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September 27, 2007 at 10:59 pm #138784inariParticipant
I’m currently doing some reading on developing intuition, as I consider ‘six-sensory living’ to be vital to functioning as a Jedi (and it’s pretty darn handy anyway, Jedi or not). Part of doing this involves teaching yourself to be more open to the world around you, becoming more ‘sensitive’ and ‘psychic’ on an inner and outer scale. One thing I find potentially problematical, however, is that many psychic teachers suggest distancing oneself as much as possible from sources of negativity, not just the gloomy newspapers and media broadcasts but also people. As Jedi, however, these are often the very people that we will be helping.
Now, I personally have little trouble with detachment, I find thoughts such as ‘It’s not my movie’, and ‘Observe, don’t absorb’ to be helpful, plus I think it’s just a personality thing. Many of the people who I know as Jedi or Jedi-in-training, however, are working on become more sensitive or are already so, and some struggle to be both open to the world and yet not take on the problems of the world. Shielding helps, of course, I find time alone and outside helps me.
I’d like to hear your thoughts, opinions, concerns and methods for dealing with this issue.
InariSeptember 28, 2007 at 5:33 am #146395Kol DrakeModerator
I have ‘problems’ with empathy — sometimes so bad that I have had ‘symptoms’ of others around me — from headaches to ‘gut pains’.
This empathy thing has always confused the heck out of me since I have always been a loner; had/have a hard time opening up to those I trust (ask my ex…); and all around NOT a touchy feel-y sort. And yet, I can zero in right at the oddest times.
I have also been doing some ‘unlicensed mentoring’ to someone who is even MORE empathic than I. And had to address the ‘negativity’ thing to them. I posited that making ‘strong enough’ shields would be tiring and futile since ‘… there is always a bigger fish…’ (someone will be strong enough to crack thru) and blow energy they could use for ‘other things’. So, instead, I recommended they look at making shields more like filters — ones that are ‘tasked’ with converting negative energy/vibes into positive energy/vibes… which help to strengthen them -and- allow them to use to maintain the filter AND send the ‘cleaned up’ energy back out as desired.
I haven’t had them come looking to hang me from the highest tree (yet) and have had decent comments back on how it worked for them so far. I would think there have to be smarter ways to handle it though.September 28, 2007 at 9:52 pm #146400Beral KhanParticipant
I read your confusion as to why you would be so empathetic when you generally don’t get involved.
I don’t know if there is any merit to my line of thought, but I have a possible answer for you. Many times we have trouble seeing problems when we are too close to them. I feel that when we do put a bit of distance between us and others, it give us a better view of what is happening around them.
If I was eyeball up on a button of a shirt someone was wearing, it would be hard to tell that someone’s shoes are untied.
Perhaps your distance is exactly why you can tell how people feel and when there is a disturbance in their life. It gives you perspective.
But I’m just a Jedi-in-training as well. So I look forward to the insights of those who have more experience in such matters.
BKSeptember 28, 2007 at 11:02 pm #146408AslynParticipant
Very good, Beral. As a general rule, it does indeed become more difficult to be objectively receptive to the emotions of others when we are closer to them than not. Admittedly, this can often be counterracted by our emotional understanding of those people – for example, we might know how they will react to a given situation, or have a good idea of what their body language represents. However, that is generally not a mechanism by which empathy operates – merely a catalyst for it.
To a certain extent, you will find that your empathic senses can indeed become distorted by subjective concerns – oftentimes, our own perspectives on a situation can prevent us from distinguishing our own emotional responses from those of others that we are thus receiving empathically. As a consequence of this (to some extent, at any rate), we teach the methodology of Detachment – the ability to remove yourself from the subjective concerns of a situation, permitting you to step back and review the circumstances, thus to make determinations as to the factors involved, allowing you in turn to reach an appropriate conclusion in that same regard.
As you might well imagine, though, this can often be difficult when we are looking at empathic response and intuitions. Jedi tend to rely upon such sensations to reinforce our more objective and academic conclusions, or indeed to suggest that such analysis would be warranted (following up on a gut feeling, if you will). As a consequence, how exactly would one go about detaching themselves from emotion while yet remaining in-tune with those that are responsible for providing us with such valuable sensory data?
The answer, to my mind, exists in the difference between emotional sensation and empathic receptivity – if you permit yourself to engage your own emotions when seeking to augment your own empathic abilities, you will inevitably find them distorted or diminished. Thus, what is required is essentially the ability to retain a calm and clear state of mind that is not projecting emotions outward, but rather permitting yourself to be the clear and smooth surface upon which emotional ripples can be generated, but only as a consequence of your empathic sensation. Thus, the emotions you will feel will not be generated by you, but from outside your mind.
As you can imagine, that’s the difficult bit – it essentially requires a good understanding and practical application of Jedi serenity. But it’s not impossible, certainly, and will be something I’d expect every serious practitioner to achieve eventually. If you’re not certain as to the technique, be patient – we’ll cover it in class. But a clear mind is always an effective way to ensure good empathic reception.
If you want to practise the technique, though, perhaps start with a basic meditation, with two or more people, focusing on projecting and sensing emotions that aren’t your own. I tend to be aware that many students find meditation useful for clearing their mind of excess and superfluous thoughts, so it may well be a good place for you to start.September 29, 2007 at 5:20 pm #146419Innocence_LostParticipant
Alright well, i tend to be very empathic and sometimes have trouble telling my feelings from others. Once, i started to get involved with this one Pagan ground and really started to get to know a few of the members. Well, 2 thanksgivings ago i started to have this pain in my leg i could describe fully, it hurt, but it didn’t hurt. It turned out i was picking up one of the friends i had gotten to know from accross the country, she had hurt her leg that very night. It was wierd to me but kinda cool. I think it would be cool to have that experience again, just hopefully not with pain, lol. Something that helps me, is grounding. Not inside but outside, with the earth and wind, absorbing and blowing the bad stuff away. Something else that would be good is having a stone that you can put some energy into, when you put the energy into it, you can put the rock outside on your lawn and let the earth absorb any and all energy you put into it so it doesn’t get overwhelmed.
And as far as needing to be around people, yes i pick up others emotions but (and i know this is bad) my own emotions have kind of been put on the back burner. So unless i actually focus on my own emotions, i don’t really feel them very well. But i have been able to use this to my advantage and i am able to feel others that much better. But that is me and i don’t recommend it, to any one, so please don’t try to put your emotions on hold. I didn’t do it on purpose and have been training myself to feel my emotions more and it is working, yay.
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