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Reflexes

The right emotion involves the body’s muscles and nerves…The left emotion, however, is controlled by information from the heart…Dr. Carl Stevens (Divine Resources for Healing p.9)\  This (two emotions) concept originates from a Bible phenomena where emotions are referred to as “bowels,” “reins”, and “kidneys”metonyms all.

Early psychology recognized, and eastern medicine still distinguishes, emotions attached to and represented by various body organs.

W. James as referenced from “Baker’s Encyclopedia of Psychology p.353” stated that “emotions are reflexes” They arise as a result of stimuli that have symbolic meaning to the individual. Since emotions are compound reflexes, they normally possess the properties of all reflexes: they can be

  1. Facilitated (made to flow easier) or
  2. Occluded (their flow is cut).
  3. They sum-mate (peak out),
  4. Graded in intensity, and
  5. Subject to fatigue.”

More recent psychology has explored also the cognitive aspect of emotional stimulation.

Going along with W. James’ theory, thoughts and words also are symbols which produce meaning. Consequently they can be an invigorating source for emotions and this kindles the idea that all thoughts and ideas have their own emotion attached.

Pushing it deeper, almost always memories conjure up feelings, and this connection is not difficult for our understanding. In contrast we observe; certain feelings also summon up memories. The two seem unified.

My home town, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, distinguishes itself by its smell, and I don’t mean that negatively. When I visit there, many memories well up. It relates to seeing things again, but also feeling them with sense and sentiment. For instance when I smell Pittsburgh I am time-traveled into a former life; a 5 o’clock supper with potatoes, mashed or scalloped, vegetables buttered, and animal protein variegated by sort and preparation. Aromas of Halushki, Gowumpki, and Pierogi rise and are gotten a whiff of. Special treats of dessert fill the senses; lemon meringue pie, pineapple upside-down cake, cut-out cookies, blackberry pie.

Unfortunately, many negative events re-emerge from my teen and young adult times. These take me on an emotional journey downward, showing my human-wiring;  but what of this stuff? The same dreadful feelings, and regret, and guilt; it’s like I was 16 years old again. At once I am angry, and hating the face of living, and repelling any means of progress for fear.

Dr. Smith of our last post tied emotions to the wounding process also. In fact he referred to

  1. Emotional pain,
  2. Memory,
  3. Lies

as three ingredients of wounds.

Lies? Yes, how much of the past is really true; how much of it exists a contrived concept plaguing our present and future?

How then does emotional healing occur? According to our model we must say that lies change when corrected by truth, memories erase or at least fade to the periphery, but what of the emotional pain?

The next chapter in this book tells the story of Jesus the Christ affecting the healing work in historical finality. What was that work? He shed His blood and died.

He took on the identity of the whole human race as He carried out His Father’s will. Yes, when Christ died, we died. This is God’s solution for mankind, to bring about our death, but spare us the trauma by dying for us in proxy; representing, but also replacing us.

In simplicity this dying removes the effects of lies, removes the past, and crucifies my bodily and mentally sourced emotions. Yes, it removes the wound with one fatal sweep. Burial follows and places all of the above out of sight forever.

Jesus rose from the dead as our representative too, and with Him the brand spanking new man. So, here emerges the other emotion, also a strain of new, and this one finds roots and spring in a believing man’s new heart of Ezekiel 36:26. When this new heart fills with Bible truth, Spirit and Word motivate our emotions and the Bible teaches that out of the belly will flow rivers of living water, John 7:38 The new emotions love and respond to truth. love ya

Tom Sliva

Tom Sliva

Born in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, Pastor Sliva went to Bible college in Massachusetts at the Stevens School of the Bible in !982. He and his family moved to Baltimore in1987 to be a part of Greater Grace World Outreach. From there, he served in Prescott, Arizona, and Indianapolis, Ind. Ordained upon his return to Baltimore in 1995, Pastor Sliva was afflicted with brain cysts in the late 90's and stayed at home base until his recovery in 2002. He then assisted with ministries in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh before resettling in Baltimore due to his son's sudden illness and death. Pastor Sliva is a colon cancer survivor. He has been part of the Pastoral Care Team since 2008 and leads the Grief Share group at Greater Grace Church. Read more from Pastor Sliva on his blog Healing at the Cross.
Tom Sliva

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Comment(1)

  1. Reply
    Elizabeth says

    P. Tom, ‘Reflexes’ made me think of connections…how people connect their experiences, emotions (good or bad). Recent health experts, doctors, have connected people who have Alzheimer’s with familiar scents from their past to help them remember… & have been successful. They have opened up Alzheimer patients’ pathways (connections) in the brain. (And these same patients actually experience emotions with these fragrances…both being connected to their past. The ‘Awakening of Alzheimer’s’ is particularly informative. My connection… 1st & foremost… is my identity to the Cross life ‘He spared us the trauma by dying for us removing our mentally sourced emotions, lies.’ From the moment I am born again I am receiving His emotions! Thankyou.

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