Emotions are a totally subjective inner experience. Why is this?
Well, we don’t all have the same beliefs, and it is often our conscious or unconscious beliefs that shape our reaction to the people and events in the world around us.
Because of this, we can’t really trust our feelings to lead us to any objective truth. This is not to say that emotions are useless and should be disregarded or ignored. On the contrary, they can be quite destructive if they are not consciously acknowledged. Feelings like rage or hatred often become deeply suppressed in one’s shadow, because their outward expression in society is considered taboo. Traumatic and painful feelings also can be repressed – such as in cases of childhood abuse – where the child becomes overwhelmed and must push this content into the unconscious as a matter of survival.
Emotions themselves are not inherently good or bad; they are merely tools that we can use to learn more about ourselves and the world at large. They can reveal to us what our unconscious beliefs actually are and what we’ve just been conditioned from birth to accept as true without question. And through that we also learn about the world and the types of messages society would like to have us believe.
One can use emotion to discover, acknowledge and deconstruct false thought programs. Conditioning is a process by which a stimulus creates a response (in this case an emotion) which is reinforced over time through repetition. Each time ____ happens to you, you feel ____.
There are times when we find our emotion is invalid, and in this case it needs to be recognized as false, and challenged. For example, if you used to be a christian and have since left the faith, you might feel guilt or shame when engaging in sex, or any other activity that could be seen as “sinful”. This is pure emotional conditioning, and it takes a lot of work to get rid of that emotional charge. You may rationally understand that this is a false belief that is causing you grief, but it takes time and effort to de-condition that emotional response.
Other times, our feelings may be perfectly valid and have rational underpinnings. I am consistently enraged at the appalling conditions on this planet, led by capitalism, the religious brainwashing of children, and the staggering greed of the rich elite. This is a perfectly valid response to a culture that actively suppresses the freedom of humanity to realize their potential. The structure supporting my anger is not a belief; it is the objective reality we all live in. I realize that for most of my life, I was actively conditioned to be a consumer for the capitalist machine, and for that I am even more enraged.
You can have feelings based in logic and rational thought, or you can base them in irrational, insane and destructive beliefs. The difference is, when your feelings are based on rational inquiry and understanding, they become your fuel. It’s like filling your car with gas, but having a competent and fully licensed driver to steer the car in the direction you want to go. You cannot steer your car with the fuel. And you can’t just burn the fuel on it’s own either, without having a place to put it and something for it to do. It would literally just explode and burn you alive. Or imagine a driver with pathological road rage, who is unlicensed and doesn’t understand the rules of the road. They smash into everything, maiming pedestrians and endangering other drivers, until they crash and burn or drive right off a bridge.
Emotions that remain unharnessed to rational thinking are incredibly problematic for humanity. Above all, emotions must be guided by reason.
So, if you notice a strong emotion come up for you in a given situation, see it as an opportunity to learn something about yourself. Analyze it to discover its source. Is this something you have repressed and need to examine more closely? What beliefs do you have that are foundational to the feelings you have, and can you find a way to challenge them?
For a detailed guide on how to de-condition your emotions, and deconstruct false thought structures, Morgue’s book “The Metaphorical Suicide” goes right to the heart of how to accomplish this. https://www.iamhyperian.com/product/themetaphoricalsuicide/
Also check out “Cathexis: A Rationalist Dialogue on Guiding Emotion” by our own Hyperian activists and authors the Tortured Orator and Rowan James. https://www.amazon.com/Cathexis-Rationalist-Di…/…/B07HXPTG3Y
One last mention: Diabolically Informative’s lecture series on Critical Thinking touches on many important and relevant topics such as belief and cognitive biases. https://www.youtube.com/playlist…
Blood Consciousness by Garth Knight”
Eva Omega (Hyperian):