Nonjudgmental observation through achieving “witness” consciousness was the topic of the first chapter in Stephen Wolinsky’s book, Quantum Consciousness: The Guide to Experiencing Quantum Psychology. By focusing in breathing or the space between two breaths in meditation, we learn to distance ourselves from our thoughts, to observe them without identification or resistance. I’ve been experimenting with this intermittently over the last few months and only recently read the next chapter, which deals with emotions.
While he fails to state it explicitly, what Wolinsky does in this chapter is break our typical human emotional experience into three separate components. There is (1) the emotional sensations themselves, (2) the source ascribed to the emotion, and (3) the judgement of the emotion — as good or bad, appropriate or inappropriate, and so consequently leading to our experience of craving or aversion towards the emotional experience and it’s ascribed source.
In trying to define the fundamental emotional sensations, Wolinsky references a Sanskrit text known as Spanda Karikas (“Lessons in the Divine Pulsation”) in which it is evidently explained that spanda, the “divine pulsation,” is this basic emotional essence. Wolinsky seems to prefer the term “energy” over spanda for this raw emotion, however, and this seems appropriate enough to me, for whom emotional sensations could collectively be explained as an analogue to the sensory sensations of texture and movement. Describing emotions as “vibrating energy” is, if nothing else, a good description of the experience.
My remaining issue is that energy does not seem to me to be merely internal. It feels as though an emotional landscape is superimposed over the world around me, always lingering in the background but quite capable of abruptly becoming the foreground and taking center stage. I feel my energy within and around myself and the energy within and around others in interactions generally experienced as sensations of resistance, resonance and fusion with their energy, the last two of which I feel causes me to feel what they feel. Emotional reception and my
emotional reactions usually seem distinct to me in the moment — though I have all too often noted in retrospect instances where it appears I have mistaken reception for reaction and taken on the emotions of others as my own.
Of course, I often consider I might just be nuts. Whether or not I am actually receiving the emotions of others, however, Wolinsky’s suggestions would seem to have potential value.
Rather than focusing on why you feel a certain emotion or whether or not you should feel it, you strip all of that away to instead concentrate — without intention; as a curious and nonjudgmental observer — inward, on the root emotional spanda in the body. Every time your mind wanders back to why you feel this way or how you should or shouldn’t, you gently bring your attention back to the fundamental emotional sensations in the body. Not only would this as a consequence keep any emotional receivers you might have “introverted” and focused on your own emotional sensations, but you are also not permitting emotions to infect you — regardless of their source.
He also suggests trying to ascertain the “shape” of the emotion and, finally, to merge with the energy. I tried a this a bit the last few days and I was surprised to find moments, however brief, of focus, clarity, and that rare feeling that everything is okay.