Why is it so hard for us to accept that emotions are just body sensations?

Tania's picture

Average: 4.8 (4 votes)

As I wrote in my previous blog entry, at the beginning, the claim that emotions are just an abstract mental image of body sensations seemed to me far too radical, an outrageous underestimation of our rich and painful emotional world, even some sort of new mind-created invention for suppressing emotions.

But experience showed me that this claim is indeed true and moreover a wonderful path to be released of obsessive emotions and pains.

Why is it then so difficult for us to accept that emotions are just a cover up for body sensations?

I asked myself this question over and over. I think that the main reason for that is that although emotions inflict on us so much suffering, we are still so attached to them as they represent for us part of our personality, of our "I". Without them as solid independent entities what will left to maintain the image of personality?

Furthermore, when you observe the mapped body sensations, you find out that there are so many combinations of patterns, endless combinations, you find out that behind this gross categorization of emotions into anger, happiness, envy, etc. lie endless types of each, endless instances of anger for example that have very little in common except of the general category of "anger". This finding also can bring resistance as it breaks all the system and thus the control we tend to believe we have over our emotional world.

Elijah_NatureBoy's picture

Emotions comes from ignorance


What is the emotion, love, that without it man feels alone?
Is it an emotion of just a conditioned state that's strong?
Is any emotion an emotion or just a thought in disguise?
Is there anyone able to show us where the answer lies?

I find all emotions to be thoughts, desires out of proportion
due to a lack of understanding and misplaced devotion.
Man accept half of a category and reject the other part
misplacing their devotion which gives emotions a start.

There is Yin and Yang, opposites in all things that be,
masculinity and femininity it's called by westerners like me,
and there is yin and yang in each gender of animated kind,
but we man develop one and leave the other dormant behind.

The dormant half longs for the animated half in man
is what we call emotions, we need to understand.
The active's desire for the dormant causes the longing
for a physical form to satisfy, thus, the need for belonging.

By knowing that thoughts and desires are out of proportion
we are to activate our dormant, give it equal devotion,
eliminate the parts, make the whole stand in their places,
then emotions die and with them go shames and disgraces.

That poem of my pen suggests emotions are but reactions to our own ignorance. My experiences have proven to me that comprehension eliminates emotions.

Am example is, most blacks consider it a disgrace to be called a boy. To them it is saying that no matter how old they get they are not adults. However, when we define boy as "the sperm bearer of animated lifes" and girl as "the egg bearer of animated lifes" we then have to define a child before puberty as "man-child". With that realization anyone can call me a boy and I make them know that I am man's sperm bearer. I even use it in my handle, NatureBoy, to make it known I am calling myself by my gender and not our specie's nomenclature.

Yes, I still demonstrate what appears to be emotions but it is only an act, for the most parts, allowing me to be able to identify with other people. If I never showed emotions people would shy away from me, so, to be able to at least hold them while conversing I demonstrate the appearance of emotions.

Elijah "NatureBoy"
If I have caused you to question your beliefs I have accomplished my mission. Now, reason the differences in our concepts and reason that until you have reasoned all pros and cons concerning your new revelation.

Elijah_NatureBoy | Mon, 07/07/2008 - 01:14


sanskaar of karama (emotions) gets manifestation at appropriate occasions just-like the seeds sown in soil for sprouting.prior to coming of these emotions at mental level these were in the state of unfeeling lying in chitta.at appropriate time and circumstances this unfeeling material comes at mental level which is the state liking to call it sprouting of seeds but it is in mind; hence emotions are viewed only in mind at such a state.after sprouting it comes to get its development into tree and its fruits and these take the form of sensations in our body resultantly we feel through these sensations either pain or pleasure etc. as per the fruition being manifested.
this is the very, very practical subject in vipassana and may be known to by the persons only who have been practicing vipassana meditation after learning it in vipassana camps which is commenced for 10 days for one course.

NIDHI PARKASH | Mon, 08/31/2009 - 21:32
Quantum's picture

The Pain Body

Identification with our thoughts, and negative emotions, is what Eckart Tolle calls the "Pain Body".

Quantum | Sat, 09/19/2009 - 07:28


Thoughts either good or bad do the bio-chemical activities which manifests as sensations on the surface of our physical frame. Prior to it its cause was already available in seeds forms in chitta and there was the need of time to get these seeds sprouted. We have to go through the experiences of results of sanskaras deposited in our chitta, which are the deposits of our deeds performed by us during the periods of our thousands and thousand births.

NIDHI PARKASH | Tue, 09/22/2009 - 16:47
john's picture

Emotions are part of our "I"

The reason for that difficulty is that actually our sense of "I" is based on these emotions and we want to believe that this "I" is mental, spiritual and not just body, matter. Claiming that emotions are mere body effects means that "we" may be just a phantom of the body, a stone with pretence.

john | Thu, 10/08/2009 - 08:56
nitasha's picture

emotions are placed in your solar plexus

Emotionas are not BODY SENSATIONS , that be the external manifesation , but emotionals are THINGS that sit in our solar plexus.The physical of the body is contolled by mooladhara CHAKRA ( mostly ) and emotions by the solar CHAKRA...simple .
The evolved beings are not ruled by thier emotions as thier evolution process has refined these to a different level , whereas , ordinary people like us are trapped by these EMOTIONS .all t.v. challannels are FULL of these emotion dramas. Anger, jealousy , attachment , lust , greed, are all traps . Sanatan Kriya that has been evolved by YOGI ASHWINI , brings one face to face with these traps, and teaches the practisioner to go over them , such that they do not contoll the being . Yogi Ashwini also teaches a technique to protect one self from emotional attacks , and bondages. this is the next step to Sanatan kriya . i WRITE OUT OF EXPERINCE AND NOT BOOK READING. i feel blessed , so am sharing this with all . Going above emotions is posible with SANATAN KRIYA .

nitasha | Tue, 03/16/2010 - 17:12
Quantum's picture

Now I get it

When I first read your post 3 years ago, I did not really connect with it as much as I do now.

Physically I feel tension, contraction, constriction, tighness, heaviness, jagged edged vibrations, heat, in my upper torso area: middle of chest, shoulder blades, back of neck, back of head, between my temples. Anger and fear trigger a sensation of a hot head with cold feet. As though blood shoots upward and stays stuck in my head heating it, while leaving my feet feeling cold.

Initially ignoring thoughts enough to slow down the momentum of mind, I am able to separate these sensations from the thinking (emotional labels). Closing my eyes, I inhale slowly for 5 seconds, exhale slowly for 5 seconds, while feeling, for example the constriction on the back of my neck. Usually within around 5 or 6 full breaths, or even less, depending on intensity, the sensation goes away, I yawn, I feel better, I move on. And that region feels less constricted. And that emotion is diminished. Or dissolved completely.

Is there a name for this practice? I learned it on my own, through experience.

Quantum | Sun, 07/14/2013 - 20:25
Tania's picture

Incredible, it's kind of Vipassana

Quantum, what you do is actually a kind of Vipassana and the fact that you traced it by yourself is incredible. I suspect that the yawning that you mention at the end of the process is the discharge of the energies of the feelings (it is mentioned in other systems).

One key issue with such a method is to accept fully the emotions and associated sensations during that practice, to surrender to them fully.

Does it by chance occur to you mainly in the morning after wake-up?

Tania | Mon, 07/15/2013 - 06:23