Human Emotions Incorporated: providing

tools to culture Emtional Wisdom, Student Succes and Balance in Life

Darwin, Emerson, FreudGoleman, Henri, Jung, Lazarus, Plutchik and Perls on the evolutionary import and psychological significance of emotion.



Darwin, C. (1965). The expression of the emotions in man and animals (1872). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

“The movements of expression in the face and body … are in themselves of much importance for our welfare. They serve as the first means of communication between the mother and her infant; she smiles approval, and thus encourages her child on the right path, or frowns disapproval. We readily perceive sympathy in others by their expression; our sufferings are thus mitigated and our pleasures increased; and mutual good feeling is thus strengthened (Darwin, 1965, p. 364).”



In Freud''s 1921 essay on Delusions and dreams, he writes:“We remain on the surface so long as we treat only memories and ideas. The only valuable things in psychic life are, rather, the emotions. All psychic powers are significant only through their fitness to awaken emotions. Ideas are repressed only because they are connected with the liberation of emotions (Freud, 1921, p. 159).”Cited in J. Hillman (1960).

“Emotions are not only the most important factors in the life of the individual human being, but they are also the most powerful forces of nature known to us. Every page in the history of nations testifies to their invincible power. The storm of passions has cost more lives and has destroyed more lands than hurricanes; their floods have wiped out more towns than floods of water (Lange, 1922, p. 34).”

Plutchik, R. (1962). The emotions: Facts, theories, and a new model. New York: Random House.

“The emotions have always been of central concern to men. In every endeavor, in every major human enterprise, the emotions are somehow involved. Almost every great philosopher from Aristotle to Spinoza, from Kant to Dewey, from Bergson to Russell has been concerned with the nature of emotion and has speculated and theorized about its origin, expressions, effects, its place in the economy of human life. Theologians have recognized the significance of certain emotions in connection with religious experience and have made the training of emotions a central, if implicit, part of religious training.

Writers, artists, and musicians have always attempted to appeal to the emotions, to affect and to move the audience through symbolic communication. And the development in the last half century of psychoanalysis, clinical psychology, and psychosomatic medicine has brought the role of emotion in health and disease sharply to our attention (Plutchik, 1962, pp. 3-4).”


<Perls, F. S. (1969). Gestalt therapy verbatim>.

New York: Bantam.

“Anything unexpressed which wants to be expressed can make you feel uncomfortable. And one of the most common unexpressed experiences is resentment. Resentment is the most important expression of an impasse-of being stuck. If you are resentful, you’re stuck; you neither can move forward and have it out, express your anger, change the world so that you’ll get satisfaction, nor can you let go and forget whatever disturbs you. This is the unfinished situation par excellence (Perls, 1969, pp. 51-52).”


Lazarus, R. S. (1991). Emotion and adaptation>

New York: Oxford University Press.

“Emotions play a central role in the significant events of our lives. Even though clinical theories of psychopathology are centered on emotion, the rational emphasis has not been on a broad spectrum of emotions, but mainly on anxiety. Depression and guilt have sometimes been minor exceptions to this almost exclusive concentration on anxiety as the emotion underlying psychopathology. Even less attention has been given to the positive emotions. This de-emphasis of emotion stands in marked contrast to the rich and central place given to the topic by the great dramatists and writers of fiction. Ironically, all but social scientists have recognized that emotions lie at the center of human experience and adaptation (Lazarus, 1991, pp. 3-5).”

“If we are to speak of an organismic concept, one that best expresses the

adaptational wholeness or integrity of persons rather than merely separate functions, emotion is surely it. When we react with an emotion, especially a strong one, every fiber of our being is likely to be engaged—our attention and thoughts, our needs and desires, and even our bodies. The reaction tells us that an important value or goal has been engaged and is being harmed, placed at risk, or advanced. From an emotional reaction we can learn much about what person has at stake in the encounter with the environment or in life in general, how that person interprets self and world, and how harms, threats and challenges are coped with. No other concept in psychology is as

richly revealing of the way an individual relates to life and to the specifics of the physical and social environment. (Lazarus, 1991, pp. 6-7).”


Goleman, Daniel. (1995). Emotional Intelligence.>

New York: Bantam Books.

“As an insight into the purpose and potency of emotions, (the) exemplary act

of parental heroism testifies to the role of altruistic love—and every other emotion we feel—in human life. It suggests that our deepest feelings, our passions and longings,&nbspare essential guides, and that our species owes much of its existence to their power in human affairs. That power is extraordinary: Only a potent love—the urgency of saving a cherished child—could lead a parent to override the impulse for personal survival. Seen from the intellect, their self-sacrifice was arguably irrational; seen from he heart, it was the only choice to make (p. 3).”

“Sociobiologists point to the preeminence of heart over head at such crucial moments when they conjecture about why evolution has given emotion such a central role in the human psyche. Our emotions, they say, guide us in facing predicaments and tasks too important to leave to intellect alone—danger, painful loss, persisting toward a goal despite frustrations, bonding with a mate, building a family. Each emotion offers a distinctive readiness to act; each points us in a direction that has worked well to handle the recurring challenges of human life. As these eternal situations were repeated and repeated over our evolutionary history, the survival value of our emotional repertoire was attested to by its becoming imprinted in our nerves as innate, automatic tendencies of the human heart (p. 4).”

“A view of human nature that ignores the power of emotions is sadly shortsighted. We have gone too far in emphasizing the value and import of the purely rational—of what IQ measures—in human life. For better or worse, intelligence can come to nothing when the emotions hold sway. But while our emotions have been wise guides in the evolutionary long run, the new realities civilization presents have arisen with such rapidity that the slow march of evolution cannot keep up. Indeed, the fist laws and proclamations of ethics can beread as attempts to harness, subdue, and domesticate emotional life. As Freud described in Civilization and Its Discontents, society has had to enforce from without rules meant to subdue tides of emotional excesses that surge too freely within. Despite these socialconstraints, passions overwhelm reason time and again (p. 5).”

“Academic intelligence has little to do with emotional life. The brightest among us can founder on the shoals of unbridled passions and unruly impulses; people with high IQs can be stunningly poor pilots of their private lives. One of psychology’s open secrets is the relative inability of grades, IQ, or SAT scores to predict unerringly who will succeed in life.

At best, IQ contributes about 20 percent to the factors that determine life success. The vast majority of one’s ultimate niche in society is determined by non-IQ factors, ranging from social class to luck.

“My concern is with a key set of these other characteristics, emotional intelligence: abilities such as being able to motivate oneself and persist in the face of frustrations; to control impulse and delay gratification; to regulate one’s moods and keep distress from swamping the ability to think; to empathize and to hope. Emotional intelligence is a new concept (involving) emotional competencies that can be learned and improved upon (p. 34).”

"Each day''''s news comes to us rife with ... reports of the disintegration of civility and safety, an onslaught of mean-spirited impulse running amok... reflect(ing) back to us on a larger scale a creeping sense of emotions out of control in our own lives and in those of the people around us. The last decade has seen a steady drum roll of reports, portraying an up tick in emotional ineptitude, desperation, and recklessness in our families, our communities, and our collective lives. A spreading emotional malaise can be read in numbers showing a jump in depression around the world, and in ... a surging tide of aggression (p. x)."

The Art Spirit

Henri, 1961

The American Impressionist Painter

>“Art is simply a question of doing things, anything, well. When the artist is alive in any person, whatever his or her kind of work may be, he becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self-expressing creature. He disturbs, upsets, enlightens, and he opens ways for better understanding. Where those who are not artists are trying to close the book, the artist opens it, shows there are still more pages possible.”

>On traditions and authorities, Henri adds, “Know what the old masters did. Know how they composed their pictures, but do not fall into the conventions they established. These conventions were right for them, and they are wonderful. They made their language. You make yours.”

On Success:

To laugh often and much;

To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;

To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;

To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.

This is to have succeeded.

--- inaccurately attributed to

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Lincoln Sentinel, Nov. 30, 1905

"What Constitutes Success"
A $250 Prize Story by a Lincoln Woman

A few weeks ago Mrs. A.J. Stanley at the earnest solicitation of Mr. Stanley wrote an essay on "What constitutes success" for entrance in a contest carried on by the George Livingston Richards Co. of Boston, Mass. It was required that the essay should be confined to 100 words and should be the best definition of what constituted success, neatness and several of the requirements being taken into consideration. The essay was entered in competition with hundreds of others from all parts of the country. Last Saturday when Mrs. Stanley was notified that she had won the first prize of $250 she did not credit the good news and laughing told Mr. Stanley he could have half. An accompanying draft furnished satisfactory proof. Below we give Mrs. Stanley’s essay on "What Constitutes Success."

"He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who has never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it; who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had; whose life was an inspiration; whose memory a benediction."