Emotions and awakening

 

What happens to emotions after awakening? Do they go away? Is there ecstatic bliss all the time?

When there is a Ground awakening, when awakeness awakens to itself, and to its content as no other than itself, its content does not have to change. There is one exception: the belief in stories fall away, and they are seen as just stories, arising as anything else – the clouds, sounds of cars, breeze over the skin, thoughts – all arising as that which is left when there is no I and Other. Apart from that, nothing needs to change. Thoughts are still there. Sensations. Behaviors. Interactions with others. Emotions. None of those need to change. They frequently do, of course, but don’t need to for awakeness to recognize itself and its content as awakeness, inherently absent of I and Other.

When emotions change following an awakening, it has to do with an absence of belief in stories, and also an absence in resistance. (Which are two sides of the same coin.)

With no resistance, emotions are experienced quite differently from how they are experienced when they are resisted. And they are always resisted, so some extent, as long as there is a sense of I and Other. Without resistance, or rather, without identification with resistance, there is also no emotional reactivity in behavior. Emotions arise, within and as clarity, as awakeness itself.

And with no beliefs, stories are recognized as awakeness itself, so they do not trigger emotions. This means that all the emotions triggered by stories when they are belied in, fall away.

Of course, there are often long standing habitual patterns around emotions and behavior, so these can still come up for a while after awakening, almost as an after image or reminder of how it used to be. But over time, these tend to erode.

What is left are just emotions arising as anything else, as awakeness itself, living their own lives, on their own schedule.

And that is exactly how it was before awakening, although not noticed in that way.

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