i get what you’re saying in terms of the non-existence of positive/negative feelings. i mean, in the overall picture, that is definitely true, fundamentally there is only Tao….but i think on a human, every day, dualistic world, in which we live, it’s fair to say that there are things that can have positive effects and things that can have negative effects. i.e. toxic waste, is definitely not positive for the balance of the environment or ecosystems. i think that is how i look at those two terms. for me, anything that disturbs the balance in a way that is destructive is negative. although, somewhere inside myself, my higher self knows that no matter what everything is all good.
ultimately i think it’s possible to employ positive thinking to get desired results. i understand that anger and outrage help fuel the fires of revolution, but every revolution is always met with another bullshit regime because of bitterness and hostility. that is why, i feel like one needs to approach situations with equanimity.
that being said, i understand your argument. i don’t think it’s wrong. i do think it’s a different idea than what i was talking about in the first place though. i’m on the same page with you, in terms of people moralizing and mislabeling things as “bad” or “good” they miss the intention behind the action. but i do think that there is a beyond that point. and i think people like ourselves have a little bit of a deeper understanding of these sorts of things. a part of me thinks that change needs to be incurred by whatever means necessary. yet, there is something bigger than that, that says “i can wait” and will continue doing the “right” thing as in as much non-violence in my daily life as i can be mindful of.
one last thought on the idea of positive and negative. whether or not we want to concede to these things as absolutes, it is interesting to note that experiments on photographing water crystals when spoken words of kindess or anger produce really interesting results. the ones spoken to kindly, being symmetrical and pleasing to the eye and the others, being erratic and haphazard. i think on a biological level there is something to be said for the energy we put forth. therefore, even if we are acting in revolutionary manner and perhaps doing a thing that is viewed as negative by the outside world, the intention remains the dictator of the air of the act and behind it i do think that it makes a difference how it is approached by the individual. it should either be in total love, even if the act be destruction OR neutrality. having hatred or anger as the driving force will only lead to the spinning of the wheel of dharma…a volley of reactions that can go on indefinitely….tit for tat
Point: —–Original Message—–
Hi Jamie, Well this is argumentative of me, but in my view there aren't really "negative" thoughts and feelings. I think that that concept of negative is just a label applied to make difficult or inconvenient feelings seem like something that should be avoided, so as to better control the sheeple. The worth of our thoughts should be judged by their outcome, and many of the good changes that have happened in history came when enough people were finally FED UP with the way things were and their anger boiled over into actual social change. I think that happiness/contentment/optimism can breed apathy, and cause at least as much harm in the world as so-called "negative" emotions like anger/sadness/outrage. This isn't to say that I consider the emotions usually labeled as "positive" all bad either, but just that I think any type of thought is only "good" when applied appropriately. People being happy because they choose to remain oblivious to the harm being done all around them (and to them, and by them) when they SHOULD be appalled at what is happening, is negative. People being angered and disgusted by the same enough to rebel against it, is positive. Either "type" of emotion can also be a destructive force in the world, when misdirected. Anger/fear are particularly dangerous when ignorant people twist a vague uneasiness about problems that they don't understand the causes of into things like racism or xenophobia. Contentment/optimism are particularly dangerous when ignorant people believe that they need more and more material goods in order to maintain their level of contentment. I believe the key is not in aiming for "positive" or "negative" thoughts, but in making sure that whatever we are feeling is directed at the proper target. Intelligent people with the self-awareness to understand exactly what is making them feel the way they are, can put almost any feeling to meaningful use.