Emotion and spirit

Emotion and Spirit

Andrew Ask:
Please explain whether or not you believe emotion is anathema to spirit or, put another way, what are your thoughts regarding whether it’s possible for a person to be under the influence of their emotions and ‘spiritually minded’ at the same time?

Hi Andrew

I align with Deb’s first post, not so much the subsequent ones.

It seems clear to me that emotions are a fundamental part of being human (tools sculptured by evolution over deep time, that bring much power in some situations), and there is no escape from them (nor does such escape seem desirable). What does seem to be desirable and useful both from a personal and a societal perspective is to escape from the absolute domination of emotions.

What seems most powerful is, as Deb wrote, to bring a balance between all the different aspects of being that we develop – a sort of internal consensus politics. And if something really is a matter of time critical survival then there can be a necessary domination of one aspect of being over the others, and such times seem to actually be quite rare. So most of the time, consensus within is not only possible, but desirable.

In this sense, spiritual development is, for me, developing the tools to facilitate the ongoing development of consensus and preparation, and the development of abilities of each level that emerges within me. The most effective way to do that seems to be to develop agreed policies and responses to likely scenarios well ahead of needing to deal with those situations, and to practice them.

Developing and testing the levels of awareness that deliver the most reliable determination of the context within which we find ourselves can be critical, and often that can be very dependent on the level(s) of awareness present (and sometimes our low level genetic systems can take over that determination if we are caught by surprise). Often the threats and opportunities present in any specific situation are very much a function of the level(s) of awareness present in the individual, as often people react to different levels of awareness very differently. Often the level of awareness one expresses (or conceals) is a major factor in the risk/opportunity matrix that develops in that interaction.

And for me, the idea that there is any sort of purpose other than the purposes we each bring to existence doesn’t make sense; and I can understand that it might seem sensible to others, and it seems extremely unlikely to me (much less than my chances of winning lotto, which given that I don’t buy lotto tickets is quite low, but not zero because occasionally people give me them as gifts).

[followed by]

Hi Andrew

I think emotion had a very important role in my surviving cancer, in the sense of a deep emotional determination not to be beaten, to be able to say I gave life every chance.
I have this real issue with authority. If someone tells me not to do something, and I can’t see any good reason in what they are saying as to why not, then I’ll probably do it – just because I hate anyone else telling me what I can or cannot do.

You might say I’m a bit of stroppy SOB, but in a way that I will help anyone who asks for it, and I work for the long term security and freedom of everyone (whether they want me to or not 😉 ).

I rely on that deep emotional strength to keep going in situations that most people would have given up long ago. Though I use that strength to apply the tools of science and logic.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) with reasonable security, tools, resources and degrees of freedom, and reasonable examples of the natural environment; and that is going to demand responsibility from all of us - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
This entry was posted in Philosophy, Question of the Day and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comment and critique welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s