In this post I’m trying to give you a grasp of what we think makes kama muta important. Not just for us humans. But especially for us humans.
In doing so I will try to conceptualize “how kama muta” we humans actually are.
What moves us? Many things, right? A baby’s smile, a love poem, marriage, history, King Jr.’s address to unity, cuteness… even nature? Pretty evident is, indeed, that kama muta – as it is defined as the feeling coming from sudden intensification of a(n) (interpersonal) relation – accompanies many of daily situations. These might be big and intense moments (e.g. marriage) as well as small and content moments (e.g. an old friend from high school days thinking of your birthday and wishing you a happy one).
But why is this feeling important? Our idea of why it is essential to feel kama muta in the first place is that it makes us more of a social animal; to be very strict, it makes us the social animal in the animal kingdom. Kama muta can be understood as a social (relational) emotion. Hence, in its essence kama muta is about facilitation of social relations. These relations are essential for human and make feeling kama muta essential because it recreates and strengthens them. To recap, kama muta’s essentiality comes from facilitating essential social relations, not just between humans but also human and animal or human and nature (e.g. see our post of astronaut xxx).
That makes me, as a human, not just dependent on kama muta as a tool for organizing the relations to others and making others build up relations with me and maintain them. Human is strongly defined and clearly differentiated from other animals by its highly complex social nature and the social structure which is needed for such complexity. A real, if not the biggest, strength of humans is social interconnectivity which arguably brought our species to where it is now.
Concluding, human seems pretty kama muta. In thinking and behavior, and through emotion. Maybe, just maybe, it is this feeling of relational intensification that makes us so human in the first place. That is, it is this feeling of kama muta that makes us crave to be especially caring, especially cooperative and especially trusting. Makes us specially coexisting besides and with each other. Makes us the uniquely social animal we humans are.
On this note, feel moved.