The Place Of Emotion





Feeling Cannot Be Separated from Thinking.--Emotion we found the

constant accompaniment of every other mental activity. It is first on

the stage of consciousness and, in the normal mind, last to withdraw.



When I am working at a problem in doses or solutions, trying to learn my

materia medica, or wrestling with the causes of disease in my

medical nursing, or thinking how I can eke out my last ten dollars

till I get some more, I am pursued with some vague or well-defined

feeling of annoyance or satisfaction, of displeasure or pleasure. If all

goes well, the latter; if not, the former.



Feeling Cannot Be Separated from Will.--I cannot will without a

feeling accompaniment, pleasant or unpleasant. I may be using my will

only in carrying out what intellect advises. But we found that

intellect's operations are always affective, i. e., have some feeling

of pleasure or pain. And the very act of will itself is a pleasant one

and much easier if it is making me do what I want to do; it is a vaguely

or actively unpleasant one if it is making me act against desire. In the

end, however, if I act against desire in pursuance of reason or a sense

of duty, the feeling of pleasure in the victory of my better self is

asserted. And feeling cannot be separated from will.



Feeling Cannot Be Separated from Action.--I cannot do anything without

a feeling of comfort or discomfort, happiness or unhappiness. Try it for

yourself when you are feeding a patient, making a bed, giving a bath or

massage, preparing a hypodermic. Other things being normal, if you are

performing the task perfectly, the feeling of satisfaction, of pleasure,

of the very ability to work effectively, with speed and accuracy and

nicety, comes with the doing. If you are bungling, there is a pervading

sense of dissatisfaction, of unpleasantness. In the automatic or

semi-automatic action a great economy of nature has conservatively put

feeling at the absolute minimum; but it has not eradicated it. As you

walk across the ward, though your predominating thought and feeling may

be elsewhere, there is a sense of pleasure or displeasure in the very

movement. If your body is fresh and you are of an energetic type and in

happy frame of mind, a pervasive feeling of satisfaction is experienced.

If tired or discouraged or sore from unaccustomed exercise, every step

registers protest.



Thus we find by experiment that there is no thought we have, no single

conscious movement or action, nor any expression of the will, but is

accompanied with what the psychologist broadly terms pleasure or

pain. So emotion, the first expression of mentality, is never absent

from any mental or physical act. It permeates all we do, as well as all

we think and will, with the partial exception of automatic action, above

indicated.





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