"This perspective-taking, being able to see the world from the point of view of another, is one of the central elements of empathy, and Holmes raises it to the status of an art.

Usually, when we think of empathy, it evokes feelings of warmth and comfort, of being intrinsically an emotional phenomenon. But perhaps our very idea of empathy is flawed. The worth of empathy might lie as much in the ‘value of imagination’ that Holmes employs as it does in the mere feeling of vicarious emotion.

[...]

There is a profound cognitive leap that we are able to make. It starts with egocentricity and the world ‘as it is to me’. It lands on other-centredness and the world ‘as it is for you’. Divorce empathy from emotion – let’s call it a sterilised empathy – and you have the seedbed of logical reasoning and creative thought. Empathy and creativity share an important, even essential feature: to be creative, just as to be empathetic, we must depart from our own point of view. We must see things not as they are but as they might be. And the value of that ability extends far beyond the simple fact that some of our neurons light up when we see someone else suffering – or that we feel compelled to help when we commiserate with another human being, be he alive or fictional."


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Siavash Siavash (@Siavash) Pinned comment
Yes Mr. Amin. We discussed it on your previous blog. It is commonly called "Emotional intelligent". It is ability to travel outside of ourselves and see the world from the other angle. To see the wold from the eyes of someone else. Empathy had been described as "Putting yourself in someone else shoe". That is also called "Emotional intelligence". People who are emotionally smart will be able to see other person's point of view. They're able to feel the pain or pleasure of others.
On contrary, people who are "Emotionally dumb" are NOT able to travel outside of themselves and see the world from the other person's point of view. They're wrapped in their small, tiny world which is mostly vicious and promotes hate than love and forgiveness. Unfortunately, there is not that much research in this area. Similarly, there is NOT that much research in the area of "Ethic and Morality". After Kohlberg's stages of Moral Development, No other research had been done in the subject matter. Kohlberg research is admirable because he expanded his work to the third wold countries such as Vietnam and Turkey. Kohlberg concluded that morality in third world countries doesn't go beyond stage 1 or 2. Morality in third world countries run from religion believes, NOT family values. Based on what we see in Kohlberg's theory, we may conclude that people from third wold country are NOT emotionally smart. That could be the reason their political system have some kind of the dictatorship throughout the centuries. Of course, that is only my hypothesis at this stage. Like I said before, the more research needs to be done.
Gestalt Therapy or Chair technique is best kind of practice to improve our "empathy". To improve that journey from outside of ourselves. Chair technique was widely used in Psychotherapy back in 70's. In that, one chair represents ourself. It is called "Under Dog". "Top dog" is a chair represents other person. Once the person sits on the "Top Dog" chair, he/she should express the view of another person and once he/she sits on the "Under dog" chair, he/she represents him or herself. Simultaneously change the chair between top dog and under dog or expressing both point of views make the individual gain "Insight". Discourse or dialog between top dog and underdog make us to see the world from other person's angle. It make us to be able to travel outside of ourself. This technique is very powerful. It promises highly in term of clinical improvement at "Parent-Child problem".
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said Saïd Amin (@said) Pinned comment
I feel great inspiration when talking/listening to people who have a flexible and imaginative mind. From what I have observed in my own life, they also tend to be some of the least judgmental people I know.
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Siavash Siavash (@Siavash) Pinned comment
Well.... well... well...
If some one cut his hand and start bleeding, the people who are standing close by try to provide some kind of help. They try to stop the bleeding or helpful as much as possible.
How about "Emotional bleeding" ? Rarely people provide help once some one bleeding emotionally.. People can NOT see the emotionally bleeding but they can see if some one cutting the hand. So may be that is the reason NO research has ever done on emotional stage of development. Bleeding from cutting hand leads to physical death if help doesn't get provided, yet Emotional bleeding leads to suicide.
Almost all the people who attempted suicide at one time their life, years later they confessed that they didn't want to die, they just wanted to stop the pain. They meant "Emotional pain".
Freud did a heck of a good job to created development of sexuality from infancy to adulthood. He called it sexual energy or "Libido". He said it starts from oral, then sexual energy travels to Anal, finally it concentrate on genital part.
Jean Piaget also did a good job in terms of development of intelligent from infancy throughout adulthood. Piaget based his clinical observation on his grand children.
Kohlberg did a comprehensive research on the area of Moral development. His work is outstanding and remarkable due to his cross cultural research.
Unfortunately once it comes to emotions, we have nothing handy to discuss.
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