Enlightenment and Emotions

Desert Moon

Do enlightened people feel emotions? If so, how are the emotions different than those experienced by story-people? (New term: “Story-People.” Kind of derogatory, but I want you to start thinking of your ego/story in negative terms as this will help you see, feel and ultimately reject the ego/story. It’s accurate too, as the illusionary ego/story turns you into a fictional character–but I digress.) ***Edited 11/6/2009: See my comment below.

Story-Wayne used to think that enlightened people never (or barely) experienced emotions–surely never any negative emotions. This idea was based solely on how enlightened teachers presented themselves to their audience.

My experiences however, are completely different…

Enlightened Emotions

Instead of softer or more subdued emotions, what I have found is that emotions are much more powerful than they ever were. The emotions that I experience are filled with a living, moving, raw, primal power–a power that is balanced though, by a clear, untainted, purity.

Emotions now feel so alive and powerful because, quite simply, there is no one holding them in check anymore. Since there is no resistance to them (no one resisting them), their natural qualities are felt in all their purity.

Anger: Anger rushes upward, filling the body with tension…and then, because there is no one holding onto it, it’s gone. Anger now feels like someone slammed a door right behind my back: Boom! Clench. Ahh..whew.

Love: Love feels like radiance. There is a lot more of it–a lot more–and it is always outward flowing. Never inward, never needing. This outward flowing is probably why the word “light” is so often used in referring to the experience of enlightenment, as light is always flowing away from the source–never turning back into itself.

Loneliness: Haven’t felt it since waking up. Not sure why.

Food Guilt: Don’t feel it. When I want a candy bar, I’m eating a candy bar. Surprisingly, this has actually cut down on cravings dramatically. Interesting also is that when I want a candy bar and I don’t have one around, the desire for it is felt far more physically/emotionally than it used to…When I want a candy bar, I really WANT a candy bar. And when I eat it, I really enjoy it.

Moral Guilt: Not applicable. What is right for me is what is right for Life itself. No rules or dogma needed. Every situation is seen as unique in itself, and Life, via the passionate movement, lets you know what the proper course of action is.

Sexual Lust: Much more powerful, uninhibited and guilt-free. Though I haven’t had sex since waking up, Chandi, who teaches Tantra, has helped me understand the natural unbalanced state that all creatures live in. By nature of our sexual gender, we are automatically unbalanced–not sexually whole. Tantra focuses on just this aspect of spirituality–on how to understand and deal with this natural, unbalanced state. Thanks for all your help Chandi.

Joy: I am much happier. Appreciation (joy) is my most common emotion.

Compassion: This one often surprises me in weird ways. In the typical sense, compassion blossoms like you’d expect it would with any deeply spiritual person–other people are far more important to me than “me” because there is no more Wayne Wirs. Where it gets kind of funny/weird is when it comes to other living things. I can eat meat guilt-free (the animal is already dead), but I wouldn’t kill an animal even if it meant starving to death. I feel guilty walking on a flower (I’m sure it hurts it), but grass on the other hand, likes being walked on–like a massage. I know it’s strange but that’s the way it feels.

Self-Based Emotions: Many emotions, the ego/story-based emotions, simply no longer exist for me. Greed, Fear, and Envy come immediately to mind but I’m sure there are many others. There is simply no Wayne Wirs to be greedy or fearful or envious. Primal fear still exists but that is more instinctual conditioning rather than an emotion–ie: whatever organ creates adrenalin in the body, still functions as it used to.


In conclusion, the emotions based on story-Wayne (Wayne Wirs) have dropped away, but the remaining emotions are felt much more powerfully and much more passionately. Because I no longer try to control or manipulate Life, Life is free to flow and vibrate and roar in all the wonderful varieties of feelings that Life celebrates.

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11 thoughts on “Enlightenment and Emotions

  1. I just want to apologize for the term “story people.” Re-reading the paragraph, it feels too harsh. I don’t believe thinking of yourself as a “story person” will help any reader recognize that their ego is a fictional character. It just comes across as elitist and offensive, which are neither my intentions or attitude.

    “Wayne Wirs” is a fictional character of his own story (substitute your name and gender as appropriate). “Wayne” (your first name), a simple sound without any story, is who you truly are.

    The ego is a fictional character, but you as a story person is taking that too far. Sorry if I’ve offended anyone.

  2. I don’t think it is harsh. It is what it is. Only the ego gets offended. We are all players/participants in the maha story/fairytale which the ego thinks is the “real” deal, but we are not the roles we are playing.
    I want to thank you for the clarity you give me.

  3. NOW you understand why TS Elliott wrote:
    “The Naming of cats is a difficult matter;
    It isn’t just one of your holiday games.
    You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter
    When I tell you a cat *must have three different Names.*”

    (emphasis mine, but that’s the first part of “The Naming of Cats” from _Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats_ )

  4. Wouldnt say harsh Wayne – but i do agree that once we can look past the veil (ego) that was/is/can/tries to seperate us from total living the splendour of our souls delight. Then we can see the role we play in the ( i like this Chandi ) Maha or mighty story and engage more fully embrace all it has to offer and gracefully bow down when the curtain falls, to play again and be at one with the cycle of life. Birth, life, death, Rebirth the breath of Creation, breathing us eternally.

    Ps: Ketira like this sounds like a game of Hide and Seek..;)

  5. I can’t imagine why anyone would have a problem with the term “story people”. For me, it serves as convenient shorthand, i.e. when I notice myself getting mired in self-story telling, I can swiftly observe that I’m indulging my inclination to be a “story person”.

    For anyone who sees The Problem, it is a useful perspective on that problem.

    For anyone who doesn’t see The Problem, well, they’d likely be offended by ANY assertion (in any phrasing) that their day-to-day existence may be delusional. I.e. by this entire site! And I’m not sure why such people would be reading your blog, anyway…

  6. I just want to say a big thank you for your information. I am just getting into the flow of the universe and the results are truly amazing. When you start to try and control your emotions, the world before you literally changes. Anything is possible, daft things don’t bother you and its like a cloud lifts out of your head. Instead of ploughing through life, I look forward to it every day. Everyone has commented on my mood change and money is no longer my primary focus. Being happy is, money is going to help with that but its not the solution to everything. Be happy, concentrate on being happy and happy times will come. Let go, believe in yourself and the universe and literally, you can have anything that you truly desire x

  7. Different people define emotions in different ways. Some make a distinction between emotions and feelings saying that a feeling is the response part of the emotion and that an emotion includes the situation or experience, the interpretation, the perception, and the response or feeling related to the experience of a particular situation.

    • It’s been almost seven years now since this post, and in those seven years, the only sadness I’ve felt in that time has been for others, never myself. Thanks!

  8. Thank you wayne for your response. For most of my life I’ve been resisting what is, wanting to change the present moment, wanting it to be different. But in the last few months I’ve been allowing negative emotions to be here, I experience it fully, and I let them stay as long as they want, and I love them. I thank them for letting me experience that aspect of the universe, and they dissolve into love. Where do you recommend I go from here, to experience everything as oneness? I still have not realised that part.

  9. Hi Wayne – Thanks for this article. Appreciate the insights and experiences about post-enlightenment emotionality that you’ve had, and how they reflect vis-a-vis mine. With the old ‘me’ gone, emotions are pretty much non-existent when alone, and absent most of the time with others. Now and then emotions are triggered with/by others, and as you said, they are direct, intense, forceful. Then gone. This nearly instant gone-ness is unnerving to others. But, there it is. On the flip side, also as you mention, emotions such as sadness, worry, jealousy, envy, despair, disappointment, anxiousness, uncertainty and many, many more so-called negative emotions simply never occur. Cannot even try to force them to happen. Interestingly, many of the so-called positive emotions also never occur. Wherever emotionality was part and parcel of ego-existence self-maintenance, then those emotions came out and played often, since they were part of the story/soap-opera. Now… gone. So the E process has resulted in FAR less emotionality, generally speaking. One aspect I do often note is the upwelling of what I call ’empathy emotions.’ I may be watching a movie, or especially when with someone or when watching a singing audition on X-Factor or something similar, wherein a very authentic, innocent and loving emotion occurs in the person, I immediately resonate and feel extremely deep emotions with them. When this occurs it is FAR deeper and more exhilarating than I ever experienced pre-E. And while this resonance/empathy effect can happen with most any emotion, it is by far the strongest with Love/Agape and love-related emotions. Perhaps I am not getting this across very well, but the change is fascinating. Far less emotions overall, but the ‘authentic’ ones that remain are far more intense. Thanks again! BDev

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