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 12

“Thanks to the human heart by which we live; thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears.” – William Wordsworth

Last night, brushing my teeth I looked in the mirror, and what I saw made my inner critic come out. The feeling that goes with that is very similar to distrust which is the negative of curiosity; curiosity being in this case “taking a look at myself, trusting that there will be something here that can cause delight, new understanding, an interesting game… etc.”
So I was looking at myself distrusting, and then noticed the feeling. Upping the volume a bit it then became possible to switch back and forth between distrust and curiosity. (If you look at the picture, what do you see?)

And then I realized that actually every evening, when I see myself there, there is also feeling… “I’ve never really noticed before,” I thought, “that the heart is always at work – it’s never silent.” Well, that’s a conclusion, of course, because my heart could well be silent when I’m not listening. But as soon as I take notice I can hear it feel…

What does the heart sound like? I don’t think I can ever hear it’s pure song, at least I don’t think I ever did. Being conscious will always color it with aspects of consciousness which are in turn resonating with the particular circumstances the heart is noisy about. If, as I did in front of the mirror, I intentionally change the headline of the melody from a skeptic to a curious one, from “He doesn’t look too good” to “I wonder what a change in the lighting would do to the looks of this face”, then the the tune my heart sings doesn’t necessarily change, but it feels different.

Hmmm, maybe not too clear.
Listening a while to my heart during my morning experimental focusing time, during my “meandering in the feeling space” time, I saw that consciousness always has intention; I’m always focusing / defocusing in some way (I’m dubious if the Buddhist ’empty mirror’ consciousness, the pure witness, exists as a reality – I know it does exist as metaphor for making sense of a particular kind of experience; I have used it myself to understand certain states I’ve visited).
Consciousness is always alighting on something, some content, some concept, some intuition, some revelation. It’s like the light – there is no light in empty space; at least you cannot know if there is or isn’t; so you need to hold something in light’s path that it can bounce off from to know if it is there.
So whatever I’m feeling in it’s purity, consciousness will also color it one way or another. And what is happening within me since I started this experiment is a kind of meshing up, a disentanglement and purification – alchemy comes to mind again.

What is important about this? When I look at you or anybody my heart sounds with that, and my consciousness (in which there are streams from the past, present and even the future) colors it – and in turn is conditioned by the hearts melody in a, most likely highly complex, kind of free jazz, to use a musical metaphor. So again, what are all these thoughts good for when exploring being with feelings unconditionally?
Well, for one I discover that there actually doesn’t seem to be an “unconditionally.” That’s an imagination that seems to come from overrating the power of consciousness.  But more importantly it helps me when I look at you, when I enter the feeling-field with an other person.
I might see you as looking skeptically at me, whereas you just feel curious.
Being super-social animals we do have an amazing capacity to accurately feel the persons we are with. But even if – and I actually believe we do – we feel exactly as our friend, even if our mutual hearts are in unison, we still can and do sound often quite different. It takes time to tune in to each other to get wonderfully polyphonic… (and I’m not talking about the make-believe symphoney here that so often is the suffering that we sell to each other as “I’m feeling fine.”)

So today was dedicated to entering into the feeling-field with these considerations in the background (I only formulated them now, though). And I feel that my body is very much relaxing when I listen to my heart in a more consistent way…


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)