Feelings and Emotions
By Richard Kieninger
Our physical bodies are wonderful creations that develop along predictable lines without our intervention from birth to death. This leads most people in Western Civilization to believe that “going along for the ride” in our physical vehicles is what life is all about. Fortunately, there are occasional reminders that one of our major challenges is the development of our emotional aspect. It is something we all must learn, regardless of our gender or advancement, as none of us is born with the characteristics of emotional maturity—the ability to love someone other than yourself and a satisfactory capacity for work being the two foundational characteristics.
Without emotional maturity, true spiritual advancement is unattainable. The efforts required for one to earn the Brotherhoods’ recognition and having achieved Initiation need a sound emotional platform from which to venture forth into spiritual realms. Learning and practicing the characteristics of emotional maturity is a lifetime process that, along the way, brings us closer to the Initiation requirements of balance and controlled clairvoyance.
Our emotions are obvious on the Astral Plane as they are clearly displayed in our aura for all discarnate Egos to see. You cannot hide them! Furthermore, all the controlled clairvoyants (incarnate) do not have people’s emotions hidden from them. Perception of Astral Plane auras does not, however, bring along an understanding of nor the ability to accurately interpret their meaning.
Clairsentience is the sensing of the emotions of others. Little children do it all the time because their brain has yet to be overlaid with physical reality. They respond to whatever the emotions of the people around them are because that’s what dominates their consciousness; an inescapable experience of their world. They are more aware of Astral Plane perceptions, due to their very recent experience there, than they are with the physical. In movie theaters where something utterly terrifying appears on the screen and viewers respond silently, a baby will wake up and start to scream. The baby is sensing the fear and terror of the whole audience and is expressing it in a natural if not disruptive way. Another example is whenever people are talking to each other. They are constantly reading each other on a non-conscious level and responding, moment by moment, according to their upbringing and experiences with life. This astounding phenomenon is seen in high-speed movies of two people in communication. Depending on the degree with which they are “in sync,” the slowed‑down images reveal their minute body movements may be a beautifully choreographed dance or a running battle to get the upper hand, etc.
Emotions do not arise from the body; they arise from the Mind. They are part of our Egoic package and therefore are with us even when we are discarnate. Emotions arise of themselves regardless of our intention or awareness of them. Feelings, on the other hand, arise in our musculature. They are physical responses to our Egoic emotions and, as such, can be a primary source of emotional information. Specific muscle groups respond to each type of emotion, and we can use this to learn about the nature and cycles of our emotional makeup.
Even though the ebb and flow of emotions cannot be blocked, they can be limited in their outward physical expression by the conscious and unconscious tensing of our musculature, but this has the side effect of increasing the emotional back-pressure in our lives. Natural and free outward expression allows emotional energy to naturally dissipate, and when this expression is limited the pressure builds up.
What’s going on mentally inside and what people may have been trained to show outside can be two different things; a major dichotomy between the two. For example, there are entire cultures raised to not reveal any emotion of any sort. No matter what happens, their expression or posture doesn’t change. Such groups of people are not free or happy because the muscular efforts required to suppress their emotional reality causes pain and saps much of their daily energy. The country of China is an example of such a culture.
Recognizing Muscular Armorings
About a century ago, the early psychoanalysts discovered connections between a person’s muscular “holding patterns” and mental memories from earlier in life. The earlier life memories are stored as muscular armorings, so named because the muscle groups involved in a “forbidden” emotion have been caused to assume a chronic spasm condition that makes the muscles feel hard underneath the skin. Whether in the abdomen, chest, arms, legs, neck or face, this feels like armor beneath the skin. Through specific types of physical exercises in a therapy setting, these blocked muscle groups reveal themselves when the flow of bio-electric energy accumulates at the site of the blockage, much like water piling up behind a dam. The increased energy level causes an increased blood flow at that site and appears as reddening skin color up to the point of the blockage. Beyond that point there is a marked lack of color. This blocking of past emotions produced by chronic muscular tension produces long-term effects on any bodily function.
Developing Muscular Armorings
Due to the way men are raised in this culture, they cannot acknowledge fear, but the resulting anger is accepted. Men are supposed to go out there and pound lumps on the other guys. But they can’t be seen cowering. If they do, they might just as well crawl away someplace and never be seen again. In scary situations, they have to charge in there and express their anger, and the anger, of course, will carry them into very dangerous situations because they can’t think straight when they are in a deep state of anger. But that’s acceptable among men. Women can become angry too from all the kinds of things that make men afraid. They just are allowed to express it in different ways.
As children raised in the tradition of Western Culture, we were given the message not to show certain feelings. For instance, there is a culturally held belief that even little boys are not supposed to show fear. Boys are raised to be tough and to be able to “take it.” So with the proper coaching from parents and teachers and older boys, little boys please their “teachers” by tensing and blocking certain muscle groups so as to hide the effects of their emotional response of fear. They stop the shaking in their knees, diaphragm and lower lip, and stop their crying and stand like good little soldiers. After several years of this early childhood “training,” the muscle groups involved in blocking the physical effects of the fear emotion become permanently locked. Even more insidious, the pain produced by this long-term physical exertion is eventually ignored by the central nervous system, and it will continue to report to our consciousness only that information which has been responded to. In medical jargon, this phenomenon is called exochronic pain: the pain-producing cause is still there, yet our awareness of it has been blocked.
Other widely known and proven methods of inducing muscular armorings include the techniques used in the punishment of children, neglecting infants’ and young children’s needs, separating newborn babies from their mothers at birth, allowing babies to cry (scream) themselves to sleep, and failure to supply enough non-sexual touching activities.
The High Cost of Muscle Armorings
Unresolved emotional situations, from years of suppressed emotional expression, from any and all emotions, are stored in muscular blockings that consume physical energy for their maintenance. Those emotions that we had to stifle as a child carry over for our entire lives for no other purpose than to maintain themselves. We literally burn energy to keep certain muscles continuously contracted on a round-the-clock basis. Some people have endured such a prolonged duration of emotional tension that they are chronically fatigued, both mentally and physically. The extreme case of this is termed neurasthenia and is normally accompanied by psychosomatic illness and phobias. For people at this extreme, all of their daily energy is consumed in maintaining their muscle blocks and they have no energy left over for anything else.
The human musculature can only tolerate so much stress before it breaks down, and muscular armorings provide us continuous stress from early childhood on. Medical insurance records support the fact that people in this culture usually begin experiencing physical or nervous breakdowns in their forties or fifties, the time when their physical vehicles have become so overloaded from the strain that they collapse. Along the way, muscular armorings also provide other symptoms such as emotional disturbances, including depressive and autistic behaviors, hyperactivity, sexual aberration, drug abuse, violence, and aggression. The sad fact is that all people in the Western tradition (patriarchal) are limited by these armorings and their attendant symptoms. It is true that our civilization is defined by and carried with us all in the completely unnecessary and similar muscular armorings.
Releasing the Blocks
We all have years of unresolved emotional memories that we would be better off not having. Most of us have never had any of these released. So all of the fears, all of the angers, and all of the so‑called unacceptable emotions are permanently stored in our musculature. The ones locked up are those stifled by outside demands and influences. Those things can be released by therapy without necessarily going through psychoanalysis, because there are ways of releasing those blocks through physical treatment.
There don’t seem to be any shortcuts to releasing our emotional blocks—neither meditation, nor practice of the Violet Screen. There is, however, a system called “peeling the onion” which psychotherapists use to assist their patients. Suppose a person realizes that when in a certain situation they habitually respond in an illogical, inappropriate manner. They don’t know why this happens. The therapist will assist the person by saying, “When was the last time this happened? How did you feel then?” Or, “What brought it about at that time?” As the patient remembers back to the circumstances of a previous situation, they perhaps become a little more aware of what triggers those kinds of behaviors. In this way, a person can go back, step by step, perhaps all the way to tiny childhood. This exercise usually takes a year or two and is something anyone can also do that on their own.
When something “comes up” that gives rise to uncomfortable feelings, whatever it might be, the thing to say is, “When was the last time I felt that?” It may take a couple of weeks; but once you prime your memory to come up with that answer, you will get a response. It may come up at almost any time, and you will remember the last time that you had the feeling and what brought it about. After you remember that, again you ask of yourself, “When was the prior time to that?” And you can keep on going back. Again, this is a process that takes a couple of years, but you can do it on your own because your memory remembers and knows all of these things. Every detail of everything that’s ever happened to you is stored in your brain memory.
This is a process we are able to do much less expensively than going to a therapist. The skill of a therapist is being observant enough to ask the right questions of the patient, because the patient always has the answer. Always! At the unconscious level the individual is fully aware of what is being blocked, and he can bring it back up again. That’s what a psychotherapist does, and you can do it for yourself. It all depends on how much something bothers you and how much you desire to fix it. Unfortunately, most people will just say, “That’s the way I am; I’ll just avoid those uncomfortable situations.”
An early experimenter in psychotherapy created a gentler system of removing muscular armoring than those employed by others of the day. Dr. Wilhelm Reich literally squeezed the blocked portion of the muscle with such strength that the crystalline structures maintaining the block were broken. This exceedingly painful experience had to be repeated many times—once for each of the several dozen blocked muscle groups in the body. Dr. Charles Kelly discovered that by repeating certain breathing patterns while, at the same time, occupying the patient’s intellect with “busy” mental exercises, the most critical patterns of blockage would be made visible. At that point, the therapist would only have to massage the blocked area to stimulate its discharge. Only when the patient correctly acted out the emotion being released would the pain vanish and turn into an intensified emotional expression. At the height of the experience, the patient’s entire body responded in unison to express and release the trapped emotion.
When the energy block is being released, the emotion is displayed. If, for instance, fear was being released, the person’s face would actually look like he was in terror and he would feel that way. If anger was being released, which is the usual one, he would pour out terrible expressions he may have held for decades: women would swear like sailors, men would cry and everyone would be totally exhausted when they were discharged. Often these releases would be accompanied by a memory of an event causing the block.
After a few such sessions, some root-level emotional memory blocks will be released. Many people experience the results of this when later they again find themselves in a situation that used to be emotionally painful to them. Now, however, they find themselves much more conscious and able to act in a way of their choosing. When a block is released, you know it!
Living with Muscle Memories
To live life more in accord with the intentions of our Creators, it is best to show our emotions and feelings. In this culture, there are cases, however, where a person must refrain from showing emotions and feelings: to avoid interfering in someone else’s environment, to stop the spread of negativity, or to prevent overloading a child. You do not want to distress people who are dear to you with things that are privately yours. Indeed you do not want to have all of your emotions just hanging out all the time for everyone to see—it’s too wearing, too exhausting to have that in our environment for very long. There are times when all of us are required to mask our emotions and natural feelings.
If you have a negative emotion but cannot express it at the time, and you don’t want to lock it up in the muscles in your body, how to get rid of it? Go out in the country and scream. Go for a ride in your car someplace out in the country and just yell. Or imagine some invisible person there who you unload on, someone that you can scream at.
A technique that has received the stamp of approval by psychiatrists is seen in ladies who go to movies that encourage them to cry. This releases a lot of pent-up emotions. They usually find many other things to cry about other than what touched them off in the movie. This is a venting process; and the rough bumps in life are given a chance to be aired out a little bit at a time in that way. Nothing is wrong with going to a very emotional type of movie—not the negative ones—but ones which are beautiful, ones that portray scenes of triumph over difficult situations or scenes where a helping hand is extended to one in need. Movies like that simply elicit our tears of joy and relief.
But we do need to discharge negative emotions, and that’s why some people who can afford it go to therapists every month or every week just to be able to vent all of the stuff which is bugging them. That’s awfully expensive. How you are going to handle that is something that you have to decide. Awareness of how you feel about other people’s responses to your venting would probably help in that decision.
Rules and Etiquette for Displays of Emotion
In our culture it is generally unacceptable to express many kinds of emotions. In transitioning into our future culture, however, we need to find and agree upon ways concerning what is emotionally acceptable: when, under which circumstances, and how it is acceptable.
Most matriarchal cultures are pretty open about emotions. But even they have certain limits. No hitting is the one rule they have because people who make up matriarchal cultures do not strike one another. Parents never spank their children either, for that matter. Other cultures have systems in which people can express strong emotions and still have the support and interaction to communicate with other people rather than being in isolation. An American version of this says, “Say whatever you want, but don’t mess with my body.”
Overcoming Negative Emotions
Teenagers have such a rough time because they are not yet sure who and what they are. There’s a world of questions they have about themselves. Questions evoked by listening to their parents and teachers telling them that they are not good in this, or not competent in that, or stupid in this, etc. Information like that comes to them while they are trying to figure out who they are, and it does little to bolster their self-confidence. It teaches them the polarizing concept of, “Am I a good person or a bad person?” It teaches them to be so dependent on other people’s opinions that what someone says can either elate or crush them because they are so unsure of themselves. When a person comes to the point that they really are confident in their self-worth, they’re not affected by other people’s opinions unless, for example, the guy is pointing a gun at them. They don’t let outside situations affect them. They thus have a stronger control over their environment.
The only things that make us afraid are the things we feel we have no control over. If you know how to deal with a situation, however scary it may be, then it doesn’t make you afraid. It may make other people afraid, but it doesn’t make you afraid because you know how to deal with it. It’s merely another thing to handle. Most anger that we experience arises from our fears; when we know we’re not in control, that makes us angry. We don’t like being afraid. And anything that makes us afraid we respond to with anger along with the fear. There’s a lot of psychology involved in dealing with other people who make you afraid. And of course in some situations the very best thing to do is just to avoid the person who is always giving you a hard time.
You have to marshal your courage based on experience, and experience comes step by step by step. Plunging into a dangerous situation does not necessarily mean that you are going to survive it. After you cross enough bridges you should have had just about every kind of experience, and you find you can survive them because obviously you are still here. That tends to lessen your trepidation about things in general. Older people tend to take on things that other people say, “My God, I can hardly believe he dealt with that situation the way he did so effectively.” And that’s because he just applied something that he has learned before in other situations and it worked again. If you live long enough, just about everything will have happened in your life. There eventually comes a point where you have almost no fears and you are in total control of yourself.
Moving Beyond Western Civilization
The higher one’s advancement, the less of the emotions of fear, anger and grief the Ego experiences. That is because he is rarely in situations where he is not in control. He has learned to transmute a situation or he doesn’t give another person the power to shake him off center. It doesn’t mean much to him because he still knows who and what he is when faced with those negative situations. If you really have a true sense of your self-worth, nobody can insult you. People can say insulting things about you and print terrible things about you in the newspaper, but it doesn’t affect you as a person, simply because you know who you are.
We really are dependent on our own self-help for things like this. We need to ask for help from Higher Beings on occasion when it is something that is beyond you to do. But whatever you are able to do on your own They will not respond to. They have other things to do, and it’s not in our best interest to have someone smoothing your life all the time so that we are living a life of nirvana. What makes us more human than anything else is our emotions. We have other characteristics of Mind, of course, but what makes us what we consider human is the emotions—our responses to different situations. And we certainly wouldn’t want to ever suppress our emotions or our sense of beauty or things of that sort. Joy and awe are wonderful things, and some people arrange their lives so that is primarily what they are experiencing. They try to precipitate the very best environment for themselves because that is what is most uplifting.
Intellect must command man’s emotional nature if his desires are to serve him and be beneficial to him in an ordered, self‑disciplined way. His self‑esteem and spiritual strength arise from his sense of control over external nature and over his own human nature.