Whorehouse / 568
The other cheek
Hector Cortés Mandujano
The first thing Pablo Fernández-Berrocal does in Emotional intelligence Learn to manage emotions (Emse Edapp-Editorial Salvat, 2019) is to clarify that the term was not invented by Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional intelligence, a book that has been sweeping sales since 1995. He does not give Goleman’s text any scientific character; it is rather (p. 17) “a journalistic text of scientific dissemination”.
The scientists who coined the term are Peter Salovey and John Mayer who, in 1990, named it that way, based on pioneering ideas about (p. 18) “social intelligence, multiple intelligences, and research on emotion and cognition”.
Already Howard Gardner, in the 70s, spoke of eight intelligences; within them, the interpersonal and the intrapersonal, which (p. 19) “would be the most directly connected with emotional intelligence and would form what he designates as ‘personal intelligences’”.
For Salovey and Mayer (p. 26) “emotional intelligence is a genuine intelligence based on the adaptive use of emotions to solve problems and adapt effectively to the environment”, and is proposed as a set of four skills or branches, which the book explains in detail (p. 26): 1. Perception, evaluation and expression of emotions; 2. The facilitating thought emotion; 3. Understanding and analysis of emotions: emotional awareness; and 4. Regulation of emotions.
I really liked the epigraphs that Fernández-Berrocal uses as the beginning of chapters or within his essay discourse. This is from Albert Einstein (p. 7): “Two things are infinite: human stupidity and the universe; and I’m not sure about the latter ”; this one from Oscar Wilde (p. 75): “There are people who cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they leave ”; and this one from Albert Camus (p. 83): “In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there is an invincible summer.”
He talked to the beasts, the fish and the birds (Tusquets, 1999), by Konrad Lorenz (1903-1989), Nobel Prize in Medicine 1973, is a collection of essays, whose title alludes to what King Solomon was supposed to do, and which deal precisely with what Konrad he did in his deep love for animals.
In “Something that can never cause harm: an aquarium” he speaks of the absorbed contemplation of the movement of fish (p. 36): “If I could put on one of the plates of a scale everything that I gained in perception in these hours of meditation before the aquarium and what the books taught me, surely the second dish would rise to the clouds ”.
There are several birds that speak, but he tells in “The Ring of King Solomon” (p. 117): “Otto Koehler, who has achieved the greatest successes in the scientific training of birds, who has known how to educate pigeons and make them know how to count up to six, he also tried to teach his parrot ‘Vulture’ – already mentioned as a bird of great aptitude – to say ‘eat’ when he was hungry, or ‘water’ if he was thirsty. He did not succeed, and no one else has been able to achieve something similar. ” Birds have their own language and understand each other only.
In a certain comparison that he makes between humans and animals, in “Our little Martina”, we lose out (pp. 128-129): “The stupid laugh of modern civilized men, who do not even have time to acquire a true culture, is something completely strange to animals. Even bees and ants, symbols of industriousness, spend most of the day in the ‘dolce far niente’; What happens is that then the very ladinos are not seen, because they remain inside their buildings, where they do not work. Animals should not be in a hurry ”.
In “Listen to me and don’t buy any finches,” says Lorenz (p-142): “When I enter the room of a person who is fond of plants and I see that all of them are developing well, I know that I have found a spiritual brother. I cannot tolerate dying plants in my room, even if they do so slowly ”.
He also says that in nature the song of a bird may sound sweet and soft; however (p. 151), “when a male thrush or nightingale unleashes his song inside a room, the window panes begin to vibrate, and the coffee service dances on the table.”
In “Compassion for Animals” he talks about eagles (p. 157): “The truth is that all birds of prey are very stupid animals compared to songbirds or parrots. By the way, the golden eagle, the ‘eagle’ of our mountains and of our poets, is one of the most stupid, even more so than any poultry ”.
In “Morals and Weapons” Lorenz affirms that peaceful animals, in certain circumstances, are more savage than aggressive ones: a lovebird, locked up with another, can slowly pluck and kill its companion; the deer are careful to put the horns on their rivals (another deer or a human), but then their collisions are powerful and piercing. The wolves, on the other hand, fight until the one who feels defeated offers the other his neck as a sign of peace. The other could take that vulnerable part and kill him. But it does not (p. 181): “A wolf has taught me: you must offer the other cheek to your enemy not so that he can hurt you again, but to make it impossible for him to continue hurting you.” I don’t know if it will work with humans.
In the introduction without data of the author of the Poetic anthology (Planet, 1999), by Goethe, it is said that the work of this German genius (p. 11) “is a strenuous effort to ensure that intelligence and order occupy the first place of literary creation, freed from chance and chaos”.
Not many poems caught my attention, but the one entitled “Happy welcome and farewell” did. It is a nocturnal poem and it says in one verse (p. 86): “The night looked at me with a hundred black pupils.” I also liked the image of a tree, dressed in a cape: “An oak with its cloak of fog”.
Finally, Goethe writes about the difference between loving and being loved (p. 87): “What great happiness to be loved! / But to love, oh gods, what misfortune!”.
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The other cheek