International Society for Research on Emotion

Scientific challenges to the beliefs promoted by the Brahma Kumaris so called "World Spiritual University"
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International Society for Research on Emotion

Post02 Apr 2017

We've often point out how Brahma Kumarism appeals to the emotional rather than reasonable or logic aspects of individuals' being, and how much the Brahma Kumaris exploit individuals' emotional responses, but it's not an area that we really explore in depth, nor one that I have read up on at all.

From The ISRE's Sourcebook for Research on Emotion and Affect that contains many interesting articles about the nature of love, guilt and disgust, emotional intelligence, and the use and consequences of emotions in public life etc, and the part of the brain in them, from a scientific perspective.

One focusing on 'Affective Intelligence Theory and the theory of emotional intelligence', exploring lessons from neuroscience that show consciousness as the “Tip of an Iceberg”, pulls on threads which may well apply to BKism when it discusses how politicians have "thrown out the whole epistemology of governing by facts in favor of governing by assertions ... assertions [that] aren’t empty ... [but] are weapons against reason, which means they’re attacks on the ideas of justice, science, and culture.

It suggests that unconscious neural activity, including pre-conscious appraisals and executive control, is actually in charge of much of human behaviour.
It goes without saying that the brain produces emotions—in this day and age, you’d have to be a pretty staunch dualist to argue otherwise. The big question that remains concerns how the brain creates emotions ...

Recent decades have witnessed a knowledge explosion about all aspects of brain function.

Neuroscience studies of emotion have also multiplied, using a wide array of methods from the molecular to the systems level across multiple species. Relatively recently, functional neuroimaging, primarily in the form of functional MRI (fMRI) has assumed a leading role in examining the brain basis of human emotion, with hundreds of papers published to date investigating a wide range of emotion phenomena.

Substantial advances have been made in understanding the neural mechanisms involved in specific emotion domains, ranging from facial emotion processing to emotional memory.
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Pink Panther

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Re: International Society for Research on Emotion

Post02 Apr 2017

Depth psychology of different sorts, Gestalt, Jungian etc, basically work on the principle that our ego/consciousness is rationalising post-facto (after the fact) what has motivated us unconsciously, largely by what we call emotion.

Much of what we call ”conscious” is a kind of mental "talk”, i.e. built on mentally verbalising responses to sense stimuli, memories, and anticipations based on those. But I think we all know that a great deal of our mental activity is non-verbal or pre-verbal; whether images or feeling-tones.

First order responses of disgust or attraction can be reflexive, e.g. an unseen touch, say, of a spider web in the dark that instantly ”reminds” us deep down in our limbic system of spiders and the ‘unpleasant' outcomes we may experience. Our hands will flick over our heads to remove it before we’ve even verbalised the word "spider" in our minds!

The appeal to security or to pleasure, and the promise of avoiding pain or suffering, is one that has people investing time and money into all sorts of pursuits - whether material or otherwise.

Bringing what is unconscious into the ‘light' of consciousness, understanding and integrating the various aspects of ourselves - our emotions and our reason, our fears and hopes, our base instincts and refined aspirations - accepting them as equals, all natural responses without imposing secondary (learned) value judgement - is what ’tames’ them, what will bring equanimity, contentment, simplicity.

Constantly chasing what ”should’ be (our desire) only to find that it's run ahead again, and running from what ”shouldn’t” be, what we don’t like, and finding its always just a step behind, that is how we are drawn into giving over our autonomy to others. Whether they be marketers, politicians or ”spiritual teachers”, we can asssume there’s a wolf beneath the sheep’s clothing when what they offer ties us into their sphere of influence, rather than freeing us from the need that drove us to them to begin with.

False assumptions, nurturing ungrounded beliefs, splitting one part of ourselves from other parts and calling one better and the other worse, is to build penthouses without foundations, castles in the air.

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