We have defined ourselves as somehow “enlightened” but how can we be enlightened and write deep research articles like this one and leave out the soul? The soul is our connection to Godly behavior. Our souls guide us to selfless service toward others.
The article, “Self-Transcendent Emotions and Their Social Functions: Compassion, Gratitude, and Awe Bind Us to Others Through Prosociality” has about one hundred citations for research on humanity. But, it is all on emotion.
I find it satisfying that the “conclusion” in the research paper points to what religion has taught for thousands of years. It is cool to see science catch up to religion.
“Self-transcendent emotions help individuals form enduring commitments to kin, nonkin, and social collectives. They do so by fostering connection, commitment, and attachment to others, reinforcing social bonds when they can be the most easily eroded by self-interest—when others are in need of our help, when they go out of their way to benefit us, or when they display power and status superior to our own. Thus, emotions like compassion, gratitude, and awe lie at the foundations of human sociality.“ http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1754073916684557
I find this amazing, the Holy Mother Church and our Jewish brethren before Us, have written about humanity and divinity for thousands of years. While I appreciate the research and think it is cool, science that is, science and research and data are cool, necessary even. The research does not talk about the soul, rather, like almost all reserch, it focus’ on emotion.
emotion or instinct
I would say the future of research in this area will move toward higher needs for humans than emotion. Quickly, let me say, emotion is the lowest of the three forms of being human. Emotion is to humans what instinct is to animals. Meaning, there is a physical reaction to a stimulus that is just part of being human. Research has studied emotion for quite some time, look at Freud and others who started us down the path of watching human reaction (emotion) to stimulus. It is foundational I suppose and helpful, but research the soul, now that would be helpful to humanity.
Emotion, Intellect, and Soul
But, we would all agree, that Holy Mother Church and for that matter, all religions, define and point to what is beyond human emotion. They have pointed to how the soul, intellect, and emotion work together. The great writers over thousands of years wrote better reflections than what is reflected in this research article. It doesn’t lessen the research, it suggests that we should move forward with research about the soul, intellect, and emotion. We are animals and have instincts and emotional needs and feelings, and studying that is good. But, we also have an intellect and our souls (that which seeks a life beyond emotion, beyond intellect).
emotion trumps soul
For the last 150 years, the world has pushed away from religions (see Google word usage search on “soul” below). As a result, we have become a world of emotion. Watch or read any journalism, it’s full of emotion. Look at what you see on the news, the behavior is mostly emotional or evokes emotion, that’s why people watch it; like, coaches, players, politicians, business leaders, and so much more. It is all emotion, we are soulless, we have less soul as a culture. How did that happen, have you thought about that? Where’d your soul go?
Enlightenment = self centered
In the last 150 years, we have self-labeled ourselves as “enlightened” and “progressive” but labeling ourselves “enlightened” suggests we have become self-consumed. That is to say, if our age is somehow “enlightened” it is a contrast we designated for ourselves. Because we view ourselves superior to prior generations because they weren’t enlightened. The label, “enlightened, progressive” conveys something about us; we are the authors of the phrases “enlightenment and progressive.” The cultural leaders, those who are the thought leaders, say with the word, “enlightened” that we are better than those who have come before us. We have become self-centered and stopped being like prior generations who were not self-centered. Those prior generations who were not “enlightened” would not call themselves “enlightened” because they were self-less (hyphen intended).
Prior Generations were selfless
Prior generations, those “un-enlightened” who were self-less knew something of religion and the soul that this “enlightened and progressive” generation has forgotten, run-over, ignored. The cultural leaders, thought leaders, writers who have gone before us elected to focus on emotion and intellect ignoring the soul of Humans. This research paper and all the citations are proof that this is true. I have hope for the future because this articles summary about “compassion, gratitude and awe” as foundations for human society is spot on. These are the rudimentary beginnings of what the Holy Mother Church, Judaism, and Profits of all ages spoke (thousands of years). They taught us about our human nature.
“… compassion, gratitude, and awe lie at the foundations of human sociality.”
My guess, is we are at the point where research will begin to look more closely at religion and it’s teachings and stop shunning it. It will be what it use to be, a way for Humans to facilitate a deep respect for each other and for the God who created us. Do you think if religion was more acceptable to teach that there would be less school violence, less office violence, more decisions focused on others, better family life, less divorce, fewer poor, less hungry, less greed? Do you think civil discourse would improve?
We have allowed cultural leaders to define us by our emotion, it’s led to a culture or world that shunned religion and saving our souls. Do you believe, in eternity and God’s plan for yourself? If you do, does what this world offer (emotion) bring you compassion, gratitude, awe each day? I have faith in God’s promises and a Joy for life because my sole (punn intended) goal is to get myself and anyone else who is interested to heaven.
For religious related research, go to http://www.apa.org/religion and spirituality
I know Science will eventually return to the writings of the thousands of year old teachings about Humanity. I think it is funny how a society can dumb itself down to the lowest common denominator when there is so much more to life.