Do souls have emotions? (3 insights)

This blog post aims to answer the question, “Do souls have emotions?” and explore the concepts of souls and emotions and their relationship to help understand the answer. 

Do souls have emotions?

Yes, souls have emotions. The following are 3 insights into how souls have emotions –

  • The soul is the wellspring of all emotions and consciousness.
  • The soul is the source of spiritual feelings. 
  • The soul is the ultimate decider of how to act on emotion or desire.

These 3 insights into how souls have emotions will be discussed in further detail below after taking a deeper look at what souls and emotions mean. 

What are souls?

There is a belief in a soul as the incorporeal essence of a living entity in many religious, philosophical, and mythical traditions. The mental capacities of a living organism are comprised of the soul or psyche: reason, character, feeling, awareness, qualia, memory, perception, thinking, and so on. 

A soul might be mortal or eternal, depending on the philosophy. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, for example, believed that the soul needed a logical faculty, and that exercising it was the most heavenly of human deeds. 

Socrates defined his teachings during his defence trial as nothing more than an invitation to his fellow Athenians to succeed in issues of the psyche because all bodily benefits are dependent on it. 

According to Aristotle, a man’s body and soul are his substance and form, respectively: the body is made up of components, while the soul is the essence. This viewpoint was brought into Christianity by Thomas Aquinas.

Except for angels, only human beings have everlasting souls in Judaism and some Christian churches (although immortality is disputed within Judaism and the concept of immortality may have been influenced by Plato). 

For example, Thomas Aquinas attributed “soul” (anima) to all creatures but claimed that only human souls are immortal, citing Aristotle’s On the Soul. 

Other faiths, such as Hinduism and Jainism, believe that all living things, from the tiniest bacteria to the greatest animals, are souls (Atman, jiva) with a physical manifestation (the body) in the universe. 

The soul is the true self, whereas the body is only a vehicle for experiencing the karma of that life. When one sees a tiger, it has a self-conscious identity (the soul) and a physical representation in the universe (the entire body of the tiger, which is visible). 

Some people believe that even non-biological phenomena like rivers and mountains have souls. Animism is the name given to this belief.

What are emotions?

According to Don Hockenbury and Sandra E. Hockenbury’s book “Discovering Psychology,” an emotion is a three-part psychological state that includes a subjective experience, a physiological response, and a behavioural or expressive response.

Researchers have attempted to define what emotions are as well as identify and classify the many sorts of emotions. Over time, the descriptions and insights have evolved.

Fear, contempt, anger, surprise, pleasure, and sorrow, according to psychologist Paul Eckman, are six primary emotions that are common throughout civilizations.

Robert Plutchik proposed a new emotion classification system called the “wheel of emotions” in the 1980s. This model highlighted how distinct emotions can be merged or blended in the same manner as primary colours can be used to generate new hues.

Eckman updated his list in 1999 to include embarrassment, enthusiasm, disdain, humiliation, pride, contentment, and amusement, among other fundamental feelings.

Happiness vs. sorrow, anger vs. fear, trust vs. contempt, and surprise vs. anticipation are the eight basic emotional qualities described by Plutchik. These feelings can then be mixed and matched to form new ones (for example, happiness + anticipation Equals excitement).

Key Elements of Emotions.

Subjective Experience.

While experts think that there are a few fundamental common feelings that individuals all over the world experience regardless of their background or culture, studies also believe that emotion is extremely subjective.

Consider the emotion of rage. Isn’t it true that all fury is the same? Your personal feelings might vary from moderate irritation to burning wrath.

While emotions like “angry,” “sad,” or “happy” have broad definitions, your individual experience of these emotions may be far more multi-dimensional, and hence subjective.

We also don’t always have pure experiences with each feeling. Mixed emotions are widespread in our lives as a result of various events or situations. 

You could feel both delighted and worried about starting a new job. Getting married or having a kid may bring up a wide range of feelings, from happiness to dread. You could feel these feelings all at once, or you might feel them one after the other.

Physiological Response.

If you’ve ever felt your stomach lurch with worry or your heart palpate with terror, you know that emotions may trigger intense physiological responses.

The sympathetic nervous system, a part of the autonomic nervous system, regulates many of the physiological responses you feel during an emotion, such as sweaty palms or a speeding heartbeat.

The autonomic nervous system is in charge of controlling involuntary physiological functions including blood flow and digestion. Controlling the body’s fight-or-flight reactions is the job of the sympathetic nervous system. 

When confronted with a threat, these reflexes immediately prepare your body to either leave or confront the attacker. While early studies of emotion physiology tended to focus on these autonomic responses, more recent research has focused on the involvement of the brain in emotions. 

The amygdala, a member of the limbic system, has been proven to play a key role in emotion, particularly fear, according to brain scans. The amygdala is a small almond-shaped region associated with motivational states like hunger and thirst, as well as memory and emotion. 

The amygdala is triggered when people are presented with menacing images, according to researchers who employed brain imaging. The fear response has also been found to be hampered by damage to the amygdala.

Behavioural Response.

The fourth component is the actual manifestation of emotion, which you may be most familiar with. We devote a large amount of effort to deciphering the emotions of others around us. 

Our capacity to effectively perceive these expressions is linked to emotional intelligence, according to psychologists, and these expressions play a significant role in our entire body language.

Many expressions, such as a grin to signify happiness or a frown to indicate melancholy, appear to be universal, according to research. How we express and understand emotions is also influenced by sociocultural norms.

When an authority person is present in Japan, for example, individuals prefer to hide their dread or dislike. Similarly, Western cultures, such as the United States, are more prone to exhibit “negative” feelings both alone and in public, but eastern cultures, such as Japan, are more inclined to do so alone.

What are these 3 insights into how souls have emotions?

The soul is the wellspring of all emotions and consciousness.

The metaphorical ‘heart’ that is mentioned in regard to emotions is not to be confused with the biological heart. When someone says they’re ‘heartbroken,’ they’re not referring to their biological heart. It alludes to the emotional centre of our being, where we feel shattered. 

The source of awareness is the same as the seat of emotions. What we call the heart is the same as the soul in biblical philosophy. In everyday metaphorical use, the word heart may be substituted for the word soul.

The soul is the wellspring of all emotions and consciousness. However, the soul is frequently dominated by emotions that are not its initial feelings in the conditioned stage.

The intellect is required for a variety of tasks in life. The mind is the conduit via which our consciousness enters the physical world. When we make a decision, our minds may come up with a slew of ideas along the road. If we are not vigilant, we may unconsciously follow instructions.

The soul is the source of spiritual feelings. 

The soul is the source of awareness, emotions, and wants, although it can act irrationally at times. Our present feelings and wants can arise from three places: 1) the body and external environment, 2) the mind, and 3) the soul itself. 

External things — the senses, the body, or the external environment – activate the first category of emotions and wants. Those that arise from our prior remembrance fall into the second type. 

These are mental imprints that pop up from time to time without any external trigger. Pure spiritual feelings, which come from the soul itself, fall into the third type.

The soul is the ultimate decider of how to act on emotion or desire.

We do get such feelings on occasion, but they are not very frequent since the soul is so engulfed by the intellect and body. Regardless of the source of a feeling or want, the soul is ultimately responsible for deciding how to act on the emotion or desire.

Rather than obsessing over where the feeling came from, we should concentrate on where it is leading us. We may be choosy about our emotions by considering if the feeling is leading us in a healthy or bad way.

To summarise, the soul is not always the creator of all feelings when it is in the physical body, but it is always the chooser of how to act on those emotions. The soul is both the source and the chooser of all emotions in its pure condition. 

Even if the external environment or the mind is the source of emotion, we are always the ones who decide how to respond to it. We become more educated choosers as we grow more spiritually conscious. Otherwise, we remain dumb choosers in our conditioned state. 

As emotions arise, we must determine if they are healthy or harmful. We may then put a stop to negative feelings and concentrate on growing positive ones.

Conclusion – 

This blog post aimed to answer the question, “Do souls have emotions?” and reviewed the concepts of souls and emotions and their relationship to help determine if souls have emotions. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions or comments you may have.

References –

Florence, J. Our Emotions Are the Voice of Our Soul. (2014, August 27). Retrieved from  https://www.huffpost.com/entry/our-emotions-are-the-voice-of-our-soul_b_5723468#:~:text=If%20our%20eyes%20are%20the,others%20and%20about%20life%20itself.

Does the soul have feelings and emotions? Quora. (n.d.). Retrieved from  https://www.quora.com/Does-the-soul-have-feelings-and-emotions

Kataria, B. Do emotions come from the heart, the soul or the subtle body? (2017, March 17). Retrieved from  https://www.thespiritualscientist.com/2017/03/emotions-come-heart-soul-subtle-body/

Soul. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (2022, March 7). Retrieved from  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul

Aragoncillo, M. The Five Natural Emotions of the Human Soul. (n.d.). Retrieved from  https://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/the-five-natural-emotions-the-human-soul.html

Difference Between Mind and Soul. DifferenceBetween.net. (n.d.). Retrieved from  http://www.differencebetween.net/language/difference-between-mind-and-soul/

Grau, S. What Does the Afterlife Look Like? (n.d.). Retrieved from  https://goop.com/wellness/spirituality/what-does-the-afterlife-look-like/

Johnson, D. K.  DO SOULS EXIST? (2013, September 9). Retrieved from  https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/think/article/do-souls-exist/9F0A38C2F9500F4B9EDE947DE491A9C7

Pandya S. K. (2011). Understanding brain, mind and soul: contributions from neurology and neurosurgery. Mens sana monographs, 9(1), 129–149. Retrieved from  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3115284/

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