Emotions, intellect and perception

Pick your favorite from the following words: love, affection, or devotion.

Now actually feel or at least pretend that you are feeling that word’s emotion. (It is okay to remember a particularly strong experience you once had that contained this emotion.) Identifying that you have accomplished this feat might be merely the recognition of a faint impulse of thinking. This may be an extremely subtle experience, but that is allowed. The key concept here is that “something” within your experiencing at the moment can be labeled by you as love, affection or devotion.

Now maintain that emotion or pretense of that emotion (and/or maintain thoughts about a previous experience of that emotion.) This may not be a steady flow of emotion. It may be a rapidly “flickering” thought process that “now and then” alights upon the chosen emotion.

Now, while having that emotion, think of your worst enemy.

Ask yourself,Does my emotional state color how I think of someone?

Does how I feel predispose me to seeing another person’s good points or faults?

Can I stop any emotion’s effects on the content of the thoughts I am having without having a change occur in the emotion?

What is the value of being able to start up an emotion by putting my attention on the emotion’s descriptive terms or previous experiences of that emotion? Can I use this for a practical tool in “real life?”

Does thinking about my worst enemy create negative emotions in me all the time? Do I have a choice? Can I think of my worst enemy without also having to manufacture a negative emotion during this thought process?

Does my worst enemy cause these emotions, or do I?

What are my reasons for creating and entertaining negativity in my nervous system when nothing in my present circumstances is directly “calling forth” that emotion? Why do I indulge in this manner?