As with feelings, when emotions are aroused, there are physical changes inside the body in the form of chemical and electrical activity. In fact, strong emotions don’t just affect the body; they also have an impact on the soul. When the soul suffers emotional trauma, from which there is lasting impact, the emotional trauma brings about an immense strain on the brain and body. Brain chemical production is likely to be affected, and there may also be feelings of depression and tiredness. But the real trauma at the root of these physical effects is at a deeper level within the soul itself, and the resulting emotional sensitivity will also arise from the soul.
e.g. I suffer a series of losses or setbacks in my business that causes a lack of confidence and self-respect inside me. A sanskara of low self-esteem is created inside. As a result I become emotionally unstable and sensitive. I’ll show a tendency to react emotionally with extreme sorrow (may be in the form of depression) or extreme anger (sometimes in the form of an outburst) whenever there is a similar setback that touches this sensitivity. A person who has not suffered similarly in the past and does not have a sanskara of low self esteem, and as a result does not have this tendency, will not react in a similar fashion under similar circumstances.
Thoughts may be temporary. Feelings (either positive or negative), accompanying repeated thought-patterns, stay a bit longer inside us. But when a soul suffers a major setback, loss or failure in life that it is not able to deal with, it becomes emotionally damaged and the results of that can be extreme.
Suppose I lose a loved one all of a sudden. If the feelings that come to me because of this loss can be taken care of at that time, through any means like the remembrance of God, meditation, developing a positive hobby to divert my mind, spending more time in the positive company of other family members, etc.; I will deal with the feelings and move on. If however, I am unable to deal with my feelings through any of the means mentioned, the experience of loss I feel is going to cause a lot of deep damage on the emotional level. Then it will not just be a feeling of loss, but it will actually have wounded the soul emotionally. Until that wound has healed, I’ll carry it with me long after the loss has suffered. The emotions linked to it will come to the surface repeatedly, though I may have no idea where my sorrow is coming from. Due to the emotional wound, I’ll be unable to stay happy, no matter how positive my circumstances may be today.
Meditation does not require me to go into the subconscious roots of my pain. Instead, through thought, meditation enables me to take conscious control of my feelings and emotions, so as to displace the negative, which brings sorrow; with positive, which brings happiness. It helps me experience pure, powerful emotions and loveful feelings to such an extent that the wounds left by past experiences are healed. Raja Yoga means ‘royal union’ – it means having a loveful relationship with God. The experience of God’s love is a soothing balm for my emotions, and a remedy for the emotional pain the soul feels.
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