Why do we feel emotions? Through them we experience maternal care, engage our work, lose ourselves in playfulness, feel pleasure, go shopping, get into arguments, end relationships, and experience loss. These engines of the psyche, the powers behind human motivation, can be experienced as unwelcome, non-rational disturbances from the perspective of the individual ego. Yet they serve important functions if we recognize their guiding wisdom. We can learn to be with our emotions with more awareness—thereby freeing ourselves in important ways. Each evening of this three-week lecture series will feature an in-depth examination of the power and possibilities of a different emotion: grief, envy, and love.
Grief and Suffering
Jerry Ruhl, PhD
Thursday, Sept. 20 | 5:45 – 7:15 pm
A condition of life is that it grows and changes, which implies loss. Grief is the process of adjusting to loss. In grief we may feel sadness, guilt, loneliness, relief, anger, resignation. There is no "right" way to grieve. The key is to suffer it--to allow it. The philosopher's stone is acceptance. The soul has its own rituals of grieving. We will differentiate natural, neurotic, and creative suffering.
Anna Guerra, JD, MA, LPC
Thursday, Sept. 27 | 5:45 – 7:15 pm
What good is envy? We talk about falling under the spell of the "evil eye" or falling victim to the "green-eyed monster" that spoils what it cannot possess. One of the seven deadly sins, envy fails even to provide the sinful pleasures of gluttony, lust, or sloth—envy is just no fun. We experience it when, like the fox in Aesop's fable, we encounter what we desire but cannot have: beauty, youth, faith, luck, love, success, happiness. We will explore the dynamics and consequences of envy, the soul-crushing effects of being the object of another's envy, and the life-enhancing possibilities of this taboo emotion.
Anne Klein, PhD
Thursday, Oct. 4 | 5:45 – 7:15 pm
If love is an ocean, our other emotions are waves moving through it. Love is the starting point of all life and spirituality. Loving kindness is good for us physically, mentally, and spiritually. The milk of human kindness helps us grow, it makes us happy, and it brings home to us the simple truth of our profound connection with others and the need to care about our world. How can we further such love in our lives? We will draw on poetry, ancient wisdom, and our own capacity for deep sensing through a simple guided meditation.