Envy Harms You
What is Envy? Envy is a form of hatred. It is a form of hate directed towards someone who has been favoured by fortune. Why do we feel envy? Because they have something that we would like. Envy harms you alone.
If someone near to you wins or inherits a large amount of money, you may feel envy because you too would like lot of money. And you then get a contrast between the situation you’re in and the situation they are in. You have the impression that they have more, or are more likely to survive. Their prospect of survival is enhanced, and yours is still the same. But, you feel diminished because there’s a greater contrast taking place. And so, you experience this hatred towards them because they’re a source of pain for you. They’re reminding you of something you do not have, and so you hate them. Your envy cannot affect them but the envy you feel harms you.
Be honest with yourself
Sense how the feeling of envy harms you. No one else matters when it comes to how you feel. It’s tough to look at these emotions and to be honest about them and see that’s what’s going on. Once you understand this, and by the word ‘understand’ I mean you have been in that situation where you feel envy. Then you’ve had the honesty to acknowledge that in yourself, and the ability to analyse what is going on.
When you can do that, then envy will diminish. You don’t have to make it decrease; it will just decrease because by understanding emotions they somehow lose their power.
What about Fear?
It’s the same for fear. In fear you must understand why you are feeling fear. We all feel fear because we think our survival is being threatened in some way or other. So , you might have a concern that you could lose your job soon. And of course, that relates directly to a diminishing of your survival prospects. You look at the situation. Why you are feeling fear? What does that refer to? It relates to your feeling of diminishing survival prospects.
A curious thing about these emotions is that they have a certain amount of energy. They are like storms. By sitting with them and being with them and looking at them, the storm loses its power. In effect we absorb the energy of the storm. So instead of the storm stealing power from us, we take its energy. These are a few examples of how understanding the emotions causes the emotions to become less troublesome.
How does the work help?
What you are left with when you have done this work for a long time is greater peace. This is because the emotions are not so troubling. Emotions are essentially an animal legacy that we have, and whether we should be in that state or not is up for debate.
Some traditions consider the state of uncontrollable emotions to be a fallen state, a fall into sharing characteristics with animals, i.e., the emotions, the passions.
To recap, knowledge is nothing. It’s just stuff you hold in your head. You are like a computer with it. It has no bearing or no weight when you’re considering how you feel about yourself and what you are.
Understanding is tied to being and being is related to experience. Understanding and being go together. It might be worth investigating understanding. It’s nowhere near as sexy as enlightenment or cosmic consciousness or any of these things that the enlightenment gurus are touting, but it’s more real, the benefits are more robust, and it’s a way to progress in your move towards peace and towards happiness.
More about Understanding
It might be entertaining to watch this YouTube post on Slavishness to the Emotions