Emotion, Presence…and a container of Pez

posted by Eivind on May 12, 2014, at 10:41 am

The other day, my buddy Garrison Cohen launched this video on Elephant Journal. It’s on the path of healing through closing open feeling loops, one Pez at a time Smilefjes som blunker

I enjoyed this video. I find the metaphor really works. And it got me thinking about emotion and Presence.

The awe-inspiring wisdom of emotion

It appears, were Garrison to be correct, that the Human OS requires every emotional program to run through to its conclusion before it can close down; before the Pez can be eaten. Most modern men live lives that are way too scattered for that to happen. Closing an open feeling loop requires Presence. Presence is prerequisite for actually feeling emotion. Unless we bring Presence to the open emotional loops, we will be stuck with them for the rest of our lives.

I find this absolutely awe-inspiring. The fact that we come fully equipped with this amazing inner signal system called emotion makes my mind boggle with amazement. How does this signal system work? Painful emotions are signposts. They are the human being’s built-in truth-meter. The further away I am from the truth of my being, the more painful emotions I will have. In other words, if you are depressed, it’s simply because you believe, on some level of your being, in something that is not real.

This has made intuitive sense to me for a long time, and I was beautifully reminded of it recently by the young Boulder-based non-dual teacher Bentinho Massaro.

So try on that painful emotions are but a collection of signposts pointing our way back home.

Emotional repression

The reason this blows my mind is that the Creator didn’t have to design us that way. We could have been designed without the capacity to experience emotional pain. In a different universe, we could have been designed to effortlessly move on with our lives after traumatic events, free of the reign of aftershocks in our inner emotional landscape.

Wouldn’t that make things easier? Yes, for traditional man, I believe, that would be paradise. Imagine moving through life and not being impacted by anything! Imagine the superhuman strength! The unshakable confidence! Yee-eeeees!

The thing is, traditional man is a feeling human being like any other. And while the stoics of the world, Vladimir Putin being a perfect example, seem convinced otherwise, they are wrong. Men who repress their emotions remain with myriad open feeling loops. Their Pez container remains full of crap. The effects of which is basically that they completely lose themselves and become slaves of their unprocessed trauma.

Vladimir Putin and his likes, rather than being examples of strength, are thus examples of the terrible effects of a life designed to keep emotion at bay. They become fugitives in their own lives, entering severe addictions or, in the worst case scenarios, dish out pain on the world in order to remain in un-feeling.

Indeed, if you were to go looking for the source of misery in our human drama and ecological collapse, you need look no further than repressed emotion.

Fully felt emotion and the power of Presence

So we didn’t have to be designed this way. But if we weren’t, everyone would be like Vladimir Putin. That’s not a pretty picture, especially not when it is conjured by a feeling person.

You being in touch with painful emotion is good news. It’s a step up from repression. It is a condition that actually gives you a fighting chance to discover a good life for yourself, and to become a person who lives a life of service. Your inner signal system is working! Congratulations!

And yet, we are trained to repress emotion. The proof is that the painful emotions we feel often arrive as a crap-sandwich, emotion lodged between shame and resentment. When we resist emotion like this, the compulsory experience of pain turns, like the Buddha hinted at, into the optional experience of suffering.

consumerismSadly, the survival of our culture as we know it depends on us remaining slaves of our own unfelt emotion. Unfelt emotion is the very lifeblood of consumerism! “You can never get enough of what you don’t really want” said Huston Smith. Consumerism will never satiate us. Because what we really hunger for is the freedom that lies on the other side of feeling emotions fully.

As I walked home from the office the same day Garrison released his video, thoughts like these on my mind, I took the emotional road less travelled. With fierce Presence from hosting an incredibly powerful and mystical Circling night in my home the evening before, I had the moment to moment capacity, as I was walking down the street, to be with every little sensation and emotion inside of me.

I have experienced emotional turmoil after returning to Norway, and I also have mild chronic fatigue and a lot of tensions in my body. A lot of the time, that pisses me off.

But this day, I noticed, as I brought Presence to it, that it kept shifting, moving. It was never static. I was taken on a ride of my own inner emotional-sensory landscape. And it was very pleasurable, very alive, in its infinite unpredictability.

Listen up now, because here’s the one universal truth that I’d like you to walk away with today: Emotional trauma only enters us when Presence leaves us. And when powerful Presence fills a part of our being, trauma can not remain there for long. We get to pop the Pez.

When you start understanding this, it’s like taking the red pill. You will see the people whose lives are governed by emotional repression and recognize that they’re living in a desolate dream-world. They really are stuck in the Matrix.

When emotional repression numbs us to the potent beauty of our innermost essence, we are run by the unconscious forces of the world. We become ignorant consumers who believe that we are deficient, and that the only way to remedy our inherent deficiency is to buy some crap.

For some twisted reason, a lot of ideals of manhood will tell you to become such a slave. Choose a different path.

With love and a fierce challenge,

PS! I will gladly help you with this process. For me, this is about embracing our Wildness. Check out my coaching offers.

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