Enlightening the Passions – Day 13 (Clear Delight)

One must have chaos in oneself in order to give birth to a dancing star. — Friedrich Nietzsche

One of the truly aspects of this study turns out to be the malleability of feelings – or maybe it isn’t the feelings themselves but the way the are perceived. But I guess, I don’t have to decide what is what here, and simply be with what I experience, and how I experience it.

Take for instance jealousy. I’ve now had quite some experience with that feeling as you know. I’ve known the feeling when it’s very low key, nothing more than a tiny “pang!” in the art, nothing more than a mere irritation than can be easily hosted to a violently destructive flare that robs me of almost all my capacities to move, think or do anything.

Yesterday I was telling about the possibility that one and the same feeling can have a distrustful or curious face. And without going too much into why I think this is so again I’ve had the experience today of feeling the same feeling that in one circumstance I called jealousy and that, as I found out, can also be called intense sensuous joy. I say that because feeling intense sensuous joy there was this amazing flare inside of me that, and this only showed so in my reflections on it, was almost the same as in jealousy.

It reminds me of a very revelatory experience I had more than 2 decades ago.
I had fallen in love with a wonderful character, someone who wiped me off my feet, as they say. And I was sitting on a bench near an Amsterdam canal, still reveling in the feeling – that was mutual to my good fortune – when suddenly it dawned on me that the feeling of “falling in love”, or this wonderful romantic feeling in my body actually felt exactly like advanced nervousness or stage-fright. Only as romantic feeling it was very desirable, and as stag-fright it was quite the opposite.
When I was with this girl it was also hard to be and express myself, just as when standing on stage or being afraid of what’s next. Only “in love” with someone who was under the same spell it was just beautiful…

So most of today, especially the morning hours – but it’s still there with me – there is this wonderful intensity of being, where your whole body tingles with delight in just feeling alive, there is this spaciousness in and around the head, there is this clear space everywhere and this moving with everything heart
Having decided to be with my feelings today was utterly easy and pleasurable. It’s like breathing this intoxicating stuff called air!

I don’t want to make too much out of this (remember what I said about the rose cloud a few days ago?) but it seems to underline the basic idea that whatever feelings are in truth they seem to have deep similarities between their positive and negative expressions. I don’t know, really, if curiosity and scepticism or sensuous intensity and jealousy are actually the same feeling, but it seems to make sense to me to see them as deeply interpenetrating phenomena.
The idea might help in times when the so called negative expression comes knocking on the door of my guesthouse, helping me to open the door wide and not only welcome them but be a good host to them as well.

But whatever might come out of this, it’s wonderful and I wish you could be here with me 🙂


Starting up the experiment
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4 (Powerlessness)
Day 5
Day 6 (Jealousy)
Day 7 (Guilt & Jealousy)
Day 8
Day 9 (Shame)
Day 10 (Interlude)
Day 11 (Under Pressure)
Day 12
Day 13 (Clear Delight)


Day 14
Day 15 & 16
Day 17
Day 18
Day 19 (Dark Waves)
Day 20 (Time Out)
Day 21 (Splash)
Day 22 (Understanding)
Day 23 (Fear & Imagination)
Day 24 (Vulnerable)
Day 25
Day 26 (The Presence of The Past)
Ending the Experiment – Day 27 (Intentional Vulnerability)

Enlightening the Passions – Day 11 (Under Pressure)

“I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.” – Mark Twain

Opening up to what needs attention in my emotional field today I noticed a slight sense of pressure, “I need to find something…” And then, focusing on just that, turning up the volume, I see how in my life when I feel people put pressure on me to behave this or that way, I get my resistance up… or duck.
But it’s as always a bit more complex than that – but I don’t want to go into the story. The headline is enough, I think.

People putting pressure on me make me feel small, I feel used, not exactly abused but somehow manipulated, it takes away the space I believe I need to unfold. So I get irritated and resist. And I always seem to have my antenna out so that I immediately feel/know if someone wants something from me. That is step one of pressure: wanting something.
Zooming in on this mixed brew of feelings – because it is somewhat entangled and messy  it seems – I uncover an aspect of what I perceive at first as “someone putting me under pressure”, it is that I want to please: I want people to think that I’m there for them. There is a sense of duty in there as well; I must be there for others, to help and protect and support even if that cost me something (for some time I was in the role of the oldest brother of 3; before we were scattered all over; and then again for 3-4 years with step-brother, half brother and step sister, this time 5, before I left home for ever age 15). Yep, I have to take care. It’s not right to want something for myself. That would not be good. That will make the people I love turn their backs on me, or hurt me, or abguse me or worse. Wanting soimething for myself is no good. But in secret I do. Therefor I’m not good enough. And I feel like a bad man. “I know I’m not good enough.” And therefor I need to prove my worth, and that can never be enough…
When people put pressure on me, and that happens easily because I put so much pressure on myself to do my utmost, when they just add a gram of weight, the load gets very heavy. So I resist. And feel bad, because I resist.

I don’t think all this when I feel the awful pressure; I just feel constricted. I can’t breathe. Under siege. Because whatever I will now do will not be enough. Powerlessness comes, and then anger, “Why can’t they leave me alone?!”
Letting it wash over me, just feeling it, breathing deeply and feeling it… I feel so much alive.

Revelation hits me, “These feelings make me feel alive, connect me with a tingling that rushes through my body… that makes me sit up and breathe deeply.” Becoming a host to these feelings they turn out to ruffle my feathers enough to let in some air.
I guess I’m getting some practice now with ‘dark feelings’. This makes me feel pretty good about myself. It is empowering: Following the trail of my very own experience change happens.

Some thought comes, “Remember the rose cloud.” The rose cloud is that sense that once we’ve hit the ground and accepted things just the way they are, we get a lift, a high that can last a little while. If we make the mistake of actually believing that now we’ve got it made we’re in for an ever deeper down… (This comes from reading Christina Grofs’ book “In Search of Wholeness” where sometimes she refers to her experience of recovery from an addiction). But my guess would be, as long as I keep the practice of “yessing my dark feelings” up, and expand that to the great feelings as well (don’t wanna turn up the volume there until I feel that welcoming the shadows has become second nature)… I’ll be able to handle the rose clouds that invade my reality now more often.


Starting up the experiment
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4 (Powerlessness)
Day 5
Day 6 (Jealousy)
Day 7 (Guilt & Jealousy)
Day 8
Day 9 (Shame)
Day 10 (Interlude)
Day 11 (Under Pressure)
Day 12
Day 13 (Clear Delight)


Day 14
Day 15 & 16
Day 17
Day 18
Day 19 (Dark Waves)
Day 20 (Time Out)
Day 21 (Splash)
Day 22 (Understanding)
Day 23 (Fear & Imagination)
Day 24 (Vulnerable)
Day 25
Day 26 (The Presence of The Past)
Ending the Experiment – Day 27 (Intentional Vulnerability)