Emotions and Neutrality

In a recent conversation somebody asked a lady how she would feel if a stranger came up, called her a bad name and walked away.  Would it make her feel good or bad?  She said “neither”, and that she would not feel hurt because that person “obviously doesn’t know what they’re talking about”.  But is it really possible to not have some kind of feeling in this situation?  And what kind of situation(s), if any, are genuinely neutral?

I believe that to be alive is to have emotions.  Some of us are more barriered from our emotions than others, but I believe that we all have emotions, no matter how hidden.  Furthermore, I would like to experiment with the idea that this element of human existence is not something we can turn on and off.  We can block our feelings from being expressed outwardly, and can even block them from ourselves, but we cannot remove them or shut them off.  They are there.  Also, whether we block them (from ourselves) or experience them is not within our conscious control.  When we are ready to consciously experience an emotion, we will feel it.  It will come up.

Is it possible for any emotion to be neutral?  That is, can an emotion be both ‘not positive’ (not even slightly) and ‘not negative’ (not even slightly)?  It doesn’t seem possible by definition.  Is it?  Is there anything about which you can say “I feel strongly neutral”?

The other possibility is that certain things stimulate our emotions, and certain things don’t.  Anything that doesn’t stimulate our emotions is neutral to us.  In this case the question is, can we experience something without even the slightest emotional affect?   That is, are emotions just one part of our mind that doesn’t always get involved?  Or, are emotions more fundamental to our mind, ever present, and always ‘touched’, like the surface of a pond, by our experiences?

Explore posts in the same categories: philosophy, psychology

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One Comment on “Emotions and Neutrality”

  1. Marlene Says:

    I quickly read your postings. However, these postings deservce more thought than a ‘quck read’ and a discussion is warranted. Interesting viewpoint you have. Of course it is interesting to me as there are many facets of the postings that I felt could have been written by me they were so personal to me. Someone posted that learning chess is a good way to deal with ‘decisions’. I have been wanting to learn to play chess for a long while and believe that it would prove to be a fortuitous experiement. Here is a quote that I found in a random article that I think you will enjoy:

    “Think of a chess game. On the surface it appears that each player has 20 potential opening moves. In fact there are many fewer because most of these moves are so bad that they quickly lead to defeat. The better you are at chess the more clearly you see your options and the fewer moves that actually are available. The better the player – the more predictable the moves. The grand master plays with absolute predictable precision – until that one brilliant unexpected stroke.”

    I look forward to speaking with you again. I much prefer face-to-face conversation over postings.


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