the 9 emotions and the 6 steps of their evolution
Coming to terms with where our emotional body is really at through self-contemplation is a window for inner self acceptance. When we embrace self acceptance we can then flourish with a new possibility of emotional and creative evolution.
About the emotional body
The emotional body is located within the earth bodies (physical, etheric, emotional and mental.) The earth bodies are perishable, impermanent and in constant decay. The emotional body has a plasma-like texture (plasma is a state of matter. Here, it is a gelatinous or gas-like body.) It has a strong ability to fluctuate and gives passion and intensity.
This body is located between 2 and 4 inches from your physical body. It is connected with your third chakra and the water element. It is also connected to the nine emotions.
Your nine emotions are the palette and color of your personality. They give you physical sensations (for example, as sadness makes you cry) and they are under the influence of your gunas (the qualities of the elements.)
The palette of the 9 emotions
In the Vedanta tradition the 9 emotions and their subcategories are:
Further Meanings and Related Emotions
Beauty, Aesthetic sentiment, Devotion
Humor, Laughter, Sarcasm
Curiosity, Astonishment, Mystery
Peace, Relaxation, Rest
Violence, Irritation, Stress
Heroism, Determination, Confidence
Compassion, Pity, Sympathy
Terror, Anxiety, Nervousness, Worry
Depression, Dissatisfaction, Self-Pity
When an emotion is present for some time, its energy affects the body and mind in such a way that one of the members of its family of emotions is manifested.
What is a personal position
When we acknowledge that the emotional body is not an isolated part of us, but a complex plasmatic part of matter, that is impacted by its environment, its relationships, its food, its breath and thoughts, we are then ready to look into the personal choices we make in front of those aspects. The emotional body has a master that directs, make choices and acts. The quality, management and choices of the inner master is what I call personal position. Personal positions can be conscious or unconscious.
Positions in the emotional body
In this part of our studies we will contemplate the 6 consecutives stages of the emotional body, their impacts and consequences. Your creations are strongly impacted by the condition and quality of your emotional body. The condition affects not only how we may compose a poem, but also our relationships and all of the dynamics of our life.
The most raw position we can take is the commotion. We are in commotion when we are reactive to life and to our own choices. We avoid taking responsibility for the fact that it is we who are the creator of our own experiences. We look for outside gratification, we look for approval and we seek constant outside attention. In this stage of development the emotional body is like a child of 4 or 5 year old. It wants gratification and when it is not received by others, it takes a position of blame and resorts to staging angry reactive tantrums. In reaction, the emotional body is not able to assess facts, and looses objectivity. There is pain because one feels hopeless and powerless. Commotion is an avoidance to real raw emotion. In commotion we avoid the real pain. This unnecessary agitation serves as an escape from acknowledgement and acceptance of the deeper more authentic, but perhaps uncomfortable, emotions. Commotion can be a stance not only towards uncomfortable but also pleasant emotions. For example, I have seen students stuck in the “I am good, everything is ok” mode, however that attitude is also an avoidance towards life’s challenges and choices.
When we are in commotion we perceive the world as an attack. We defend our positions, and our opinions are the one and only truth. In this state things are right only if they are in agreement with our own needs.
The consequence of commotion on the earth bodies is exhaustion, especially on the nervous system. We lose vitality and altitude, our perception gets stuck in one or two points of view (cyclic thoughts) and we thus use limited tools in our handling of life. Because it lacks the power that comes with having self-responsibility, commotion destroys the possibility of real personal advancement.
When a person enters into this stage of the emotion, it reveals signs of authenticity, honesty and acknowledgment of their pain. The stock emotion reveals itself and it is experienced as a release. This stage can be difficult, however if supported with sadhana and self-commitment, it is a quick transition that unlocks personal emotional potentials: passion.
Passion is a flirt with life. You see possibilities to engage with life, you see you can make a genuine impact on yourself and your choices are proactive. You may feel you want to learn new things, travel, change relationships or begin something new. Passion is regenerative, however not always consistent. In the stage of passion you want changes, you want to explore, you want to see “what can I do” to change the world or myself. This level of self-responsibility increases your own responses and maintains relationships with people, hoping to expand and learn the outcome of your potentials.
In a state of dispassion you declare yourself as the creator of your life experiences. You declare emotional autonomy. You gain discernment, you know the facts, and then other people’s opinions are of little importance. You stop being a victim of other people’s commotions, emotions or passions. A certain clarity and stillness arrives. The inner master acquires certain distance from the outside world and, like an eagle flying high in the sky, gains an overview of reality. In dispassion you are able to be neutral, you embrace self-respect and respect for life, meaning that your level of intervention is not tinted with a hidden agenda or ulterior motive. You feel content, removed and sovereign in your inner kingdom. Your 9 emotions became more subtle and relaxed, allowing the pure juice of the heart to come forward: compassion.
Compassion is the conquering of duality in the heart. Your life, the life of others and the life of life itself is seen as one. Differences disappear, boundaries dissolve, and the perception that one’s action impacts the whole and the whole impacts the self, is revealed.
In compassion, serving others with no personal gain is an exercise. In compassion the 9 emotions serve your grace, your sainthood and give you unshakable commitment.
In devotion you perceive the self as inseparable from creation, from the creator and from creativity. Your divine nature is established in your earth bodies. You emanate the being within you. Silence is established and is unshakable. You disappear and your interest in taking care of all parts of you is a joy. You are aware that you are the temple, the devoted and the devotee at the same time. You see all of the stages of human development and life as a process, not as an objective. In devotion your inner temple is uncorrupted by any cycle of other people or life. Your presence contains the purity of existence and the unspeakable essence of the whole.