The Taurus/Scorpio Dance
by Guru Rattana, Ph.D. - Issue #54, November 18, 2002
The four elements - AIR, FIRE, EARTH AND WATER - teach us about the complexity of our humanness and the journey of the soul in the physical plane. Aries (fire) personifies the authentic Sprit/Self. Libra (air) offers us the neutral mind to observe what is happening. Taurus (earth) introduces us to physical reality with no internal buffers - What we feel is real. With Scorpio (water) we enter into the dimension of the soul. Stripped bear, Scorpio territory is the arena of deep authenticity - What we feel is who we are. At the end of the journey of the dark night of the soul and the dark night of the senses (to be discussed later), Scorpio teaches us that the only way to be comfortable in our body and whole is to Let go and let God".
The Fire/Air Polarity
The first polarity - Aries/Libra - joins the fire and air elements, which are masculine and express themselves as Free to be.
The fire element is simply excited about being alive. The fire element enjoys the purity of I am, and expresses the creative, individualistic freedom of spirit. In its spirited enthusiasm, fire has a tendency to disconnect from its feelings.
The air element expresses itself through the mind. Master of the mind, air, is able to be detached from the fray of the emotions, and hang out in the arena of the bigger picture. The air element loves to discuss what is happening. It empowers itself by not judging or falling into victimization traps. It experiences frustration when it realizes it cannot rationalize and explain away problems.
The Earth/Water Polarity
The second polarity - Taurus/Scorpio - joins the earth and water elements, which are feminine and express themselves at Free to feel.
The earth element is our anchor in physical reality. The earth element is experienced through the senses. We have to be present nonverbally to experience the earth element, which responds to touch, physical love and nurturing.
The water element embodies the primal emotions of fear, sadness, anger and joy. The emotions are totally subjective, irrational, cannot be explained by mental logic, and defy control. Emotions are experienced through feeling, and can be tamed through attention and nurturing
Spirit and Emotions Meet at the Heart
In terms of the dance of male/female polarities, there are two basic ways to open the heart. The mind opens up to Spirit in the upper chakras and pulls in universal energy. The body opens up to the Earth in the lower chakras and pulls in prana (life force). Spirit is mental. By itself, Spirit Light can only go down as far as the heart chakra and then it bounces back up.
We have to navigate the physical/emotional terrain to get to the heart center and be able to stay there. Most of us have been trained to live in denial of our emotions and feelings. However, our attempts to suppress, control or ignore our emotions simply cause these primal energies to manifest as physical problems, major life challenges, on-going issues and inconveniences.
Working with the body through our sensations and emotions, Spirit can be integrated into the physical dimension and pulled down through all the chakras, infusing the whole body with Light. Mental/spiritual energies meet physical/emotional energies in the heart. The meeting opens the heart center. The heart center is the dimension of reality that we experience when our kundalini awakens, and we align mentally, emotionally and physically with both universal and earth energies.
Characteristics of the Upper Chakra Path to the Heart
- Top down
- Conquer the mind and connect with Spirit
- Masculine, climb the mountain
- Conquer the summit
- Exhilaration Purity
Characteristics of the Lower Chakra Path to the Heart
- Bottom up
- Nurture the body
- Empower the emotions
- Feminine, be nurtured in the valley
- Come home and relax
- Warm and golden
Spirit Helps Us Nurture and Reclaim Our Emotions
In Arena one, Aries teaches us how to connect with Spirit and be the source of our own connection. (No one can do this for us.)
In Arena two, Taurus teaches us that we have to be the source of our own emotional satisfaction. (No one can do this for us either.) We tame our emotions by integrating Spirit into our body.
Spiritual connection satisfies the mind. We connect with Spirit by placing our attention on the space and light in the mind. Emotional harmony satisfies the body. We connect with our emotions by paying attention to and loving the sensations in our body.
Conscious connection with Spirit gives us energy to work with and a perspective to operate from. We can learn to handle and relate to our emotions, because we do not identify with their cooped expressions. Spirit helps us handle our emotions, by providing us with the pure energy of love and light to nurture our feelings.
Our spiritual identity makes it possible to deal with our humanness. When we use our spiritual identity as a reference point, we don't have to take everything so seriously. When we use Spirit as a resource, we can access the true nature of our emotions, and understand them as the sensory or information system of our soul.(1)
Senses of the Soul by GuruMeher Khalsa
Emotions are the senses of your soul. Recognizing emotions as guides and allowing them to help you transcend suffering and thrive will lead to a peaceful, abundant life. This book provides a complete training in the benefits and use of your emotions. It contains both the information and the practical experiences you need to change and grow.
For over 30 years GuruMeher has studied, practiced, and taught innovative and effective techniques bringing growth, change and happiness to thousands of people, through Kundalini Yoga, life coaching and public speaking.
Two/Eight Taurus/Scorpio Polarity - Emotional Satisfaction and Co-Creation
Our second spiritual lesson (the first was discussed in Issue 52) is to become consciously aware of our non-verbal instinctual self, which is made known to us through the sensations in our body. We become aware of the pleasure of being in our body through our sensuality and sexuality. Through our feelings we connect to our emotional body, which is the sensory system of our soul. We become aware that our emotions and sensations are messages from our soul.
In the second arena we must learn to be emotionally available to ourselves. This means that we must be consciously present to the energetic sensations in our body and listen to what they are trying to communicate to us.
Our relationship with our physical-emotional self has to be consciously sustained, to move to the next level of power and co-creation in relationship in arena 8, the territory of Scorpio.
Second Arena: Taurus
- Basic Problem: Not connected to and comfortable with sensual, sexual self and emotions in body. Cannot take care of self emotionally and financially.
- Disempowerment: Create self-victimization by denying emotions and suppressing feelings, which opens one to be victimized or exploited physically, mentally and emotionally. Work for someone else's dream to earn a living.
- Dysfunction: Possessive, needy (or greedy), feel unworthy. Feel guilt and shame about emotions, desires and body.
- Conscious Awakening: Consciously connected in body with sensory, sensual, sexual self.
- Empowerment: Alive in own body with defined boundaries. No one else owns me or possesses me. No longer feel victimized or exploited. Cannot be controlled by money, sex or power. I take care of myself. I earn a living doing my own dream.
- Affirmation: I own my feelings and my body. I am a free agent. I am free to feel and enjoy my body.
- Touchstone: I take care of myself
Personal Lesson of Arena Two: Integrity is Our Path
We have to live in integrity with our own flow. We do this by being in touch with our feeling sensations. Mentally generated good ideas are not enough. We have to be in touch with what we feel, and use our feelings as instinctual guides. Emotions are the motor of creation. Emotions determine and regulate our motivations. We can be authentically in our flow when our instinctual self (emotions/body) and our intuitive self (higher mind) are integrated. Instinctually aware, we are not automatically pulled into our mind trips and mental traps. We become aware of what is a fleeting thought, and when our responses are generated from all aspects of our being. When our mind and body work together, we can establish energetic boundaries. When we contain our energy and control our own energetic reality, we cannot be pulled into, or be controlled by, others' realities.
Relationship Lesson of Arena Eight: Our Goal is to Shift the Collective Unconscious through Co-Creation
We are all part of the same field of consciousness. We manifest from the collective unconscious. We are either drawn further into it and create more dysfunctions, or we participate in changing it. In Arena Eight, our soul job is to transmute the collective unconscious from a field of fear to a field of love. To do so and to attain our own freedom, we must learn to operate and respond independently of the collective unconscious.
Productive use of our common energies in relationship is one way we participate in shifting the collective unconscious. To have "real" relationships, we must be willing to undergo a profound regeneration. We must be willing and able to deal with the dynamics of power unleashed by relationship. The need for autonomy and the urge to merge catapult us into crisis and force us into deep transformation.
Resolution of Taurus/Scorpio Polarity
The ability to be in one's body, set one's boundaries and take responsibility for one's own life (Taurus) opens the door to create in relationship (Scorpio) without being owned, possessed, codependent, needy, used or exploited. Self-sufficiency allows us to powerfully create and manifest with others.
Replacing needy, unsatisfied and uncontained energy with a projection of deserving and self-worth, and supported by a satisfied and contained identity, makes us powerful magnetic attractors.
Goal of Taurus/Scorpio Polarity - Motivation and Regeneration
The goal of the 2-8 polarity is to get us in touch with our deep motivations, so that we can impactfully and meaningfully create in partnership. It is our deep unconscious drives that determine how we interact with each other and what we create together. The destiny goal of relationships is to work together productively toward a common purpose. We make commitments emotionally, sexually, spiritually and economically, in order to cooperate and work together effectively.
Inevitably, intimate relationships challenge us to face the dynamics of power straight in the eye. Our hidden anger and aggressions surface. Our need to control and have things our own way become all too obvious. Our inability to trust and surrender to the unknown in ourselves, another, and in the Universe, becomes apparent.
All serious, intimate relationships breed crisis and require accommodation. The gifts are, however, worth going for, which include:
- the regeneration that we undergo,
- the renewed motivation to more fully live our lives,
- the transformation that we witness within ourselves and each other and
- the emergence of a third force that is the glorious result of the synthesis of two souls.
Taurus/Scorpio's Instinctual Dance
Taurus knows we are here to enjoy our bodies and the pleasures of the physical plane. Scorpio knows we are here to be real. Pleasure makes it possible to be real, and real makes the pleasure deeper.
Taurus and Scorpio work together to help us get in touch with, nurture and take care of our deep emotions, so that we can experience the richness of our humanness. Emotions are no longer a distraction or a curse. They become a gateway to the soul. Taurus helps us get in touch with our human needs, and the elementary emotions that drive us to seek satisfaction. Scorpio teaches us that we are here to experience profound soul satisfaction. Scorpio invites us to live passionately, and to offer the gift of intimate and penetrating companionship to ourselves and our partners.
The Taurus/Scorpio dance is in the territory of the instinctual self. Taurus represents our sensations and physical feelings. Taurus teaches us to listen to ourselves and get in touch with our personal needs. We train ourselves to honor our feelings as primary information, and to use our emotions as a motivating mechanism. In Taurus territory we learn that we have to DO SOMETHING to get our needs met. We can't just ask for advice, request help, think about it or try to get attention. We have to take action to take care of ourselves.
Scorpio represents our gut feelings that surface from the unconscious. Scorpio pulls us into nonverbal, primal and subconscious physical and emotional experiences, which are NOT thoughts, NOT ideas and NOT generated or understood by the mind. If these experiences are genuine, we cannot really translate them into words. Once we know truth at this level, we do not feel the need to verbalize it.
Taurus is concerned with physical touch and pleasure. Scorpio is concerned with psychological probing and meaning. Together they teach us that our instinctual emotional responses are the sensory system of our soul.
Control, Will, Surrender and Willingness
Both Taurus and Scorpio have their own version of control. Taurus is stubborn and can be rude and bossy. Scorpio is intense and can be indirect and manipulative. An important lesson for both Taurus and Scorpio, is to realize how control prevents and impedes giving and receiving love. The ultimate lesson for both is surrender. Surrender is an instinctual, primal process, that happens at both the physiological and the psychological levels. Surrender is not a mental attitude alone. The mind cannot surrender to an idea. First, because it can't, and second, because it is not the only player. The mind can only surrender to an experience. Experience happens in the physical and emotional bodies. Taurus connects us to this reality and Scorpio helps us enter this profound territory.
The masculine energies of the air and fire elements give us the will to do and the power to give. The feminine energies of the earth and water elements give us the willingness to be and the ability to receive. To be and to receive we have to be able to feel, be in our body and enjoy, or at least allow, our experiences. The earth and water signs teach us to gracefully and gratefully be present to the universal energies; of peace, love, joy, and love. Under the willingness to be loved (Taurus) is the power to love (Scorpio.)
Soulmates, Sexuality and Tantra
Scorpio is about intimate relationships, co-creation in partnership and tantric sexuality. Scorpio moves out of the formalities, legalities and niceties of Libra. For Scorpio everything, including relationships, must be deep, penetrating and real. Libra is the form. Scorpio is about the content and the creativity.
Many people say that they want to attract their soulmate. I think what most people really want is a favorable personality match. We want partners who like what we do so they cater to our wishes. We want partners who are easy to get along with so we can avoid conflict. The compelling attraction and deep connection of souls, does not always translate into our wishful thinking about easy-going and blissfully loving relationships. Intimacy and sexuality inevitably introduce us to life-changing experiences. We automatically confront our issues, our vulnerability and our limited ego. Transformation of consciousness goes with Scorpionic territory.
Scorpio, sexuality and intimacy open Pandora's box. They also introduce us to a treasure chest of gifts, if we are willing to enter the depths of our psyche and emotions. They will certainly bring every unhealed wound to the surface. If we are willing to embrace our wounds, learn our lessons and claim our hidden powers, we can realize more profound levels of existence. Scorpio symbolizes the inevitable process of life, death and rebirth. If we are willing to undergo total transformation, we will be released from our bondage, love ourselves more and more, and experience the innate God/Goddess in our being. Then we can bring this expanded sense of self into our relationships. If not, pain and power struggles, or at least numbness and superficiality, are guaranteed.
Second chakra sensuality often lures people to sexual Tantra. The essence of Tantra is union with the Divine. To achieve this state of consciousness, we have first to navigate our soul through the murky waters of the unconscious, and purify our emotional body. We have to penetrate through our numbness and move ourselves through our stagnation, in order to set ourselves free and emerge in the dimension of unconditional love.
The touchstone for each polarity relates to how we would like to feel in relationship. The touchstone for the Taurus/Scorpio polarity is - I feel safe being authentically me. We want to feel alive, free and at peace in ourselves in relationship. The question that we must ask ourselves is "Does the presence of the other afford me this safe space?"
Egomania and Neuroses - Two Basic Dysfunctions
Working through my own Taurus/Scorpio issues, I realized that dysfunctional human tendencies have two basic expressions - egomania and neuroses. In our unconscious state, the air element expresses itself as unconcerned and uncaring egocentrism. The fire signs specialize in classic self-important egomania. The unconscious earth element often expresses itself in negative ego states, like depression and lack of self worth. The unconscious water element specializes in a wide variety of emotional trauma-dramas. I have simplified the dysfunctions into two primary categories (1) egomaniac and (2) neurotic.
The egomaniac denies or is unaware of the soul. The mind is stuck. Instead of relating to Spirit as our identity, we use spirit to glorify our finite personality identity. This is the misuse of the mind to identify with, serve and glorify the limited personality instead of the infinite soul. So what about the person who is in touch with his or her spiritual identity? The spiritual egomaniac denies his/her humanness and emotions.
Neurotic can be defined as the condition whereby our emotions are expressed as obsessive thoughts, instead of being experienced as energy or interpreted as messages and information from the soul. Those indulging in neurotic behaviors are letting themselves be used by the emotional body.
Observing classical archetypal behavior of men and women, men specialize in egomania and women specialize in neuroses. However, both sexes indulge in both unconscious patterns. I find these two categories useful as reference points and will use them below and in future writings.
Pain or Denial. Real Opens the Heart
In our unconscious state, there are two basic ways we deal with emotions:
- We deny them and live in disconnection, or
- We identify with them and live in pain.
Men often choose the former, escape into their minds and disconnect from their bodies. Women too often indulge in the latter. They let their emotions control their reality, and in the process succumb to destabilizing confusion, continual upset and trauma-dramas.
Egomania supports denial. Neuroses support pain.
Denial expresses itself as escapism. We attempt to ignore and suppress our feelings. Neglect feeds shame and guilt. Add denial to pain and we create more pain, sadness, fear and anger.
Scorpio offers us a third option. We can tap our innate power and enjoy the richness of life when we use our emotions as information, power and energy, and the sensory system of soul. Scorpio insists that we try REAL. We have to be real to get to the truth, to learn our lessons and to advance spiritually. It is REAL that eventually opens our heart.
To open our heart we have to reach above the ego and beyond denial. We also have to penetrate below our emotional pain. Above we find God. Below we find our soul. At the heart we merge as One and experience - Me and God, God and me are One.
Our heart is the bridge between our humanness and our soul. Taurus and Scorpio meet in the heart by honoring our humanness as a unique expression of our soul. Loving our emotions opens us up to the possibility of caring. When we can care for ourselves, we can share this unconditional love with others.
No Discussion in the Heart
It is amazing the extent to which we are not aware of what we are feeling. Even when we use the phrase "I am feeling" we are often communicating what we are thinking. And when we are aware of feeling, we have a hard time determining WHAT we are feeling. We don't know what we are feeling because we are not connected to our bodies. We have to be in touch with the sensations in our body to access the energy of our emotions.
The head and mind are wired for analysis and evaluation, so discussion is a normal part of their operation. The positive and negative minds make this discussion possible. We reach the neutral mind when we enter into pure knowing. The neutral mind gives us knowledge and perspective. The head and the heart meet in the neutral mind.
If we are thinking, we are in our head. If we are feeling, we can access our heart. We can identify our heart space by observing when we are in the state of no discussion. The heart center works out of feelings, which are nonverbal. The heart center creates a space for non-verbal emotional sensitivity. Emotional sensitivity accesses the sensory system of our heart and soul.
Shifting our consciousness from our head to our heart requires patient training and vigilant observation. Over time we easily identify the difference, are able to move consciously to the heart, and operate more and more from the heart space. Cultivating sensitive full-body feeling awareness is the key. It is easier to be in the heart when we are simply aware. Overtime our awareness becomes a feeling that we can stay with, without being taken over by thoughts.
Basic Human Needs and Soul Desires
In Taurus territory, the second arena of life, we discover that we have needs that must be met if we are to feel happy, be healthy and live a harmonious life. Identifying and learning our how to get our human needs met is perhaps the major task of our life journey. Our basic needs give us touchstones for navigating our soul through time and space.
There is much confusion and misunderstanding about the concept of needs. Because we are in such denial about our needs, and don't know how, or whether we even have a right, to get them met, many people project neediness. Neediness is definitely an uncomfortable energy to deal with. When our need for boundaries and safety is not met, we either try to fix or pacify the other needy one so we can feel comfortable; or we run for our lives.
Traditional spiritual paths often deny and condemn our most fundamental needs. The current version of denial labels us as needy if we are not adept, or equipped, to figure out how to live in a state of satisfaction.
Actually, the game plan down here is to figure out what our needs are, to humbly accept and honor them, and to learn how to get our needs satisfied through a variety of expressions of love. Need fulfillment is the name of the game of our soul's passage through the Earth plane. As we reflect upon the following list of needs that characterize our humanity, we can open ourselves to understand how the human path of each is part of our soul development.
Our intense growth experience in physical reality expands the expression of our soul. It is Saturn City down here, i.e. hard work every day. The rewards are great, however. Our seriousness, dedication and devotion to our full soul expression brings us to greater levels of satisfaction, peace and love.
Basic Need to Give and Receive Love
- Our most basic human need is to give and receive love.
- Our basic fear is that we will not get it.
- Our basic anger is that we have not gotten it and are not getting it.
- And our basic sadness is that we have not gotten it and won't in the future.
Our basic human pain is related to our perceived experience of lack of love. The catch 22 is that our negative emotions - fear, anger and sadness - shut off the flow of love. We actually live in a sea of love. In our unconscious, asleep states we are not aware of the availability of infinite love. In our repressed states we are unable to feel or participate in the subtle and pleasurable acts of giving and receiving.
The list below, of basic human needs and soul desires, illustrate the variety of ways that we can experience love on our human journey. As we investigate the rich expressions of and possibilities for love, it important to keep in mind that each one offers us an opportunity to relish a fertile nuance of universal energy.
Twelve Categories of Human Needs and Soul Desires
The following is a list of human needs/soul desires that correspond roughly to the twelve arenas or astrological houses. Since there is overlap, I have picked one or two basic needs for each category, so they will not completely correspond to the traditional house categories. For example, I have put service only as number 11 and not included it in number 6 (Traditionally Virgo and the sixth house are related to service as well as health.) I have placed intimacy in number 7 (although this is the territory of Scorpio and the 8th house) so that all the dynamics of partnership are together.
Identity Autonomy, clear boundaries Freedom Self-worth and self-esteem
Human Lesson/Soul Gift: to enjoy being oneself and being alone
Physical security, safety and nurturance (food, water, shelter, protection) Touch and sensual pleasure Connection with nature
Human Lesson/Soul Gift: to know what you need and be able to get your needs met
Communication and connection with other human beings Self-expression To be heard and understood To be able to listen
Human Lesson/Soul Gift: to be able to ask for what you need and to be understood
Emotional security Empathy, caring, human love and tenderness
Human Lesson/Soul Gift: to feel emotionally secure, loved and cared for
Joy Play, fun Celebration Sexual pleasure
Human Lesson/Soul Gift: to let go and enjoy life
Exercise and movement Physical health
Human Lesson/Soul Gift: to take care of our body and to enjoy physical health
Partnership Friendship Sexual expression and sharing Intimacy
Human Lesson/Soul Gift: to experience human connection and soul love
Meaning, depth Honesty, integrity Connection and communication with soul in body
Human Lesson/Soul Gift: to experience a deep peace and contentment within oneself
Truth Knowledge Understanding Wisdom Adventure, exploration
Human Lesson/Soul Gift: to expand your awareness and consciousness
Recognition, acknowledgment Attention Respect
Human Lesson/Soul Gift: to be honored and rewarded for being yourself and for what you offer to the world
Creativity Service Contribution Participation Community
Human Lesson/Soul Gift: to know that your life makes a difference to the greater whole. To carry out your soul's unique mission and live your destiny.
Spiritual connection and experience Order Peace, harmony Trust
Human Lesson/Soul Gift: to be able to let go and surrender to the unknown or higher power. To trust your Soul/Self.
Soul Desires and Human Needs
Soul desires and human needs characterize our humanity. The need for such basics as security, touch, love and connection guides us to experience true richness in life. These needs are touchstones for embellishing our life experience in physical reality. The satisfaction of our soul desires brings us to states of fulfillment and wholeness. Soul desires help us define how we can experience meaning, happiness and satisfaction. We are needy only when we deny our basic needs, do not honor their validity, and do not know how to get these needs met.
One of our main tasks is to identify our own needs, and be able to satisfy them in our own lives. When we are upset and don't know why, a quick scan of our basic needs can awaken us, to what is missing and where we need to take action for ourselves. Although many needs involve interaction with others, the interaction is a dynamic NOT A MEANS to get our needs fulfilled. Although, to do so, we may be obliged to work with others, we are solely responsible for taking care of ourselves.
Unmet needs are the basic cause of all violence - personal, interpersonal and political. Unacknowledged needs lead to hidden agendas and manipulation. Repression of the feminine and of sexuality create an atmosphere where our basic emotional, nurturing and intimacy needs are denied and distorted. Instead of acknowledging our basic need for personal security and love, the concept of security has become distorted by the collective mind, to mean security to protect us from external enemies that threatens our physical and ideological safety.
Any internal needs that are not met will be projected outside ourselves. Structures will be built to compensate. The collective unconscious will continue to create external threats to legitimize and sustain its political, military and economic structures. Fear-based, love-deprived individuals will support and legitimize the external system to sustain their internal reality.
One of our basic soul urges and desires is for freedom. Scorpio teaches us how to be free in physical/emotional reality. First we must learn how to transcend the deep emotional pit that torments our inner reality. Then we must carry the energy and power of the emotions from the ashes of burnt karma into the liberated dimension of the Phoenix rising.
The fire element experiences freedom as the flame of spirit. The air element experiences freedom as space. Freedom for the earth and water elements requires another mode, an expanded awareness and a more comprehensive consciousness. Our first impression of physical reality is - I am not free in my body. Our physical, human form feels very limiting and restrictive to our spirit. Our emotional body can feel even more confusing. It is bad enough that our emotions take us on moment by moment roller coaster rides. The real shock comes, however, when we realize that we have an emotional body; it is in charge, and we cannot control it!
It can be down right scary to be confronted with the reality, that our emotions determine why things happen the way they do in our lives. We certainly will not like the news, that we cannot control our reality only with our intentions and our mind. We may try to resist the fact that we cannot escape our emotions. We may get upset as we observe how we are conditioned to be a certain way, and how our conditioning sabotages us. However, these are wake-up calls, and valuable information that we can use to find freedom in both physical and emotional realities. The key is to cultivate the freedom to feel. To be free to be me we must be free to feel.
Emotionally, we lose our freedom by desensitizing ourselves. If we can't feel, we can't be a conscious participant in our own lives. If we are numb, we are turned off to our life force. If we are turned off, we can't care. If we can't care, we can't love. If we can't give and receive love, the Truth of the Universe eludes us. If the connection to all life does not compute in our psyche, we feel alone, separate and afraid.
To be free we must learn how to transmute emotional pain into aliveness, satisfaction, pleasure and love. To do so we have to connect with our emotional body through our feelings. We have to learn to patiently and lovingly nurture our emotional body. As we do, our sensations become pleasurable, comforting and alive.
To reconnect with our soul we have to experience our soul essence in our body. To experience our soul essence, we have to reclaim our co-opted emotional body, through attention, allowing and self-love. It is through the experience of our primal emotions that we individualize our energy, and claim our soul identity.
What to do with Our Emotions
Most of us have no clue what to do with our emotions. Like our needs, we learn to suppress them, ignore them and deny them. As a result we live in denial, pain and numbness. We deny our needs to avoid getting in touch with our emotions. We deny our emotions because we feel shame about our needs.
If we don't take care of our emotions, we create a monster who is ready to explode or disintegrate with the slightest external disturbance. Our goal is to learn to honor our emotions, love them and use them along with our intuition, as our internal guidance mechanism. To do so, we have to get in touch with basic energies of our emotions.
The Emotions are the Sensory System of the Soul
To be free, we have to be able to identify what we need. To know what we need, we have to be in touch with what we feel. Our feelings help us identify our needs, and whether they are being met or not. It is through our attunement to our feeling sensations in our body that we connect with the information mechanism or sensory system of our soul.
The following list will help us increase our ability to identify and articulate our feelings, by identifying a whole range of emotional states.
I have divided up a long list of feelings into two basic categories.(2) The first are satisfying, comfortable, or what we consider positive expressions of our emotions. The second are uncomfortable, or what we generally consider negative expressions of our emotions.
Feeling Vocabulary of Satisfied Emotions
The first set of emotions listed below generally indicate that our basic needs are being met. They also help us identify the true nature of our soul. Satisfied emotions can be divided into various expressions of (1) glad-joy, (2) peaceful and (3) expansive energetic states.
Glad-Joy: ecstatic happy joyful pleased thankful
Peaceful: blissful calm comfortable content free fulfilled grateful loving mellow quiet relaxed relieved satisfied secure serene tranquil
Expansive Energetic States: alive enthusiastic expansive hopeful inspired invigorated
Feeling Vocabulary of Dissatisfied Emotions
The next set of feelings generally indicate that one or more of our basic needs are not being met. They can also indicate (1) wounding and programming and (2) messages and information from our soul. It is critical that we learn to distinguish between the two. The first triggers inappropriate automatic responses that we must heal and release. The latter is our internal guidance system, that we must pay attention to and then respond accordingly.
Dissatisfied emotional states can be divided into various expressions of (1) afraid-fear (2) angry-anger (3) sad-sadness (4) shame and (5) restrictive energetic states.
Afraid-Fear: alarmed anxious apprehensive ashamed concerned distressed disturbed edgy fearful frightened nervous panicky scared suspicious terrified worried
Angry-Anger: aggravated anguished annoyed bitter disgusted dismayed displeased frustrated furious hurt irritated mad resentful
Sad-Sadness: broken-hearted confused depressed despondent disappointed discouraged disheartened hurt lonely sad sorrowful
Shame: ashamed embarrassed guilty helpless jealous sorry
Restrictive Energetic States: confused exasperated exhausted fatigued overwhelmed impatient jittery restless sensitive shaky tired troubled uncomfortable uneasy unnerved upset uptight weary withdrawn
Victim thinking and language attributes our pain and conflict in relationships to the wrongdoing of someone or some situation outside ourselves. We take this attitude so that we do not have to take responsibility for our own feelings and needs. This attitude is a defense against feeling our own vulnerability and fears. The alternative is to relate to others and ourselves in terms of our vulnerabilities, our fears and our unmet needs. To uncover this level of honesty with ourselves, we can ask the following questions. What are we missing or yearning for? What do we want that we believe that we cannot have? Are our shame, guilt and fear so overpowering that we cannot be honest with ourselves and others?
If we do not take responsibility for our feelings and our needs, we adopt the stance of a victim. If we are a victim, we are not at choice. If we are not at choice, we are not free. If we are not free, we can be controlled. Our subservience is the root cause of our personal pain and political corruption, economic manipulation and social injustice.
Too often we hide our feelings behind rational evaluations, logical explanations and observations that are really opinions and value judgments. These mental responses are often shame, fear or guilt-driven attempts to cover up our own feelings. We hope we can get what we want, without knowing what it is or asking for it! Our basic fear is, that if we are honest we will be rejected and not loved. The vulnerability of taking responsibility for our feelings, and sharing from this sincere place, generally helps open the heart space in relationships.
When we say, "I feel" followed by a word ending in ED like "I feel abandoned" (list below), we are usually using victim language. We are not stating our feelings - "I feel afraid, sad or angry". We are not being honest about what our needs are - "I need communication, connection and attention". We are not admitting that our needs are not being met. Instead, we are giving our view of how we think someone else's actions have affected us. We are evaluating and judging the actions of others and their interaction, or lack of it, with us.(3) We are holding someone else responsible for us not getting our needs met, without even stating what they are! We are interpreting from our point of view how we have reacted to a situation.
Some of the common victim words that reflect our personal interpretation include the following:
abandoned, abused, attacked, betrayed, cheated, ignored, intimidated, let down, manipulated, misunderstood, neglected, overworked, pressured, put down, rejected, taken for granted, threatened, unappreciated, unheard, unimportant, unseen, unsupported, unwanted, used.
The common thread is that we are putting ourselves in a victim role. Someone has acted in some way that has negatively impacted us. We are the victim and they are the victimizers. Essentially we blame them for our reactions to their behavior. The point is not to excuse unkind or inconsiderate behavior. The point is that we are the ones who have to recognize how we react, own our emotional responses and ask clearly, honestly and nonviolently for what we need. Or we have to choose to remove ourselves from situations and relationships that do not work for us. The formula set out in Non-violent Communication is:
- get in touch with our pure feelings,
- identify our needs that are not getting met,
- define what we are needing, and
- request what we are needing.(4)
ED words reveal the nature of circumstances, past programming and conditioning. They offer us insights into our lessons. When we get our own lesson, understand the other's lesson and quit playing the game, we can extricate ourselves from the victim role and move to our next level of power.
A Life of Consciousness
We each incarnate with samskaras, scars or wounds to our emotional body, often referred to as past karma. "Each molecule in us is put together with that essential map of the past".(5) These wounds are attached to our soul through our emotional body. We are here to cleanse and detach from these past experiences, heal these wounds, reclaim this energy, and transmute it into its pure form of light and love. The energy that is bound up must be set free. The stories that have co-opted our pure essence must be released. The past, which has determined our fate, must be dropped so we can live our dharma and do our destiny. If you are reading this, you probably signed up for this lifetime.
The goal of our soul's human journey is to release our karmic past and to stop creating new karma. Our souls choose the earth experience because of the possibility for deep and intense healing, growth and transformation. Here we can release the past, expand into God consciousness, and actualize our highest soul Self.
We are not here to be humiliated. We are here to be humbled. We do this by understanding the purpose of our stories, the meaning of our emotions, and how both contribute to the growth and liberation of our soul. Human life is an opportunity to clear our past debt, to realize a state of peace and joy and to live a life of consciousness.
The Task of Discrimination and Choice
Our task requires us to be able to distinguish between soul desires and ego illusions. Illusions often have a face, i.e. we are attached to having a particular person in our life, or to having our life unfold in a specific way. In illusion we experience sadness, isolation or abandonment, if we do not connect with a specific person or get exactly what we think we want. But on closer examination from the soul perspective, what we really miss is the energy, the synergy, and the companionship, not the particular person. Or we regret not having the financial security of a job, or the excitement offered by a certain situation. We have a soul need for companionship, but that need can be met in many different ways. The same is true of ways to earn our living and experience fun.
Our soul's desire for freedom, creativity and expansion leads (forces) us to discover that there are many ways to meet our needs. To connect with what is real at the soul level, we need to identify how our thoughts and feelings about what we want, express what is possible to attract and have in our lives. As we get detached from our specific definitions of what we think we want, we can allow our deep feelings to support us, in magnetizing to ourselves satisfying situations and relationships.
Dealing with the senses and feelings is a tricky business. We have to learn to differentiate between ego manipulation and soul messages. We have to shift our attention from external stimulation to internal awareness. Once inside, we have to distinguish between our own illusions and our soul reality. We have to be able to tell the difference between mentally fabricated ideas and substantive experiences. We have to consciously choose to forgo the former and cultivate the latter. We have to keep shifting our attention from external and programmed distractions to our spiritual connection. Internalization of our senses, and integration of sensory awareness into our physical, mental and emotional realities, is an ongoing, ever-deepening, and indeed a lifelong process.
Our goal is to create and hold onto an experience of sacred space in our own being. Our soul is sacred space. Our body is our temple that holds the sacred space. The water and air elements clear and create the space. The earth element holds the space. From our sacred space, we consciously connect with our soul and universal energies, and are instinctually and intuitively guided to make the best choices in our lives.
Dark Night of the Soul
One of the principal goals of any spiritual path, is to lead us to experience that the true essence of our soul is loving, peaceful, joyful and free. As our upper chakras open, we experience our true soul essence as love and light. The air and fire elements facilitate this liberating experience.
This phase of our spiritual journey covers both the taste of the ecstasy of Light, and the agony of the dark night of the soul. We discover that the real cause of our pain and anguish is our perceived (unconscious) separation from God. We realize that we have to work through all the dark thoughts, drop all alienating beliefs, and release all false perceptions, that keep our mind disconnected from the Divine. We become more and more content, as we cultivate our inner relationship to our Divine Source, and accept Maya for what it is. We become more and more self-actualized as we learn to live our truth unflinchingly, without letting outer circumstances distract us from our Divine Connection, or allowing external input to define our identity and our reality.
Working with the mental and subtle bodies is satisfying, but we notice that we cannot stay in this enlightened state all the time. This is when we realize that we have physical and emotional bodies that must also align with Spirit, if we are to maintain this expanded state of consciousness. Enter the water and earth elements, and the lower chakras. The good news is that the emotions are the sensory system of the soul. The bad news is that our work has just begun.
Dark Night of the Senses
St. John of the Cross writes about the "dark night of the senses". Seva Simran Singh has observed that "almost everyone on a spiritual path goes through the 'dark night of the senses'. Essentially it is when everything you are seeing, hearing and feeling starts to drive you nuts. You begin to experience that the behavior of the senses is out of sync with the intent of your soul, and it becomes a battle for which one will dominate your consciousness. You seek solace by finding sensory stimulus that supports you soul - sacred places, art, deep meditation - but then it is right back into the trenches and the battle rages on. After a while you begin to realize that the senses have been conditioned by past lives and the impressions of this life, and that what you are really battling is your own karmic tendencies which, as your soul wakes up, are no longer acceptable to you".(6)
We must consciously work with our emotional body to release the samskaras (scars) that distract us from our true essence. Our task is to break the attachment to those tendencies that pull us away from our pure essence. We do so by patiently healing our emotional wounds, and by reconfiguring our psyche to support our soul. This process can take years, and perhaps is never really over. There is, however, a point at which our soul essence begins to dominate our conscious attention. This is a turning point, after which the process of becoming our true selves gets deeper, richer and wonderfully satisfying.
As we become more fully awake, we get more adept at rooting out old programming and releasing the hold of the past on our senses. We are able to identify aspects of our life that are a function of outer reality, and let go of sensations that have been cooped by conditioned responses. We learn to release unacceptable and confusing responses, and replace them with authentic ones. As we do so, our sensations become more and more pure expressions of our soul. We discover what it means to live and love at the level of our own truth, which is empowering and directing us from within.
From Dark Night to Sensory Human
"It is through meditation and sacred spaces that we get in touch with our soul, and also retrain our senses to experience reality through the eyes, and ears, and feelings of the soul. During the dark night of the senses, this contrasts acutely with the tendency to experience reality through the eyes, ears, and feelings of the ego and its conditioning. Thus we are both attracted and repulsed, desire and don't desire, like and don't like, love and hate, and so on, as the battle to win our senses rages on. We crave sensory stimulus that will remind us of our soul, in order to escape from sensory stimulus that reminds us of our conditioning, known and unknown, personal and collective.
"When we actually experience our soul strongly enough, it begins to alter the mind so that the senses serve the soul, and we no longer interpret or experience reality through the eyes, and ears, and feelings of our history/conditioning/ego, but through the eyes, ears and feelings of our soul. In Kundalini Yoga this is called the sensory human. The point about the dark night of the senses, is that you don't get there without a struggle to determine who or what is going to be in command of the senses, and the way in which information is interpreted or filtered. Once you are there, your sadhana keeps you there, and the journey is one of seeing and feeling and hearing through a different lens, a liberated one, free of time's weight.
"The senses are capable of taking in billions and billions of bits of information across auditory, visual and kinesthetic spectrums; vastly greater than what they have been conditioned to take in through genetics (collective history), samskaras (personal past life history), vassanas (personal - this life impressions) and the associated tendencies to distort, delete and generalize information. When we tap into the sensory human we transcend our identification with the above, and begin to open up the senses to their real potential, as the eyes, ears and feelings of the soul".(7)
Our goal is to become what Yogi Bhajan calls a sensory human. We do so by passing through both the dark night of the soul and the dark night of the senses. We re-train our senses to align with our soul, to obey a different master and to serve a different reality.
Emotions are the Great Attractor
Wow! The Taurus/Scorpio polarity pulls us into deep, unexplored energies and spaces. Do we really want to go there? Do we really have a choice? The choice is between now or later. We simply cannot ignore the emotional dynamic of our soul, and we really don't want to. Our power is embodied in our emotions, and our ultimate peace and satisfaction requires the integration of our emotional energy into our body and psyche. If you desire real and meaningful relationships with yourself and others, get started with some of the ideas outlined here today.
In relationship, women (and men) often notice that their partners are not emotionally available. The truth is that neither men nor women are emotionally unavailable to themselves. The only way to attract a partner that is emotionally available is to cultivate that level of attention to ourselves. Feel your feelings. Keep feeling your feelings. Stay with your feelings without thinking about them, without interpreting them, without judging them. Compassionately stay present to the rich expressions of your emotional body. Lovingly be with your instinctual self, as you would be with a child or a pet.
Being present to our emotional energy is how we connect with our inner child, which we have all abandoned. Reconnecting with our inner child is the basis for healing our childhood wounds of abandonment. Reconnecting to our inner child leads us to reconnect with our soul. As we communicate with our soul and create real intimacy within ourselves, we open ourselves to attract deeper intimacy in relationship. The more we become emotionally honest with ourselves, the more we can be honest (without blaming, dumping and projecting) with others. The more honest we are, the more alive and balanced we become. Emotional energy is a great attractor. The realer we are, the more we can magnetize satisfying relationships and circumstances in our lives.
How to Process the Emotions
Healing is an inside affair, which requires shifting our attention from the outside in. We have to shift our mode of stimulation inwardly too. We have to stimulate and activate ourselves with our own attention.
To become a sensory human, we have to work with the emotional energy of our issues, in our body and in our deep psyche. We discover the painful and empowering truth, that no one can save us but ourselves. This is an on-going, long-term, subtle and very personal process. There are no exact formulas that will deliver us pain-free to the other side. The following are some guidelines that can help you be with your emotional energy in a healing and empowering way:
- Get in touch with the purity of your soul essence, before attempting to heal your emotional body.
- Do your best to process from the neutral mind. In the neutral mind and heart we can listen, observe, and be with our emotional energy with unconditional acceptance.
- In the world of emotions, our energy is usually not neutral. A neutral vantagepoint will however allow us to practice (a) accepting, (b) allowing and (c) loving what we experience.
- Notice in a non-judgmental way how and where you restrict, hold back, resist and hesitate. Be with these sensations in your body.
- Monitor your reactions and responses. Notice how and when your responses are a result of automatic conditioning. Notice that when you are conscious of your soul essence, how your reactions and responses are different. Monitoring the difference opens you to the possibility of freedom of choice.
- To love is a soul action. We have to invite our soul energy home into our body. Simply be with your energy, like you would be with a child or a pet.
- Practice various ways to nurture your energy, including (a) letting go and relaxing, (b) accepting and allowing, (c) moving with connected, gentle exercise.
- Practice different attitudes of consciousness including being (a) unconditional, (b) flexible, (c) flowing, and (d) present - listen and feel what is happening.
We realize the pure essence of our soul in our mind, but our soul is not embodied via the mind. We have to invite it in through the emotional body. The soul reconnects through the physical and emotional bodies and the heart. It is through conscious sensitivity that we pull in or retrieve our soul.
Kundalini Yoga - Meditation on the Solar Plexus to get in Touch with Deep Emotions
This meditation was taught by Yogi Bhajan to open up psychic abilities. It is one of the techniques to work with the solar plexus chakra given in Your Life Is In Your Chakras.(8)
Your Life is in Your Chakras by Guru Rattana, Ph.D., is a comprehensive guide on how to use the chakra system for self-analysis, personal growth, and spiritual awakening.
• expand your understanding of yourself
• find soul meaning and purpose in your life
• awaken the powers, faculties, and gifts available in all your chakras
• be uplifted and enjoy all aspects of your life
As with all Kundalini Yoga meditations, tune in with the Adi Mantra, ONG NA MO GURU DEV NA MO.
- Sit in easy pose. Hands form a pyramid in front of the solar plexus. Fingers are pointing up and apart less than an inch approximately. The tips of the fingers and thumbs touch. The thumb points upward but toward the chest. There are about 2 inches of space between the base of the palms.
- Inhale in 8 parts through the mouth. Exhale in 8 parts through the nose.
- You can mentally chant SA TA NA MA SA TA NA MA to count to 8 (optional).
- Pump the navel point with each segment of the breath.
- Eyes focus at the brow but be aware of the solar plexus.
- Continue for 11 minutes.
- To end, inhale deeply through the nose, hold the breath and exhale, 3 times.
Be aware of the movement and energy in the solar plexus during the meditation. Afterwards sit quietly and simply be present to the sensations and energy in the solar plexus. Then be with yourself in any of the ways suggested above on how to process the emotions. During this time be sure to relax the tongue. Making the tongue short and soft helps turn off the mind so that you can be non-verbally present to the sensations in your body.
References and Footnotes
"Nonviolent Communication: a Language of Compassion", Marshall B. Rosenberg, Puddle Dancer Press, Encinitas, CA. www.puddledancer.com. (Highly recommended!!)
1. Yogi Bhajan
2. Rosenberg, pp. 44-6 I have selected and categorized from a long alphabetical list.
3. Rosenberg, p. 44.
4. See book by Rosenberg
5. Lecture by Yogi Bhajan, July 28, 2002, Aquarian Times, Volume Two, Number 3, Fall 2002, page 65
6. Seva Simran Terrell, Canadian Kundalini Yoga and meditation teacher.
7. Seva Simran
8. Your Life Is In Your Chakras Guru Rattana, Ph.D.
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