What is emotion; a feeling? What then is a feeling? These terms are difficult to fully comprehend and define. For thousands of years people have been attempting to understand this phenomenon and will most likely debate it for a thousand more.
The mainstream definition of emotion refers to a state of feeling involving thoughts, physiological changes, and an outward expression or behavior. But what comes first; the thought, the physiological arousal or the behavior?
To paraphrase the question, are we the products of our emotions, or are our emotions a product of ourselves, i.e., our thoughts? This is a very important question, since it speaks to the heart of our basic human anatomy.
Most people think that emotions produce the thoughts which comprise our reality. Yet one of the most revolutionary teachings of Judaism, as elucidated in Chassidic philosophy, is that the common view is wrong. According to Judaism thoughts beget emotions which in turn beget experience.
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