Negative emotions are not real and are not natural. It is not possible to have any negative emotion that is part of our essence. Every negative emotion is learnt.
Negative emotions need to be defined so they are not confused with other emotions which we now call negative. For instance, murder, rape and so on instil tremendous anger and negative emotions. So you will ask wouldn’t those be natural?
Now you have negative emotions, but if you explore the root of the feeling before it becomes anger, you will find shock and confusion. “How could one person do this to another?” That is the first question in your mind. “How could this happen?” This confusion then searches for an answer. So our mind looks for a way of expressing the feeling we have, because confusion is really a blank. When the mind is confused, it does not know what to do with the experience, and we don’t like being left without a reaction.
Negative emotions are all learnt. As we grow up, we learn how to express reactions to certain events from our parents, siblings, friends etc. With a little observation of children, you can see how they copy everything. That is how we learn all we know, by seeing and copying. Negative emotions are exactly the same.
Explore your own feelings about events that you have narrowed down to saying that there is no other possible feeling other than anger, and see if the root is confusion. Then you take a negative emotional response as what is ‘appropriate’. Appropriate reactions are determined to be so because we are taught and learn that is what is appropriate. This proves that negative emotions are all learnt along with a lot of other reactions.
So if it is learnt, then it is part of personality. Essence one may say is what you are born with. Personality is what develops by what we learn based on our environment and people around us as we grow up. For instance an accent, or cultural manners, food preferences, religious beliefs and so on. All this is learnt based on the family and environment we grew up in. The same child would be a totally different person had they been raised in another part of the world with different parents.
What we must learn here is that we are totally created characters from the day we are born, and thus not living our true life or being our true self. We are merely copies of things we see. Our cultures are formed by the music, television and movies of the present day. That is easy to see in the teenagers as they copy and are formed by imitating the stars in the media.
To gain freedom from all negative emotions and states, observe yourself, your reactions and feelings, look for the root feeling of any emotion and see if it is really anger or truly the feeling you are expressing. Or is it rooted in some other emotion that looks for a way to express or react. If you have to be left with your mouth hanging open and nothing to say or not knowing what to do in a state of total confusion, then leave it at that. That blank mind is the door to experience reality.
The problem is that we do not like to be left blank, lost and without a reaction. That is also a learnt characteristic of the personality. “Say something, Do something, Don’t just stand there!” Well, now that you are looking for a better life, it is time you just stood there in confusion and left it at that. In time, you will find that appropriate answers do come if you stay blank and listen rather than look for an answer.
Part of the reason that we get ourselves into this mess is because we want to understand. That is also a nature of the essence, it wants to learn. To learn we must understand. If there is no one around who can explain things in the true nature, then we take whatever explanation we get. “It is a horrible thing and we should be very very angry about that.”
We are given that explanation and then since there is no other, we accept it and be angry. And so the child has learnt a reaction to that event and will repeat it through life without thinking further, making you into what you are today.
So now, if you want to change what you are, be willing to give up the learnt reaction which is an answer to why things happen as they do, and allow your mind to be left in confusion without an answer. After all, we simply cannot know the full reasons behind all actions. Humans are different in many ways to animals, but for animals, when one kills another, we accept that it was hungry and that is how it gets its food. For humans, we do not see that evil actions may come from pain, as the animal in a trap will attempt to attack the person who comes to release it.
In my work with convicts who have committed crimes of violence, virtually all of them have the root of their action based in pain of being hurt or feeling that was the only way to stop an injustice being done to someone else. Rarely are crimes committed out of the pure pleasure of killing. Although that does happen as in the animal kingdom, there does arise the odd animal that something goes wrong and it kills for no apparent reason. But that is an exception to the rule.
In this way, you can see how taking a negative emotion is far easier than having the confusion which may lead to compassion for the committer of the act. That would not go well with society and your friends who are all angry at the criminal and feel terrible for the victim. Of course we must also feel for the victim, but unless we have been subject to that action personally, how can we have a true compassion for the victim. We can only ‘imagine’ what that person went through. Our society likes to put things as good and bad, right and wrong. So if one person is a victim, therefore the other must be the bad one. Feel compassion for one and anger to the other. Such is human society.
In truth, it is often compassion which is due to both the victim and the perpetrator. But as humans are, I personally do not want to be misunderstood. Delivering punishment does not need to be done with anger. It can be done with compassion. When a patient has gangrene and the doctor amputates the limb, the operation is not done in joy and pleasure of cutting off someone’s arm. In the same way, punishment must be appropriately rendered to the committer of any destructive act.
Any act committed in anger hurts the one who feels the anger. It is not the act, but the anger which destroys. So if you take out revenge in anger, then you suffer. Do what needs to be done without anger and the situation will be concluded for you. If you do something in anger, then that stays with you and will return to your thoughts as guilt or angry memories. So it lives on, it is not concluded. Eventually as we age, we are so filled with memories of things that we cannot think straight in the present moment.
Can you think clearly if your mind has hundreds of memories popping up randomly? Would your memory be less effective if your conscious mind was so cluttered with other thoughts that you could not find the one you are looking for, just like a giant pile of rubbish in which you accidentally tossed a valuable but small item? Is this a factor in failing memory or lack of concentration as we age?
Humans do not like open questions and being left without an answer to anything. So we find answers, true or false is irrelevant it seems, as long as we have an answer. Because of this, our minds take any rubbish, accept that is correct and stop learning or looking.
Because of that, we have lost the ability for intuition and greater abilities which bring true wisdom or the ability to react appropriately to all situations. Appropriate reactions come from an open mind which observes, feels the confusion of not knowing what is the right thing to do, and then with that open mind which does not look for a stock answer off the shelf which it has learnt previously, wisdom comes in and the right answer pops into the mind. This can only happen if we are willing to be without an answer or response at all times, and when an answer comes to our mind from true wisdom, to be willing to have and feel and even express it if necessary despite it going against all common accepted responses.
So again the difficulty of being this way and achieving freedom is the fear of standing out. We want to fit in and be accepted, so we conform rather than allow the possibility of being so different. This conforming is painful, and in order to deal with that internal pain of an eagle who wants to fly free but must be trapped in a cage with pigeons, we forget what we are and just blind ourselves accepting that the stock reaction is correct and that is how things should be. Then our mind ‘appears’ at ease.
But in truth, it is not. The truth that this negative emotion is false and not the true correct response eats away at some of us, it makes us have a feeling of discomfort. And that is why you are reading these pages right now. When feeling a negative emotion of any kind, observe it and know that it is false.
It is not possible to have a balanced healthy peaceful life filled with Joy and Love and free from all the negative states that disrupt our own life and relationships if we continue to live as bad actors, or more precisely very good actors.