37. Getting Permanently Off the Emotional Roller Coaster
Emotions are not some inherent mysterious complicated organic part of “human existence”. They do not appear organically as we experience “life” and its stories. Emotions are something that we, the mind, made up to make the illusion seem real. They are no more than an illusory trick, performed by a master magician, the ego.
The emotions you feel are determined by your interpretation of facts. Let’s take for example a fact. There is a dog in a yard of a house. You are walking by. You might see the dog as cute and that makes you happy. Another person might see the same dog and be terrified because he interprets the dog as threatening and becomes fearful. Still another person might look at the dog as alone in the front yard and be sad. There is no inherent emotion attached to the fact that there is a dog in the yard of a house or any other seeming element of the illusion. The emotion is only present because of interpretation.
Not only are your emotions determined by your interpretations but your interpretations are determined by your childhood. Your interpretations are arrived at by an acceptance of a belief system learned in childhood. Take for example a person who, in their “ life”, always chooses to live in a bottom floor apartment. Even if a second story apartment were available with a better location, price and condition, they always choose the first floor apartment. They think they are an adult making a decision based on reasonable logic. Stairs are too tiring. I have better access to my car on the ground floor. It would be a hassle to carry groceries up the stairs. But the truth is that they collected evidence as a child that second story apartments are fearful. They interpret second story apartments as fearful, so they have fear about living in second story apartments. So they always “choose” to live in first floor apartments. All of your emotions are based on childhood interpretations informed by childhood experiences. Emotions are never about the you of today. How many decisions are based on how you feel or shall we be more accurate and say how the child of the past feels? In short, all of them.
Also, think about this. Your emotions can be determined by how society interprets facts. In certain cultures in a certain age, large noses were highly desirable. People with large noses were happy and proud and even felt special and blessed because of their large protrusions. Many people today think large noses are ugly and a reason for shame. Large noses are not beautiful. People can be so distraught by their large protrusions that they literally surgically cut them down to size. In some countries in some ages being skinny was considered a sign of poverty and shame. The fact that someone was skinny brought on emotions of sadness and unworthiness. Today if your body is fat you might have the same emotions.
If you don’t want to continue to play the ego’s made up emotions game, if you don’t want to experience negative emotions, from anxiety to rage, then you will have to learn how to change your interpretations of facts. But before you can do that, you must give up your learned beliefs about emotions. In psychology, the thought is, “How do we manage, change or release emotions?” The “reality” of the concept of emotions is never questioned. Emotions are a given. They exist. Now how do we deal with them? Negative emotions do not have to be a part of your “earthly existence”. They are not real. Expressing your anger and having your sadness are not “good” things. Emotions are not necessarily part of “being human”. Emotions cause psychological pain and suffering. Suffering is an ego concept made up to make the illusion seem real. Do you think suffering is “good”?
This subject is deep, deep, deep and there is much more to discuss and learn. But if you have seen logic, even a hint of logic, in what you have read, then welcome to the possibility of a “life” free of psychological and emotional pain and suffering, a “life” of peace. You can permanently get off the emotional roller coaster by realizing that there is no emotional roller coaster. If you are willing, it is possible. This is the promise of A Course in Miracles.