Essay: Advanced And Basic

A few weeks back I met a girl at a bar through a friend of a friend. As we got into talking she explained to me that she was a model. After telling me this I immediately sensed that she was getting defensive and an explanatory onslaught regarding how hard the job was followed. In this barrage she told me that she viewed modeling as acting and that her job is to portray the massive array of human feelings that exists.

She said this in a way which made it seem like she believes there is mystery and something unfathomable about it – portraying all the mysterious and hidden feelings of man. I could in no way disagree with the nature of her job, but I quickly questioned one thing. Is there really that many human emotions? Is it really that mysterious and isn’t this similarity in feelings between humans what makes us able to relate to each other?

The girl agreed with me. That I was probably right, there are not that many emotions a human can experience – but that there are many levels and degrees of those limited emotions and expressing those is a great challenge. I agreed and the evening continued without any revisiting of the subject.

This conversation kept me thinking. I have for some time been contemplating a notion I have that most peoples lives in our day and age is so advanced and still so basic. People engage in what is at least for our planet highly advanced work-activities, but still what we strive for is experiencing basic feel-good emotions produced by the human body. When the NASA-scientist or the tech-developer comes home from work and is finished with conquering the stars for the day, he/she engages in simple activities which man has always pursued for pleasure. Playing with the children, building something, going for a walk, working out – whatever. But in the end, all these simple leisure activities is done because they make you or others, and therefore you, feel good. And the feelings the NASA-scientist is seeking are likely to be the same ones that the garbage man pursues. This is, though, mere speculation based on a comparison of chemicals and physiology and impossible to truly know without having the recollection of having lived another life as another. But the pleasurable human emotions, however one might experience them, are what everyone seeks to be exposed to. Therefore, what is a intriguing to me is not the basic part of peoples life, but the advanced.

On some level it can be argued that the advanced part of peoples lives, for most its their work-life, only serves as a vehicle for acquiring resources which creates freedom to experience good emotions through leisure. Some people, though, spend the advanced part of their life trying to further and better the experience for humans and other living and dying creatures. But even that mission boils down to enabling the experience of pleasurable emotions. If a person sacrifices or devotes him/herself to something, it is usually for the good of others and/or the personal satisfaction altruism brings about. In other words, so good emotions and wellbeing can be experienced in the future.

It is arguable that life in itself has intrinsic value, but is it really worth anything if it is not possible to experience good things from it? Would life be inherently valuable if terror and pain was all that could be experienced? Perhaps the chemicals in our bodies which makes us feel good is why it is worth living. But naturally, if we felt good all the time the good would not be as sweet anymore – Yin and Yang and all that jazz.

I wonder how the model girl I met at a bar through a friend of a friend would portray my feelings on this subject in a photo-shoot. I think getting the levels and subtleties right might be challenging. Though not impossible. She has probably also felt how I feel, but perhaps to a different degree and from another thought.