The source of emotions


Two constellations of emotions, and their origins

I’ve reading a book, a scientific one, about emotional intelligence, in which emotions are classified in two big classes: positive emotions, giving us welfare, and negative emotions, giving discomfort. In each class there are three main emotions: happiness, love, joy are positive, angry, sadness and fear are negative. All other emotions, about three hundred are listed in the book, are derived from such six main ones.


A statement caught my attention: “is easy to fall in the constellation of negative emotions, and in the other hand positive emotions can’t last for a long; we need strive, putting our will in it, for stay in positive states; is like any ‘gravitational force’ pull us down towards the circle of negative emotions“.  Immediately I thought: “such negative gravitational force must be our mind, because ultimately only the mind is the root of suffering. On the other hand, logically, maybe the positive emotions have their source beyond the mind. I’ve become excited with this thought, so I took a sheet of paper and drew some schemas, trying to relate the two classes of emotions with their sources, using the ancient knowledge about the hidden nature of human being. The final schema is the one represented above this lines. As far as I know, there are not any other explanation linking emotions with ancient wisdom. Let me explain the diagram.

Above all states there are the higher Self, with three fundamental attributes: Sat, Chit, Ananda, or Existence, Consciousness, and Bliss. In such primordial high level there aren’t duality: all is one. Below this level we find the mental plane and the duality induced by mind; as we descend the matter is densest, from higher mind to the low mind and matter, that is, intellect and physical body. Intellect creates the ego, and also is the source of all negative emotions, which I draw at low level, as part of the body, because at this level we have to talk in terms of body-mind. Indeed, any negative emotion affects directly the health of the body. At the same time, intellect comes from the Chit attribute, meaning the awareness of the mind is merely a reflect of the higher non dual and absolute awareness named Chit.


On the other hand, I drew the positive emotions above, near to the higher non dual plane; even one of them, happiness, crosses partially the non dual plane, because while we still are  in the material world we are able to experiment the bliss in the Samadhi state. In the diagram, the source of all positive emotions is the attribute of the Self named Ananda (absolute bliss). That’s why positive emotions can’t last for a long … while we we remain identified with our mind, which only can produce negative emotions. In meditation we can transcend the mind, and in natural way we can experience, at some degree, bliss, expressed if the form of positive emotions. Of course there are also relations between positive emotions and intellect, but the message here is intellect is not the source.
I think the diagram has important practical applications; every time we feel bad emotions we can think is due our strong identification, in such time, with the ego-intellect, because is the source of such emotions. We know why, the mechanism of suffering. Then, also the solution is clear: stop the mind. Obviously, we only can stop the mind at will if we have the proper training for it: if we are experienced meditators, then we can. 


A single understanding:
“I am the One Awareness,”
consumes all suffering
in the fire of an instant
Be happy.
– Ashtavakra Gita –

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