Tip for Dealing with Temptation and Heavy Emotions or Emotional Compulsions: Think, "I notice my body feels..."

Discuss the November 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes.

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Tip for Dealing with Temptation and Heavy Emotions or Emotional Compulsions: Think, "I notice my body feels..."

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

If you haven't already, you can sign up to be personally mentored by Scott "Eckhart Aurelius" Hughes at this link.


The technique I will show you in this post is just one of countless in my toolbag, but they all come from the same basic premise that is taught best and most completely by my book, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All.

This particular technique is a way of (1) rephrasing your words to be more exact and (2) removing your false authorship of a feeling into a distant spiritual noticing of it, in analogy to understanding you are the listener of thoughts not the thinker of the thoughts, and (3) emphasizing the difference between "The Two Yous", a concept deeply discussed in my book.

I won't bury the lead, the basic premise is that when you are dealing with a temptation or otherwise seemingly burdensome or heavy emotion, instead of saying, "I feel X," say, "I notice my body is feeling X."

Instead of saying, "I feel hungry," you can say, "I notice my body is feeling hungry."

Instead of saying, "I feel fear/anger", you can say, "I notice my body's fight-or-flight response has been engaged a bit", or just, "I notice my body is feeling fear," or, "I notice my body is feeling anger, which is a specific type of fear, specifically the fightier side of the fight-or-flight response." (Indeed, a rageaholic is just a specific type of coward.)

Instead of saying, "I want a cigarette," or even worse, "I need a cigarette", instead say, "I notice my body is feeling an urge to smoke cigarettes."

Some even like to take into the third person, meaning you can even avoid using any words like "I", "me", or" my", at least in the latter part of the sentence, so for instance, I could say one of the following, "I notice Eckhart's body is feeling X". That can help disguish between the Two You by only referring to the real you as the "I" and referring to other of the Two Yous by the given name of the specific human you happen to see in the mirror.

I don't usually take that far, but it can help emphasize your spiritual freedom and help you maintain your free-spirited inner peace (a.k.a. true happiness) when you or (I) say something like: "I notice Eckhart is feeling fear" or "I notice Eckhart is feeling angry" or "I notice Eckhart is having a craving for a cigarette."

I do the conscious noticing and experiencing, like watching a character in a movie or video game, and Eckhart (a.k.a. "the body") does the actual bodily mechanics of feeling (i.e. the stuff I'm watching and noticing). It's really simply the difference between saying, "I notice my heart is beating," versus saying, "I am beating my heart." Those who attach themselves to their egos and thoughts and such are making the same mistake as one who attaches themself to a literal heart and its literal beating. Even calling Eckhart's heart my heart is a bit misleading; that "my" is mostly referring to the other one of Two Mes that isn't the real me.

Bodily feelings and cravings can be like little children throwing temper-tantrums. If you engage and fight them on it, they just get stronger and louder. If you pretend you don't see them and live in denial, meaning if they think you don't hear and see them, they get louder. In that way, even very passive fighting can make it worse. If they know or think they can wear you down, they will. But if you just notice them and do nothing more than happen to notice maybe even with a smile or giggle and move on with your life, they give up on it. If the honest obvious truth is that they cannot wear you down, they mostly stop bothering. Feedback loops can be very powerful, turning a spark into a fire, a mountain into a molehill, or a little noise into a blaring screech. But feedback loops--include addictive and abusive cycles--can also be easy to break because you can break the cycle anywhere. The same thing that makes a feedback loop or other vicious cycle in which one could be trapped so powerful is also its weakness: It's house of cards; each part of whole cycle depends on all the others; and thus, if you snip the circle anywhere, the whole thing falls apart.

This really all only comes up when you are dealing specifically with temptation and/or what some would call a very tough emotion or even a would-be compulsion.

More importantly, it's really more about how you to talk to yourself and reprogramming your mind then how to talk to others in space, such as your siblings, spouses, parents, and co-workers.

So, for example, if you are at work by water cooler you are chatting with your work buddies and one of them asks if you are happy that your preferred sports team won the sporting event last night, I'm not suggesting you actually say, "Well, I notice my human body here is having a biological response consistent with what we typically call happiness. I notice my heart rate has become a little elevated, and my mouth has this subtle instinctive twitch to curve into the bottom of a circle and even bare my teeth little in some kind of playful pretend growl I guess."

You are free to say it that way if you want. But that's not really what I'm suggesting.

Granted, if sports-related joy is your unique prop in your version of the common human struggle, and maybe for example you are only of those crazy rioters that has joined violent mobs in several violent riots to celebrate your sports team winning a match, then, indeed, you might actually want to speak like the above when talking or thinking about your sports-related joy.

It's about reminding yourself of your spiritual distance from feelings when it comes to the particular feelings and urges with which you otherwise would feel like you struggle most. In other words, it's about distancing yourself from the feelings and bodily urges that would make you feel like a spiritual slave if you caved to them, as opposed to maintaining your happy spiritual freedom (a.k.a your free-spirited inner peace).

The point is that you can use this technique that I've described above when it comes to dealing with what my book calls the props in your version of the common human struggle uniting us all.

You can roughly summarize that common struggle as a struggle against temptation and misery, but that's not quite right, and why it's not quite right is something that took a whole 200-page book to adequately. If I could explain it in a post like this, I wouldn't have spent 5 years writing a 200 page book. In short, it's really it's common human struggle for something, not against something. It's a positive, not a negative. It's something a Philosophical Zombie literally couldn't understand and wouldn't experiencing, because he would have no "real him" to do such experiencing.

Ultimately, in large part, it's simply the struggle for spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline). Some would even call it self-actualization or self-transcendence, namely depending on which version of the Two Yous they see as the "self" in that context. One is the false self to be transcended, and the other is true self to be actualized.

I find spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) easiest to understand through example.

I suspect the most common and relatable example is in relation to fear, especially because we have a special word for that. Spiritual freedom in relation fear is called bravery. Another word for it is courage.

Bravery (a.k.a. courage) is not fearlessness. It's not the absence of fear.

It's the transcendence of fear. If fear is like the war i.e. which the coward (i.e. spiritual slave) drowns, then bravery is like learning to swim.

The coward is a slave to fear, and feels a miserable prisoner in their own body. Spiritual freedom is simply the opposite of that. It's to not be a slave to fear, or to any bodily emotion or urge such as pain, hunger, sexual attraction, desire, jealousy, shame, discomfort, the urge to drink alcohol, the urge to smoke cigarettes, and so on.

Where the active coward is a slave to fear, the active food addict is a slave to hunger, and the active alcoholic is a slave alcohol. Everyone has their props in this common struggle, and every human is on the addiction spectrum. In a way, that's really just a fancy way to say every human has feelings--and consciousness, a.k.a. a spirit or in yet other words "a true self", which is what my book calls "the real you". It's actually fairly simple: There Two Yous, and theirs feelings (and bodily urges), and from that we can already infer (even without calling upon our confirming you experience) that theirs going to be temptation, addiction, and spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline).

It's easily understood in the negative as a common battle. We're united against something. That's easy. It's talked about right in the introduction of my book, with a joke about the book ending right there.

But to really understand the ins and outs of it, and what my philosophy is really about in full, you learn to end that battle by finding peace and a type of omnipotence, by basically winning the battle and thereby achieving what I call unwavering invincible free-spirited inner peace (a.k.a. true happiness), which some call nirvana, enlightenment, or grace, presumably depending on their particular culture and religion if any.

It's to see this world revealed as heaven. It's to wake up everyday with the joy of waking up in heaven.

It's yours to claim as soon as you want it; And, when you claim that spiritual freedom, meaning when you are to all bodily feelings (from hunger to pain to desire of all kinds) what a brave person is to fear, you will feel an empowering gracefulness beyond words, a sort of godly omnipotence flowing through you, a oneness with the whole universe and beyond, and then you will no what it means to be immortal and to eternally be in heaven.

It will be as if the separated mortal little ego you always thought you were dissolves right before your eyes, as your human eyes themselves seem to dissolve with it, and you wake up to the reality that has been staring you in the face every second of your waking life--of all your waking lives--and even in your conscious dreams at night.

You are it, it is you, and you are invincible. The duality of self vs other is an illusion.

Spiritual slavery, the most hellish awful thing imaginable, is an illusion.

If you pull off the devil's mask, it's just you under there doing it to yourself.

It was all a game you played with yourself. Kind of silly, isn't it? In a good way.

If the movie gets too disturbingly engaging for you, you can reminder yourself you are just watching it. Sometimes it's fun to jump and get scared too along with the character on the screen as if that really was you; other times, it's wise to remind yourself it's just a movie. The human you see in the mirror is just a protagonist in a fictional story. That's not the real you.

Can you notice the feeling without being the ego? Can you notice the feeling without being owned by the feeling, a slave to it, a puppet under its control? I'm not asking you to control your feelings; that's impossible; I'm asking you to realize they don't control you, unless you voluntarily let them. You are free of the would-be tyrant and King once you realize you can listen to what words the King says while simply disobeying with a smile, and there's nothing he can even do about it, because in the case of would-be spiritual tyrant, he doesn't even really exist. That voice in your head is a figment of imagination. Your ego is a figment of imagination. One of the Two Yous is a total and utter figment of imagination.

You are not one mortal little ego. You are it. You are big beyond words. You are immortal and invincible.

I've heard wise people say it like this: One day you will wake up and laugh about all the things you use to worry about and take oh so seriously.


With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott


One day you will wake up and laugh about it all.
One day you will wake up and laugh about it all.


---
In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
Kajori Sheryl Paul
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Joined: November 3rd, 2022, 10:16 am

Re: Tip for Dealing with Temptation and Heavy Emotions or Emotional Compulsions: Think, "I notice my body feels..."

Post by Kajori Sheryl Paul »

It is worth learning. Indeed, we have to learn to not let our feelings control us. After all, "those who attach themselves to their egos and thoughts and such are making the same mistake as one who attaches themself to a literal heart and its literal beating." Thank you!
Seetha E
Premium Member
Posts: 28
Joined: August 3rd, 2023, 8:29 am

Re: Tip for Dealing with Temptation and Heavy Emotions or Emotional Compulsions: Think, "I notice my body feels..."

Post by Seetha E »

Being attentive while being distant from what is going on. However, being alert and capable of carrying out the practicable acts that the situation necessitates... the rest is beyond our control, and it is best not to put any negative energy into it.
Chinazo Anozie
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Re: Tip for Dealing with Temptation and Heavy Emotions or Emotional Compulsions: Think, "I notice my body feels..."

Post by Chinazo Anozie »

"Bravery (a.k.a. courage) is not fearlessness. It's not the absence of fear. It's the transcendence of fear." I always learn something new here. Thank you for this!
Jarkline Ouma
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Re: Tip for Dealing with Temptation and Heavy Emotions or Emotional Compulsions: Think, "I notice my body feels..."

Post by Jarkline Ouma »

Recognizing and labeling your emotions can create distance, making it easier to navigate through temptation or strong emotions.
Ronald Aminga
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Re: Tip for Dealing with Temptation and Heavy Emotions or Emotional Compulsions: Think, "I notice my body feels..."

Post by Ronald Aminga »

Just as parents use strategies to soothe and guide their children through tantrums, individuals can employ techniques such as mindfulness, deep breathing, or redirecting focus to navigate and regulate their bodily urges. This perspective encourages a more patient and understanding relationship with one's own physical sensations, promoting a balanced and thoughtful response rather than succumbing to impulsive reactions.
Dorine Ontomwa
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Re: Tip for Dealing with Temptation and Heavy Emotions or Emotional Compulsions: Think, "I notice my body feels..."

Post by Dorine Ontomwa »

This creates a mental pause, allowing you to identify and understand your emotions. By doing so, you gain insight into your reactions and can make more intentional choices in response to temptations or strong emotions. It's a mindfulness technique that promotes self-awareness and helps you navigate challenging situations with greater clarity.
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