An emotional beast

Emotions are … thought to be a kind of brute reflex, very often at odds with our rationality. The primitive part of your brain wants you to tell your boss he’s an idiot, but your deliberative side knows that doing so would get you fired, so you restrain yourself. This kind of internal battle between emotion and reason is one of the great narratives of Western civilization. It helps define you as human. Without rationality, you are merely an emo­tional beast.

Lisa Feldman Barrett


The Emotional Centre

Now let us take Emocional Centre. A person remembers, as a rule, unpleasant negative emotions. They revive themselves, by mechanical associations, very easily. This kind of memory is not the same as the memory of Intellectual Centre or Moving Centre. The Emotional Centre is not under our control -that is, we cannot feel happy when we are unhappy. There are certain efforts possible here- but I speak of ourselves as ordinary people. An effort in connection with Intellectual Centre can change the direction of thought and one can recall something by concentration or by looking it up. But the memory of Emotional Centre, which means so often the memory of the negative part of Emotional Centre, is not altered so easily. One reason is because we have such long strings of unpleasant memories harboured there, that we take as real, as actual, and, in fact, as our past. When you a thing is real, is actual, naturally you cannot alter it.

Maurice Nicoll in Commentaries On The Teaching of Gurdjieff and Ouspenky Vol III [1945] (Google Books)

fritz höger, kirche am hohenzollernplat by seier+seier, on Flickr Image by seier+seier on flickr


So Buddha says that if the drop has become the ocean, then nothing has happened. If you have become a god, then nothing has happened, you have only become a bigger man. If you have become the brahman nothing has happened, you are still finite. So Buddha says that you have to become nothing, you have to become shunya –empty of all boundaries and attributes, empty of everything that you can conceive of, just emptiness. But Upanishadic thinkers will say that even if you are empty you are . If you have become emptiness you are still there, because emptiness exists, emptiness is. Nothingness is also a way of being, a way of existence. So they say, why belabor the point and why unnecessarily use negative terms? It is good to be positive.

Osho | The Book of Secrets: 112 Meditations to Discover the Mystery Within

Empty gratification

As humans, we are programmed to operate from our ego mind. When we are unaware or unconscious of the ego, we tend to create emotional fixes that show up in the form of immediate gratification. When we are disconnected from self and spirit, we feel like something’s missing. We feel empty, sad and experience a deep sense of longing. The ego wants to soothe that, giving us ideas of filling that void with things outside of ourselves. We think we need to focus on something outside of ourselves, be it food, sex, attainment of physical things. We create a false connection and immediately feel lack, disconnection, discontent. Rather then redirect ourselves to our soul self, we reach outside again, repeating the same cycle of distraction and disconnection. It’s a vicious cycle, damaging our bodies, hurting others and even the environment.

Bernadette Dickinson

Seasons by *~Dawn~*, on FlickrImage by *~Dawn~* on flickr

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