The more we are emotional, the less emotions we have and the more our emotions have us

Emotions bring life to our life — if we had to live like emotionless robots, there wouldn’t be much to look forward to in our life. However, if emotions control and drive us, they can make us act irrationally, even self-destructively. 

Emotions are valuable components of our consciousness. But we can’t let them be the sole components. When emotions become controllers and definers of our consciousness, they leave no room for us to experience reality in its fullness without the filter of those emotions. We can’t act wisely, considering our rationality and our values. When our emotions control us, we don’t have them — they have us. That is, they dominate us and determine what we can and can’t do. Indeed, we become prey to their arbitrary and extreme changes, becoming incapable of pursuing anything substantial. 

Demonstrating the scary power of emotions, the Gita outlines Arjuna’s breaking down because of overwhelming emotions — they reduced him to tears in public just when he was about to tackle the biggest responsibility of his life (Bhagavad-gita 02.01). 

To help Arjuna and all of us place our emotions in proper context, the Gita urges us to first understand our identity as souls who are experiencers, observers and choosers of our emotions. It describes how we can initially become unemotional so that we can purposefully connect with the supreme spiritual reality, Krishna. By such growth, we all can process our emotions, thus opening for ourselves an option far more empowering than the normal two options: expressing our emotions or repressing our emotions. 

When we thus connect with Krishna using all our resources including our emotions, we relish his supremely fulfilling reciprocation which fills and floods our heart with pure spiritual emotions. 

Think it over:

  • What happens when emotions control us?
  • What is the difference between we having emotions and emotions having us?
  • How does the Gita help us deal with our emotions?

***

02.01: Sanjaya said: Seeing Arjuna full of compassion, his mind depressed, his eyes full of tears, Madhusudana, Krishna, spoke the following words. 

 

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2 Comments

  1. It’s amazing how Krishna arranges for us to hear what we need to hear. Due to the coronavirus, I’m trapped at home and more influenced by my emotions, which already is a problem for me.

    I truly appreciated the guidance on how we can process our emotions, from the Gita’s perspective. When one is unable to process his/her emotions, it leads to feeling overwhelmed and wanting to escape through unhealthy outlets.

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    • Excellent realization. All the best in processing and purifying your emotions so that you can accept Krishna’s will and offer yourself to Krishna.

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