Emotions and actions

 

When emotions come out of stories I believe in, there is a sense of identification with the emotions as well, of being caught up in them. They arise, and I either act on them or resist them, or get caught up in the drama around them both ways.

So I am at the mercy, to some extent, of reactive emotions. And the same is also true, in a certain way, for empathy and compassion. I rely on the presence of the emotion or feeling of empathy or compassion to act in an empathic and compassionate way.

When there is a release from a belief a certain story, or stories in general, it changes. There are still emotions, but they arise as anything else, living their own life, coming and going on their own schedule. There is a freedom in allowing them their life, and also in using them to fuel or flavor action or not.

And, again, the same is true for empathy and compassion. To the extent there is an absence of belief in stories, there is also an absence in a sense of I and Other, so when suffering arises in any living being, there is a natural impulse to help, if the situation calls for it.

There is action from care, concern and empathy, but independent of the presence or absence of the emotion or feeling of compassion. It is more like the left hand helping the right. There is a thorn in the right hand, and the left moves to take it out, even in the absence of thoughts and deliberation, and independent of the presence or absence of particular feelings.

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