On Emotion

A late night in the library of the Temple Club. I’m surprised that this even made it to a book–grammatically speaking.


The English word ‘emotion’ is derived from the French word émouvoir. This is based on the Latin emovere, where e- (variant of ex-) means ‘out’ and movere means ‘move’, i.e. to move out.

That is what our emotions do. They manipulate energy and bring things into motion / manifestation. The force behind what we feel is what allows us to create. Although we have our thought but it is the emotional energy, the fuel, that allows something to get created. “I felt so strongly that I started weeping”. Therefore, to create in a positive way, we must generate positive emotions from clear thoughts and perceptions. Understanding various situations we encounter in our daily life will help make these perceptions clear.

The Joy, sadness, trust, disgust, fear, anger, surprise, anticipation, optimism, disappointment, love, remorse, submission, contempt, awe, aggressiveness, affection, longing, lust, pride, rage, envy, sympathy, nervousness, greed, happiness, shame, repulsion, respect and obligation etc. are some emotions that we encounuter frequently. The feelings and emotions are the things which distinguish us from robots, a computer operating a mechanical body using electric signals.

With our feelings and emotions we experience ourselves in this world. Feelings provide us with the greatest pleasures in life, but also with the greatest suffering. The emotions are ways that our mind reacts to situations. For example, when we are scared, mind reacting subconsciously (sense of danger), when we are sad, mind is reacting to tragedy, and similarly when we are angry, mind is reacting defensively, thinking that somebody has done what he should not do etc.

In human body, the emotions are activated by nervous system and ductless glands. The surges of emotions and sentiments are just other kinds of thoughts. These thoughts stimulate the glands, nervous system and we experience these emotions physically; like how we cry sometimes. The hypothalamus activates pituitary gland and secretes hormones which are the results of emotions and also become causes of generations of new emotions.

According as one’s life situation dictates, hormones are secreted and our physical body react to these hormones. Unhealthy emotions give birth to various diseases, for instance migraine headache may be caused due to emotional stress. Emotional stress causes contraction in blood vessels which in turn causes headache. Furthermore recent surveys reveals that even back pain sometimes can be due to unhandled emotions.

Every experienced feeling provides automatic, instantaneous feedback about a particular person or situation. Feelings are not chosen, they just happen. A person chooses to let it flow or to restrict it. Feelings that are expressed immediately affect physical functioning in the moment then gradually dissipate. Denied, suppressed or repressed feelings stay unresolved for as long as they are held back. They continue to affect functioning in indirect ways contributing to the nervous, anxiety, depression and physical disease processes.

Dec 10

In some sort of crude sense which no vulgarity, no humor, no overstatement can quite extinguish, the physicists have known sin; and this is a knowledge which they cannot lose.

Okkervil River

And I think I believe that if stones could dream
They’d dream of being laid side-by-side, piece-by-piece
And turned into a castle for some towering queen
They’re unable to know
And when that queen’s daughter came of age
Well, I think she’d be lovely and stubborn and brave
And suitors would journey from kingdoms away
Just to make themselves known
And I think that I know the bitter dismay
Of a lover who brought fresh bouquets every day
When she turned him away to remember some knave
Who once gave just one rose, one day, years ago.

Dec 9

“I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side, spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says, “There, she is gone”

Gone where?

Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast, hull and spar as she was when she left my side. And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me — not in her. And, just at the moment when someone says, “There, she is gone,” there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!”

And that is dying…

Death comes in its own time, in its own way. Death is as unique as the individual experiencing it.”

Nov 26

Salih of Qazwin taught his disciples:
“Whoever knocks at the door continually,
it will be opened
to him.”
Rabia, hearing him one day, said:
“How long will you say:
‘It will be opened’? The door
has never been shut.”

Nov 23

I’ve been dealing with a heavy heart all week. Constant, and dull. No sharpness, not like a freshly received lamentation or betrayal…just a constant flatline of weight. It’s difficult and hard to put in words on an occupational hazard report. HR is always against you, I hear, is the universal truth.

I wake up in the Apostolos residence to bright light and singing birds. I’ve finally broken ground with the family here–I am now to call Mrs. Apostolos yia-yia, as if I have made it to her inner circle of kin. It’s a good thing, really…drifting from the main priorities of work in order to stabilize my foundational support is always more important than flinging yourself headfirst into a job.

The clientele I work with aren’t exactly going anywhere soon.

I can be doing good work over the course of a whole day but still this broken heart lies deep. I’m sure I know why but it’s easier to stay in denial…this is a good way to get myself back into regular work, but in truth…

…I feel quite isolated.

I have gone from an environment full of activity and socialization to one that is very distant. My heart begs for me to cry and feel sorry for myself for my loneliness. But I chose to re-enter working life with a job like this. It’s strange.

It’s the creeping realization that the walls I built around myself worked.

Have you ever lost someone, only to also lose those around what used to be the two of you? –I’m not speaking in terms of interpersonal relationships, though…there is no one like that in my life and never was. But it’s disengaging from a greater institution or vocation, one that DID offer the nucleus from which friends and colleagues would also be around, and now that I’m far away from that, no one has taken the time to reach out to me.

All perhaps one or two. Which I will treasure, and though it is also something to be said that perhaps I didn’t need those who didn’t come to see me after all….the pain of disengagement still hurts just the same.

This is real pain. This is not someone else’s. This is mine….

But for once I want someone to know that too.

Be here now, with me