Updated: Dec 22, 2022
In the objective path of Truth and Natural Law, the inner work is a necessary and preliminary field one must understand and practice the skills necessary for its mastery, or at least the ideal for such. No one is perfect, but with established lines between what is the right behavior of Truth, and what is the wrong, deceptive behavior, allows us to make the right choices more easily. Once you know how the mechanics work, its hard to operate it any other way than the correct way. Once you know a truth it is harder to fool and lie to oneself. Such is the process of what I call the inner work, and this can be considered a preliminary field, before the outer work is undertaken, although as I've stated previously, the two can be done simultaneously just so long as the focus on either is not unbalanced. It will do more harm if one goes to the outer work as a justification to escape doing that necessary inner work and "owning your own shit," so to speak.
Stepping Outside the Circle
The purpose of this article is to build off some of the ideas I covered in The Trickster-Self: Avoiding Our Truth by the Lies We Tell Ourselves, as well as in The Nature of the Beast: Taming our Primal Energies & Egoic Mind. The underlying thread that links this discussion is the self-awareness aspect. The self-awareness element of our being allows us to observe our own behavior and take action when one side of our being is overreaching its uses and causing problems in other areas. Emotion, for example, is an aspect of our being that can get us in some real trouble. Many people are serving life sentences for events that took place in which their emotional side took precedence over their rationality and they ended up murdering someone. That is an extreme example, but it serves to illustrate just how powerful the emotional response can be when it is not in check or under our control. Trouble follows when we give up rationality to allow emotion to lead the way.
This same rule follows in a debate or civil discussion. We cannot have a civil discussion and get to the bottom of any matter if anyone involved in the discussion is functioning in the debate from an emotionally driven standpoint. When this occurs, they give up their rationality and cannot see the picture from an unbiased view. When emotion takes precedent the argument is futile, you cannot have a rational and logical debate with someone driven by emotion. That being said, it is always easier to see this in the other party, harder to see it in ourselves. That is the point of this article.
Early in my years researching, I often fell into this emotionally driven trap. I was researching with the conclusion already decided, emotionally driven to validate the argument, rather than drawing a body of knowledge on the respective topics, without judgement or conclusion, processing the data, removing the stated contradictions, followed by rationally and logically coming to the necessary conclusion. It was after some time focusing on the inner work, that I became self-aware enough to realize this was taking place.
The concept, however, does not just apply to researching, it applies to the evaluation and resolution of just about any problem, whether in the processing of data, or in the every day decisions we make, to the problems we find in our relationships. This is more or less a universally applied concept we ought to consider in our approach to anything. It comes back to that ability to step back and observe our own behavior as if we were an outsider, removed from our own biases and emotionally driven feelings. That piece of mind we acquire by that ability to step back and step out of ourselves becomes an ally that few can understand the value of, until it is acquired. It can be your greatest strength in solving just about any life problem, or at the very least, stop you from making decisions that make your life that much more problematic.
This is where the idea of that "fork in the road" comes into play, where just a few seconds of stepping back, stopping that inner-chatter and dissociating yourself from that emotional charge is putting the power of what happens back in you. It may be that you are supposed to use the emotional side more in some situations, but other situations it may be that you would do yourself a big favor by halting it, the importance is that you can stop the emotional overdrive and allow time to reveal what the way forward is. That is the important part. Emotion has a tendency to inhibit that process, but when the individual is aware enough, he can realize when his emotional charge is overstepping its boundaries.
Emotional Expression & Repression: The Case for Discernment.
To understand how we should deal with our emotional side, we must also take into account when expression of emotion, rather than repression, would be the healthy response. There are certainly times where emotion should be expressed without too much restraint, just so long as it serves the intended purpose of productive use in dealing with life, working through our problems, and not bringing more destruction. Likewise, more destruction can sometimes result from the continual repression of emotion and feeling, very much so. The repression of this quality is only repressing the expression of it in the conscious mind, it then finds respite in the subconscious mind where it can act out in other ways.
When pushed into the subconscious mind and not dealt with, it may appear to be out of the way, until it begins to exert its ugly expression in the immediate environment, things start going horribly wrong, one thing after the other, bad luck seems to be the inevitable conclusion. This is because the subconscious mind still affects the reality we live in, we just don't see its occulted expression in a visibly apparent format.
It could also carry true that if the origin from which this repressed emotion originated from was not dealt with, it would remain like an unwanted dark cloud looming above, regardless of the attitude one takes to life from that point forward, if this charge began to feed its influence in the undercurrent of that person's mind and how they see the world. The event and feelings in which the repressed emotional response originated from can build up like electricity without a ground to release its charge.
When this occurs, and we seek to repress by proxy, we begin the act of backing ourselves into a corner by cluttering up our mental space with low-grade, unwanted noise and unprocessed emotion, even if we do not overtly think of that which we actively suppress. It stands to reason that, like having a room in which someone fails to clean it and let clutter amass, the same can happen in spiritual terms, less apparent, but its effect equally problematic. The same analogy could be made with a garden, in weeding out the unwanted growth that only soaks up the nutrients from the plants we are trying to nurture.
That being said, when we would do best to repress the emotional response, it is only momentarily, as to avoid further escalating a problem. When things have stabilized and the situational conflict has dwindled, the person would then be right to deal with the feelings and emotions, knowing that sometimes we have to be mad, upset, or whatever the expression may find, those feelings need to find expression at some given time. The channel in which we direct this energy can equally be important, and this was covered in other articles, such as Inner Darkness & the Power it Holds: The Truth about Anger, Ego, and "Negative" Energies. We must be able to see this as well, that sometimes we will have bad days, and this has to be accepted, but like anything, paying attention to make sure it is not running in excess.
These subtle areas of self-awareness that work in the shadows, when activated, can serve as our light and guide to align ourselves with Care, Love, and Truth, shining on the dark shadows we need to handle. It is certainly important to have this tool of self-awareness and a sense of discipline or control over the emotional response, because this also applies to when the emotional side of us likes to plant that poisonous seed of fear in our mind to cloud how we see the world, the basis of our decisions, which ends up actively suppressing our basis of Love. I covered fear in more depth in my article, The Primordial Enemy: Fear, Silencer of Life, Harbinger of Death. The Love that our Heart truly desires, free from fear, the feeling of not just what but where our Heart belongs. Some things, as well as people, call out to us, activating that inherent Love that we feel destined to belong to. Are we keeping our Heart safe from a real danger? Or locking it away from the embrace of Love? Being aware of fear and the emotions surrounding it, can keep Love in control, as the compass for overcoming the barriers between them. Discernment allows us to walk that line with courage and confidence.