Emotion is more similar to conscious thought than feelings are to conscious thought. Although emotion and feeling can be described as unconscious thought, one of them is going to be more similar to conscious thought. Feelings are more like sensations, when you touch something you get a feeling. Therefore feelings are faster than emotions and thought, because when you touch something there is a slight delay before you can think of something about it (thought), or feel something deeply about it (emotion). Emotion is therefore just unconscious thought. Actually it would better be described as unconscious feeling (so a feeling is like a conscious emotion because you can "feel" it better and easier but emotion is a deeper, more unconscious experience similar to unconscious thought, but emotions are also more similar to conscious thought because thought is a deep experience while feelings are intense or shallow, but not deep).
One definition of emotion can be "any strong feeling". From that description many conclusions can be drawn. Basic (or primary) emotions can be made up of secondary emotions like love can contain feelings or emotions of lust, love and longing. Feelings can be described in more detail than emotions because you can have a specific feeling for anything, each feeling is unique and might not have a name. For instance, if you are upset by one person that might have its own feeling because that person upsets you in a certain way. That feeling doesn't have a defined name because it is your personal feeling. The feeling may also be an emotion, say anger. "Upset" is probably too weak to be an emotion, but that doesn't mean that it isn't strong like emotions are strong in certain ways. Cold is also just a feeling. There is a large overlap between how feelings feel and how emotions feel, they are similar in nature. So there are only a few defined emotions, but there are an infinite number ways of feeling things. You can have a "small" emotion of hate and you could say that you have the feeling hate then, if it is large you could say you are being emotional about hate, or are experiencing the emotion hate. You can have the same emotion of hate in different situations, but each time the feeling is going to be at least slightly different.
You can recognize any feeling, that is what makes it a feeling. If you are sad that is a feeling, but if you are depressed that isn’t a feeling it is more like an emotion. You can’t identify why you are depressed but you can usually identify why you are sad. Feelings are more immediate, if something happens or is happening, it is going to result in a feeling. However, if something happened a long time ago, you are going to think about it unconsciously and that is going to bring up unconscious feelings. Otherwise known as emotion. So emotions are unconscious feelings that are the result of unconscious thoughts. Feeling defined there as something you can identify. So you can’t identify the unconscious thought that caused the unconscious feeling, but you can identify the unconscious feeling (aka emotion).
Another aspect of unconscious thought, emotion, or unconscious feeling (all three are the same) is that it tends to be mixed into the rest of your system because it is unconscious. If it was conscious then it remains as an individual feeling, but in its unconscious form you confuse it with the other emotions and feelings and it affects your entire system. So therefore most of what people are feeling is just a mix of feelings that your mind cannot separate out individually. That is the difference between sadness and a depression, a depression lowers your mood and affects all your feelings and emotions, but sadness is just that individual feeling. So the reason that the depression affects all your other feelings is because you can no longer recognize the individual sad emotions that caused it. The feelings become mixed. If someone can identify the reason they are sad then they become no longer depressed, just sad. Once they forget that that was the reason they are depressed however, they will become depressed again.
That is why an initial event might make someone sad, and then that sadness would later lead into a depression, is because you forget why you originally got sad. You might not consciously forget, but unconsciously you do. That is, it feels like you forget, the desire to get revenge on whatever caused the sadness fades away. When that happens it is like you “forgetting” what caused it. You may also consciously forget but what matters is how much you care about that sadness. It might be that consciously understanding why you are depressed or sad changes how much you care about your sadness, however. That would therefore change the emotion/feeling of sadness. The more you care about the sadness/ depression, the more like a feeling it becomes and less like an emotion. That is because the difference between feelings and emotions is that feelings are easier to identify (because you can “feel” them easier).
The following is a good example of the transition from caring about a feeling to not caring about a feeling. Anger as an emotion takes more energy to maintain, so if someone is punched or something, they are only likely to be mad for a brief period of time, but the sadness that it incurred might last for a much longer time. That sadness is only going to be recognizable to the person punched for a brief period of time as attributable to the person who did the punching, after that the sadness would sink into their system like a miniature depression. Affecting the other parts of their system like a depression.
In review, both feelings and emotions are composed of unconscious thoughts, but feelings are easier to identify than emotions. Feelings are faster than emotions in terms of response (the response time of the feeling, how fast it responds to real world stimulation) and it takes someone less time to recognize feelings because they are faster. Feelings are closer to sensory stimulation, if you touch something, you feel it and that is a fast reaction. You care about the feeling so you can separate it out in your head from the other feelings. “You care” in that sentence could be translated into, the feeling is intense, so you feel it and can identify it easily. That is different from consciously understanding why you are depressed or sad. You can consciously understand why you are depressed or sad, but that might or might not affect the intensity of that sadness.
If the intensity of the sadness is brought up enough, then you can feel that sadness and it isn’t like a depression anymore, it is more like an individual feeling then something that affects your mood and brings your system down (aka a depression). Also, if you clearly enough understand what the sadness is then it is going to remain a sadness and not affect the rest of your system. That is because the feeling would get mixed in with the other feelings and start affecting them. The period of this more clear understanding of the sadness mostly occurs right after the event that caused the sadness. That is because it is clear to you what it is. Afterwards the sadness might emerge (or translate from a depression, to sadness) occasionally if you think about what caused it or just think about it in general.
The difference between emotion and feeling is that feelings are easier to identify because they are faster, a feeling is something you are feeling right then. An emotion might be a deeper experience because it might affect more of you, but that is only because it is mixed into the rest of your system. That is, a depression affects more of you than just an isolated feeling of sadness. In other words, people can only have a few feelings at a time, but they can have many emotions at the same time. Emotions are mixed in, but to feel something you have to be able to identify what it is, or it is going to be so intense that you would be able to identify what it is. Emotions just feel deeper because it is all your feelings being affected at once.
Since emotion is all your feelings being affected at once, emotions are stronger than feelings. Feelings however are a more directed focus. When you feel something you can always identify what that one thing is. When you have an emotion, the emotion is more distant, but stronger. All your feelings must feel a certain way about whatever is causing the emotion. So that one thing is affecting your entire system. Feelings can then be defined as immediate unconscious thought, and emotions as unconscious thought.
- When you care about an emotion, you could say that you have a higher attention for emotion or that emotional event during that time. You are probably going to be in a higher state of action readiness, that is, you are probably more alert and going to be able to respond faster to whatever it is you are focusing on, or just respond faster in general. You also are going to have a better understanding of the emotion if you care about it more - you make an assessment of the emotions strength and its nature when you think about the emotion (or the event that generated the emotion).
- Feelings are more direct than emotions and thought because they are more sensory – when you touch something you get a feeling. That shows further how emotions are really about things in the real world, only it more like you are thinking about them instead of feeling them in real time. Things that come from memory are going to be emotions and/or thoughts, not feelings because feelings are things which are more tangible, those memories might result in new feelings, but the memories themselves are not feelings because they are just thoughts. That shows how you can feel some things more than others, that thought and feeling are indeed separate and intelligence is sometimes driven by feelings and emotions, and sometimes it isn’t. You can think about things and not have feelings guiding those thoughts Or your feelings could be assisting your thoughts.
- If you care about a feeling then it becomes easier to identify it – that shows how your feelings can help you to identify other feelings, so your emotions contribute to your emotional intelligence.
- If a certain emotion is larger than others then to your intellect it is going to be easier to recognize, and easier to think about (that is why a depression feels like it does, because you don’t know the individual emotions contributing to it so you cannot feel a specific emotion of sadness from it.
An explanation for this chapter:
So feelings are easier to "feel" than emotions, that is probably why they are called feelings, because you "feel" them better. Maybe someone else thinks you can feel emotions easier, I don't know, the point is you can feel emotions and feelings with different levels of intensity and in more than one way, a feeling could be not intense but clear to you. So how conscious you are of the feeling or emotion influences the intensity of it and your conscious experience of it. A feeling could be more intense than an emotion if it is the only thing you are feeling as well. That makes sense, if an emotion is very complicated, then you probably couldn't feel the entire thing as clearly in a brief period of time. So my theory is that feelings are more simple, and therefore there are more shallow but possibly more intense than emotion because you can focus on a simple thing easier.
If you are having a deep emotional experience (experiencing an emotion) then it makes sense that you aren't as in touch with all of those feelings that are occurring. When you touch something you get the feeling "cold" - that is simple to understand. When you are in a depression you don't understand all the complicated emotions that you are experiencing. You could experience sadness all day. When you can say "oh, I really "felt" that", then you know you feel it and it is a feeling. When you feel something, it is a feeling. When you are emotional about something, those are feelings too, but it is more powerful and deeper, you aren't as in touch will all of it because it is more complex. You could be in touch with something complex and feel that too, I guess. Though I would argue that a feeling is easier to focus on if it is simple and clear to understand and feel to your conscious mind.
The significance of this chapter:
If someone is emotional, then they are feeling a lot. I could say that the emotions someone is experiencing could be brought up at different times and felt more - translated from somewhere in your strong emotions to something you feel more closely. So you can feel some things but that doesn't mean that the feeling is intense or clear - those things might become clear however at some point.
When those emotions become clear and you 'bring them up' - either by caring about the emotion or the thought that represents it or it just emerges by some other method (such as by doing an evaluation of your emotional state) - then they become feelings because you can feel them easier. These feelings are more clear, similar to when you touch something you get a feeling that is simple and tactile. That is why feelings are called the result of emotions, because emotions are like the basis for feelings (at least non-tactile ones). You might have a feeling that has a shallow source however as well I would say. It doesn't have to be that a feeling is first felt deeply, and then you feel it more clearly later on (the feeling being the result of an emotion). Maybe the feeling is simple at first and then it becomes more complex later.
What role does attention have to play? Being emotional or feeling something can make you pay more or less attention to things, including other feelings. Your attention can naturally rise just because of your emotional state.
People feel emotions, and they can feel feelings. Emotions are strong and the powerful source of human behavior, and while feelings are also powerful they are also diverse, curious, and unique - 'old feelings returning'.
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