We have talked a great deal about emotions here in the Wolf’s Den and within many of the classes over the years in Element Mountain. Something interesting about emotions when looking around the world are the taboos various cultures and or genetic races seem to have placed upon select emotions. Taboos meaning a conscious avoidance of select emotions within the whole of a social system. These once conscious avoidances over time have become so ingrained that the reactions seem to have become a subconscious reaction to an emotional display or state of expression.
I certainly cannot explain the actual origins of such odd behaviors, but I will briefly touch upon a few examples I have noticed.
In America there is no one race, obviously, so the emotional taboo cannot be connected to a race but rather a society. Here in the States if someone expresses emotions such as anger or happiness, guilt or lust it is looked at as a “normal” state and accepted. A person can yell at someone else at work and everyone takes it in stride. However, if you tell someone you are depressed or express sadness, this has become something as a society America just cannot handle, it cannot deal with. Depression is something that is very, very common among a large portion of the population, but society for whatever reason tries to keep it taboo and continually attempts to condition people from very young ages to avoid the emotion. This has been going on for such a long time that people seem to have forgotten how to deal with someone else’s expressions of sadness and depression. This in-turn has placed a great many people suffering from depression at risk since the surrounding social system wants to ignore its part of life. You tell someone you are depressed and they about look at you cross-eyed and say, “OK then, well I wish you luck with that.” as they scoot away as quick as they can.
In Asia it is very different. People seem to be able to handle depression far better than American’s, but one emotional range that has become a huge taboo in many Asian countries is anger and rage. As a society they have tried to suppress expressions of anger and rage for so long through their history that people there seem to have forgotten how to deal with it when it arises. I have heard many stories of American’s, for instance, going to China and openly getting angry at something, and the local people shy away and become closed off and docile as if they have never experienced an outward social expression of such emotions.
I was told about a group of construction workers who went to China to work on a job. One of the guys tripped over a ladder one morning and threw a little anger fit out of frustration and all the Chinese workers moved to the nearest wall, eyes and heads down, shuffling their feet and trying to pretend they were not there. They had no idea how to handle that emotion being expressed. (Just one of many stories I have heard pertaining to that region and emotion)
Just as the major social system of American shuns depression, many Asian societies shun anger and rage and have done so long enough on a conscious level that people now react from a subconscious reaction with avoidance, fear and even states of internal helplessness.
In some countries if you are “too nice” it seems to take people off guard and they do not know how to act or react. Other countries have tried to stomp out shame while others shudder at people expressing ecstatic joy. That last one is a huge one that seems to have spread to many of the more modern industrialized nations; “too much ecstatic joy” and outward expressions of physical love. The Middle Eastern countries are hugely against such emotional states, and there are not even among the major industrialized nations! It is almost like the pursuit of money, fame and “power” has tried to drive away feelings and expressions of true happiness and love from the social system. Personally I think it’s is because those emotions easily overpower the need for fame, money and “power” and so they threaten those surface and purely fragile ego driven pursuits..
In the agency training when dealing with Urban Tradecraft it was a basic knowledge or awareness that people in many countries will shy away, divert their gaze from people showing affection publically, like kissing for instance. The social systems polluted by either pursuits of money/greed or religions promoting control and domination have attempted for years and years to stomp out the basic human connections and pure reactions to many of our primal emotional states, like love and affection for instance. It is as if the system itself and the severely imbalanced ones who created them were/are so threatened by humanity itself, true, pure and primal human emotions that they have and are doing everything in their power to erase the human connection to itself.
We cannot suppress emotional states without dire consequences occurring on personal levels as well as entire social systems. We cannot and should never deny our emotions and try to hide them. They are what make humanity what it was meant to be and it takes the full range of human emotions to work. Try to suppress or remove any and you create such a state of internal imbalance that spread across the globe on every level.
Take a bit of time and try analyzing your own emotional ranges. What are you comfortable expressing and which ones are no not? Which ones might you hide from the world and for what reasons? What would happen if you unbottled them and let them flow freely as they were meant to exist? Emotions are energy and energy once created must flow or the organism will suffer and that suffering will spread. I feel emotions trapped, unexpressed, marked as taboo and otherwise avoided are one of the major causes of suffering in the world today. They are blocked energy flows and any blocked energy causes serious issues.