The experience and the experiencer
Anger, envy, jealousy, pride or hatred – these are all negative emotions that bind us completely. Whenever these emotions hit us we are left reeling under the impact till much later. We are completely ensnared by its viciousness. Sometimes we get a little wiser as an afterthought, if we are vigilant. Otherwise we just wallow in the cruel tidal waves of the emotions.
The key thing to understand here is that when we are held in sway by these negative emotions is that there is “the experience” and there is “the experiencer”. More often than not we are not able to separate ourselves from the experience as it completely controls us and we do not have access to conscious reasoning. Whenever we are angry, jealous, proud or just egoistic we just are so completely full of it that we don’t realize that we are under the grip of an emotional storm.
What is important is to be able to detach ourselves from the onslaught of this mental maelstrom. We need to be able to look at “the experience” as being separate from us, “the experiencer”. When we are angry, we should be able to pause and tell ourselves “I feel anger” or when we feel proud we should be able to reflect on the feeling as “I am feeling proud”. This simple reframing of the situation can work wonders. Here we see ourselves the “I” as being different from the emotion “anger” or “pride”. We are able to distance ourselves from the fury of anger and look at it as an observer. Similarly when we feel proud or arrogant, we need to able to look at the pride as an observer.
This is an extremely difficult thing to do. Since, we have absolutely no control when the emotions of anger, hatred, jealousy or pride take over us. It takes a lot of practice to be able to see the experience as different from the experiencer i.e. ourselves. We need to be able to tell our minds “Get off, of me”. This requires a lot of insight into ourselves and enormous soul searching on our part.
But if we are able to successfully view the experience as being different from the experience we are bound to have attained a greater degree of control over our lives.