Ask Parvati 28: Enlightenment and Emotions – Part 4: Body, Mind, Emotion and Compassion

BY Parvati

(Continued from What Is The Mind?)
“When the self-created wall of the ego is lifted, you will realize that the dualistic nature of the world is only an external appearance, and that, in essence, everything is a whole, a single unity.” – Amma
When we “want”, we are directed by the energies of our mind and ego. When we are directed by our ego, we inevitably suffer. We can hurt ourselves and we can even hurt others. Our mind does not liberate us. Identifying with our mind restricts us and causes us pain.
Eckhart Tolle’s statement is succinct and clear: “Pain is inevitable as long as you are identified with your mind.” In our process of enlightenment, we learn to slowly dissolve the grip of our mind so that we may return to the field of pure consciousness and become enlightened.
As we dissolve the grip of the mind and of our ego, we face our emotional landscape. Our emotions exist as a bridge between our body and our mind. They are a way our mind expresses itself through our body. As we allow for more space in our mind, our emotions come more to the surface of our field of awareness. So too does the electrical information of all that is around us, including the emotions others may feel.
Emotions move through our body as a means for us to understand more viscerally our mental reactions to thoughts. When we feel afraid, our heart races. When we feel angry, our temperature rises. We feel in response to our thoughts. But our thoughts are not always pure and clear. In fact, our mind tends to only be a collection of expectations and memories. So our emotions tend to be based on the past and the future.
Emotional maturity is essential along the path to enlightenment. We are sentient beings. We feel. It is part of our nature. Just as with thoughts, there is nothing wrong or bad with emotions. There are painful ones and more pleasant ones. But they too, just like thoughts, are temporal. They are not eternal. They come and go. So just as with thoughts, we learn to find the space between emotions.
When the mind is clear, wisdom may effortlessly arise. Similarly, when our emotions are quiet, we may experience the well of compassion. Compassion is not an emotion, but a state of being. Unlike emotions, it is eternal. It is vast and unbound, unaffected by the temporal. It is a state that arises through the release of our identification with our emotions. Amma says:
“Compassion does not see the faults of others. It does not see the weaknesses of people. It makes no distinction between good and bad people. Compassion cannot draw a line between two countries, two faiths or two religions. Compassion has no ego; thus there is no fear, lust or passion. Compassion simply forgives and forgets. Compassion is like a passage. Everything passes through it. Nothing can stay there. Compassion is love expressed in all its fullness.”
As we evolve, we learn to move beyond the chatter of emotional reactions and allow the room for compassion to arise. But first, we must learn to witness the ebb and flow of what is, the tides of emotions that move through us, that move through others, with balance, presence and space.
(Continued tomorrow with The Rise And Fall Of Emotions)
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