The Creation story actively explores the intention of emotion within Jonah’s mental landscape. It observes how coming into contact with certain people evoke strong mental vibrations that expose many of his intentions, projections, and tendencies. What are these mental vibrations? They are emotions.
What are emotions and why do we have them? Jonah suspects that they are the stimuli our spirit gives our mind to its feel of what is happening in our world, and therefore is linked to our spiritual and psychological sensing of the world. They are a form of language, informing our mind of our unique perspective of reality.
But why do emotions often times emerge convoluted and unclear? The reasons are manifold, but metaphorically similar to how sickness of the ears will dull our reception of noise, and sickness of the eyes will dim our reception of light; so mental sickness warps our reception and understanding of emotion. For example, if I am constantly projecting into the future worrying about my state in life, including finances and relationships, then I lesser my capacity to appreciate the present moment and miss out on a certain luster and clarity of being. The mind often becomes distracted from the reality of the moment, focused instead on concerns that don’t directly influence the moment.
Emotions communicate to the mind in a form of language (as a signifier). If we have prior mental projections onto how I should feel, how I’m going to feel, or how I want to feel, then the information coming through will be warped and our movements will feel rigid (conversely we may shine a spotlight on a single emotion, giving it all power and losing ourselves to it as in a type of trance, like a moth flying into a lamp).
By keeping our mental landscape clean and processed, like the Buddhist concept of the beginners mind, we then receive our emotions as another sense that informs ourselves about our current circumstance and relationship to the world. Just as we can sharpen our senses of smell, taste, and sight, we can also hone our sense of emotion.
All senses have a strong attachment to memory, (obviously so, since memories are initially composed of sensory data) though emotions seem to have an especially strong adhesion to memory. While growing up my father often iterated the idiom, people remember most how you made them feel. Emotion becomes imprinted into our memories, and unlike sight or touch which is imagined in the mind's eye, conjured up memories can actually evoke the emotion of that time.
Also, unlike all other senses, our emotions towards memories change as we continually develop, changing the actual shape of our memories. For example, a recent memory of being beaten up by a bully can evoke fear in a child, anger in an adolescent, and then nostalgia in an adult. Simply put, the way we emotionally reinterpret memories forever alter them in our mind. This is important to know because memory is one of the primary buttresses of our sense of self, and thus contribute to how we act in each novel moment. By impressing new emotions onto old memories, we effectively change who we are (a powerful tool for anyone trying to evoke self-transformation).
Throughout the Creation story Jonah tries to objectively observe his own emotional patterns, especially in how his emotional responses correlate to certain people. Trying to strip himself of projections that stem from past wishes, he actively dives into the past, hoping to reinterpret his experiences in lieu of new knowledge.