Anger / Health / Love / Science

Rage and Taboos

I’m constantly looking for answers about my behavior, my feelings which occasionally mystify me as much as they mystify other people.

I.

Here’s a tentative answer about my near-constant rage about society and definitely-constant search for love:  

If I was going to write a novel,  I’d write of our societal narcissism, our search for identity– and, more importantly, for excuses why we have certain identities; and the decline of truly meaningful relationships to write a novel about what really keeps us linked to each other.

The operative question would be: if you could be anyone, had unlimited power, what would be the ethical system you use to make choices? Who lives, who dies, who suffers, who doesn’t? How do you decide?

The first element would be Faith. He has to have Faith that he has a superpower, which is to predict the future, in the absence of any definite evidence. The protagonist of my book won’t have any objective evidence that he is right or doing the right thing, he simply will have to believe, to decide, that he’s right. It has to be identical to, say, psychosis. My character would have to both decide he can see the future, and also that it is his responsibility to act on it.

Another element is Rage. When you believe something that no one else believes– especially if you believe you are somehow better, or even different, than others; and if others directly oppose you in this belief, the inevitable consequence is rage. 

The final element is Love. The negating force for Rage. This character will need to identify who he loves, and how to love them.  – The Last Psychiatrist (adapted)

II.

About why horrible things turn me on during masturbation (Which is part of the reason why I consider sex and masturbation as two almost completely distinct and dissimilar activities):

I got curious about why people are sexually aroused by taboo, and I did some theorizing and fact-checking.

It all comes down to your brain being really shitty at knowing what it is feeling at any given time. Since it struggles with this, it often sneaks a peek at what the body is doing and guesses based on that – for example, “Flushed face? Butterflies in stomach? I must be attracted to this person!”

In the case of taboo, this causes a certain degree of non-sexual arousal, which happens to incite similar physiological responses (your blood flow increases, your breathing becomes faster, etc.). The brain interprets this as part of the sexual arousal, and voila! You are turned on by something that repulses you so vehemently that it literally makes your blood boil!

In summary: The brain muddles up different emotions and physiological responses a lot, and that’s the reason why you may be aroused by something that strongly opposes your beliefs.

– A Cracked.com commenter on an article about BDSM 

What kind of an emotion of fear would be left if the feeling neither of quickened heart-beats nor of shallow breathing, neither of trembling lips nor of weakened limbs, neither of goose-flesh nor of visceral stirrings, were present, it is quite impossible for me to think … I say that for us emotion dissociated from all bodily feeling is inconceivable. – William James, 1893

This is also a very interesting scientific study (NOT conjecture, which an important distinction from the things I’ve talked about above) about the areas in the body where different emotions are felt (I usually only post links to provide sources, but I do want readers this time to actually go over there and read about this study):

body-heat-maps-for-emotions

Researchers in Finland have compiled the first authoritative atlas of “body maps” that detail where we feel emotions. It would seem that idioms such as a chest puffed with pride, or cold feet, are very much seated in physiological reality.

Looking at the maps, it’s amazing how each emotion triggers a very specific and unique physiological response. We can now clearly see that happiness and love actually make us feel sensation in our whole bodies. Sadness is felt in the heart, and decreases the feeling of everything else, except for parts of the face. Depression is an all-over lack of sensation. It is startling to see shame’s intense increase of sensation in the head and cheeks, fluttering heart and stomach, and numbness of legs so accurately depicted. 

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