Precepts Important to Believing My Blog: Dopamine Is Separate From Emotion

I will try to word this without reference to scientific study and without using words that may be misunderstood, but simply, for anyone who is reading who is unfamiliar with chemical transmitters and circuits they flow through in the brain, but I will use the word dopamine.

My contention is that dopamine is separate from emotion, but that it enhances emotion and gives it depth.

Few would argue that we as humans are emotional beings.  We also know that emotion functions together with our memory.  When we remember moments of contention, we recall the emotions both associated with that past moment, and also the emotion associated with the meanings we attach to the circumstances of that moment.

Also, few would argue we are capable of feeling emotions more deeply sometimes.  Sadness associated with the death of a Father or Mother is deeper and stronger than the sadness you may feel after killing a mouse in your home.  In fact, due to the meanings we attach to each event we may experience two or more emotions with one over-shadowing the others, like after killing a mouse breeding in our walls and spoiling our food.

However, when we experience strong emotional responses, or remember strong emotional events there is an element called dopamine which is mixed up with the emotion or emotions....  It is the expression of dopamine which allows us to feel whatever emotion we are also experiencing so deeply that it is experienced not only in our minds, but also in our bodies.  Take for example the term, "heart ache," where sadness feels so deep we feel it localized in our chest.

Of course, pain can be physically localized, if we are hurt physically, but emotions, while they bring on physical sensations, occur in our mind, usually as a result of an orchestration of meanings.

Now, to come to my point:

We can feel emotions more deeply if we are expressing dopamine.  We can increase the depth of our feelings simply by focusing upon them.  Breathing deeply while focusing on specific emotion can deepen the experience of that emotion.  It is important to understand in doing so we are also expressing more dopamine, deepening the experience of the dopamine increases the experience of the emotion many times what it may have felt like at first.

Just as important as the linkage between emotion and dopamine, is learning to subtract the emotion while maintaining and deepening the experience of the dopamine.  In this way we can "use" emotion to bring about a "dopaminergic state" and then clear any specific emotion from the experience.

What I have found in doing this simple but powerful exercise is that my memory becomes sharper but more fluid, my emotions come more freely but play across my mind like notes on a piano - just a moment for each instead of getting stuck on any one, and my sense of my identity and ability to think become enhanced.

So far I am only capable of keeping my dopaminergic states going for short periods of time, but it seems very clear to me that dopamine is separate from emotion.  I believe for many people the experience of dopamine is sublimated into their emotional experience - what I mean to say is that most people can't describe or tell one from the other.  But, for people with ADHD, or People who do not normally use their dopamine, it is important to learn this skill, both in being able to reproduce the experience and also to be able to describe it.

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