The former post on Duality touches on emotion a bit, in fact using the word twenty-one times. However the focus of that post is to highlight the duality of all things using our emotions as the observed duality.
What I want to talk about in this article is how we can better understand ourselves through our own experience of emotions, and what that understanding can do for us. I have said to my family, my friends, and even strangers that I believe emotions are not inherently part of us even though they may feel like extensions of us. More clearly I believe that emotions, although coming from somewhere inside our being, are actually more similar to outside factors like viruses, weather, accidents, etc. This idea has not only delivered me from some of the most intense and unbearable emotions, it taught me how to more clearly use my tools of perspective and acceptance to better my understanding of myself and existence around me.
Emotions as a Choice.
Think about it. You do not choose to experience an emotion. Anger overtakes you, sadness overwhelms you. You don’t choose to endeavor those emotions, they come to you. Some people may disagree as the phrase “Happiness is a choice,” is one I have heard and read on more than one occasion. While I do not disagree with this, I believe that to simplify an emotion down to choice does a great disservice to those who are chronically enveloped by unwanted emotion. That phrase implies that we can simply choose not to feel those emotions, which every human would understand as a fundamental fallacy. In this blog’s second post, almost a year and a half ago, we looked at happiness as something that requires practice and dedication, as a way to detach the idea of choice, and replace it with the idea of practicing. I chose the title “Happiness: Don’t Chase It, Practice It” because it made sense to me that we are not actually choosing a different emotion like happiness, but seeking to practice ways to extract or experience other emotions more regularly which is well within our right and power as a being.
That is still not the point of this article. The intention of the words in this post are to give a deeper dive into our emotions and allow us to more confidently and thoroughly understand ourselves. As written above, emotions happen to us, they are not something we have direct control over, however, what we do or how we act once they do happen to us is what we can control. A virus is an outside influence that becomes dangerous or harmful once it is inside of us and begins to spread throughout our cells. We can take preventative measures to avoid viruses, but once they are inside us there is nothing we can do but protect others and maintain ourselves while the virus is expunged. Emotions work in the same way. Something outside of our own being triggers a response within us, and it begins to spread across our consciousness, at times taking over our very lives leading us to become slaves to our own emotions. The key to maintaining our own autonomy over emotion is to know that these emotions are not a part of us, just as a virus is not a part of us. Understand that yes we are feeling emotion, but that emotion is not who we are, and says nothing about us other than how we are currently feeling.
Densities of Consciousness
The obstacle presented by strong emotions is that they exist in our more dense level of consciousness. We’ve touched on the aspects of our lives and consciousness relating to Earth, Water, Air, and Fire. If we think of those elements as directly as possible we realize that in that same order they are arranged from most dense to least. Earth is the densest, followed by water, then air, and fire being immaterial at best is made almost entirely of light therefore it is the lightest. Most holistic and philosophical understandings of our Body-Mind-Spirit explain the idea of denser or “lower” consciousness ascending as we grow and understand ourselves. This same idea persists in our elemental philosophy, moving from the densest earth all the way to the lightest immaterial fire. Naturally our consciousness is at rest at the earthen level of our lives, our base ego. When our consciousness first awakens in our young bodies we are immediately surrounded with infinite sights and experiences of the physical earth-based density, aka the world we see and feel. Most times we have trouble even thinking outside of what is directly in front or around us. Once we begin to see outside of this level, we approach the density of water, our emotional ego.
Just as water is less dense than earth, but more dense than air, our emotions exist in a non-tangible realm of consciousness that is less dense than our basic five-sensed body, but is somehow just as real to us. This is because unconsciously our being (not our body) senses emotion inside us, and even from outside sources. This is why other people’s emotions affect our own even just by being in the same room. Until we can see emotions as events that are happening to us, and separate ourselves from them, we will continue to be shoved back down to the earthen level of dense consciousness.
This doesn’t mean that we cannot have experiences in our emotional, mental, or spiritual egos, but that we will struggle to maintain a consistent consciousness at those levels. They will be one-time, impactful, yet unrepeatable experiences. This is why so many people rarely make real emotional connections with others, fewer remarkable life-changing ideas, and even fewer spiritual experiences. Each requires a lighter level of consciousness that is often only achieved as the result of situational circumstance. To frequently experience these intentionally would require being able to bring ourselves to that egoic level and maintain it. I can’t pretend to have mastered this, but I can say that through regular emotional analysis and observation I have been able to reign in the turmoil of overwhelming emotions, and the even more elusive, intrusive thoughts. By working to achieve a more unified conscious lightness I believe our lives and the world around us would see revolutionary change in acceptance and understanding.