From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ron in Austin)
Ah, yes. The old ``you can't be in the dark when you insist on bringing along a light'' conundrum.
Subject: Re: Expression of Negative Emotions
Date: Sat, 14 Dec 1996 23:39:43 PDT
Ron in Austin wrote:
I have found that when I observe an emotion, it usually dissipates pretty quickly.
Is there any value in attempting to prolong an emotion so it can be studied, or is this just another form of control?
This is the plague of just about all attempts at observing self, isn't it?
Not just understanding emotions and feelings.
The very act of observing self changes the self that one is observing.
There is a way of dealing with this difficulty, but let's leave that for another time.
For now, let's remember the purpose for observing: to see the truth for one's Self and discover freedom.
A seeming digression.
For those who can buy the illusion that they are one and the same person all the time -- that the personality that they believe to be their self is not actually made up of many contradictory and transient little personalities -- there really is no point to all this mumbo-jumbo that we indulge in.
The purpose of this work is to see this household of personalities called ``the personality'' as a function of the body, today called conditioning: that it is not the I.
Having broken the identification of the Awareness or I with the personalities or false i's that make up ``the personality'', one can then work to discover something real that can do the part of the job that the personalities are doing for us that they're no good at: being aware of what is, and determining the value of what is.
An Awareness that begins doing this job for Self can be said to be in a state of self-knowing and Self-remembering; and is in charge of the household called self.
That one is the head of the household.
That one can then look at what is going on at least somewhat objectively without the many illusions from self, and determine a purpose for living; and has the ability to be about that purpose.
So it really doesn't matter whether the emotion dissipates quickly or not, when seen in the light of the purpose of what one is doing.
As you say, that usually happens, but it doesn't always happen.
A suggestion: use the times when it doesn't whenever you are able; smile when it does and go on about your business.
The purpose is to understand this incredible waste of time and effort and energy called emotions: to see the truth of the situation.
Not to become a slave to some made up need to do such and such because it leads to some undefined state that one believes is better than one's current state.
One works to see the truth of what happens when ``i'' use emotions to change things so that they are more to ``my'' taste.
One works to see that this is the purpose of emotions: to change what is into what ought to be, based on some unknown purpose the self has.
One works to discover freedom: the freedom to use emotions, and the freedom not to.
One works to discover choice: without freedom to do, to experience, I cannot choose a response -- there is only the attempt to escape or change what I am not free to experience.
The reaction used to make this escape or change is foisted on me by some personality -- I have neither say nor choice in the matter -- in fact, there is no I to choose while there is identification with some i in the personality.
One works to see this basic fact of human existence.
To specifically address the question: it may still be a subtle form of control depending on the degree of understanding one is using.
If the purpose is to understand the personality that uses these emotions to get things done, then ``doing it yourself'' or prolonging it yourself probably won't help much; and is most likely just another attempt to control the situation so that I can play out this game that I believe is so necessary to ``my'' growth.
But it just gets stuck in a loop: I'm observing this because I don't understand it, so I'll do it myself, but I can't do it the way the personality does it, because I don't understand what the personality is doing exactly ...
It reminds me of an ``I Love Lucy'' episode.
No, not really, because the bit on ``I Love Lucy'' seems to have been taken from a Nasrudin story ;)
But the gist is: someone is looking for their keys.
Another happens by, asks what's going on, and offers to help.
They can't find the keys.
After some time, the bystander says, ``Are you sure this is where you last had your keys?''
And the response is, ``No.
I lost them somewhere else, but I'm looking for them here because the light is better here.''
It is highly recommended that one not get lost in the game and decide that the game is the point.
These suggestions that are given to do and to observe are a means to an end, not the end itself.
It's not that clearcut in this work because everything in always in a network of relationships -- where it's understood that there is no cause and no effect -- so there is neither a means or a method, nor a single end or purpose to any one exercise or experiment -- but this idea is still something worth keeping in mind: the exercise or experiment is not the point itself.
One observes emotions without allowing them to express hopefully because one has observed for one's self that expressing them has no objective value.
And one sees that the desire to express them comes from a fictional being actually made up of bits of contradictory conditioning: not I but the personality, whatever that may be.
One develops a desire to understand what these selves are doing, so that one may be able some day to act from one's own perception and understanding of what's going on here, for one's own purpose rather than the purpose that runs everyone's life in this interesting place.
Attempting to prolong something that the self started can occasionally be useful.
There are aspects of any game that can be seen by doing it yourself.
More useful, though, is to watch the selves doing it until you understand how it's done, even through the resistance that comes from the i that is doing it stopping when you're observing it.
Then, when it's understood, initiate it and do it yourself: without the help of any conditioning or false i.
(Be aware, though, that the personality often takes this game over; and that what started as a conscious action doesn't always end that way.)
This little technique often brings with it the freedom to experience whatever is being done.
Which, of course, brings with it the freedom to choose whether one wants to do it or not.
When I am free to, I am also free not to: but it don't work the other way around.
When I can see the truth of this moment freely, now I have a choice.
When I am not free to experience something about this moment, then I have no choice on the subject, no matter what stories ``i'' tell self.
Even then, one must still pay attention at all times and actually make that choice one's Self, moment by moment.
The personality will happily make the choice for anyone who does not pay attention to what it is suggesting automatically by conditioned reaction; for one who does not make the choice, consciously, for Self.
So, even though the self tends to stop what it is doing when it is observed and do something else, there's always a little time lag.
The Awareness is incredibly fast: much faster than the personalities.
In that little time lag, many aspects of whatever is being observed can be seen.
Perhaps enough that one sees the whole that before one had only seen in bits and pieces from different observations over time.
Eventually the truth of the matter may be seen as a whole, and the missing pieces filled in with that perception of truth.
Seeing the truth brings with it the freedom to experience the whole thing and make one's own choice as a real living being without the assistance of these false i's that know everything and what to do about everything to bring about some purpose that is no longer consciously known to most of us.
So part of this game is using some time every now and again to consider the different observations one has made, and see if one can perceive the whole of which they are the parts.
Not just to observe like it's a magic trick.
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