Quote from: j
It has just occurred to me that the above would impact on my ability to be empathetic....kind of psychopathic or ponerized.
Yeah, that's the stiffening of the most humane, compassionate and wholly human parts of ourselves. Those parts open us up to getting hurt a lot - but they're also our only hope out of this mess, not only individually, but as a species.
I recognised this in process today...I didn’t quite catch it from the beginning though. I did my best to keep everything below the neck for the day and just observe what was going on in me. Not sure how successful I was with this.
My stepdaughter received a note from her father. Their relationship hasn’t been great and they haven’t really communicated for nearly two years. He indicated in his note that he would like to try again with their relationship and told her that he loved her and missed her.
She was very emotional, crying and talking to us about how she felt about that. For me there was a very brief feeling of sadness I think, I’m not sure though, but very quickly it was covered by fear and anger.
I was uncomfortable with the above exchange and didn’t want to be around it. I felt the stiffening and realised that my breathing became shallower.
I recognised the urge to try and think about the magic thing to say that could fix it for her....so she wouldn’t be so emotional.
Once again, I see how this whole process had little by way of empathy for her and it was a way for me to try to prevent her from feeling what she was feeling, but also to prevent myself from feeling. Thing is though...I didn’t stop feeling, I just felt something different.
The fear and anger I felt is I believe the negative introject from my mum....she couldn’t deal with our emotions as kids and I think she may have been reacting from fear and anger. I think I’ve taken my mothers emotions and turned them on myself.
Can the emotional stiffening be formed from other emotions?
I’m wondering about what Gurdjieff said about ‘pure and impure emotions’.
It is current to talk about "pure" and "impure" emotions; but we do not know how to define their difference. A pure emotion is one which is not mixed, which never seeks personal profit. An impure emotion is always mixed, it is never one; it is mixed with personal profit, with personal elements; it has sediments of other emotions.
So, my reaction in the above was impure. There was the original emotion that I didn’t quite catch, maybe sadness or grief, then fear and anger. The personal profit or personal element was in the fear and anger side of it. For me, fear and anger represent the wish to either withdraw from a threat, or to make the threat move away. The threat being that I might feel the underlying sadness or grief and the program running predicted that I may be attacked for feeling the original emotion.
In writing this out, I’m beginning to see the connection to the emotional intellectualisations that I use as buffers because I also suppress the fear and anger then intellectualise because the emotional reactions of fear and anger also got attacked.
It’s kind of like when the original emotion got attacked, I perhaps started reacting in the same way my mother might – from out of fear and anger, perhaps because that was what was modelled to me as a way to be. But then mum couldn’t handle seeing herself in me, so she attacked that too. This reflects some of the reading from the Narcissism Big 5.
So there seems to be three different levels so far...the original emotion, then the emotions that come up to cover the original emotion, then I go into my head to try and find facts and figures to both stop the emotions in others, and in myself.