Emotion... by any other name would... work the same

I stand under your comments Carl! Thank you for your input. :wink:


  • edited December 1969
    Emotion, by any other name (e.g. chi, qi) would work the same. Of course words like prana and qi (chi) have a 'sexy' mysterious color. But, as we see, [chref=12]colors make man's eyes blind[/chref]. Differences deceive. A few thousand years ago 'we' call it qi or prana, now we call it emotion. In short, qi=prana=emotion. Now, if we hanker for something more mysterious, all we need do is sense that [chref=56]mysterious sameness[/chref] that awaits us at every level of perception.

    Emotion is the fuel that runs the engine of life. Without emotion we would feel dead, be dead. Of course we wouldn't 'feel' dead, or anything – emotion is synonymous with feeling. Emotion gives life meaning, texture, flavor, color. So, three cheers for emotion, for without emotion we would feel no cheer. We would feel no sorrow or joy, gain or loss, no beauty or ugliness, pain or pleasure.

    Emotion is the bed rock of language. For example, in learning Chinese I initially understood a word upon translating it to English. A word only felt meaningful, in its own right, after I could feel it emotionally, in its own right. Language itself relies on emotion to give words meaning. Without emotional context words are just noise.

    Emotion drives thought. Angry emotion stirs up angry thoughts and/or angry action. Fear emotion stirs up fearful worries and/or fearful action. On the other hand, empathetic emotion stirs up thoughts of [chref=10]the One[/chref] and all,... and actions that reflect that. Put another way anger and hate divide, empathy and love connect and unite.

    Emotion is a team of oxen that pulls the cart of life. Without a driver the oxen easily lose the way, pull the cart off the road and sometimes off a cliff. Driver? Hmm,... are we talking free will here? No, only understanding can guide the cart.[chref=32]Knowing[/chref] is the eye that sees the way; the oxen of emotion follow naturally.

    Sounds great, sound [chref=63]easy[/chref]. Just open our eyes, see and [chref=70]understand[/chref], and off we go. Except for one little kink - emotions give meaning to what we see and a context to our [chref=43]understanding[/chref]. Thus, alas, [chref=78]no one can put this knowledge into practice[/chref]. Knowing that helps us become increasingly [chref=15]hesitant and tentative[/chref], and thus, less likely to run off the road and lose our way.

    Or course, this Taoist approach is not that popular. We prefer a 'hands on', 'can do', [chref=75]action [/chref] based way to deal with life. We back this with the wishful thinking notion that we can control emotion, and subdue the 'animal' within. Of course, this is just fighting fire with fire and result in ruin.

    Speaking of ruin, the idea of controlling emotion reminds me of chapter 64, [chref=64]whoever does anything to it will ruin it; whoever lays hold of it will lose it[/chref]. Emotion drives this 'laying hold of' emotion and creates a neurotic vicious circle.
  • edited December 1969
    My son Luke, being a devil's advocate (it's genetic), raised doubts that anyone would accept that qi (ch'i) and emotion were synonymous. I grant that some may think of qi as being 'out there', mystical, and something one can 'enhance'. Well, first let's consider 'out there' versus 'in here'. As chapter 1 puts it: [chref=1]these two are the same, but diverge in name as they issue forth[/chref]. But, isn't that referring to 'allowing' versus 'riding' yourself desire. So? Moreover, [chref=2]'out there' and 'in here' produce each other[/chref], and so on. The trouble with 'reality' is that it is simpler than words can express,... though the Tao Te Ching does a pretty good job, e.g., [chref=41]The great image has no shape[/chref]. But, enough of that.

    More to the point, consider the initial Wikipedia entry on qi:
    Qi, also commonly spelled ch'i (in Wade-Giles romanization) or ki (in romanized Japanese), is a fundamental concept of traditional Chinese culture. Qi is believed to be part of every living thing that exists, as a kind of “life force” or “spiritual energy.” It is frequently translated as “energy flow,” or literally as “air” or “breath.” (For example, tian qì, literally “sky breath”, is the ordinary Chinese word for "weather).

    So, where is the connection to emotion? "part of every living thing", "life force", "spiritual energy", etc.

    Now consider the literal translation of qi:
    Qi: gas; air; breath; smell; odour; weather; airs; spirit; morale; make angry; enrage; get angry; be enraged; bully; insult; vital energy; energy of life.

    Of course, belief transcends reason, and so anything I point out won't change anyone's cherished belief. Now, that is something useful to remember, is it not?
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