silent share 161

directing sadness into anger,
to anyone within reach …

perhaps a reaction of not surrendering …
but to what … exactly?

why do we humans do that?
but animals do this too …
any pain, whether physical, mental or emotional …
seems to unlock this reaction.

the only answer to this is compassion


Picture by bvdb (whoisbert) may 2016 – @home – Nikon D3300 – x_dsc_5032-35

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9 thoughts on “silent share 161

  1. I like what Bela says. A few thoughts of my own to add: Maybe sadness is a slightly unfilled feeling? How to put it? It’s as if sadness (we’re not talking about grief here) has boundaries that contain our feeling, that limit our need to feel. Yet really, the feeling doesn’t want to be contained; it wants to be fully expressed, fully felt. I don’t do anger (is there something wrong with me?), but it seems that anger is an emotion that fully expresses itself, and is uncontained, for better or worse. Maybe that’s why “we humans do that?”

    On surrendering, I don’t know Bert; it’s such an overused expression, and to me has quasi-religious connotations of submission. I think everything is grist to the worldly mill, not to be left to the gods, and not much is learned in mere submission. We can see holier-than-thou religious types doing their surrendering all day. I just think it’s a kind of masturbation of the ego and emotions. Sorry if I upset anyone.

    • You make me laugh 🙂 — I feel/notice that the word surrender has a different meaning for you than for me. To me it means to listen to ‘whatever (personal) event in all its colours, emotions and mental aspects — standing still for a split second and becoming aware of reality’. Did I just write that – LOL
      Sadness seems to happen when (un)conscious expectations, about anything, including the things taken for granted are not met. Yes this is a feeling of unfulfilled-ness. Anger is a reaction ‘against …’ putting yourself ‘apart-from’. Them and Me. If there is no direct perpetrator, looking for a scapegoat, to vent our frustration.
      Perhaps I keep to what I just replied to Bela, about shame being the connection between sadness and anger.

      • Well, then by your definition ‘surrender’ sounds to me the same as what Buddhists call Right Mindfulness. Etymologically, ‘surrender’ means ‘to give oneself up’/’to deliver over’/’to give back’ – so there is always an active participant; whereas it seems you’re talking about a passive state of bald awareness. But what the heck, we can call it what we like.

        I was a bit surprised to read you say this to Bela: “I think it is as difficult to feel the sadness of another human being, as it is to feel the sadness of a dog.” You strike me as a man with a good deal of empathy, which faculty almost all humans (but not psychopaths) and primates possess. [See: Frans de Waal]

        • We have no idea what the other really goes through. We only put ourselves in their shoes, which is entirely different from feeling what they really feel:
          Both my eyes have a slightly different eye-colour, which both act as a different filter. The left eye sees more blueish colours, the right eye sees brighter greens. We can label something as green but we have no idea what the other really sees.
          Dogs and tigers do feel. They have expressions of fear, sadness, distress and happiness. It’s easy for me to extend my empathy to them, even to the 3 june-bugs I saved last week, but I have no idea what they really feel 🙂

          • Quite so, Cognitive Empathy is as if having a theory of mind (of the other), and Affective Empathy is as an emotional contagion. But in neither case do we inhabit the consciousness of the other directly, quite obviously, and so one weighs the accuracy of the empathic sense by inference. That said, the work of Frans de Waal (amongst others) seems sound.

  2. Perhaps sadness translates as pain for some/many, and that triggers something primal. I don’t know if animals feel sad or angry -these are human emotions attributed to them, but how can we know the dogness of dogs, the tigerness of tigers? When I am sad as I am now after losing one of my dearest friends two days ago, I want to be left alone in the quiet to contemplate. If an animal is in pain, it seems to me most retreat. If provoked, they lash out, knowing they are vulnerable and weak. And perhaps this is the human animal instinct, as well. Anyhow, peace, Bert. Lovely photos, as always.

    • Thank you Bela, for your beautiful and open reply. Unfortunately I couldn’t find the peace and time to reply earlier.
      My feelings of empathy for the loss of your friend.
      I dare to refer to this article from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America: Social rejection shares somatosensory representations with physical pain @http://www.pnas.org/content/108/15/6270 as well as to personal experience for the fuzzy connection between sadness and pain.
      I think most men (and i can imagine perhaps most women too) in the world, feel ashamed to show sadness — and shame is a very threatening feeling — hence perhaps the translation into anger. Wanting to be alone and not being able to might also trigger frustration and anger.
      I think it is as difficult to feel the sadness of another human being, as it is to feel the sadness of a dog. It depends on how you relate to either.

      • Thanks for your condolences, Bert. And I am one who needs to be alone with sadness, save the company of my gentle husband. Thanks for your thoughtful response to my comment, dear one. ❤

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