Steven Weiner, Computer Specialist and Aesthetic Realism associate, writes:
How much feeling do we want to have, and of what kind? What would it mean for us to be proud of our emotions? Is there a criterion for judging them? Do some of our emotions strengthen us, and are there others that weaken us and make us ashamed? Read “What Makes Your Emotion Right or Wrong?,” the current, very important issue of The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known.
The commentary by Ellen Reiss begins:
Dear Unknown Friends:
We continue our serialization of the lecture Eli Siegel gave on November 15, 1974. It is about the troubles an individual mind can have, and the troubles of a nation and its economy. I have seen that Aesthetic Realism is—magnificently—the authority on both subjects and on the relation between them.
What in us interferes with our own mind, life, feelings? Aesthetic Realism shows that the big weakener within a person is contempt, one’s going after an “addition to self through the lessening of something else.” And contempt is also the source of every human injustice—including snobbishness, racism, massacres, bullying, and economics based on using human beings for somebody’s private profit.
In the section of the lecture published here, Mr. Siegel is speaking about something that he was the philosopher to explain: What is it that makes an emotion harmful, ugly, bad, and what is it that makes an emotion valuable, good, even beautiful? Four decades later, the various psychiatric practitioners still do not know the answer to that all-important question—even as they present themselves as experts, prescribe mind-muffling pharmaceuticals, and advise persons to accept themselves. And people are greatly troubled because they have emotions that make them ashamed, and that they don’t understand. Nor do they know what kind of emotion would make them proud.
So as a preliminary to Mr. Siegel’s great discussion, I’ll comment briefly on an emotion that confuses and frightens people as much as any: anger.
Even for Anger, a Criterion
Whether they show it or not, millions of people are angry. One can act polite, function in a civilized fashion, and yet be raging within. And we can be sure that somewhere right now a representative husband and wife are lashing out at each other verbally. Immediately, both feel ashamed. Yet they continue that verbal inter-assault, neither of them willing to stop. Both feel hurt, both tell themselves they’re justified—and both feel disgusted with themselves.
“Anger-management” courses are an industry. And mainly they do not work, because what anger needs is not some superficial “management” techniques, but to be understood.
The first necessity for the understanding of any emotion is to know what is in this Aesthetic Realism principle: “All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves.” Our deepest—and also most urgent—need is to put together the opposites of care for self and justice to the outside world. When an emotion of ours is an attempt to make those opposites one, it is a good emotion. That is as true about anger as it is about tenderness. >>Read more