Fondazione Zoé

Every human being is determined by the relationship and interaction with others.

Among human beings, it is impossible to clearly separate affectivity from the horizon of totality. For us, the former is precisely the radical unity of affectivity and open horizon. Splits always occur at a later time. Then, this sense of affectivity exceeds and integrates the simpler one at the beginning of our survey. This affectivity is brighter, because it includes a limitless look. It is possible to argue that this represents its second interpretation (and enforcement.)

As already evidenced, we can rightly state that the world of emotions is half-way between sensual and spiritual life. In this sense, and in its own way, the world of emotions can be intended as a valuable balance of our existence and also a key litmus test for the state of health of the soul. Conversely: the common experience shows that, as the force of the spirit weakens, emotionality prevails. However, it also shows the opposite situation. In fact, in some cases, the persistent intellectualization depletes the world of emotions and causes its consumption. These two cases tend to result in barely unmanageable “extreme” conditions. Indeed, they lead to actual disorders, arising either from the emotional fragmentation or from emotional indifference. Frequently, these two extreme conditions are observed in the same person.

Now, let us go back to the root of affection, i.e. to its “passivity” (passion) and “activity” (emotion) to get an insight into this issue. As implicitly suggested before, passivity precedes activity, because the active side of affection (the emotion in its strictest sense) follows the “affection.” Actually, without the “affection”, no emotion is possible. If I am not praised, I cannot feel happiness or self-esteem, if I am not (rightly) accused, I cannot feel guilty or undignified. However, being “affected” is not just a matter of the body. It also involves the soul, obviously in a different way.

Considering that passive precedes the passive, the “affection” is the first attribute of a human being. These assumptions become even more evident if we regard human beings as relationships with someone (and something) else, where they depend on the other member of the relationship. In other words, human beings mainly embrace. Thus we reach the third and last level of affection: when we are affected by the world, we can build our relationship. Therefore, the “world of emotions” is symbolically regarded as our actual world, i.e. the world where we live.

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