As a result of ignorance (the belief that I am a mortal body mind), specific contractions are embedded, stored in the body mind.
These contractions are those of fear, worry, anger, jealousy, envy, regret, shame, pity, coveting and other negative emotions.
These emotions arise when life triggers them. They arise as loud and often (seemingly) unbearable bodily sensations that can be traced in the body.
In your exploration of the truth, sooner or later you will have to face them.
Life will present many opportunities that dislodge and bring up these emotions to the surface.
Your job is not to hold on to them as they are released.
Comment from a friend: Contractions are given. No living organic can exist without bodily contractions. That is a scientific fact. This has nothing do to with whether a person is spiritual or not. These contractions are independent of your belief that you are the mortal body. Whether you stand, sleep, or even relax contractions must exist for the functioning of the organism.
Reply: Dear friend, the contraction that I am talking about is the result of identification with the mortality of the body mind. I am not referring to the bodily sensations that are necessary for the survival of the organism. On occasion, responses such as fight, freeze or flight are appropriate responses and are accompanied by bodily sensations that I do not refer to as contraction. Once we identify with the mortal body mind, a psychological condition is established in the body mind. The negative emotions get triggered whenever certain situations present themselves that do not meet our expectations.
Friend: I have no argument with: “I am not ultimately the body”, we don’t disagree here . I am referring to your understanding of “contraction”, not emotions. But contractions are not caused by identification with the body, it is you and it is the body! It is also important to know that the physical body can never be rid of contractions per say. Contraction and its specific place in the spiritual process is a different matter and you are confusing the two. Emotions and contractions are not the same thing. The body cannot exist without muscular contractions. Emotions are part of life. You can’t dislodge an emotion but you can release a holding pattern and posture.
Reply: It does seem that we using the term contraction with two different meanings:
1) Muscular bodily contractions: necessary for the survival of the organism.
2) Psychological bodily contractions: Contractions that are due to the belief that I am a mortal body mind (a very scary belief!).
The belief that I am a mortal body mind causes an unpleasant me-feeling, a sort of unhappiness, a malaise, a dis-ease (non-ease). This me-feeling is there… in the space… It is an inevitable consequence of ignorance (the belief that I am mortal). This me-feeling flares up into negative emotions. It flares up whenever life does not meet our expectations. Whenever someone cuts us off in traffic, or when our partner does not cook dinner as we expected it, or when the boss gives the promotion to someone else, etc.
Ignorance (ignoring our true nature as the reality of consciousness) makes our life miserable. We feel unhappiness in our body. This gets worse and worse with time as no avoidance mechanism alleviates this unhappiness. We might try alcohol, eating, traveling, rationalizing, accumulating TVs and cars, new relationships, etc. Nothing will work…until we start to contemplate the true source of our unhappiness: The belief that I am mortal.
This contemplation has two branches: a) the exploration of our beliefs and b) the exploration of our feelings.
By the way, positive emotions, such a love, peace, happiness, equanimity, intelligence, joy, humor… are natural and effortless when we realize our true nature. They are the natural expressions of our true nature. Natural expressions of the Self.