Skip to main content

emoting


I just finished reading Frankenstein. I love the style of the classic fiction writers - so emotive and descriptive. I really do not see it as a frightful tale as so many have made it out to be, but one about responsibility and choices. What stood out to me again (as often does when I read fiction in this genre) was the way the characters respond physically to an emotional stimulus. We think that odd in our scientifically-absorbed world. Upon hearing bad news or seeing a shocking sight, it is not uncommon to faint and develop a fever that lasts several months - if you are in said story, that is. In one case, after the news of a family death, the person died a few days later of an apoplectic fit, or brain hemorrhage. This seems odd to us today, but I fear that we might have a tendency to separate the body from the rest of the person far too easily.

I admit it. I have been known to go on emotional roller coasters as I am quite an emotive person and tend to feel things deeply and react strongly to various stimuli. I am beginning to discover that some of this is due to physical causes or unresolved issues and while the emotions are real, they can be misleading. Even so, they cannot simply be changed by modifying the outward stimulus or situation. It goes deeper and wider than that. In my quest for emotional strength and healing, and vice versa, when I seek for physical strength and healing as well, I must consult more than what my eye can see, what my body feels, what my mind knows, or the mood of my soul. I am one, a whole person whose spirit, soul, and body are intertwined in such a way that each part affects the other. I cannot compartmentalise myself. Contrary to some avenues of reason, emotions are not weakness. They are important signposts that let me know something is going on that requires attention. The wisdom comes not in rationalising the emotions and keeping them under control, but in placing each part of me in the right perspective and letting one part inform the other so that each can function as it was meant to do. I think of my emotions as the mechanism that signals me that something requires attention, and then I must engage my mind to figure out what is going on, and my will to accomplish the proper response.

Easier said than done, but I'm working on it.

This are the hands of my mother and myself after we had our first ever mother-daughter manicures. Lovely!

Comments

Anonymous said…
Lovely.
Shelley said…
Much like pain alerts our physical body that something is wrong.

Good thoughts. For me cravings and avoidance are strong signals that something is going on...
shane magee said…
frankenstein is a BIG BIG favourite of mine!! genius. should be re-categorised though. so many people don't read it simply because it's a "horror" book. the same with the entire "fantasy" genre. g.k. chesterton says that the truest things we can know are not to be found in science, but in childrens' fairy tales.

Popular posts from this blog

what binds us together?

For the past few weeks, I have been reading a book by famed psychiatrist M. Scott Peck which chronicles his travels (together with his wife) through remote parts of the UK in search of prehistoric stones. The book is part travel journal, part spiritual musings, part psychology, and part personal anecdotes. A mixed bag, to be sure, and not always a winning combination. At one point, I considered putting the book aside, not finishing it, but then Peck started writing about community. He is no stranger to the concept. He has led hundreds of community-building workshops over the years, helped start a non-profit organisation dedicated to fostering community, and written a compelling book about the topic, one which greatly impacted me when I read it oh so long ago.[1]

In preparation for a course I am teaching next year, I have been doing quite a bit of study on unity and community. Once you start thinking about it, you see and hear evidence of it everywhere. (See my blog on the impact of b…

job hunting

I am on the hunt for a job. PhD in hand, I am a theologian for hire. The thing is, not a lot of places are hiring theologians these days, and if they are, they are usually looking for scholars with skills and experience outside my area of expertise. Today I found job opportunities for those knowledgeable in Religion, Race, and Colonialism, Philosophy and History of Religion, Islam and Society, Languages of Late Antiquity, Religion, Ethics, and Politics, and an ad for a Molecular Genetic Pathologist. Not one posting for a Dramatic Theologian with  a side order of Spirituality and a dash of Methodology.

I know, I know. My expectations are a bit unrealistic if I believe I will find an exact match for my particular skills. I know that job descriptions are wish lists to some extent, so no candidate is ever a perfect match. I also realize that one must adapt one's skill set according to the requirements of the job and be flexible. But there are so few jobs which come within ten or even…

lessons from a theological memoir and a television series about lawyers

It's a hot Wednesday afternoon, so let's talk about false binaries. Basically, a false binary or false dichotomy happens when a person's options are artificially limited to two choices, thereby excluding all other possibilities. Insisting on the limited choice of either A or B leaves no room for middle ground or another, more creative solution. In other words, a false binary assumes the rest of the alphabet (after A and B) does not exist.

Binary thinking is quite prevalent in our society. Either you are for me or against me. Either you are guilty or innocent. Either you are a Democrat or a Republican, conservative or liberal. Either you are a Christian or a pagan. Either you are all in or all out. Admittedly, it is convenient to see things as either black or white, but we live in a multi-coloured world and not everything fits neatly into two categories. This is why insisting there are only two choices when, in fact, other options exist, is labeled as a fallacy in logic an…