Saturday, May 10, 2008

ON ACTING: Emotion Precedes Logic

From author Megan McArdle in her article 'Body Counting', in "The Atlantic" magazine, the April, 2008 issue:

"Indeed, some research indicates that the emotion precedes, and governs the higher cognition-that logic is, literally, an afterthought [italics mine]."

Megan, a good actor could have told you that as well: feeling initiates dialogue (logic). Dialogue arises from how the character feels; which arises from how a character sensory registers events as s/he proceeds toward a goal, which arises from his/her imbalanced reservoir of past-created emotional needs.

Which is simply to say that human life proceeds initially from emotional needs (seeking goals), and operationally by the mechanism of the simple nerve cell configuration: stimulus, synapse, response. The process is as follows: We want some goal (to rectify the past as recorded in our emotional imbalances); we (1) touch, taste, smell, hear and see the world around us, the tangible reality which contains possible goal-fulfillment, (2) these received stimuli activate the synaptic gap of feeling (creating registered meaning), and (3) we act, we motor respond (inwardly by thinking, outwardly by speaking and moving and handling artifacts) according to those feelings. As one can see: in this process of formulating all positive human activity (and evolutionarily speaking as well), the seat of logic, the brain, is secondary (or actually tertiary) to the more primary activity of feeling.


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