Two Types of Emotions

One of the greatest adepts, teachers, writers, and humanitarians of the 20th century, Swami Rama (1925-1996) is the founder of the Himalayan Institute. Born in Northern India, he was raised from early childhood by the Himalayan sage, Bengali Baba. Under the guidance of his master, he traveled from monastery to monastery and studied with a variety of Himalayan saints and sages, including his grandmaster who was living in a remote region of Tibet. In addition to this intense spiritual training, Swami Rama received higher education in both India and Europe. From 1949 to 1952, he held the prestigious position of Shankaracharya of Karvirpitham in South India. Thereafter, he returned to his master to receive further training at his cave monastery, and finally in 1969, came to the United States where he founded the Himalayan Institute. His best known work, Living With the Himalayan Masters, reveals the many facets of this singular adept and demonstrates his embodiment of the living tradition of the East.

"Emotion is a very delicate thing. Your emotional body is being tossed all the time like a fish in the ocean of life, which is constantly in turmoil. It is very difficult to control emotions, no matter how educated you are. How can you direct the emotional body and control the motions so they become useful? If you want to analyze your emotions, if you want to help yourself and others, you have to understand the source of your emotions, the source of your feelings, and the source of your thinking process.

There are two types of emotions: the emotions that come from the primitive fountains, and the emotions that come from the external world of sensations. The conscious mind is receiving sensations all the time. When you receive sensations, they immediately go to your brain and your conscious mind, and then to your unconscious mind. 

coffee ground sensationsThe sensations that you receive from the objects of the world are converted or colored by the conscious mind and your thinking process. The conscious mind is like that part of the coffee pot where you put the coffee grounds. When you drink the coffee, you don't drink those grounds. You drink the coffee that has been percolated, that has gone through the process of filtration, and you throw away the grounds. The impressions and sensations that come from the external world are like the coffee grounds. When you receive a sensation, if the conscious mind takes interest in it and does not reject that sensation, it is carried to the unconscious mind where it remains and affects other impressions there. Any sensations that you receive have to go through the filter of the conscious mind, after which they go to the unconscious mind where they become impressions. Emotions come from these impressions.”  

 - Swami Rama in Samadhi: The Highest State of Wisdom pages 116-117


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