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EMOTIONS DERIVED FROM SENSATIONS.
WE still suppose the mind to be lodged in an immoveable tenement a body with organs of sense open to the influence of external objects, but totally destitute of power over the body-and proceed to consider of what emotions or passions it would be capable in such circumstances.
The mind after experiencing a pleasant sensation would naturally desire or wish for the repetition of it; and after a painful sensation, it would as certainly experience dislike or aversion; and the desire in the one case, and the dislike in the other, would be proportioned to the intensity of the pleasure or the pain. Here we have the germ of the emotions of DESIRE and
If the pleasant sensation were experienced more than once, after a series of sensations more or less numerous, then the entering on the series, which had repeatedly ended in a pleasant sensation, would excite hope or expectation, more or less confident in proportion to its familiarity of the series of sensations that preceded it, and more or less ardent in proportion to the intensity of the expected pleasure. This expectation or hope would be excited by the innate propensity, which we have found to be a part of our nature, to expect similar consequents from similar antecedents. If, on the other hand, a painful sensation had more than once followed the same series of sensations, then through the operations of the same innate propensity, the commencement of the series would excite fear or terror, proportioned partly to the number of times that the series ending in pain had been experienced, and partly to the intensity of the pain with which the series had ended. On every repetition
of a series of sensations ending in pain or pleasure, the expectation of the result would become more confident, but the intensity of the hope or the dread would become more faint, in consequence of the tendency of any pleasure or pain towards indifference or repetition. Here we have the emotion, HOPE, and a more advanced state of the emotion, fear.
If a series of sensations which had on former occasions ended in a pleasant sensation, should pass away without the accustomed pleasant sensation, the effect would necessarily be disappointment or sorrow; and if a series of sensations, which had on former occasions ended in a painful sensation, should pass away without the accustomed pain, the effect would be joy. If instead of the expected pleasant sensation, a painful one should close the series; or if instead of the dreaded painful sensation the series should close with a pleasant one, then the sorrow and the joy respectively would be heightened by surprise. If the series which was expected to end in a pleasant or painful sensation were broken off before it came to its usual conclusion, the result would be similar, disappointment or gratulation. If either of such series had been often repeated, so that the suggestion and expectation of the result had become prompt and confident, then the sorrow in the one case, and the joy in the other, would be accompanied with PERPLEXITY.
If a series of painful sensations should on several occasions end in a pleasant sensation, then the suggestion and expectation excited towards the commencement of the series would diminish the pain of the preceding part of the series. Hope would mitigate, perhaps triumph over, pain, by entirely reconciling the mind to it. Whereas, if a series of pleasant sensations were connected in the mind with a very painful sensation coming at the conclusion of it, the approach of the dreaded painful sensation would poison the pleasure of the preceding series, and cause the entering on the series to be
regarded with horror. Fear would thus temper, perhaps overcome, enjoyment.
When any sensation is experienced for the first time, if it be a pleasant sensation, the effect is ADMIRATION. The effect of mere novelty in a sensation is wonder, amazement, astonishment, the intensity of which is proportioned to the degree of novelty; that is, to the extent to which it differs from all former sensations. Suppose that the eyes of any child were kept closed, as by disease, till it had become familiar with the sensations derived from the other senses; and then opened,—the effect would be wonder, amazement, astonishment, all of which words signify different degrees and modifications of the effect of novelty on the mind. If the new sensation were a pleasant one, it would excite ADMIRATION proportioned to the pleasure experienced from it, even to ecstasy. If the sensation were a painful one, it would produce an effect for which we remember no name in the English language more exact than wonder, or amazement, or astonishment. We might probably express it by such a circumlocution as mingled pain or horror, and astonishment.
If any mind were so constituted, or so affected by any cause (which it might be by bodily disease), as to have painful sensations most readily and frequently suggested, the effect would be MELANCHOLY, or prolonged SADNESS, proportioned in intensity to the painfulness of the suggested sensations and the frequency of their recurrence. If, on the contrary, a mind were so constituted or so affected, that pleasant sensations were most readily and frequently suggested, the effect would be
We have yet found no emotion that depends on the knowledge of any being external to the mind, or other than the mind itself, such as love or hatred, anger or gratitude. These emotions belong to a higher state of existence than that which we are now contemplating.
Nor have we found any emotion that implies will. By the will we understand the power of the mind to choose or select the power to do, or to leave undone-to accept or to reject. Some, by the will, understand our emotions as distinguished from our intellectual operations, the emotions being sometimes called the powers of the will. But we regard this as a mere abuse of language, for the purpose of supporting a hypothesis. The power of the will is the mind's power to accept or reject to do or not to do. When there is no such power, there can be no act of the will. Now we have no direct power over the feelings or operations of the mind. We cannot by an act of will create a sensation, nor recal a past sensation, nor alter the pain or the pleasure of any sensation. We cannot love or hate what or whom we choose. We cannot be angry by an act of will, nor bid away our anger. We may swallow wormwood, but we cannot, by an act of will, love it. We may abstain from doing that which anger or hatred would prompt us to do, but we cannot bid these emotions away by the fiat of our will. We may obtain much influence in regulating our sensations and remembrances, but that is always by the influence which the mind possesses over the body, and not by any direct power over the mind itself. The will is distinguished from desire by the consciousness of power to do, or to obtain what is desired. I desire to get hold of an object within my reach; but if I be conscious that I have lost the power of my arm, I cannot will it. Astronomers desire to know more of the moon than we do, as they indicate by availing themselves of instruments to enable them to see it more distinctly. But no one can be said to will to know more of the moon than his present opportunities enable him to know. Now, regarding this as the distinction between will and desire, we say that although we have found in a mind destitute (according to our hypothesis) of power to produce motion of any kind,
room for desire, we can find none for volition, or for emotion that implies volition, such, for example, as patience or impatience. Such emotions also belong to a higher state of existence.
The mind, it is true, would naturally prefer sensations and remembrances that were pleasant to those that were unpleasant. But. as in its supposed condition it could have no power to procure the repetition of pleasant sensations, so it could have none to prolong them, nor to call up the remembrance of them. To suppose it could recal a sensation at will involves an absurdity; for it supposes it to be previously present, in order to will its recal. The revival or recal of sensation, we have seen, is regulated by the laws of suggestion, one sensation or remembrance of a sensation calling up the remembrance of another.
We have seen, however, that the current of remembrances would be regulated partly by the state of the mind itself; that the suggestions of one mind would follow one course, and of another mind another course. Any high enjoyment or great pain connected with a sensation, would have the effect of suggesting it. Desire, also, connected with a sensation, fixes the attention upon it to the exclusion of others; so that although the mind would have no direct choice in determining its suggestions, yet its predilection for one class of sensations above others, and its desire of that class, would tend to the more frequent remembrance of it, and would fix the attention upon it as often as it was experienced or recalled. Those qualities, therefore, of sensations which we have noticed as fitted to attract attention, and to excite desire for them, would have much influence upon the train of suggestions, and consequently upon the whole character of the mind. And, as we have seen that some minds, from their original constitution, or from the state of the body with which they are connected, are more attracted by one class of sensations