Unpredictable by nature. Depending on its mood or circumstance, it can make you cry at the sight of a sunset, when the same spectacle only yesterday made your heart weep with joy.
Unpredictable by nature. Depending on its mood or circumstance, it can make you cry at the sight of a sunset, when the same spectacle only yesterday made your heart weep with joy. This is how emotion rolls; a dab hand at adrenalin highs, of which the optimum pace can only be felt in the moment, it transcends the barriers of language and indulges in its favourite sport of sweeping those in its path beyond reason. Trying to understand emotion would be a waste of time, warns Fernando Pessoa: “Any emotion is a lie as far as our intelligence is concerned, since it far exceeds our understanding.” Its main merit, according to Oscar Wilde, is to lead us astray. But what does emotion look like? The image of a labyrinth wavers before us, ever ready to devour our train of thought. Which would be entirely false, according to Carl Gustav Jung, who believed “without emotion, there can be no transforming darkness into light”. Like a beacon for humankind? More like a driving force, if we go back to the actual meaning of the word, which originates from the latin ‘motio’, or movement.
This idea is cemented in the brilliant Pixar movie inside out, where five primary emotions control the mind of a young girl from a part of the brain made to look like a command room cum sensory laboratory. For Jean-Paul Sartre, who didn’t have a magical bone in his body, emotion is the descent of the conscious state into magic. How else can we explain the ability to give substance to nothing? Leave us lost for words? Make each instant achingly real? Multi-faceted, emotion fulfils the complex function of making us unique. It touches us, affects us, pervades our very soul and helps us evolve, with the sole purpose of reminding us how lucky we are to exist. Since in the beginning was emotion.