(Prints size 106x106 cm, 70x70 cm)
Our brain reflects the entire evolutionary process of the nervous system. The newest part of it, the neocortex, is layered on an older limbic system, formed over an even more ancient reptilian brain. The limbic system first appeared in mammals, allowing them, unlike reptiles, to experience emotions.
There are 8 basic emotions: surprise, sadness, anger, disgust, despise, fear, interest and joy. They are the same for all people. These are 8 basic ingredients we mix to create feelings. Feeling is usually a complex combination of several emotions towards an object, idea or circumstance. Unlike a situational rapid emotion, it is individual and long lasting. Memories or imagination generated emotions are called Experience. Our body doesn't care where the event occurs: in reality or in the mind. Mood is a background emotion that can last indefinitely and unconsciously.
Emotions allow us to survive better by quickly reacting and adapting to changing environment or situations. They arise when the nervous system decides that the body has to be ready for a particular action. The limbic system produces hormones and neurotransmitters, flushed immediately into the bloodstream and carried throughout the body. The cells of the body receive this chemical signal through receptors and in response trigger the synthesis of proteins in the DNA and change their metabolism. Only at this moment we may become aware of the emotion in our body.
Introducing the neocortex, the nervous system gained the ability to seize automatic response. When the body has already entered the reaction mode, we can refrain from action if it is not desired at the moment. This type of regulation is called suppression of emotions. The neocortex involves in the process much later than the limbic system and emotion triggers the muscle tissues and the nervous system anyway. Without proper release, this tension is encapsulated, creating blocks and clamps in the body and permanently excited neurons. Over years these tensions form a "muscle armor", constraining our movement and thinking. Permanent strain blocks the circulation of fluids in tissues, hindering the functioning of the immune system, nourishment and cleaning of cells, creating an ideal environment for the alien bacteria, fungi and parasites.
Assessment of the situation and the production of hormones occur absolutely unconsciously basing on the past, sometimes not adequate, experience. Situations that are completely neutral for one person can cause a burst of feelings for another. At the same time, the structure of experience in our nervous system ties up all senses, events and phenomena accompanying it, to emotional experience. Thus, the assessment of the situation and the resulting emotion are influenced by coincidences: a similar place, a similar smell, clothes, facial features or sounds. Some people have the psyche like a bomb, ready to explode at any moment for any reason. Our brain makes everything equal to everything. Blue corridor, for example, to the horror of the first visit to the dentist in early childhood.
The more often we experience a certain emotion or feeling the easier and faster it is activated. It becomes the mood for life. When it becomes dominant, it shapes our perceptions, thoughts and actions, completely changing the biochemistry of our body. The cells become addicted to permanent hormonal cocktail, demanding a new dose. Distorted assessment of situations unconsciously immerse ourselves in occasions triggering dominant emotion or feeling. The mood, carried for years, is literally imprinted in facial expression and body shape. Emotionally conditioned mind perceives everything that happens around through the prism of the past, creating similar future.
If we do not control our emotions, our emotions control us. They are good survival tool and there is nothing wrong with them as long as we use them for their intended purpose. Emotional conditioning is a squirrel wheel we can run the whole life. Futile run from unpleasant experiences to pleasant ones, immediately accompanying each other and fleeting. If we do not break this vicious circle, unpleasant things will prevail over time and completely displace the pleasant ones. This path leads nowhere. Happiness is a feeling, but happiness is not in the feelings, nor in their absence. Happiness is understanding who I am and why I am here!