In the Emotional Mastery forum on the Tiny Buddha site, Joe and I had this inter-action today, May 1.
(Joe responds to my post sharing the 'Trigger Happy' page of the Whole Human site, which is now un-published. This is my response to Joe.)
JOE: There are lots of things which trigger strong emotional reactions, I guess mainly negative reactions. I watched a film a few years ago entitled "What the bleep do we know?" (it was about things like quantum physics, psychology, spirituality - the kind of stuff I love to read about) and they explored the idea of neuronets - you experience something, it creates a strong neural link with external stimuli, the more you experience that thing, the stronger the neural link becomes, the stronger the emotional reaction (what do I know, I'm not a neuroscientist!)
GARY: Yes, "What the bleep do we know?" explores some fascinating areas. Have you come across "Athene's Theory of Everything?" It is a video and PDF file.
JOE: Mostly my triggers just bring about memories of people I have grown to resent strongly - mainly things similar to that person or just things that the person really enjoyed. I don't like to watch wrestling, I don't like to watch Dr Who, I don't like listening to particular bands, I don't like any of these things because the people I had strong negative feelings towards were obsessed with those things. Every time I see those things, I just have a strong aversion to them - I can't watch, look or dwell on those things for too long without the strong feelings of bitterness and resentment I hold towards that person flooding back (mostly unresolved issues) It's the same with photographs of that particular person, I just can't bring myself to look at them or even read their name. }}
GARY: Do you consider that an issue or hindrance? Or just accept that it is what it is?
JOE: But having said that, I get some strong positive triggers from listening to music. The other month I found out about a condition known as synaesthesia - "Synesthesia (also spelled synæsthesia or synaesthesia; from the Ancient Greek s syn, "together", and aisthesis, "sensation") is a neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway."
GARY: Interesting! More than interesting really, I just don't find another word.
JOE: I had grown up assuming everybody could "hear colours" - as long as I could remember I just perceived certain songs and tunes as being a particular colour, I would perceive some songs as being purple, some orange and it would trigger strong kaleidoscopes of colours and imagery in my mind. Some songs make me imagine vivid places and fantasy worlds. Some songs do trigger things I thought I had long forgotten about as well. Lately I'm trying to make more of an effort to listen to classical, ambient and world music.
GARY: This is marvelous. I would love to read more of your experiences - and to exchange bodies so I could get first-hand experience of hearing colours. But it would not be an even exchange, as mine would probably seem pretty dull to you.
JOE: Thank you for sharing, I have found your story most fascinating.
GARY: Joe, young people like you give me reason and evidence to feel that humankind will rise from the ashes of its chaos. From your photo I am guessing you are mid to late twenties. I was a seeking of the 'highest truth' from my early teens, yet even into later years was not so advanced (that is not the word, more like 'well-unfolded' but it sounds strange). I also avoid comparisons and just trust you to read between the lines of what I want to say. I love your 'strong positive triggers from listening to music.' Putting emphasis on the positive, on what we choose, is where I am headed. Today I will un-publish much of the old thinking of the Whole Human site so the new has room to flow.