There is no wisdom without emotion.
While logic tells us what is right and wrong it is emotion that provides the experience of right and wrong.
Without emotion all of the consequences of our decisions, whether good or bad, would not be felt. Can you imagine not being able to feel the euphoria that comes along with falling in love? Can you imagine having to be told, “this is painful” or “this makes you feel angry”? But what does pain or anger feeeeeeel like??
Try for a moment to describe what being in love exactly feels like or the high of riding down the street with all your windows down on the first really nice day of the year. How would you explain the feeling of nerves, excitement, and unconditional love felt during childbirth. Or the pain associated with childbirth???
Can you put these emotions into words? Maybe. But can you do them justice with mere words? Some things you just have to feel for yourself. And even though logic provides textbook definitions, emotion is what gives them meaning.
People fall into this trap of believing if they were unable to feel they would be impenetrable and indestructible. But, a cold heart leads to a cold life. Emotions are a huge part of what makes us feel alive. Being able to experience the range of emotions is what gives us wisdom. Without an emotional attachment to results, we are bound to make reckless decisions. Basically, without emotion your logical decisions would be irrational and not make any sense.
In the brain, the limbic system is often referred to as the emotion center because it processes our emotions. Unfortunately for some people, the limbic system gets damaged and their ability to feel gets wiped away. Be careful what you wish for…
The ability to feel pain say, after accidentally burning themselves is erased. The feeling of disgust after witnessing something unfathomable is simply shrugged off. The emotional reflex of fear after finding themselves in a dangerous predicament is gone… and so does their innate understanding of their need to react. When you can’t feel those emotions you cannot understand the consequences of your decisions. Decisions made without emotion leave us indifferent to every outcome and indifference can be a nightmare.
How do we define indifference? As emptiness. Now think of every emotion as emptiness.
Imagine feeling indifferent to every emotion on the spectrum. Imagine not being able to reason the difference between a dangerous situation and a safe one. Imagine a life where pain felt the same as joy. Neutrality can be a curse.
To avoid getting hurt or being vulnerable many hide their emotions but, they cannot hide from themselves. In a working limbic system, even if one tries desperately hard to avoid an emotional response, the emotions will still be processed. (As they should!) However, in a damaged limbic system, emotions are never registered and they’re never stamped with the associated feelings. Those with a faulty limbic system, can never learn from their experiences. If you can’t learn from the past, you’re bound to repeat it. So they do. They repeat the same decisions over and over again… regardless of where it got them. Wisdom cannot bloom in darkness.
Intuition is a result of the brain stamping experiences as good or bad so that in the future, we can quickly assess a situation, process the information and come to the best decision for us. Intuition does not exist without emotion.
It’s a common theme for people to pit head against heart but, they play best when together. In life, there may be some experiences that people would rather never feel but, in order to appreciate life in all its glory, we must feel. We cannot escape life unscathed either way.
The ability to feel is a gift to be cherished— not hidden, shunned, or turned away. As much as people think emotions cloud our judgement, the truth is, without emotion life would feel colorless and empty. Logic alone could never become wisdom for there is no wisdom without emotion.