Table of Contents

Feelings and emotions

Melody. Music can be so powerful. But music's power comes in two very different versions: the power of melody and the power of song lyrics. A beautiful melody moves me directly, making me feel. I feel the beauty of the melody in my body. Thinking isn't involved. Rachmaninoff is one of the great masters of melody. Khatia Buniatishvili's piano style is perfectly suited to his passion. Listen to one of the most gorgeously melodic compositions of all time, Rach 2 II.

Heart and soul. Other musical elements like harmony, rhythm, dynamics, orchestral color and song lyrics may contribute to a composition but melody is the essence. Without it the other elements are empty, mere decoration at best. Melody is the heart and soul of music and it speaks to my heart and soul. A beautiful melody speaks to me directly, via my body. Not to my thinking but my ears, my sensibilities. A beautiful melody is memorable. I recognize it right away. Melody moves me in a deep, wordless, essential way; it speaks directly to wisdom in me. My body is wisdom. My ears and sensibilities are wisdom. My body is the part of me that is Leela.

Lyrics. Songs lyrics are designed to manipulate me by engaging my thinking. Tearjerkers are the famous example, designed to manipulate my emotions, to jerk the tears out of me. A good lyricist knows how to use the manipulative power of words to trigger specific emotions. In the hands of a real artist a tearjerker can be a real work of art.

Patriotic songs and sports fight songs are another example, designed get people all worked up. But there's nothing real going on. I'm not in a life situation that's making me cry, or get all worked up; it's pure manipulation, words triggering emotions. Lyrics are lies. If I'm lucky, beautiful lies. Janis admitted it was just a phase she went through in high school.

Feelings v. emotions. So pure music moves me within the realm of feelings, lyrics within the realm of emotions; what's the difference? Emotions are mental; feelings aren't.

Obsession. Recurrent emotions are linked to specific triggering thoughts. Once I have the triggering thought I am obsessed, thinking the same thought over and over, each time triggering the emotion in a vicious cycle. One kind of obsession many consider positive is infatuation: an imaginary one-sided love affair. Emotions are a mild form of mental illness we all suffer from. Inner silence is the only remedy for emotions. I was completely unable to control my runaway thoughts before Leela gave me the gift of inner silence at the cathartic climax of my trial by cannabis. While I still struggle with emotions, I'm now the one in control. I can choose inner silence over emotional noise if I work hard at surrendering to Leela.

Butterflies. Anticipation, butterflies, excitement all point to another kind of emotion: the ache I feel in my solar plexus, aka the pit of my stomach, when I'm thinking about some upcoming event I'm looking forward to. I used to think anticipation was a good thing. My sister Gail was a connoisseur of anticipation, and I briefly adopted her take, a bad habit rooted in sibling admiration. Like any emotion, anticipation takes me out of the present, into my head. Something good that will supposedly happen in the future is not part of my world, it's just some useless thinking I'm indulging in. The future is unknowable to those of us stuck in 4-space, i.e. all of us. The more I indulge in anticipation the less present I become.

Banishing emotions is the hardest kind of inner work I've ever done. Leela gave me the opportunity to learn this technique by timing everything in my life so my breakup with Ruth happened just before the pandemic arrived. The early stages of this writing project prepared me for learning to banish emotions by reminding me of a crucial principle I learned in the past: the difference between feelings and emotions. That made it possible for me to grasp that the sadness and loneliness I was going through was my own ugly mental creation, and I could bloody well uncreate it if I wanted to. So I set to work, and after a few weeks I succeeded. More recently I've struggled with anticipation. That was a piece of cake by comparison.