It is often quite sobering for us to realize that, within Biblical terms, what is referred to as, 'The Fall,' has actually already occurred within our own emotional center. As children, we were born in a far higher state than where we usually find ourselves as adults.
In Work terms, we are born in essence, which forms basically from conception to approximately six years of age; from six to twelve, a person develops their own personality; from puberty onward, a person develops their false personality. In order to spiritually develop, a Work student must learn how to sacrifice "the lower" (false personality), where they observe it both within their own emotional and intellectual centers.
At birth, children's essence is born pure, living only within the immediate moment. Children never carry a grudge - nothing is held over. What children feel, they feel instantly, purely, then the feeling is gone. These innocent, childlike (essence) reactions are in stark contrast to the vengeance and the hatred that most adults carry around within themselves. If a child is hungry, (an instinct), the hunger immediately produces a pain within their body causing the child to cry out. The system is very simple: as soon as food is provided, the pain stops. Children also have a low frustration level, a low pain tolerance, which is also a necessary element in their own survival. It is important that the child's immediate needs be met. The child learns quickly how to accomplish this feat.
Love, to a child, is simple nurture. Love simply means being held when needed, being clothed when cold, being given food when hungry. Fear crops into the instinctive center of a child; i.e., the fear of being alone; but as soon as the child is no longer alone, fear stops. Anger within a child is usually an aspect of frustration and/or fatigue.
Anger tends to create a need for emotional release of the child's pent-up frustrations. Often, pediatricians will say that babies require a fussy hour, which is essential, for them, to discharge their negative pent-up energy, thereby allowing the child to fall asleep. The basic underlying principle of essence qualities within a child or adult is that no essence level of emotion is gratuitous. There is never an emotional carryover. Everything that comes up has an immediate result; an immediate emotional effect.
Our human body, also, has its own emotional center. The emotional part of the moving center is based upon simple principles. The body feels pain as well as pleasure, heat as well as cold, relaxation as well as tension. The body's ability to register physical effects frequently produces emotional results. Because human beings also have an ego, (personality/false personality), when cold or in pain, a human usually becomes "negative". Animals, such as a duck, do not become negative simply because they are cold. Yet the duck also, gets cold walking on ice. Human beings, unlike animals, contain a tremendous sense of self, which is based mostly upon their own delusions concerning their own endless/innate self-worth.
Thus, it is, in egotism, where one finds hatred, jealousy, envy, pride, cruelty, as well as complete existential indifference. All of these 'emotions' are nothing more than egotism manifested within the emotional center. Tragically, these ego emotions have been largely implanted within the emotional center by society as manifested by TV shows as well as countless other environmental influences.
Society teaches individuals what emotions they are "supposed" to feel in movies and on television. People are often taught that it is attractive to be 'offended' in some way; or that martyrdom is somehow a positive, emotional attribute. None of these qualities of martyrdom, self-pity, nor offendedness has any value for human beings. They are all superimposed upon our emotional center through the vehicle of egotism, (personality/false personality).
The emotional center (similar to the intellectual center, the instinctive-moving center, as well as the sexual center), contains three parts; each part is under the law of three. The parts of the moving center are also broken into an intellectual part, emotional part and the moving part. Each part of the emotional center contains three forces of energy manifesting through it. First force in the emotional center results in the emotion of being happy; second force as feeling sad; and third force as a feeling of contentment. In fact, over 90% of the emotions we 'feel' are not true emotions at all, but are merely the egotistical pollution of our true emotional nature. Therefore, somebody who is interested in spiritual development must learn how to sacrifice the egotism contained within their emotional center in order to become able to return to their own pure essence within.
The ability to distinguish between a true emotion, in comparison with an egotistical, pseudo emotion, requires a great deal of sophistication. One example is the ability to discern between contentment, which is third force within the emotional center, as contrasted with detachment, which is the result of the pollution of egotism within the emotional center. If a person is content,(in third force), they are perfectly aware of all of what is going on, where they are within any event and, as a result, they are able to accept any reality, as it is, whereas, detachment, is second force in egotism. Someone in detachment refuses to feel or cannot feel at all. The ego, in detachment, states, "I do not like what I feel, therefore, I refuse to feel." To distinguish between detachment and contentment is often quite daunting.
Another consideration is the fact that one cannot be free from identifying when in a state of detachment. One aspect of non-identification is the ability to feel fully, immediately as well as purely, in all three forces* at once. When you are non-identified, you are able to recognize all the effects that some event is having upon you emotionally. As a result, you are unable to choose one emotion over another. This totality of realized, varied, emotional responses is considerably different from any form of detachment, although when viewed from the outside, they can appear to be quite similar.
Human beings were also given an instinctive center in order to survive. This instinctive center, within mankind, is fully formed, developed, supremely intelligent. Human beings need to develop emotionally BEYOND blind instinct. Tragically, one element of the 'fall' is that mankind still cannot distinguish between egotism within the emotional center or the pure emotional center without egotism. Mankind also has tremendous difficulty distinguishing emotions from pure instinctive responses. All forms of negativity remain based upon egotism. Krishnamurti pointed out that there are two forms of fear - instinctive as well as intellectual. Fear, in the intellectual center, is the result of egotism. For Krishnamurti, fear within the mind, was only thought.
Too often, people find themselves trapped within their minds, forever ferreting out a seemingly endless list of worries, doubts and/or concerns. In direct contrast to meaningless mental masturbation, instinctive fear does have some limited value. When someone is in actual danger, his instinctive center becomes activated, usually utilizing one of the three physical attributes of fight, flight or freeze. In either case, the instinctive center is the center, which responds, not the intellectual center.
Unfortunately, people do not realize that of all our psychic capacities, the formatory mind remains the slowest, densest least useful element, when any form of danger actually presents itself. As a result, our formatory mind ends up playing 'catch up' to an event. But, more often than not, the formatory mind turns against its owner telling it every negative consideration that it can think of, thus immobilizing the individual even more.
Negative intellectual inner talking effectively destroys conscious action. When danger of any form, physical or psychological, presents itself, both the mind as well as the emotional nature immediately goes into shock. Only the instinctive center meets the challenges at the time of the occurrence. Eventually, the emotional center kicks in. After the emotional center, the slow but sure formatory mind will rise to the occasion by convincing its owner that no matter what just occurred, it was not his fault, which results in the fact that all the blame is immediately projected outside of oneself.
Therefore, all negative, doubtful, fearful thoughts, by law, must be sacrificed - not identified with. Even if the formatory mind does bring up some possibility, which, in fact, actually occurred, all of the individual's 'thinking about it' never made the individual equal to the event. Rather, negative inner talking gives an individual a false sense of security/insecurity. No matter how strong the formatory mind may be, it will never be the center, which accurately responds to life's events. In the end, the formatory mind only slowly interprets/reinterprets every event after it has occurred.
People tend to have little faith in their own instinctive center, although the instinctive center remains the most sophisticated as well as the most developed center in our being. For example, the instinctive center is what drives your car. No human mind could possibly compute the distance between itself and the car in front, or when a light is going to change, or how fast to respond to avoid an accident. The instinctive center computes all factors automatically. An individual is nothing more than a passenger in his own car. When it come to living their lives, human beings still have no faith that their instinctive center will take care of them, in any eventuality. Instead, people spend a tremendous amount of time worrying, fearing, and inner considering as well as planning endlessly what they are going to do in case "X" occurs. These efforts result in the near total pollution of both the emotional/intellectual centers generating a sea of endless fears as well as a morass of negative emotions.
'Offendedness' is the best example of pure, egotistical poison. Actually, life simply is what it is. The need to be 'offended' is often the result of a human being not having enough confidence in his own innate abilities. This lack of confidence causes people to feel that they have to impose a sense of importance upon themselves as well as onto everyone else in their lives. Being offended gives some sad souls a delusional sense of importance. Frankly, from a Work point of view, none of us has any ultimate significance. We are all insignificant. The faster that we are able to recognize our 'nothingness,' the faster we will be able to spiritually develop. In The Work, the aim remains to sacrifice our identification with our personality/false personality in order to combine with our own essence within.
Ideally, one would want to maintain a 'contented' level of being, which is defined psychologically as living with an attitude of acceptance. Of importance is the fact that our ego/personality cannot live within the realm of acceptance. The ego only lives within the realm of denial. One reason why Alcoholics Anonymous is so successful is that AA realizes that alcoholism cannot be overcome through self-will. Self-will is based upon egotism. Acceptance of one's powerlessness over alcohol immediately places the individual beyond the realm of egotism and into the realm of Real Will. Alcoholism remains a spiritual disease, which requires a spiritual solution. No amount of self-will will help overcome an individual's need to sedate themselves from life's realities.
Another example of when acceptance defeats egotism, thereby, bringing spiritual release, is when individuals accept that they are going to die. Jesus often stated that the way of a disciple is to "listen as only the dying can." Only people who have overcome some measure of their egotism become able to see/hear the aims as well as the attributes of spiritual development.
Another aim of The Work on the emotional center is to teach students how to transcend the law of opposites. For example, even in false personality/personality, love as well as hate, are simply emotional opposites. Because one opposite frequently dilutes the other, one must transcend both opposites in order to reach a deeper, purer, reconciling emotional element. In The Work, in order to reach deeper emotions, the students must learn how to sacrifice both 'lower' opposites at the same time. One method, which enables a person to sacrifice both opposites, is to find the common emotional element contained within each specific pair of lower opposites. People often get trapped in being identified with their emotional opposites. They see themselves as love, or as hate. To be 'loving' or 'hateful', in The Work, is defined as being identified with an opposite. Once the students see that identification is ultimately a trap, they can withdraw their sense of "I" from both of the false emotions.
When a person learns to sacrifice egotism in their lower centers, especially egotism within their own emotional center, the individual will inevitably move towards their own essence. Essence is personal truth. Essence is immediate. Essence does not carry a grudge. Only essence as well as Real I can live within the present moment. Egotism can never live in the present moment. Egotism is always in duration, rethinking the past, forever plotting the future. The inner/higher spiritual realms within a human being are able to "be" in the present moment. The spiritual realms within mankind are equal to all of life's challenges. The difference between emotion, (happiness, sadness, contentment, etc.), and sensation is that emotion is nothing but a pure force, whereas, a sensation is the emotion's physical effect, (the experiencing of an emotion within the moving center). The more the physical sensation, the more the emotion has been polluted by egotism. Happiness, sadness, as well as contentment produce negligible physical results; whereas, being "offended" or being misunderstood, tends to produce tremendous physical effects: tenseness, headaches upset stomachs, inability to sleep, etc.
In sharp contrast, Awe, Wonder and Shame are all higher emotions. Higher emotions contain a dual awareness of one's individual self, as well as an awareness of something higher. For example, when a person feels Shame, they feel two states of awareness at once. One emotion is, 'what could be' (the ideal), and the other is - what is (the actual).
Learning how to sacrifice what is not useful, not productive, not healing is The Work Path. We must move our sense of ourselves, our sense of "I" deeper and deeper within our own inner nature until we reach our own essence. We must learn how to sacrifice the outer, the lesser, in order to engender the real, the higher, the more essential levels within.