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Starving Negative States by Maurice Nicoll

Self-observation on negative emotions & feeding them…or hot

  1. P. 1140 “What is it in me that is offended at this moment and begun to make accounts… I can observe it at work in me collecting materials and beginning to remember other unpleasant things and to find words and phrases against the other person to make him feel he under estimated me, that he is so much dirt.” It is a picture of myself? Is it imaginary I? Is it false personality? What is it that is at the bottom of it all? A man is often offended where he is identified with himself?
  2. Make lists of negative emotions, observe them, write them down, and above all remember them so that when they come back again as they always do, you may gradually recognize them before they can exert their full power—namely, before you can identify with them. Especially in the morning clear your mind of negative, unpleasant, and criticizing states before you pass into external life. (712)
  3. At night go over your negative states and try to see them in retrospect; and if you do this genuinely, if you have come to the point of recognizing your negative conditions and desiring to begin to get free from it, then you may rest assured that you will receive help form ‘I’s’ in yourself that wish to work, and they are capable possibly of passing on to a higher level of Being. (712)
  4. Negative emotions: envy, suspicion, criticism of others, mechanical disliking of others, contempt of others, superiority over others, hatred, making accounts and feeling one is owed, persistent resentments, various states of depression, self-pity, unpleasant forms of self-satisfaction, feeling of meritoriousness (one of the most unclean that shut out all influences from Higher Centers). (708)
  5. Begin to taste them—to know the taste of them. (708)
  6. Observe these states through uncritical self-observation, one might say, impersonal observation of oneself by oneself. (709) Not through self-hatred or self-judgment.
  7. Try to see for yourself by direct observation how a negative state drains force from you and try to see what happens when, having observed your condition, you genuinely try to separate from this state for you own private reasons and not for the sake of being congratulated or to gain merit.  If you do this rightly you will feel a shock, you will experience the sensation that you have suddenly escaped from something evil, something that you did not realize. Then you will begin to understand why it is said that we can detect the presence of negative states by means of inner taste. One can indeed see the negative state that one has escaped from literally lying beneath one at a lower level at such times. (710)
  8. Try to separate from a negative state, not to go with it, not to consent to it, with the mind at least. For if both the mind and the emotions consent then there is a full identification and a full influx of energy into the negative state. That is why we must try to starve our negative states because the more we nourish them, secretly approve of them and secretly enjoy them, the more energy they will insist on taking from us.
  9. What negative state or talk have you observed in yourself today? Why are you noticing how other people behave without noticing yourself?
  10. Try to separate from a negative state in yourself by non-identifying with it or by what I call neutralizing it through seeing the same thing in yourself.

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