According to some psychologists, the primary emotions include anticipation, joy, trust, fear, surprise, sadness, disgust, and anger. They talk about collections of these basic emotions which create 'combined emotions' and which include optimism, love, submission, awe, disapproval, remorse, contempt, and aggressiveness.
Since the definition of emotion cannot truly be expressed, but in fact is ‘guessed at’, it would stand to reason that individual emotions themselves cannot truly be defined. That part of the consciousness which involves feeling is an area into which neurologists and scientists have gone with some success and brain scans show different values of heat occurring during different emotional states, but these, along with other empirical findings, can in no way be taken as fact. Emotions are complex and are usually a subjective response, as in love or fear. According to Rhonda Byrne, et al, the highest measurable frequency scientists have been able to record occurs when a person is in a state of love. This would indicate that love itself may be a basic emotion rather than a combination of joy and acceptance or in its purest form, may not be an emotion at all.
Let’s use the emotion of trust as an example. Is it really an emotion or is it a conscious decision to take a stand of action? Love, as well, may be a conscious decision taken in the context of familial or romantic relationships. I can choose to not love or trust a person, and while I may be capable of choosing to trust them, can I choose to love them? Or is love truly an unconscious physiological change in response to our subjective sensibility? If we choose to not love someone, or something, or the entire universe, must our physiological makeup replace love with fear, anger, or pensiveness? The mind can never be completely stilled, so theoretically, there must always be some emotional state of consciousness, whether evident of not.
Speaking of evidence, there seems to be a consistent relationship between basic emotions and facial expressions. Some people are more open about their emotions and the facial expression is clear. Others, however, are less open and though they may try to mask their emotions, the face will express indicators while the wearer may remain quite unaware of them. Even a skilled liar, unless he is studied in the psychology of facial expression, will not be aware of these telltale signs.
The television program Lie to Me is based on the science of detecting truth through facial expression. Minute and explicit, facial expressions are allegedly undeniable with regard to what a person is feeling at the very moment the expression is exhibited. A person may be able to control blood pressure and heart rate during a lie detector test, and other factors may come into play which may cause the blood pressure and heart rate to increase making lie detectors unreliable. Not so with facial expression although skill and experience play a large part in determining how the expression relates to the truth of the subject in question
Emotional intelligence is the ability to manage our feelings while still being sensitive to those around us. People have emotions running through them daily. The ability to control our emotions so that we may function throughout our daily lives is a key to maturing as rational human beings. We do not want to control our emotions to the point that they are repressed and may become debilitative, causing potential harm in the long run both physically and psychologically. It is important to note the intensity level and duration of debilitative emotions such as fear, hate, and anger. We need to learn to cope with irrational or distorted views by stepping back and applying rational emotional therapy to the situation.
Look at the event in question. What is our belief regarding that event? What is our reaction to that event based on what we believe is going to happen? If we step back from our emotions, not tying them to any person or event, perhaps empathizing or showing compassion toward another person who may be the trigger for this emotion, we will discover that emotions can, in fact, be managed to the point where they will do a complete turnaround. Annoyances can be turned around through understanding. Jealousy can be turned around by applying self love. Applying reason to any situation will at least temporarily allow us to see through our distortion and will buy us time. We may later analyze our reaction in private so as to prevent the same situation from occurring again.
The question of the existence and power of collective consciousness is one which has been around for thousands of years. As it relates to emotional intelligence, if we can manage our emotions in such a way as to come from debilitative to facilitative, if laughter and joy, sadness and even indifference are in essence contagious, if we learn by example and redundancy, if we can ‘sense’ how another person is feeling, I believe that the power of many minds together, all thinking and feeling the same thought, can in fact do great wonders, can influence nations, and can change the world.
Adler, Ronald B. and Proctor, Russell F. Looking Out Looking In. 12th Ed. Boston: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning, 2006
American Heritage Dictionary. 2nd College Ed. Boston/New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1991
Byrne, Rhonda. The Secret. Unabridged Audio. New York: Simon and Schuster, Inc., 2006