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The Ascendancy of Hope (Tone Scale)

The only way to take control of your life, raise your standard of living and move beyond merely surviving is to create your own unique product or service that you offer to increasing numbers of people in exchange for the things of value that you desire. This simple formula applies to countries as well as people. A self-sufficient economy has its own products or services of value to export to the world. Similarly, a self-sufficient individual has something of value to exchange in the global marketplace. That thing of value is based on your natural talent, skill, or interest—in other words, your passion!

The listless man in apathy
indifferent, cold and numb
must find his hope in grief
or else is doomed soon to succumb

The man who’s lost in sadness
seeking sympathy through tears
will gain a sense of purpose
with a focus for his fears

The fearful man knows anger
is his best hope to recharge
So focuses his venom
on an enemy at large

The angry man once foeless
becomes to all who seem a threat:
An all-around antagonist
in search of all bad debt

The habit-bound combatant
in this war he soon will tire
And will ascend to boredom
once he’s rid of all his ire

The bored man needs an interest
that will steer his new-found life.
Contented he’ll become
but still conservative to strife

The careful man, conservative
needs passion to be free.
For this alone reclaims
the charmed and childlike way to be!

One of the most interesting things I've discovered in my research into human states and emotions is the concept of the tone scale. Most people view emotional states as random and haphazard and unrelated. In other words, they view happiness as a distinct emotion from, say, boredom. The tone scale shows, however, that emotions are, in fact, related in a hierarchy. In other words, your emotional state at any given moment is part of a continuum.

The tone scale recognizes about 50 different emotional states and assigns a numeric value to each. The exact names used for each emotion and the corresponding numbers are less important than the simple awareness of the hierarchy itself and the relative positions of each state.

Here are some of the key emotional states and their values in descending/deteriorating order:

Serenity (40.0)
Enthusiasm (4.0)
Conservatism (3.0)
Contentment (2.8)
Boredom (2.5)
Antagonism (2.0)
Anger (1.5)
Fear (1.0)
Grief (.5)
Apathy (.05)

Here's what this means. A person who is in apathy, when his tone is improved, feels grief. A person in grief, when her tone improves, feels fear. A person in fear, when his tone improves, feels anger. A person in anger, when her tone improves, feels antagonism. A person in antagonism, when his tone improves, feels boredom. When a person in boredom improves her tone, she is enthusiastic. When an enthusiastic person improves his tone, he feels serenity.

A person deprived of his or her freedom and/or self-determinism, will descend progressively from enthusiasm, to conservatism, to boredom, to antagonism, to anger, to fear to grief and then to apathy. Any person who’s dealt with children has observed that children restrained against their will, deprived of their favorite toy or activity or denied a request quickly devolve from their usual cheery selves into tantrum-throwing, fearful, then grief-stricken and eventually complacent, apathetic beings. In fact, you can even observe this downshift in a child’s overall growth over years as he/she moves through an educational system and/or a society that seeks to restrict individuality, freedom and self-determinism at every turn. The shift from one state to another may be indiscernible, but there’s no mistaking that there are phases in how people respond to life’s never-ending stream of bumps, pains and freedom-depriving dictates.

The good news is that this hierarchy of emotional states represents a natural scale for anyone who seeks to understand human behavior and lift themselves or others out of one state into another and eventually back to their original childlike state of enthusiasm. The thing to know, however, is that it is virtually impossible to lift someone from one emotional state to another state two or more rungs up the ladder. A person who is fearful, for example, must be communicated with on that level, and can be moved only by appeals to the next level on the scale. (i.e. anger)

For example, the way to motivate a fearful person is to speak to that fear and then give them something to be angry (anger is one level above fear) about. This may come in handy, say, if you’re the leader of a country whose citizens are in a state of fear. You can get elected or re-elected by giving them a scapegoat or some enemy to focus their anger towards. Hard to believe, but it’s been done!

On a relationship level, an understanding of your partner’s or your own emotional state relative to this scale can help you see whether he, she, you and the relationship as a whole is improving or worsening.

Your emotional state is directly related to the level of freedom of movement and self-determinism you have in your life. That’s why it is important for you to do the things and seek the lifestyle that empowers and frees you. You will be emotionally healthy and successful to the exact degree that the life you lead allows you the freedom to live your passion!

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Until next time, remember, success is a journey, not a destination!-Walt


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