A new theory on emotion and the spirit

I was running last week listening to some great tunes, composed of some great chords and great lyrics. Combined, it caused me to stop running up the canyon, pause on the bike path, and experience a meta spiritual moment (what I was trying to mean by that fancy little phrase is a self-labeled spiritual experience that I recognized I was experiencing). By spiritual, I mean I felt like I had felt when I had had spiritual experiences before in my life.
What I realized was, I was thinking about certain experiences in my life and then started to really listen to some of the lyrics. They related to me. I felt good, excited that the song was parallelled my own experience. The Accompanying harmonic chords made me feel somewhat sad, somewhat elated, and left me with a vestige of enlightenment, three words I used to use to describe spiritual experience.
So here on my path up the mountain, I experienced God (pardon the scriptural pun). That may be what others would say, but what I would say is I felt an association with someone else through an artistic expression and felt a feeling we all have felt before: a sense of belonging. We are social beings, we for the most part like to be around others, but we tend to surround ourselves that we relate to. We’re happy when we meet people like us. They make us feel good when we are around them, even if we’re both miserable. When we find, books, songs, movies, stories, or symbols that we can extract meaning from that hints at all of reminding us of our own weaknesses, emotions, or life experience, we well up inside. Many religions teach us to interpret these feelings as revelation. For instance, if you are reading scripture and come across a passage that you derive some correlation between it and your own life, all of those emotional synapses crackle and pop, and you feel. You have been taught to interpret, so you interpret. God has bestowed meaning upon you, and you soak it up like a scorched lawn under a deluge.
Here’s my question: Does expression mean causality? It’s possible. It’s possible that those emotions expressed were caused by god. But can we assume it? In scientific experiments, many times, certain variables are assumed to cause a reaction, because they are both seen in the experiment. But there are so many other reasons why a reaction takes place than a variable. A variable and reaction are more likely associated than one causing the other. So I wonder if its the same with this.
That’s where belief comes in I guess. People believe that the association I just described is caused by God and it very well may be. Who am I to say? I’m just saying it may not be.

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3 thoughts on “A new theory on emotion and the spirit

  1. freedomlover says:

    Fabulous frontal lobe frolicking my fine feathered philosophical friend! I enjoy reading your blog because you think, question and hypothesize. You’re a rare breed magic man. Certainly one of the great quests of life is to determine what our emotions mean. Interpreting them correctly can mean life or death (in the spiritual sense). Traditional Christian thought holds that two forces seek to communicate with us throught our emotions. Light and Dark, Good and Bad, God and Satan – whatever you want to call them. I have seen examples of both of these types of emotions in my life. Even those emotions that feel good or produce feelings of euphoria could be coming from the “dark side” such as those feelings induced by drugs. So, according to traditional Christian thought, our emotions can be influenced from two separate sources. I agree with this truth. Here’s a question for you that relates more specifically to the assertions made in your blog. Can emotions come from perhaps a 3rd source? From neither God nor Satan? Are we as distinct and unique forms of intelligence capable of originating our own emotions that may not be good or bad – but just be? Such as those emotions that are induced from “connecting” with others through mediums outlined in your blog.

  2. Kate says:

    That was very well put. And I definitely understand the feeling you describe. It might be a long and arduous path to discover “where” that feeling comes from, but you are right about one thing at least: with the right components, this effect can be duplicated over and over in one’s life. It’s also important to note that many times it’s a feeling of elation (whether toward the sad or happy or anything in between), yet this feeling does not continually manifest itself in the same way each and every time you repeat the action. For example, listen to that song about 20 more times, and you won’t feel the welling up inside. I wonder what this means? Is it simply that the connection felt was only needed at that place and that moment in time for you? Either way, I for one am continually on a quest for things to make me feel that way… All State commercials, poignant books, and great conversations with friends. Connection…

  3. blakecgriffin says:

    I totally understand what you’re saying. Like, I feel the same way when I watch Angelina Jolie movies as I do when I used to climb the rope in gym class. Is that the spirit?

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