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feeling as choices? curmudgeon

Posted by pseudoname on July 2, 2006, at 14:55:29

In reply to Re: Accepting mistakes pseudoname, posted by curmudgeon on July 2, 2006, at 13:00:37

> Both quoted responses clearly indicated that the individual felt they had no other choice than to feel bad.

Apparently you assume that feelings are a matter of free will. Perhaps if I were familiar with your posts I would have known that.

That idea of choice seems to me opposed to evidence from research, clinical psychology, and everyday experience. It also seems clear to me that any evolving species that were free to choose its feelings would quickly become extinct.

I have however seen the feelings-are-choices idea promoted by some scientifically unsupported inspirational and self-help books, some of them from religious or mystical backgrounds.

But even if you believe that feelings are a product of choice, that belief would not by itself explain your question, in response to personal disclosures by another Babbler and myself, "Isn't mental health about making better choices?"

Nowhere in the thread did anyone state or imply that mental health would not include "better choices".

Thus there seems to me to be the inescapable implication that I am deliberately not feeling differently by choosing not to feel differently. Perhaps this was not what you meant, but your posts in this thread clearly allow that interpretation. Actually, I don't at the moment see that there can be any other meaning.

I think it *is* possible that, for a particular individual, fostering a private experience of one's own feelings as free choices may have mentally healthful consequences, even if the related belief might scientifically be considered an illusion. Perhaps this is your experience, in which case I would encourage you to share that private experience for the benefit of others, including myself. It would be quite another thing, however, for anyone to make unfounded assertions and coy implications about the private experience of others and their failures to choose better feelings.




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