Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Body; Emotion; Intellect

Many philosophers, mystics, and more recently, psychologists, divide the human psyche into three levels: intellect, emotion, body.

These are the basic mediums through which humans experience and interact with their environment.

Keeping warm
a) Body: The body brings one to experience reality through the  five senses - seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching - and through its survival instincts such as safety, hunger, and procreation. The body thus typically perceives reality superficially, as it appears to the sensory organs or caters to bodily requirements.

b) Emotion: This involves more transcendental feelings such as the love felt for  a friend, the awe felt when gazing at the stars at night, the exhilaration of listening to an orchestra, the gratitude felt toward one who generously offers assistance, or the  motivation to triumph in an endeavour. Often such feelings exhibit little practical/biological value and may even prevent a person from satisfying their biological needs.

c) Intellect: Allows one to perceive reality through reasoning and insight. Deep thinking allows one to penetrate the world's exterior by entering into the metaphysical world of equations, logic, and abstraction. 

How do these three psychological components interact with each other? Here are two basic ways:

1. Hitlabshut (Investment):

a. Intellect 'invests' within emotion, arousing and guiding it.
b. Emotion 'invests' in the body, energising it according to the particular emotion felt.

A higher faculty enters a lower one to vitalize and regulate it. 

2. Hitkalelut (Inclusion):

a. Intellect becomes so preoccupied in abstract thinking that it subsumes emotion within it. The emotions go cold.
b. One becomes so emotional that they lose the ability to function effectively in the world. For instance, one who is overwhelmed with love may stand transfixed by the object of love, paralyzed. More commonly, severe anger impedes one's ability to talk coherently or to perform activities requiring delicate actions.
A higher faculty subsumes the energy of a lower faculty.

kurt godel    
Kurt Godel:
Austrian Mathematician/Logician  

Some individuals view reality primarily through the bodily lens, others, predominantly through emotion, and others, the intellect.

We've all heard complaints that someone is too pragmatic
and unsentimental; so emotional as to be deemed irrational; so intellectual that they're detached and insensitive, or short of practical commonsense. 

Bob Dylan:
Poet, songwriter, and musician
     Babe Ruth:
      Baseball Legend
Yet, anyone can train themselves to function better at any of the three levels and thereby become a more balanced person. 

In order to skateboard effectively, one must allow oneself to enter the realm of time, space, and sensory perception. If one remains attached to one of the higher forms of perception such as emotion or intellect, this typically hinders one from skateboarding optimally. 

 However, this only applies to Hitkalelut where the higher faculties impede the functioning of the lower ones. In regards to Hitlabshut, however, where the higher forces of intellect and emotion are recruited by the body in order to refine, regulate and energise one's bodily functioning, one's skateboarding can be greatly enhanced... 

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