Re: TSD: Emotion vs. Intellect [was: wee-little question ...]

Date: Sat Apr 29 2000 - 17:51:00 MDT

In a message dated 4/28/2000 5:24:30 AM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

> Spike, I have to disagree with this. Intelligence and emotion
> are two entirely different realms. I would say that the more
> intelligent you are, the more capable you may be of managing
> or balancing "conflicting" emotions. For example, emotions may
> be very short-term reward based. It takes intelligence to translate
> that into a long term risk-benefit tradeoff analysis.

This is not true. If nothing else, "realms" implies that there are spaces, or
rooms where we store thoughts and emotions. This is an illusion. Human
cognition is a continuum constantly shifting from state to state.

Although it is true that one can, through intelligence, become more skilled
at emotion, it is not because intelligence is separate from emotion or
superincumbant. It is *possible* to subject and "master" your conflicting
emotions by pretending they are not a part of your intellect, but it's an
error of judgment.

Emotions are little understood and there for expression of emotions is
frowned upon in our culture. Unrevealed and conflicting emotions can cause
people to act out in various ways. One assumes that intellect is "superior"
to emotion; that it produces a clearer version of reality, and clearer goals
and a clearer course of action. It is not OK to be conflicted, apparently. We
are supposed to have "transgressed" beyond any conflicts. Hence the common
"lizard brain" excuse for having modern feelings.

It is not a battle between two "realms" it is a natural, circuitous, shifting
and weighing between two important parts of cognition that are both important
to the minds healthy functioning.

Our so called lizard brain usually only kicks in when we are faced with a
huge shock or fear reaction. Yet, it's become fashionable to *blame* our
ancient mind on emotions that are tortuous, uncontrollable or otherwise
unpleasant. We *thank* our intellect for emotions such as tranquility,
satisfaction, contentment and joy. We try to not let emotion guide us,
because we do not trust it's power over us.

It is true that when one indulges in reasoning/rational (linear, problem
solving) thought, one shifts away from the emotional end of the spectrum of
thought, and is less likely to be influenced by random emotion. This is
comforting for it feels like we have control.

They are not two unrelated functions. Your perception stream or "thought
stream" is inevitably linked by emotion when you are in most normal states of
thought. The fact that emotions produce very healthy and creative
associations in both artists and scientists is well documented.

When one is tuned finely to one's emotions, and perceives them as a natural,
healthy motivator and helmsman, it shows maturity and wisdom. Wisdom is a
part of intelligence.

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