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Emotion and the growth of consciousness: Gaining insight through a phenomenology of rage

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Some attempts to understand emotion have failed to account for important features of our emotional experience — notably, the experience of gaining insight when we express our emotions. In this essay I will hold that if we properly understand emotions, then we see that the expression of emotion contributes to the growth of consciousness by providing a process wherein consciousness can recognize and reclaim its inherent wholeness, and thereby overcome fragmentation. Hence, in this essay I will strive to: (1) demonstrate that we do get insight when we express our emotions, (2) offer a suggestion as to why this feature is often overlooked, (3) propose a model for understanding the emotions that helps to explain this holistic feature of emotion, and (4) show how this insight into the nature of emotion contributes to our understanding of the growth of consciousness.

Keywords: codependent; consciousness; emotion; fragmented; hologram; insight; instrumentality; natural attitude; phenomenology; rage; self; trigger

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

Publication date: January 1, 2003


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