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Strange Lab of Human Emotions

Updated on December 22, 2016
ValKaras profile image

Val is a life-long student of psycho-philosophy of living, and a devoted practitioner of many techniques enhancing personal evolution.

Probably Same Energy Source  -  Two Different Outlets
Probably Same Energy Source - Two Different Outlets

A Weird Sensory Tandem

Did you know that the same chemical compound that gives the odor to feces is used in production of some of the finest perfumes on the market? And not only that, but you would never think that it's also used in making chocolates. That chemical is called skatole and in all mammals it is a derivative of the amino acid tryptophan.

As we are about to see, this strange tandem of unpleasant stimulus and our neurobiology of reward and pleasure could be found in many more examples. If anything, it definitely points at the fact that at one level our opposite emotions may be much closer than we would suspect.

Maybe just Moments before those Happy Tears Come
Maybe just Moments before those Happy Tears Come

Laughing or Crying - which one Is It?

Let's start with something very familiar that we hardly ever see as strange. It's the fact that exactly the same stomach muscles and diaphragm are mobilized in both a happy belly laughter and an uncontrollable sobbing. As you know, we can also laugh to tears, while hysterical folks take it to the next level by actually blending laughter with crying, so you can't tell what the heck they actually feel.

It is this network of nerves located at our solar plexus, interestingly called the "second brain" in the Far East and "guts" in this part of the world, which is the energetic provider of our emotions and those "gut feelings". From the laughter and sobbing example we can see that it will cater with the same energy to those completely opposite emotional outlets.

Remember those chronic complainers about Nonexistent Sicknesses?
Remember those chronic complainers about Nonexistent Sicknesses?

Who Hasn't Seen one Yet?

There is this somewhat pathological although innocent tendency of many folks to obsess with fussing over their nonexistent ailments and conditions, called hypochondriasis. Me best definition of a hypochondriac, also mentioned in some of my other articles within different contexts is: someone who only feels good when they feel bad.

Constantly spying on their body and panicking over any apparent irregularity, such folks may be a true definition of a pain in the butt to their families, friends, and co-workers, their doctor, or anyone forced by politeness to listen to their incessant health complaints. What makes it really weird is the fact that they can derive some pleasure out of it.

Hating Oneself Must Be a "Terrible Waste of Hate"
Hating Oneself Must Be a "Terrible Waste of Hate"

Pleasure of Self-Tormenting

Somewhat similar are those so called masochists who, with a dark passion torment themselves emotionally, if not physically as well. Reason for that peculiar behavior is usually a deep seated self-hate and self-punishment for an irrational guil

It's probably nowhere else so pronounced as in religious fanaticism when followers turn their religious teachings against themselves, for their "impure status of born-sinners". Facing their "filthy urges" with a whole package of an imperfect humanness, they may agonize over an impossible task to redeem themselves in the imaginary eyes of their religious idol or deity.

So, by punishing themselves, quite often with a bad health they get a weird sense of a "divine justice being done" - while enjoying in the process of it. While hypochondriacs enjoy in complaining about their bad health, masochists enjoy in "deserving" it.

Interest about World could Be Better if It Was about Its Attractions  -  rather than World News
Interest about World could Be Better if It Was about Its Attractions - rather than World News

Bad News Feeling so Good

One could almost be tempted to call "borderline masochists" all those folks who can't enjoy their morning coffee without reading or watching the news - about all those fresh murders in town, those rapes, arsons, natural disasters, burglaries, court cases, and of course - the political circus.

It's like they need to feel pissed off at somebody or something in order to ignite their energy source for starting the new day. They call it "getting informed", and I call it an unnecessary morning cocktail of adrenaline and cortisol, plus maintenance of a gloomy worldview.

It's truly beyond me why people enjoy tormenting themselves with events over which they have absolutely no control and which are already past. Well, I guess they must be getting some emotional payoff out of it, otherwise they wouldn't be doing it to themselves.

To Each Their Own  -  but To Me it's still just an Assault on My Ear Drums
To Each Their Own - but To Me it's still just an Assault on My Ear Drums

Irritating Entertainment - a Weird Source of Joy

It must be for mentalities like those that so many tear-jerker movies become box-office sensations, which can also explain the big number of seasons of certain TV soap operas. The are feeding the emotional needs of those misery-craving viewers, making them so unhappy that they are enjoying every scene. Now, how is that for weird?

Or, take all those musical hits with sad lyrics. While we are at music, I still don't get it how that "screaming in notes" ever passed for music. I wonder if I am the only one asking myself what all that vocal discharge of agony and pain, oftentimes downright hysterical sounds like an artistic musical expression.

I don't think it's a matter of "taste", it's more like a symptom of a cultural ailment called "anything goes". What kind of a "primal scream" therapy is going on facilitated by that noise and stimulating an energy explosion in solar plexus or a few inches below? Well, I don't know, and I am not even sure if I want to know, it's just plain silly, and it wouldn't be all that if people did not also find some enjoyment in it.

Almost Unbelievable that the Same Expression Could Be one at Love Making
Almost Unbelievable that the Same Expression Could Be one at Love Making

If Not Painful - Why Those Faces?

As we further look into these strange examples of expressions suggesting both pain and pleasure, how could we miss the fact that our facial expressions during love making are those of pain, not pleasure. Indeed, it's more like noticing your mother-in-law at the doorstep than like a blissful expression of the strongest pleasure in existence.

What a bunch of dirty tricks can our nature play on us. If we didn't know better, we would be pausing every once in a while to make sure that our partner is O.K. Something similar we could witness by watching some of those passionate violin or piano performers, some of them with faces like any moment they might burst into tears.

While we are at performers, what about those who literally cry when they get a standing ovation, or they receive an award like Oscar. How does that happiness translate into crying?

My Idea of a Workout
My Idea of a Workout

A Workout? Not Me

If you are a jogger or you otherwise enjoy exerting your body in some sport or hobby like climbing, swimming, or workout, then you are familiar with that dopamine rush you feel as sweat is pouring down your face and every muscle is being pushed to its limits.

I have experienced it a few times, but not on a regular basis. Generally I may do some walking but that's how far I'll go. I am totally with that guy who once said: "The only exercise I do is walking on funerals of friends who exercised a lot".

Of course, to each their own, but for my dopamine high - or is it in my case another neurotransmitter like serotonin, endorphin, or GABA - I may do something like listening to some fine classical music, or pop music of my young years. In some moods I prefer those pieces in minor key and then they feed my feeling sentimental, nostalgic, but that's how far my mix of pleasure and pain will go.


Human Nature  -  still such a Mystery
Human Nature - still such a Mystery

Not Easy to Explain It - but Amusing just the Same

It is my sheer speculation that our nervous system is programmed to reserve strong emotional outlets only for negative experiencing. When we feel something exceptionally pleasurable, there is no adequate outlet for it available, so we can only "borrow" from those negative outlets - meaning expressions of pain.

I can't think of anything else that would be of a pure psychological nature, because we definitely don't associate good feelings with lousy ones - except in those mentioned cases of masochism and hypochondriasis.

And yet, no matter how we choose to look at this phenomenon, it certainly is one of those weird aspects of being human, like yawning being contagious and stuff. I hope that you'll get entertained by this article as much as I am writing it, and if you like it, you may want to share it with some of your friends.



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    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 14 months ago from Queensland Australia

      This was a great read Val, who can ever understand all the human emotions completely? You did a good job of it though. I too hate the "screaming to the music" and can see no point to it..fortunately, it seems to be on the decrease..or do I just listen to the wrong radio stations? Love this: "The only exercise I do is walking on funerals of my friends who exercised a lot". So, no, that's not my way of producing a dopamine high." two of my sons are fitness instructors. I may use it on them next time they try to design an exercise program for me.

    • ValKaras profile image
      Author

      Vladimir Karas 14 months ago from Canada

      John - You have always been a true gentleman and your comments are surely expressing it. I am glad you found things in my hub that you liked. Since all good friends exchange visits, I'll see you soon at your hub-home.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Austinstar 14 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Here, let me show you my scars. Aren't we proud of our scars? They are like painful photos of our lives.

      The ones with internal scars seem to want to show them to everyone in the world. They can't be seen, so they are expressed in ways that don't always make sense to the rest of us.

      And like external scars, our internal ones are sometimes jagged, large, and maybe even unhealed. Hypochondria? Multiple scars for sure.

      Our sexuality is probably the most painful emotional test of our lives. Before one learns how to enjoy sex, it is indeed painful. The inexperienced do not know what or how to feel. It's often one sided, even though one may erroneously believe their partner is enjoying it just as much as they are. Sex can create huge emotional scars.

      Getting educated on how to have a healthy emotional connection to the world would benefit so many people. But education is mostly the last thing we look to when trying to figure things out. I wonder why that is?

    • ValKaras profile image
      Author

      Vladimir Karas 14 months ago from Canada

      Lela, I think that healthy emotional connection with the world starts within our personal space. In my days of self-disciplining and intentional reshaping of my emotionality I clearly experienced myself as an "instrument" for processing all reality. My goal was to "tune it up" for as harmonious functioning as possible, just like a guitar has to be tuned. With a guitar out of tune even Eric Clapton can't produce music. Using the same metaphor, no notes (education) will do when the instrument is out of tune.

      That's why we have many eloquent motivational speakers, but looking at them closely you can tell that they are not at peace, not really happy humans, in other words, not following their own wisdom.

      So, my point is that happiness, peace of mind, even health is not something we can "learn", but only PRACTICE until it becomes us.

      And then, as we establish that harmonized, tuned-up mentality, our emotional connection with the outside world becomes a spontaneous symphony flowing freely from our instrument. WE GIVE THE COLORIT TO THE WORLD, painting it with colors from our emotional palette - not waiting to see how the world will present itself to us. A difference between being emotionally pro-active and re-active.

      This has been the basis of my debates with religious people -they may know their bible by heart, but they are not cultivated instruments to give life to that faith. So, all that religious yapping is useless - in the trained eyes of someone who can tell all their behavioral deviations from their religious ideals.

      And by the way, there are no internal scars that can't be healed.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Austinstar 14 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Well, how do you know what to practice unless you learn those skills? I can reshape my emotionality, but I really need to know the best way to do that. I think that is why there are so many self help books.

      Of course, one person's right way may not be another person's right way. It it all just a matter of experimenting until you find the right path?

    • ValKaras profile image
      Author

      Vladimir Karas 14 months ago from Canada

      Exactly. My point was that most of the "learned" people stay at that stage forever, learning and yapping about it, and not really being of a pragmatic nature. Now I am going to say something awfully ambitious - within only my hubs there are enough formulas to set the foot on that path. What I am trying to say is - an open mind, SEEKING the right way will intuitively recognize HOW TO even in a few instructions. (Not that my hubs are THAT "all-knowing").

      Many people go from one transformation modality to another, one diet to another, one seminar or CD to another. If they REALLY meant business, they would have derived the "square root of wisdom" from that first one.

      So, most people would like to change, but at the same time want to stay within their comfort zone - and comfort zone always spells NO CHANGE.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Austinstar 14 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Well, you do have a point there. A swimmer cannot learn to swim without practicing. But it is sort of important to find the best stroke for the effort. Still it does come down to jumping in and doing it!

    • Aliswell profile image

      Aliswell 14 months ago from Iowa

      As a certain very popular and Corrupt politician once said "I have always started a debate by presenting MY views using my own facts and figures, hyperlinks and quotes about said views. In so doing, I have solidified not only my own beliefs, but hardened those of my opponent. It remains therefore, only for the application of the simple equation ($ x Number with $= Votes), to remain in Office."

      In the Non-Political arena of Human evolution, there also exists in every individual a set of beliefs, views or reactions, that if questioned or spat upon, will further enforce and harden said beliefs.

      Therein, lies the futility of human debate other than to postulate a field of supposed friendly give and take with a generally agreed upon outcome.

      It has been, and always will be the Strongest and Most Savage who will eat the Meat from the Hunt.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Austinstar 14 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

      But is the "weakest" who usually prepares that meat and has the power to poison it. So do be careful!

    • Aliswell profile image

      Aliswell 14 months ago from Iowa

      Very Eerily and Bone Chillingly True!! But if in the case you were equating maybe the "weakest" to be also the "woman" with whom the "Strongest and Most Savage" might also be sharing a bed---Well now a whole new method of Power the 'weakest' could yield, makes Poison seem almost a "Pleasant" end compared to several others!!!

    • ValKaras profile image
      Author

      Vladimir Karas 14 months ago from Canada

      Hello, Allen - Long time no see, it must have been several months. How was the trip to Hawaii - it was Hawaii, wasn't it? And what ever happened with that medical procedure? I have missed you, old buddy. Say a few about this when you are done discussing with my dear new friend Lela.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Austinstar 14 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Hahahaha! You make me laugh, Val. I doubt the weaker person could get anything past you!

    • ValKaras profile image
      Author

      Vladimir Karas 14 months ago from Canada

      Lela - What...what...what "weaker person"? Is that what you guys were talking about? I don't eavesdrop when people have their talks. But it warms up my friendly heart when you say I made you laugh. I just love to make ladies laugh - except for those times when I make them cry.

    • ValKaras profile image
      Author

      Vladimir Karas 14 months ago from Canada

      Hey everybody! What happened? It's only midnight, you party-poopers leaving me here all alone and waiting. With whom will I stay young if all of you grow old and hit the sheets at sunset?!

    • Austinstar profile image

      Austinstar 14 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Oh crap, I pulled a Paula! I thought I was replying to you, Val, when I was actually replying to Aliswell. I have obviously eating too much meat.

    • ValKaras profile image
      Author

      Vladimir Karas 14 months ago from Canada

      Lela - That's O.K., the only thing that bothers my ego in all this is that you could even for a moment mistake someone else for me, since I always fancied that I was so unique, one of a kind in the whole universe and its vicinity.

    • Aliswell profile image

      Aliswell 14 months ago from Iowa

      Hello Val, Thank you for your Kind Words about my reappearance here and about my 'Walkabout' on the wonderful Island of Kauai!!

      No 'Burning Bush' intensity of my experience there, but I believe because of my decision to 'Just Do It'---I did experience some very positive experiences. Won't bore you with details, other than to tell you that it is True, at least in my case, if an individual does indeed live life as if it were his or her last day in their earthly reality---the decisions he or she make will be exactly what is needed at that time in his or her journey!

      Seek the comfort of what you Love and take comfort in the circumstances that unfold while you embrace that Love!!

      Spirituality is found in many persons. places, and things. In my case, the Hawaiian Spirit I found while walking and playing on a fabulous golf course, for a period of 17 fabulous days, was in itself both mental and physical therapy, that Spirit was amplified and solidified because of the several very special `anakala (Uncle) I played with.

      As a reinforcement to the joy of Golf, my favorite `anakala gave me the directions to a secret location that upon arriving and experiencing the power there, would turn out to be the strike to my solar plexus that brought me to my knees!!

      Still loving your wonderful words of wisdom Val, keep it Up!

    • Austinstar profile image

      Austinstar 14 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Well, it's just because I looked at the words and not your photo, Val. I am sure I would not confuse you two in person!

    • ValKaras profile image
      Author

      Vladimir Karas 14 months ago from Canada

      Lela, my precious friend, I was just kidding anyway, LOL, it came out of my momentary clownish mood to "question your ability to recognize me".

    • ValKaras profile image
      Author

      Vladimir Karas 14 months ago from Canada

      Allen - I can't tell you how happy I am to hear about this new enlightening experience on you spiritual quest! You know - I am a kind of archaeological nut, thriving on the mystery of ancient advanced civilizations. Hawaii is said to be the remnants of Lemuria, and there is something about their volcanic origin and a higher electromagnetic field of that ambient due to minerals and metals of that soil. That field positively interferes with our own raising our frequency - hence that feeling of being at "Paradise on Earth". I sensed that with my "antennas" while I was there on my first and only visit.

      Then, there are some special spots, known to kahunas, that emit more of that power. I wish I had been there with you, old buddy! But then, it's great enough to have heard your story. Are you by any chance doing their ho'opono pono chant?

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 14 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a very interesting hub that is also thought provoking, like your other hubs that I've read. I enjoyed reading the comments, too! I don't think I will be able to get skatole out of my mind for some time.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 14 months ago from The Caribbean

      Your insight in this article provides answers to questions I had but didn't even know how to ask. You're a good writer, too. Thanks for sharing.

    • ValKaras profile image
      Author

      Vladimir Karas 14 months ago from Canada

      Alicia - It's always great to see you among my commenters, because you are such a positive and learned lady. That thing about skatole made me wonder too, along with the fact that they also put it in chocolate. Have a great weekend, Alicia, and thank you for the nice comment.

    • ValKaras profile image
      Author

      Vladimir Karas 14 months ago from Canada

      MsDora - Comments like yours always recharge my "writer's batteries" making me want to write more in a hope that someone somewhere will find an inspiration in my thoughts. Have a fabulous weekend, and thank you for your stimulating comment.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 14 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Lela....Whoa girl! What do U mean "U pulled a Paula??" Easy on me! I don't comment to the wrong person, do I? Maybe once.....don't pick on me!

      Val....excellent hub. Glad to see UR still offering UR readers some food for thought!

    • ValKaras profile image
      Author

      Vladimir Karas 14 months ago from Canada

      Paula - Thank you for your nice words. I think what Lela said was in a much lighter spirit than it appears. As you may have noticed, we were in a kidding mood, not "mocking" one. She even said something funny on her own account. Humor is good. Have a fabulous weekend my dear! - Val

    • Dr Pran Rangan profile image

      Dr Pran Rangan 14 months ago from Kanpur (UP), India

      Nice hub.

      It is so common that majority of us open the pages of the newspaper that gives news of gory incidences of robbery, killings, murders, rapes, arson etc. as soon as it arrives our homes early in the morning. You are right in saying that such news gives a kick of adrenaline to jump start our day. But hardly do we realize that the news of such incidences is detrimental to our peace of mind.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 14 months ago from Philippines

      Very interesting article. It is something to think about and dwell upon and measure oneself by. It is also very well written and although the info is deep, it is readable and easy for the newbie to understand.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 14 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Val....Yes, I know Lela was joking!.....so was I when I quipped back at her. I actually thought it was funny because I do take my absent-mindedness with a huge dose of humor! Lela's a good lady. I know she only teases. No problem. Believe me Val, I like teasing just as much as the next person......Yes, humor is not only "good" it's imperative!

      Hope you're doing well!

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 14 months ago from Oklahoma

      Interesting analysis.

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