Originally Written: April 28, 2012 by Ethan Emerson www.facebook.com/poeticrhythms
After taking the last 2 months to isolate myself from as much conditioning as possible, living an eventless life purposely to allow myself to settle into my body and really feel what it’s like to be who I am… I’ve actually come to have some very surprising experiences. Conceptually I always got that nothing others do or say creates the way we feel – we are always the source of our emotions (yes, even if someone punches me in the face if I feel anger it’s not because of being punched in the face) however, there was a dilemma. Was I really choosing my emotional state? I don’t remember consciously choosing what I feel, ever. And now I’ve gotten to the bottom of it.
Emotions really are just chemistry! Literally. There is no cause for feeling sad, lonely, angry, disappointed, happy, elated, etc. it is literally just chemistry. It’s not enough to say that something happens and then we choose how to respond. We don’t choose how to respond. Not consciously, anyway. It just happens like a knee-jerk response. Why? Because we identify with our emotions.
I have a defined solar plex, and so I have my own emotional wave that gradually ratchets up – then gradually ratchets down and completely crashes, and this is just chemistry. No big deal, except to witness the big crash as the passenger – oh, that’s something else. That’s quite an experience. To witness the end of the crash without identifying with it – the doors that just opened for me are incredible.
I am not my body, I am not my emotions, and now I clearly see how this emotional wave just repeats on a cycle over and over – and when I’m climbing up or down on my wave if I am attached to identifying with the emotions that pass through my body, I think that circumstances and people around me are contributing to and/or causing my heightened feelings labeled desirable/undesirable but that’s not the truth at all.
IT’S JUST CHEMISTRY!
Saying that emotions are “just chemistry” is not the same as saying “I am responsible for how I feel, and I can feel happy in any circumstance, even if I’m in prison or being faced with torture.” No. Emotions being pure chemistry is different than taking “responsibility” for how I feel. Taking “responsibility” for my emotions is another not-self mindtrap – I am not responsible for the emotions that pass through my body at all. And the more I try to trick my mind into believing I am, the more I will be misled to believe that I somehow have control over the emotions that pass through my body. Clearly, I do not. It is just chemistry and it goes up and it crashes down and I am not in control.
What does that mean? Nothing, really, unless I choose to make it mean something. But at the end of the day all it really means is that the emotional wave always has and always will continue to rise and fall and I am just along for the ride. Where’s the freedom in that? Well, by not identifying with the emotional wave and getting that it is just chemistry, I can coexist with the emotional wave and just take a backseat to all of it. Just watch it. Observe it. Be the passenger. Not try to change or control it in any way. “Oh, look, there it goes…”
The sentiment that we are somehow “responsible” for our emotions implies choice in the way we feel. The truth is there is no choice – there is only chemistry. And in recognizing that all there is, is chemistry – that’s where the true power of freedom comes… to be the passenger… the power is not to choose happiness in the face of sadness. That’s just adding on more layers of bullshit to your original bullshit. You can’t control it. The power is in not identifying with the emotions in the first place, and, despite what you feel in your physical body, maintaining your flow of allowing it all to just be. Not labeling it wanted or unwanted. Just ride the wave – you can’t change it!
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