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Friday, November 11, 2016

Transforming Falzhaefengilt: From Hypercrisy to Reflection

Thus, it is apparent that Falzhaefengilt can, if understood, be made to work for us.  The emotions we feel: happiness, sadness, loneliness, anger, frustration, and so on are wordless indicators of our condition.  It is not completely accurate to say they are products of the subconscious because some, especially the higher ones, are products of our rational thought process.  They are not, therefore, bad. They do not need to be suppressed.  Instead, they often simply need to be unraveled.  Like a knot, it may be necessary to tighten them up a bit before they can be loosened.

The power of the rational mind over our emotions is something which seems to be absent from the noosphere these days.  Desires are there to be scratched, guilt to be ignored, anger directed, etc...  It seems to me that rather than letting emotions control our actions we should instead let our higher rational functions do the directing and our emotional state providing the intuitive information that alerts us to potential problems, potential solutions, and confirms us in our actions.

Before looking at the good-side of emotions, consider that the problem with our emotions is that they often lead us astray.  For example, when we are insulted we react by becoming angry.  This anger is satisfied by retaliation.  The retaliation is often worse than the original injury and escalates conflict, and upon reflection leads eventually back to guilt.  Feelings of guilt are mixed with embarrassment and shame that are held in check by becoming withdrawn.   Taking a cue from Yoda, we see that there is a sequence of progressing from negative emotion to negative emotion.  Being withdrawn leads to loneliness.  Loneliness to self-pity, self-pity to resentment, resentment to sarcasm, scorn, bitterness.  Someone ruled by emotional impulses is someone who lacks self-discipline and self-control, which is the surest means to happiness.  Surrendering to emotional responses clouds the judgment and leads to an unhappy life.

Yet, emotions are natural and they are useful.  Clearly the positive emotions, specifically feelings of compassion allow us to interact with charity and build relationships.  Feelings of awe and wonder provide transcendent moments that allow us to sense the presence of eternal things.  The negative emotions also serve to inspire us to take action against injustice, sometimes they soften us and make us more receptive to the feelings of others and to our own needs, especially needs for friendship, love, community.  They alert us to our own deficiencies which include our hunger for God.

The problem posed by Falzhaefengilt is that it is a kind of negative feedback on charitable actions, and that seems wrong.  Charity should make us feel better about ourselves and inspire joy, shouldn't they?

No.  Not necessarily.  A charitable act may be a means of grace, by which your heart is softened and you become more attuned to God and this may not be emotionally pleasing.  Reflection, which is primarily a rational activity, is the proper response to Falzhaefengilt and all other negative emotions.  By reflection, negative feelings are transformed into more complex positive emotions such as humility, peace, and genuine repentance.

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