Monday, February 13, 2017

My Emotions

I trust that my emotions are suffused with intelligence and discernment,
and that they contain in themselves
an awareness of value or importance

Thus, they cannot easily be sidelined
in my ethical judgment,
as so often they are in an intellectually religious society.

Instead of viewing morality as a system of principles
to be grasped by a detached intellect,
and emotions as motivations
that either support or subvert my choice
to act according to principle,
I consider my emotions
as part and parcel of my system of ethical reasoning.

I cannot reasonably omit them,
once I acknowledged that my emotions include in their content
judgments that can be true or false,
and good or bad guides
to ethical choice.

I have to grapple
with the messy material of grief and love, anger and fear,
and the role these tumultuous experiences play
in my thoughts about the good and the just.

My emotions
are not just the fuel
that powers the psychological mechanism of a reasoning creature,
they are parts,
highly complex and messy parts,
of my reasoning itself.

My emotions
involve judgments about important things,
judgments in which
I acknowledge my own neediness and incompleteness
before parts of the world
that I do not fully control.

My emotions are geological upheavals of thought,
 as judgments in which I acknowledge the great importance, 
for my own flourishing, 
of things that they I do not fully control
 and acknowledge thereby my vulnerability
before the world and its events.

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