EMOTIONS AND LOGIC Two modules; different methods; same goal BY: Troy Murphy | September 2015
The emotions are not logical. During some phases of developing human thought, emotions have been discredited because of the illogical component. We evaluate, measure and find meaning with words—a very logical process. And thus emotions confuse. But the value of experience is felt—not explained. We want to feel good.
The ambiguousness of emotions creates vulnerability. When our body is awash in emotions, we feel fragile, at the mercy to an inner-power we can’t fully explain. The answer, for some, is immunity to emotions. Blocking the feelings stimulated by the emotions creates a measure of security; but the security comes at a great cost. In the vulnerability of emotions, we find strength. The emotions are the building blocks of connection—connection with self, others and experience. Rigidity is born from emotional disconnection. Life is a simple shell of experience, relationships superficial.
Emotionally driven lives also create difficulties. Too much sensitivity to emotions creates chaos. Emotional flooding derails long-term goals—we say hurtful things, we damage important relationships, and take risks we shouldn’t. Emotions need integration with rational, soothing functions of language from analytical regions of the brain. Neither emotions or logic is better than the other. We have them both. The healthy functioning person smoothly integrates both—not blindly defaulting to one or the other; but purposely shifting focus back and forth, examining the role of both emotion and logic in an experience.
A common use of logic and emotions, in a less adaptive way, is to react emotionally then use logic to justify the unruly behavior, never scrutinizing emotionally driven actions that destroy long-term intentions. Ego-protecting defenses interfere with healthy futures. Intelligence doesn’t prevent us from this destructive course. More intelligence can be used to create more articulate justifications. No matter how well articulated some behaviors destroy futures, weaken relationships, and leave us lonely and sad in the end. We can always blame someone else for the loneliness and sadness.
Smooth integrations of the multiple inputs of experience is an art, an art few have mastered. But we don’t have to master integration to benefit from the practice. We may stumble through new experiences alternating attention, examining emotions, checking logical explanations, and then re-examining the emotions. As we become more practiced, we will notice a little less rigidity—or chaos. Defining moments will not pass by in a reactionary huff, but experienced in a mindful felt and organized manner. In the balancing of experience, we find joy in the moment, and guiding wisdom for the future.