• TranscendedRealms
    124
    First of all, let me clarify what I mean by a positive or negative perspective. If someone is in peace and harmony with others, and this universe, never wants to give up on his goals and dreams, sees himself as an awesome, amazing human being, is happy, and sees life as beautiful and worth living, then that would be a positive perspective the person is having.

    But, if someone is violent, always wants to give up on his goals and dreams, sees himself as a pitiful human being, is morbidly depressed, sees life as horrible, and has suicidal tendencies, then that would be a negative perspective the person is having.

    An apathetic (neither positive nor negative) perspective is simply not caring about anything. Positive emotions are the only positive perspectives, negative emotions are the only negative perspectives, and apathy (no emotions) can only render us with neither a positive nor negative perspective.

    Secondly, let me clarify what emotions are. They could be a feeling of panic from being in a dangerous situation, a feeling of excitement, a feeling of sexual arousal, a feeling of rage, etc. They're also called biological impulses, or drives. When a person acts out on emotion, he'd be acting out on impulse.

    There are positive emotions and negative emotions. The positive emotions would be the pleasant ones, which people also like to call the good feelings, such as feelings of love, joy, peace, etc. The negative emotions are the unpleasant ones, which people also like to call the bad feelings, such as feelings of misery, despair, rage, disgust, etc.

    Thirdly, if you were to have a proud or loving thought, that thought would make you feel pride or love (which would be positive emotions). If you were to have a hateful or miserable thought, that thought would cause you to feel hate or misery (which would be negative emotions). So, our thoughts take on an emotional form, which allows us to feel whatever we thought of.

    We need these feelings to allow us to experience pride, love, hate, or misery. Without these feelings, we can't experience any of those things. For example, when a person feels love (a positive emotion), that's how the person loves anybody or anything, whether it be his family, pets, movies, etc. Without this feeling of love, he can't love.

    When you love someone, that's the same thing as having a loving perspective towards that person, which is the same thing as having a loving perception, which is the same thing as having a loving experience. The same idea applies to hate or misery.

    If you were to feel misery, you'd be having a miserable perspective, which is the same thing as having a miserable perception, which is the same thing as having a miserable experience. Also, if you feel that something's good or beautiful, that feeling would be a positive emotion, and that's how you perceive said thing as good or beautiful.

    As you can see, emotions are necessary to give us certain perspectives, such as a morbid perspective, a loving perspective, a hateful perspective, etc., which is the same thing as saying emotions are necessary to give us certain perceptions/experiences. Going back to my explanation of positive and negative perspectives, emotions are necessary to give us these perspectives. We need the positive perspectives in life, and we should avoid the negative and apathetic ones.

    That means we need the positive emotions, and we should avoid the negative emotions, as well as apathy. Unfortunately, positive emotions are very fleeting things, since there are many factors that can take them away from us, such as having clinical depression, brain damage, mental illnesses, etc. So, if you struggle with a mental illness that renders you without your ability to feel positive emotions, then you can't have a positive perspective, and neither can you experience love.

    Just having positive thoughts, or thoughts of love, won't allow you to have a positive perspective, or experience love in the absence of your positive emotions, just as how having thoughts of hunger or thirst won't allow you to experience hunger or thirst, when you're not feeling hungry or thirsty.

    Feeling hungry and thirsty is how we experience hunger and thirst, feeling pain and pleasure is how we experience pain and pleasure, and feeling positive is how we experience a positive perspective. So, there's thinking positive and feeling positive. Positive thoughts, by themselves, won't allow you to experience a positive perspective. That means they, alone, can't give you a positive perspective. When positive emotions are induced by positive thinking, that gives you a positive perspective on life.

    It's the positive emotions that are the real positive perspectives, and not the positive thoughts or beliefs alone. So, positive emotions are what give you the real positive perspective on life. Positive emotions are what drive/motivate someone to have a positive attitude. The same idea applies to negative emotions giving us negative perspectives, and driving negative attitudes.

    Most people would say I have it all backwards because they'd say we have positive and negative perspectives through our way of thinking and believing. They'd say it's not our emotions that give us those perspectives, and that emotions are nothing more than how we feel. But, I think they have it all backwards. I think emotions do give us those perspectives, and thoughts and beliefs are nothing more than how we think and believe.

    So, if we wish to see (perceive) our lives, and any endeavor, as good, beautiful, and worth living for, then we need to feel that way. We need to feel positive emotions. Positive emotions are how we experience our lives, and any endeavor, as good, beautiful, and worth living for, which is the same thing as saying positive emotions are what make those things good, beautiful, and worth living for in our eyes.

    That means positive emotions are the only things that can make our lives, and any endeavor, good, beautiful, and worth living for. Now, I've been known to do things in my life, even without my ability to feel positive emotions. But, just because I did those things doesn't mean they were good, beautiful, and worthwhile in my eyes.

    Just to illustrate my point, if a person smiled, and acted happy, that doesn't mean he was actually happy on the inside. So, just because I do things in my life, and acted like those things were beautiful to me, doesn't mean they were actually beautiful to me. As you can see, there's a difference between a person's actions, gestures, and deeds, as opposed to his inner experience.

    You shouldn't judge by a person's actions, gestures, and deeds. That means you shouldn't judge a person as being happy, just because he acts happy, and neither should you judge my life as beautiful and worthwhile in the absence of my positive emotions, just because I acted like my life was beautiful and worthwhile.

    In conclusion, since positive emotions are the only things that can allow us to experience anything as good, beautiful, amazing, magnificent, worthwhile, valuable, and precious, then it makes me wonder why human beings are here on Earth, where there's much suffering, and positive emotions are fleeting things. If there's a heaven, why aren't humans up there, where they can live in everlasting joy?

    Here on Earth, I always find myself giving up on my goals and dreams in the absence of my positive emotions, since I can no longer have a positive perspective/experience. Thus, I have to wait for my positive emotions to return to give me that positive perspective/experience I need.

    Without my positive emotions, then what would it matter to me if someone told me that my life, and goals, are still good, beautiful, and worth living for? Since they can't be good, beautiful, and worth living for in my eyes, then it's pointless to tell me that. If there was a song that was lame, awful, and nothing beautiful in one person's eyes, then what would it matter if you told him that the song is beautiful?

    It's still a song that's lame, awful, and nothing beautiful to him. So, it doesn't matter if you tell him that. By the way, if you wish to perceive something as awful, disgusting, horrible, lame, etc., then you need to feel that way, and those feelings would be negative emotions. Like I said, I should avoid the negative emotions, since they're nothing but negative experiences.

    Moments where I feel negative emotions are the moments I have negative perspectives, and moments I feel positive emotions are the moments I have positive perspectives. The goal is to have as many moments where I feel positive emotions. The more profound and intense my positive emotions are, the better my life is, since that would be giving me a more profound and intense positive experience.
  • Son of a Bitch
    2.6k
    I think you got it half right (in my experience at least). I have been told by 12 different psychiatrists and one counselor (and my wife who has a master’s degree in counseling) that I have schizoaffective disorder, which is a mood disorder and a thought disorder. My emotions drive my thoughts to a large extent, but what you didn’t get right (at least for me) is that my thoughts also influence my emotions. When bad memories pop up (which they often do out of nowhere from my loose associations between and among my thoughts) I start to feel angry or sad or apathetic. When good memories pop up (usually out of nowhere) I get good emotions. When I get good emotions, then I think about funny things and make jokes or act silly. This reinforces my good emotions and thoughts until my loose associations bring up a bad memory again. Then I’m back to negative emotions.

    It seems to me that you don’t have a thought disorder, but it sounds like you have a mood disorder. Nothing to get down about per se, but once you are aware of it, then you can maybe get help.

    That said, I’ve been under psychiatric care for twenty years now, and I’m still a hot mess.

    Best wishes to you.
  • TranscendedRealms
    124


    I already did talk about how thoughts influence our emotions, since I said thinking certain ways causes us to feel certain ways. For example, I said a proud or loving thought would cause you to feel pride or love. Also, I don't have a mood or thought disorder.
  • Son of a Bitch
    2.6k
    Sorry, but I would have to just say that almost everyone I talk to says I’m full of shit. Mostly everyone in my experience says that there’s no such thing as abnormal psychology and psychiatrists are quacks. So you’re in good company. Sorry I offended you.
  • Bitter Crank
    9.7k
    Without these feelings, we can't experience any of those things.TranscendedRealms

    The history of brains is quite long -- about 5 hundred million years. Animals (like us) rely on emotions to provide the impetus to act, to give the 'feeling' of reality to experience. We wouldn't FEEL love without neurotransmitters provided by the limbic system of the brain -- and neither would creatures with brain plans much older than ours -- birds.

    The neurons that figure out how to replace a light bulb aren't the same ones that provide the sense of urgency in getting the damn thing changed. We need both.
  • Bitter Crank
    9.7k
    That means we need the positive emotions, and we should avoid the negative emotions, as well as apathy.TranscendedRealms

    We need both. Screaming fear is what gets our asses in gear when a clearly visible existential threat appears -- the big crocodile about to eliminate us from our gene pool. Obviously walking around with fear and dread all the time is not a good thing. Similarly, walking around in the haze of warm fuzzy gauzy joy isn't a good thing either--except for the hungry croc.

    Things can go haywire in a brain; there are lots of problems people have that originate in brain function. Many of these 'features' or 'flaws' in brain function are not a choice. Nobody wants to be bi-polar, chronically depressed, or psychotic -- it just isn't much fun. I feel much happier, more positive, and so forth now than I did 15 years ago. Why? I don't know, exactly. Things changed. I didn't choose it.
  • deletedusercb
    1.7k
    We need both.Bitter Crank
    Amen. But even more: we are both. Getting rid of negative emotions, so called, is a bit like saying, get rid of the negative organs (like the spleen and gall bladder are negative, let's operate). Or this brain half needs to go. Or language needs to get rid of nouns. ATP is a bad chemical. Or hopping over is good, but no one should duck.
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