Judy Cohen: What makes these sensations “negative”?

Anger, fear, sadness, heaviness, contraction, pressure.

What makes these sensations “negative”? What’s negative about them?

– Judy Cohen on Facebook

That’s what I have wondered since I first heard someone using those words.

They clearly have a survival function. They are selected for because they help us survive.

They have a function in everyday life. They help us navigate and communicate.

And “negative” is a label, taught to us from culture. Someone first came up with that label, and the attitude behind it, and – somehow – this “meme” caught on and was transmitted between people and generations in our particular culture.

Of course, I too somehow respond to these thinking they shouldn’t be here, or that something is wrong if they visit. That’s very normal having been brought up in a culture with these views and responses. I wanted to be a good boy, so I did as my parents and others did. I learned to see them in this way. And I can explore that – and find a different relationship with all of it – through inquiry. Either intentional and explicit inquiry, such as The Work or the Living Inquiries. Or inquiry that’s just an ordinary curiosity as part of everyday life, or kindness practices (towards these parts of me, and the parts of me responding to them as “bad”) such as ho’oponopono, loving kindness, holding satsang with what’s here, tonglen, the heart prayer, and more.

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