The emotion of politics, the politics of emotion


The Agenda convenes a panel to discuss emotion and public policy.

More from Alison Loat here.


The emotion of politics, the politics of emotion

  1. I am far too sad/happy/angry/courage to sit through almost an hour of that.

    • Agreed. I listened for 20 minutes and it was likely the gist of the entire discussion. Ten minutes probably would have done it. Essentially, we mix a lot of emotion, even though we think we are quite rational, into our political positions. Pretty logical I'd say.

  2. I can't believe it!

    My little theory has been given legitimacy by people with letters behind their names! Wow, I'm actually stunned.

    Now, if we could direct them to go through our history, put the emotion back in, and see what was really happening, I think we'd have a lot of new insights.

    In the meantime, anyone interested in publishing a novel?

    • It is an impossibilty to direct them to go through our history, put emotion back in and see what was really happening. Not because they would not be so willing but because even if some were willing, it could not be done.

      History is entered into but once from one direction only. If we would attempt to enter history after the fact, we would indeed be revising history, which in turn would make history completely absolete.

      The meaning of history, however, is insightful. History comes about by the act of creating, and then history itself is as creation which in turn gives way to the act of creating once again, and so forth.

      That is not to say that emotion did not play a role within formation of history. Of course it did. Just llike any history is formed by the act of creating, and the act of creating is as a want for uniting (a longing to unite in fact) emotion is the direct link within such longing.

  3. Interesting that they invited that screaming hysteric Chris Stockwell on to a panel discussion about emotion and politics?

    Does he lose it? I guess I'll have to watch the whole clip to find out.

    • No, he even talks about it.

    • I can't watch it, the library is closed and I'm connected via internet stick. Videos eat up this stick in record time and cost!!

      I will watch it later.

      • I can't watch it, the library is closed . . .

        Then it is fortunate indeed, for you, that Harper flip-flopped on funding the Internet Community Access Program.


        A week after telling libraries and community groups across the country that long-standing funding for public Internet access is disappearing, the federal Conservative government now says it was all a misunderstanding.

        • Sorry James, but I am a Canadian visiting New Zealand at the moment, so the library being closed had actually nothing to do with Canada in this case. Good try though.

          • Thanks so much, James!

            This time around I'm just visiting ghe South Island. I live in Mosgiel, close to Dunedin, and will stay a while longer. Who knows, I might have enough time to visit the site. I will look into it for sure, and if anything comes off it I will let you know.

          • According to Google maps you're not far off; Mosgiel to Glenham, New Zealand 180 km – about 2 hours 41 mins.

            I'll drop Rob a note. If you get the chance to visit Maple Glen I don't think you'll be disappointed.

  4. What are these things we speak of: Reason and Emotion?

    Over time I've come to the following conclusion:

    If accept the notion that all being, including human beings, is by unite and divide, a constant force of creation and the act of creating, we may come to understand the meaning of emotion and reason.. (Socrates formulated it somewhat differently, namely: there is that which is and never is in the becoming, AND there is that which is in the becoming and never is.)

    All being longs to unite and this sense of uniting is our emotion ((and I take "being" here at the widest interpretation possible, including human beings. For instance, other being would not unite through what is commonly known as emotion).

    Reason, on the other hand, is the sense of how well we are capable of uniting.

    And so, passionate reasoning would be a combination of the two, and the best possible combination in that respect.

    Politics is a human action/endeavour. Reason and emotion are also purely human attributes within this context.

    • Wow, are you ever thinking too much.

      Emotions are feelings. Feelings impact on our reasoning, sometimes through an unconscious 'end result' we then use reasoning to come to, or by shutting down our ability to reason altogether because our feelings tell us a thing so forcefully. Other times, it simply provides the weight on one side between two equally rational avenues. I firmly believe we have no knowledge of our emotions' impact on our very rational thinking process, at least most of the time. I'm pleased to discover that the survey they were talking about bears out my belief.

      I'd also like to state that emotions tied to our rational thinking is not a bad thing. It is, first of all, what gives any decision a purpose, or, in my opinion, it is the ball our mind needs to keep its eye on. Purely rational decisions are usually not that useful, for a third way of saying it.

      • Jenn, you say:"Wow, are you ever thinking too much."

        But that is a very wrong assessment. Too many people do not think enough! Either they are not capable of thinking more or find no pleasure in doing so.

        The most underlying and indeed fundamental problem with discussing any topic (and I regard the combination of emotion and reason to be one of those topics) stems from the fact that humans do not think enough.

        You make that clear within your further reply to me: the totality of your reply is merely skimming the surface. But everything, absolutely everything, stems from an ongoing force. There may be theories out there about what such force coudl be (and both religious and scientific aspects come to mind here) but it won't be visible at the surface.

        If one would consider, for instance, the fork in the road becoming clear between Plato and Aristotle, you might get a better insight of where we've come from.

  5. That was really pretty interesting. Even the panelists were unwittingly part of the reason/emotion debate. IMHO cognitive dissonance theory goes an awful long way to answer this question. People are quite deluded. But is it vanity, necessary for survival or something more sinister?

  6. …needed for..

    • "When Prophecy Fails
      An early version of cognitive dissonance theory appeared in Leon Festinger's 1956 book, When Prophecy Fails. This book gave an inside account of belief persistence in members of a UFO doomsday cult, and documented the increased proselytization they exhibited after the leader's "end of the world" prophecy failed to come true. The prediction of the Earth's destruction, supposedly sent by aliens to the leader of the group, became a disconfirmed expectancy that caused dissonance between the cognitions, "the world is going to end" and "the world did not end." Although some members abandoned the group when the prophecy failed, most of the members lessened their dissonance by accepting a new belief, that the planet was spared because of the faith of the group."

      Ever wonder where the impulse for comedy arises from?
      A great [ and very funny] illustration of just how deluded humans can become. Leon Festinger was pretty much the father of dissonance theory. His work was later carried on to great effect by Eliot Aronson. His book " Mistakes were made, but not by me", is a must read.

  7. Politics deals with the interplay existing between the collective and the invididual – the sense of self includes the sense of there being "an other".

    The two cannot be isolated; without the other there would be no self and without the self there would be no other.

  8. Emotions are feelings. Well, dah, but in what regard? To what end are they "feelings"?

    You say: "Feelings impact on our reasoning, " Wrong. Reason tries to sort out feelings.

    You then hurriedly skip over to the unconsciousness???? That's a broad spectrum you're skipping over. Let's take time and really look at what these things stand for.

    • Jenn says: "I'm pleased to discover that the survey they were talking about bears out my belief. "

      Such could indeed be considered a "belief", for it has no further basis to stand on.

      Jenn, I don't mean to be too critical here of your replies, but since this topic of emotion and reason has been around for some time (actually as far back as human development) it would be wise to treat it seriously for once. Merely adhering to what has been revealed by "lettered" individuals, does not make it more relevant. In fact, I would say that just as often "lettered" people are blindsided by the very fact of being "lettered", if you know what I mean. Just because some people have an elevated standing does not mean that it is only "them" who possess knowledge. In some cases lettered people prove to be nothing more than giant copying machines.

      • Oh, I so totally disagree with your entire way of going about things. Because, you see, we are completely at the same point–we just took two very different routes to get there.

        You are confusing the premise of the post (emotions and public agenda) with a philosophical discussion between emotions and reaosoning. Of course the philosophical discussion is relevant to whether it is ongong in the political arena–but what I meant by "you are thinking too much" is you've gone straight past the issue at hand.

        "Merely adhering to what has been revealed by "lettered" individuals, does not make it more relevant. In fact, I would say that just as often "lettered" people are blindsided by the very fact of being "lettered", if you know what I mean."

        Apparently, I know exactly what you mean, because little-old unlettered me came up with this theory at least seven years ago, when I started writing a novel to highlight the concept. That concept being the one of emotions in public policy (not the emotions vs. reasoning concept). I am only awed and, frankly, astounded that those lettered people caught up to me!

        • " "you are thinking too much" is you've gone straight past the issue at hand. "

          You see, that is where the difference lies: I am not going straight past the issue at hand. In fact if we would not address what I just explained in philosophical terms first, then any issue at hand becomes superficial. That is precisely my point. I do not go straight past anything, I merely start at a beginning, whereas you are ok with starting at a vairable (this particular episode dicussing the topic of emotion in politics and politics of emotion) and try to reach conclusions from that. It is not my belief that that is the wrong approach; it is the wrong approach. We cannot build anything meaninfull out of results (such as polling results) if the methods by which the results were gathered have no bearing on fundamental underlying structures of being.

          • Oh, and Jenn, this is really interesting. About a two years ago I selfpublished a book about the topic you seem to want to touch upon. Perhaps we could have us a very interesting conversation here. But be warned: I am hardcore reason, I do not go much for superficial and anacdotal fluffy stuff while debating. I want to talk about fundamental, real stuff, not the superficial by products.

            The extent to which the "example" (any example) is being used and mis-used wears out the mind faster than anything within a debate. Examples are varients, (nothing more, nothing less) to highlight a larger encompassing idea. But they can hinder just as easily as help an attempt to come to the core of what's being debated. You see, particular examples can go either way: either add to the deeping out of debate or hinder the deepening out of a debate.

          • Well, obviously we cannot communicate on this issue then. For me, I haven't read Aristotle or Plato, I have no opinion on what they said since I don't know what it is.

            For you, you haven't watched the video. You are arguing against something a researcher has recently proven (emotions impact on reasoning) preferring to go off into some esoteric realm (what are emotions?) while I am trying to stay grounded on the practical results, in line with the video this blog post is all about.

            Neither of us are wrong, in my opinion, although as usual your 'superiority' emotions tell you I'm on the wrong approach.

            But it does not work for a good debate.

          • Jenn, I am not in dispute with you on emotional grounds but on reasonable grounds.

            It is not true that the researcher under discussion has proven anything. I would argue that when applying passionate reason, the researcher could be refuted on several points, precisely because he does not ask the question of to what end emotions are about.

            It is not overly important for you to not have read Plato or Aristotle, and it is not overly important for me not having seen this particular video. The discussion about the relationship of emotions in politics and futhermore the politics of emotions, must clearly be a fundamental discussion about being. Period. If we exclude such, the debate will be for naught because of that particular ommission.

            Jenn, the practical results are inherently tied to a practical input but if the practical input is flawed, the results will be flawed also.

            I had been hoping that it would be possible to debate this topic (emotion and politics) in a general sense, rather than discuss one particular varient opinion of it.

    • I understand you couldn't watch the video, so I'll kindly explain that the emotional part of our brain is very much engaged during our 'reasoned' decision making process. Therefore, I stand by what I said (and my theory). Emotion impacts on reasoning. While the 'reasoning' part of our brain might occasionally try to understand the emotions, more often than not it doesn't even know the emotion is there. Which, again from the video, explains how it is that people answered the polls the way they did–which was blatantly false to everyone reviewing the results, but presumably the majority of respondents' honestly held belief in how they behaved.

      • My apologies for not being able to relate to the video, it really will eat up my stick too fast.

        But regardless: We need to figure out first what feelings are.

        What are feelings, or emotions?

        And after we have figured out what emotion could possibly stand for as being present within humans, then we could try and define reason.

        In that sense, it doesn't really matter whether I have seen this particular video, or polls, or not.. Any discussion about feelings need to start at the fundamental understanding of what we are talking about.

        So the question remains: To what end are feelings?

        • Emotions are psychological feedback that pertain to one's values. If one values nothing, one will have no emotions.

          • That's a bit of a brain teaser.

            I want to take the word "psychological" out of this sentence for the moment, because that word could perhaps be understood differently between the two of us, so let's take that out for now.

            Feedback that pertains to one's values. If one values nothing, one will have no emotions.

            Or one does not have emotions and therefore no values?

            Or one does not understand how to deal with emotions, and therefore cannot understand value?

            With the word psychological, you probably indicate a process by which the mind reciprocates this inhererent interaction. Either values and emotions could thereby be as cause and/or effect simultaneously.

            In other words, how do we, as humans, come to be associated with these terms of value and emotion?

          • By "psychological" I mean only that it is at the level of the brain. The physical environment cannot directly cause an emotion, there is an evaluative process in the brain, of the environment, that causes an emotion (I am not sure I like the term an emotion, implying that there are units of emotions, but I will leave it at the moment).

            Or one does not have emotions and therefore no values?

            No, values precede emotions and not vice versa. One cannot feel sadness, for example, about nothing and in relation to nothing. Values come from rationality, not emotions.

          • Let's start at the second part first.

            Value as such cannot be first. Emotion is first. When we look at new life, a baby, the baby shows emotions: it cries, laughs, shows disgust etc, at particular times.
            Now, I do believe that a baby is unclear about its emotions (difficult for the baby and parent alike). But the baby does know instinctively that somethings needs to be united for the emotion to change. So, feeding, for instance, is an action of uniting. Bringing the baby and food together is of value, but the baby does not "know" this connection within rational terms. And so the parent feeds the baby because the parent has come to understand value. The parent understands the value of the baby (the value of new life), the parent understands the value of food.

            Values are variables arising out of unity. Longing for unity is our human connection to the larger whole, we are thereby bound within the process of creation and the act of creating simultenously.

        • I don't equate feelings to emotions, but I do think they are equivalent results to similar processes on different aspects of the human being.

          When you consider the cliché: "I have a bad feeling about this." the sender is not describing an emotion, he's describing an unconscious or instinctual physical reaction to a specific situation.

          On the other hand a War Veteran will often experience fear just by remembering war time memories, without being physically in a fearful situation.

          • I agree with you that feelings and emotions are not one and the same thing. Perhaps I should not have confused the topic when interchanging the two terms. I think we mean to speak here about emotions, such as sadness, happyness, dispair, anger, etc, whereas feelings could be love, or hate.

            That example about the vet is interesting because in that case the fear factor has not been fully resolved. But we're starting to get into specific details, and although details do form the complete picture in the end, there needs to be something fundamental about emotions and feelings in general, to begin with.
            But if we consider the fear factor of the veteran, it could be said that unity regarding feeling safe, has not yet been achieved. Feeling safe would be the unity the veteran is longing for, would it not?
            So something is blocking that coming about of unity. (This reminds me of a poem, actually, about a veteran who stands, together with his partner, looking over the horses in his yard, but seeing the scene of the Vietnam war as a filter standing between him and the horses. )

          • Could it be that the feelings of love and hate are in direct relation to how the blocking can come undone? Could the hate he feels about the war interfere with the feelings of love he needs to feel safe? And that the filter (between him and the horses) is this presence of hate he cannot yet penetrate through in order to reach love?

          • ….but that more of love in the end will manage to remove that filter …….that ultimately, the actions of love can reach love.

  9. (continued)

    If, generally speaking, politically speaking, reason was successfull in "guiding" emotions thoughtfully, then such historic periods were golden . If, on the other hand, reason, generally speaking, politically speaking, could not "guide" emotions successfully, those historic periods are marked by darkness (decline).

    • "absolete"

      It was a typo, but the neologism must merit further discussion:

      "The CPC wish to make (place issue here) absolete".

      The very concept boggles.

  10. Yes, as in, "once history has been written down, it must stay that way forever, in spite of new information that comes to light. It is absolete."

    It's brilliant! It says exactly what it means.

    • Strange, I never once said that if new information came to light, history could not be updated. What I referred to is that emotions cannot be added in hindsight.

      Holly, your opening post said the following: "Now, if we could direct them to go through our history, put the emotion back in, and see what was really happening, I think we'd have a lot of new insights. "

      Indeed, if you would insist on placing emotions into history after the fact, you would be rivising history, and thereby history would not be, since all of history comes about by emotions expressed at the time of forming that history in question. How could we ever know after the fact, how people reacted emotionally at the time. Emotions are timely in that respect.
      Ever had a fight with a specific outcome revisited? At times did you think:" if only our emotions had been different" . Yet, does such second thought in any way have the possibility of altering that specific outcome> No.
      Now, one could take the outcome of the fight and deal with that within a new emotional state, but not alter the outcome of the first case.

  11. Our current needs/interests play a bit role in our political decisions. If something they say or the policies they espouse makes us feel we are "heard" or "recognized" by our politicians (or others), then we can be greatly influenced by them. In some cases it may not be rational (i.e. Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck).

    But if our needs are to feel like we are empowered, then the likes of Stephen Harper can seriously affect our emotions and no attempt at rationality will get him anywhere.

  12. But of course that is nto true. For instance, the left in Canada, has clearly campaigned on emotions ever since Harper (perhaps ever since the Reform party) came onto the scene, The "Hidden Agenda" is nothing but putting fear in people. ____in contrast to this particular comment made by Christine, Chris did not find a most enligtened answer not directly in relation to her reply but when he said that the right, as a whole, has more commonality to base decision making on. I would put such comment in direct relation to what Christina had mentioned (namely her wrong assessment that the right uses the emotional aspect more often) in that because the left is not so easily commonly bound, therefore less clear policy is being presented and therefore the scare tactic of the so-called "Hidden agenda" was used by the left, as a default mode for not being able to present a strong coherent policy on their own part.

  13. Interesting interview.____I thought the two Chrisses (Christina and Chris) managed to be most informative because they both seemed to have a deeper understanding of what the topic was about. ____I have one negative comment on Christina, in that when asked which side (left or right) used emotions more often, she replied the right side.


  14. Still, the interview clearly shows that the underlying fundamentals of reason and emotion have not been tabled so far.

    Let me be courageous here by being most decisive:

    It is abundantly clear to me (perhaps now more than ever) that when speaking of emotions and seeking the sense of emotion as having a come off, I will state that emotion is our inherent mechanism as longing for unity. This notion may seem silly at first thought, but if one considers the need for unity within the wider picture of being, the aspect of unity, and the drive towards it, is real and undisputed.


  15. Unity further stands in relation to division and furthermore stands in relation to a simultaneousness aspect, and all being, including the human being, is subjected to this force of unity/division simultaneously.

    Within the interview, David pointed out several times that the activity in our brain concerning emotion, can be found in the oldest part of our brain. And indeed it must be so, because before reason, before we were less complex in being, emotion was of the essence. We have grown more complex, as a being, by reason. Yet, the complexity must be seen in terms of how we ultimately, as being, are capable of uniting.

    (if one would concentrate on the understanding of unite/divide simultaneously, one would need to bring the meaning of religion and the meaning of science into the fray.- There would be no way around it. Note: I am not suggesting here religion OR science. )

  16. Finding unity in variety is what we could understand to be valuable. The human body is its vehicle for being, and indeed the body and brain work in unison to come to " mind". In that sense it could be psychological in nature, but I am still not precisely clear what you mean by the term "psychology"

    • Then let's discard the word, at least for now. I used it with hesitation.

      To help me sharpen my thinking on this topic, could you tell me if there is a difference between physical and emotional pain and, if so, what that difference is.

      • Yeah, we might come back to psychology later, if need be.

        Very interesting question you pose about there being physical pain and emotional pain. I'm very lucky that I don't have a lot of experience with either one, but since it's fun to keep the mind busy, I will try and answer it (the way I see it): (continued)

        • Yes, there is a difference between the two in how we experience those pains. Physical pain is sharper, can be localized. Therefore it can be treated easier. Physical pain is a result of identifiable causes mostly. Yet, physical pain is (I think) as a result of nerve endings laying shattered….and those nerve endings in turn are interconnected to the brain workings.

          Mental pain (or emotional pain) can be painfull, but in a different way. It is not so sharp, more of a dull pain, can effect the body overall without knowing where the real pressure of the pain is in actuality located, needs active participation of the person afflicted to be cured. Mental pain is when the being of self is in conflict with the self. This conflict can be hormonal in cause, but in many cases I believe mental pain is caused by the conflict within the self.

          I'm curious to find out how you define the difference between the two.

          • I'm not sure I can. Your questions have me stumbling over what emotions are. I am trying to examine my thought process (my conclusions) to discover where I am erring. Can you tell me this, can one experience pain if one has no emotions?

          • I do believe, Justin, that people who have suffered incredible mental pain, that the emotional aspect of the person could have been wiped out for a large part. For instance, I have heard that truly and severly depressed people, over time, do not show much of emotions any longer, perhaps a sign of having given up.
            And probably because a lowered sensation of emotions having been lost throughout the depressing periods, a healthy state of emotions is thereby lost and can no longer lift the person out of the depression. So in that sense, depression, if not overcome in some sense at some point, spirals down into being emotion-less. (continued)

          • But perhaps I should explain a few things more clearly. These thoughts I am sharing with you and others are very interesting to me. I have thought about some of these topics, such as emotion and reason, such as religion and science (for those two in combination are of interest too, and belong to all of this).

            And so in a sense, I am trying to find flaws within my thinking by being in conversation about this with others.

            It seems to me that you have thought about things, or have read about things in this regard. (continued)

          • What I should explain further is this:

            Politics, now or anytime really, are of and by our times. Politics does not stand apart from us. In fact,, nothing stands apart from us including time.

            But what I am trying to get at, generally speaking, is that some fundamental force must be at work for all being. We, too, do not and cannot stand not outside of that full spectrum of being. Whatever this force may be, and regardless of what I think this force could be, it has to be self sustaining, or self propelled if you will.
            In other words: this force must be at work within all being, and must therefore be within us. And indeed we can observe this force in action in many, many ways. One of the ways in which we can see this force in action is within our workings of emotion and reason. (continued)

          • Now, I will need to be carefull that my so-called gathered understanding of this self sustaining force in action, will not be reasoned into only, but must in fact be reasoned out of likewise. (proper reasoning is always two directional)

            But once we have a clearer understanding of such force being in existence, it would be much easier for us to come to understand emotion and reason,( the workings of it.)

            You see, therefore, the question: Emotions are to what end? becomes a very important question.

            When I say that our emotions are as longing toward unity, I mean that in all seriousness.

            Is it possible, for instance, that, politially speaking, emotional outpouring is on the increase over reasonable outpourings because UNITY is not easily understood these days? Has reason helped AND hindered us in commonly experiencing unity?

          • I must tell you that many of your posts leave me uncertain about what to think of you. You seem to begin as a well-thought, well-reasoned, erudite individual, then abruptly metamorphose into a tiedyed, new-age charlatan. But I will try to understand what you mean.

            If I am to understand to what end are our emotions, I will first need to know what an emotion is. Are emotions separate from physical pain, or are they both producing the same effects in the brain? Can one experience pain regardless of whether has emotions?

          • You are free to think of me whatever you want. My condern is not what you think of me but what you think of the ideas I'm putting forward.

            I would say, don't concentrate on the issue of pain as much. Emotional pain is by not being able to find (or by not being able to recognise) unity.

            As being, we belong to the whole, whether we like it or not, whether we recognise it or not. Connecting with the whole is as eomotion, by emotion. Reason aids us in sorting out these emotions, and thereby reason has been able to bring about more complex unitiy including a more complex unity of our own being (the human being). But if reason goes it alone, if reason is no longer together with emotion for finding unity, then reason has become our hinder in trying to find unity. Hence perhaps the political and social mayhem we see currently.

          • What I think of you is what I think of the ideas you are putting forward.

            Where you lose me is on the "unity" talk, but maybe you will be able to help me understand what you are talking about.

            I just finished watching the video, and, I must say, it brought me no closer to understanding what emotion is. The people in the video suggest that 'emotion' is the opposite of rationality, and then go on to give as examples of emotions, 'pride', 'fear', etc. — things that, I think, are very much rational. Are the rational and emotional the same thing except that, in the case of the former, the actor has a reason for it?

          • The last part of your posting first:

            The video was interesting for me because it clearly showed that all of the panelists were confusing in that they went from emotion to reason and from reason to emotion in an unprincipled manner. I gather you picked up on that confusion also, because you could not make sense of their distinctions either.

            But this confusion stems from the fact (in my opinion) that emotion and reason is not properly understood.

            Before I go onto explain further, I'd like to mention that this debate for me is not about being right or wrong, or setting right versus left. None of those "versus" apply here when coming to fundamentals. This is not about winning or loosing. (cont)

          • Have you noticed how the boxes we're holding this debate in, are getting smaller and smaller?

            Well, that's a very nice metaphor for trying to explain this:

            when trying to reach for fundamentals, the boxes get smaller and smaller. If, on the other hand, we would out from those fundamentals once we have found them, the boxes would become larger and larger again. (I hope this metaphor doesn't confuse you more)

            And so, ultimately, within the very last box, there must be this one and only fundamental principle by which all else exists.

            And I believe there is such fundamental principle.

            And everything which is comes forth out of this ultimate fundamental. So, we can bring down everything which exists into one fundamental principle AND we can fan out from this fundamental principle (that is when the boxes would be getting larger)

            And so humans, as being, are also in relation to this ultimate fundamental principle.

            This fundamental principle is this: the force of unite/divide (simultaneously) is a self sustaining force by which being exists.

            All being, and humans included.

          • All being then is by this force of unite/divide.

            For instance, a flower is as much a unity as is the being of human as unity. Yet, at the same time, each being as unity, is simultaneously a divide within the whole. So, a flower is a unity in and of itself but is also a divide in that it stands apart from all else.

            Now it gets a little complicated because, of course out of the divide can come unity about. Only separated " elements" can lead to unity. It seems like we are going in circles but it is not. Because the unite/divide is simultenously for this force to be self sustaining it is difficult to say what came first, unite or divide. But I say they came both at once. That would be the ultimate beginning. (cont)

          • Now before it gets too complicated, let us assume that this force of unite/divide simultaneously, is indeed the fundamental principle out of which all being stems.

            Since humans are as being, we too stem from this unite/divide force and are by it continuously.

            For humans, the process to unite is by emotion. In other words, the human connection to the whole is by emotion. That is how we "turn" within this unite/divide fundamental force.

            Reason is as guide to the emotions for getting onto better unity, a deeper unity if you will.

            If we consider the unity "eating" (bringing food and hunger into one) then reason has guided our emotions into better food. Whereas early on in our human development we would have eaten whatever could be hunted, we now buy food in the grocery store. And again, food AND grocery sotre are as unity in and of themselves.

            So reason guides our emotions for better uniting. The better we are able to unite, the more complex being becomes.

          • All debates are, for me, about right versus wrong, that is, correct versus incorrect, I don't know what reason there would otherwise be to debate.

          • Interesting how we think so differently about things.

            I consider a debate to be about airing of ideas, in that either side must not only check the other side for accuracy (correctness) but must check its own ideas for accuracy at the same time.

            Kinda like a refinement of ideas through debate.

            Very seldom do I come home after a debate and thinking that only one side was completely accurate and the other side was not. Often, one side in a debate has stronger, more reasonable arguments to bring forward, but complete completion, or perfection does not really exist.

            Thanks Justin, I really enjoyed this exchange. Life is complicated and it;s not so easy trying to sort all of it out. But we all must keep on trying.

          • I am not saying that one side has the correct analysis, I am only saying that there is a correct analysis and that it is the purpose of debating to move closer to knowing which analysis is the correct one.

          • I like that, how you analyse that. We can take the wrong analytical road, we may then end up at a dead end, or go in circles, or simly think astray, but we might not be aware that we are taking the wrong turn, and so a debate can point that out to us.

          • I find it somewhat puzzling that not more posters are engaged in this deeper discussion about the relationship between emotion and reason. Perhaps most of them think I'm talking nonesense.

            But then again, when I think of the video tape contents, the five panelists seemed to be talking in circles precisely because they are not willing to look at the fundamental first. You can see them trying to grasp for something deeper, but they don't know where to begin. They can be seen to be in state of confusion more than anything. I am trying at least to offer something which might clear up this ongoing confusion.

  17. Day and night we are busy trying to unite, whether it is about food, or about ideas, or about work, or about politics, we are putting "things" together. And so our emotions are always in play. But our emotions alone could not carry the compexity of our being as is, and so reason guides us, but thereby also making the being of human much more complex as being. So complex in fact, that on pure emotions we would not be able to function any longer because on pure emotions alone we could not be able to find our way to unity any longer. And unity we need in order to be as being.

    Look around and try and see unity. It is absolutely everywhere, within the smallest cell to within the winds that blow across the landscape.

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