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Not Indulging Feelings

January 12, 2017 – Feelings ask to be heard. They press for attention. Each pulls on the apron strings of centralized consciousness. Some whisper, others scream to be heard. To pay attention to some feelings, we must ignore many others. Feelings are like children. Each wants acknowledgment. Each wants its importance validated.
Like children feelings go bad when too much is made of them. Like children asking to be spoiled, feelings grow best when they are dealt with firmly through selective inattention.
To indulge feelings is to give feelings undue attention. It is to exaggerate their importance. To indulge feelings is to be unduly pleased with one’s feelings.
Indulging feelings is a form of narcissism. It pays undue attention to the self. It wastes energy. It fosters obsessions. It feeds paranoia. It draws attention away from more important matters. It compromises awareness of the present moment.
We seek pleasure in thinking and end up feeling worse. Arousal born in the indulgence of thoughts leaves us remorseful, morbidly blue in its wake. Our bodies know that we have wasted our limited powers of attention. Self-reproach rightly follows the waste of energy. Indulging feelings reduces personal power.
A person that indulges feelings is ruled by spoiled feelings. His awareness is often captured and regularly abused by moods and impressions not deserving attention. A person that indulges feelings turns the same thoughts over and over to no good use. Indulging feelings betrays exaggerated self-interest, merely.
A man of power glances at his feelings, forms impressions, plays with them briefly, and turns away. He refuses to make too much of any particular mood or impression. He does not take undue hold of his feelings that they might not take hold of him. A man of knowledge follows feelings as a hunter follows the prey, at a distance.
A man of power thinks rhythmically and musically. He dances among thoughts, changing partners as he goes. He dips into a particular impression and then moves away. He is careful to maintain mental distance and balance. He refuses to be chained to any line of thinking, no matter how alluring.
Thinking produces a mixture of truth and error. Truth abides. It stands as time goes by. Errors fall away. Too much thinking magnifies the importance of thoughts that become unmanageable for their sheer size. Too much thinking makes mountains out of molehills. It mistakenly extends the lifespan of incorrect ideas.
Indulging feelings sends fantasies in repetitive circles. Thinking the same thoughts, finally he runs out of energy, tired over nothing, having gone nowhere. A self-indulgent mind grows weak. It sickens. It is mastered by pain.
Pleasure eludes people that love prized fantasies that are only loosely connected to the real world. When we follow our thoughts away from how we actually lead our lives, we make pleasure in thought a substitute for power in living.
Life is hard. People console themselves for the frustrations of life by deliberately immersing their minds in pleasant or exciting or sad or poignant thoughts. After we think for pleasure and sensation rather than for information, we feel disgusted. We feel pain. Our bodies know how we have squandered our time and our chances.
A man of knowledge accumulates emotional power by avoiding its loss: by not indulging feelings.

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