Monday, November 16, 2009

Learning Emotion


Anyone that knows me well enough would realize that the title of this entry is something of a complete misnomer. I don't feel emotion in the pure sense of the word; the way most feel love, greed, lust or plain sorrow. I'm finding now that the only time I give off real emotion that isn't anger is when I'm inspired to do so, and these are only in short, gasping wisps of sensation. Anger itself has always been my Achilles' Heel, and I have no doubt that that won't change anytime soon, but, on occasion, I do wish for that myriad of other feelings that everyone seems to talk so highly of. The problem seems to be that I have no real motivation to attain these conventional pleasures, nor any real care to change the status quo. I flatline much like a heart that's stopped its cycle, and seems to be content with just dying.

I wonder from time to time if the great Bodhisattvas throughout history had experienced this lack of, for lack of a better word, life in themselves, and I then wonder if this motivated them more towards their ultimate goals, or if became a temporary side-road. The Buddhist concept of "impermanence", while depressing to many, must hit the newcomers on a more profound level than the ones that have been cultivating this concept for decades. The idea that nothing lasts forever is both novel and, for those that believe in life after death, revolutionary. But it does makes the worries of the guilty fade and become just as impermanent as everything else. It offers comfort in that Earthly pain will end.

I think if I learned how to be compassionate first, the rest would follow naturally. I don't understand why I'm as devoid of every that I shouldn't be as I am, but questioning "Why?" would be the questioning of the past and the questioning the past is, generally, fruitless and sometimes can only lead you into a dark regret. What I do know is that emotion, in the past, always backfired on me so, maybe, I'm a Freudian's dream-come-true. What with all the suppressed rage and repressed feels of a complexity that only my younger self could untangle, I am a virtual Freudian head-case that has managed, through no small effort mind you, to keep everything on a proper even keel, and has managed not to revisit my previous incarnations.

These questions about my nature and about reality as a whole were the reasons I turned to the teachings of the Buddha in the first place, but something hasn't come about in me yet. I can't completely acquire the system because of my inability to empathize with people, and I can't even begin to figure out where and how to start. I don't understand others in the least, nor do I understand the lack of logic that employs itself throughout the whole of the human race. Creatures of habit rarely learn from past mistakes, and continue upon the downward spiral as if hellbent on complete annihilation and this totally mystifies me. I, being no different, may fall prey to this common stereotype on occasion, but I do not, for a second, revel in it, though. The one gift that I have that most don't is uncommon objectivity. Being that my emotions don't often get involved I can step back and think with my clear head. I do get flustered, but I refuse to take part in the rampant orgy that most call "life".

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