (empathy and sympathy).
We all know that we experience emotions, but cataloguing our full range of emotions can be quite a challenge. I am going classify the “base” emotions as those arising from the unconscious Limbic brain. By the time these base emotions mix with thoughts and imagination in the thinking brain we have a complex mess, and it is hard to distinguish between what exactly is a real emotion, and what are “thinking” or “feelings”. There are only a few base emotions, but a wide variety of feelings and thinking that takes place when these base emotions reach the conscious brain. That is where the trouble begins, and those spiritually inclined people will take steps to quieten the emotional disturbance so that the higher brain can function at its maximum potential. We will also include discussion on the moral emotions and higher spiritual emotions on this page.
The topics we will look at here:
Finally, what you need to do to maintain a healthy emotional body.