Loving Oneness Now
is meant by the term "Emotions"?
Every human being who is separated by his or her ego from God has seven fundamental emotions—unless he or she is a fully Awakened Being. Like God, fully Awakened Beings, have only one emotion; it is Universal Maximal Love. Emotions are psychological in nature, even though they may also be felt in physical ways. Though it may seem confusing, emotions are not the same as drives, needs and motivations. For example it is possible to have a sexual drive or need without feeling passion, even though usually we find drives and emotions occur together.
In our separated (dissociated) state from God, our primary major emotions are:
Affection (sometimes called "love")
Each of these seven human emotions has a very intense overwhelming basic state:
Fear has the basic extreme state of panic or abject terror.
Anger has the basic extreme state of rage.
Affection has the basic extreme state of infatuation (which is by no means confined to teenagers, and which is often non-sexual).
Grief has the basic extreme state of inconsolable desolation.
Sexual passion has the basic extreme state of sexual ecstasy.
Depression has the basic extreme state of total despair.
Elation has the basic extreme state of mania or a high euphoria.
then, is meant by the term, "Feelings"?
Feelings are more developed, refined, differentiated forms of the above basic emotions. Your feelings do not overwhelm you, even though you may react strongly, in terms of behavior, to them. Feelings are sometimes subtle, delicate and even exquisite, especially when touched with awe. Examples of feelings are as follows (note that the basic emotion is stated first in caps):
EMOTION OF FEAR: Feelings are anxiety, disquiet, apprehension, worry, timidity, insecurity, awe.
EMOTION OF ANGER: Feelings are irritation, annoyance, vexation, animosity, resentment, peeved.
EMOTION OF AFFECTION: Feelings are liking, fondness, caring, tenderness, bonding, devoted, heartfelt.
EMOTION OF GRIEF: Feelings are sorrow, mild heartbreak, woe, pine, mourn, feelings of personal loss.
EMOTION OF SEXUAL PASSION: Feelings are excited, aroused, horny, ardor, amorous.
EMOTION OF DEPRESSION: Feelings are down-hearted, despondent, melancholy, discouraged, dispirited, blue, gloomy, hopeless, diminished, bleak, dismal.
EMOTION OF ELATION: Feelings are joyful, upbeat, pleased, jubilant, happy, glad, cheerful, contented, carefree, light-hearted, jolly, delighted, satisfied, exhilarated.
Notes: In popular usage, some feeling words and terms can be in more than one category. For example sadness can fall into both the grief and depression categories depending on context. Many feeling terms apply equally to affection and sexual passion. However, feelings themselves are rarely ambiguous, even when they may run concurrently! For example, you may feel anxious about someone you are feeling fond of.
Some other feelings are complex mixtures of two or more emotions/ feelings. An example would be an inner feeling of guilt, which is a combination of (1) anger-at-self, (2) fear-of-retribution, and (3) affection for the imposer of the "rules" we have broken. Without this feeling of affection, we would feel only a fear of angry retribution. This anger-based retribution can sometimes be self-imposed, such as in the case of a guilt-caused illness (see E09 for more on GUILT). Reverence may be a feeling that combines awe (fear-based), devotion (affection-based) and joy (elation-based).
there different ways in which different types of people actually feel
their emotions and feelings?
Yes, there are four major, separate ways in which different types of people feel their feelings, and they are as follows:
1. Denial of certain emotions and feelings: Most of us at some time in our lives, have denied specific emotions and feelings. For example, if we say to most of our fellow Americans, "Don't be so worried about that (whatever)," they will automatically give the knee-jerk reply, "I'm not worried." Americans rarely acknowledge being worried—at most they are mildly concerned!
Another group who indulges in denial are those who see themselves as incapable of having any certain kinds of negative emotions. This type of person can be in a rage and say, "I am not angry, I am never angry!" A macho man may always deny being afraid, even in the most threatening circumstances.
The only way those who are in denial of their negative emotions and feelings may turn to others for help or therapy is when they "bottom out" in some way, or when they experience some inescapable personal disaster.
2. Those who blame others as responsible for their negative emotions and feelings: All of us fall into this category. We say, "If you did not make me angry, I would have a peaceful life." Even if we happen to recognize that the buttons and triggers are our own, we still place the blame squarely on the one we perceive to be pressing our buttons or triggering our emotional reactions.
This is a form of psychological projection inasmuch as we project (shift the responsibility for something that is within us to something outside us) onto others whom we then see as the cause of, and culpability for, our own inner emotional or feeling state. "It is YOU who make ME feel upset, victimized, angry, afraid, depressed, sad, guilty, worried, unhappy, etc. This form of projected blame means that only the other person has to change their ways, attitudes and personality, which, paradoxically, is an admission we ourselves are incapable of such changes. "Everyone else around me has to change so that I can stay unchanged and keep all my neuroses intact" is our unconscious statement -- but one we would rarely admit to. (To learn about projection see Page R12.)
Obviously this group need to look inside themselves and ask, "How can I rid myself of all these triggers and buttons, as well as all the negative emotions and feelings they bring to the surface from deep inside my mind.
3. Blurred emotions and feelings which continuously smear into one another: This group are not in denial of their emotions and feelings, nor are they specifically blaming others for them. The various emotions and feelings of the people in this group are so run together in a continuous undifferentiated stream that they cannot even begin to sort out where one ends or the other begins. Not only that, but the feeling and emotions are smeared or blurred into one another like a modern artist's painting, thus making any awareness of the edges or margins undetectable. Obviously this group are unable to distinguish their specific emotions and feelings from one another, and this leads to an inability to own them — for what each one actually is. Only when one can recognize the clear identity and intrinsic nature of a specific emotion or feeling can one take some therapeutic action concerning it, and therefore such people may need help in this sorting out process. One of my friends, who brought this smeared, blurry emotional group to my attention, suggested using the analogy of eating a meal for this sorting out purpose. The person may liken their blurred emotions and feelings to all the different pieces of food on their plate. Each mouthful of one particular type of food (analogous to a specific feeling) is to be slowly savored so that the subtleties of its taste, texture and aroma can be uniquely defined and appreciated.
4. Dropping unwanted emotions and feelings down into the body: This "dropping of emotions into the body" (as, say, an illness) is a very common tactic which the ego may adopt in order to remove those negative emotions and feelings it wishes to disown as unacceptable to its "proper" self-image. Sometimes these emotions or feelings are unwanted because they may interfere with maintaining a relationship that has other "positive" values. For example, a person with a "loving" partner may drop their anger down into their body as an illness because that "loving" partner threatens to leave if the person ever gets angry.
Anger, fear, grief and depression can cause all kinds of physical illnesses, symptoms and disorders. Much of what is called "stress" is caused by combinations of these feelings and emotions. The Course in Miracles goes so far as to say that, "Sickness is anger taken out upon the body, so that it will suffer pain." (T-#560/603-28.VI.5:1)
In this way, as egos, we can punish ourselves for our perceived so-called "sins" and their associated guilt (see all E4 Pages).
Of course, to make sure that this "dropped into the body" emotional/feeling stuff stays there, the ego usually claims that the illness or disorder is caused by an chemical imbalance, by the environment, by hormones, by a faulty diet, by one's genes, etc. By keeping it all "physical" the ego avoids any necessity to deal with the emotional problem or personal situation psychologically, and the status quo of the ego is thereby preserved.
a specific emotion or feeling in the present moment—NOW!
It is common knowledge that most of our distorted, conflicted emotions and feelings, even though we may experience them fairly often in the present, originated in traumatic experiences when we were infants, children or teenagers. Because the trauma and its accompanying emotion were not dealt with or resolved, at that time in the past, the emotion (when triggered) recurs in the present, because only in the present moment can it be dealt with and dissolved. In other words our past traumas and their emotions keep re-presenting themselves and, in effect, saying, "Hey, here I am again, so please DO something about me, NOW!"
How, then, do I dissolve the emotion and any trauma associated with it? There is a therapeutic procedure for doing this dissolving of these troublesome, often painful, emotions and traumas. It comprises five steps, which are:
1. Identifying the specific emotion successfully within your own mind. You might say to yourself, "I can feel this particular anxiety (or anger, grief, depression, etc.,) in my consciousness right now.
2. Owning the specific emotion successfully within your own mind. You might say to yourself, "I fully accept that this particular emotion or feeling of anxiety (or anger, grief, depression, etc.,) which is in my consciousness right now is my own, and it is happening in my own mind right now.
3. No dodging or avoiding facing the emotion. Say: I will not deny this emotion and I will not blame another for its existence in me, nor will I smear it or drop it into the body. I acknowledge its presence in my mind, up-front, at this moment, right now!"
4. Give the specific emotion, and any remembered trauma associated with it, to God, (or to a Higher Power, the Holy Spirit, or the Higher Self). You might say, "God, please take this emotion and any associated trauma from me in this holy instant; thank You." He is very happy to do so if you no longer want it. Note, however, that the actual original trauma does not have to be remembered—just a vague impression or intuition will do, but do not dwell on it. If it is a current conflict include it but do not dwell on the conflict issues.
5. Relaxing into the
releasing of the emotion/feeling/trauma to God. If at all possible when
circumstances allow, sit down, close your eyes and feel peace slowly taking over
your heart and mind; this may take a few minutes as the emotions/feeling and
trauma are taken from you. A sense of trust or faith is helpful here—as is the
case in all healing. Forgiving the other person is another important part
of this Step.
Note: These five steps may have to be repeated again and again over the following days, weeks and months many times because the ego may resist dismantling primary emotional "habits" that have been built over a lifetime because the "secondary payoffs" have been good. For example, often a traumatic marriage offers a security one does not want to part with. Getting on a dedicated Spiritual Path can work wonders for Steps 4 and 5.
For a more detailed account of the above Ego-Dismantling System and Method study Page G04.
SOME SECRETS about Emotions and Feelings
Why involve God? Some people ask why the emotion/feeling has to be given to God or a Higher Power, and the answer is that the ego (your total personal feeling/emotional self-- see E4) has no desire to demolish itself; on the contrary, the ego always resists any attempt by Spirit to dismantle it. But God can do so if you will happily allow Him to rid you of it. Or would you rather have another ride on the roller-coaster called "your life."
Fear is the basis of all our emotions and feelings: This is difficult to explain in one paragraph but I will try. Fear and anger are two sides of the same coin, in that the more fearful you are the less angry you are, and vice versa. Those who are angry have only temporarily hidden their fears under their anger or dominance, but that fear is still there. Those Masters who are totally without fear are also totally without anger. While depression is also an relative "absence" of anger and fear it is more clearly seen as an absence of "fight" (read power) unconsciously embedded inside a "flight" into inactivity. Affection, bonding and sexual attraction are only a security blanket and distractions against fear. Strip away all the bonding "blankets" and that person is naked and alone in a fearful world. Grief is obviously a fear of loss that has already happened, and some may even grieve over a lost fortune or keepsake trinket. Elation is only a polarization of fear; when the mania phase collapses, fear and/or depression set in. All humans have a bipolar disorder! Also note that every one of our hundreds of addictions is only a distraction from, or numbing of, our deep fears.
Why, then, are we all so afraid, even as we try to cover it up? This is an easy question to answer, but a difficult answer to believe. We are all deeply afraid because, like the Prodigal Son, we deserted (dissociated ourselves from) our Father, left Home, and decided to do our own ego-thing without the Loving Oneness we had to leave behind. We then invented our ego-riddled dreamworld founded on FEAR which replaced the Real Love we left behind. Fear became our security (read: guard dogs, locks, armies, guns, police, anger, wealth, etc.,) in place of Real Love. Along with the fear came the numerous objects (in this ego-world of dreams) that fear engenders—the things we fear: weapons, criminals, disease, accidents, disasters, death, danger, demons, devils, wars, broken relationships, poverty, loss, etc.) Fear is our protection against all these things so we shore ourselves up with insurance, medicines, exercise, therapy, distractions, drugs, nest-eggs, family, finances, films and television! If you want to see the state of our human egos watch a year's worth of all kinds of movies and television, including the fear-ridden nonsense called news.
What, then, is the answer to this fear-filled human condition we are continuously making? Like the Prodigal Son we will only want to return Home to our Creator when we get sick and tired of our everyday roller-coasters, the Ferris wheels, the cotton candy, the shoot-'em-up games, the teddy-bear prizes, the house of horrors, the hot dogs, the lotteries, the strong-man, the bumper-cars, the pirates of the Caribbean, the waxworks, and all our other fields of dreams and fantasies. (Just in case anyone thinks I am referring only to State Fairs and Disneyland, I am referring to everything we do on this Planet.)
"Nothing this world believes is True," says A Course in Miracles. Of course the Natural world is Real, but we have screwed it up royally with all our Love-less antics and silly shenanigans. So, bring all your feelings and emotions into full Consciousness, own them as yours, and then give them to God to vaporize into the nothingness from whence they came. (See G04)
God and His Loving Oneness are still inside you so just find Them there. Like the Prodigal Son let us all return Home.
Loving Oneness Now -- Copyright © 2007 Alexander Bannatyne, PhD