RE: Emotion Selection
Tue, 6 Jul 1999 07:31 +0000

> That is an interesting point. The concern with any sort of
>psychological adjustment, however, is the possibility of emotional
>repression. It is always possible to consciously ignore an emotion and act
>around it, whether or not it is a primary or secondary emotion.
>Unfortunately, this repression has a tendency to weigh heavily on our
>subconscious and ultimately affects our physical and mental well-being.

I think we're saying the same thing. Ultimately the way to reduce the undesirable aspects of "negative" emotions -- at least in the arts in which I've been trained -- is to look hard at them, discern what they "want" and give it to them. It's rare the impulse to envy, for instance, starts and stops with me getting that thing from that guy. More often it's a symbolic representation of a desire for recognition or respect or even just a feeling of "being okay." The more intricate manifestations of these primal drives come as a result of our socialization. If we can give ourselves the inner peace and the love we crave, most of the meta-emotions I described will become irrelevant.

I absolutely want to retain my fear. What I *don't* want, is to be afraid of being afraid. Or, for that matter, guilty about being afraid.

In this way, I repress nothing; I become fully expressive.

(NB I don't use the first person singular to imply I'm there yet. I ain't. I use it because I'm the only person whose mind I can presume to know.)