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Can people control their feelings and thoughts?

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posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 05:33 PM
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reply to post by James1982
 


We can control our thoughts and emotions.

The first step is to be aware, conscious, and mindful of your thoughts and emotions. Talk to yourself in your mind: "How am I feeling right now? Why do I feel this way? What is the cause? Would it benefit me to change my view? Why is that? How do I feel about this. Why?" We can not control that which we are unaware of or lack understanding of.

After becoming accustom to being aware of your thoughts and emotions, you must then become a gardener. Formulate what emotional and spiritual harvest you would like. Figure out which thought processes and which emotions are counter-productive to your goal. When one of those counter-productive thoughts or emotions surface, be a gardener by wedding that thought/emotion from your conscious. The more time and energy spent on a thought/emotion, the stronger it will get. When a counter-productive thought/emotion arises, change the channel to a thought/emotion that is productive to your goals. Spend time and energy on the productive thought/emotion so that it grows. Plant thoughts and emotions to suit your goals, spend time and energy to nourish them. Weed out the counter-productive. Become a gardener of your mind and heart.


Additionally, all hate, anger, prejudice, racism, jealousy, pride, and greed stems from ignorance. Ignorance of the thing which brings you grief. Ignorance of your own thoughts and emotions. Ignorance of the complete interconnectedness of all. Ignorance to existence.

May we all have Peace




posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 05:35 PM
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You can absolutely w/o a doubt control you thoughts and feelings. A very efficient way to do this is meditation. Something about meditation clears your mind and leaves you only with thoughts that are efficient and useful.



posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 08:00 PM
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I still think I wasn't clear enough on what I meant by controlling thoughts and emotions. The language I used was pretty open to interpretation so that's my bad.


What I meant as far as controlling thoughts and emotions, is not just being aware of them, and channeling them in positive ways. I meant COMPLETE control, as in, a racist person NEVER feeling that "I don't like blacks" feeling, or a pedophile NEVER feeling attracted to children again, or a necrophilliac NEVER feeling attracted to dead bodies, or a homosexual NEVER feeling attracted to the same sex, an anti-semite NEVER feeling the "I don't like jews" feeling.

I understand that people can cope with such feelings, and rid themselves of them when they arise, an of course not act upon them, but can you ever get the point where it NEVER pops into your head at all?

And the second part of the reason I made this thread, can you blame people for feeling the way they do? Not acting on anything, but are people BAD people just because of the way they FEEL? Or does one have to put their feelings into action before they become a "bad" person?

Thanks for all the replies, BTW, I wasn't expecting so many people to respond lol.



posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 08:05 PM
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reply to post by James1982
 


Yes still. The only thing that ever effects how you think and feel is you. When people say that someone or something made them mad, the truth is they let it affect them. Outside stimuli can only affect you if you let it.

It is hard work and discipline if you want to have total control over yourself, most people are not willing to work that hard at things. People always want instant results, and give up after a short time.
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posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 08:05 PM
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reply to post by James1982
 


grrr double posted.
edit on Fri, 10 Jun 2011 20:06:20 -0500 by TKDRL because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 08:48 PM
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Originally posted by James1982
I still think I wasn't clear enough on what I meant by controlling thoughts and emotions. The language I used was pretty open to interpretation so that's my bad.


What I meant as far as controlling thoughts and emotions, is not just being aware of them, and channeling them in positive ways. I meant COMPLETE control, as in, a racist person NEVER feeling that "I don't like blacks" feeling, or a pedophile NEVER feeling attracted to children again, or a necrophilliac NEVER feeling attracted to dead bodies, or a homosexual NEVER feeling attracted to the same sex, an anti-semite NEVER feeling the "I don't like jews" feeling.


Yes, it is possible.
Awareness is the first step. Awareness has this wonderful quality to give you some space between you and your thoughts, to delay the instant reaction. And this delay gives you time to look better at what it's there and work with it.
Buddhism has wonderful tools and methods to work with your thoughts and feelings; but from my modest experience there are two main ways:
1. Increasing your compassion toward everyone. Understanding that every human being has the same basic potential, and no one is really evil, but ignorant. Treating a person like a patient, separating the disease from the real person. You cannot hate someone when you are aware that they are only touched by a sickness. Also the same method could be applied toward oneself; one's own hate, or obsession, or whatever sick habits one has can be seen as a disease and treated accordingly. Increasing compassion is like increasing the light; there will be less and less dark corners in one's mind.
*Note: compassion in buddhism is not mere pity, but can be translated as "the desire for someone to be free of suffering".

2. Ignore the unwanted thoughts and feeling. Don't give them any energy; like a great lama once said: "let them come like a thief in an empty house". They will move around and leave empty handed; and they will come less and less until they will disappear. But again, awareness is essential.

Thoughts and feelings are like clouds on the sky, constantly coming and going; is the very function of mind to produce thoughts. A healthy mind is not a mind without thoughts, but a mind aware of the impermanent and illusory nature of thoughts.





And the second part of the reason I made this thread, can you blame people for feeling the way they do? Not acting on anything, but are people BAD people just because of the way they FEEL? Or does one have to put their feelings into action before they become a "bad" person?

Thanks for all the replies, BTW, I wasn't expecting so many people to respond lol.



People are not bad; they are just ignorant. They consider what they feel as real, so they act accordingly. This not means we should allow everything; but again, just like a doctor, we should see the disease and not the sinner; and sometimes, if the disease is hurting others, we should take appropriate action. For example, I would do anything to stop a pedophile, even extreme measures, if given the situation, but I won't hate him. Not really. After all, he's just a sick person, and his tormented mind must be a hell to live with.

I hope this will answer, even partially, to your questions.
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posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 08:59 PM
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reply to post by James1982
 


Ah ok, I see what you're saying James.

I do believe even the most engrained wants can be obliterated! Even racism, pedophillia, etc. But this can only be achieved if the individual person works on creating a paradigm shift or encounters one that causes such a shift in the desires. Think about our own personal histories. How many times has our turn-ons, likes, interests, hobbies, and frustrations changed? It is not attributed to simply getting old. Its cause is getting stuck in narrow view points. Overcoming ignorance by understanding all angles of any thought, motion, or situation is the key.

We wanted Santa to come 'till we found out he was not real. Change of understanding to overcome ignorance.



posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 10:07 PM
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You have a disease.

Whether you have a happy thought of Mickey Mouse
or a not so happy thought it is still the same disease.

Thinking is an unnatural condition.
The True Self is free of thoughts even when
thinking.

No effort is required or possible to stop thinking
because it is an unnatural state to begin with.

Thinking and unwanted negative feelings are
symptoms of the disease.

The disease is fear, aka your Ego.
It manifests as contraction, and lovelessness,
and all manner of obsessions.

When you become disturbed enough,
you may be willing to confront your
disturbance with the realization that
it is your own creation.

Then you are offered the two paths
out.
The difficult one of control, effort and ascent.
The easy path of Present Communion with
Reality as Fullness/Bliss.



edit on 10-6-2011 by RRokkyy because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 10:16 PM
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reply to post by RRokkyy
 


I disagree with the part that thinking is a disease.... If no one thought, we would all just be blind followers.



posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 10:42 PM
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Originally posted by TKDRL
reply to post by RRokkyy
 


I disagree with the part that thinking is a disease.... If no one thought, we would all just be blind followers.


You are.
You life is an endless
reaction to experience.
You are caught in the
mechanics of experience.
One thought follows the next
in emptiness, suffering and illusion.
Narcissus worships his ego, so
he identifies with the thinking mind.
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posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 10:54 PM
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reply to post by RRokkyy
 


Without thought there would be no music, no art, no poetry. I am not sure I would want to live in such an existance where that is considered a disease, or a negative state of mind.



posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 11:55 PM
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You cannot completley remove all feelings, as the core feelings you have are more like harmonic "sounds" that resonate with your being, however, with control of the energy points of your body, you can inhibit the production of certain chemical reactions.

You can:

Ignore/repress your thoughts/feelings, and refuse to act upon them until they start to fade out due to a lack of reinforcement.

Acknowledgement that most of our thoughts and feelings are the thoughts and feelings of others in the surrounding environment, thus, altering how we perceive others will change our thoughts and feelings about them.

Abstain from acting upon desires, until one is convinced that the costs of the pursuit of specific desires outweigh the benefits, not only to oneself, but in terms of the effect on the other person.

To regain control and to be able to re-design your primary drives, and over time even reconfigure your spiritual being, requires a large degree of self-awareness, strong convictions and a sense of moral integrity, and a basic understanding about the mechanics of the spiritual world.
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posted on Jun, 11 2011 @ 02:57 AM
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Originally posted by James1982
1. Racism:
Do you believe this is wrong? Is a person somehow bad for having these feelings, even though they cannot control them? Or do you think they CAN control them? If so, how? Obviously those that ACT on such thoughts, and attack other races verbally or physically, or spread hateful ideas are different, but I'm talking specifically about someone who treats everyone with the greatest respect, but still just doesn't "like" another race for whatever reason. Would you judge such a person? If so, what do you think gives you that right?


Would I judge them? Yes, I would I would think that they would have alot of self-controle, are probally more just than must people, and that they are more calm. I don't veiw them as bad

I would think that it would be very odd for someone to not act negitivly to people of other races because the person would always have to know how the reciver of the act would see it. The giver of the act can give the act purposefully, positivly but yet the reciver of the act can view it negativly. And in the end thats all the matters is how the reciver sees it when interacting with humans.

I do think it is possible to controle feelings but its all a matter of how deep down is it and how much destruction will it cause emotionally to change it. If you wanted to change something about you that you believed so much it was inter conneted with so many things in your life that it could ruin your life, would you do it? Maybe you end up with a better life maybe you end up chasing your mind the rest of your life.


Originally posted by James1982
2. Homophobia:
So isn't it hypocritical to view people in a negative light simply because they are "against" gays? If someone in their heart just really doesn't like gay people, but still shows them respect in person, would you have anything against them? If so, why? Do you feel they can somehow change their feelings? If so, why couldn't a gay person change their feelings as well, and start being attracted to the opposite sex?


I would judge them it would not be positivly. I don't know to say people are living an evil life because they are living the life they want to who does this this is just wrong, but wait everyone I have ever meet has done this maybe there are people out there that do not. Is it hypocritical? what a funny question its the deffinition of hypocritical. How would i judge them I geuss I would go with silly because I don't know how to describe how i feel.

about being hypocritical I don't understand how we think how we do, but we do believe we have the right to do things we are against just if the group of people change. but how? Are brains are chaotic and our brain can rationalize a hole that we can then jump through so we are not on the bad side of the argument. You have a time traveling pardox of lets say i went back in time to kill my father well If go back to my time I don't exsit, I wouldn't even exsit in the past. If that is true then I believe it would be reasonable to think the mind would be uncapable to override its thought logic, but the mind is capable of overrideing its own thought logic so I geuss I can go back in time and kill my father and still exsit. It doesn't make any since to me but it happens.


Originally posted by James1982
3. Pedophiles, and other people who have socially unacceptable sexual desires:

Do you personally feel a someone is evil, immoral, disgusting, dangerous, etc for being attracted to underage people? Just like previously, this is not about those that act on their feelings. But instead about someone who simply FEELs a certain way, whos mind thinks things that they cannot control, or (I'll ask again) can someone control what they think? Try not to think about a cheeseburger for the rest of your life. Can you do it? Are we in control over our thoughts, and if not, how can we be blamed for them?

Just like a homosexual who is attracted to the same sex, without a choice in the matter, some people are attracted to children, without a choice in the manner. If they NEVER act on such things, and do not ever get involved with any illegal aspects, and never hurt a child, would you hate such a person? Just because they unwillingly FEEL a certain way, would you judge them? How? Why? Do you think they can control who or what they are attracted to? If not, than isn't it wrong to judge someone for something they have no control over?

What about people who are attracted sexually to animals, but don't ever engage in beastiality? Or someone who is extremely attracted to dead bodies, but never kills someone, or actually has sex with one? Would you judge such a person for simply possessing certain feelings? How? Why?


Beastiality hmmm just more of a curiosity than anything else. If some one just came up to me said hey I'm sexually attracted to animals I would just say ok or hmmm interesting and walk away.

Sexually attracted to underage humans, is interresting as how you have put it because if you knew some one had these thoughts then you would on the look out because they could start any time. But you say they never do carry out the act and you still know there thoughts it will not get out of my mind that something is wrong with them and they are dangerous yet they are not.

The question I have is who makes the decision that the thought of being sexually attracted to underage humans is wrong also who decides that carrying out sexual acts with underage humans is wrong. You don't say whether this is rape or not just that sexual acts are taking place because rape is wrong were having sex doesn't have to be. When age does the child so no and start fighting back? I ask this question because anyone under this age is just rape. Also to put all of underage sex in one group seems like a bad idea to me because some case are much worse than other.

You don't want to bring homosexuals into it but if you give them rights to be homosexuals, which they should have, then why not let people have sex with underage people why take away their freedom. It goes back to the question is who decides these thing and I believe the awnser to be me in my case and you in your case. To the people that have these feeling they see them as being okay but to others these feelings are bad.

So, to awsner your question do we have controle over our thoughts I don't know but probally not. It seems as if we are only reactional beings we have something presented to us then some chemical and eletrical things happen in our brain and we come to a thought to have controle of our thoughts we would have to have controle of the chemical and eletrical reactions taking place in our brain. I am sure thoughts have some master blueprint like dna or maybe all thoughts are with in the dna that if we could translate it we could then controle what we think. From what I can tell most of the time it seems like we are just recivers and the source of thoughts are much further out there.



posted on Jun, 11 2011 @ 03:09 AM
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No, people generally cannot control their feelings or thoughts. It is true for all the sexual attractions, and also for racists.

They can only control their conscious actions. This is also where responsibility for those actions comes in.



posted on Jun, 11 2011 @ 08:08 AM
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reply to post by James1982
 



Just so I understand your opinion, do you agree with me that someone can never completely stop themselves from feeling a certain emotion, or thinking a thought, the best they can hope for is to lessen the impact these thoughts and emotions have on their lives?


Yes, I agree. You have received some really interesting replies to this, and I agree with many of them regarding one's ability to "manage" via meditation, etc. One can learn to recognize their emotions and thoughts, but not necessarily eradicate them.

IMO, it is normal to feel anger or rage at perceived injustice or perversion. Acting on it is a matter of self-control.

Here is an interesting article regarding recent research about "implicit" feelings, i.e., unconscious judgments or thoughts that affect people's POV. (And btw, the link is a fantastic portal to psychological and neurological theory and ideas that are developing and being introduced.)

www.sciencedaily.com...


Employing a commonly used Implicit Association Test (IAT), researchers asked 50 racially diverse participants to rate the trustworthiness of individuals depicted in just under 300 photographs of Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, and mixed race men on a scale from one ("not-at-all trustworthy") to nine ("extremely trustworthy"). The participants were instructed to report their initial "gut impressions."

The researchers found that the participants' implicit race attitudes, measured in a subsequent test, predicted disparities in the perceived trustworthiness of Black and White faces. Individuals whose tests demonstrated a stronger pro-White implicit bias were more likely to judge White faces as more trustworthy than Black faces, and vice versa, regardless of that individual's own race or explicit beliefs.

In a similar experiment using another group of participants, the researchers assessed how implicit racial biases may affect economic or business decisions. Participants were shown the images of the same individuals used in the first experiment and told these individuals were the subjects' partners and had been previously interviewed by the experimenter. Participants then had to make decisions about how much money they would risk with these partners.

The researchers found that participants' implicit racial biases predicted racial disparities in the amounts of money participants were willing to risk in this trust-based interpersonal economic interaction. Specifically, individuals whose IAT scores reflected a stronger pro-White implicit bias were likely to offer more money to White than Black partners and vice versa.

According to the authors, the results suggest that implicit biases toward social groups may drive rapid evaluations of unfamiliar individuals in the absence of additional information, despite our conscious desires and intentions.

While the study's subjects in both experiments included multiple racial groups, the race of the participants did not account for the findings.

"There is not a simple correspondence between individuals' implicit racial attitudes and their own race," the researchers explained. "Implicit attitudes are thought to result from many sources beyond one's own race, including environmental exposure and personal interactions."


If you poke around on that page, you will find other info regarding Cognition, Anger Management, etc. I find it all so intriguing. The bottom line, sir, is that we really aren't sure about all this stuff. The brain/mind is the frontier that is most perplexing of all. I personally tend toward believing we are only partially aware of our Self-hood, that Ego is separate from our Higher Self, and that we are here to learn about "perfection", and once we have learned the lessons that life has to offer each of us, we will all be part of the One Spirit. But that gets into Metaphysical/Spiritual subject matter that is beyond the scope of this topic.

We can learn to focus and to explore our implicit feelings and responses, to understand and/or grasp WHAT they are, and then try to examine dispassionately WHY we feel the way we do. We can certainly control our actions. Not all anger or disgust is bad -- part of it is instinctive self-protection or other-protection, and compassion is the key.
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posted on Jun, 11 2011 @ 08:35 AM
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Originally posted by James1982
reply to post by Amaterasu
 


So (assuming you are heterosexual) you could just choose to be homosexual if you felt like it? You could actually induce strong feelings of attraction for the same gender?


You are confusing sexual excitement (a biological response) with thought. You can think it's a good thing that You respond to one set of sexes, You can think it's a bad thing. Or somewhere in between. Your choice. So though sexual arousal is a "feeling," it is not an emotion. It is not subject to being controlled with thoughts.


I think that people can keep a handle on their feelings and emotions, and block out things to a certain degree. And I absolutely think that people can control their words and actions. But to completely stop a thought from ever entering your mind, or to completely banish an emotion about a certain subject, I truly believe this to be impossible.


Well, as I said, you cannot stop something from enering Your mind - but You CAN control what You do next. And what You feel. And if You train Yourself well, when You encounter something that creates a feeling You want to banish... Think about something else. Occupy Yourself with something unrelated. Or think about the situation that induces the feeling in a new way which does NOT elicit the feeling. You DO have control.


Thanks for the suggestion on Choice Theory. I am currently looking into it


Most welcome. [smile] I hope it clarifies things.



posted on Jun, 11 2011 @ 08:51 AM
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Originally posted by wildtimes
reply to post by Amaterasu
 


While your points are valid in many ways, it's not a cart-and-horse thing. Emotions are a separate realm from thought. People who meditate a lot, trying to release all thoughts, and to recognize emotions as they arise, are more able to deal with life.


And I contend otherwise. Our thoughts precede the feelings We have. Our thoughts create the feelings - whether consciously or unconsciously. I have meditated, and from My personal experience I can say that no feeling arises lest a thought precedes it that evokes the feeling.


Emotions are not caused just by thoughts. Emotions are the brain's alert system.


Again, I disagree. You must think of something to have an emotion attached to the thought crop up. You seem to be suggesting that the emotions somehow get the attention of the mind when there is danger. Like, "Why am I feeling this fear? I had better look around. Oh, hey, it was because someOne was sneaking up on Me with a knife!" Not quite. More, "Oh, hey. SomeOne is sneaking up on Me with a knife! Oh geez! I'm scared!"


My dad died last year, and I was grieving deeply for a long time. Emotions are responses to stimulus, not to thoughts.


And when My father passed away... I discovered that when I was grieving I could occupy Myself thinking about something else and at those times, I felt no pain. And I discovered it worked very well on demand.


Sorry, and I've read Glasser and appreciate your mentioning him, but emotions are not CAUSED just by thoughts. They can be caused by events, stressors, crises, any number of life events.


LOL! The feelings come from what You are THINKING about these events, stressors, crises, etc. It's not like an event occurs and a feeling is pushed into Your head. You have to process the information and then have a thought about it ("Oh My God! THAT happened!") before You will feel one way or another.


Thoughts CAN BE triggered by emotions, but a person need not be in a heightened emotional state to have a thought. They affect one another. They are not cause and effect.


I beg to differ. The emotion cannot crop up with nothing creating it. One HAS to have a thought before a feeling will follow.



posted on Jun, 11 2011 @ 10:19 AM
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edit on 11-6-2011 by wildtimes because: duplicated and expanded in next thread



posted on Jun, 11 2011 @ 10:22 AM
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reply to post by Amaterasu
 


You seem to be suggesting that the emotions somehow get the attention of the mind when there is danger. Like, "Why am I feeling this fear? I had better look around.


Seem to be? That is precisely what I am suggesting.

Your "personal experience" in "meditation" is the basis for your claim?
I have offered my credentials. You say you meditate. So do I, and have for years, as well as studying a variety of spiritual approaches and scientific approaches to the mind/brain/spirit mystery. Aside from my own personal (subjective) and professional (objective) experience and education. "LOL" is disrespectful and rude.

Emotions are instincts. A person can -- and does -- feel anxiety and pain and happiness and CAN BE UNAWARE of what CAUSED it. People who suffer, for example, panic attacks (which I did for a time decades ago) don't know WHY. With work they can dig into their unconscious thoughts and perhaps find out. But panic attacks come on of their own accord, for NO APPARENT REASON. The clinician's job is to help the person IDENTIFY the REASONS -- which can be either external or internal stimulus -- they might be suffering panic attacks. You seem to be saying that INTUITION is a fiction.

Is Glasser the only theory you've read? I have no interest in convincing you, your apparent "judgment" of me is, well, inappropriate and arrogant. I would merely suggest you are aware of a very elementary text written for lay people. That particular book is written for the novice.

Here is a quote I have just pulled from my private copy of his later book regarding professional, therapeutic use of Choice Theory:

Counseling with Choice Theory, The New Reality Therapy copyright 2000, Quill pub., New York.

It is one relatively thin volume from my professional library which contains scores of other books.


What is labelled as mental illness, regardless of the causation, are the hundreds of ways people choose to behave when they are unable to satisfy basic genetic needs, such as love and power, to the extent they want. (Page xvi of the Preface)


Here's another, from page 65:

Choice theory explains that all behavior is made up of four distinct but inseparable components: acting, thinking, feeling, and the physiology that accompanies all three....all we can choose are two of the four components: our actions and thoughts.



Why one person will panic, another will obsess, and still another will depress or choose another symptom is not yet known.
page 66

Unless you have some claim to a secret understanding of how all this works, and are an expert in the field, you have no grounds on which to intelligently judge others' knowledge and experiences. I do not have reason to believe that you have a better understanding of how the mind and brain works than anyone else, and IMO, your knowledge is quite limited and shallow. Do some deeper independent research into theory and spirituality, intuition and emotion.

Thoughts and feelings are two separate realms.
But thanks for playing.
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posted on Jun, 11 2011 @ 10:48 AM
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reply to post by Amaterasu
 





It's not like an event occurs and a feeling is pushed into Your head.


I disagree, it is exactly like that. You put a hand into cold water, you feel cold, there is no control over it. Something bad happens, you automatically feel fear or anger. You see a sexy woman, you automatically feel attraction to her. These "emotional reflexes" are for the most part beyond conscious control, managed by lower parts of the brain.



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