The emotions are strange things, and I suspect that most of us misunderstand them. Some people might classify them as an aspect of mind (“your emotions are all in the mind”). Others associate them more with spirit, I guess, as they are rather ephemeral. Others, in turn, associate them with the body because they are felt in the body.
Perhaps that is part of the mystery of the emotions, that they don’t have a neat home in mind, body, or spirit, but can be experienced and classified in all those parts of the being. Nevertheless, they are extremely important, and they do act as very significant filters of creation.
It is not a surprise to find that writers apparently do not agree on a clear and consistent categorisation of emotions. Even some states of being like peacefulness, calmness, and tranquillity seem to get overlooked altogether, maybe because they are not active enough. I will, therefore, classify emotions into three groups. Any other emotional words you think of should fit into one of these three groups:
- Positive emotions include feeling amazed, amused, calm, caring, comfortable, compassionate, confident, content, curious, delighted, eager, ecstatic, elated, enthusiastic, excited, glad, good, happy, humble, joyous, loving, optimistic, passionate, patient, peaceful, pleased, surprised, sympathetic, thrilled, tranquil, warm, wonderful
- Survival (self-preservation) emotions include feeling anguish, anxious, cautious, desire, fearful, grief, helpless, homesick, horror, nervous, overwhelmed, panicky, protected, relieved, safe, scared, secure, suffering, terrified, worried
- Negative emotions include feeling alienated, angry, annoyed, arrogant, contemptuous, cynical, defeated, depressed, despairing, disappointed, disgusted, embarrassed, envious, frustrated, guilty, hateful, humiliated, impatient, irritated, isolated, jealous, lazy, loathing, lonely, mean, miserable, pain, enraged, resentful, sad, shameful, shy, sorrowful, spiteful, unhappy.
(An emotion like pride can have either a positive or a negative connotation, and fits in well with either of these once you know the context.)
It is interesting, when we review these lists of emotions, that the positive emotions do not seem to relate to the Ego, whereas the negative emotions shout out the word Ego. The emotions I have classed as survival emotions do not have a sense of Ego about them, although they are protective of the separated self. They give a feeling of separation from God-Consciousness certainly, and they are beyond the Ego.
One can easily and correctly reach the conclusion that emotions that come from the Ego are negative or hurtful ones — ones that cause us pain. Pain comes from resistance, and with these emotions we are resisting something. We don’t like the reality that is facing us, we don’t accept what is, and our Ego becomes angry, depressed, envious, unhappy, or whatever.
However, with the positive emotions there is a sense of wholeness and oneness. The Ego is not present, and instead our Higher Self reaches out to the situation or the other person and we gently feel love, compassion, happiness, optimism, patience, and so on.
The middle group of survival emotions are felt because the self feels threatened, or there is relief that the threat has abated. These emotions are not felt in the same way as the negative group. There is no sense of Ego or self-importance, but rather a sense of separation from God.
So, how do the emotions act as filters on creation? I will write about this in Part 2!
(This is an extract from Chapter 14 of my book, The God Franchise, which is now available to you in paperback from major online bookshops in the US and UK)