The Dynamics of Emotion

2E The intention of this essay is to describe the basic patterns of emotion and to clarify the nature of the transformations between them. Many people believe that emotion is erratic, unreasonable, and disorderly. Contrary to this assumption, this essay demonstrates that the nature of emotion (and the dynamics of mind) are actually very reasonable and orderly.

2E2 The dynamics of emotion are important to understand, because maturity, growth, and wisdom are measures of the degree of integration (within the self) of both emotional experience (sensitivity and expressiveness) and the capacity to think and reflect (to consider intellectually and thoughtfully about the natural dynamics of one's emotions). Complete understanding enables a more natural integration of the experience of being emotional (a form of knowing) with increased conscious reflection (thoughts and feelings about emotion). This integration enables one to make better choices -- choices which are more natural, ethical, durable, and practical.

2E3 In order to understand emotion as an aspect of self (mind), it is necessary to consider self in its proper context. The self is a part of a larger dynamic (a system) which includes both internal and external processes. The term 'self' within this essay refers to the process of consciousness, the boundary between that which is purely subjective (inner process) and that which is purely objective (outer process). The subjective can be considered as referring to the soul, the innermost nature of self, spirit, or even as deity. The objective can be considered as referring to the physical world, which includes the material body (as distinguished from self and mind), other people, places, events -- all things which are other than the being of self. Self (mind and consciousness) is the interchange between the subjective and the objective.

2E4 Self, as considered here, is neither the purely subjective, nor the purely objective, but is rather a dynamic of transformation; self is that being which is the interconnection between subjective being and objective being. Therefore, two other concepts in addition to self, must be included when describing the dynamics of emotion. For convenience, these three concepts are referred to as 'soul' which represents deep inner subjective processes (spiritual essence), 'self' which refers to mind and consciousness (a dynamic of change and transformation), and 'world' which represents all objective physical processes and things (all that is not self or soul).

2E5 As described at 2.43-1, thought, feeling, and emotion are distinct and inseparable aspects of mind (a being of consciousness). To consider the dynamics of emotion, it is necessary to also consider both thought and feeling. Furthermore, thought, feeling, and emotion are general aspects of the process of mind; they must be understood abstractly, as aspects and categories of process and action. These three concepts (in their abstraction and generality) connote and imply more than their conventional English language dictionary definitions.

2E6 In this essay, thought refers to any aspects of the process of mind which are structural (defined in terms of form, pattern, or shape). This includes anything which organizes and coordinates perception and recognition, such as beliefs, ideas, concepts, ideologies, and philosophies. A 'thought', in its most general and abstract sense, refers to any such organization (including the of physiological and biological aspects of the nervous system). Each thought (as a state of mind) consists of a structure and pattern within a single context. Thinking, as an activity, is a purposeful dynamic change in these patterns, structures, and organizations (states of mind).

2E7 In that thought refers to form, feeling refers to quality. Anything that is sensory and defined purely in terms of immediate personal experience, is a 'feeling'. For example, the qualities associated with smell and taste are feelings. They cannot be described logically or in terms of patterns, but can only be appreciated intimately in themselves. As a general rule, smells are not easily categorized, and cannot be fully analyzed into simpler component parts, or into more basic 'prototype' smells. As an abstraction, feeling is considered in terms of un-analyzable qualities of sensation and experience. The qualities and value of each feeling intersect multiple contexts and cannot be considered in the terms of any single thought.

2E8 In that feeling refers to the quality of a sensation, emotion refers to the intensity, position, and direction of motion or flow of sensation. In this essay, emotion refers to the energy, strength, and power of an experience or an expression. In the most general and abstract conceptions, emotion refers to potentiality and movement in terms of direction and intensity, regardless of the context in which that motion occurs. Emotions are indicative of significance (meaningfulness).

2E9 In terms of Axiom III, emotion, thought, and feeling always occur together. There is never just thought or just feeling without an accompanying emotion (even if unnoticed and minor in character). Feelings never occur independently of thought and thoughts are always associated with feelings. Every emotion also occurs with some degree of thought and feeling. Never is there one without there also being something of the nature of the other two. Despite popular opinion, the nature of feeling is exactly distinct from the nature of emotion and even the strongest emotions do not imply the complete absence of thought and feeling,

2E10 Also, in terms of Axiom II, there is a natural cycle between these three concepts. A class of feeling precedes an instance of emotion, a class of emotion precedes an instance of thought, and a class of thoughts precede an instance of feeling. The process of one concept flows into the process of the next.

2E11 In terms of Axiom I, the processes of thought and feeling (which are conjugate to one another) begin and end in emotion. Emotion is the primary and fundamental notion used in understanding the aspects of mind. In terms of modality, feeling is transcendent, emotion is immanent, and thought is omniscient.

2E12 In that emotion is defined in the terms of direction and state of energy flow, there are relatively few pure emotions in comparison to the great variety of possible thoughts and feelings. Between soul, self, and world there are only two primary directions and three basic states of flow. The flow between soul and self is 'vertical', (it crosses multiple domains and depths of being). The flow between self and world is 'horizontal', (it occurs within a single domain and depth of being). The vertical and horizontal connections between soul, self, and world have three basic states: flowing, blocked, or unconditional (the significance of the term 'unconditional' will become clear in the following discussion).

2E13 With this terminology it becomes possible to define the essence of the five primary emotion types:

      Emotion     Vertical Flow     Horizontal Flow    
1st     Love:     Unconditional     Unconditional    
2nd     Fear:     Open/Flowing     Unconditional    
3rd     Anger/Passion:     Open/Flowing     Open/Flowing    
4th     Frustration:     Open/Flowing     Blocked    
5th     Depression:     Blocked     Blocked    

2E14 These five basic and primary emotions are the foundation from which all other emotions are derived. These emotional types are general and abstract. For example, the emotion of anger can also be understood as 'passion', when it is realized or manifested in an especially conscious and healthy manner. Fear, when combined with a sense of the unknown in relation to the integrity of self manifests as anxiety. All other named emotions (in whatever language) will have meanings which are combinations or derivatives of these basic five. Similarly, consider an artist who mixes the primary colors together to get any variety of color. The five basic emotions form the basis for all other recognized emotional experiences and expressions.

2E15 These five emotions occur in definite patterns and are related to a specific occurrence of thought (perceptions) and feeling (values). When an emotion in this sequence is combined with certain thoughts and feelings, the next emotion in the sequence naturally arises. All emotional transitions are included in this sequence, proceeding from Love, to Fear, Anger, Frustration, and finally Depression. Earlier emotions in this sequence can develop into later one's and, in resolution, later emotional states can be transformed back into earlier ones.

2E16 By studying and understanding the pattern and transitions of emotion, one can gain a deep insight and knowledge of self, the essential and personal values of self. Furthermore, by working with the underlying dynamics of emotion, one is enabled to transform later states of emotion into earlier states (for oneself and for others). The personal practice and knowing of emotional sensitivity when combined with the theory and understandings of the dynamics of mind, results in the wisdom to find and create peace and love in life.

2E17 All emotional dynamics begin with love and have love at their root. Love is that which enables choice. Love is undifferentiated potentiality at the subjective core (soul) of all being. It persists as a spiritual energy which moves in all directions at once. The innate, innermost nature of self (soul) has the being of unconditional love (i.e., the absolute inner nature of self is ultimately 'good', regardless of surface manifestations). In this way, as an unstructured (not related to thought) and unqualified (not related to feeling) intensity of energy and potentiality, love is the first and most primal emotion. In being unconditional (in relation to horizontal and vertical above), love is, and cannot not be associated with the soul, regardless of the state of attachment or detachment of self and world.

2E18 The connections and the state of flow (open, blocked, or unqualified) between soul, self, and world are mediated by thought and feeling. In practice (as an actual personal dynamic of mind), thoughts in the form of perceptions, recognitions, or beliefs will precede feeling, as a quality of clarity and transparency (openness and connectivity) or opacity (blockage and disconnection). As such, each transition from one emotion to another will involve characteristic perceptions, thoughts, and beliefs, which will either open or close (a state of feeling) a channel of flow between soul, self, and world. Each emotional transition in the sequence can be identified by those thoughts, perceptions, and beliefs which mediate it. In that there are five emotions in the sequence, there are four specific transitions between them:.

1) Love becomes fear when there is a perception, thought, or belief of the possibility for loss of something which (or someone who) is valued, significant, desired, or loved.

2) Fear becomes anger when there is a perception, thought, or belief that it is the world -- rather than the self -- which must change, and that no amount of change or action within oneself can by itself prevent the possibility of loss.

3) Anger becomes frustration when there is a perception, thought, or belief that change in the world is not actually occurring; that no amount of personal action will effect change in the world, and that the possibility of loss is becoming an actuality of loss.

4) Frustration becomes depression when there is a perception, thought, or belief that no change is significant; that a loss has actually occurred and that it is permanent (changes in self or world would make no difference).

2E23 The cycle begins at the position of love and potentiality (which in this case is an immanent modal concept; an emotion). The first transition occurs when there is a perception of a possibility of loss (perception is omniscient). For example, consider when a self (which values its own life) perceives that it is in bodily danger. The perception creates an opening (a quality of feeling) which connects soul to self and opens a channel of flow -- a clarity -- between them, (this interdomain connection is transcendent). Perception (a form) has resulted in a channel or opening (a feeling) from one layer of self to another layer of self; from soul to mind.

2E24 Love is a pool of potential energy that is tapped into whenever the self perceives a real potential for loss. This perception is then integrated into self as a feeling. This open integration results in a flow of energy that moves through layers of self, from the soul to the surface of self (mind). In this way, spirit infuses the body. This new flow of energy, sourced in the strength of the energy of love and directed towards self to enable action, is called Fear. Fear awakens consciousness and focuses attention in being; it makes one aware of the need for action.

2E25 Fear is an energy directed towards self to enable the self to act. Fear is felt near the center of self. For example, most people experience fear most strongly in the gut, near the center of gravity, the center of one's physical self. Adrenaline results in increased activity in the heart. These are symbols of energy being projected into the self (the body) to enable immediate action (to do what is necessary to prevent a possible loss).

2E26 Where there is no perception of possible loss (blindness), or there is no care or concern about it (an absence of love, value, and significance), there is no fear. There is no fear that is not a fear of loss. The degree of fear is in direct proportion to the degree of significance of the perceived loss. There can be no fear where there is no love. As such, the emotion of fear is never stronger than love; love is always stronger than fear. Love may not be as obvious or experienced as intensely as fear, but the unseen strength of love will always be the basis for the intensity of an experience of fear. Fear and love are not opposites. The intensity of one's fear is an indication of the significance of the love which defines it.

2E27 The transition from fear to anger occurs when one perceives, thinks, or believes that personal action will be insufficient to alter the potentiality of loss. This thought (omniscient) results in the opening of a channel of connection (transcendent) between self and world. The flow of energy (immanent) from soul to self is redirected (reflected) by the self to flow into the world. This outward flow of energy expressed into the world is an attempt to enable someone or something in the world to act. When one remains conscious of the deeper values and concerns which define that flow, and directs that flow in a manner which is healthy and effective, the flow is called passion. When the outward flow is directed in a manner that is unconscious of the love that supports it, the flow is called anger. Both passion and anger potentiate change and action on the part of that which is other than self (i.e., people, things, and environment).

2E28 Anger (or passionate expression) is an indication that the self is trying to create a change in something regarded as being external (as other than themselves; an element of the world). In effect, passion and anger is an attempt by the self to enable someone or something else to act, choose, and change on the behalf of self. Passion is more efficient in creating lasting positive change than anger.

2E29 All fear has its strength and basis in love. Similarly, all anger finds its strength and basis in fear. As such, there is no anger or passion that is not, ultimately, a reflection of an underlying love. Without love, there is no emotion. While anger or passion may seem more dramatic and are more visible to others, it is never stronger or more significant than the underlying love. Love may not be experienced as intensely or as visibly in any single moment, but it is always stronger and longer lasting than anger. Where there is no desire, there can be no passion.

2E30 If there is a perception, belief, or recognition (omniscient) that the emotion of anger is not resulting in change -- that the expression of energy into the world is not making a significant difference -- the channel of connection (transcendent) between self and world (self and other) begins to close. The effort of the self to change the external situation and to enable something other than self to choose differently, is blocked. Frustration is experienced when personal energy directed outward is perceived to be ineffective, blocked, resisted, or confined. Initial failures to satisfy the underlying concern, desire, love, need, or want, are described as frustrating. Frustration is blocked anger. Frustration is a (believed to be) temporary disconnection that occurs in the flow between self and world.

2E31 Depending on the nature and intensity of the flows and blockages involved, frustration can take many forms. Quiet people may contain fear without transforming it into visible anger. The anger is present, but its outward expression is blocked due to some internal or cultural inhibition. Confining anger and resentment and allowing it to build without limit is dangerous. Communication is necessary to release stress or the strain will eventually reach a breaking point. Things seem normal until, all of a sudden, the dam breaks and a very extreme expression of anger results, even if the situation in which it occurs is otherwise ordinary. When the buildup of anger occurs over a long period of time and the blockage is suddenly released in all directions at once, the explosion is called rage. In contrast, if the breech occurs in only one specific direction with tremendous intensity, it is called fury. In all of these cases, the emotion of frustration is the experience of outward directed energy becoming blocked.

2E32 If frustration persists for too long and efforts for change are fully spent (when there is a belief in the permanence of the blockage; that something significant is not changing), the flow of energy from soul to self will stop. When anger and passion, as a horizontal flow between self and world is blocked for too long, the vertical flow of energy between soul and self will itself become blocked. Spirit departs from the body, and the mind becomes empty and insensitive.

2E33 This last state occurs particularly when there is a perception (a belief or recognition, as an action of thought) that no amount of effort or patience on the part of self will make any difference to the situation. The transition from frustration to depression occurs when the loss of something significant, something which one loves, is regarded as actual and permanent, rather than as potential and transient. Depression is the result of a perception and belief that no amount of action will make any difference. This action of thought results in a blockage and closure of the channel of connection between soul and self, an opacity in one's connection to spirit.

2E34 In depression, there are two blockages that have been established: 1) inwardly between soul and self, and 2) outwardly between self and world. In contrast to love, which is energy and potentiality that moves in all directions, depression is a cessation of energy and an actuality which moves in no direction at all. It is marked by the empty feeling of powerlessness or deep apathy. The depressed person feels perpetually isolated and alone, cut off from the world (other people) and spirit (personal dreams and innate significance). Blockages of feeling diminish sensation. Chronically depressed people do not feel.

2E35 Depression marks the last state in the progression of emotions. Normally, a situation is not severe enough to transition between all states. For example, a person may experience fear and through their own actions resolve that fear. In this case, no further emotional transitions occur. If, in passionate communication, one person enables another to choose in a manner that resolves a mutual concern, a state of natural relationship is restored. Even a person who is in a depressed state can find resolution and again attain freedom of choice and significance of life.

2E36 Sometimes the transformations between emotional states can occur very rapidly or very slowly. One can shift from an implicit awareness of what is significant (love) to fear, and then to anger, nearly instantaneously. A very rapid sequence of emotions may appear to completely bypass earlier stages for later ones. However, careful observation will reveal that the transitions of the intermediate emotions always occur in sequence.

2E37 An angry person may have passed through the emotion of fear so rapidly that the transition is unconscious. It is easy to become so focused on anger and expression that one does not even realize its basis in fear. Intense involvement and focus in expression can lead one to forget why they are angry to begin with, to loose track of the overall significance of a situation. Regardless of the strength of one's anger (or fear), it is vital (and necessary to overall effectiveness) to constantly remain conscious of one's underlying love (ultimate concerns and interests). For every form of speaking (expression), there needs to be two types of listening (perception): an outer listening to what others have to say, and an inner listening and remembrance of personal dreams and values (the intuition and voice of soul and spirit).

2E39 An angry person has consciously forgotten what they really care about and who or what they truly love. A passionate person remembers what the angry person has forgotten. A person who is only conscious of their anger tends to make very poor choices. They are ineffective at changing a situation so that it accurately supports that underlying desire (enabling a return to love). They are reacting rather than acting or responding. The expression of love is distorted in anger. Passionate expression, in contrast, tends to be more conscious and pure, supporting and enabling all concerned to realize significance and return to love. Passion is effective to the extent that it realizes love with clarity and intensity (without distortion).

2E40 While the transition from love, to fear, to anger may be so rapid as to be unconscious, the transition from frustration to depression may occur so gradually as to be unnoticeable. Usually it takes a while for frustration to develop and become depression. Chronic frustration can convince the self that there is only suffering, that they have always been depressed. In extreme cases, they may have forgotten those times in the distant past when they were angry, or afraid, or even loving (they have lost the knowledge of what it was they originally cared about).

2E41 However, in situations where the transitions are very rapid or very slow and are thus unnoticeable, the sequence and the dynamics of emotional transition remain valid. The underlying sequence can be recognized in nearly all emotional interactions. There are occasional circumstances where the pattern is not so obvious, but that is not in itself an indication that it did not occur.

2E42 In that the progression of the evolution of emotions follows a definite sequence, so also may one trace this pattern backwards, from an existing experience of emotion towards its basis, to gain real insight into a situation.

2E43 Depression always has as its basis a feeling of powerlessness. It manifests as a lack of energy (apathy) to make changes which are important, valued, and meaningful.

2E44 Frustration always has as its basis blocked energy. It manifests in the perception that there is something external to self which acts in opposition to one's desire.

2E45 Anger always has as its basis a fear. Anger is a desire to change the outside world. To truly know what one wishes to change and why, is to recognize the fear at the root of anger.

2E46 Fear always has as its basis a perception of the potential loss of something valued, important, and meaningful (something or someone loved). Through a recognition of the basis of fear one is returned to the root emotion (love).

2E47 The pattern and dynamic of emotions is reliable and useful in helping oneself and others to reverse the natural transformations of emotion, to move from depression and frustration backward through anger and fear to return to an awareness of love and significance. Rather than responding, people habitually react in a similar manner in which they are approached. When approached with anger, one tends to react with anger. However, by understanding the dynamics of emotion, it becomes possible to respond, rather than react. Rather than simply matching emotion with emotion, a response based on wisdom truly answers a deeper need. Wisdom and insight dissolve negative emotions and create a situation with much greater potential and benefit for everyone concerned. The understanding of the five emotions enables a mutually beneficial transformation of many difficult life situations.

2E48 For example, an angry person can be guided to identify their underlying fear. Angry people have, somewhere in their unconscious, an underlying fear. If one is in a position of deep clarity, (i.e., and is not simply reacting to someone else's anger with an angry display of one's own) skillfully asking what they are afraid of will help to identify the real concerns of the situation. When fear has been consciously recognized and explored, it becomes possible to identify what they are specifically afraid of losing. The key question "What are you afraid of losing?" provides a means of using an initial experience of anger to reveal what is genuinely significant. In identifying what truly matters and is worth caring about, an expression of unconscious and ineffective anger becomes a conscious, and very effective, expression of passion.

2E49 Only an answer to the real concerns of a situation can provide a lasting solution. The recognition of the true underlying desires of others allows for increased possibility for recognizing similar desires in oneself. Wisdom creates a dynamic of cooperation and consensus which is shared between selves, even in situations where no one else appears to be conscious of the process of consensus. Identifying, remembering, and returning to the root emotion (love) will answer to the total dynamic of which fear and anger are only representations. By allowing unconscious anger to become conscious passion, the original situation is effectively resolved.

2E50 It is in knowing what are the root values, loves, and meanings, of a situation that one has real insight into how to choose and act with true effectiveness. In identifying and remaining conscious of the most fundamental emotion (love) one is enabled to make the most satisfying, wholesome, and lasting changes in life. The dynamic of insight quickly creates powerful and practical effects: it is a multi-purpose tool useful in many situations, from the intimately personal to the politically impersonal.

2E51 For example, to help a depressed person, it is necessary to enable them to perceive that they do have real choices, that significant change is probable, and that they are not powerless or alone. Sometimes this requires a letting go of form and a return to feeling. If there is an attachment to a specific form in which the manifestation and realization of love is expected to take, disappointment will likely follow. In the dynamic of manifestation, the movement of feeling into form, it is certain that the resulting realized form will always be different than expected (creation is cooperative and always involves more than self). To remain attached to only one specific form and discard or reject all others is to suffer an obsession, and in this way, discontinuity and pain (the distribution of acceptance and awareness is not equi-tempered). A depressed person must let go of the expected form of the realization of their love and return to the essence and deep inner nature of that love. To let go of attachment to (outer) form allows for an acceptance (an inner attachment) of feeling. When the channels of feeling are opened, love can flow outward again and manifest as new (different) forms.

2E52 Connection and integration will always create potentiality and new choices. Such connection can be very healing and provide a lasting cure of depression. The best form of such health is found in interdependence which is distinct from dependence (which is debilitating and does not heal depression) and independence (which can be roughly conceived of as static, empty, and dead). All of nature lives in interdependence.

2E53 Between people, a healthy relationship has qualities of interdependence. The love that each person has for the other enables the realization of each of their inner dreams, in addition to the shared dreams that they have together. In contrast, both complete independence (no relationship) and complete dependence (co-dependent relationships) tend to result in depression. Depression cannot be healed by dependence or independence, but only by healthy interdependence.

2E54 A co-dependent relationship is characterized by each person limiting and restricting their range of love and connection. Each person feels they have to "give up" various aspects of their own lives (personal dreams) to be in relationship with the other. As the range of love and connection becomes increasingly limited, greater levels of discontinuity result. A relationship which is focused on only one person or only one aspect of life -- and which includes nothing else -- results in a painful discontinuity: attention is uneven and in some places, absent. The lack of attention itself results in increased potentiality for painful surprises and experiences ("everything is sudden to those who are blind").

2E55 With increasing severity of codependence, the people in an unhealthy relationship will transition through the sequence of emotions very rapidly. A relationship which began in love quickly becomes beset by the fear of its loss. The relationship becomes so significant to each partner that they become obsessed with any possible 'issue' or indication of something which might affect the relationship. At first they may try to 'fix' themselves by limiting the range of their dreams and their actions (fear). Later they begin to blame each other and try to correct perceived faults in their partner (anger). These reactions continue until both people feel frustrated when they perceive that their partner (and/or the relationship itself) is not changing. If each of the people in a co-dependent relationship believe that they cannot change (or leave) the relationship (fear), or that nothing that they say or do will make any difference (anger and frustration), they each become depressed.

2E56 While people in severely co-dependent relationships may remain in depression (dysfunctional), families in less desperate circumstances will simply break up when reaching a significant level of frustration. A person will respond in different ways to the pain of perceived loss of potentiality in the relationship, depending on their level of health and realization. If they believe the loss is permanent because they have become attached to a specific form of relationship with a specific person, they will remain depressed. If (instead) they recognize other potentialities for significance in life, and are not so attached to so specific a form of love, the pain will eventually heal and they will return to an awareness of love. The healing process, the process of grieving, involves transitions back through each emotion in reverse order. In situations where an awareness of loss is especially intense, the grieving process can involve multiple back and forth transitions through the sequence of emotions.

2E57 In contrast, people who respond to a breakup of a relationship with the decision to never be in relationship again (to never love again) will have other problems. Total independence is eventually realized to be equivalent to total isolation; it is a totality of being cut off and disconnected from the world. At first, this will be experienced as frustration; but if the action of independence remains unchanged, depression eventually results. The totally independent person is insensitive to changes in the world and to others. They have internalized the experience of being alone so completely that they feel cut off from their soul; the energy of spirit has gone out of their lives. They feel that they cannot realize and manifest their dreams, for the absence of interaction negates the potentiality for change; there are no opportunities for realizing anything new.

2E58 A healthy person (both in and apart from a healthy relationship) has a diverse and more natural range of experiences and possible outlets of creativity. Such diversity (a realization of interdependence) allows them to connect to life in a meaningful way and to respond to situations in a more appropriate manner.

2E59 Similar dynamics of interdependence, independence, and dependence hold between a person and the environment, between self and nature and between self and spirit. Spirit (soul), mind, and body (world) are healthy, natural, and alive (living well and fully) when they are mutually interdependent (rather than dependent or independent). Mind, body, and spirit are distinct, non-interchangeable, and inseparable. No one of these three absolutely and totally controls or conditions either of the other two. The concept of absolute and total control, which is unnatural, must be distinguished from the more natural concepts of interaction and influence. When spirit absolutely controls mind (i.e., commands activities, dictates orders, etc.), tyranny results. When mind absolutely controls mind and body (and does not listen to the natural messages of the spirit or the world), egotism results. When the wants of the body absolutely control mind and spirit, hedonism results. In health, no aspect of self absolutely controls any other; they all mutually and naturally influence each other.

2E60 As another example, consider the depression associated with addiction. Addiction obscures clear vision about root desires (feelings, a true knowledge of self) and results in (or is a result of) a perceived loss of significance in life. Addiction is a discontinuity in self. Discontinuity (in self and action) results in pain and suffering (both for self and others). Addiction is characterized by a personal inability to change (overcome) a relationship of dependence. An addicted person is depressed to the extent that they recognize (or believe) themselves to be addicted and powerless to change, to become other than or more than themselves; to be able to fully realize love in (and of) self.

2E61 Addiction is associated with issues of sensitivity and is especially common in cultures which encourage a lack of awareness of feeling (a knowledge of self). An over emphasis on purpose and external value is associated with a lack of emphasis on inner value, meaningfulness, and significance. An extreme emphasis on commercialism, for example, can result in an overflow of advertisement. Advertisement is intended to supplant an awareness of natural inner desire with an artificial and externally defined desire consistent with a purchase. It is advantageous to the producers for the consumers to have wants, needs, and desires (feeling) without the inner experience of knowing for themselves what they want, need, and desire. Cultures that emphasize intellectual achievement and the attainment of important functional roles in society (career) as the only aspect of life which is valued (worth money and time) tend to diminish inner understanding and recognition of feeling. Outward authority replaces inner truths. Religious, academic, and governmental institutions replace families and communities. Rather than encouraging a natural (internal and external) integrated response to want, need, or desire, institutionalized commercialism encourages only an external reaction to want, need, and desire. An impulsive outward search for immediate satisfaction completely ignores all inward realization. The resulting satisfaction is incomplete and very temporary, which increases the demand for additional commercialism. When the discontinuity between inner and outer consciousness becomes especially extreme (when health and connection is lost), the resulting pain is suppressed. Substances and activities which are intended to block the pain do so by blocking all sensation. All of these cultural effects diminish inner sensitivity, awareness of feeling, and knowledge of ones inner nature.

2E62 An increased desire for sensation, any sensation, is the result of a lack of sensitivity and a real knowledge of one's own natural inner state of feeling. With increasing perception that self has become insensitive, unable to feel and dream (that one's life is somehow insignificant), there is an increasing emphasis on sensation and sensationalism. As a result (a reaction in culture) anything which creates intense feeling and sensation is sought after. Activities which promote an adrenaline rush become popular (physical health is emphasized over emotional health). An entertainment industry is developed which focuses on action and event (sensation) rather than on aesthetics and art (significance). Alternating reactionary efforts to suppress pain and then to enhance feeling and sensation results in increased incidence of addiction and addictive behaviors. Substances which artificially create feeling, sensation, and activity within the self are preferred, even when those feelings and activities have no significance or meaningfulness in and of themselves. The state of feeling created by a drug does not refer to anything that is real, which is other than the effect of the drug itself. Feeling, rather than being valued in terms of its significance, is considered only in terms of its intensity, its capacity to overcome an increasing absence of natural sensitivity.

2E63 The cycle of addiction increases when stronger and stronger levels of intensity of sensation are required. In some cases this results from a side effect of the drug itself (particularly when it wears off). The drug-induced increase in sensation is balanced by a temporary loss of sensation in other aspects of self. Higher levels of artificial sensation will mask awareness of natural sensation. Such effects make it increasingly difficult for naturally occurring feelings and sensations to be noticed at all. Natural feelings and desires become obscured, initially because of neglect, and later when they are obscured by the more intense effects of the addiction itself.

2E64 Note that these effects are in direct contrast to the shamanic use of drugs, which in all respects emphasize sacredness and significance, both in the intention of increasing awareness of natural sensation and awareness, and with an infrequency of usage. Whereas a shaman is concerned with set and setting, the addict de-emphasizes set and setting by using the drug in all occasions of mind and situation, without sacredness and an emphasis on significance; the usage is too frequent for it to be anything other than mundane. The addict uses drugs to either diminish sensitivity or to have artificial sensitivity supplant and replace natural sensitivity.

2E65 In all cases of addiction, awareness of natural feelings and desires is obscured. The addict does not know what their natural state of feeling and desire is; they have lost connection with their soul and spirit, all real feeling and knowledge of their inner self. They know that they desire, but they do not know what they desire. An emphasis on intellectualism and thinking does not equip one with an ability to identify and work with feeling. An unconsciousness of feeling does not enable one to distinguish between artificial feelings (created by situational drama, commercial advertisement, or drugs) and natural feelings (which arise from a change in the state of one's inner nature, desires, and dreams; a motion towards health).

2E66 Health is maintained in awareness. A lack of awareness of one's state of feeling disables the natural processes which maintain health. Minor pains, which indicate a minor health problem are ignored or lost in insensitivity. Minor changes which are needed do not occur and health continues to diminish. The pain grows stronger and more chronic, but it continues to be ignored by the conscious mind of the addict. It is only when the level of dis-ease and the feeling of pain becomes acute enough to overcome the loss of sensitivity, that the addict realizes that they are sick. Until a state of disease becomes extreme, the addict has little motivation or recognition of the need to quit.

2E67 A person who is not directly conscious of their state of feeling is still affected by those feelings. The addict reacts unconsciously to a feeling (feeling is transcendent) by choosing to continue to take the drug (choice and action are immanent). The choice is then explained or justified in terms of thought (omniscient modality). This action of considering a choice to be defined in terms of conscious thought (a false illusion), rather than in terms of unconscious feeling (a fact of reality) is called rationalization. An emphasis on thinking (intellectualism) encourages one to transform feelings into thoughts in order to make them more accessible. Yet this encouragement simply results in increased addiction. As a result, neither the conscious mind in various states of rational thought, nor the unconscious mind in various states of feeling and sensation, are any help in enabling the addict to cure the addiction.

2E68 Addiction is associated with depression when one perceives themself as powerless to change. The mind of the addict has lost sensitivity and connection both to soul and the world and they are unable to use either thought or feeling to effect change. The addict cannot trust their own desires and wants, and they cannot trust their own intellect and reason to cure their addiction and heal their pain. Depression occurs in proportion to the degree that it appears that no other tools or resources are available and the addict believes that they are therefore powerless to change. Depression in itself decreases the sense of significance, connection, and sensitivity, and the cycle of addiction continues.

2E69 It is for these reasons that faith in a/some deity is often a successful motivating force for sobriety in Alcoholics Anonymous rehabilitation. Faith in a higher power is not the same as faith or trust in oneself. When the self cannot be trusted, due to the addiction, it is natural for an addict to look toward a higher power for guidance and love, something trustworthy that is other than self (a personality identified in thought and feeling). In reaching toward community and relinquishing the illusion of rational control over their addiction, they realize other potentialities and other modes of connection. The support system and relationships so developed increase the potentialities for healing.

2E70 However, even in these faith-based methods, quitting an addiction is ultimately about enabling the self to realize connection and intimacy again. This action of realizing love within the self is only indirectly related to an external deity. In this form of healing, an external deity is a successful motivating force, for it creates new opportunities of action, and new ways of working with addiction. It takes the addict outside of themselves by connecting them outwardly to community (the peer support group or religious community) and inwardly to spirit (the soul, deity or higher power). These connections and new possibilities of action provide the energy that leverages a more permanent transformation of addiction. The dynamics of restoring connection changes the perception and belief of isolation and powerlessness and reverses the depression associated with addiction.

2E71 These examples demonstrate the means by which the dynamics of emotion can be useful to clarify personal relationships and social rehabilitation. Understanding emotions and recognizing feelings enable self to search for and realize underlying loves and desires. Many people regard emotions as negative. They attempt to avoid or suppress emotional expression by means of extravagant distraction (for example, by focusing on the rational achievements of an intellectual career). Instead of regarding emotion as an uncontrollable, irrational, and unreasonable force which suppresses consciousness, consider it instead as a reasonable and natural dynamic of life which ultimately increases consciousness, quality, and significance. An awareness of fear, anger, frustration, or depression is an opportunity to apply an understanding of the transformations of emotion in a manner that restores the quality of life and maintains health.

2E72 The greater the degree of love, significance, and value, and the clearer and more sudden the perception (belief) of possible loss, the stronger and more intense the resulting emotions of fear, anger, and depression.

2E73 The more the cause of a potential loss is perceived to be external, the more rapid the transition from love to fear and from fear to anger. The strength of later emotions is proportional to the strength of the source emotion of love.

2E74 The level, depth, and duration of frustration and depression is proportional to the intensity and strength of the original love and the degree of perceived ineffectiveness of any possibility of change.

2E75 Understanding the nature of emotional transformations does not mean that one will never be afraid or angry again. The understanding provides a path back to the source of significance. Fear is a tool to learn about the desires of self, rather than a 'negative experience'. Knowing about emotion provides a methodology for developing an inner knowing of self and desire. The emotions are a gateway to lead the self back to inner dreams and true life affirming desires. When the underlying love is conscious, one's personal action becomes far more effective than when the awareness is only focused on what is not desired (1).

2E77 Regardless of the level of personal development, initiation, or experience, the basic progression of emotion remains unchanged. What changes is how one chooses to respond to these emotions. An enlightened person has learned to use an awareness of their emotions as an indication and reminder of what is truly loved, valued, and desired. In this way, strong emotions (rather than being a hindrance) are effective tools of change and consciousness. The emotions provide a clear path to knowing what one loves; a true knowledge of self.

2E78 In conclusion, the emotions have a definite pattern, logic, and sequence. By understanding the natural dynamics of emotion, one is able to make choices which resolve painful emotions into earlier stages of emotion which are more peaceful, joyous, and life affirming. Emotions are positive and effective tools that allow self to be conscious of multiple layers of feeling, thought, and desire. Increased knowledge of self enables one to act (participate) far more ethically and effectively (with increased consciousness) in every situation. Emotional understanding enables the creation of a healthier and more natural life for people and the planet (a Heaven on Earth).



Notes:
2E76 [1] For example, when experiencing fear (a perception of a potential for loss) it is best to ensure that mind does not become fixed on just what one fears will happen. It is easy to become caught up in the intensity of the experience of fear, and to react to it unconsciously by focusing only on what might happen. One must remain conscious of more than what it is that one does not want to happen. To become unconscious, to allow the totality of awareness to become too discontinuous, is to begin the process of pain. Only by acting on the basis of true inner desire, rather than on the basis of what one does not want, can one actually manifest what is wanted, (rather than to be aiding the manifestation of what is specifically not wanted).



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