Saturday, March 18, 2017

--- Your emotional world ---

Twas brillig in ye slythy toves
Did gyre and gimble in ye wabe:
All mimsy were ye borogoves;
And ye mome raths outgrabe.

If you have never seen this poem before, I would guess that you at least have feelings about the words, which is strange since most of the words are meaningless, or they were when they were penned. They are from the poem, Jabberwocky, from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass.

In it, Carroll carefully crafted new words to convey specific feelings instead of meanings. What does "brillig" mean. It has a little of "bright" in it but somewhat "heavier". "Slythy toves" sounds somewhat sinister, a bit unwholesome. Humpty Dumpty actually explained some of the eanings in the book, but I won't give away his secret here.

The passage actually makes me feel like:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;

from The Second Coming, by W. B. Yeats.

The meaning is not the point that I want to make. The point is the feeling - the emotion.

There is a psychological test composed of colored card that one picks to bring an understanding about self. It's a personality test developed by Dr. Max Lüscher and, therefore, called the Lüscher Color Test. The colors included in the short form are blue, green, red, yellow, violet, brown, black, gray. Each color has a psychological meaning. You select your prefered colors and they mean things. You do it twice and the differences mean things. Ambivalences in your life, stresses and strengths, goals and perceived barriers are all reflected in the cards. For instance, a preference for blue can indicate a preference for calm, or a need for calm, according to how you select the other cards.

My results are actually accurate in many ways - disturbingly so. But, to my great satisfaction, I've already pegged most of the danger points and have titrated them down (you chemists will know what I mean there).

Now, I'm not going to tell you my results, but take the test for yourself. I don't expect you to disclose on the Internet. There are several Lüscher Tests on the Internet. Some are free and some (which give more detailed reports) have a small monetary price (and perhaps a larger emotional price because the test can be brutally honest). Again, I will let you find your own. It should be easy and, as soon as I give you a link, that site will close.

These are all examples of how emotionally charged seemingly meaningless perceptions - nonsense words, isolated colors - can be. And that goes for all the other senses. I can't hear Jethro Tull's War Child without smelling oil paint and vice versa. I spent one summer in college and for much of that summer, in my spare time, I sweated, listened to Jethro Tull, and painted oil paintings.

The nose is separated from the brain and a major olfactory center by only a very thin, perforated plate of bone in the vault of the nose, and the olfactory bulbs send out many connections into the rest of the brain. Odors are the strongest triggers of emotions and memories that we have.

My point is that there are no neutral perceptions. All perceptions are emotionally loaded. Nothing is meaningless. You can use that in your adventuring.

Emotions color code your world. If you pay attention to the emotions attached to the elements of your surroundings, you have another layer of information. In effect, your intuition comes into relief in your perceptions.

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