“If you were to take negative emotions away from people, they would simply collapse and go up in smoke. What would happen to what we call art, theater, drama, to most novels? In the emotional center there is no natural negative part, the greater part of negative emotions are artificial, they are based on instinctive emotions which are transformed by petty imagination and identification (losing self in an object). Positive emotions are emotions which cannot become negative. But all our pleasant emotions such as joy, affection, can, at any moment, turn to boredom, irritation, envy at the slightest provocation, or even without provocation. So we can say that we can have no positive emotions. At the same time we can say that we have no negative emotions without identification and imagination.”
If people carry along with them a manufactured idea of how a person should be, so much so that they are in love with that idea and with fullfilling that imagination…what do they miss?
Do they gain anything?
“Do not all charms fly
At the mere touch of cold philosophy?
There was an awful rainbow once in heaven:
We know her woof, her texture; she is given
In the dull catalogue of common things.
Philosophy will clip an angel’s wings,
Conquer all mysteries by rule and line,
Empty the haunted air, and gnomed mine
Unweave a rainbow”
– John Keats
The deep parts of my life pour onward,
as if the river shores were opening out.
It seems that things are more like me now,
that I can see farther into paintings.
I feel closer to what language can’t reach.
With my sense, as with birds, I climb
into the windy heaven, out of the oak,
and in the ponds broken off from the sky
my feeling sinks, as if standing on fishes.
– Rainer Maria Rilke
[translated by Robert Bly]
“So don’t ask yourself what people want. Ask instead, What is true? What really inspires me, excites me? What will really help people and take away their confusion and suffering? It’s sort of a funny, crazy way to go, but I think it’s the only way to bring water to the wasteland Joseph Campbell described. When I read something truthful, something real, I breathe a deep sigh and say, “Fantastic – I wasn’t mad or alone in thinking that, after all!” So often we are left to our own devices, struggling in the dark with this external and internal propaganda system. At that point, for someone to tell us the truth is a gift. In a world where people all around us are lying and confusing us, to be honest is a great kindness.”
– David Edwards
Nothing to Lose but our Illusion
Pondering, thinking, creating, imagination…(all right, delusion also fits in somewhere)
Which is which? Are you sure? OOOOooooo ooooooo!! I know! ASK SOMEONE, RIGHT??
NO!!! Definately not!!
What sort of mixed messages are humans moving about like chickens with their heads cut off, trying to please? AND, why oh WHYyyyyyyy do they think this groupie glue is important? Who cares what people want, unless one is trying to sell something? In trying to sell a thing, asking what will ‘help’ and ‘take away’, only grabs onto their desires and pleases them, like candy for a baby. The baby doesn’t need to have the skills to think or to ponder, only to express gimme-gotcha and throw a little tantrum, et voila!!!
Since when did truth mean identification? A wife-beater can identify with the rage expressed in an abuser sharing and thus validate and justify that it is ok to beat…not because it is a true, but because the wife-beater simply doesn’t know any better, OR even worse, is mentally ill and will glom on to the closest rationalization of inappropriate behavior because denial is a happy friend.
Being kind, isn’t always honest. Feeling ‘nice’ and escaping reality and labeling it truth in order to placate a human’s insides, when simply directing them to take care of their own side of the street, is a disservice to the human race. People still lock people up for avoiding reality…and yet the current self-help, gimme-gotcha trend does just that, avoids reality!
(sits waiting for the, “But ELISAAAAAAA!!! You mean imagination is BAD?!? You blah, negative, unlearned person you–the books told you to label me this, as a defense to your ability of hearing your inner spirit agreeing with me!)
Noooooooooooo!! A healthy imagination is simply an amaaaaaaaaaaazing human gift. When utilized and then expressed, explosions of creativity grow joyfully!! A healthy imagination is the inner flame dancing inside of each moment. It is healthy thinking and processing of reactions, the inner decider of actions. The place to sit right at work(as opposed to escaping) stick your pen into someone’s thigh, catch it with mind, laugh and provide the ‘offender’ with a hug oh gram, a balloon bouquet, and birds flying in joyful expression to assist them with whatever pen-stabbing they were contemplating before you encountered them!
When you are tired at work, think exhilaration!!! Think of scaling Mt. Everest, in brilliant swim trunks, feel the sharp intake of cool air into your lungs, take that feeling and register the brilliant sky and the sun hitting the mind across the peak…raise your hands in triumph–at the same time plant those feet apart on the floor and streeeeeeeetch those arms above your head and wooooohoooooooooo recharged!
You could also recall the York Peppermint Patty commercials, if that helps. Engagement, instead of withdrawal!
Dunno about you, but conversion is MY FRIEND!!
(someone said somewhere that emoticons ought not be used…should i worry? lol)
“We read of spiritual efforts, and our imagination makes us believe that, because we enjoy the idea of doing them, we have done them.
I am appalled to see how much of the change I thought I had undergone lately was only imaginary.
The real work seems still to be done.
It is so fatally easy to confuse an aesthetic appreciation of the spiritual life with the life itself – to dream that you have waked, washed, and dressed & then to find yourself still in bed.”
– C.S. Lewis