(From: 'Earth People' Volume 2 Number 2)
Also see articles:
Understanding our emotions is one of the first steps not only to enlightenment, but also to integrated, functional daily life and decision making. This is why it is fundamental to psychology and shamanism.
Humans have been given the full circle of emotions, ranging from Hopelessness, depression and hatred; through sadness, fear, and anger; all the way up to excitement and bliss just to name a few. But it is a strange judgement on what the Creator has given us to help us communicate our experiences of life if we think that some of these emotions are bad and unacceptable and others are good and to be expressed freely, even if they are false.
The biggest mistake we can make is to suppress any emotions. I have heard it said that emotion is ’E’ energy in ‘MOTION’. That being the case, then suppressing it at lest creates stagnation and disease. My own experiences of anger and frustration is that when they are suppressed, there will eventually be an almighty eruption, attempting to release all of them at once. I pity the nearest people to me at those times.
During a lot of my growing years, I tried to control these outbursts that made me look like a crazy monster. Sometimes I had success, but most of the time I didn’t. However I have since learnt to express my emotions at the moment I feel it, and also to balance emotion with rational knowledge of the true circumstances, rather than a past experience that might have only one minor similarity to the present situation.
Our emotions generally come from the ‘body-mind’, ‘cellular-memory’, subconscious or unconscious. They live in the north of the Medicine Wheel, so they need to be balanced with the rational knowledge of the conscious mind, in the south. See my Medicine Wheel adjusted for the Southern Hemisphere in the article on 'Circles and Cycles' in Vol. 1 No. 2 and the Medicine Wheel there.
As Lynn Andrews has explained many times, that in this current society, women generally live in the north, of their emotions, and men generally live in the south, of the mind. She says that the couple may meet in the physical, the west, for an occasional encounter, which may or may not bring them the ecstatic experience of being one with spirit, in the east. But soon they revert back to the north south movement, which of course keeps the sacred hoop half balanced, but still pretty wobbly. The real aim is to have both individuals balanced in all four directions and not just the man relying on his partner to bring the balance and visa versa.
To create harmonious relationships with yourself (the second most important relationship) - both inner and outer; for enlightenment and for balanced decision making, the process begins with a seed, an idea, or the meeting of two souls in spirit. Therefore all beginnings and births of ideas come from spirit, inspiration, or illumination, in the east of the Medicine Wheel. Then one must move to the south, the place of knowledge and the mind, to think rationally of how to go about manifesting the relationship, enlightenment or decision, and to access all the knowledge about the specific idea and whether or not it is practical to manifest the idea. Then one should move into the north of the emotions and subconscious memories, or cellular memory, associated with the task at hand. This is to balance the dry academic and doubting mind with the emotions and to access the fluid motions and inspiration needed to accomplish the manifestation of physical actions, ceremonies, tools and works of art, that are found in the west. The idea has now been manifested into a fruit, which houses the next seed, and so once again one finds oneself in the east, the place of spirit. This continuous cycle is symbolised as an infinity sign, from east to south, to north, then to west and back again to the east.
Emotions must be balanced with knowledge, guided by spirit, and manifested honestly and sincerely.
If you cannot be yourselves enough even to experience the truth of your own emotions, how can you expect to express the true depth and beauty of who you are?
In his book ‘Beyond Within – A Philosophy for the Inner Life’, Sri Chinmoy discusses how to conquer fear thus:
“Our body is limited: that is why the body has fear. Our vital is unconscious: that is why the vital has fear. Our mind is obscure: that is why the mind has fear. Our heart is unaspiring: that is why the heart has fear.
"To free our body from fear, what we need is the glorious experience of our soul. To free our vital from fear, what we need is the dynamic and conscious expansion of our soul. To free our mind from fear, what we need is the transforming illumination of our soul. Finally, to free our heart from fear, What we need is the fulfilling perfection of our soul."
Regarding fear and anxiety, the Dalai Lama in ‘The Art of Happiness’ says that if there is a solution to the problem there is no need or time to worry, you must act on the solution. And if there is no solution, there is no sense in worrying either. But by making sure that you mean no harm and have only good motives and compassion, you can reduce anxiety. This is being honest with oneself and others.
In discussing anger and hatred, he says: “The only factor that can give you refuge or protection from the destructive effects of anger and hatred is your practice of tolerance and patience.” And that an end result of this practice is forgiveness. “When you are truly patient and tolerant, then forgiveness comes naturally.”
While discussing the Dalai Lama, I would like to add a comment that he made in this book, with which I totally agree:
“The idealisation of this romantic love can be seen as an extreme. Unlike those relationships based on caring and genuine affection… It cannot be seen as a positive thing, it’s something that is based on fantasy, unattainable, and therefore may be a source of frustration."
“If it’s not totally yes, it’s absolutely no!” I found this quote in ‘Buffalo Woman Comes Singing’ By Brooke Medicine Eagle. It goes on to say that If someone asks for your help, your response can range from “no”, “maybe”, “yeah I guess”, “I know I should”, to “yes”. But all answers should be considered “no”, unless you experience a total, excited and definite “yes”.
For example, If you give a yes as a first response and then change your mind, you open yourself to criticism that, “You don’t keep your commitments.” But if you say “no”, and then change your mind it’s different. I have never heard anyone say, “I was counting on you not to help me”. But to do this fully, means you must be a true warrior and be truthful to yourself; to all your emotions; and to everyone and everything else. But this is not as easy as it sounds, especially with all of today’s social duties to be kind, considerate and non-judgemental.
Joseph Rael, in his book ‘Beautiful Painted Arrow’ speaks of the six passions, which are:
Jealousy, which is the physical possession of someone or something. To use this passion in a positive way, one can redirect it into seeking and possessing insights or spirit guides.
Anger, which happens when one is stuck between ‘Believing We Exist’ and ‘Awakened Awareness”. This passion is already positive, because it seeks to find a solution to the conflict by bridging the gap. This is when insight happens, with a sigh of relief.
Greed, which is identified with ‘Existence of Existence (Intense Desire). As with Jealousy, the positive use of this passion can be directed to gaining insights and spirit guides.
Pride, which is when one can become locked into one’s own achievements, possessions and children. The positive aspect here is to become open and receptive to new insights rather than things or activities
Attachment, which is similar to saying that; “What one experiences with the physical body, one owns.” The first step in this process is that one tries to obscure the attachments mentally. In the second step one identifies the person, place or thing with ‘Believing We Exist’, thus plugging the gap in our ‘Inner Spark Plug’, therefore preventing the spark of insight from firing the light of ‘Awakened Awareness’. So we must ‘Let Go’ of ‘Believing We Exist’.
Mental Obscuration, which is ignoring our ability to see the truth, by taking away the purpose of the experience, and dissolving our relationship with the unity in all of life.
The following is taken from a CD insert of Funkadelic, which was taken from Process Number Five on Fear The Process – Church of the Final Judgement
"Fear is at the root of man’s destruction of himself. Without Fear there is no blame. Without blame there is no conflict. Without blame there is no destruction. But there IS Fear; deep within the core of every human being it lurks like a monster; dark and intangible. Its outward effects are unmistakable. Its source is hidden.
"It can be seen on one level in furtive embarrassment, argumentative protest, social veneer and miserable isolation. It can be seen on another level in the mammoth build-up of war machines in every corner of the world. It can be seen in riot-torn streets and campuses. It can be seen in fantasy world of escapism known as entertainment. It can be seen in the squalor of ghettos and the pretentious elegance of ‘civilised’ society. It can be seen in the desperate rat race of commerce and industry, the sensational slanderings of the press, the constant backbiting of the political arena and the lost world of the helpless junkie who has passed beyond the point of no return.
"The tight-lipped suppression of the rigid moralist reflects it, as does the violent protest of the anarchist. But more starkly and tragically than anywhere else, it manifests in pale grey shadow of the ordinary person, whose fear clamps down on all his instincts and traps him in the narrow confines of the socially accepted norm. Afraid either to step down into the darkness of his lower self or to rise up into the light of his higher self, he hangs suspended in between, stultified into an alien pattern of nothingness.
But to a greater or lesser degree, and manifesting one way or another, all human beings are afraid. And some of us are so afraid that we dare not show our fear. Sometimes we dare not even know our fear. For Fear itself is a terrifying concept to behold.
"We may confess to being afraid of violence and pain and even ghosts; and with such obvious terrors, pigeon-hole our fear to our own satisfaction. But fear of people, fear of ourselves, fear of failure, fear of loss, fear of our closest friends, fear of isolation, fear of contact, fear of loneliness. Fear of involvement, fear of rejection, fear of commitment, fear of sickness, fear of deprivation, fear of inadequacy, fear of emotion, fear of GOD, fear of knowledge, fear of death, fear of responsibility, fear of sin, fear of virtue, fear of guilt, fear of punishment, fear of damnation, fear of the consequences of our actions, and fear of our own fear? How many of us recognise the presence in ourselves of these?
"And if some of us recognise some of them, are we prepared to see the full extent of them? Do we know just how afraid we are? And do we know the effect that our fear has on our lives? Do we know how completely we are governed by our fear?…
"And do we know that wars and rumours of wars mount up in an ascending spiral of violence and potential violence, as the fear in the hearts of men intensifies? Do we know that strife of every kind increases as hatred, resentment, jealousy and prejudice increase, and that all these stem from one thing only: Fear?
"And do we know that one thing only ensures the escalation of the spiral of violence and destruction; our unwillingness to recognise the full extent of our fear and its effects – our fear of fear?
"For each and every one of us, as long as he is afraid, and unwilling to see with full clarity his fear for what it is, contributes to the crippling conflict that has become the hallmark of this world of ours. And as long as there IS fear, together with unwillingness to see it clearly and completely, as long as human beings are afraid and also fail to recognise the fact in their need to isolate themselves, in their outbursts of anger and irritation, in their embarrassment, in their sense of failure, in their feelings of resentment and frustration, in their desire for revenge, in their guilt, in their confusion, in their uncertainty, in their disappointment, in their anxiety about the future and their wish to forget the past, in their need to blame others and justify themselves, in their sense of helplessness and despair, in their revulsion and disgust, in their need to be vicious and spiteful, in their lack of confidence, in their tendency to boast and protest their superiority, in their failure to respond, in their sense of inadequacy, in their feelings of envy, in their futility, in their misery and in their scorn; as long as human beings fail to see THEIR fear reflected in these and a hundred other manifestations of Fear, then they will fail to see their part in the relentless tide of hatred and violence, destruction and devastation, that sweeps the earth. And the tide will not ebb until all is destroyed."