Are you emotion phobic?
January 30, 2008
In the January, 20008 issue of The Sun Magazine, Barbara Platek interviews Miriam Greenspan, a Jungian therapist, about the importance of emotions. The title of the interview article is "Through A Glass Darkly: Moving From Grief to Gratitude." The whole interview is worth reading which you can access by clicking on the link below. Here is part of what Ms. Greenspan says:
By “emotion phobic” I mean that we fear our emotions and devalue them. This fear has its roots in the ancient duality of reason versus emotion. Reason and the mind are associated with masculinity and are considered trustworthy, whereas emotion and the body are associated with the feminine and are seen as untrustworthy, dangerous, and destructive. Nowhere in school, for example, does anyone tell us that paying attention to our emotions might be valuable or necessary. Our emotions are not seen as sources of information. We look at them instead as indicators of inadequacy or failure. We don’t recognize that they have anything to teach us. They are just something to get through or to control.
But despite our fear, there is something in us that wants to feel all these emotional energies, because they are the juice of life. When we suppress and diminish our emotions, we feel deprived. So we watch horror movies or so-called reality shows like Fear Factor. We seek out emotional intensity vicariously, because when we are emotionally numb, we need a great deal of stimulation to feel something, anything. So emotional pornography provides the stimulation, but it’s only ersatz emotion — it doesn’t teach us anything about ourselves or the world.