Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Negative Emotions

When we first got interested in these ideas, it may have begun with an intellectual action. Maybe you read a book or a page on the Internet, maybe you heard about this from someone else, maybe you saw a movie… something came in, a "poisoned" impression that set the wheels of your intellect turning. Maybe your Being responded from deep within (sensing the presence of the Other calling you to the Waking State) but the manifestation of it was probably mostly intellectual.
Very often, what begins as intellectual may stay as intellectual and never move from there. You may read about this now, think about it, think that there is some truth in it, think about doing something, talk to others about it, think some more… years later you may still be thinking that it would be a good idea to do something and maybe you should think about what to do. At that point, maybe you will find another book to read, someone else to talk to or another movie to watch.
If you get past that stage, you may actually make a move. You may go to a place where these ideas are taught, you may start to try some exercises, you may learn some Yoga, you may learn to twirl. At that point a new center has entered the picture: your moving center, the part of you which actually makes the body function, shift from place to place, dance, curl up in a little ball and so on. When you shift from the intellectual center to the moving center, something crucial has happened. The weight of your relationship to these ideas has become manifested in the physical world and, through this manifestation, it can start to function. This stage may last a long time as well.
At some point, through your work on the Attention and Presence and your conscious efforts of self remembering, the weight of your work will transfer to the Emotional Center. It is at this point that the Real Work begins. Everything else that came before is a preparation. Once you start to work directly with your emotions, the Work has become Real and, with that, come more responsibilities and more danger.
One of our primary forms of energetic waste is through the manifestation of negative emotions. Here we will define "negative" not as "bad" or "immoral" but as flowing outwards into direction-less dispersal, without any conscious purpose. Any emotion that disperses energy involuntarily would then be "negative" whether it masks itself as happiness, excitement, anger, envy, sadness or humor. Our entire machine constantly twitches with negative emotions: we are not happy about the weather and we complain about it, someone looks at us in the wrong way and we replay it in our minds for hours, somebody cuts us off while driving and we spill out curses into the wind.
It has been said that in a sleeping machine negative emotions are the only emotions that can occur. Only in the Waking State can we feel true Love or Compassion. In the sleeping state, we can only twitch helplessly in an endless manic dance of negative complaints and explosions. And these involuntary dispersals occur with extreme frequency. Our initial work will be to be able to observe this state of things without trying to change it. Simply watch, record and examine, without judgement or remorse.
In the Western world, it has been thought traditionally that our nervous system, and specifically our brain, is the fastest form of communication within our bodies. In these ideas (and recent scientific discoveries confirm this) we know that the Emotional center is actually much faster. That means that the habitual reactions in the Emotional center, the negative emotions, will move so quickly that you cannot catch them with either your Intellectual or your Physical center. In the first stages of your Work, it will be impossible to try to stop these, but you can observe them as they move through you and you can record their passing. Develop a constant habit of noting your explosions of negative emotions. Give your different negative characters names and personas. Call them your "little demons" that trade you back and forth like a basketball. Describe them and get to know them very well. If you can draw, make pictures of them. If you have someone to help you, take photographs of the different manifestations or shoot some video and examine it carefully. Again, watch without judgement and, at first, don’t try to change anything at all, no matter how harmful.
As your Work progresses, you will eventually try to gain control over these negative manifestations. As has been stated before, you have to start small. You have developed these negative emotional habits over an entire lifetime. You cannot stop them overnight, or in a month or even a year. It will take a long time of constant work to even begin to get a handle on them. Start with several months of simply observing. When you feel that you are ready, start trying to contain the more simple ones, the ones that are the least harmful and which hold the least power. (For example, don’t try to stop your bouts of anger or resentment towards your family members. That is too deeply engrained and too heavy to lift. Start with your complaints about the weather or about the cancellation of your favorite sitcom. Hopefully that will be more within reach.)
The Work with the Emotions is dangerous and tricky. Ideally someone will be with you, a guide that passed through this terrain a bit ahead of you. As much as you may love this person, it will be difficult to remember that they are trying to help you when the Real Work with the Emotions begins. This is indeed a maze of deadly traps through which only the bravest and most persistent will manage to pass.

Parting the Seas

Imagine your torso as a body of water. Visualize it, feel it. Realize that ordinarily when you throw a stone into the water, it will create ripples. If a stone should come hurtling at you it would disturb your waters, the impact would reverberate throughout the body.
Now imagine something that has recently disturbed you, an event or interaction that troubled you emotionally. Perceive that interaction or event as a stone that is being thrown at you. As it approaches, you will part the seas. Maintain the sensation and visualization of the area from your chest to your navel as a body of water. Imagine that the water is parting, making way so that the stone will land in the sea bed without creating ripples.
Hold this image and breathe deeply, inhaling and exhaling to the count of six. Begin to make a small movement with part of your body. As you do so mentally describe the motion to yourself (as you have done before in working with energizing the machine). For example, while moving your right index finger in small clockwise circles say to yourself mentally, "I am moving my right index finger in a small clockwise rotation."
After doing this for a few minutes allow the waters to close over the stone where it has settled.
Practice this experiment for ten minutes daily for one week. In ten minutes you should be able to run through the whole sequence approximately four times. In addition, as you go through your day and find that something is eliciting an emotional response from you, apply the experiment to that "emotional stone" in the moment.

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