Nor – as already stated above – can we separate and in that sense distinguish emotion entirely from cognition (or feeling from thinking) since both are so evidently linked and bound up inextricably with physical and physiological as well as with mental processes. Both brain and body – albeit acting in a complex and still incompletely understood ways – contribute to both the experience and the expression of emotion. In short emotions are absolutely essential to us in fixing our identities as human beings.
Motivation is also a familiar term but one which, nevertheless is far less well understood. Indeed, it has, at times, been thought of and treated almost as an emotion in its own right, which, of course, it is not. Once again, we will be assisted by returning to the derivation of the word, also in fact from “movere” but this time, in the sense of its related meaning, “to set in motion”. In reality, motivation provides the link between feeling and action. Where the brain and the body attend to a given stimulus, it is motivation that assesses the need and provides the energy required.
One noted theorist*· has also resorted to the ‘pyramid’ in order to explain his theory of “pyramidal organisation of motivational needs”. At its base, i.e. the broadest part, lie the basic biological needs, successively rising to the need for self-actualisation at the pinnacle of the pyramid. Several sub-circuits in the brain are involved in the connection between motivation and emotion, some of which supersede others in communicating between the primary senses, i.e. sight, smell, hearing etc., and key internal sites within the body. It is motivation then which – sometimes in an instant – weighs our pro and anti feelings and determines what (if any) action should be taken. (Hopefully once again, it is easy to see how memory, language and perception are all heavily implicated in emotion; and motivation and their joint drive, to action. The converse of motivation is, of course, apathy and where this amounts to a disorder, it too can be shown to possess a neurological basis. In terms of the latter, it is regarded as a malfunctioning of motivational circuits within the brain, affecting attitude and behaviour).
In conclusion we have, once again, been made acutely aware of the impossibility of separating brain from body or body from mind and – as we shall see (if we have not already begun to do so) – spirit. May be at moments when you are, perchance, prone to wonder about the need to rehearse the relationships between certain emphases on the physical, biochemical, neurological, mental and mind and spirit, hopefully you will remember this. (C) SB.