Three writings that talk about thought processes relating to emotions which include: A thinking mind cannot feel, As long as cities exist environment cannot be saved, In a fast society slow emotions become extinct.
Presented here are three writings/proposals by Sushil Yadav. Sushil is very interested in the study of emotions/ neural circuits of emotion and raises some pretty intense thoughts on the subject.
Subject : In a fast society slow emotions become extinct.
- Emotion is what we experience during gaps in our thinking.
- If there are no gaps there is no emotion.
- Today people are thinking all the time and are mistaking thought (words/ language) for emotion.
When society switches-over from physical work (agriculture) to mental work (scientific/ industrial/ financial/ fast visuals/ fast words ) the speed of thinking keeps on accelerating and the gaps between thinking go on decreasing.
There comes a time when there are almost no gaps.
People become incapable of experiencing/ tolerating gaps.
Man becomes machine.
- A society that speeds up mentally experiences every mental slowing-down
as Depression / Anxiety.
- A ( travelling )society that speeds up physically experiences every
physical slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.
- A society that entertains itself daily experiences every
non-entertaining moment as Depression / Anxiety.
FAST VISUALS /WORDS MAKE SLOW EMOTIONS EXTINCT.
SCIENTIFIC /INDUSTRIAL /FINANCIAL THINKING DESTROYS EMOTIONAL CIRCUITS.
A FAST (LARGE) SOCIETY CANNOT FEEL PAIN / REMORSE / EMPATHY.
A FAST (LARGE) SOCIETY WILL ALWAYS BE CRUEL TO ANIMALS/ TREES/ AIR/
WATER/ LAND AND TO ITSELF.
Subject : A thinking mind cannot feel.
I am trying to get the following experiment conducted in a psychophysiology/ bio-chemistry laboratory.
( My background is given in the first letter ( letter No. 1 ) under the
topic ” Correspondence with neuroscientists ” on the website :
- There is a link between visual / verbal speed ( in perception, memory,
imagery ) and the bio-chemical state of the brain and the body.
- Emotion can intensify / sustain only when visual and verbal processing
associated with the emotion slows down ( stops / freezes ).
- The degree of difficulty of an emotion depends upon the degree of
freezing (of visuals and words ) required to intensify and sustain that
Subjects (preferably actors specialising in tragedy / tragic roles )
will be asked to watch a silent video film showing any of the
- Human suffering.
- Animal suffering.
- Suffering ( Destruction ) of Air / Water / Land / Trees.
Subjects will be asked to intensify and sustain the subjective feeling of pain/ grief for the sufferer.
The chemical changes associated with the emotion in the body(blood) would be measured by appropriate methods.
The silent video film will be shown at different speeds :
- 125% of actual speed.
- Actual/real speed.
- 75% of actual speed.
- 50% of actual speed.
- 25% of actual speed.
- Intensity of emotion increases with the decrease in visual speed.
- Intensity of emotion is maximum when visual speed is minimum (25%
of actual speed)
- The amount of chemical change associated with the emotion in the
body(blood) will be found to increase with the decrease in visual speed.
- The chemical change is maximum when visual speed is minimum.
- The amount of chemical change will increase with the decrease in
breathing rate. Breathing becomes so slow and non-rhythmic that it stops
for some time at the inhalation/ exhalation stages.
The above co-relations will be valid for all subjects -even for those who cannot feel pain/ grief. Such subjects will experience emotion associated with boredom/ discomfort/ restlessness/ irritability/ uneasiness. The chemicals released will be different but the co-relation between visual speed and amount of chemical will be same( the breathing rates will be different/ fast).
All subjects will experience some kind of emotion.
In the 2nd stage of experiment we shall replace the silent video film
with a Narrator ( Audio only ) and repeat the procedure thereby
establishing the link between intensity of emotion and verbal speed.
- A THINKING MIND CANNOT INTENSIFY / SUSTAIN ANY EMOTION.
While this statement is generally true for all emotions, it is
particularly true for all painful emotions.
- In a society in which visual ( verbal ) speed and breathing- rates
are fast pain / remorse / empathy cannot be experienced. It is
Proof of the link between pain and slow visuals / words :
In the last century man has made thousands of movies / films on various
themes / subjects. Whenever pain / tragedy is shown in any film the
visuals ( scenes ) and words ( dialogues ) are always slowed down. In
many films tragedy is shown in slow motion. At the most intense moment
of pain the films almost become static / stationary.
Tragedy-films provide direct proof / evidence of the link between pain
Pain can intensify / sustain only when visual ( and verbal ) speed slows
down( stops/ freezes).
CHANGE IN VISUAL SPEED OVER THE YEARS
One thousand years ago visuals would change only when man physically
moved himself to a new place or when other people ( animals / birds )
and objects ( clouds / water ) physically moved themselves before him.
Today man sits in front of TV / Computer and watches the rapidly
changing visuals / audio.
He sits in a vehicle ( car / train / bus ) and as it moves he watches
the rapidly changing visuals.
He turns the pages of a book / newspaper / magazine and sees many
visuals / text in a short span.
The speed of visuals ( and words ) has increased so much during the last
one hundred years that today the human brain has become incapable of
focussing on slow visuals /words through perception, memory, imagery.
If we cannot focus on slow visuals / words we cannot experience emotions
associated with slow visuals /words.
Before the advent of Industrial Revolution Man’s thinking was primarily
limited to :
- visual processing ( slow visuals )
- verbal / language processing ( slow words )
Today there are many kinds of fast thinking :
- visual processing ( fast visuals )
- verbal / language processing ( fast words )
If visual / verbal processing is fast we cannot feel slow emotions.
- Scientific / Technical thinking ( fast )
- Industrial thinking ( fast )
- Business thinking ( fast )
3, 4 & 5 ARE ASSOCIATED WITH NUMBERS / SYMBOLS / EQUATIONS /
GRAPHS /CIRCUITS / DIAGRAMS / MONEY / ACCOUNTING etcâ€¦
As long as the mind is doing this kind of thinking it cannot feel any
emotion – not an iota of emotion.
In a fast society slow emotions become extinct.
In a thinking ( scientific / industrial ) society emotion itself becomes
EMOTION IS WHAT REMAINS IN THE MIND WHEN VISUAL /VERBAL PROCESSING SLOWS
DOWN (STOPS/ FREEZES )
There are certain categories of people who feel more emotion (subjective experience ) than others.
If we attempt to understand why (and how ) they feel more emotion we can learn a lot about emotion.
Writers, poets, actors, painters ( and other artists )
Writers do verbal ( and associated visual) processing whole day- every day.
They do slow verbal ( and associated visual) processing every day.
(A novel that we read in 2 hours might have taken 2 years to write. This is also the reason why the reader can never feel the intensity & duration of emotion experienced by the writer )
Poets do verbal ( and associated visual ) processing whole day- every day.
There is more emotion in poetry than in prose.
This happens because there are very few words ( and associated visuals ) in poetry than in any other kind of writing.
There is a very high degree of freezing / slowing down of visuals & words in poetry.
Actors do verbal ( and associated visual ) processing whole day- every day. During shooting / rehearsal they repeat the dialogues ( words ) again and again ( the associated visuals / scenes also get repeated along with the dialogues )
Painters do visual ( and associated verbal ) processing whole day- every day.
They do extremely slow visual processing – The visual on the canvas changes only when the painter adds to what already exists on the canvas.
There are some important points to be noted :
- All these people do visual & verbal processing – whole day – every day.
- They do slow visual & verbal processing.
- They do not do scientific / industrial / business processing whole day – every day.
Most of the city people doing mental work either do this kind of mental processing which is associated with NUMBERS / SYMBOLS/ Equations / Graphs / CIRCUITS / DIAGRAMS / MONEY / ACCOUNTING etcâ€¦ or they do fast visual ( verbal ) processing whole day – every day.
This kind of thinking ( processing ) has come into existence only during the last 200 years and has destroyed our emotional ability ( circuits ).
SELF-ASSESSMENT OF ( SUBJECTIVE ) INTENSITY OF EMOTION IS ALMOST ALWAYS
Suppose the maximum intensity(and duration) of a particular emotion that
can be experienced by any human being is 100 units.
Let us suppose the maximum intensity(and duration) of that particular emotion ever
experienced by two people A & B in their entire life is :
- 100 units
- 20 units
Now suppose A & B are made subjects on a particular day and are asked
to feel that particular emotion under experimental conditions ( or
outside the laboratory ) and the intensity they actually experience is
- 90 units
- 18 units
If A & B are then asked to indicate the intensity of emotion on a scale
of 0 -10 their response is likely to be :
Who is right and who is wrong ?
- is right.
- is wrong – B is wrong by a wide margin – B has experienced an
intensity(and duration) of 18 units out of a maximum of 100 units and his correct /
actual score should be 1.8
Self- assessment ( self rating ) can be accurate only if people have
the capacity to experience the highest intensity ( units ) of the
particular emotion under study.
Because of physical work and slow visual/verbal processing in small(slow)agriculture based societies of the past, the mind used to experience a state of emotion all the time. If we read one thousand-year-old literature we will not come across the term “boredom” -the concept of boredom did not exist in slow societies. There were long gaps between different visuals and between words/ sentences -and people had the ability to experience/ tolerate the gaps -it was normal for them.
Emotion can intensify / sustain only when visual / verbal processing slows down ( stops / freezes ). In an Industrial (thinking) society people experience very little emotion because of fast ( visual / verbal / scientific / industrial / business ) thinking
Suppose the maximum intensity and duration of a particular emotion ( for most people ) in a fast society has reduced to 5 units ( from 100 units that people used to experience in earlier /slower societies ).
If such people experience 4 units of emotion they will give themselves a
rating /score of 8 on a scale of 0-10 whereas their actual score should
IN A FAST SOCIETY SLOW EMOTIONS BECOME EXTINCT.
- A thinking species destroys the planet.
- Animals lived on earth for billions of years (in very large numbers)
without destroying nature.
- They did not destroy nature because their thinking / activity was
limited to searching for food for one time only.
- Man has existed on earth in large numbers for only a few thousand
years / a few hundred years.
- Within this short period Man has destroyed the environment.
- This destruction took place because of Man’s thinking.
- When man thinks he makes things.
- When he makes things he kills animals / trees / air / water / land.
( Nothing can be made without killing these five elements of nature ).
- A thinking species destroys the planet.
There was a time when Man knew nothing about the number of species and
millions of species existed.
Today Man knows the names of millions of species and nothing is left of
MENTAL WORK IS INJURIOUS TO THE MIND AND PLANET.
There is no higher purpose behind work.
People do not work because they want to work.
People work because they cannot stop working.
People cannot stop physical activity and mental activity (simultaneously) for even 2 minutes.
For most people it is a choice between physical and mental work.
The switch-over from physical work to mental work is disastrous for the planet.
Man can do the same physical work every day.
Man cannot do the same mental work every day.
When man used to do physical work ( farming and related activities ) he
could do the same repetitive work day after day- generation after
After the Industrial Revolution when man switched-over to mental work he
began a never ending process of making new machines / things / products–
a process which can only end with the complete destruction of
environment ( planet ).
The nature of mental work is such that man has to do new mental work every day-in fact he has to do new mental work every moment-Man cannot do in the next moment the mental work that he has already done in the previous moment.
A mathematician cannot solve the same problem of mathematics every day-once he has solved it he will be forced to take up a new( unsolved) problem. Even when he is solving one particular problem he has to move from one step to another – there is a continuous change involved — there is no constancy at any stage.
A writer cannot write the same article every day-he will be forced to write something new every day/ every moment (This is also the reason behind endless discussions/ debates/ arguments).
Subject : As long as cities exist we can neither save the environment nor the mind.
To save the ( remaining ) environment from destruction man will have to
return back to physical work ( smaller communities ).
To save the mind from mental diseases man will have to return back to
physical work ( smaller communities ).
Environment can be saved only if we stop production of most ( more than
99% ) of the consumer goods we are making today.
ENVIRONMENT CANNOT BE SAVED BY RECYCLING
TRYING TO SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT BY RECYCLING IS LIKE SHOOTING SOMEONE
10,000 TIMES AND THEN TRYING TO SAVE HIM BY TAKING OUT ONE BULLET.
Time is running out for this planet.
We are in the last 20 years.
Author: Sushil Yadav
News Service: TheExperiment Network