Thursday, December 11, 2008

Let's take it as truth for the moment that emotions are just thought plus physical experience (see earlier post). We know that in meditation we can see thoughts just as they are: thoughts only. So, when we set the thoughts aside (which can be learned to do), all that is left of "emotion" is that which we feel in our bodies.

We know that pain can be controlled through hypnosis. That is, with hypnosis we can increase and lower sensation, we can isolate physical experiences in the body and manipulate them.

So it follows that, using similar dial and dilution techniques from hypnosis, we can increase and lower our emotions (the physical experience separated from the thought), so that we control emotions instead of being at their beck and call and controlled by them.


Eric said...

Absolutely. In fact, anchoring and the dial technique are both considered to be "state management" techniques in NLP. And theoretically, and in practice, one can alter their state at will. Now, I don't know if that's entirely healthy. Sometimes grief, sorrow, anger, etc., are important feedback mechanisms, or are totally appropriate. But I've had several clients get off of their anti-depressants after learning state management, because after a while it etches a new neural pathway.

The problem is that when you're depressed, well, sometimes you just don't want to go doing self-help state management exercises, do you?


John said...

I think your cartoon is particularly appropriate for this post - did you chose it specifically? This post sort of reminds me of that story about how the U.S. spent millions on researching how to make pens write in space while the Russians just used pencils. It sounds dangerously close to the mentality of continuing to do stuff that is bad for you, because you've learned a way to possibly counteract the visible side effects.

I wouldn't suggest that you simply do nothing, but I don't think anything can replace an honest and open introspection, possibly with the help of others who can help you maneuver past your own devices. There are of course physical and biochemical things that simply must be dealt with, and are insidious because of the way they manifest. I think one just has to be careful about that boundary.