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Emotional intelligence

The social worker came up with it. He had a programme, a questionnaire and two jars of beans. We learned to be cool and consequent.

I thought it would be about emotional awareness and the development thereof.  I thought that in all those years of family life nobody was ever fully conscious about their acute emotions and nobody talked about the growth of emotions.

 As if it could have been a school-subject, a faculty of science or an art: emotional intelligence.

 Or are our emotions born with us, unchangeable, a stagnant inner truth? Are depths of grief or joy always the same, or do they grow up with us?

In any case, emotions take place in the body. Fear, for example is often felt in the solar plexus and sometimes effects the intestines. Of all body parts, the heart renders the most sustainable feeling of  joy. This feeling does not directly involve the movement of the heartbeat alone, but rather spreads out  from the heart evenly and smoothly over the whole body and beyond. It is a continuous expanding movement, spreading like warmth. Wilson Noble wrote a song called  


This song may illustrate its title.                           (click here)

Musical space relates to heartspace by virtue of movement. Music can emulate the expansion of joy felt by a heart. My sister's composition and poem "Der Grundton schwingt" also talk about this phenomenon. I have tried to translate her German poem as best as I could. 

Almost unnoticed, a tone begins,

Quietly moving, a casual round,

Slowly, touching, it constantly sings.

The heart quivers to the swinging sound.


Just now you don’t anticipate what is to come,

The tone’s tempo lingers on.

Yet, throughout piano keys

blows a slight foreboding breeze.


In the depth, dynamic force

Running upwards widths of waves

Follows the tone without haste.

The rhythm fits; the second hand sets in, of course.

Dancing, breathing, and again

Relishing in stillness, the tone sighs

And circles twice

Around the playing hands


The wise one will not be astounded

For love’s culminating sigh.

In the transit to Venus long impounded

All that what sparks between the hearts that fly.


For a few more gasps the tone goes on

 Blithely, when the final chord

 aspirates a lasting word:

“Hold on…”

Sometimes music causes an aesthetic chill, a shiver, where the hair stands up, because something is so beautiful that it touches us.  Bériachvili proposes that the internal necessity for artistic activity is caused by two factors: first, the immaterial ‘we’, the experience of inter-subjective union rooted in the subconscious; and secondly, the union with nature and the outside world. The aesthetic chill relates to the experience of union (Bériachvili, 2016). 


Noble, W. (2015) Heartspace

Bériachvili, G. (2016). : Frisson esthétique : à la recherche d’une explication théorique. IRASM, 47(1), 63-85.

Brandenburger, M. (2019) Der Grundton schwingt

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