There are some quotes, but certainly not all, that I agree with from the brilliant-minded scientist, Steven Hawkins. Here’s one for starters:
Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.
I think that the quote above is a fabulous quote. Being curious about what makes people, as well as the universe, ‘tick’ sets you on a voyage of discovery. I believe we are made to explore, to wonder and to discover. Our brains thrive on these any many more curiosities. So I echo again, Hawkins’s last sentence, “Be curious.”
Why the title of this post then? The words that are the title of this post are taken from Jane Hawkins quoting what her husband, Steven had said to her. In other words, Steven Hawkins was reported as saying to Jayne that her emotions were her fatal, irrational flaw in her character.
What makes this even more sad is that fact that Jane bore the brunt of her husband’s anger and frustration. She was his nurse and constant support, self-sacrificing her life in full support of his. Steven could devote his extraordinary mind to exploring the wonders of the universe and not the wonders of his wife.
It wasn’t just Hawkins who was frustrated with his wife’s ‘flaw’. Jane’s parents-in-law are quoted as saying:
We don’t really like you, Jane. You do not fit into our family.
Hawkins’s family would sit around the dinner table and not talk. It seems that it was a cold, emotionless family. A ‘Mr Spock’ family that saw emotions in a negative way and had to be repressed. Repression is a very dangerous, damaging practice and it will eat you away from the inside the more you are unwilling to deal with it or denying it’s happened.
The irony of Hawkins expressing that Jane’s emotion was a flaw in her character (remember, that emotional ‘flaw’ meant that she was his nurse and constant carer both at home and when he toured the world, as a much sought after speaker) is that he often demonstrated uncontrolled anger in his awful treatment of Jane. He couldn’t manage his emotions because he’d never learnt to helpfully manage his emotions. He’d never learnt to helpfully manage his emotions because his family had never learnt to effectively manage their emotions. He had no effective role model, as a child and when growing up. He was ‘taught’ to repress his emotions. Repression isn’t effective management: it’s destructive and it invariably leads to explosive expression in teenage or adult life.
I am writing a book that explains that you must learn to mange your emotions, otherwise they will control you. You can’t control your emotions because they are vastly more powerful. They are creative and they powerful. Too powerful for the brain to control. It can, however, manage the emotion. If you want to know how to learn to manage your emotion, and why trying to control or repress them is both pointless and deeply damaging, please contact me.
Steven Hawkins was right about one thing in the quote, though. Emotions are irrational. Emotions stem from the Emotional Brain and its role is to keep you safe and secure and give creativity and spontaneity in abundance. Its role is not to think and make sense. That is the role of the Thinking Brain. The Emotional Brain is irrational. It is emotional. It is, however, vital for living a healthy, happy life. Without the Emotional Brain making decisions just don’t feel right. Creative brilliance is beyond our reach since creativity is the realm of the Emotional Brain. Without the Emotional Brain there would simply be no joy in eating a gourmet meal, there would be no awe when gazing on a stunning sunset, and there would be no true wonder at all. There is a world of difference between watching a stunning sunset and being physically moved by it. I want to be physically moved by the wonders of our planet and universe. I hope you do too.
Your emotions are part of you. They give the “Yes!” feel that cannot come from the Thinking Brain. By the way, your emotions aren’t you. They are not who you are. Emotions are expressions. Emotions are outcomes to stimuli if you’d like, although I realise that sounds somewhat cold. Put simply, you are not an emotional person; you are a person who expresses emotion. Or not.
I wonder what amazing discoveries in the universe Steven Hawkins would have discovered if his emotions had been in partnership with his incredible Thinking Brain? I think it’s worth noting too that Jane is no longer his wife.