Freedom in feeling comes, not from the firmness or strength of our feelings, but in their flexibility.
Flexibility of feeling is one of the best signs of free feeling. Free feeling is where the heart actually seems to have a clear-seeing very mobile eye of its own – a “heart”-eye. It sees into things with feeling, gaining in-sight.
Where feelings are fixed, this is something akin to an eye in one’s head suddenly becoming utterly fixed, stuck in its socket, unable to look at anything else but the object at which point its eye became “stuck”.
Fixed feelings are like eyes which cannot move. What the heart-eye then transmits to the head, and even to the will, is “dogmatic”. The feeler becomes even more fixed, certain their feelings are absolutely right and accurate, simply because the feeling keeps confirming itself. Soon enough the false certainty attaches to the will and the feeler also asserts their right to see, even if what they are seeing is not the whole picture they are genuinely trying to see.
What’s really happening is the field of vision has simply narrowed and, after a while, the narrower vision becomes the norm and the feeler adapts quickly to this new state of being. Sometimes the narrow feelings become, at least for a time, the new “world” of feeling, for the feeler. Some people would say that this can sometimes be a good thing – we need to make these errors in order to have profound realisations about them and thus, grow wiser. This is rather like saying we can see the world and enjoy it better if we have periods of having our eyes shut or even temporary blindness. This may lead to certain profound experiences but, in the case of seeing with the heart it really isn’t necessary. The world of seeing and feeling is one of such variety that al we need do is feel freely in each moment and deepen ourself all the time. Seeing is a joy that needs to blindness to increase its pleasure. The healthy darkness we experience that energises our physical and emotional seeing, is sleep, where our eyes close as part of nature’s plan.
Of course, fixed feeling isn’t free feeling at all. How can this be overcome? Not easily. When the heart-eye fixes, sometimes it even closes in a kind of shock and a kind of feeling-blindness sets in (sometimes called reality blindness, by David Knowles). Then the feelings are even more fixed as they become simply feeling-picture memories of past states, fixed in a kind of dream image. Here the feelings are not only stuck, but there is a sense of disorientation, as a sense of freshness of feeling becomes lost. A symptom is this kind of feeling is a kind of gnawing tiredness.
Feelings stagnate and the feeler finds themself as if looking at the same image in an old book. In both cases, the feeler is certain that what they are seeing is what is really there.
Heart-seeing, to be free, must be flexible. When a heart-seer finds their seeing becoming fixed (sometimes through, for example, fear where the feeler becomes caught in a particular feeling state like a rabbit in the headlights) one way to improve this is through movement. The feeler simply moves somewhere else in order to stimulate a change in their feelings, so they may feel “clearer” or “better”. This mostly fails if the feelings are now too inflexible and fixed. The feeler may even move country, change friends or job. They hope the movement will somehow jog or shock the fixedness out of existence. It occasionally works, But usually, soon enough, the heart-eye simply fixes itself on a similar single feeling (heart-image) and they find that, despite moving even a long way physically, emotionally they are soon back in the same place of narrow heart-vision, sometimes with an added sense of defeat or failure.
An often more effective approach is to surrender one’s heart-seeing to another, to admit at least temporary blindness and to trust a “guide” (which is often a close friend or partner) to guide one away from the fixed image, to help one turn ones eyes towards new colours and images – new feeling possibilities. Paradoxically, this possible guide is often a person upon whom the fixed feeling now has fixed, unfree feelings! So the “messenger” isn’t trusted.
This guiding processes often battles and loses against the fixedness of the heart eye. It requires an act of will from the one who is stuck, an act that is stronger than the strength of resistance of the fixed image. It requires a decision to trust the guide. Sadly, if the fixed feelings have reached far enough into the will, even loved ones will be mistrusted – the fixed feelings will be felt to be the only source of reliable information about self and the world. A challenge to them will be seen as an arrogant invasion or presumption to know one better than one know’s themself. Strong fixed feelings can behave a bit like poltergeists, resident in their house of past, fixed feelings, reluctant to move or be moved on!
Here, unfree feeling can really start to possess a person, and something akin to exorcism is all that can unfix and heal. The sign that it is working will be a sense of movement and flexibility accompanied, not surprisingly, by a sense of freedom, or release, of finding one’s self again, and usually a real-eyes-ation that one had not been seeing clearly at all.
It takes time. It takes faith. it takes trust.
Step free now.
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