positive/negative-what's the difference? It's just emotion.

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Tracie
@tracie
2 years ago
16 posts

I've been reading lots of posts since I joined and seeing a lot of classifying emotions as positive or negative.

Aren't emotions just emotions? And positive or negative is a judgement our part. It's just energy in motion.

I like to work from a base of stillness and meditate that I maintain that base.

Just wondering if anyone feels (ha!) the same?

As an example of what I mean, I give you the story of the farmer:

http://truecenterpublishing.com/zenstory/maybe.html


updated by @tracie: 01/09/17 02:18:12AM
Crownite
@crownite
2 years ago
107 posts

Yes, everything just is. That said, most people want to feel good about what they do and who they are and so allowing yourself to be aware of those emotions and how they affect you and how you react when in that state is a pretty important factor as it can cause a ripple effect to others and so forth and so forth.

Trevor Lewis
@trevor-lewis
2 years ago
272 posts

Tracie:

There are times when it is appropriate to feel angry, times when it is appropriate to feel grief ... "To everything there is a season ...".

"Negative emotions" is another way to say "Inappropriate emotions" or maybe just "Uncomfortable emotions".

Some of you will recognize the paragraphs with which I introduce the work that I have shared with members of the EC...

Emotions should flow through us the way they flow through healthy children (who can have a temper tantrum one minute and be all smiles the next). As we grow older these emotions get stuck in our physiology and color our whole outlook on life causing us to feel stuck in outdated patterns of behavior and thought. Clearing those stuck emotions can help us feel lighter, happier, in more harmony with other people around us and general remove the obstacles that interfere with living the life we were born to live.

We were brought up to think that what is happening in the outside world justifies how we feel on the inside. That is an illusion! It is actually the other way round. How we feel on the inside creates what we experience out in the world. When we have a stuck emotion of "sadness" in us everything we see on the outside will justify the fact that we feel sad inside until we heal that sadness. Pick any emotion it's the same process. It may be easy to think of other people who are stuck in an emotion, say "anger", and feel justified that everything that happens in the world confirms their right to feel angry. Its probably easier to see it for other people than it is to see it for ourselves because we tend to be blind to our own emotions. In addition, this issue is rarely about what is happening right now. What is pushing our buttons now is a reflection back to us of what has been left unhealed in our lives that we have to go back and take care of. Clearing these emotions enables us to experience the world the way it really is and that means a happier, more joyous world than the way most people experience it.

Love the story of the farmer. A base of stillness is good, and yet it reminds me of another story ...

"A guru was crying at the death of his son. His disciples came to him and said 'Master! You taught us that life is an illusion'. 'Yes,' he replied, "and the death of a child is the cruelest illusion of them all'"

And I share that story with my own 87 year old mother having been cremated just a few hours ago. For her, she was SO ready to leave her body, such that I write this with a mixture of human sadness and spiritual joy in my heart.

Thank you for your posting, Tracie.

Trevor

Emmy Long
@emmy-long
2 years ago
484 posts
Yes positive or negative is just an opinion for each individual, but it doesn't make that opinion any less real or any less valid. For me, there are emotions I will experience that make me feel "good", meaning they make me want to go on with life, validate my hard work, make me feel proud of my choices. Then there are emotions that make me feel "bad", that make me question what I've done to lead up to feeling this way, question what I did to deserve it. I believe there are good and bad emotions in this world just like there are good and bad people. But that "good and bad" is subjective. Maybe you feel bad for what you did but you shouldn't? Or maybe you thought you lost something you deserved, but really you didn't earn it.Life is hard. But in my short 23 years, I've learned there is good and bad, positive and negative, heroes and villains, if only on a personal level for each person. I think recognizing your villains as "the bad" is the first step in overcoming them.
Emmy Long
@emmy-long
2 years ago
484 posts
Beautifully stated Trevor, and I'm sorry for YOUR loss. Though we both seem aware it was your loss and not your mother's. She is in a good place now, no suffering, no loss, no betrayal, no pain. All things we suffer in this human world. Though it is a loss for you, it is freeing for her of all pain and suffering. Its a weird feeling being "left" by those we love. For they haven't left what is really "us" but because they are no longer here physically it can feel like a loss to "us". Sending love your way. <3
Trevor Lewis
@trevor-lewis
2 years ago
272 posts

~~~<3
(waves of bliss and love)

Thank you

T

Tracie
@tracie
2 years ago
16 posts

Trevor, what a beautiful post. I completely understand your phrase of human sadness and spiritual joy. My dad died a few years ago and at the cremation I felt total peaceful joy. I was able to hold the whole room within me beneath the sadness of saying goodbye.

The great lie is that life is the opposite of death, and it's not. Birth is the opposite of death. And we never mourn birth.

Your paragraphs in italics are completely right. Adults do tend to store emotion, whereas children just express it and then it is done.

I tend the think that all emotion comes from either desire or fear (in one form or another), and when people talk about negative emotion they are usually talking about fear (which may be in the form of anger, anxiety etc), when people talk about positive emotion it is usually related to the accomplishment of a desire or hope that a desire might come true.

This is why I view them the same, and prefer an approach of eliminating both desire and fear :-)

Much love at this difficult time for you :-)

Tracie
@tracie
2 years ago
16 posts

You may be right Crownite in that most people want to feel good, but isn't the wanting an emotion in itself?

Kate
@kate
2 years ago
131 posts
I would also mention the importance of trusting your guts when something that seems or could be called allright from someone else's pointview might bring in fact a negative outcome. In such situations when you feel compelled to act against or do something about it t it isn't a matter of "this one and only is negative" anymore. Same as when you see someone yelling or doing something that would generally not seem good, but deep inside you feel as if it should happen or else it would bring more suffering. These are some things that I have felt and I believe they are an extent of the principles elaborated by Trevor.While it is indeed good to be impartial and centered, so much that you can think that (maybe not the best example xD) "hey, that ruler did some horrible things to his people and country", but then you know that "he lived and was raised in that very country though... and had those psychological scars and he didn't like the system he was raised in and under which people around him were sad" and so on... it is hard to "judge" one person and not an entire sum of factors (even though we often tend to ignore the bigger picture).The questions remain valid of course... what is "negative", aren't these illusions and etc... but for example, I personally have a bottom line and when it gets hit it means a big NO and asks for a lot of opposition from my part, and that is, destroying our planet, little by little (and I would want my future career to revolve around this, and it already started to ^^). Yes, not even the desire to work with it or generate a context in which it can be changed... just opposition to the thought of cutting down something big for money. And only after that maybe trying to find a way out. However, I haven't yet been able to find a context in which destroying your own planet before you are even able to leave it is a good thing, and as long as other creatures depend on it...Can we really detach ourselves from this and say "in all the greatness of the universe, a little planet with little people..." and I for one cannot. Well, you might get a glimpse of it, but in essence it feels as if everything counts, no matter how small... My vision isn't whole either probably, but there are certain things that, well... when it is in your power to change a bad "illusion" into a better one (showing love or understanding to someone if it feels right, to start with), how to step aside? Not feel alone? Aren't there also certain callings you can't get rid of no matter what and that disregard age, and they essentially modify the stillness and set things in motion...
Tracie
@tracie
2 years ago
16 posts

Hey Kate, I'd agree that trusting your guts is paramount as an empath.

You misunderstand me, I think. I'm not saying that people should be apathetic. I just meant that emotion is just emotion whether it flows towards what is desired or away from what is feared. They're 2 sides of the same coin.

In stillness, which always lies beneath emotion whether we feel it or not, we don't need to make personal judgements. We're open to inspiration which may tell us that we should preserve the planet, or we should protest at a political demo, or we should leave a relationship.

You said "in essence it feels"- that for me is what lies beneath emotion.

Kate
@kate
2 years ago
131 posts

Haha, I actually might have underlined what i felt like talking about starting from your topic xD and I did not necessarily mean you stopped at something less :) You were referring to the tendency of giving events nuances depending on internal blockages (and I really enjoy these buddhist and taoist stories: they have this beautiful meaning in them and belief in something better and that things are not bad by essence and do not move towards it either)

I for one feel like I am trying, but I still can't let go of the need to feel more in control than not... and obviously, life likes proving the opposite :)) But just like in the story you shared with us, i discovered it brought me better things, when change came unexpectedly and i did not tried to consciously direct anything... I'm thinking that learning stillness is in fact also about about accepting that nothing is actually stillor stays in one place, and you have to learn to let go and cleanse yourself. Off... endless journeys :D

Tracie
@tracie
2 years ago
16 posts

Life is brilliant lol, it always gives us what we need (which might not be the same as what we want) :-D

I'd agree that outside circumstances always change, but the stillness I was referring to can be found within us underneath any emotion that may be going on, and is unchanging.

Taoists and some Buddhists I believe refer to the lower dantian which they describe as being 3 fingers width below your navel and 2 fingers inwards. If we focus on this area we might be able to feel a vast stillness, sometimes described as bliss or joy, or the bubbling well.

It seems that many people find it briefly when confronted with stunning spectacles of nature. Maybe a sea view or a sunrise. The sense of stillness seems to remain until the habitual thinking mind kicks in and they start to analyse it (you try to grasp it, you lose it).

I do wonder how other people experience empathy. It's something I'd be interested to learn here in this forum.

I define emotion very simply as 'energy in motion'. If someone is anxious I may feel their churning stomach, if they're nervous it might be more fluttery, desires I usually feel around my (physical) heart. People with depression feel heavy with stagnated energy in the pit of the stomach.

Any views welcome, I'd love to know other people's experiences. :-)

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