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Inside-Out Healing: Transforming Your Life Through the Power of Presence Excerpt from Inside-Out Healing: Transforming Your Life Through the Power of Presence

by Richard Moss, M.D.



Feelings Are Intelligent -- Emotions Are Not

As mentioned earlier, it is the ambiguous nature of many feelings that distinguish them from emotions. Emotions like guilt and resentment are unambiguous; we all know what these emotions feel like. But grief (as we just saw) and many other feelings are not so easy to describe because they are multifaceted, more nuanced, and constantly in flux.

Rather than worrying about an exact distinction between feeling and emotion, what is vital to realize is that while feeling is an essential and intelligent way of knowing, emotions are feelings that have lost their intelligence. That is, emotions are stupid or, more accurately, stupefying, precisely because they always give you the same information or lead you into similar patterns of reaction and behavior. Resentment gives only further resentment, which might also cause you to be spiteful or withholding. Jealousy always produces more jealousy, which may cause you to behave manipulatively or even violently. Until you break the link between the story you are telling yourself and the emotion that the story creates, you will remain trapped in some immature emotional-behavioral loop.

Remember that emotion is the feeling nature of the ego. It is feeling that has lost its interface with the larger reality and relates instead only to the egoic mind. Since emotions are triggered by stories that when inquired into almost always prove to be untrue -- that is, not based on what is actually happening -- emotions are in a certain sense not sane. They are thought-generated sensations that distort or blind you to where you actually are and what is actually happening. And the irony is that when emotions become truly extreme (such as in deep self-loathing, rage, and hate) it is almost invariably because your ego is trying to protect you from an underlying feeling, almost always a very dark feeling.

The above is an excerpt from the book Inside-Out Healing: Transforming Your Life Through the Power of Presence by Richard Moss. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.

Copyright © 2011 Richard Moss, author of Inside-Out Healing: Transforming Your Life Through the Power of Presence