LOG CABIN CHRONICLES

Cosmic weather

Posted 02.16.15
FRED RYAN

SHAWVILLE, QUEBEC | I'm convinced there's something like "emotional weather.". It's not weather at all — there are no clouds rolling in, no blizzards or sunny days, except as metaphors, and as for metaphors, "weather" will have to do.

Most of us see our emotions as constantly changing; whether we like this or not is irrelevant, our state of being and mind -- energy levels, hunger, rest, pleasure, stress, all these things seem cause so many of our emotions and emotional reactions. Our personal histories, our family heritage, our religious beliefs, our principles, these all have to do with the arrival and departure of our emotions.

Psychologists have more exact categories, and their notions all provide a means to step outside ourselves, step outside our emotional state of mind, and to take a look at what we're experiencing, rather than merely being carried away by the emotional currents of the moment.

The big difference, it seems, is that hunger or rest levels are not difficult to fix, whereas the weather is virtually out of our control. Coming home late from work, we can be irritable and restless. Something to eat, a meditative pause, and we can be back to square one, our normal, cheerful selves. But if it's weather we're discussing, there's not much we can do except get out of the weather.

But that's not easy.

It's easy to step indoors when the rain starts, but when we're angry, we may not even notice we are, or that we're reacting inappropriately. How can we step inside then? And if we do see that we're in the midst of some emotional storm, how do get out of it? How do we "step inside"? Maybe we can't. Then the point is we have to notice our dilemma, and not grow even more frustrated. If we're in a storm, we rarely think it proper to stay out and fight the storm. We change something -- location, our responses.

If we're feeling pleased, ecstatic, we'll want to stay stay in it, enjoy it, and not disrupt it.

It's curious that many ancient, primitive world-views (religions) do address this situation. As usual, their language is archaic, but both Asian and Meso-American world views seem to be designed to help us align our daily activities with what's going on around us (the weather), in a cosmic sense. Their views were not deistic or even theistic -- there's not a specific Being or Force who we address for help. We're the ones who are out of sync. That's what those old world views had to tell us, and there's something there.

How we address our out-of-sync situation differs wildly from region to region, but the idea of there being something called emotional weather seems very apt. Our emotional responses are usually so much more complicated that merely being hungry or stressed out. We have to search outside (ourselves) for causes; we have to first check the weather.

john@johnmahoney.com




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