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Empathy and Plants

Posted Jan. 11, 2021, 9:30 a.m. by Ensign Tabris Asam (Engineering Officer) (Brian Richards)

Posted by Lieutenant Junior Grade Sharah Fayth (Chief Science Officer) in Empathy and Plants

Posted by Ensign Tabris Asam (Engineering Officer) in Empathy and Plants

Posted by Lieutenant Junior Grade Sharah Fayth (Chief Science Officer) in Empathy and Plants
Posted by… suppressed (3) by the Post Ghost! 👻
(snip)
“Oh wow…I…Hmmm… I don’t know. I’m not sure El-Aurians empathy works the same. But I can try. And your parents weren’t wrong…empathy is like really good intuition, but it’s also the ability to not just read the body language but you FEEL it too. For me it’s like I have two bodies. My own, that has my own emotions and feelings, but then a second body and I feel like my own but I know the feelings belong to that other body. I’m sure that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Strong emotions are easier to pick up because there is so much power or force behind them. Like…I could hear your memory of talking to Vedi. I could also feel you felt his fear and sadness. Did you recognize that? At the time, that you felt his emotions? Think about it and see if you can tell the difference.”
Lt jg Fayth, CSO

Tabris thought deeply about what Sharah had said regrading the two bodies. He didn’t feel the same but couldn’t describe it easily. “So it’s weird it’s like I can feel what I feel right? But with Vedi I just felt my own emotions get pushed to the back of my head, like I was feeling what he felt mostly, and what I felt before was a memory that I was trying to recall. It comes in flashes for me, like I can’t easily ‘tell’ what you’re feeling right now but if you’re feeling strongly I’ll get flashes of it.”

Tabris Asam, Eng

Sharah nodded, “That makes sense. And how each person describes it, isn’t wrong or right. Just unique. And it may be that your empathy only picks up very strong emotions, but maybe not.” She looks around the arboretum and there are several other people, which she knew because she could feel and hear them. “Okay so you said that it’s like your emotions are more pushed to the back like a memory? Can you try and do that? Try and push your own emotions to the side? And see what fills that space?”
Lt. jg Fayth, CSO

Tabris closed his eyes and pushed his eyelids like he was concentrating hard on a math problem or something similar. “Ok, so let me try to do that” Tabris said as he breathed quietly and forced his mind to push out those feelings of his own, trying to focus on logic and factual information to make sure that his mind was open to the possibilities. He felt his memories being pushed back to that faded place while it was taken over by various blips. Excitement, joy, sadness, sorrow, determination, focus, nothing he could pinpoint and he couldn’t tell from where it was coming. He opened his eyes and breathed heavily as he tried to push his own emotions to the front, it was difficult but he got there, coupled with a wonderful powerful headache. He held his head and and rubbed his temples. “Oh heavens......”

Tabris Asam, Eng

Sharah ‘listened’ but she didn’t probe, she felt Tabris’s own feelings fading in intensity but had no way of knowing what he felt. She felt the headache though and pushed herself above it quickly so as to not get trapped there. “Stay here Tabris, I’ll be right back.” She left and returned quickly. She set a cup of hot tea in front of him. “Drink it while it’s hot. The doctor on my last ship was very fond of teas for medicinal purposes. This will help with the immediate pain and then help you relax to prevent mental strain.”

After he had finished she gave him a glass of ice water, “Sip slowly after the heat of the tea, but it will help with dehydration. We are all usually slightly dehydrated and so that can make the headache worse. So this will help.”

She watched him carefully wishing she had a tricorder with her, but his color was okay and his eyes dilating like they should. “So that was actually very good. After a moment I couldn’t feel your emotions but very faintly so you were able to push them aside. What did you feel?”
Lt jg Fayth, CSO

Tabris groaned a little, this headache was like nothing he had ever felt before. It came from the depths of his mind and radiated outward. He nodded when Sharah left to grab something. While she was gone blips still came in, softer though but still there, a few people were happy a few were content. As Sharah returned and handed him the tea he sipped at it and smiled a little, “It tastes of mint and lavender, it’s very lovely”. Sipping at the cup he closed his eye again and made an attempt to force his emotions back to the front, “This is unlike anything I’ve ever felt, it’s like it hurts at the very core of my mind.” He said as he finished the cup and took the glass of water. “Thank you” He said as he drank it slowly but thoughtfully.

Sharah nodded, “That is probably the part of your brain that process your empathy. First I want you to stop trying to push your emotions back to the top. Relax and stop trying. They will move back into place on their own and it won’t hurt as much as you trying to force it. The second thing stop trying to grab at the emotions. I can feel you reaching out and trying to grab them. Don’t focus on what’s there just let them slip by. It will take time before you can read specific people or things.”

“So I tried to focus on logic and facts and such, make myself almost Vulcan in a way so that I didn’t feel my emotions right?” Tabris said as he took a breath and exhaled, “I felt blips of emotion, I felt excitement, joy, sadness, sorrow, determination, focus, but I couldn’t focus on anyone in particular, and I couldn’t tell you who felt what. I just know that it felt like someone had flashed a bright light in my eyes, it was kid of like that.”

Tabris Asam, Eng

Sharah shook her head. “Nope. I studied with Vulcans. And though their logic does have a certain appeal it’s counter productive to what you are doing. You are focusing on logic and a lack of emotion, while trying to feel and accept others emotions.” Sharah listened to his description of what he felt. “That’s very good Tabris, that is exactly what’s in this room. I think maybe you should try some meditation. But don’t focus on logic and facts, simply concentrate on knowing your own emotions and then let them go. It’s hard but it’s a good place to start and if you feel someone else recognize it and let it slip away. Don’t try to hold onto it.”
Lt. jg Fayth, CSO

Tabris rubbed his temples and said, “This is all very hard to wrap my head around I have to say.” He smiled a little as he tried to center himself, “Ok, so don’t think of logic and lack of emotion. Got it.” He said as he focused inward on what he was thinking. There was so much though floating around in his head and Sharah would be sure to pick up on it as he sat there, an almost meta-analysis of himself was unique to say the least in this regard. “Ok so I can’t focus on someone in particular? I don’t seem to be getting anything when I do that, it feels like I’m in a soup of emotions and feelings.”

Tabris Asam, Eng

Sharah kept her voice very light so that he could hear her but not jar him from his meta analysis. And Tabris was an engineer at heart so maybe a little technical application was in order. “Soup. I like that. Okay so each emotion would be a different ingredient. Start with your own. What are you feeling? Frustration might be red pepper, happiness a carrot, anger a tomato, etc. Assign each of your own feelings to an ingredient.”

What am I feeling… the words echoed in his mind as he felt overwhelmed by red peppers and ham. Ham was confusion, and he didn’t know why ham was his first choice but he would roll with it. There was something else too but it was hard to pick out. It was a subtle flavor, a sprinkle of smoked paprika he thought as the self doubt crept into his mind only balanced by carrots of happiness for finally doing what he could to figure out his empathy.

Sharah was not trying to listen, she never did, but guide him to figure it out on his own. She recognized the emotions she felt and they would compare notes after.

She let him do this for several minutes. “Now pick one and see if you can feel it in the room.”. Now Sharah dug deep into her own reserves, recalling when Andrew, her brother, had come home from the Academy to visit. She had been ecstatically happy for him to be home. She held onto that feeling and its intensity. If Tabris was tuned into his empathy enough he would also feel the intense fear that had followed that moment, though that wasn’t her intension to ‘test’ him. Also around the room were feelings of frustration, pride, love, and determination.
Lt jg Fayth, CSO

Tabris nodded and said ,”I’ll focus on those carrots.” He said softly as he tried to mentally picture and focus on the carrot. The sweetness, the color, the texture, using it as a rock to see if he could ‘feel’ carrots around the room. He did his best not to reach out and to let the carrots come to him. He felt the flash of orange from Sharah before it turned to something else, a potato of fear that hit him like a wave and he reeled a bit. There were other things, he did feel the red pepper but the rest seemed to be just a strange mixture of flavors and textures he couldn’t identify. “This soup analogy is working but hard to keep track of.”

Tabris Asam, Eng

Sharah knew that feeling, and he might pick up on a sense of bittersweet or sadness. “Don’t keep track. Recognize it as your own or not your own, what feeling it is and let it pass by. You simply want to identify the ingredient, name it and move on.” She let him continue until he was ready to stop. He would know if he was overwhelmed or okay. When he was done she asked him again what he had sensed in the room.
Lt jg Fayth, CSO

Tabris took a breath, working to just let his mind act like a scanner, simply identifying what was in front of it but not focusing on it. “Carrot. Potato. Coriander. Red Pepper. Curry.” He stopped and took another breath, letting his head hang slightly as he thought. “I don’t even know what a few of those are, but that was the ‘flavor’ I guess I tasted? Oh this is really overwhelming isn’t it to begin with.”

Tabris, Eng


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