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Re: Spiritual Role of Emotions

Posted: 06 Dec 2017, 09:50
by Roy
wonderful thoughts DoubtingTom.

Re: Spiritual Role of Emotions

Posted: 08 Dec 2017, 11:53
by Heber13
DoubtingTom wrote:
05 Dec 2017, 18:17
I have a good friend who takes anti-depressants intermittently and he has told me this. When he's on his meds his emotions are so blunted that he doesn't often feel what he interprets as the spirit. It's definitely a real and palpable thing for him.
I was first counselor to a bishop who told me the same thing.

I think the bishop worked through those thoughts and doubts it made him wonder what was spirit and what was made up inside ourselves. He started to accept more was inside ourselves than anything coming from external sources...but...he also couldn't explain some experiences he had as bishop...and so we both agreed that it might be a little bit of both...and dealing with medications kind of highlighted that fact...but didn't explain away all spirituality.

I think we make up stories in our mind about our experiences. Maybe we sometimes make up stories that attribute too much in life to God...but...I also am not sure that is a bad thing. The only bad that can come from it is if we start making huge life decisions only based on emotion and ignore other proof or facts in front of us, or turn off our brain.

I always like the book "Religion and the Pursuit of Truth" by Lowell Bennion. In it...he talks about multiple ways we come to find truth in our lives...not just one approach...not always one way works for all situations. But many ways we pursue truth (logical thinking, emotion, spiritual impressions, experience, education and knowledge of others, and so forth). In this does not explain away a need for spirituality...only points out that there are multiple ways we get there, and some of us are more prone to one type than other types.

I like that approach. We find what works for us. Some anti-depressants may change the experience for us...but we can adapt. We can do the trade-offs and find that maybe feeling less depressed and manic about life is a great trade off to feeling fewer spiritual impressions...and therefore we live a more consistent and stable and grounded life that makes it easier to have relationships with humans around us, even if our relationship with God feels dampened.

If that isn't worth the trade off, and we want more spiritual experiences...maybe the trade off is that we have more depression and harder time with life decisions and relationships by up and down emotional swings. Maybe if we want even more spiritual experiences...we take substances that even more enhance our feelings and spiritual connection to the universe (peyote? OK...maybe not get into the illegal area of drugs for this...I won't recommend that...but it makes the same point as anti-depressants...that somehow these things impact our spiritual experiences...which is interesting to think about). But the point I'm making is that there are trade-offs.

When we find less depression but more numb feelings in life...we should talk with loved ones to get feedback and their perspectives and try to decide what way makes our life more filled with good things that we want to live with.

Re: Spiritual Role of Emotions

Posted: 15 Dec 2017, 12:11
by SamBee
People like to think their decisions are reached rationally but that is rarely the case. A lot of the time the decisions were made emotionally and the people rationalize these decisions afterwards.

Humans are not really a logical species at all.

Re: Spiritual Role of Emotions

Posted: 15 Dec 2017, 13:00
by AmyJ
SamBee wrote:
15 Dec 2017, 12:11
People like to think their decisions are reached rationally but that is rarely the case. A lot of the time the decisions were made emotionally and the people rationalize these decisions afterwards.

Humans are not really a logical species at all.

I was given an opportunity in my life to take a 2nd look at why I do what I do and what really matters to me on a big picture world view scope, and so many times I see that and want to go "Gah - admit that you made the decision emotionally and then rationalized it rather than the other way around. I promise I won't judge your decision differently if you are this honest about it."

Re: Spiritual Role of Emotions

Posted: 15 Dec 2017, 13:46
by LookingHard

Re: Spiritual Role of Emotions

Posted: 16 Dec 2017, 04:29
by SamBee
The best part of it is that the human brain doesn't even realize it's made a decision irrationally much of the time.

We do tend to think of the irrational being a bad thing (is that itself irrational)? Emotions are often shortcuts. If you have had previous good or bad experiences regarding X, Y or Z, then your emotions will tend to remind you without having to think it out. It doesn't always work perfectly of course.

This kind of pattern recognition even when wrong has allowed humans to survive. If you see a shadow or hear a noise when you are alone out in the woods and it scares you, then it gets you out of there. If you stick around and think out, "is this a threat?" or "did I really see/hear that?", you may end up eaten or attacked during the time it takes you to do so... but if you hightail it out of there, even if you are wrong, you will probably survive or have a higher chance of survival.

We often have an inbred fear of a big fire, falling/heights, deep water, darkness, tight spaces etc, because these can represent various threats to us. Likewise, many of us appreciate love & friendship, good food, warmth and light because all of these benefit us and it's not worth overthinking them.

Emotions can work the same way in less dramatic situations - that person you like or dislike without apparent reason is triggering old emotional cues in you, which are based on previous experiences. Sometimes we can be horribly wrong of course. But at other times we may be picking up on someone lying or using aggressive body language, even when on the surface they are making an apparently logical case.