The idea of escaping emotion has been around since the starting of civilization. Emotions can often be negative and so we will try to be objective or practice other methods of escaping emotion such as meditation. The need to escape emotion is usually always used in the context of escaping bad emotions such as fear or sadness because no one really wants to escape joy unless they are in a phase of their life where they are seeking purpose.
The most interesting thing about escaping emotion is how often we do it but we just don’t recognize it. I remember when I was a child and someone asked me how I was feeling and I responded truthfully, “I don’t really feel anything at all.” This was followed by, “Are you feeling alright?” I quickly learned that the proper response to that question was that I feel good or that I am okay. I think everyone can relate to this. How many times have you been asked how you are feeling and responded with, “I am good” when you knew that wasn’t entirely truthful? Why do we do this?
Humanity is obsessed with binary choices. Something has to be good or evil, wrong or right, and happy or sad. When we interact socially with people there is usually emotion present such as excitement or regret. When we interact with fellow employees over work tasks there is almost never emotion involved unless there is some kind of problem. I imagine there are people reading this blog right now that are stateless. They are neither happy or sad and if they were to really meditate on that for a moment it might actually make some people feel uncomfortable. In fact an unemotional state is where we spend a significant amount of time but we hardly reflect on it. This is because in an unemotional state there is no need to reflect, you have a goal or an objective of some type that needs to be accomplished and this might be something as simple as the need to go to the washroom.
Imagine you are driving down a long high way where the scenery was completely the same and suddenly you come to screeching to a stop to let ducks cross the road. If the trip took hours, it wouldn’t matter, you would only remember the emotional state you were in when the ducks crossed the road. When you reflect on your state of no emotion it might feel like you’re not living. However, after awhile you will realize that this state can be utilized to have moments of clarity.
Emotions are a reactionary force to try and get us to do something to compensate for some kind of stress or make us recognize lack of stress. That said, you are capable of interacting with the universe in a non-reactionary way. So how do you voluntarily escape emotion? That is the simple part. Unlike meditation this state is easy to get into once you recognize it. Let me explain. Odds are you have never really reflected on this state you enter on a regular basis, but now that you know it exists all you have to do is catch yourself in the act. Once you catch yourself in the act you can reflect on it and once you know how it “feels” you can gain the ability to turn it on and off. When you enter this state it might allow you to make better choices then to simply follow your emotions which almost always have a much shorter term horizon.