A Conversation About Emotions

Anonymous: How do I completely and utterly kill and remove all my emotions forever, never to exist again, without losing my mind or intelligence?

Don’t give me any advice about why I shouldn’t. Don’t tell me shit like, “I wouldn’t want to do this.” I know what I want and why I want it, even if it will turn me into a social freak. I don’t care one bit. I want them all out forever. The colder the better, and the lesser the more perfect it is.

Me: Nothing exi79-waning-gibbous1sts in a vacuum, including emotions. They are an integral part of life. However, what we usually think of as our emotions is actually our thoughts about our emotions. The emotions, themselves, are a somatic response. It’s our thinking that gives them names like “sad” or “happy.” Emotions are a form of wisdom that we need in order to stay safe and sane, find fulfillment, and know what we need. Emotions are the basis of compassion, without which we would be sociopaths. Compassion is necessary to the development of a peaceful society.

Without emotions, you would not know or care about the difference between proposing to kill your emotions and proposing to kill yourself. My sense is that you don’t want to go that far; that you are trying to save your life, not end it.

It is not possible to remove all of your emotions. If the vicissitudes of your emotional life are overwhelming, the best solution is to develop a daily meditation practice. I recommend the Tibetan Buddhist practice of shamatha-vipashyana. “Shamatha” means “calm abiding,” and “vipashyana” means” clear seeing.” You will develop equanimity and begin to see, to know, the true nature of all phenomena. Without the obsessive quality of the habitual disturbing narratives that we mistake for our genuine emotions, the mind is clear and stable. Experience becomes natural instead of daunting.

Because everything, without exception, is interconnected at both macro and micro levels, it is better to learn how to dance with reality instead of trying to escape it. Meditation will take you to a deeper understanding of reality and of your emotions. It’s hard, because the ego, generator of the self-narrative, will resist, but it’s not as hard as continually trying to shut down and impose an unnatural state upon yourself. I would go so far as to assert that meditation- practical, portable, and profound, is the best solution for disturbing emotions.

For support with your meditation practice, check out our two Facebook pages, The Providence Institute and 10 Minute Club.

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About provinstitute

Teacher of meditation, shamanism, Buddhism, and natural health.
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