A primary business of international neuroscientists, marketers and behaviorists is to perfect the understanding of how feelings and emotions can be used to create behavior. Words and images are the gametes in the incubators that birth public opinion in order to create intentional outcomes.
The ‘intentional outcomes” business is flourishing. Armies of self-interest are paid to produce the research that produces the techniques that produce the movies, the books, the media for the skillful direction of feelings and emotions. It is an old art, as in ancient Greece, “attendance at the theatrical performances in the City Dionysia was considered a civic duty.” …in other words, mandatory attendance if you want to get ahead…
Such theatrics serve the primary requirement within creating intentional outcomes: the emotional experience. Words and images can create fear, complacency, hatred, apathy, dissipation, etc. and as emotions are open through catharsis a physical reaction coupled with emotion provides the optimum state of human vulnerability . This receptive state is when we are introduced to beliefs and concepts we might otherwise never consider as real or valid – like the belief in the inherent nature of competition, or ideas like, “the poor will always be with us” or that the system is too monolithic to challenge.
This outcome is achieved by appealing to our self-interest. Instead of considering what is best for all life in every decision we make, our emotions and feelings direct us to choose that which is best for ourselves – encouraging us to see ourselves in isolation. This is just where the behind-the-scene-sters and marketers want us to be.
Words like “peace” and “hope” are spiritualized, abstracted and linked to passivity and consumption. While “peace” appeals to our natural humanitarian instincts – we rarely ask how to build peace; how to create physical peace.
How do we step out of despondency and redefine peace so it becomes the creation of a world that honors all life?
First: acknowledge we have a natural resistance to change – we like our passivity, otherwise it wouldn’t be such a problem.
Second, because of resistance we have created a limited version of ourselves – we have trouble imagining our potential.
Third: failure to see that our acceptance of the world the way it is perpetuates the world the way it is.
It is up to each of us to stop the automated selves that we have become and to challenge the emotional and feeling states that serve to create a want, a need, or a desire – to see these shackles and remove them one by one, and pronto … because no one is free until we are all free.
 Barbara F. McManus. Professor of Classics at the College of New Rochelle