The Interface: Emotions that don’t feel like emotions

Let’s first underline the sense you got of the energetic layer being both within you and not within you, depending upon definition, because that may be very helpful.

Perhaps envision a circle completely surrounded by a second circle. The smaller circle is the 3D self – “you” as you experience yourself. The larger circle is the 3D and non-3D self – the larger “you,” which you experience less consistently. Now, recognize that these are not really circles but spheres, one inside the other.

Recognize, too, that the boundary between larger and smaller sphere is not a solid, definite boundary, but a frontier that moves and changes continually. This is what we have been calling the ionizing layer or the laminar layer.

That layer may be accurately said to be “outside of” you, if you consider “you” to be the 3D portion of yourself alone. If instead you consider “you” to be the larger 3D-and-non-3D self, the boundary layer is within you.

You see? It is merely a matter of clarity, and, as so often, clarity depends upon the question, which “you” are we referring to?

Thanks, that seems very clear. So psychologists who see emotions as within us, and those who see them as outside of us, are each describing the situation from a certain point of view, perhaps not realizing that “from a certain point of view” is not the same thing as saying “objectively, this is how things are.”

Yes, but you don’t need to confine the statement to psychologists.

Understood. We began this, remember, with my acknowledging that I did not understand what people mean by the words “emotion” and “feeling.” I may not know, but in this case at least, I know I don’t know.

Understanding the half-conscious ambiguity should help you understand the confusion that results when the result of careful observation is described in terms that cannot be carefully bounded because the context continually slips.

I see that. And it is somewhat reassuring, because I recognize that it would be merely ignorant and silly to dismiss a century of psychological observation and practice as just flat wrong. I know it has to be right from a certain point of view, just as I know that it is wrong from a different point of view. And the thing that “revalues all values” (to steal from Nietzsche), is context. A psychology built upon a materialist, reductionist framework cannot help but come to erroneous conclusions about what it observes.

We smile at the way that came out, but yes, other than the way you defined yourself back into being right (“erroneous conclusions”), that’s as we would put it.

Now, emotions that don’t feel like emotions. Understand that so simple a statement is nonetheless packed with assumptions and implicit context.

  • “Don’t feel like”: To whom?
  • What an emotion feels like.
  • What an emotion does not feel like.
  • The same emotion – does it feel the same in all contexts, at all times, even to the same person?

I get the point. So –

So it is still well worth looking at, only don’t think it is simpler than it is.

Someone in a towering rage is one thing. There isn’t any doubt it is feeling emotion, and strongly. Someone in icy calm, under strict internal control, same thing. Emotion, feeling, cannot be defined by their strength of manifestation,  nor lack of strength of manifestation. Strong emotion may leave no external trace, without being any the less strong.

Sure. So, we can’t judge emotion by how much of it manifests.

No. not by how much manifests externally (that is, observable by others) nor by how much manifests internally (that is, observable even by oneself). If you were to experience a lifelong emotion that never varied nor wavered, how would you ever become aware of it?

And this inches us closer to our point. If you regard your lives as being lived in 3D and also beyond merely-3D, and you concede a boundary layer that both connects and somewhat separates the two, you see that that boundary layer is closer to an arithmetical ratio than to anything tangible. It exists, but it exists not as a “thing” but as a relationship. It is not self-generated, nor immutable, but comes into existence (moment by moment) as a result of the interaction of the you that you experience as 3D you and the larger you that you experience as the “external” world.

“Emotions are ratios.”

Emotions, feelings, are more like ratios than they are like boxes of corn flakes. They are interfaces, not objects. They are energetic, not self-contained and inert. They are more like lightning than like electric lights no matter how powerful. That is, they are the light, not the means of producing the light.

So, stop thinking of “envy” or “rage” or “contentment” or whatever as if you were describing an object that existed from one moment to another. They are momentary because they have no body, no self-containment, no independent existence. They are observable results of relationships; that is the same as saying, they are illusions.

By “illusions” we don’t mean, “They aren’t real,” we mean, “They don’t have independent existence.” You can’t stack them in the closet somewhere in either the 3D or the non-3D universe. They don’t exist in and of themselves, because they cannot exist in and of themselves, but only as relationships between 3D experiences and the larger selves.

And this ought to shed light on the question of how many emotions (or feelings) exist. As we have said, it’s like the question of how many colors are in the spectrum making up a rainbow. “How many” depends entirely upon what perception you bring to the examination. And for the same reason, the boundaries of the emotions, like the boundaries of color, is strictly a matter of your definitions. The reality is an unbroken spectrum scaling up and scaling down. The appearance is a spectrum put together by juxtaposing different colors, and this is just not so. Those colors are defined by you, and if your definitions change, so does your perception, and vice-versa. It’s the same with emotion, for the same reason.

So someone who says he does not experience certain commonly reported emotions, as Dirk, should be at least tentatively taken at his word. Tentatively, because it is quite common to experience without realizing that one is experiencing, but taken at his word nonetheless, because careful observation and reporting will always show that what is assumed to be universal is actually an average of widely – and wildly – different experiences.

And of course what is true of anyone today may be no longer true in the next minute. That’s just life. It is, in fact, life as the 3D consciousness being continually drawn into new relationships with its “external” time-driven aspects.

 

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