Thursday, 15 November 2007

Becoming aware of feelings......

In the same way as any thought can be labelled either positive, negative or neutral, feelings are exactly the same. Any feeling no matter how complicated it may appear is at its essence either positive, negative or neutral. Feelings are the language of the soul and like thoughts are part of the make up of human. Feelings are there to guide our journey from human to spiritual. Feelings are without an energetic charge. Feelings change and become emotions when energy is added to them. They become e-motion - which is feelings in motion. The strength of the emotion is driven by the intensity of the energetic charge. Allow feelings to be as they are i.e. either positive, negative or neutral without adding a charge and you have the source of bliss, peace and harmony. Anger is a natural feeling, when we add energy to it it becomes the emotion -rage. Feelings are slow, in that we are aware of them. Emotions are what I call 'fast' in that so many times the emotion has come and gone before the person is fully aware of them.

So today like the exercise with thoughts that I suggested yesterday, do the same with any feelings that arise. Become aware of the choice that there is to add energy to the feelings so that they become the unstable emotion. A feeling will always precede an emotion. What usually happens is that a person will experience a feeling and then instead of simply recognising it and saying 'this is pleasant, unpleasant or neutral' will find a story or dig up a memory to explain this feeling. The story will have all kinds of energetic charges attached to it depending on whether the person is the hero or the victim but either way it is adding something to the feeling which changes its basic nature to one of emotion. This emotion prevents the peace of mind that is possible when feelings are allowed to just be.

For many it is the presence of feelings and emotions that convince us that we are permanent and unchanging. However for Buddhists feelings are just part of a package of what they call skandhas or heaps which fool us into thinking that we are permanent. The other skandhas are

Form - this refers to the physical body, or the shape of anything in existence
Feelings - I have spoken about
Perception - this is the ability to make judgements about things, form opinions
Volition - this is the quality of free will, we have free will to act
Consciousness - this is where we become aware of certain aspects of our being.

These five heaps interract together and the end result is that we think that we are permanent and unchanging. I separate consciousness from awareness based on the Buddhist principle that sees consciousness as very much part of the delusion of Maya. But it is the highest of heaps and for that reason should be developed to its ultimate potential. Every time I look at the draw for the national lottery I see the balls in the drum like the Buddhists see these heaps. All of them interacting together and then one rising to the surface as more important than the others at that particular moment. So at one time it could be form, another feelings, another perception that is paramount but ultimately they all interract together to give the end result of a self that feels it is unchanging and permanent........

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