“At the Antidote Website Emotional Literacy is defined as, “Emotional Literacy is the practice of engaging with others in a way which facilitates understanding of our own and others’ emotions, then using this understanding to inform our actions.” http://relationships.blog-city.com/what_is_emotional_literacy_1.htm
“… emotions must always be accountable to the faculties of reason and will.”
“Life is not an intellectual process – life is a feeling. “
“As paradoxical as it may appear, listening to the heart, as opposed to rationalizing, is in fact what constitutes true thinking. The academics of this world do not like to admit it, but the truth of the matter is that all so-called ‘great minds’ act upon feeling. Irrespective of whether it is a new invention, a remarkable discovery in science, a musical composition or a great work of art, the creativity that has led to such works has its origin in feeling. Only once that feeling has been translated into a mental vision of what can be, does the inventor, scientist, composer or artist use the rational mind to work out the practicalities involved in materialising his vision.” – Theun Mares
“… Our brain is not only a window on the universe; it is part of the organism and hence also an input into the universe. Transmitted thought subtle wave-propagations in the psi-field, traffic between the brain and the rest of the universe flows in both directions. Whatever thoughts, images, feelings and intuitions enter our consciousness have their counterparts in the electrochemical activity of our neural networks, and these networks constantly read their Gabor-transforms into the field. This means that our most fleeting thoughts and vaguest intuitions are encoded in the cosmic vacuum and remain conserved in it.
Given the two-way traffic between human brains and the world, each person’s thoughts and perceptions are of direct consequence to his environment, including other persons. This is because in altered states the brain does not distinguish finely shaded individual variations in the psi-fieldpatterns – within a range of variation, the brain-state of one individual can be read by another. In consequence our experiences can be accessed by others with suffiently matching states of brain and mind. This makes for a new depth of responsibility in human beings: what we think and feel can influence our fellow beings, not only those who surround us here and now, but also those who live in distant places and in future generations.”
The Creative Cosmos – A unified science of matter, life and mind – Ervin Laszlo
Realising the importance of my thoughts and emotions, I started about 15 years ago, to work consciously with thought and emotions. To truly make a change you have to acknowledge every aspect of yourself, the good and the bad. If you just ignore the really despicable thoughts that may arise in your mind, suppress it as quickly as you can, without acknowledging it, and so bring it into the light, it will fester and erupt when you least expect. (In the world at large, this is reflected in terrorism, I belief that.) What is inherent in one human being, is inherent in another, the good and the bad, therefore I will listen to everyone, even if I disagree totally with them. I never know when I might find a puzzle piece to myself, reflected back through the mirrors of my fellow human beings.
When you first start to observe your thoughts they seem to take flight like a flock of birds. Where there were lots before, now there are none. Just as with the birds, if you wait quietly they will return.
Learning to discern between feelings and emotions are like learning to read. At first it appears as a confusing jumble, making no sense. But as you progress, certain words will become recognisable.So you progress until you have built enough of vocabulary and understanding of the grammar, suddenly it is so clear. It is hard to remember not ever having been able to read. As you expand your reading, so the finer nuances will also become clearer.
Emotions would probably be better understood if it were termed moods. Some say that we have inherent in all of us, nine emotional states: apathy, grief, fear, lust, anger, pride, courageousness, acceptance and peace. Think of emotions as filters. Whatever emotion you are experiencing colours your experience of the present, interpretation of the past and future views. What it also does, is allow through, or restrict energy flow. When you are apathetic you have a low energy flow. When you feel lust, you have a high-energy flow. So when some girls speak of strong feelings aroused by “jerk”, she is actually saying he is a strong mood-setter. In this particular case the mood-setter would fall under lust. In the sub-categories of lust falls the emotion of want. Results are clear enough.
For me feelings, thoughts, intuition and inspiration are closely aligned, and fall under what could be called “imaginative consciousness”. But to properly utilise your emotions you should be able to recognise your emotions. Then your emotions won’t direct your thinking, but your thinking can direct your emotions. In other words utilise the energy flow.
Now when I feel the emotion of fear, I rationally use the guide of my intuition to navigate a way through what triggered my emotion of fear.
No human being can truly claim to be free, unless emotional freedom has been achieved, by becoming emotionally literate. Yet why will so few make the effort to become emotionally literate? One of the reasons for this, I believe, is because when people imagine what it is like to be emotionally literate, fluently so, they often think it means that you stop feeling things like anger, sorrow, doubt or pain, Deep down, however, we all know intuitively that to stop feeling those, you would also stop feeling the “feel-good” emotions. This brings a feeling of resistance to wanting to become emotionally literate. Somehow it feels as if you might be less human.
This could not be further from the truth. In being emotionally literate, you do not stop feeling, in fact your ability to feel becomes sensitized and intense. You still feel all of the human emotions, but you just recover to equilibrium quicker. You still feel anger, pain, sorrow and doubt, but it doesn’t rule you.
I taught myself ’emotional literacy’ by watching myself react to external situations, watching my thoughts and see how the two mutually affects the other. This means withdrawing to the watcher, or the Witness. To most people, thoughts and emotions are as involuntary as their heart rate and blood pressure. I feel that emotions are like being mounted on a powerful horse. For the rider and the horse to move as one towards a single purpose, both have to know the other, there has to be trust between them, an awareness of the qualities of the other.
When you are aware and in control of your emotions you can at times when it is appropriate just, let go, and ride it in wild abandon, for you trust yourself enough, trust in your skill, to know that when you have to, you can reign it in. With emotional literacy you can really enjoy your emotions, which enables you to enjoy the finer nuances of living, and enables you to truly live life. Above all you can truly love, without fear.
Emotions are always messengers of your current state of being, they arrive to bring you a well-being report. They are much like pop-up messages saying something needs or wants attention. However, much like pop-up messengers, you cannot just ignore it, you have to do something about it. It is not always appropriate in timing to deal with emotions when you feel them. Then you have to deal with them as a mother would deal with a child seeking immediate attention when it is not appropriate. With the tenderness of a loving mother, “hug” them and say, “I hear and acknowledge you, but right now is not appropriate, later…” But just as you better keep your promises to a child, lest they become insecure and distrustful, so you better keep your promises and do tend to the request for attention.
Our ancient desires have been looked on as primitive by the sophisticated mind of the present day, rejected as the “black sheep” of ourselves. Just like the Western colonizing forces rejected the “primitiveness ” of those they conquered so we have been taught that our ancient and inherent desires, are an inferior something that must be conquered and subjugated for us to be worthy citizens of the world. We can disown that instinctive and intuitive part of ourselves at our own peril, for just as you would feel quilt an unease at disowning members of your family so you will feel about disowning a part of yourself. Never knowing when it will suddenly and unexpectedly make its embarrassing appearance. We can never hope to really have fulfilling relationships if we do not honour all that we are. You will only attract possible relationships to your mask and deep inside you will doubt the love of the other. Does he /she only love my mask? You then do not allow the transforming power of love to transform your ancient and inherited desires into something of beauty, something noble.
Emotional Collateral Damage<
Is my life worth less than yours
Do I hold my children less
dear than you
Do I feel pain less than you do?
Do I love less than you do?
I am little people
But I am alive
And I love life too.
Personally I see the concept of collateral damage originating from the perception of seeing others as lesser than you are, of lesser importance. The immediate equation that follow is that the lesser’s feelings are also of lesser importance. If you put yourself for example in the shoes of slaves, and feel with your emotions what pain they must have felt, it becomes unbearable, the absolute horror overwhelming.
People have become so hardened by bombardment of media images of mass suffering that they do not relate to the feelings of individuals. It is of course a screening device to help us survive in the world. However, it can become habitual and negatively affect our relationships with others and the world around us.
Yet, just as collateral damage is considered perfectly acceptable for the good of the greater cause, just so there exists a hierarchy of invalidation of feelings for people. The higher up you are in the power stakes the more worth your feelings are given. Right or wrong that is how the world is operating and how it has been operating for as long as we have known. Men have been conditioned with “men don’t cry” because it would be very inconvenient indeed for men to break down and cry in war situations. Similarly it is not good for women rant and rave in the upbringing of children.
It is not that everyone does not experience the same pain but rather what feelings can be considered collateral damage in the greater scheme of things. What really is the difference between what one person experience as pain and another? Personally, I think there is no difference. Pain is pain. We all feel pain in degrees; mild pain, acceptable pain, great pain, and unbearable pain. Different things would trigger different degrees of pain in different people. Pain is relative to each individual but it is still experienced as pain. What differs from individual to individual, gender to gender, and culture to culture, is how we respond to pain and fear of pain. Our culture and upbringing have conditioned how we respond. No one can really say that one person’s feelings are of lesser importance than another’s for if we do we are condemning them as lesser.
If we really want true equality, we must consider the feelings of all as of equal importance. But I am sure most will just shake their heads and say this will never happen. Be that as it may, it can still help us to stop objectifying others. Stop making instant judgements of others. Stop us from judging another “unless we have walked in their shoes.”
“You can only relate to people when you can mentally trade places with them.”
If we dare to look at what those considered lesser must experience in pain and still carry on living, one is filled with tremendous admiration and awe. For me, by allowing myself to honestly look at the pain others have to undergo, I am filled with hope. It helps me to personally to overcome my fears, because by seeing what pain others can endure, I know that because I am also human, I can survive whatever life throws at me.