By Edwin Harkness Spina
Recently a client wrote to me, asking if it's okay to feel emotions. Other teachers had advised him to EMBRACE his emotions, while I was recommending you DIS-IDENTIFY from them.
I responded: it's fine to EXPERIENCE emotions, but that's never the GOAL. Your GOAL should be to identify with your higher consciousness, your I AM presence, your divine spark, the Master Within, etc. This is your TRUE SELF, not the ego.
Most people identify with their emotions. This is especially troublesome when they've identified with lower vibration emotions, like fear or anger.
If one identifies with happiness, it's less of a problem, because he or she is not being dragged down to a lower vibration (at that moment in time). However, your GOAL should be to live free of identification with ANY emotion. After all, what goes up must come down. Identifying with ANY emotion will keep you on an emotional roller-coaster.
Anger is a mental construct. When it surfaces, it's healthy to remember you're angry because your expectations did not match reality. When you recognize that anger is a mental construct, you will not only cease to identify with it, it will arise less frequently, for shorter periods of time, and you will be dragged down less often by it. There's no need to EMBRACE it.
Neither is there a need to EMBRACE fear. Fear is not who you are. When you EXPERIENCE it, take note if you are actually in danger (and if so, take appropriate action immediately) or simply worrying about some future event (and if so, focus on the action you need to take NOW to overcome it).
If you have dis-identified with your emotions, you may feel a quick burst of fear, but then you will automatically work to find a solution to your predicament WITHOUT being paralyzed, overcoming both the fear and the situation that elicited the fear.
Ultimately, your goal is to feel JOYFUL. When you are truly joyful, you are beyond emotions - you are identifying with your I AM presence. Everything is in perfect order and you naturally experience the bliss of pure being.
Almost immediately after hitting the "send" button to email my reply, a classic poem by Rudyard Kipling, written over 100 years ago, crossed my desk. The universe had conspired to provide me with an even better answer, that I could share with you and everyone.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream--and not make dreams your master;
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!
The wisdom that pours out of this poem is incredible. Here are a few of the nuggets of wisdom he shares:
- Stay centered and balanced.
- Follow your own inner guidance; don't give your power away to others.
- Remain in the NOW.
- Do not lower yourself to "fit in" with others, nor separate yourself to appear "superior."
- Dream, but remain grounded.
- Remember, you are not your thoughts.
- Do not identify with your emotions; "Triumph and Disaster" are impostors.
- Don't give up on your dreams, no matter what setbacks may befall you.
- Don't complain about "bad luck" or "misfortune."
- Use your will to persevere in the face of adversity, even when it seems you have nothing left.
- Treat everyone the same, both "commoners" and "kings."
- Neither friends nor foes can hurt you, when you've identified with your I AM presence.
- Help others, but don't do everything for them.
Rudyard Kipling has described the way of the mystic:
- Not identified with emotions or thoughts;
- Unperturbed by external people or situations;
- Fully present; and,
- Following your own inner guidance.
The true mystic is immersed in the ocean of consciousness and not identified with either the wave or the trough of emotions, which most people focus upon.
The Bhagavad Gita is a classic Hindu scripture, considered to be the distillation of the Veda's ancient wisdom. Noted Indian historian, Khushwant Singh, recently referred to Kipling's poem as "the essence of the message of The Gita in English."
Let this poem inspire you to eschew identifying with the temporal emotions that come and go, and instead, EMBRACE your true self.