The Emotional Center is the center that has the most potential power, but it is held in an immature state in most people as it is typically mired in negative emotions. Most centers have a two-sided approach to their work, such as pain and pleasure in the mechanical, or right and wrong in intellectual, but the emotional center does not have this duality. It may seem like positive and negative emotions are the halves of the emotional center, but this is a misunderstanding of emotions.
The most important thing to understand about this center is that there is no natural place for negative emotions, no built-in center that operates them. Negative emotions are copied by watching other people as a person grows, and a sort of false center is created within a person in which these negative emotions inhabit. But in fact, these negative emotions have no purpose or benefit to us, they only rob us of huge amounts of energy, and restrict the ability of a person to use the even greater amount of energy potential in the emotional center.
It was said in the Fourth Way teachings that one does not have control over the emotions and the emotional center, one can only attempt to stop the expression of negative emotions as any expression of them simply feeds them and solidifies this false center and blocks our natural, constructive, positive emotions. One of the problems with attempting to control emotions, as mentioned in previous articles, is that emotions work at a faster speed than the intellect; 30,000 times faster, according to the teachings. So that by the time a person has intellectually noticed that they are expressing a negative emotion, it has already taken hold, and typically sweeps them away with it with no hope of control.
Another reason that it is easy to lose one’s self in emotions is that the emotional centers works off of identification. It reacts to things as if they are part of it, so that any opinion or desired object becomes part of the person’s identity, and the emotions treat it as such and will often negatively defend what it perceives as an attack on itself. Because of this, it becomes nearly impossible to distinguish between something objectively desirable for a person’s improvement and an emotional obsession.
This is most extreme in the emotional part of the emotional center which works purely off of identification and passion. In contrast, the intellectual part of the emotional center has an interest in higher emotions and is less fickle than the emotional part. The mechanical part reacts to the emotions of an environment, such as at group events and things connected to family and friendship matters. In other words, it reacts emotionally to other people and their emotions.
Though the emotional center is often chaotic in its current, dysfunctional state, it is also the key to staying with any kind of forward movement, growth, or awakening in the teachings of the Fourth Way. One needs this identification with the work to be able to stick with it, or else the emotional center will wander off and become enraptured with some triviality that completely sidetracks all previous efforts. However, as mentioned, once the emotional center has been activated properly, it is a powerful tool and all our real successes will come from it.
It’s exactly as in the Horse and Carriage analogy: a horse is not easy to tame, and can get distracted by things it sees on the path, but as long as its blinders are properly placed and its immense power is tamed to move in one straight direction, the whole journey becomes easy.