Being Humane – Man is not an emotional being

Man is an emotional being is the adage. This statement indicating man is emotion is a myth and contradicts established facts. Let us see why and how…

Lower beings driven by instincts become the emotion and does not identify themselves as distinct from emotion. A dog does not think and choose to feel sad or joy as it cannot be aware of its emotions. Humans however have the distinctive ability to be aware of their emotions.  They can feel and be aware that they are happy, joyous, enthusiastic, jealous, angry, etc., This ability to distinguish the emotion from oneself even while experiencing the emotion is a determinant factor for one’s Emotional Quotient.

In one of the lectures, Swami Mitrananda of Chinmaya Mission mentions that “man is wise before facing a crisis, he is also wise after the crisis, but while in the midst of the crisis he is otherwise”. This ability – to be wise while in the midst of the crisis determines one as emotional, intelligent or otherwise.BeingWiseTo have an ‘insight’ one has to develop the ability to master emotions.

Emotions can be broadly classified as head emotions and tail emotions.  Emotions like joy, empathy, love, compassion, etc are head emotions while feelings and emotions like anger (krodha), craving desire/lust (kama), greed (lobha), delusion (moha), pride (madha), envy and jealousy (matsaryam) are considered as tail emotions.

As long as one does not become the emotion but be aware of the emotion one will be able to handle the emotion appropriately.  When properly placed and handled, emotions on either side can be used in a positive way and when one comes under the clutches of emotions negative consequences ensue.  Hence, we are not calling them as positive or negative emotions but head and tail emotions based on the position of the chakras from where these emotions are aroused.  A single incident can arouse positive emotions in one while negative in the other depending on the energy levels from which the individual functions.

Emotion in yogic science is explained as energy in motion.

Psychic science and yogic science agree that…

“Potential energy triggered by the instincts or higher sources connects with the inner experience and the memory of inner experience to arouse an emotion.  The emotions thus aroused further get reinforced and embeds in the mind-body complex, conditioning one’s personality.

For handling emotions effectively and shape human personality one need to get to the root level – at the level of instincts, memories of inner experiences and at the level of new-experience-input into the mind-body complex through senses and intellect”.

Development of awareness – physical, energy, thoughts, feelings, emotions is the first step in handling emotions. The next step is to submit to the directions of the well-developed intellect (insight) for choosing the appropriate response.

In the absence of awareness one becomes an emotion, comes under its clutches and is not in a position to take the help of the intellect in choosing the appropriate response. In such a situation one simply reacts which is equal to functioning at the level of animals.

Development and exercising of free will – a unique ability in humans, is possible when the energy levels are high and one functions under the direction of the intellect to make appropriate choices. By intellect the reference is not to the gross intellect but to the highly developed intellect or subtle intellect which is by nature in harmony with the heart.

Hatha yoga practices like asana and pranayama develops awareness at the gross – physical and vital levels.  This paves the way for developing awareness at the subtler levels in the mind – feelings, thoughts and emotions, through the practices like Yoga Nidra, Antar mouna, Value meditation, Pratipaksha bhava meditation, Sakshibhava meditation, etc.

Playback meditation followed by Daily-SWAN-journaling are integrated practices which brings together time-tested ancient Indian Wisdom and 21st century tools to suit the needs of 21st century global citizen in nurturing  a healthy self-image. A positive self-image helps in handling the emotions better. As one handles the emotions in a better way, the positive self-image is further reinforced which in turn helps in better handling of emotions. This is a virtuous cycle leading one to become a master emotions and function humanely proving man is not an emotional being.

Notes of caution for the quick-result oriented 21st century citizen…

  • We have a huge mental garbage dumped in our system and it takes time for it to be cleared. One needs patience and perseverance to cleanse the same and master the emotions. In this process, it is not important to not fall – because it is part of the process. What is important is to rise up again each time one falls.
  • There may be short-cut solutions which address the symptoms and hence their results are also short-lived. Any solution which addresses the root-cause will take time to produce results, but will be long-lasting.
  • Each individual is unique and needs guidance from experts to learn the appropriate practices as suited for his situation.
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