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Schopenhauer, Arthur - The World as Will and Idea - Memories and emotions



Type of Spiritual Experience


Kommentar: 1802-1882; eigentlich Caroline Wilhelmine Richter,
genannt Medau, auch Medon;  "Schopenhauers ‘Ida’ und
‘Prinzeßchen’. Sie wurde etwa 1820/21 seine Geliebte, wurde
ihm aber gleich nach seiner Abreise zur zweiten Italien-Tour untreu.

Such an apparently simple paragraph and one that may leave some people saying - of course, so what?

But Schopenhauer is trying to show the link between perceptions memories and emotions.

What he is explaining by examples is that a memory is processed subconsciously as well as consciously and provokes a whole raft of functions - autonomic and otherwise over which we have no control.

There are thus transactions....

A description of the experience

The World as Will and Idea – Arthur Schopenhauer

After that, suppose that some incident should reawaken the memory of an insult or injury suffered long ago, at once anger and bitterness invade the breast that was tranquil till this moment.

But then arises, invoked by chance, the image of a beloved woman long lost, and with this image the whole romance and its scenes of enchantment are associated; then that anger will at once yield to profound longing and melancholy.

Finally, if we are overtaken by the memory of some humiliating incident, we flinch, we would like to disappear into the ground, we blush with shame, and often try forcibly to distract and divert our thoughts by some loud exclamations, as if to dispel these evil spirits

The source of the experience

Schopenhauer, Arthur

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