The Emotional CenterBy PHIL WITTMEYER and Others
People who have a strong emotional center respond to events in their lives with much feeling. It is as if everything in their lives is colored with an emotional meaning. For instance, each article of their wardrobe may have a value attached to it which has nothing to do with its function or style but has everything to do with an emotional event that happened when the person was wearing that particular article of clothing. They were sad when wearing that sweater, happy when wearing that shirt, angry when wearing those pants, and so on. So, whenever they see or wear that particular garment again, it reminds them of the mood they were in before. The same could be said for every other object in their possession.
Emotionally centered people are prone to weep, even when they are happy. They see pathos and are sensitive to the suffering of others. They like to be physically close and enjoy touching.
The positive pole is +Sensibility. In the system, this does not refer to "being sensible", meaning having intellectual capacity. It refers to emotional response or susceptibility, and to a lesser extent, sensuousness. People in this pole are sensitive to things that "feel good" emotionally, and they react accordingly, with revelry and merrymaking. As children, people in this pole are "giggle-boxes". They are playful and excitable. Sometimes they seek thrills because it excites their emotions — just for the fun of it. As adults, they are usually more subdued, but still jovial. They are tender toward their loved ones and cordial with others. These are your typical "party-animals". They also enjoy "soul-stirring" events. Another aspect of this is that they like to celebrate occasions — any excuse will do. In its highest expression, people in this pole cherish everything with tenderhearted affection. The worst that can be said about these people is that they are sometimes gushy and effusive. Even so, all those emotions mentioned above are the commonly-recognized positive or pleasant ones.
In contrast to the positive pole which has to do with pleasant feelings, the negative pole of -Sentimentality is concerned with unpleasant moods. As children, people in this pole are "crybabies", and they whine a lot. This tendency to fuss and cry extends into adulthood. Such people enjoy "tear-jerker" movies — the more maudlin and mawkish the better. Such people are acutely aware of their own suffering and the suffering of others, and this makes them sad. They react strongly to things they perceive as pathetic. These people also "wear their feelings on their shirt sleeves", so they get their feelings hurt often. This means they often sulk. At best, people in -Sentimentality are overly nostalgic about anniversaries and other past events, and overly attached to things like souvenirs and other memorabilia. At worst, such people are moody and melancholy, filled with negative emotions such as loneliness, grief, and guilt. If there is any advantage in this pole, it is that people in it are able to commiserate with other wretches — to weep with those who weep.
The fear that drives -Sentimentality is the fear of physical loss or loss of physical contact. People in this pole cling to things (that is why they like souvenirs), cling to the past (that is why they feel guilty about it), and cling to people (that is why they get lonely easily). The way to overcome this is to consider and apply the positive pole of the complementary center, which is +empathy. Lift up your feelings and contemplate the sublime. Get in touch with your soul, your spirit, rather than your body. Listen to uplifting and inspiring music, rather than the melancholy kind. Look on the light side, and see the humor in every situation. Get psychologically intimate, rather than physically. These will bring you up to the positive pole of +sensibility.
The Emotional center gives "warmth" to the personality. When you meet Emotionally centered people, whether they are your friends or not, they want to get close to you, and even make physical contact if possible — they like to touch and to be touched. They are very affectionate — for them, love is affection. With their loved ones, they will snuggle and cuddle. Emotionally centered people are very caring in the sense that they respond to the suffering of others, even to the point of weeping. They desire to comfort and console others who are suffering, with hugging and caressing. On the other hand, people who are weak in this center are generally regarded as "cool", or even "cold". They tend to keep their distance from others. Nor do they respond to situations with a display of emotion or affection.
Emotionally centered people usually regard their warmth as a virtue. They may feel sorry for "cold, mechanical" Intellectually centered people: "Computers can think but they can't feel. Is it not emotion that makes us human?" Emotionally centered people are often subject to guilt feelings themselves. They are surprised that unemotional individuals don't feel guilty about their "inhumanness".
Channeling On the Emotional Center
People with emotional centering predominantly experience their reactions first emotionally. In an intellectually centered culture, like the one in the United States, there are many people who look down on emotional centering. However, an intellectual reaction can be unreasonable, and an emotional reaction can be reasonable; again, all centers can be muddy or clear. Your emotions inform you of the content of incoming experience, as opposed to your intellect, which informs you of the form of that experience. Of course, you need both, and they need to work together.
Your emotional center tells you what is happening within you; your intellectual center may then verbalize it, accurately or not. If you, as a soul, set it up to have a lifetime working more with form, maybe words, you might (but might not) feel it most useful to be intellectually centered. On the other hand, if you are going to be focusing your life on the internal, the content of experience, you might choose emotional centering. For example, if you are going to be a musician or were planning to take care of children, emotional centering might be more useful because it makes emotions immediately accessible. However, we do not want to generalize too much; you do not have to have an emotional primary centering to be in touch with your emotions, and having primary emotional centering does not ensure that you will be accurate in discerning your emotions or those of others. Some souls are better at emotions than intellect, or vice versa, and some are better at action.
There are seven essence roles, or types of souls. In general, the inspiration axis roles, server and priest, have a natural affinity for emotion. Not surprisingly, the emotional and higher emotional centers are also on the inspiration axis. They all have to do with the internal. Artisans and sages, on the expression axis, resonate with the intellectual and higher intellectual centers, respectively, but as creators and communicators, they are accustomed to conveying outward what is within, so they also tend to have a good connection with emotions. (This also depends on the individual's history.)
Warriors, kings, and scholars are considered solid (as opposed to fluid) roles because they have one psychic input, making them more focused and down-to-earth. Warriors and kings, the action axis roles, can have particular trouble with emotions because they are farthest from them: they focus on the outer world, and emotions are about the inner. For example, a king who is emotionally centered might still be rather mystified by an unusual show of emotion, whereas a priest who is not emotionally centered may have an inherent understanding of it. Warriors and kings can be quite adaptive in their use of the intellect for sizing up a situation and planning their strategy; however, they can be suspicious when it is used in more subtle ways. The intellectual creativity of artisans and sages may seem dishonest or less-than-straightforward to them.
As you might imagine, scholars, the assimilation axis role, excel at the use of the intellectual center, particularly in a more neutral, computer-like way, but also in magnificent ways as they build upon their knowledge over time. Scholars are equidistant from all the centers; they could just as easily do their assimilating in the emotional center, but tend to choose the intellectual center more often; therefore, they also usually have less comfort with emotions.
The emotional center has a positive pole of "sensibility," which is a well-fleshed-out ability to feel. "Sentimentality," the negative pole, suggests the emotions being a little purple, aggravated but not enriched. The higher emotional center has a positive pole of "empathy," which again puts it all together: empathy is accurately knowing in yourself the whole of an experience outside yourself. Empathy, incidentally, is not the same thing as sympathy. Sympathy is more like the negative pole, "intuition." Sympathy resonates with just a part of an experience outside yourself--the pain--without necessarily understanding it, although caring. Similarly, intuition, as we are using it here, receives part of an experience without grokking the whole.
Words like "intuition" and "sympathy" are defined and used differently by different people. We are, obviously, under the necessity of using words, and words are limited, so we suggest that you receive these words with your whole being, with all your centers, so that you can understand them in this context, as we are defining them, rather than using the words to form limited concepts.
Shepherd Hoodwin - from Michael on the Centers
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