… the common distinction of emotion and idea, [is] that emotions are the transformation of chemical or physical energy, while thought involves the transformation of information.
If emotion is the antithesis of conceptual thinking, feeling and concept must come together in some way to give context to feelings and impetus to ideas, though just how this might occur is uncertain.
Energetic theory of emotion has survived not only because it appeals to common sense, but because it is grounded on evolution. Energy in inorganic mater is the basis of emotion in higher organisms. My thesis here is that emotion begins as energy, eg. the wave-form of a basic entity, where it is ‘contained’ in basic packets or particles. At this stage, energy has a momentum but not a stable direction, certainly not an aim. The energy and its boundedness are the existence and nature of the entity. Put differently, the entity consist of a packet of temporal extensibility over the duration of its existence, a duration that is, at least conceptually, isotropic or time-reversible. In the evolution of organic life, energy tkes on an aim or direction over its duration and becomes anisotropic or time-irreversible. The phase transition has a before and after. With directionality, energy is transformed to feeling. The shift from bi-directional to uni-directional feeling, as with all natural advances in organic systems, occurs within the duration of the entity, i.e. within the temporal extension of each occurrence.
Once there is feeling, an ‘idea’ goes to satisfaction. This ‘idea’ is the category (duration) over which the feeling develops. As energy is the seed of emotion, duration is the seed of idea. Energy becomes feeling, duration becomes category. Or, put differently, becoming (process) is feeling, being (state) is idea. The category that encloses a feeling is also its aim, since the category does not exist until an epoch of feeling terminates. A complete cycle of feeling establishes the boundaries of the duration, and thus fulfils the aim or idea of the category that up until them has been virtual but, through the cycle of feeling, becomes actual just as it perishes.
One can say that feeling is felt process in simpler organisms – it is the dynamic of their unreflective lives – while emotion is the experience of process in higher ones. A simple organism is its feeling, but complex (human, but perhaps lower) organisms have emotions. In emotion, we experience the life-animating process that actualises the person that we are.
The inner and outer world that are created in perception are created for those who, themselves, are created by feeling.
When feeling goes immediately in to action, the body receives all the feeling that might otherwise have been allocated to objects, and the self and its body are then more intensely alive.
The impression is strong that ideas are free of affect, and feelings are free of ideational content, with the awareness of an emotion being the result of a judgement. However, nothing could be further from the truth.
Thus we arrive at the conclusion that emotion or feeling is the process-experience of becoming, while the feeling or emotion that is experienced, the designation of that experience, or its fixation in an object or idea, is the object-experience of being. As being gives existence to becoming, so without becoming, being would not exist. Objects are created by feelings as enclosures, but feeling is what makes objects real existents.
Thought expresses feelings, minimally in what a person chooses to think about, so just thinking about something entails an affective (evaluative) quality.
A mood does not seem to have an object, rather, it affects all objects and it poses difficulty to a theory of affect as the inner dynamic of ideation. Yet we occasionally have ideas that are also pervasive, and it may be that what such ideas and moods have in common is their relation to pre-object categories, where neither the concept nor the feeling has individuated with sufficient clarity.
In ongoing perception, feeling intensifies when interest collapses on a single object, for example when we perceive an object with fear or love. It is not surprising that this also occurs in memory, which is attenuated perception. Feeling is heightened with absorption in the memory. In creative writing, one attempts to reclaim a certain mood and recapture the idea or inspiration of the work, not just any mood, but one which is specific to the generative idea. The mood corresponds to the idea even if the idea cannot be articulated. At such moments, one wants to be saturated with the idea, to get into the mood and stay there, to bring its latent content to awareness. … The creative mood with its inchoate idea suggests that ordinary moods like depression are also associated with an unconscious ideation.
Depending on the context, feeling grows or fades. These observations indicate that feeling and idea are part of the same complex, but their unity is fluid not quantal. The apparent liberation of affect from idea that occurs in the derivation of drive to conceptual feeling is equally a liberation of the idea from its affective tone. Affect and idea are not fixed for all subsequent revivals. Even in drive, a given idea (construct, category) is not inextricably woven with a given affect. The shifting relations between feelings and memory, or feeling and idea (object, event), depend on the current mood, the passage of time, depth and context and the momentary focus of attention.
Affect is a part of the process-life of the present. The past-quality of feeling is derived secondarily from reminiscence. Whatever there is of pastness in feeling comes from the memorial-quality of the idea. In contrast, a memory that is experienced as a present event would be an hallucination.
The emotional response to a past event, more than the memory of the event, depends on the current state of mind. This is also true for perception. … The affective tone of the moment colours the feeling of the event. The affective tonality of memory is determined by the current state, which includes the embedded memory.
This union of feeling and object (concept), closer to memory than perception, closer to archaic structures of the limbic formation than to the recency of neocortex, closer to the past than the present, allied to magical and creative thinking, abides just beneath the surface of everyday thought.
In human thought, feeling and idea – the dynamic and static of cognition – are indivisible. Ideas are deposited as categories out of the incessant throb of feeling, both within the organism and in its world. This is not the view of most philosophers, nor of psychoanalysts.
… an object individuates in the course of self-realisation from an intrapersonal phase of dispositions, values and implicit beliefs through one of experiential memory, object-concepts and imagery, to a thing in the world.
The conceptual portion of an external object is its object-category, its affective portion is realness and worth.
Feeling marks a development within the realisation of the object of a dynamic that was not previously noted. This development is attributed to knowledge or experience, which is another way of saying there is a deeper exploration of the infrastructure of the perception, of an inner layer of memory and subjective feeling just beneath the outer rim of objects.
When we gaze at an object of interest, its value grows with an expansion of submerged residues in the underpinnings of the object. One line of expansion leads to growth in object- and lexical-concepts. These develop into objects and propositions that are relatively free of affect. The other line of expansion leads to a growth in experiential memory, which is relatively independent of lexical- and object-concepts. The former is governed by the regularities of rational thought, the latter by feeling and metaphoric thinking.