Love and Its Opposites

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Love and Its Opposites

Post by overmind » Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:36 pm

I came to a few realizations last night, which I would like to share. Overall, this post is about human emotion. It is usually thought that the opposite of love is hatred, but that is not really the case. The opposite of any emotion/feeling is really the complete lack of the said emotion/feeling. This is my thesis. The opposite of sadness is not happiness, it a complete lack of sadness (and this does not necessary imply happiness). There can exist a large gray area when it comes to emotions, especially when one possess mixed feelings. However, it is generally the case that basic emotions are unique in themselves with similar emotions forming links to the more different feelings (i.e. joy, sadness, anger, fear, excitement, etc.). Love exists outside of one's emotions. The feeling is more constant and permanent than mood swings.

Love may create certain emotions and some emotions may temporarily bring the individual to love something to a greater or lesser degree. This range which is impacted by current thoughts or feelings is what I will call the range of sensitivity. It exists on a love scale. On one end is a kind of apathy, on the other is a level of unconditional love I find hard to measure. Since the love of God is infinite and our future growth is near-infinite, it is a difficult thing to map on a finite scale. In any case, it is impossible to use a numbered scale, so this is merely a visualization to help one understand what I have imagined to support the essay.

As stated before, it is often believed that the opposite of love is hatred, but the real opposite is a complete lack of love. Hatred is the desire to love something less, the act of moving lower on the scale towards a form of apathy. However, one cannot be both hateful and apathetic. Hatred actually becomes this mental barrier or check to keep them low on the scale. You could imagine it as a safety valve, keeping pressure (or love) at a low enough level. This "safety level" is different for the individual. It is also possible to both love and hate something, and in this case the individual desires for that level of love to decrease past a certain point on the meter. So what is the opposite of hatred? It is the desire to love something more. The opposite of love is no love. The opposite of wanting to love something more is wanting to love it less, which is hatred (or at least a byproduct of it). I am not quite sure what to call this opposite of hatred, but the closest words are adoration, captivation and desire. Extreme levels of hatred, such as what Lucifer felt for Michael of Nebadon, cannot bring one into a negative number on the love scale. It is simply the act of making it evermore impossible for that love to be greater than zero.

What brought me to this analysis? It was the topic of name-calling. It was nothing on a personal level, I was an observer, but I found out that this is a form of rejection. Calling someone a name to insult them is a temporary act of hatred, or rejection of love for the individual. It is incredibly difficult to love someone unconditionally and judge them. Calling someone an idiot is a form of judgement. It is also an action with a temporary impact: dissociation. Both individuals become more separated from each other as well as the Whole. If I am in a position where I cannot love another, it becomes harder for me to be one with everyone and everything. My relationship with the Whole is stressed because I distanced myself from part of that Whole. Put differently, when people decrease their love for specific people, it impacts the capacity they are able to love everyone. The repercussions are temporary, but can be long-lasting if there is constant rejection. Emotions also play a part. They can create this result and they can result from it. Both anger and sadness (or depression) can create this rejection, though the first form involves pushing away while the other is running away. Love also has its own impact on emotions. Greatest of all possibilities, it creates a great and unyielding sense of joy.

It is true that love has a lot going for it. It is very desirable. However, when one is not always conscious of their behavior, the level of love one may express slowly decreases (or is unable to expand), creating noticeable consequences over time. Thus, accepting everyone for who they are becomes a necessary step for personal growth.

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Re: Love and Its Opposites

Post by overmind » Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:45 pm

Does anyone feel that there is a particular emotion most beneficial for stillness? When one tries to silence the mind, they may be also working to cleanse the mind of emotion, and I wonder if that actually helps to some extent or simply makes the experience more artificial.

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Re: Love and Its Opposites

Post by murlin99 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:07 pm

I started to reply to this on Tuesday but my reply did not make sense so I spent some time pondering emotions.

I think you can split emotions into two groups, externally stimulated emotions and internal emotions.

Of course this just may be me, I am still learning to not get so emotional, angry or otherwise at events that I have no control over.

External emotion would be some other person or thing that does or says something that changes your mood. For that matter certain kinds of music can shift my emotions, generally not to angry though.

When I start my meditation I visualize a blackhole that sucks in all emotions and thoughts that come in from the outside. But I embrace anything that comes from the inside, there has been some sadness but more often than not relaxed, warm, happy feelings. I think it is part of who you are and you need to accept what you feel during meditation. If you do not like what you see or feel as you search deep into your soul through meditation then you need to change your path and/or make amends to clear your soul of what is bothering you.

I hope that makes sense, I could not think of any other way to explain it though the whole thing goes a lot deeper than that.

Peace and Happiness,
Bryan

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Re: Love and Its Opposites

Post by overmind » Wed Sep 25, 2013 5:56 pm

Makes sense to me, internal vs external stimuli. I did not think of that at the time.

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Re: Love and Its Opposites

Post by Zachary » Sun Nov 17, 2013 12:11 am

Loved the post. Ill try to answer your question: "Does anyone feel that there is a particular emotion most beneficial for stillness?"

To me personally, being happy seems most beneficial. If I could rate these more common emotion's to benefitting stillness on a scale of 1-10 it would look like this

Mad------1 When I'm like this, I purposely place destruction on my path, and can't focus at all for the greater good. Not good at all for achieving stillness.
Sad------4 When I'm like this, I can't focus too well because my mind is not clear of the sad emotion that it is focused on. Lot's of obstacles to overcome.
Happy---10 When I'm like this, I am grateful and very patient. Ready to tackle any obstacles or happily fall on my face trying, ready to get up once again.
Excited--7 When I'm like this, I'm hyper and ready to do whatever whenever. This can be great sometimes, however I'll often stray away from my goal.

I wouldn't be surprised if different emotions benefit others more, but I truly cannot see how being mad/angry would benefit stillness, but maybe there is someone out there doing it all the time... lol. - hope it helped
"Why try to use the wrong tool for the job when you have just the perfect tool. If only you would pick it up and learn to use it." -TA

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Re: Love and Its Opposites

Post by 11light11 » Sun Nov 17, 2013 6:36 am

Hi overmind,

I was thinking a lot about what everyone's said here, regarding emotions . . internally- or externally-derived . . . opposites . . . happiness/sadness and so on.

I like your ideas overmind, about how a lack of sadness is the opposite of sadness, not happiness. And I agree that the opposite of love is not hatred, but the lack of love.

I was thinking, the ideal emotion for entering stillness . . is the authentic emotion you really do feel.

Lately there is a lot of talk about mindfulness, and about witnessing one's emotions. Psychology has run off with this suggestion, taken from ancient Buddhism.

The problem is, when we're witnessing and we are not in touch with the authentic feelings, or we are used to denying how we feel, what are we going to witness? We wind up reinforcing the very thing that is causing us problems. I'll give you an example of what I mean. A client of mine is afraid of becoming a victim, due to her early life, in which she was badly victimized. So today, when she is in a situation where she is becoming a victim, she denies it is taking place, and her attitude is that everyone is her friend, and there is nothing malicious being directed her way. So at work, a young woman who she mentored is now undermining her and trying to take her position. She is unconsciously hip to this (I just noticed it's 11:11, so a bit of confirmation on that point ;) ) as she is the one sharing these details with me, after all. Her unconscious directed her to share all this, to get the issue out into the open. So when we explored the fact that the time has come to start protecting herself, she denied that she needed to, saying that this saboteur is her friend. This is the way she 'argues' with her unconscious. It's the sort of thing one always 'brings' to the therapeutic session, a way of denying what the unconscious is trying to get noticed.

Now, if she were to apply mindfulness to the situation, and witness . . what would she witness??? "I am happy and peaceful at work because everyone there is my friend." You know?

It's tricky to 'witness' and be mindful if you are not in touch with the true underlying feelings. This is the problem with unconscious witnessing. We must first be aware before we can witness, or else we underline problematic patterns. With time as we worked on this issue together, she was able to admit how horrified she was to see a person she'd mentored turning on her, and discuss how she'd not wanted to look at the truth because it reminded her of how she felt as a little girl. But this is empowering! She is no longer a little girl -- she survived that dreadful time. Today she is still alive, she is strong, and she needs to be protective of herself, because this is her livelihood. She is no longer a victim -- now she can stand up for herself, in her adulthood. And now she can 'witness' and be mindful of her real feelings: she is hurt, she is angry, she is indignant, she is so very many things. . . and to come to a point of internal integration within, she can't say "I am happy" or "I am at peace." The true feelings need time to run their course within her. But you can see her sense of empowerment in admitting to, and finding -- and feeling! -- the true feelings. It is not bad to be angry -- if the anger is reality-based.

So it is tricky to decide to simply apply "mindfulness" to a situation . . .just as it is tricky to decide you must be happy (or at peace, or what have you) to enter the state of stillness.

Having struggled with an increase in anxiety for several months now, I notice I do the best when I am completely honest with myself about the way I feel, instead of trying to turn upset feelings into more pleasant ones. We can't take out a magic marker and cross out the emotions we don't want to have inside our own minds and hearts . . . it's a lesson I'm learning slowly. ;)

But even when I wish I was feeling calm and peaceful, that too is a feeling after all, and I just acknowledge all of it to myself. "Right now I am anxious, and I am wishing I were not. I would like to find a sense of peace. My worries are x, y and z. I notice I am relaxing a bit as I list these out and admit to them. I am noticing also a pleasant feeling of drowsiness after going over this list. I can sense that if I relax into this for a minute I'll see that there is nothing actually pressing upon me right now. These are only feelings. There is nothing coming towards me from the outside."

I know what it's like to sit down to meditate or send out energy healing, and I'm feeling less than centered, so I understand the question very well. But after experimenting with different approaches, I can share that the best emotional state to bring with you into your stillness meditation . . is the real feeling you really do have.

Everyone approaches things differently, but one thing I like to do is to sit down and write out what is on my mind, and then go into meditation. Sometimes it enables me to work out the present emotions a bit. But when I 'force' more pleasant emotions, hoping that will bring about a better session, I have found time and again it is not possible. But I don't let that stop me from sitting down. Instead I bring my authenticity to the session, and I find that any emotion -- sadness, anger, fear -- has its own beauty, when I allow myself to radiate fully with my present truth.

Osho said a lot about this in "The Book of Secrets." He said when a child is angry, they are radiant, they are beautiful! Because they become 100% anger. They just allow themselves to enter anger fully, and they are radiant like the sun. But when an adult is angry, he has an idea that "Anger is bad." And so he half-suppresses, half-expresses this anger. He becomes all twisted up, ugly, grotesque, a caricature of a person. He becomes split. He doesn't express fully. He is in knots.

Zachary discussed this in his thread "Memory is key," saying "I'm also sure you can picture a young child who is constantly expressing more love than his/her parents." The adult has forgotten how to fully enter this moment, this emotional moment, but the child has not yet forgotten.

If we can find the authenticity we had in childhood, in which an emotion was allowed and we expressed it fully (for those of us who were allowed to do so) we can come to the balance. I think this is why everyone always quotes Jesus saying "Unless you can become as little children, you can not enter into the kingdom of heaven." I don't think it literally means dying and going to heaven exclusively -- here I think Jesus refers to "that moment" in meditation where you fall to the center and become one, and enter into the heart of God. It can only happen when you are authentic and alive, and that means that if you are angry -- you must totally become angry. Allow the full expression of your authentic self to shine, and there is no door closed to you. No one gets hurt when you are angry, no one gets hurt when you are sad. Feelings are real, and we are taught to suppress them. Anyone can reflect upon this, that when we suppress emotions, they only grow louder with time. They need a voice.

In John's post here, the Divine Cell says the same. http://board.1111angels.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=21222 There is no emotion that is bad -- it is the failure to allow the expression of an emotion that causes the disease state to bloom. As a therapist, and as a person with anxiety, I can attest to that!

Anxiety and panic are one and the same -- they merely exist along a continuum -- and both are present when we have feelings that are jostling for our attention. Any time we feel an anxiety, we can know that something is trying to come to the surface. Freud had commented on the fact that "in neurotic anxiety . . .the ego is treating this internal threat as though it were an external one." This is the reason that anxiety and panic feel so much like fear. When one relaxes into the feeling-state, instead of tensing up and resisting it, the true underlying feeling can rise up to the surface. If it is sadness or anger -- or, taking my client as an example, a realization that a work-place situation carries echoes from childhood -- then you can attend to the true feeling that has just come to awareness. But feelings are not emergencies. The panic can feel like an emergency, but it just takes a gentle approach with the self, a readiness to say "I accept you all the way down through the layers, and I have room inside myself for each and every single one of these feelings." I think it is because I suffer with anxiety that I have so much respect for our need to allow our feelings their full expression -- because I continually witness the fact that when a feeling is not allowed, suffering is inevitable.

So that's kind of what came to my mind reading your post, overmind. There is no ideal emotion one ought to feel before entering stillness . . .instead, if one enters with full awareness of this moment and all the attendant feeling-states, there are worlds waiting for you.

Thanks for this awesome post overmind! I've been neglecting this section of the board for too long, it's fascinating! And I really enjoyed your essay so much -- it is very deep and thought-provoking.

With love to everyone, Michele :loves :sunflower: :kiss:

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Re: Love and Its Opposites

Post by overmind » Mon Nov 18, 2013 8:56 pm

I agree Michele, a huge bonus for stillness is getting over these more negative emotions, which is hard to do when they are ignored or stored inside. I think we all need a release of some sort to remove everything we bottle up, and meditation in general is a great way to do this. It is simply a matter of understanding your emotions and letting them take their course as you sit there. Another way is to give your troubles to God in order to embrace the peace of His inner voice.

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Re: Love and Its Opposites

Post by 11light11 » Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:26 am

I agree with what you said overmind, it's so true. It winds up working backwards to the logic we usually apply to meditation . . . believing we must first feel at peace to enter that state. That's what the meditation is for! I find that even when I begin a session feeling extremely anxious or tense, fearful, angry or what have you -- by the end of the session, I've not only come to find room inside myself for those emotions, but I feel settled in a way I can't usually land upon on my own. (I say 'on my own' because I think we receive special assistance in the meditative state . . . kind of like how you said:
Another way is to give your troubles to God in order to embrace the peace of His inner voice.


It's so true!)

:sunflower: Love to you, Michele

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