… from a thought-provoking article in The Atlantic on the science of emotions, Hard Feelings: Science`s Struggle to Define Emotions by Julie Beck:
As (Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University Julie Feldman) Barrett sees it, emotions are totally made up. Not that they aren’t meaningful—it’s just that words like “joy,” “shame,” and “rage” describe a whole host of complex processes in the brain and the body that aren’t necessarily related. We’ve just lumped some of these things together, and named them. She compares the concept of emotion to the concept of money.
‘The only thing that holds that category together is that humans agree,’ she says.’Currency exists because we all agree something can be traded for material goods. Because we agree, it has value. One of the remarkable things humans can do that no other animal can do is that we can make stuff up and make it real. We can create reality.’
We can’t agree what an emotion is. This article made me think that the most important things in life are the things we can’t define like love, God, and art and maybe that’s the way it should be. And! What else are we making up? (Everything.)