People tend to shift into emotional states within a narrow spectrum. I’ve heard Buddhist’s speak about depression as the result of anger turned inwards. I don’t really agree with that. Anger may have led to the state of depression, but depression is a state outside of anger.
If you’ve ever been truly depressed you’ll remember that state as characterized by apathy. There’s a general nothingness in that state. Nothing matters when you’re depressed. That’s what separates depression fro sadness.
Sadness cares. Depression doesn’t care at all. I’ve been depressed, and each time, I never felt anger towards someone else or myself. It’s a state of almost calm ambivalence. Politics doesn’t matter, people don’t matter, the job doesn’t matter… it’s a dangerous state of mind, as it’s one step from annihilation.
If you took someone who’s depressed, and were able to get them angry about something going on in the world…. they would move from apathy into agitation. While anger isn’t positive, it does produce momentum… movement and that’s a state better than being depressed.
If you further take the person who’s angry, and then trigger passion in them, they might appear selfish, but they are now less hostile. Their emotional state is another shift towards the positive.
Taking the passionate person, and pulling out the emotions towards others (love, compassion, etc), will give birth to happiness.
This is the emotional tides we wade through in our day to day lives. While our emotional states are caused by the inner spiritual landscape, others can shift our emotions very effectively.
In fact, the reverse flow can be done to suppress someone. The happy person can be seduced with the thought, “you work so hard for others, why not take some time for yourself… live a little. do something just for you.” That one mis step can lead to the cultivation of selfishness.
As a passionate person, one can be easily enraged. By withholding one’s desire, or offering a desire that one can’t achieve, one can frustrate someone into rage.
Rage can transition into states of apathy. On a long enough ride of anger, the recipient will become apathetic. Such manipulators can drive a person into happiness, or down into the dregs of depression.
Knowing is not enough. It takes effort and practice. Once I worked a job, where my manager came into the office every morning, casting his rage on all his subordinates. I was often yelled at and berated. On one occasion I decided to put an end to this behavior.
I set up a trap. I learned things about the manager, including the fact he was a smoker and was also an asthmatic. Knowing this I put a pack of cigarettes on my desk and my asthma inhaler atop it. He stormed in, walked up to me and was in mid rage when he stopped. His eyes focused on the inhaler and cigarettes. Cracking a smile he asked why I smoked if I had asthma and before I could answer he chuckled, “I do the same thing!”
What happened next was astonishing. For the first time, he shifted from rage, to a more positive emotion. I worked his emotional state upwards most days, and in the end he was devoted to my carrier. Had I been nefarious I could have easily pushed him from anger into apathy and depression. My goals though were positive, I wanted to help him be a better him.
What that manager was incapable of seeing, was his own true nature. Most of would be surprised to discover what we really are. That expansive feeling of power and love, it’s a tangible sensation and equally real.
While this technique of floating someone’s emotions upwards won’t connect them to their true self, it will remove the blockages that hold them back. This flow is necessary to harmonizing the space necessary to invite the Greatest of our nature to take up residence within us.