Hello Curious Friend. Welcome to my book about Hate. The number tells you where you are in the sequence. I look forward to your comments.
Definitions Defined (Continued)
Even here the definition is made negatively. That is to say, instead of telling us what emotions are directly, Spencer and Darwin tell us what emotions are not. There is nothing wrong with a negative definition, as it reminds us that our understanding is incomplete.
Summarizing Spencer, all “feelings” come from two sources, emotions or sensations. The difference between emotions and sensations are that sensations are generated in our corporeal framework. Subsequently, emotions are all feelings not generated by our bodies; they are “in our minds.”
Of course, Spencer did not have the benefit of microbiology or machines that can watch our minds work, so the line between body and mind was a bit easier for him to draw. Nonetheless, his definition is still the best we have to work with at the present time.
As I said, sensations are a type of feeling generated by our corporeal framework. By this definition, eating too much gives way to the feeling and subsequent sensation of indigestion.
On the other hand, emotions are feelings generated outside our corporeal framework. By this definition, looking at a plate of writhing octopus and being told it’s your dinner will create a feeling, and subsequent emotion, of revulsion. Unless you like very fresh octopus, of course.
Now that we have a clearer understanding of what an emotion is, we’re in a better position to build a foundation we can build our definition of hate on. Once we have this rudimentary definition in place, we’re going to put it through its paces.
First, we’ll start with what I call a “hate play.” This will be a simple scenario exploring the complex relationships exhibiting and expressing hate throughout our society. Normally this would be an incredibly tall order. However, it will be easier for us because we’ll start slowly and work up to more complex situations.
The first hate play is going to present an imaginary situation, something that may have occurred thousands of years ago. The reasons I have chosen to start with something simple from today’s world are these: we must reduce the complexities of our relationships to their most fundamental components to best understand these phenomena, and we must distance ourselves from any possible emotional bias that could sway our impressions.
As I surveyed the possible hate plays that could have been presented, the problem I faced was not an issue of finding a good example. No, the problem was that they were all appropriate, and numerous.
Not only does recent history provide plenty of examples, the distant past offers exponentially more examples, many of which are well-known and infamous. Current events are another source I could have drawn from, but most them are tangled up in cultural bias and lack of insight. The insults and hurt are simply too fresh for most of us to consider them objectively.
So, after much thought, I have decided to abandon all of these readily accessible hate stories for a more simple expression of hate, one that mirrors a situation many of us may have experienced at some point in our lives.
To be continued …