Feelings of sympathy, love, and of course happiness are ‘good’ while emotions such as hate, envy and the like are deemed ‘bad’. So much so that if envy arises in a person, the person as a whole is labeled ‘bad’. Aside from the fact that emotions arise, period, and that we merely react to them and do not create them, it seems rather naive and simplistic to label emotions ( and people) so. Of course consequences of these emotions left in their natural trajectory may be good or bad, either for the individual and/or for the society and therefore the labels.
For the sake of argument, lets get to the root of envy. Say you have a decent sized house. A friend buys a newer, better, bigger house, throws a lavish housewarming party and boom, the pangs of jealousy start grawing in your bosom. Why? What are you thinking? You WANT that house! But you CANNOT have that house. Frustration. Why him? Why not you? The unfairness of it!!!! Yada yada yada. But then that envy could goad you to to earn more, give you a goal, a purpose in life. ( whether or not a materialistic “purpose” in life is inferior to a so-called spiritual one is the fodder for another blog).
As the wise sages have said from the time sages existed, desire is the root of all. Remove desire, you remove life. The desire for wealth, for fame, the desire to live, in fact the desire to live better than thy neighbor. Life is desire. To desire is to live. Envy is but the fuel. Emotions are necessary not just for suvival, but to flourish.
Emotions seem to act only at the plane of conscious thought since judgement of good and bad, happy and sad seem to be tied to conscious awareness. Whether our kidneys work or not, our subconscious deals with it the same way. However knowledge of the diseased state of one’s kidneys leads to sadness, anger and despair at the conscious level, none of which are really conducive to their functioning in any way.
Imagine a world where everyone has attained “nirvana”, shunned or ‘overcome’ emotions… A grey world with people sedately moving around in orange robes…….and imagine a world vibrant with desire with flashy neons with the latest tech gadget. Lets face it, we all live in this world with no frigging clue why we are here and what the heck we are doing in here. Lets at least do it in style.